Letter to Alexander Tsiurupa, August 5, 1918
|Written||5 August 1918|
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 35, pages 346-347
Tsyurupa, A. D. (1870–1928)—professional revolutionary, prominent as a member of the Communist Party and government administrator. His posts included Deputy People’s Commissar for Food (from November 1917), Commissar for Food (from 1918), Deputy Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars and of the Council of Labour and Defence (from 1921), People’s Commissar for the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection (1922–23), Chairman of the Slate Planning Commission (1923–25) and People’s Commissar for Home and Foreign Trade (1925); was elected member of the Party Central Committee at the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th congresses of the Party.
In view of the critical food situation, we must not scatter our forces. We must concentrate them in one place, where it is possible to secure a lot of grain.
I suggest that forces be concentrated in Yelets Uyezd where, according to a number of reports and on the evidence of the People’s Commissar for the Interior Pravdin, who inspected this area, the state of affairs, in the sense of the throttling of the kulaks and the organisation of the poor peasants, is a model one.
Send immediately, with the maximum speed, all the food, harvesting and harvest-requisitioning detachments to Yelets Uyezd, with the maximum number of threshers and attachments (if possible) for rapid drying of the grain, etc.
Give them the task of clearing the uyezd of grain surpluses completely.
Probably this will yield several million poods of grain (in my opinion, more than 6 million poods).
First send the maximum forces to those 12 (out of 21) volosts of the uyezd where, according to the local people, the organisation of the poor peasants is best, and particularly to the former landed estates which have been registered.
Don’t be niggardly with bonuses for rapid harvesting and delivery of grain, assign for this purpose up to 30 million rubles immediately (grant bonuses to volosts and villages in the shape of machinery, grants for schools and hospitals and, in general, mainly for such purposes). The maximum bonuses must be given for delivery of all surpluses of grain, medium bonuses for big deliveries in general, and so forth. Among the workers of the famine-stricken gubernias (and among the famine-stricken peasants there also) develop mass agitation: crusade for grain to Yelets Uyezd!