V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on November 29, 1921
Published: First published in 1965 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 54. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, page 389c.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Comrade Kamenev:

My view is closer to yours than to Dzerzhinsky’s. I advise you not to give in and to take it to the Politbureau. Then we shall secure the maximum of maximums. We shall also impose on the People’s Commissariat for Justice responsibility for failing to inform the Politbureau (or the C.P.C.) about the All-Russia Cheka’s defects and irregularities.[1]

29/XI. Lenin


[1] This was written in connection with the working out of a new statute of the All-Russia Cheka under the New Economic Policy.

Having sent Lenin the basic provisions drawn up by the Collegium of the All-Russia Cheka, with which the People’s Commissar for Justice D. I. Kursky had agreed, and a draft statute of the All-Russia Cheka (substituting the existing decisions on the All-Russia Cheka and its local organs) to be submitted for approval by the Presidium of the All-Russia C.E.C., and other material, Kamenev wrote: “Have a look at this. This is the maximum Dzerzhinsky will agree to, and that which Kursky is, of course, satisfied with. I insist on this maximum: = 1. Unburden the Cheka, leaving political crimes, espionage, banditism and the protection of railways and warehouses in its charge. Not more. The rest—to the People’s Commissariat for Justice. = 2. The Cheka’s investigation apparatus to be merged with the People’s Commissariat for Justice, handing it over to the revolutionary tribunals.”

The Collegium of the All-Russia Cheka objected to the “transfer to the various organs of inquiry and investigation”, and considered it “premature to separate from each other (to transfer to various organs) political cases and cases involving large-scale stealing of the public property and official misconduct” (Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the C.P.S.U. Central Committee).

On December 1, 1921, Lenin introduced in the Politbureau of the R.C.P.(B.) C.C. a proposal to reform the All-Russia Cheka, narrowing down the scope of its activity (see present edition, Vol. 42, pp. 366–67). Having adopted Lenin’s proposal, the   Politbureau set up a commission, consisting of L. B. Kamenev, D. I. Kursky and F. E. Dzerzhinsky, to discuss the matter within five days, on the strength of the adopted decision.

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