V. I.   Lenin


To:   D. I. KURSKY

Written: Written on November 4, 1921
Published: First published on February 6, 1927 in the newspapers Pravda No. 30 and Izvestia No. 30. Printed from a typewritten copy.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 368c-369a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Comrade Kursky, People’s Commissariat for Justice

In my letter No. 809 of September 3, I made you personally responsible for a number of assignments and   requested that you should inform me regularly about their execution.[1]

Please let me know how the following tasks have been fulfilled:

1) to pull up the judges through the C.C. so that they punish red tape more severely;

2) to arrange a conference of the Moscow people’s judges, members of tribunals, etc., to work out effective measures to combat red tape;

3) without fail, this autumn and winter of 1921–1922, to bring up for trial in Moscow 4-6 cases of Moscow red tape, selecting the more “vivid” cases, and making each trial a political affair;

4) to find some, if only 2-3, sensible “experts” on questions of red tape, among the more fierce and militant Communists (get hold of Sosnovsky), so as to train people to weed out red tape;

5) to publish a good, intelligent, non-bureaucratic letter (a circular of the People’s Commissariat for Justice) on fighting red tape.[2]

Chairman of the C.P.C.


[1] See present edition, Vol. 35, Document 298.—Ed.

[2] In reply to this letter, People’s Commissar for Justice, D. I. Kursky, on November 14, 1921, sent Lenin a report from the investigation department of the, People’s Commissariat for Justice over the first half-year of 1921 on 18 cases involving red tape. Kursky wrote that most of these cases ended with the imposition of disciplinary penalties, a part of them were wound up and “cases could be referred to the courts (Revolutionary Tribunal and the People’s   Courts) only by way of exception”. Reporting the preparation of exemplary trials, he said they were now considering the renewal of the panels of the people’s judges in Moscow (Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the C.P.S.U. Central Committee).

Kursky’s reply did not satisfy Lenin and he wrote to him once again (see present edition, Vol. 35, Document 306).

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