J. V. Stalin

Measures Taken to Strengthen the Front

Written: January 31, 1919, Moscow
First Published: Pravda, No. 16, January 16, 1935
Source: J. V. Stalin, Works, Volume 4, pages 230-231. Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1953
Transcription: Hari Kumar for Alliance-ML
HTML: Mike B. for MIA, 2005

By January 15, 1,200 bayonets and sabres who could be relied on had been sent to the front; two squadrons of cavalry were dispatched two days later, and the 62nd Regiment of the 3rd Brigade (after thorough sifting) on the 20th. These units made it possible to halt the enemy's advance, wrought a complete change in the morale of the Third Army, and opened our advance on Perm, which so far is proceeding successfully. The 63rd Regiment of the same brigade (after having undergone a month's purge) will be sent to the front on January 30. The 61st Regiment cannot be sent before February 10 (it needs very thorough sifting). In view of the weakness of the extreme left flank, open to the danger of being turned by the enemy, the ski battalion in Vyatka was reinforced with volunteers (1,000 in all), sup­plied with quick-firing guns and sent from Vyatka on January 28 in the direction of Cherdyn to link up with the extreme left flank of the Third Army. Another three reliable regiments must be sent from Russia to support the Third Army if its position is to be really strengthened and if it is to be able to exploit its successes.

In the rear of the army a thorough purging of So­viet and Party institutions is under way. Revolutionary Committees have been formed in Vyatka and the uyezd towns. A start has been made in forming strong revo­lutionary organizations in the countryside, and this work is continuing. All Party and Soviet work is being re-organized. on new lines. The military control agencies have been purged and re-organized. The Gubernia Extraordinary Commission has been purged and reinforced with new Party workers. The congestion on the Vyatka railway line is being relieved. Experienced Party workers need to be sent and prolonged socialist work will be required before the rear of the Third Army is thor­oughly strengthened.

Concluding their report, the Commission considers it necessary to stress once again the absolute neces­sity for the establishment of a Control and Inspection Commission under the Council of Defence for the investi­gation of so-called "defects in the machinery" of the People's Commissariats and their local departments in the rear and at the front.

In correcting shortcomings in the work of the centre and the localities the Soviet power usually resorts to the method of disciplining and punishing offending officials. While recognizing that this method is abso­lutely necessary and fully expedient, the commission, however, considers it insufficient. Shortcomings in work are due not only to the laxity, negligence and irrespon­sibility of some of the officials, but also to the inexpe­rience of others. The Commission has found in the local­ities quite a number of absolutely honest, tireless and devoted officials who, nevertheless, committed a number of blunders in their work owing to insufficient experience. If the Soviet power had a special apparatus to accumu­late the experience gained in the work of building the socialist state and to pass it on to the already existing young officials who are ardently desirous of helping the proletariat, the building of a socialist Russia would proceed much faster and less painfully. This body should be the above-mentioned Control and Inspection Commission under the Council of Defence. The activ­ities of this Commission might supplement the work of the centre in tightening discipline among officials.

The Commission:
J. Stalin
F. Dzerzhinsky