V. I.   Lenin



Dictated: Dictated by phone on January 3, 1922
Published: First published in 1965 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 54. Printed from a typewritten copy.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, page 426b.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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To Comrade Molotov (concerning Chicherin’s reference to the declaration proposed by Lloyd George)

I think that, far from it being necessary for us to make haste, the terms are in general absolutely unacceptable. Inform Krasin of this in strict secrecy, or perhaps we need not inform him at all, but wait for the conference at which we shall make a concrete statement.[1]



[1] A reference to G. V. Chicherin’s letter to the Politbureau of the R.C.P.(B.) C.C. of December 30 and L. B. Krasin’s telegram from London of December 28, 1921.

Krasin communicated the following approximate text of the Soviet Government’s declaration proposed by Lloyd George as a condition for the recognition of the R.S.F.S.R. by the capitalist countries and extension of economic assistance to it: “The Soviet Government, with the proviso of its de jure recognition and the extension of assistance to Russia in her rehabilitation, agrees to recognise as binding on itself all the financial obligations of the tsarist and the Provisional Government. It is furthermore proposed that the Soviet Government should pay the losses of foreign governments and private persons, in so far as these losses resulted from the Soviet Government’s acts or omissions on its part, provided the foreign governments made good the losses inflicted by them on Russia, with the settlement of   all matters involving losses to be effected by an arbitration tribunal on the basis of the generally recognised principles of international law and the principles of trade relations prevailing in civilised countries.”

In the opinion of the Collegium of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs, Chicherin wrote to the Politbureau, “this proposal is an attempt to blackmail us once again before the session of the Supreme Council”, and it should be rejected, with the declaration that the Soviet Government is prepared to discuss the question of the private debts at a conference. The Collegium of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs considered the arbitration tribunal to be absolutely unacceptable, “because there cannot be any impartial arbitration tribunal between the Soviet Republic and the capitalist states”.

Having discussed on December 31, 1921, Krasin’s telegram about Britain’s proposals, the Politbureau of the R.C.P.(B.) C.C. decided “to agree with Comrade Chicherin” (Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the C.P.S.U. Central Committee).

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