V. I.   Lenin

A Note to V. M. Molotov with a Motion for the C.C., R.C.P.(B.)

Written: Written September 15, 1921
Published: First published in 1939 in the journal Proletarskaya Revolutsia No. 1. Printed from the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, 1st English Edition, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 42, pages 343c-344a.
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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Comrade Molotov,

From all sides I hear that recommendations (in connection with the Party purge[1]) are being given right and left as a favour.

I propose that a circular be published by the C.C. (by arrangement with and over the signatures of the Central Control Commission and the Verification Commission):

Recommendations may be given only by those who have personally observed the work of the person recommend-ed for at least one year, and have worked together with him in one or another Party organisation.”[2]




[1] The Party purge was carried out in compliance with the resolu-tion of the Tenth Congress of the R.C.P.(B.) “On Problems of Party Developmept—it was preceded by long and careful preparation. On June 21, 1921, the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission adopted a Decision on Checking, Revising and Purging the Party (see Pravda No. 146 for June 30, 1921), which fixed the date for the purge to be carried out (from August 1 to October ii, 1921), stipulated that working people, both Communists and non-Party, were to be questioned concerning members of the Party who were being checked, and defined the procedure for setting up local verification commissions. During the period of the purge admission into the Party was suspended, an exception being made in the case of workers and peasants who did not exploit outside labour. On July 7 the Politburean endorsed a Central Verification Commission for checking the Party membership and local verification commissions. The Central Committee of the Party addressed a letter “To All Party Organisations. On the Purging of the Party” (see Pravda No. 163 for July 27, 1921) setting forth the aims and methods of the purge. The C.C. recommended the following guidelines: a more indulgent attitude towards workers in the matter of pre-santing documents, testimonials, etc. Asregards peasants, a clean line should be drawn between kulak and proprietary elements and honest working peasants. A stricter approach to “commis-sarifled” elements, to those holding posts which involve any priv-ileges. An especially strict check to be applied to former govern-ment officials and bourgeois intellectuals. And strictest of all to former members of other parties, per., the Mcnsheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries. The start of the purge was put off until August 15.

As a result of the purge, which continued up till the Eleventh Congress of the R.C.P.(B.) about 25 per cent of the membership were expelled from the Party. This improved the Party’s social composition, strengthened discipline, gave the Party greater prestige among the non-Party worker and peasant masses and freed the Party from elements who discredited it. The Party’s ideological and organisational unity was enhanced.

[2] This directive of Lenin’s was incorporated in the C.C.’s decisions. The “Report of the Central Committee of the R.C.P.” for September 1921 states that the C.C. passed two decisions concerning the procedure for recommending members of the R.C.P. during the purge. One stated: “Only those comrades have the right to recommend who have known the recommended person not less than one year and have worked with him or observed his work in one or another Party organisation”. The other decision spoke about the responsibility of the recommenders for the recommended (see Izvestia of the C.C., R.C.P. No. 35, December 1, 1921).

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