V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1965 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 54. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 434b-435a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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To Molotov
for all members of the Politbureau

1) Chicherin’s papers show that he is sick.[1] We must ask the best doctors urgently whether it is better to 

a) postpone his whole leave (six months) until after Genoa?
Will he be able to stand the pace?

b) or let him have a rest right away for one month or five weeks, from 18.I. to 22.II., which leaves two weeks until 8.III., and special leave after Genoa?
(b seems to be the only correct approach).[2]

2) Things at the P.C.F.A. appear to be in a state of dangerous chaos. Is it not risky to dispatch all the best men from the P.C.F.A. to Genoa, leaving a hole at the P.C.F.A. here?

This question should be placed under the most immediate, direct supervision by the Politbureau.

3) Special responsibility must be placed on someone (perhaps Litvinov + Vorovsky + Joffe + P. P. Gorbunov?) for seeing that when Chicherin and the whole delegation leave for Genoa, all P.C.F.A. affairs are handed over to specified persons in complete order.

Someone of the most experienced diplomatists should be left to head the P.C.F.A. for the entire Genoa period.[3]

4) The best and completely reliable cipher clerks should be found right away with the assignment to prepare the most reliable codes for Genoa (with keys changed every day) for the entire Genoa period.



[1] In two letters to the Politbureau of the R.C.P.(B.) C.C. of January 15, 1922, G. V. Chicherin, in connection with the holiday offered to him, characterised the state of affairs at the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs.

He said the work was not going smoothly because of a shortage of trained personnel and added that there was no one at the Commissariat who was informed about the whole range of questions. He wrote that it was impossible for him to go on holiday just then. It would take him several months to hand over his affairs and introduce someone to all his duties at the Commissariat, something it was absolutely impossible to do during the intense preparation for the Genoa Conference. Chicherin insisted that “a holiday at the present time is tantamount to my total departure” (Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the C.P.S.U. Central Committee).

[2] The question of Chicherin’s leave and medical treatment was examined at several sittings of the Politbureau, and he was given leave after the Genoa Conference.

[3] On January 26, 1922, the Politbureau of the R.C.P.(B.) C.C. instructed A. A. Joffe, J. A. Hanecki and P. P. Gorbunov “to prepare the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs for being in a state of complete clarity and precision of work by the time Comrades Chicherin and Litvinov leave.... To bear in mind the possibility of Comrade Karakhan’s being summoned in the absence of Chicherin and Litvinov, and also the possibility that one or two comrades from the diplomatic section of the delegation will have to take turns staying in Moscow to carry on” (Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the C.P.S.U. Central Committee).

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