V. I.   Lenin


To:   L. M. KHINCHUK[4]

Dictated: Dictated by phone on March 7, 1922
Published: First published in 1959 in Lenin Miscellany XXXVI. Printed from a typewritten copy.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 503-504a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Copies to Gorbunov and Smolyaninov

Comrade Khinchuk:

I am unable to see the co-operative men because I am unwell. My speech in which I tell about this ailment is to be published tomorrow.[1] About the co-operative men. I fear that they may have fictitiously blown up their liabilities when handing them over to you. I am passing your memo on to Gorbunov and Smolyaninov, and request you to send also to them the final exact calculation of the assets and liabilities, to enable them, to tell me the results.

How are things with the loan which you were expecting before your departure, from the co-operative societies abroad?

I shall be expecting short reports from you about the development of the co-operative apparatus in Russia (I have only the old figures: September—1 million, October—3, November—6 million gold rubles). Do you now have the 10-day figures? Are there any precise data on how many gubernia societies have and have not been submitting correct reports to you? Do you apply the remuneration of co-operative workers depending on the volume of their turnover and the success achieved, and expressed in a reduction of the percentage cost of our apparatus?

Please reply as briefly as possible to these questions and inform me in addition about any serious measures the Centrosoyuz Board has taken to see that our co-operative establishment is truly a commercial and not a bureaucratic organ. Tikhomirov’s letter, which I received a short time ago and to which I have replied,[2] produced quite a few doubts in my mind on this score, just as did the attempt to publish a weekly newspaper called Kooperativnoye Dyelo.[3] It looks as if you have bureaucrats and intellectuals   sitting in unduly high places, who are capable of carrying on a paper and a newspaper game, but are incapable of trading.



[1] A reference to Lenin’s speech “The International and Domestic Situation of the Soviet Republic” (see present edition, Vol. 33, pp. 212–26).—Ed.

[2] See present edition, Vol. 36, p. 569.—Ed.

[3] Ibid., Vol. 42, pp. 398, 399.—Ed.

[4] This is in reply to a letter from L. M. Khinchuk, Chairman of the Centrosoyuz Board, of March 7, 1922. Khinchuk wrote that the co-operative delegation, consisting of the representatives of the International Co-operative Society, members of the British Co-operative Wholesale Society and representatives of the French and Czechoslovak co-operative societies, which had arrived in Soviet Russia at the invitation of Centrosoyuz, was asking Lenin to receive it. Khinchuk also said that an agreement had been reached with the old Russian co-operators living abroad, who had handed over to Centrosoyuz their valuables and apparatus in Western Europe and America and declared that they were no longer representatives of Russian co-operative societies abroad. “This,” Khinchuk wrote, “was in fact the beginning of our recognition abroad.” He gave a list of the valuables handed over (Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the C.P.S.U. Central Committee).

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