V. I. Lenin


MARCH 29- APRIL 5, 1920

Published in the book
Ninth Congress of the Russian
Communist Party. Verbatim Report.

Moscow, 1920

Published according to
the book, verified with
the shorthand notes

From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition,
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965

Vol. 30, pp. 439-90.

Translated from the Russian
Edited by George Hanna

Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, (January 2000)

NINTH CONGRESS OF THE R.C.P.(B.). March 29-April 5, 1919 [138]



OPENING SPEECH. MARCH 29  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .






TRAL COMMITTEE. MARCH 30  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .






SPEECH ON THE CO-OPERATIVES. APRIL 3 .   .   .   .   .   .



SPEECH CLOSING THE CONGRESS. APRIL 5 .   .   .   .   .   .



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  [138] The Ninth Party Congress was held in Moscow from March 29 to April 5, 1920. The Congress opened in the Bolshoi Theatre with an introductory speech by Lenin. The following meetings of the Congress took place in one of the buildings of the Kremlin. Present at the Congress were 715 delegates, of whom 553 had the right to vote and 162 were delegates with voice but no vote; they represented 611,973 Party members. At the Congress there were delegates from the Party organisations of Central Russia, the Ukraine, Urals Siberia and of other districts recently liberated by the Red Army. Many delegates came to the Congress straight from the front.
    The Congress adopted the following agenda: (1) Report of the Central Committee; (2) Immediate tasks of economic development; (3) Trade union movement; (4) Organisational questions; (5) Tasks of the Communist International, (6) Attitude to the co-operatives; (7) Transition to the militia system; (8) Election to the Central Committee, (9) Other business.
    Lenin guided the work of the Congress. He delivered the report on the political work of the Central Committee and closed the debate on the report. He also spoke on economic development and on co-

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operation, and made the speech on the closing of the Congress. He submitted a proposal on the list of candidates for membership to the C.C.
    In its resolution "The Immediate Tasks of Economic Construction" the Congress pointed out that "the basic condition of economic rehabilitation of the country is steady implementation of the single economic plan for the coming historical epoch".
    The Ninth Congress directives were taken as the basis for a plan by the State Commission for the Electrification of Russia (GOELRO); the final draft of which was approved in December 1920 by the All-Russia Congress of Soviets. It was the first long-term scientific plan in history for the economic development of a vast country; it was calculated to create the production and technical basis of socialism.
    Special attention was devoted to the organisation of production management. The resolution on the question pointed out the necessity of competent, firm and energetic one-man management.
    The Congress emphasised the importance of utilising the achievements of science, technology and culture in the interests of socialist economy. The Congress put forward the task of enlisting specialists into the sphere of production and of establishing the atmosphere of comradely co-operation between workers and specialists.
    The anti-Party group of Democratic Centralists (Sapronov, Osinsky, V. Smirnov and others) opposed the Party line on economic development. Using phrases about democratic centralism, this group spoke against the use of specialists, against centralised state administration, against one-man management and the personal responsibility of managers of enterprise's; they insisted on unlimited corporate management. That group was supported at the Congress by Rykov, Tomsky, Milyutin, and Lomov, who also spoke against the principle of one-man management and claimed that corporate management was the only principle of management of industry from the Supreme Economic Council down to the management of a single factory.
    The Congress resolutely denounced the democratic centralism group and rejected their anti-Party proposals.
    Another important question discussed at the Congress was that of trade unions in connection with the adaptation of their work for economic tasks. The Congress severely criticised anarcho-syndicalist elements (Shlyapnikov, Lozovsky, Tomsky, Lutovinov), who advocated the "independence" of trade unions and counterposed them to the Communist Party and the Soviet power. Guided by Lenin's teaching the Congress pointed out that the trade unions, as school of communism, should organise the proletarian masses, train them in the work of management, raise their cultural and political level to the standards of communism, and prepare them for the role of active builders of communism.
    At its closed meeting on April 4, the Congress elected a new Central Committee of 19 members and 12 alternate members. A .A. Andreyev, F. E. Dzerzhinsky, M. I. Kalinin, V. I. Lenin, Y. E. Rudzutak, F. A. Sergeyev (Artyom) were among the newly elected C.C. members.    [p. 439]

