Lenin started writing the Draft Theses on the Role and Function of the Trade Unions Under the New Economic Policy soon after the plenum of the C.C., R.C.P.(B.) on December 28, 1921. The draft theses were discussed by members of the commission (A. A. Andreyev and Y. E. Rudzutak) and members of the Politbureau; in the course of the discussion amendments and addenda were introduced. On January 12, 1922 the draft was discussed at a meeting of the Politbureau, which resolved that "the test of the theses proposed by Lenin be adopted as a basis. . . . The theses with all the amendments to be referred to an editorial committee consisting of Comrades Lenin, Zinoviev, Andreyev and Bukharin for final endorsement and publication in the name of the Central Committee with mention that the theses are
supported by the Bureau of the Party group at the A.C.C.T.U. (Central Party Archives, Institute of Marxism-Leninism).
The final text of the theses was published on January 17, 1922, in Pravda as a decision of the Central Committee, R.C.P., representing the C.C.'s draft theses on the question of the trade unions for the Eleventh Congress of the Party. The congress adopted the C.C.'s theses as a basis; during their discussion in the committee several amendments were introduced (see The C.P.S.U. in the Resolutions and Decisions of Congresses, Conferences and Plenary Meetings of the Central Committee, Part I, 1954, pp. 603-12).
Volume 33 of this edition gives the final text of the Central Committee's decision on "The Role and Functions of the Trade Unions Under the New Economic Policy". The present volume gives Lenin's draft of the theses.
Pravda for January 3, 1922, published a news-item reporting the "Suicide of Engineer Oldenborger" which stated: "The Moscow Soviet, in agreement with the Moscow Committee of the R.C.P., appointed a special commission to investigate the causes of the suicide of V. V. Oldenborger, Chief Engineer of the Moscow Municipal Waterworks. The Commission found that the deceased was not only a highly skilled employee, but a man utterly devoted to his work. The cause of suicide were the difficult conditions, which interfered with the daily routine of Oldenborger's work. Some of the members of the Waterworks Special Trio, instead of trying to improve things at Moscow's Water works, made them more difficult and complicated than ever; Engineer Semyonov, Chief Inspector of the People's Commissariat for Workers' and Peasants' Inspection, who is a member of this Trio, was rude, cavilling and bureaucratic in his relations with Oldenborger; Makarov-Zemlyansky, Chief Inspector of the same commissariat and a former clerk at the Waterworks, carried on a ceaseless persecution of Oldenborger; and Yelagin and Merkulov, workers of the Alexeyevsk Pump-House, accused Oldenborger groundlessly of technical disorganisation of the Waterworks and of an attitude of disrespect towards the communist group on the part of the employees. All this was bound to have its effect on the emotional state of the deceased. The commission considers the continued employment of Makarov-Zemlyansky impermissible not only in the Workers' and Peasants' Inspection, but in Soviet service generally, as being a person who is alien to the spirit of Soviet service, an intrigant who has earned among the employees of the Waterworks the reputation of being a dishonest man. The commission also found that engineer Semyonov of the W.P.I. should not be allowed to continue work at the Workers' and Peasants' Inspection or to have anything to do with the Moscow Municipal Waterworks, and likewise considers it necessary that Yelagin and Merkulov should be dismissed from the Waterworks and transferred to some other enterprise."
See also pp. 386-87 of this volume.
Lenin's proposal that a commission be set up to check and replace some of the leading personnel in the trade unions was based on the fact that the trade unions were honeycombed with former Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries and that it was necessary to fix a longer record of Communist Party membership for leading trade union officials in keeping with the resolution of the Eleventh All-Russia Conference of the R.C.P. "On the Question of Strengthening the Party as a Result of the Verification of Its Membership" (see "The C.P.S. U. in the Resolutions and Decisions of Congresses, Conferences and Plenary Meetings of the Central Committee ", Part 1, 1954. p. 596).
Lenin's motion was adopted by the Politbureau. On January 20, 1922, a commission was set up consisting of M. P. Tomsky, A. A. Andreyev and S. I. Syrtsov. The commission reported its findings to the Eleventh Congress of the R.C.P.(B.) (see The Eleventh Congress of the R.C.P.(B.) Verbatim Report., 1961, pp. 246-52).