Written: Written on December 5, 1922
Published: First published in part in 1934 in the magazine Rybnoye Khozyaistvo SSSR No. 1. Published in full in 1965 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 54. Printed from a typewritten text signed by Lenin.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 596b-597a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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1. I have information that the Administration for the Island Economy of the Arctic Ocean is selling alcohol to the Novaya Zemlya settlers and is making drunkards out of the natives.
It is alleged that the Administration sets such plunderous prices that the settlers try to sell the products of their industry to visiting Norwegian trappers, who offer less plunderous prices for their goods.
2. I have been informed that as a result of the sharp decline in the fishing industry during the war the searoach, which had almost lost its commercial importance through rapacious fishing, has once again appeared in commercial quantities in the Sea of Azov. Much young fish of the sturgeon species, including the almost extinct white sturgeon, has also appeared. But on the one hand, there has been started at once unchecked and unrestricted plunderous catching of young sturgeon, which could quickly cancel out the favourable effect of the war. On the other hand, something inconceivable has allegedly been happening, and perhaps is still happening, in the lower reaches of the Don. As an example I have been told that even the water guards of the Don Food Committee have engaged in plunderous fishing in the restricted zone, with a sort of charge allegedly being levied for permission to catch fish in the restricted area—between 400 and 500 million rubles for one net casting.
The chief of the water guard service of the Don Food Committee has been removed from his post for plunderous fishing in the lower reaches of the Don. This gentleman has merely been removed from his post. It is necessary to find out where he is and to make a more serious check up on whether he has been sufficiently punished.
Please appoint an inquiry into both cases and inform me through Comrade Gorbunov of the results in a short note.
These people should not just be given a scare, but should also be brought to book and taken to task for these scandalous practices.
V. Ulyanov (Lenin)
Chairman, Council of People’s Commissars