V. I. Lenin

Letter to

J. V. Stalin

On the Functions of the Deputy Chairmen of the Council of People's Commissars and of the Council of Labour and Defence

Written 21 March, 1922
First Published: Pravda No. 21.; January 21, 1930; Published according to a typewritten copy
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 2nd English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 33, pages 247-248
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 the GNU Free Documentation License

March 21, 1922

I have had a talk with Tsyurupa and Rykov. I hope the work will proceed smoothly. Incidentally, one of the questions concerns your Commissariat.[1] Tsyurupa’s and Rykov’s main job is (must be now) to verify fulfilment and select personnel.

Assistants are needed. The Executive Secretary’s staff at the Council of People’s Commissars is much too small to handle the work, but it would be irrational to enlarge it. I expressed the idea that the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection should be used for the purpose (of directly helping Tsyurupa and Rykov verify fulfilment and supervise the lower echelons of the People’s Commissariats). I should like to know if you approve of this; if you do, a written agreement is necessary between you and the deputies, and I should like to participate in drawing up that agreement.

The purpose is to train (by having them tested by you and the two deputies on practical assignments) specially and unquestionably reliable people, from among the best workers of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection, whom Tsyurupa and Rykov select by agreement with you, who would be able quickly and unconditionally a) to secure fulfilment; b) to verify fulfilment; c) to check the correctness of the apparatus in the various People’s Commissariats, departments, the Moscow Soviet or the Petrograd Soviet, etc.; d) to issue instructions on how the work should be organised.

These people are to carry on their work in such a way as to personally report on the course and results of it to the deputies and you They must be selected very gradually so that only after repeated tests they are made, so to say, inspectors and instructors ’with special authority"; their number must be gradually brought up to several dozen. In their turn, they will (actually) enlist non-Party workers and peasants into the work of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection.

If you approve of the above, send a copy of this to Tsyurupa and Rykov with your postscript. If you have objections, write me a note (and telephone) immediately. I should like to speak of this in the report to the Congress.



[1] Lenin refers to the People’s Commissariat of Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection. The Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection was set up in February 1920 on Lenin’s initiative through the reorganisation of the Peo-ple’s Commissariat. of State Control, which began functioning in the first months after the establishment of Soviet rule.