Various Subjects

Draft of a Letter

To Party Members in Revolutionary War Councils of Armies and Fronts and Heads of Political Departments

Transcribed and HTML markup for the Trotsky Internet Archive by David Walters

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Comrades! Recently, complaints from local Party organisations about Communist executives in the Army have become more frequent. What these complaints essentially amount to is that Revolutionary War Councils and Headquarters do not take account of the opinions and views of local organisations in all matters, starting with purely practical ones like the use of premises, and so on, and ending with such very important matters as the way military-political agitation is carried on, the use made of local forces and resources for defence purposes, etc.

The Central Committee is clearly aware that conflicts of this sort often arise from the difficult conditions of wartime, from the need to make use of local forces and resources and to cut down the staffs of local institutions in the interests of defence. But, at the same time, numerous cases are to be observed in which Party members in Revolutionary War Councils and responsible military workers generally, fail to show a sufficiently attentive attitude to Party organisations in the localities. In the Party’s view, defence interests are now to be put in the forefront, and there is therefore no reason to fear that local comrades, when informed in broad terms of the requirements and proposals of the corresponding army institutions, would put up any opposition to them. On the contrary, in all cases where authoritative army workers have shown themselves able to present their problems in a party setting, in the localities, and to animate local Party work by their own direct participation, the army’s interests have only gained from this.

The Central Committee proposes to Party members working in the active armies that, when a headquarters moves to a new location, they immediately make the closest contact with the local Party organisations, establish regular comradely relations with them, and strive to eliminate by Party means any conflicts that may arise.

It is self-evident that in all cases where the local organisations fail to show proper willingness to meet the needs of the army and its institutions, the Central Committee will find means of upholding the interests of the army.

October 14, 1919

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Last updated on: 27.12.2006