V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on September 5, 1921
Published: First published 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 289b-290a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Comrade Chicherin:

I attach no importance to Berzin’s opinion about the decline of the British labour movement.[1] Berzin knows little and is always “pessimistic”.

I am very much worried about the search of his luggage. I think we should make a strict application of the “eye for an eye” rule to British representatives. Pedantically: treat them just as badly and a little worse. Is this being done?

Then, concerning the “Hooverites”,[2] their every step should be watched (by the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs through the press and perhaps some “ties”); while the worst of them (someone called Lowrie?) “tracked down” and caught, so as to land them in a scandal.

This calls for relentless, persistent warfare.

Do all our representatives abroad know that everything should he done to support workers’ collections (in aid of the starving) directly to us? Send a dispatch (circular) with this demand: their every report must state in code: “workers’ collections in Britain (France, Sweden, etc.) for fortnight so much.”

Collections only straight to our address.

We must have prompt, accurate and regular information about this.

The “for Nansen” and “against Nansen” campaign[3] clearly shows (the extracts from the Daily Chronicle which you have sent me are extremely interesting) that we must reply to Noulens with a strictly sharp rejection: an outright rejection. Then and only then shall we gain by winning over the “pro-Nansen” elements and put an end to the game of the anti-Nansenites.

With communist greetings,


[1] This opinion was expressed by J. A. Berzin in a note, which he sent from Britain, apparently to G. V. Chicherin.

[2] A reference to officials of the American Relief Administration (ARA) which was headed by Herbert Hoover. Lenin’s proposal that a number of restrictive measures should be taken in respect of them was due to the fact that the staff of this organisation, consisting mainly of U.S. army officers, engaged in espionage and gave support to counter-revolutionary elements in Russia (see this volume, Documents 310, 331 and 370).

[3] Nansen’s activity in collecting donations from public organisations and private persons to render aid to the starving in Russia aroused dissatisfaction in the reactionary circles of some capitalist countries. The Soviet people appreciated his efforts, and on December 25, 1921, the Ninth All-Russia Congress of Soviets carried a vote expressing deep gratitude, to him.

The Daily Chronicle, a newspaper of the British imperialist, bourgeoisie, published in London from 1855 to 1930.

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