This letter and also the draft decision of the Politbureau of the R.C.P.(B.) C.C. confirming the foreign trade monopoly (see present edition, Vol. 42, p. 419 [Transcriber's Note: The correct reference is p. 418. See Lenin's "Note to J. V. Stalin With a Draft Decision for the Politbureau of the C.C., R.C.P.(B.) on the Question of the Foreign Trade Monopoly". --
DJR]) were written in connection with Lenin's receipt on May 15, 1922, of material from N. N. Krestinsky, R.S.F.S.R. Plenipotentiary Representative in Germany, tes-
tifying to the negative effect on business negotiations with foreign capitalists exercised by the internal Party differences over the foreign trade monopoly question.
Deputy People's Commissar for Foreign Trade, M. I. Frumkin, in a letter of May 10, 1922, proposed that wholesale trade in four or five products should be left in the hands of the state (People's Commissariat for Foreign Trade) on the basis of a firm monopoly, with all the other products freely exported by the mixed companies which were to set aside a part of their profits for the state, without it making any capital outlays. Frumkin argued that state trade was being carried on at a loss, and that under free competition it would be beaten by private trade.
Under the text of Lenin's letter, there is Stalin's reply of May 17, 1922. While not objecting to a formal ban on steps towards a relaxation of the foreign trade monopoly "at the
present stage," he added that nevertheless "a relaxation is becoming inevitable."
On May 22, the Politbureau adopted Lenin's draft decision confirming the foreign trade monopoly.