Written: Written on September 15, 1921
Published: First published in 1928 in Lenin Miscellany VIII. Printed from the original signed by Lenin.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, page 546.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Comrade Kiselyov, Chairman of the Narrow Council
Copies to Comrades Bogdanov, Unshlikht, Avanesov
I draw your attention to the note by Mikhels in Izvestia No. 203 of Sept. 13.
The author writes that since 1918, 2.5 million poods of most valuable metal cargoes have been lying in store, almost in a swamp, unregistered and unguarded, and are being pilfered and ruined.
I ask you urgently to check up if that is true.
If it is, take all the necessary steps immediately to register, preserve, etc., this property, and to bring those guilty most strictly to book.
Give me a detailed written report, pointing out the names and posts of the persons guilty of this scandal, and make a communication to the Council of Labour and Defence.
I ask you to do all this with the utmost urgency.
V. Ulyanov (Lenin)
Chairman, Council of People’s Commissars
 V. A. Mikhels—journalist who wrote the item “Destitute Billionaires”, pointing to the crying disorder at the warehouses in Lizino station of the Moscow-Kazan Railway, where 2.5 million poods of metal, costly machines, equipment and tools had not been inventoried and were lying in the open.
Chairman of the Supreme Economic Council P. A. Bogdanov sent Lenin (in reply to his letter of September 15) a report from the chief of the State Warehouse Administration under the Supreme Economic Council, I. K. Yezhov, who complained of a shortage of warehouse space, multiplicity of authority, and a struggle for warehouse space between various departments. For Lenin’s reply to Yezhov’s report, see present edition, Vol. 35, pp.523–24.