Letter to Nikolai Bryukhanov, May 25, 1921

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 25 May 1921

First published in 1932 in Lenin Miscellany XX. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 155b-156a.

At the top Lenin wrote: “Make two copies on letterhead.”—Ed.

Comrade Bryukhanov:

The food committees seem to be growing lax, and very considerably, too.

This is absolutely intolerable.

Discipline must be tightened up to the utmost, and at once, otherwise we shall never be rid of the famine.

1) The People’s Commissariat for Food must designate the responsible persons in the gubernias and in the uyezds, to know who is to go to jail (1) the uyezd commissar for food? 2) the chairman of the uyezd executive committee? 3) the uyezd military commissar?? There should be at least three responsible persons).

2) Not a single violation (such as taking for the localities what is earmarked for the centre) should be allowed to go without the arrest of the guilty (through the AllRussia Central Executive Committee).

You keep writing long papers with complaints,[1] rather: with wails, instead of business proposals:


“authorise the All-Russia CEC to arrest the persons concerned for failing to carry out orders resulting in famine at the centre.”

That is the kind of proposal the People’s Commissariat for Food should bring up in the Politbureau.

3) A similar campaign of relentless arrests of members of local gubernia food committees, etc., should be started right away for negligence, failure to make due preparations, etc.

The People’s Commissariat for Food will be held responsible for the unprepared state of the apparatus and for its lack of dispatch.

  1. See Note 149.