The Congress was held in Moscow from December 22 to 29, 1920. There was a record attendance of 2,537 delegates, of whom 1,728 had full voting rights, and 809 had deliberative votes.
The Congress met at a time when the Soviet Republic had won victory over the foreign interventionists and internal counter-revolution, and the economic front, as Lenin said, had become "the main, the principal front".
The Congress was guided by Lenin, who delivered a report on the work of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissars, and a speech closing the debate on his report at plenary sessions of the Congress on December 22 and 23. He also took the floor six times at sittings of the Communist group of the Congress on December 21, 22, 24 and 27 to deal with the question of concessions and the bill on measures to strengthen and develop peasant farming.
After the debate on Lenin's report, the Congress passed a resolution by an overwhelming majority, approving the activities of the Soviet Government. The delegates gave a concerted rebuff to representatives of the petty-bourgeois parties who made a number of anti-Soviet declarations at the Congress and tabled a draft resolution of their own.
The Congress adopted the plan for the electrification of Russia which was drawn up on Lenin's initiative and in keeping with his directions. This was the first long-term economic plan of the Soviet state, which Lenin called "the Party's second programme". The resolution adopted on Krzhizhanovsky 's report was drafted by Lenin (see p. 532 in this volume).
One of the most important questions on the agenda was the bill on measures to strengthen and develop peasant farming, passed by the Council of People's Commissars on December 1-4, 1920. Lenin participated in the discussion of the main clauses of the law at a private meeting of non-Party peasant delegates on
December 22 and in the Communist group of the Congress on December 24 and 27. The Congress unanimously approved the bill.
The transition to peaceful construction called for the improvement and reorganisation of the entire Soviet apparatus. The Congress passed a detailed resolution on the question, setting up proper relations between central and local administrative bodies. The Congress dealt extensively with questions relating to the reorganisation of the entire system of economic management to meet the new tasks. The delegates discussed and approved a new statute of the Council of Labour and Defence.
The Congress instituted the Order of the Red Banner of Labour to be awarded for labour heroism, initiative and organisation in solving economic tasks.
Lenin is referring to his speech at the meeting of activists of the Moscow organisation of the R.C.P.(B.) on December 6, 1920 (see pp. 438-59 in this volume [Transcriber's Note: See Lenin's "Speech Delivered at the Meeting of Activists of the Moscow Organisation of the R.C.P.(B.)". -- DJR]).
Lenin is apparently referring to the collection Red Calvary put out in memory of the victims of the Japanese intervention.
On May 26, 1919, the Supreme Council sent a Note to Kolchak over the signatures of Wilson, Lloyd George, Clemenceau, Orlando and Saionji informing him of the Allies' readiness to recognise Kolchak and supply him with food and munitions to enable him to become ruler of all Russia. In return Kolchak was to convene a constituent assembly after he took Moscow, recognise the independence of Poland and Finland and, unless agreement could be reached on the relations between Russia, on the one hand, and Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Caucasian and Trans-Caspian territories, on the other, to submit this question to the League of Nations and to recognise their autonomy pending a decision by the League, etc. In his reply Kolchak accepted a number of conditions. On July 12 Britain, France, the U.S.A. and Italy considering Kolchak's reply satisfactory, reaffirmed their readiness to give him help.
The decree of the Council of People's Commissars on concessions, the accompanying maps of forest, agricultural and mining concessions and several articles by leading Soviet specialists were published in the journal Russische Korrespondenz No. 1-2 for 1921.
The reference is to a meeting of activists of the Moscow organisation of the R.C.P.(B.) on December 6, 1920.
"Sukharevka" was the name of a market-place near the Sukharev Tower built under Peter I in 1692. At the time of the foreign military intervention and the Civil War it became a centre and symbol of black marketeering. In December 1920 the Moscow Soviet decided to close the market.
When the New Economic Policy was introduced, the market reappeared and existed till 1932. In 1934 the Sukharev Tower was demolished as a hindrance to traffic.
On August 10, 1920, the French Government officially recognised Wrangel as the ruler of South Russia.
