J.V. Stalin

Telegram to V.I. Lenin

First Published: Proletarskaya Revolutsia, No. 7, 1936;
Source: J. V. Stalin, Works, Volume 4, pages 118 - 119. Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1953
Transcription: Hari Kumar for Alliance-ML
HTML: Mike B. for MIA, 2005

Arrived in Tsaritsyn on the 6th. (1) Despite the confusion in every sphere of economic life, order can be established.

In Tsaritsyn, Astrakhan and Saratov the grain monopoly and fixed prices were abolished by the Soviets; and there is chaos and profiteering. Have secured the introduction of rationing and fixed prices in Tsaritsyn. The same must be done in Astrakhan and Saratov, otherwise all grain will flow away through these profiteering channels. Let the Central Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissars also demand that these Soviets put a stop to profiteering.

Rail transport is completely dislocated owing to the efforts of the multiplicity of collegiums and revolutionary committees. I have been obliged to appoint special commissars; they are already establishing order despite the protests of the collegiums. The commissars are discovering heaps of locomotives in places where the collegiums did not suspect their existence. Investigation has shown that eight or more through trains a day can be sent by the Tsaritsyn-Povorino-Balashov-Kozlov-Ryazan-Moscow line. Am now accumulating trains in Tsaritsyn. Within a week we shall proclaim a "Grain Week" and shall dispatch to Moscow right away about one million poods with a special escort of railwaymen, of which I shall give you due notice.

The hold-up in river transport is due to the fact that Nizhni-Novgorod has not been sending steamers, presumably because of the Czechoslovaks. Give orders that steamers be sent to Tsaritsyn immediately.

We have information that in the Kuban, in Stavropol, there are fully reliable purchasing agents who are busy getting out the grain from the South. A line is already being laid from Kizlyar to the sea; the Hasav YurtPetrovsk line has not yet been restored. Let us have Shlyapnikov, civil engineers, intelligent workmen, also locomotive crews.

Have sent a messenger to Baku, and shall be leaving for the South myself in a day or two. Chief Trade Agent Zaitsev will be arrested today for bag-trading and speculating in government goods. Tell Schmidt not to send any more scoundrels. Let Kobozev see to it that the five-man collegium in Voronezh (2) in its own interests does not create difficulties for my agents.

It is reported that Bataisk has been captured by the Germans.

People's Commissar

(1) On May 29, 1918, the Council of Peoples Commissars appointed J.V.Stalin General Director of Food Affairs in South Russia. His mandate read:

"People's Commissar Jospeh Vissarioniovich Stalin, Member of the Council of Peoples Commissars has been appointed by the Council of Peoples Commissars General Director of Food Affairs in South Russia and is vested with extraordinary powers. Local and regional Councils of Peoples Commissars Soviets, Revolutionary Committees, military staffs and chiefs of detachments, railway organizations and station masters, organisations of the river and maritime merchant fleet, post and telegraph, and food organizations and all commissars and emissaries are hereby ordered to carry out the instructions of Comrade Stalin.

Chairman, Council of Peoples Commissars

"V.Ulyanov (Lenin)".

(2) The five-man collegium was the administrative and technical directing body of the Boars of the Moscow-Kiev-Voronezh other railways with head offices in Voronezh.