V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on January 22, 1922
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 446b-448a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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To Comrade Molotov for circulating secretly
(without making a copy) all members of the Politbureau
together with Radek’s letter

I propose:

1) to adopt Radek’s proposal and to suggest right away to Krasin and Krestinsky to put out feelers, in a circular   dispatch, with several powers separately (I once made this proposal: I don’t understand why my written proposal has been lost. It was sent to Molotov[2] ).

2) To hasten Rakovsky’s arrival in Moscow and departure for Prague (having him return here a fortnight before Genoa).

3) To summon Krasin to Moscow by the same date.

4) To be highly careful and not to write abroad about our plans concerning Genoa, even in code, and to put off everything until the delegation conference in Moscow on 23.II (a fortnight before Genoa). This conference should also be attended by Chicherin, Krasin and Rakovsky (and Litvinov, and Vorovsky and Joffe, i.e., the whole delegation).

5) To issue a preliminary directive from the Politbureau:

(a) under no circumstances shall we recognise any debts, except those promised by Chicherin[3];

(b) we shall recognise these debts only provided they are covered by our own counter-claims;

(c) we give guarantees (if we are given a loan) only with timber in the north, and so forth;

(d) we put the most extensive interpretation on § 1 of Bonomi’s terms[4];

(e) we protect Germany and Turkey, etc.;

(f) we try to separate America, and in general to divide the powers.[5]

6) We instruct each member of the delegation to work out on that basis a plan for negotiations in detail by 23.II.

7) I propose that we reverse the decision permitting Chicherin to engage Sukhanov and Jordansky.[6]

Radek is absolutely wrong.

The windbag Sukhanov will do nothing but harm. Jordansky too. It is extremely harmful.

8) Considering that we here in Moscow are surrounded by spies, Mensheviks and semi-Mensheviks, this (and similar) proposals should not be entered into the Politbureau minutes, but taken down separately, getting all the members of the delegation to sign on the same sheet and to return this sheet to Molotov, undertaking not to mention the   Politbureau directives anywhere, either in their papers, or in coded messages.

22/I. Lenin


[1] Karl Radek’s letter has not been found.—Ed.

[2] See Document 585 of this volume.—Ed.

[3] A reference to the R.S.F.S.R. Government’s Note to the Governments of Great Britain, Franco, Italy, Japan and the U.S.A. of October 28, 1921, which was signed by the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs G. V. Chicherin (see Dokumenty vneshnei politiki SSSR, Vol. IV, Moscow, 1960, pp. 445–48; for Lenin’s remarks on the draft Note see this volume, Document 466).

[4] The first paragraph of the resolution on convening the international economic conference at Genoa, adopted at the Cannes Conference of the Allied Supreme Council on January 6, 1922, read: “Nations can claim no right to dictate to each other regarding the principles on which they are to regulate their system of ownership, internal economy and government. It is for every nation to choose for itself the system which it prefers in this respect” (Dokumenty vneshnei politiki SSSR, Vol. V, Moscow, 1961, p. 58). See also this volume, Document 605.

[5] In February 1922, Lenin worked out detailed directives for the Soviet delegation at the Genoa Conference, which were adopted by the R.C.P.(B.) Central Committee (see this volume, Documents 623 and 630; present edition, Vol. 42, pp. 390–93, 394–95, 396–98, 401–04).

[6] A reference to the Politbureau of the R.C.P.(B.) C.C. decision of January 20, 1922: “Not to object to Comrade Chicherin’s proposal to enlist as ‘specialists’ Sukhanov and Jordansky for preparatory work” (Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the C.P.S.U. Central Committee).

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