This agreement, which established friendly relations between the R.S.F.S.R. and Persia was signed in Moscow on February 26, 1921, despite opposition from British ruling circles. It was based on the principles of peaceful coexistence and co-operation‹equality, respect for the sovereignty of the two-countries, non-interference in internal affairs, and mutual advantage. All the treaties concluded by tsarist Russia with Persia and third parties which infringed on the sovereignty of the Persian people were revoked. Persia got back all the concessions of the tsarist government on her territory. The Soviet Government renounced claims to the loans granted to Persia by the tsarist government. Especially important were the articles pledging both parties to preclude the formation or the existence on their respective territories of organisations or groups with aims subversive to Russia or Persia. This was the first equal treaty in the history of Persia.
See present edition, Vol. 27, pp. 314-17. [Transcriber's Note: See Lenin's "Six Theses on the Immediate Tasks of the Soviet Government". -- DJR]
The All-Russia Bureau for Production Propaganda of the All-Russia Central Council of Trade Unions was set up by a decision of the C.C. R.C.P.(B.) on December 8, 1920. It consisted of representatives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks), the All-Russia Central Council of Trade Unions, the Supreme Council of the National Economy, the Chief Committee for Political Education, the Central Board for Vocational Training, and the Commissariat of Agriculture. On January 21, 1921, the Organising Bureau of the Party's Central Committee approved the statute of the bureau which defined the aims and tasks of central and local bodies in charge of production propaganda and their structure. The bureau was instructed to work out a general plan of propaganda, and direct and supervise various organs and bodies in carrying out their production propaganda.
The decree of the Council of People's Commissars on "Provisional Rules on Bonuses in Kind" was published on October 23, 1920.
Order No. 1042 was issued by the Chief Department of Railways on May 22, 1920. It dealt with the repair of locomotives damaged during the First World War and the Civil War. Railway depots were ordered to lower the percentage of locomotives under repair from 60 to 20 per cent in four and a half years, beginning from July 1, 1920.
The first session of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee of the seventh convocation held on February 2-7, 1920, instructed the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the National Economy and the People's Commissariat of Agriculture to work out a plan for the construction of a network of power stations. On February 21, 1920, the Supreme Council of the National Economy, by agreement with the People's Commissariat of Agriculture, appointed a State Commission for the Electrification of Russia. The Commission began its work on March 20 and by the time the Eighth Congress of Soviets met it had compiled an over-all plan for the electrification of the R.S.F.S.R. The State Commission was set up on Lenin's initiative and in keeping with his directives.
On November 14, 1920, Lenin attended the ceremony of the opening of an electric power station in the village of Kashino, Yaropolets Volost, Volokolamsk Uyezd, where he had been invited by the local peasants. Lenin spoke to the latter and then gave an address on the importance of electrification for the national economy.
On December 22, 1920, Lenin attended a private conference of non-Party peasant delegates to the Eighth Congress of Soviets, which was called on Lenin's request by M. I. Kalinin, then Chairman of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee. The conference discussed the bill on measures to strengthen and develop agriculture adopted by the Council of People's Commissars on December 14, and submitted for consideration by the Congress. Lenin closely followed the debate, and took notes of the speeches.
The meeting of the Communist group of the Congress, called in the morning of December 24, 1920, was devoted to a discussion of the bill presented by the Council of People's Commissars on measures to promote peasant farming.
Lenin is referring to the following passage in his report on work in the countryside, which he delivered at the Eighth Congress of the R.C.P.(B.) on March 23, 1919: "Coercion applied to the middle peasants would cause untold harm" (see present edition Vol. 29, p. 210 [Transcriber's Note: See Lenin's Eighth Congress of the R.C.P.(B.). -- DJR]).
The reference is to the law on the socialisation of the land passed on January 18 (31), 1918, by the Third All-Russia Congress of Soviets which was held on January 10-18 (23-31), 1918. Clause 6 of the law read: "All livestock and agricultural implements in private possession shall pass, without indemnification, from the hands of the non-working farmers exploiting the labour of others into the hands of uyezd, gubernia, regional and federative Soviets, depending on the importance of the implements and livestock transferred."