Written: Written on June 7, 1921
Published: First published in 1932 in Lenin Miscellany XX. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 181b-182a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
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Comrade Radchenko, Central Peat Administration
Dear Ivan Ivanych:
I quite understand that it pains you to see how non-Soviet people—some of them possibly even enemies of the Soviet power—are making use of their inventions to profiteer. I quite believe you that Kirpichnikov is that kind of man. Of course, Klasson is not a supporter of ours either.
But the whole point is that while your feeling of indignation is quite legitimate, you must not make the mistake of succumbing to it.
The inventors are not our men, but we must use them. It is better to let them have more, let them make money, make a killing—so long as we, too, can advance an undertaking which is of exceptional importance for the R.S.F.S.R.
Let’s think out our assignments to these men in greater detail. Perhaps we can adopt this plan:
1) Allow Kirpichnikov to go on the trip, provided precisely specified assignments are carried out; draw up a list of them.
2) Send along with him, two or three men who are reliable politically (a worker, one of our engineers, etc.) as some kind of “commissars”. Give them precise instructions.
Let us approve § 1 and § 2 by agreement with Krzhizhanovsky.
3) Establish over here in Russia a special centre, order Gidrotorf’s best machines, set up this special centre with these special machines, i.e., a special enterprise, and get it to advance this business in its own way.
Would you find the men to do this?
4) Offer on Glavtorf’s behalf prizes (10,000–30,000 rubles in gold) in Canada and in Germany for the best methods of dehydrating peat, and for the best models of machines for Gidrotorf, etc.
P.S. I wonder why Klasson has failed to award any prizes in Germany, although he and I had spoken about it. Could he be dragging things out? Perhaps we should do this directly through Glavtorf} We should spare no money for this.