Letter to Joseph Stalin for Members of the RCP(b) CC Politbureau with a Draft Telegram to Georgy Chicherin, April 24, 1922
|Written||24 April 1922|
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 533b-534a.
April 24, 1922
Comrade Stalin for the Politbureau
Rudzutak’s telegram protesting against the letter sent to Lloyd George shows, I believe, that Chicherin either has already made or is quite capable of making an obvious mistake and of violating a CC directive. The mistake consists in the fact that Chicherin, without achieving anything in practice, could well deprive us of the only explanation of a break-up which is quite advantageous and important in principle and which gives us a sure gain in the future: namely, a break-up over our refusal to restore the private property of foreign, capitalists.
I propose, therefore, that the Politbureau members should be polled by phone today, and that the following telegram should be sent on my behalf:
“To Chicherin for all the members of the delegation
“I consider Rudzutak’s opinion, stated in his telegram of April 22, to be quite correct. I regard as a very dangerous mistake any step and any phrase capable of depriving us of the only advantageous ground for a break-up, which, besides, assures us of complete diplomatic and commercial victory in the very near future, namely, the ground that we absolutely refuse to restore the private property of the foreign capitalists.
“I repeat once again that we have communicated to you the absolutely exact text of our maximum concessions, from which we will not depart in the least. As soon as it becomes quite clear that agreement on the basis of these concessions is impossible, we authorise you to break-off, retaining for agitation and for a subsequent diplomatic offensive two trumps:
“1) The fundamental importance of the Russo-German treaty.
“2) Our divergence on the question of restoring the capitalists’ property.”
Please, let me know the opinion of all or at any rate of a majority of the Politbureau members.
At 7 o’clock tonight let us meet together, and if possible with Kamenev as well, for a quarter of an hour.
- On April 24, 1922, the text of the telegram to G. V. Chicherin, proposed by Lenin, was approved by the Politbureau of the RCP(b) CC
Lenin’s assessment of the stand taken by Lloyd George and other British leaders, given in the telegrams to Genoa (see this volume, Documents 704 and 705), was borne out in the course of the conference. The British delegation subsequently even went back on the understanding that Chicherin’s letter of April 20 would be taken as a basis for continuing the talks. In a letter addressed to the conference chairman on April 28, Chicherin pointed out that if the Western Powers repudiated their -agreement to consider the points in the April 20 letter as a basis for negotiations, the Soviet delegation would not regard itself as being bound by this letter and would return to the standpoint set out in its April 20 memorandum (see Dokumenty vneshnei politiki SSSR, Vol. V, Moscow, 1961, pp. 276–77).