V. I.   Lenin

A Note to V. M. Molotov with a Draft Decision for the Politbureau of the C.C., R.C.P.(B.) on the Question of an Agreement with the Rutgers Group[1]

Written: October 12, 1921
Published: First published in 1959 in Lenin Miscellany XXXVI. Printed from the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, 1st English Edition, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 42, pages 348b-349.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: D. Walters
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2003). 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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12. X. 1921

Comrade Molotov,

I enclose material on the Rutgers business.

It is for the Council of Labour and Defence to decide.

I suggest that it first be decided in the C.C.—it is a political question. And the Politbureau must have its say, as it is a gold spending.

Please get the secretary to telephone all the members of the Politbureau who will each arrange for one hour in the course of which he will be able to familiarise himself with the material before Friday. Each one must look through it so that it can be settled on Friday.

Let the secretary make up a time-table and send the material round to each member of the Politbureau.

A difficult question:

for: if the Americans keep their word, it will be of tremendous benefit. In that case we shall not grudge 600,000 gold rubles.

against: will they keep their word? Heywood is half-anarchist. More sentimental than business-like. Rutgers may succumb to Leftism. Calvert is highly garrulous. We have no business guarantees whatever. Enthusiastic people, in an atmosphere of unemployment, may recruit a group of “adventurous spirits” who will end up in squabbles. We may then lose part of our 600,000 gold rubles (they will, of course, spoil and waste some of the property) and risk losing up to 1 million gold rubles more, because under § 8 (the end of it) we undertake

to reimburse the equivalent of expenditures on machines and tools brought in by the said emigrant”.

No small risk.

For: Smirnov I. N. and Maximov (of the Urals) are local people, and they are for it.

Against: Martens should know the Americans well, and he is against.


Please arrange for all the members of the S.E.C. Presidium to be on phone call with the secretary of the C.C. on Friday from 12 to 4 p.m. in case they are called out to the C.C.

P.S. Please also send copies of this letter to all the members of the Politbureau.


[1] This draft was written in preparation for the meeting of the Pelitbureau on the question of an agreement with the group of American workers and engineers headed by S. Rutgers, who had arrived in Russia (see Note 399).

On September 23, 1921, the C.L.D. discussed the proposal of the Rutgers group for the Nadezhdinsk Works and a number of enterprises of the Kuznetsk coal-field to be turned over to them for exploitation, and found it desirable to conclude an agreement, the final terms of which were to be drafted by a commission consisting of representatives of the S.E.C., the Commissariat for Labour and the Commissariat for Agriculture. Lenin took part in the negotiations with the Rutgers group and made a number of proposals in connection with the terms of the agreement (see pp. 348-50, 652-53 of this volume, and Collected Works, Vol. 53, Fifth Russian Edition, pp. 260-61, 302-03).

The agreement with the sponsor group (the Rutgers group) of the American workers, which was signed on October 20, was endorsed by the C.L.D., on October 21 and by the C.P.C. on October 25. In November the Soviet Government signed a contract with this group, under which the American workers were to bring with them a definite quantity of tools, materials and foodstuffs, while the Soviet Government assigned a sum of $300,000 for the purchase abroad of machines and equipment. Under the terms of this contract an Autonomous Industrial Colony directly subordinated to the C.L.D. was set up in part of the territory of the Kuznetsk coal-field.

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