Theses of the CC of the RCP(b) on the situation on the Eastern Front
|Written||1 April 1919|
Source: Lenin Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972, Volume 29, paged 276-279
On The Situation On The Eastern Front
Kolchak’s victories on the Eastern Front are creating an extremely grave danger for the Soviet Republic. Our efforts must be exerted to the utmost to smash Kolchak.
The Central Committee therefore instructs all Party organisations to concentrate their efforts first and foremost on the following measures, which must be carried out by the Party organisations and, in particular, by the trade unions in order to enlist wider sections of the working class in the active defence of the country.
1. Support In every way the mobilisation ordered on April 11, 1919.
All the forces of the Party and the trade unions must be mobilised immediately so as to render, within the next few days, without the slightest delay, the most energetic assistance to the mobilisation decreed by the Council of People’s Commissars on April 10, 1919.
The mobilised men must at once be made to see the active participation of the trade unions and to feel that they have the support of the working class.
In particular, it must be made clear to every mobilised man that his immediate departure for the front will mean an improvement in his food situation; firstly, because of the better ration received by the soldiers in the grain-producing front-line zone; secondly, because of the fact that the food brought into the hungry gubernias will be distributed among fewer people; thirdly, because of the widely organised dispatch of food parcels by Red Army men in the front areas to their families at home.
The Central Committee demands of every Party and trade union organisation a weekly report, however brief, on what has been done to help mobilisation and the mobilised.
2. In the areas near the front, especially in the Voigaside region, trade union members must be armed to a man, and in the event of a shortage of arms, they must all be mobilised to render every possible aid to the Red Army, to replace casualties, etc.
Such towns as Pokrovsk, where the trade unions themselves decided to mobilise immediately 50 per cent of their members, should serve us as an example. The metropolitan cities and the large industrial centres must not lag behind Pokrovsk.
The trade unions everywhere must, using their own forces and means, carry out a check registration of their members in order that all who are not absolutely indispensable at home may be sent to fight for the Volga and the Urals territory.
3. The most serious attention must be given to intensifying agitational work, especially among those to be mobilised, those already mobilised and Red Army men. The usual methods of agitation—lectures, meetings, etc.—are not enough; agitation should be carried on among Red Army men by workers, singly or in groups; such groups of ordinary workers, members of trade unions, should be appointed specifically to barracks, Red Army units and factories. The trade unions must institute a check to see that every one of their members takes part in house-to-house agitation, distribution of leaflets and personal talks.
4. All male office workers are to be replaced by women, for which purpose a new registration, both Party and trade union, shall be carried out.
Special cards shall be introduced for all trade union members and all office workers, indicating the part they are personally taking in assisting the Red Army.
5. Aid Bureaus or Committees of Action, local and central, are to be instituted immediately through the trade unions, factory committees, Party organisations, co-operative societies, etc. Their addresses shall be published. The public shall be informed of them in the widest possible manner. Every man liable to mobilisation, every Red Army man, and every person desirous of leaving for the South, for the Don or the Ukraine for food supply work should know that there is an aid bureau or a committee of action nearby; that it is accessible to every worker and peasant and he can obtain advice or instruction there, that contact with the army authorities will he facilitated for him, etc.
It shall be the special task of these bureaus to help to equip the Red Army. We can greatly increase the strength of our army if we improve the supply of arms, clothing, etc. And among the population there are still considerable quantities of arms which have been hidden or are not being used for the army. There are still considerable factory stocks of goods of various kinds needed by the army, and they must be quickly found and dispatched to the army. The army organisations in charge of supplies should be given immediate, broad and effective assistance by the general public. Every effort must be devoted to this matter.
6, The trade unions must organise the extensive enlistment of peasants, especially of peasant youths in the non-agricultural gubernias, for the ranks of the Red Army, for the formation of food detachments and for the food army in the Don and the Ukraine.
This activity can and should be expanded to many times Its present volume; it helps both to assist the hungry population of the metropolitan cities and the non-agricultural gubernias and to strengthen the Red Army.
7. As regards the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, the Party line in the present situation is to imprison those who assist Kolchak, whether deliberately or unwittingly. In our republic of working people we shall not tolerate anybody who does not help us by deeds in the fight against Kolchak. Among the Mensheviks and the Socialist-Revolutionaries there are people who are willing to render such help. These people should be encouraged and given practical jobs, principally in the way of technical assistance to the Red Army in the rear, and their work must be strictly supervised.
The Central Committee appeals to all Party organisations and all trade unions to set to work in a revolutionary way, and not confine themselves to the old stereotyped methods.
We can defeat Kolchak. We can gain an early and final victory, because our victories in the South and the international situation, which is daily improving and changing in our favour, guarantee our ultimate triumph.
We must exert every effort, display revolutionary energy, and Kolchak will be rapidly defeated. The Volga, the Urals and Siberia can and must be defended and regained.
Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks)