V. I. Lenin

Letter To J. V. Stalin

For Members of The C.C., R.C.P.(B.)

Dictated by Telephone: 15 December, 1922
First Published: In abridged form, in 1930 in Vol. XXVII of the 2nd and 3rd Russian language editions of Lenin’s Works Published in full according to the stenographer’s notes (typewritten copy)
Source: Lenin’sCollected Works, 2nd English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965,Volume 33, pages 460-461
Translated: David Skvirsky and George Hanna
Transcription\HTML Markup: David Walters & R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marx.org) 2002. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of theGNU Free Documentation License

I have now finished winding up my affairs and can leave with my mind at peace. [1] I have also come to an agreement with Trotsky on the defence of my views on the monopoly of foreign trade. Only one circumstance still worries me very much; it is that it will be impossible for me to speak at the Congress of Soviets. [2] My doctors are coming on Tuesday and we shall see if there is even a small chance of my speaking. I would consider it a great inconvenience to miss the opportunity of speaking, to say the least. I finished preparing the summary a few days ago. I therefore propose that the writing of a report which somebody will deliver should go ahead and that the possibility be left open until Wednesday that I will perhaps personally make a speech, a much shorter one than usual, for example, one that will take three-quarters of an hour. Such a speech would in no way hinder the speech of my deputy (whoever you may appoint for this purpose), but would be useful politically and from the personal angle as it would eliminate cause for great anxiety. Please have this in mind, and if the opening of the Congress is delayed, inform me in good time through my secretary. [3]


December 15, 1922

I am emphatically against any procrastination of the question of the monopoly of foreign trade. If any circumstance (including the circumstance that my participation is desirable in the debate over this question) gives rise to the idea to postpone it to the next Plenary Meeting, I would most emphatically be against it because, firstly, I am sure Trotsky will uphold my views as well as I; secondly, the statements that you, Zinoviev and, according to rumours, Kamenev have made prove that some members of the C.C. have already changed their minds; thirdly, and most important, any further vacillation over this extremely important question is absolutely impermissible and will wreck all our work.


December 15, 1922


[1] When Lenin’s health deteriorated his doctors ordered him to move to Gorki, a suburb of Moscow.

[2] The Tenth All-Russia Congress of Soviets, which opened in Moscow on December 23, 1922. It was attended by 2,215 delegates, of whom 488 were representatives from the Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Lenin was elected honorary chairman. A message of greetings to Lenin was adopted amidst stormy applause and the singing of The Internationale.

The Congress discussed the report of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars on the home and foreign policy of the Soviet Republic, and also the reports of the Supreme Economic Council, the People’s Commissariat of Education, the People’s Commissariat of Finance and the People’s Commissariat of Agriculture. Fully endorsing the work of the Soviet Government, the Congress passed decisions mapping out a series of measures aimed at further promoting industry, agriculture and finances. On December 26 the Congress heard a report on the unification of the Soviet republics, and on the next day, at its last sitting, it passed a decision on this question, finding it necessary to form the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Moreover, the Congress adopted an address to all the peoples of the world, in which on behalf of the workers and peasants of Russia it solemnly reaffirmed its desire for peace and called upon the working people of all countries to combine their efforts with those of the peoples of the Soviet Union in order to secure peace and save mankind from monstrous wars of extermination.

[3] Due to a further deterioration of his health, Lenin was unable to attend the Tenth All-Russia Congress of Soviets.