Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 376b-377a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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What is the state of this matter?
I think §§ 4 and 5 are harmful.
Please, return this to me with a comment in a couple of words.
|Written on November 14, 1921|
I am taking the matter on to the Politbureau.
It is altogether wrong to decide such matters in the Orgbureau: this is a purely political, an entirely political question.
And it calls for a different solution.
Please have the secretary type out the old and the new version on one page.
(1) I think § 4 should be deleted.
(2) —the legal responsibility of Communists should be enhanced.
(3) the Party Committee’s “opinions” should be allowed only with dispatch to the centre and verification by the Central Control Commission.
|First published in 1959 in Lenin Miscellany XXXVI|
|Printed from the original|
 The first note was written in connection with a protest by the People’s Commissariat for Justice against the R.C.P.(B.) C.C. circular of June 16, 1921, on the relationships between the Party and the judicial and investigation organs, which gave Communists judicial immunity without the sanction of the local Party Committees.
The People’s Commissariat for Justice asked that §§ 4 and 5 should be deleted from the C.C. circular.
§ 4 put the duty on the judicial authorities to release Communists up for trial under the personal warranty of individuals delegated by Party Committees. § 5 put the duty on the Party Committee to study the case within three days and to have an opinion on the substance of the case, so that the committee’s decision would be a Party directive for the court and would predetermine the judicial decision.
In reply to his first note, Lenin received the C.C. Orgbureau decision of November 11, 1921, approving the circular, and V. M. Molotov’s letter saying that the circular was modified and that the question could be considered settled.
Since these changes did not affect the main shortcoming of the circular, Lenin wrote another note.
In early January 1922, the R.C.P.(B.) Central Committee published a circular “On the Relationships Between Party Committees and Judicial and Investigation Commissions” which cancelled the June 16 circular. The new circular emphasised the imperative need to enhance the responsibility of Party members in the event of their committing any offences falling under the jurisdiction of the civil court or the Revolutionary Tribunal (see Spravochnik partrabotnika, Part II, 1922, p. 177).