Letter to Georgy Chicherin on the RCP(b) CC Directives for the Soviet Delegation at the Genoa Conference, February 7, 1922

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 7 February 1922


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First published in part in the book, V. I. Lenin. Biografiya (V. I. Lenin Biography), 1960. Published in full in 1954 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 44. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 463-464a.

7/II.

Comrade Chicherin:

All your numerous assumptions are, I think, basically incorrect and spring, so to say, from polemical ardour.[1]

The directives do not say that we should not agree to cover in any form whatsoever any random claims of the adversary with our own counter-claims.

The chairman of the delegation (and the deputy chairman, in this case) seems to have a host of powers, which gives him almost autocratic power.

Your letter (and Krasin’s even more so) shows—rather showed—signs of panic. That is the most dangerous thing. We are not the least bit afraid of a break-down: we shall have an even better conference tomorrow. Isolation and blockade will no longer intimidate us, nor will intervention.

We are proposing a broad agenda, and are hinting at our own “palliative” programme of general measures.

Suppose they reject it?

As they please! (we might publish our extensive programme on behalf of some member of the delegation, who may even resign (with the CC’s consen, of course).

You do not want an extensive one, let’s have a narrower one: Wir nehmen auch Abschlagszahlung![2]

We shall accept even the narrowest one, but we shall not accept anything disadvantageous. We shall not submit to ultimatums. If you want only “to trade”—let’s have it, but we shall not buy a pig in a poke, and will not make any deal without calculating any “claims” to the last kopek.

That is all.

We must prepare and deploy all our guns—there will always be time enough to decide which are to he used as a show, and which are to be fired off and when.

With communist greetings,

Lenin

  1. [MISSING]
  2. We also accept payment by instalments!—Ed.