Written: Written on March 31, 1922
Published: First published on January 21, 1931 in Pravda No. 21. Printed from a typescript copy.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, pages 576-577.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Comrade Kursky, People’s Commissariat for Justice
Copy to Comrade Krylenko
On my instructions, the former Moscow Extraordinary Commission began an investigation into the criminal negligence, red tape and inactivity displayed by the Scientific and Technical Department and the Inventions Committee.
The results of the investigation were put before the Moscow Revolutionary Tribunal which, instead of examining the case in substance, discovering and punishing the guilty (and that in these institutions there are a sufficient number of learned wastrels, loafers and other scoundrels, has been noted more than once in the press, in the articles by Comrade Sosnovsky and others), adopted an extremely patronising attitude to the accused, tried them without a prosecutor, and in the end found the charge not proven and acquitted all the accused.
At the present time I have been informed that the Moscow Gubernia Branch of the State Political Department has appealed against the decision of the Moscow Revolutionary Tribunal to the Judiciary Supervision Section of the People’s Commissariat for Justice. I ask you to study this case personally, pay particular attention to it, try together with the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection to collect supplementary material on the activity of these institutions, if necessary appoint an investigating committee by agreement with Comrade Avanesov—not composed of officials and drivellers, but of people who really know how to investigate properly, to procure the material required and find the culprits. A political trial should be mounted in the Revolutionary Tribunal (making use of Comrade Sosnovsky for the press) to really shake up this “scientific” swamp.
I suggest that the Moscow Revolutionary Tribunal be severely reprimanded for its indulgence and formal bureaucratic handling of the case.
V. Ulyanov (Lenin)
Chairman, Council of People’s Commissars