Letter to Alexei Rykov and Remarks on His Telephone Message, May 18, 1922

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 18 May 1922

First published in 1959 in Lenin Miscellany XXXVI. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 552b-554a.
Keywords : Alexei Rykov, Letter

Comrade Rykov:

If the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Trade and its men are “confusing” everything(xxx), we should make sure not to do likewise. And if we write “reportedly”(x) and postpone things “until the question is cleared up”(xx), it looks as though we are encouraging the confusion. Why not put an end to the confusion by having Smolyaninov (or someone else, but someone definite, to enable you too to make a personal check right away) get on the direct line to find out immediately and without any “reportedly”. Who is responsible at the Ukrainian People’s Commissariat for Foreign Trade? What has he been doing? Has he sent, is sending or will send one or two ships? When? to whom? how many?

We seem to have the P.C.F.T. in a terrible state of chaos, yet we are encouraging the chaos instead of carrying on any real fight against it. Is that how you used to work under the “Chuso”? And is it possible to overcome the chaos unless the methods of the old “Chuso” are used?[1]

18/V. Lenin


Vladimir Ilyich:

We discussed at the CLD the question concerning the dispatch of the two ships to Italy. We established that the Ukrainian Commissariat for Foreign Trade has a special organisation for the sale and export of coal to Italy which has reportedly x) sent out one ship. That is why we confined ourselves to a decision on selecting the best brands of coal for the needs of export to Italy—for the purpose of winning the Italian market. As for the question of the two ships itself—we have postponed it until the question of how much coal has already been sent to Italy is cleared up. xx)

Please note that our representatives at Genoa have been confusing xxx) us all the time, making demands which they cancel within a few days. I shall send a telegram tomorrow asking them to bring up with Moscow only motivated and considered questions and proposals, as it is quite impossible to do one thing at the request of Litvinov and Chicherin only to abandon it on Krasin’s proposal. Krasin’s telegram shows that he himself is out of touch and does not know that the coal is already on the way and has been partially sold. The telegram on which you have made an inscription does not even say to which of the Italian ports the coal is to go, whore the buyer is to he found, and who is to be responsible for the sale of coal in Italy.

A. I. Rykov

Deputy Chairman, CLD

19.25, May 17, 1922

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