V. I.   Lenin

Proposals to the Text of the Draft Agreement with the A.R.A. on
The Organisation of Food Parcels to Russia[1]

Written: Written October 19, 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, page 353b.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: D. Walters
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I agree. 19/X Lenin

(even if the aim is trade, we should make this experiment, as we are given a clear profit for the famine-stricken and the right of control; and the right of cancellation at 3 months’ notice. Hence we should not charge for carriage and storage). A controller of ours (confirmed by the Politbureau) shall be appointed to the A.R.A. who combines reliability with an ability to control the w h o l e operation.


[1] The A. R.A. (American Relief Administration) -was formed in 1919 to render relief to the population who had suffered from the First World War. The President of the A.B.A. NN-as Herbert Hoover, a big capitalist, who had had close links with Russian capital before 1917. Some of the A.B.A. staff engaged ’iii charitable work with all sincerity and cojiscieiitiousiiess, but the A.R.A. asa whole served as an instrument for spreading the influence of American imperialism and dumping old stocks.

On October 18, 1921, the draft of an agreement with the A.R.A. on the organisation of food parcels to Russia was circulated for voting among members of the Politbureau. The covering letter has the signatures of Politbureau members and a proposal by Stalin that a charge be made for transportation of the parcels from the frontier to the distributing warc’liouses, and for their storage, since, in his opijiion, this was a commercial operation, not charity. Lenin’s bracketed remark was made in connection with this proposal. The draft agreement with the A.R.A. was endorsed by the Politbureau on October 19, 1921.

The Soviet Government accepted A.R.A. assistance in con-nection with famine on the Volga and in south Ukraine in 1921, but repelled its attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of the Soviet Republic and established control over its activities. As subsequent events roved, the A.R.A. personnel, consisting, chiefly of American army officers, engaged in espionage and supported counter-revolutionary elements. The A. B .A. ceased its activities in the U.S.S.R. in June 1923.

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