Letter to Alexander Tsiurupa, December 14, 1920

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 14 December 1920

First published in 1942 in Lenin Miscellany XXXIV. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, page 60-61.


Comrade Tsyurupa:

I have already had occasion to point out in the Council of People’s Commissars that the organisation of work at the Distribution Department of the Commissariat for Food is not entirely satisfactory: they have failed to make a serious estimate of how many rations we have and how many persons are receiving under each ration.

They must be made to do this.

Of course, there must be no disruption of the special purpose supply. The workers must come first.

Do you think it possible to set up a commission inside the Commissariat for Food to make improvements in this respect? If there is a commission, give it such an assignment. More workers (from the trade unions) who had worked in the Commissariat for Food (or possibly from among those workers who have some experience in food supply work locally) should be recruited to the commission.

Show this letter to Comrade Krestinsky. If he gives his own consent (and that of the other members of the Politbureau) we shall make this a CC directive.



Dear Comrade Tsyurupa:

The Plenary Meeting decision is the result of long and old dissatisfactions with Svidersky.[1]

The workers’ statement and, what is important, its support by the trade unions, was the last straw.

I personally could not help admitting that the workers’ desire was right and that its satisfaction was an absolute political necessity.

I realise that you find this painful. But political interest (and the Party decision) unquestionably calls for subordination. You can very well make use of Svidersky otherwise than as a member of the collegium. We must tackle this business of getting more workers; I realise that, being swamped with work, you have been unable to give all your attention to the question of recruiting more workers. I realise that, with all this work and your illness, you have been unable to keep altogether in touch with the Party political side either.

Is that so surprising?

Don’t let your nerves go. You should try to live down the painful feeling. The CC decision must be accepted and put through.

I can’t come: there is a meeting on.



  1. On December 8, 1920, a Plenary Meeting of the RCP(b) Central Committee decided to release A. I. Svidersky from his post of member of the Collegium of the People’s Commissariat for Food and to appoint A. B. Khalatov in his stead. Besides the Plenary Meeting ordered the People’s Commissariat for Food to take more vigorous steps to enlist workers to the running of all the departments and to recruit, even more workers to the Commissariat and at a faster rate.
    Svidersky’s release was opposed by A. D. Tsyurupa, who threatened to resign from his post of the People’s Commissar for Food. At its sitting on December 9, 1920, the Plenary Meeting reaffirmed its decision and rejected Tsyurupa’s resignation.