To the Petrograd City Conference of Non-Party Workers

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 14 April 1921


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First Published: 1921; Published according to the manuscript
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 1st English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 32, pages 300-315

The conference (April 10-20, 1921) was attended by over 1,000 delegates from Petrograd factories and plants. It discussed the following quesitons: 1) The tasks of the working class and its participation in the economic construction of Soviet Russia; 2) Workers’ conditions in connection with the tasks of organising production; 3) Problems of food and workers’ supply. The Mensheviks who got in as non-party workers did not succeed in disrupting the meeting because the mass of workers expressed a desire to work with the Communist Party.

The delegates sent their greetings to Lenin and invited him to the meeting. Lenin’s reply was read out at the final sitting on April 20, 1921.

Comrades, I very much regret that I have been unable to go to Petrograd at your invitation. I send heartfelt greetings to the non-Party conference, and I welcome your work. The assistance of the non-Party masses and cooperation with them is of especial importance today, when the bourgeoisie of the world is conducting an incredible campaign of lies against Soviet Russia, in an effort to prevent us from concluding any trade agreements with foreign countries. The Kronstadt events have brought home to the workers and peasants the fact that any shift of power in Russia tends to favour the whiteguards; no wonder Milyukov and all intelligent leaders of the bourgeoisie welcomed the Kronstadt Soviets without the Bolsheviks" slogan.

In conveying my greetings to the non-Party conference, I should like to wish you every success in your work, and ask you to pay special attention to the present need-in fact a constant need-of drawing more non-Party workers and peasants into economic construction. A regional economic centre has been set up in Petrograd. Let us intensify our effort. Local functionaries are being vested with broader powers and should show more initiative. The non-Party people should set to work, and let us have more and more men.

Greetings,

Lenin