The Joint Session of the All-Russia C.E.C., the Moscow Soviet of Workers', Peasants' and Red Army Deputies, the A.C.C.T.U. and the trade unions, factory committees and other workers' organisations was held on June 4, 1918 in the Bolshoi Theatre. There was only one question on the agenda -- the struggle against
famine in connection with the general situation. Opening the session, Y. M. Sverdlov, Chairman of the All-Russia C.E.C., said that such a widely representative meeting had been called in view of the extreme urgency of the problem and in order to draw all the workers of Moscow into an energetic campaign against famine. The report at the session was delivered by Lenin. Left and Right Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks made sharp attacks on the Soviet Government and criticised its food policy. The resolution moved by the Bolshevik group, which was based on Lenin's draft, was passed by a majority vote.
Lenin is expounding an idea expressed by Engels in his Einleitung zu Sigismund Borkheims Broschüre zur Erinnerune für die deutschen Mordspatrioten. 1806-1807 (Marx/Engels, Werke, Band 21, S. 346 51).
Lenin has in mind the All-Russia Conference of Mensheviks (held in Moscow, May 21-27, 1918), which showed up the counter-revolutionary nature of the Mensheviks' activity. In their speeches N. Cherevanin, V. G. Groman and other Mensheviks tried to exploit the country's food difficulties for anti-Soviet purposes. They described the organisation of food detachments and the "crusade" for grain which Lenin was urging upon the workers as "the last convulsive efforts" of Soviet power to save itself.
Zhizn (Life ) -- a newspaper published in Moscow from April 23 to July 6, 1918 under the editorship of the anarchistic writers A. Borovoi and Y. Novomirsky. Made use of by various anti-Soviet elements, it was eventually banned along with other counter-revolutionary newspapers.
Lenin is referring to the All-Russia C.E.C. decrees: On the Emergency Powers of the People's Commissar for Food of May 13 (The Food Dictatorship Decree) and On the Reorganisation of the Commissariat for Food and Local Food Bodies of May 27, 1918 (see Decrees of the Soviet Government, Russ. ed., Vol. 2, 1959, pp. 261-64 and 307-12) These decrees instituted complete centralisation of food supply, both procuring and distribution; they also envisaged measures for the organisation of a workers' grain campaign and help for the poor in their struggle against the kulaks.
Lenin has in mind a resolution moved at the Extraordinary Fourth All-Russia Congress of Soviets by the Right and Centre S.R.s, in which they expressed strong opposition to the Peace Treaty of Brest and demanded the immediate abolition of Soviet power and the holding of a Constituent Assembly.
The reference is to the counter-revolutionary armed revolt of the Czechoslovak Army Corps organised by the imperialists of the Entente with the active connivance of Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries. The Czechoslovak corps had been formed in
Russia before the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution out of Czech and Slovak prisoners-of-war. By the summer of 1918 it numbered over 60,000 men (the total number of Czech and Slovak war prisoners in Russia was nearly 200,000). After the setting up of Soviet power the financing of the corps was taken over by the countries of the Entente, which had decided to use it against the Soviet Republic. T. Massarik, leader of the Czech bourgeois nationalists and president of the Czechoslovak National Council, declared the corps to be part of the French army and the representatives of the Entente raised the question of its evacuation to France. The Soviet Government agreed to the evacuation of the Czechoslovaks on condition that the Russian soldiers in France were sent home. By the agreement of March 26, 1918 the corps was granted permission to quit Russia via Vladivostok on condition that they handed in their arms and deposed their counter-revolutionary commanders, who were Russian officers. But the counter-revolutionary commanders of the corps treacherously broke the agreement with the Soviet Government on the surrendering of arms and, on instructions from the imperialists of the Entente instigated an armed revolt at the end of May. The governments of the United States, Britain and France openly and whole-heartedly supported the revolt and French officers took a direct part in it. Operating in close contact with the whiteguards and the kulaks, the corps occupied a large part of the Urals, the Volga area and Siberia, everywhere restoring the rule of the bourgeoisie. With the support of Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries whiteguard governments were set up in the occupied areas. A Siberian government was set up in Omsk, a Committee of Members of the Constituent Assembly in Samara, and so forth.
Soon after the revolt started, on June 11, the Central Executive Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist groups in Russia issued a manifesto to the soldiers of the corps, exposing the counter-revolutionary nature of the revolt and appealing to these Czech and Slovak workers and peasants to put a stop to it and join the Czechoslovak units of the Red Army. The majority of the Czech and Slovak prisoners-of-war were sympathetic towards Soviet power and refused to be taken in by the anti-Soviet propaganda of the reactionary clique in command. Realising that they were being tricked, many of the rank and file left the corps and refused to fight against Soviet power. Nearly 12,000 Czechs and Slovaks served in the ranks of the Red Army.
The Volga area was liberated by the Red Army in the autumn of 1918 and the whiteguard Czechoslovaks were finally defeated during the victorious campaign against Kolchak.
The reference is to the reports delivered at the All-Russia C E.C. meetings by the People's Commissar for Food A. D. Tsyurupa (May 9, 1918) and A. I. Svidersky (May 27) on reorganisation of the food bodies and the system of food supply.
This draft resolution formed the basis of the resolution submitted by the Bolshevik group at the meeting of June 4, 1918. It was accepted by a joint meeting of the All-Russia C.E.C., the Moscow Soviet and the Trade Unions, which rejected the Left S.R. resolution aimed against organisation of the poor, against fixed prices for grain and other measures initiated by the Soviet Government.