Letter to Lev Kamenev, Alexei Rykov and Alexander Tsiurupa on the Distribution of Work Between the Deputy Chairmen of the CPC and the CLD

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 13 December 1922

Dictated over the telephone
First published in 1959 in Lenin Miscellany XXXVI. Printed from the secretary’s notes (typewritten copy).
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 42, pages 432b-433a.

Comrades Kamenev, Rykov and Tsyurupa[edit source]

Owing to a recurrence of my illness I must wind up all political work and take a holiday again.[1] Therefore our disagreements with you lose their practical significance. I must say, however, that I utterly disagree with Rykov’s practical addendum, and I move the exact opposite against it—namely, that reception should be quite free, unlimited and even extended.[2] I am leaving the details until a personal meeting.

To a considerable extent I disagree also with the distribution of the commissariats. I think this distribution should be more closely adjusted to the ability for purely administrative work on the part of the various deputies; in my opinion, the chief fault of your yesterday’s distribution consists in the lack of such adjustment.[3] The functions of chairmanship and supervision of the proper legal wording of both legislative acts and decisions of the Financial Committee and so forth should be far more strictly separated from the functions of checking and improving the administrative apparatus. Comrade Kamenev is more suitable for the former functions (i.e., chairmanship, supervision of proper wording, etc.) whereas the purely administrative functions are more in Tsyurupa’s and Rykov’s line.

For the general reason mentioned above I must defer this question until my return from leave. But please bear in mind that I give my consent to your proposed distribution, not for three months (as you suggest), but pending my return to work, should this take place earlier than within three months.

I see that, your distribution has overlooked such an important organ as Ekonomicheskaya Zhizn, which needs someone to keep a special eye on it. I think this could best be done by Rykov.



  1. On the morning of December 13 Lenin had two attacks of illness. The doctors ordered him a complete rest. “The doctors,” his sister Maria (M. I. Ulyanova) wrote later, “had great difficulty in persuading Vladimir Ilyich to drop work altogether and go out into the country. Meanwhile he was to lie down for as long as possible and not go for walks. In the end Vladimir Ilyich agreed to leave town and said ‘I’ll start winding up my affairs this very day’.”
    From then on Lenin spent several days at home, dictating letters and giving various instructions, anxious to wind up his affairs, to which he attached great importance.
  2. This refers to Rykov’s suggestion that the reception of visitors by Lenin should, as a general rule, take place alter preliminary selection by the Deputy Chairmen of the CPC and the CLD or by the Secretary of the Central Committee, RCP.
  3. This letter deals with the distribution of functions between Deputy Chairmen of the CPC and the CLD Tsyurupa, Kameney and Rykov as planned on December 12. See pp. 428–29 and 430–32 of this volume for Lenin’s proposals on this subject.