V. I.   Lenin



Dictated: Dictated by phone on May 2, 1922
Published: First published in 1959 in Lenin Miscellany XXXVI. Printed from secretarial notes (typewritten copy).
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 539-540a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Copies to Comrades Tsyurupa,
Rykov and Stalin (for the Politbureau)

Comrade Sokolnikov:

I have heard Comrade Tsyurupa’s account of your project for an internal grain loan, and have looked over the draft text myself. This looks to me like self-deception. How can you prove that this will yield anything practical at all? It seems to me that, on the contrary, we should conclude that this will worsen our situation by wrecking the emission, i.e., inducing the speculative market to resort to the very measure of fighting against us which it has been using with such success. In fact, the market has learned, it seems, to inflate prices following the growth of emission so fast that the emission has ceased to extract any real values from the population whatsoever, becoming an empty game and empty self-consolation on our part. (By the way, there should be precise data about the real values being extracted through the emission. They should be summed up in the briefest form at least weekly. Is this being done?)

I think it is time we abandoned the harmful self-consolation, and turned to really revolutionary measures, on the one hand—an increase in the collection of all taxes; on the other hand—a most rapid and vigorous reduction of staffs. In doing this, we should not stop at closing down, partly without any designation of date, partly until the autumn, of a number of the largest departments in some People’s Commissariats, and even of this or that People’s Commissariat.

I wrote to Dzerzhinsky today to check up on whether we are seriously working to close down the third category railways. I very much fear that without revolutionary measures of this kind the congress resolution on financial policy[1] remains on paper, and that in general we are   lagging behind life, risking to find ourselves helpless in face of the impending disaster. Let me have your opinion.[2]



[1] A reference to the resolution of the Eleventh Congress of the R.C.P.(B.), “On Financial Policy” (see KPSS v rezolutsiyakh i resheniyakh syezdov, konferentsii i plenumov TsKa, Part I, 1954, pp. 613–18).

[2] In a reply letter to Lenin on May 4, 1922, G. Y. Sokolnikov argued that, the issue of a grain loan would facilitate implementation of the effective measures proposed by Lenin to produce a balanced budget, reduce the amount of newly issued money (the bank-note emission), and withdraw a part of the money already in circulation.

On May 13, 1922, the C.P.C. approved the draft decision on the grain loan, and submitted it for examination by the Third Session of the All-Russia C.E.C. The first internal short-term grain loan was issued by the People’s Commissariat for Finance, under a decision of the All-Russia C.E.C. of May 20, 1922, to a total amount, of up to 10 million poods of rye (in grain) with repayments by the state from December 1, 1922 to January 31, 1923 (see Izvestia VTsIK No. 112, May 21, 1922).

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