V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1933 in Lenin Miscellany XXIII. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 304c-306a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Comrade Kuibyshev:

I have just had a visit from
and Heywood 

representing the American workers’ colony group who wish to take the Nadezhdinsk Works and several enterprises in the Kuznetsk basin.[1]

They want their representative (with an interpreter) to attend the Council of Labour and Defence on Friday. I think we should let them come.

I also draw your attention to and request you to inform all members of the commission and subcommissions of the following:

(1) The Nadezhdinsk Works, in their opinion, is both economically and technically connected with a group of enterprises in Kuzbas, for it will provide tractors for their farms; tractors and all oilier farming implements for the peasants; repair of machinery for their group’s enterprises in Kuzbas; equipment for water transport communications with Siberia, etc.

(2) In Kuznetsk basin they are taking 12,000 dessiatines of land and several enterprises, wishing to set up a large arid complete economic whole.

(3) They want only 300,000 dollars in cash. It would be wrong to think otherwise.

(4) In addition, they want grain and clothing, in order to start the necessary building operations at once. They say work should be started this very winter to have time to finish it by the spring of 1922.

(5) They stress that they will have a firm administrative set-up for their workers’ group; and the whole group (3,000–6,000 workers) selected from among the best workers, mostly young and unmarried men, who have had practical experience in their line, and have lived in a climate similar to that of Russia (Canada and the Northern United States).

(6) They want to be directly subordinate to the Council of Labour and Defence. Something like an autonomous state trust consisting of a workers’ association.

They say, by the way, that 200 American lumberjacks arc living here in the “émigré house”. Most of them are without work. They are itching to get to work. They say that if you send about 30 of them to the Nadezhdinsk Works and 15 to Kuznetsk basin at once—with full equipment and food, they will start building log cabins immediately. (The rest of the 200 will go there later.) They want us to hurry up with sending them off.

They say that Gerbek (? I did not quite catch the English   pronunciation of the name) from the Urals Industrial Bureau had agreed to their plan verbally, and the Siberians (the Siberian Industrial Bureau), in writing.

They intend to take along 10–15 per cent of Russian-speaking workers. They could take more.

Please take all this into account.

V. Ulyanov (Lenin)
Chairman, Council of Labour and Defence


[1] During the second half of 1921, a group of American workers, led by a Dutch Communist engineer, Sebald Rutgers, negotiated with the Soviet Government on the lease of a part of the Kuznetsk   Coal Basin in Siberia and the establishment of an industrial colony there. Rutgers’s proposal was examined by the C.P.C. on September 13, 1921, and referred to the S.E.C.

On September 19, Lenin saw representatives of the American workers’ colony and had a talk with (hem. There is a record of this talk made by Lenin (see Lenin Miscellany XXIII, p. 39).

On September 23, 1921, the C.L.D. decided to recognise the agreement with the Rutgers group as desirable and instructed a special commission to draft its text. The agreement was finally approved on October 21 by the C.L.D. and on October 25 by the C.P.C. The colony operated in Kuzbas as an enterprise directly subordinate to the C.L.D. See also this volume, Documents 416 and 436; present edition, Vol. 42, pp. 344–45, 348–49, 350; Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Edition, Vol. 53, Documents 353 and 374.

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