V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on September 2, 1921
Published: First published in part in 1928 in Lenin Miscellany VIII. Published in full in 1965 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 53. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 278b-280a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars

... In fulfilling the duties assigned to the central and local financial organs, they have recently been coming up against exceptionally unfavourable obstacles, chiefly the fact that the executive organs of the Soviet power have
||| completely forgotten the injunctions of the Constitution on the drawing up of estimates and the making of expenditures in accordance with them, which is having an extremely harmful effect on the general state of the budget, and is the cause of exceptional upheavals in the system of monetary circulation.

To illustrate this, one need merely point out the following circumstances: 1) in some districts, wages are issued to workers not in accordance with the tariff rates, but at free market prices, sometimes amounting to as much as 700,000 rubles per man a day (Privolzhsk district, and the western and eastern gubernias); 2) actors and workers of Soviet theatres are remunerated not according to tariff salaries, but with additions, coming to many hundreds of per cent over and above the latter (besides, under the estimates of the People’s Commissariat for Education the cost of   maintenance of the theatres comes to
outrageous!! 29,000 million, and of institutions of higher education, to 17,000 million); 3) it has become commonplace, and very much the rule for Soviet institutions and enterprises to purchase the things they need on the free market and, naturally, at its prices....

A proximate confirmation of the irregularity of demands for bank-notes from treasure institutions is provided by the practice,
How did they manage to “adopt” it without the P.C.F.? which has been adopted by Soviet establishments even in Moscow, under which the organs of the Moscow Soviet strive to have the Moscow Finance Department hold for thorn bank-notes to the amount of 3,000 million rabies a day, i.e., 75,000 million a month, whereas, according to the data of the budget department and the Central Treasury of the People’s Commissariat for Finance, the Moscow Finance Department has up to now been granted credits of only 188,000 million rubles, i.e., an average of not more than 27,000–30,000 million rubles a month....

Comrade Gorbunov:

Please send the following paper on my behalf: People’s Commissariat for Finance + People’s Commissariat for Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection + Chairman of the Narrow C.P.C.

I authorise the People’s Commissars for Finance and Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection (or their deputies) to call a conference right away with the participation of the Chairman of the Narrow C.P.C., and the C.P.C. Business Manager Gorbunov to work out and put before the C.P.C. within a week draft decisions to combat the afore-mentioned breaches of the law. I draw the attention of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection to this oversight.

How has it been possible to tolerate the outrageous practices described in this paper? In particular, the overrun spending by the People’s Commissariat for Education on the theatres?

Chairman, C.P.C.


Comrade Gorbunov:

Please see to it that this is done within a specified period. You may send Smolyaninov instead of yourself, if   you want to, or let the conference be a three-sided affair.




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