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  [139] Lenin refers to the savage terror resorted to by the Finnish bourgeoisie to suppress the proletarian revolution in 1918. Over 90,000 people were imprisoned or sent to concentration camps, nearly 18,000 were executed and nearly as many died of hunger or tortures. The number of victims of White Terror ten times exceeded the number of Finnish workers killed in the battles for the revolution.    [p. 449]

  [140] After the November revolution of 1918 in Germany the Right-wing leaders of German Social-Democracy exerted every effort to save the capitalist system. The Right Social-Democrats and the Independents seized the majority of seats in the Arbeiterräte which had sprung up during the revolution, and at their First All-Germany Congress, held December 16-21, 1918, in Berlin, succeeded in carrying through a resolution on handing over power to a government representing the interests of the bourgeoisie and on convening a Constituent Assembly. This actually meant the end of the Arbeiterräte. In January 1919 counter-revolutionary detachments set up by the War Minister Noske, Right Social-Democrat, brutally suppressed the revolutionary action of the Berlin proletariat. On January 15, armed detachments arrested and brutally murdered the leaders of the German working class, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. Having crushed the January uprising and destroyed the best leaders of the German working class, the German bourgeoisie ensured the victory of the bourgeois parties during the elections to the Constituent Assembly on January 19, 1919.    [p. 449]

  [141] The rout of the foreign interventionists and whiteguards in 1919 and the consolidation of Soviet Russia's position in the world compelled the bourgeois rulers of Latvia to seek a peace treaty with the R.S F.S.R. On March 25, 1920, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Latvia addressed a proposal to the Soviet Government to start peace negotiations. The peace conference of R.S.F.S.R. and Latvian representatives opened on April 16 in Moscow. The peace treaty was signed in Riga on August 11.    [p. 451]

  [142] By the beginning of 1920 Soviet Russia's position at home and abroad had been consolidated, and the ruling circles of Finland had to conclude a peace treaty with the R.S.F.S.R. On March 25 the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland proposed to the Soviet Government to demarcate the frontier that was tantamount to starting negotiations on peace. The peace treaty between the R.S.F.S.R. and Finland was signed on October 14, 1920 in the town of Yuryev (now Tartu). It confirmed the independence and sovereignty of Finland granted her by the Soviet Government in 1917.    [p. 451]

  [143] The Polish Government's agreement to start negotiations was merely a manoeuvre to cover war preparations against the Soviet Republic. In reply to the Soviet Government's many proposals (De-

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cember 22, 1919, January 28, February 2, March 6 1920), the Polish Government gave its consent only on March 2, 1920. But the Polish reactionaries sabotaged the negotiations and started hostilities on April 25, 1920. In the autumn of 1920, however, as a result of the Red Army's offensive the Polish Government had to agree to sign a peace treaty. The Treaty on an Armistice and Preliminary Peace Terms was signed in Riga on October 12, and the Peace Treaty between the R.S.F.S.R. and the Ukrainian S.S.R. on the one side and Poland on the other was signed in Riga on March 18, 1921.    [p. 451]

  [144] Lenin refers to S. I. Gusev's pamphlet "Immediate Problems of Economic Development (On C.C., R.C.P.[B.] Theses. Materials for the Ninth Party Congress, Saratov, 1920)". The paragraph referred to by Lenin was included in the draft resolution with slight alterations.
    In Gusev's pamphlet this point is worded as follows: "All enterprises which are not subsidiary to the chief economic task of the period should be developed to the extent that they do not interfere with the fulfilment of the main task. Subsidiary enterprises should be developed as required by the main task. In view of this a single economic plan should not be the sum total of production programmes worked out by individual industries and local economic councils on the basis of orders received from central and local organisations, but, on the contrary, such a plan should envisage the volume of production for each industry.    [p. 461]

  [145] Lenin refers to the meeting of the group of the All-Russia Central Council of Trade Unions on March 15, 1920, at which Tomsky's theses on the "Tasks of the Trade Unions" were discussed. Lenin sharply criticised the theses, particularly article 7 on corporate management as the main method. But the All-Russia C.C.T.U. group took up an incorrect stand, and its majority voted for Tomsky's theses.    [p. 474]

  [146] The Decree of the Council of People's Commissars "On Centralisation of Management, Protection of Roads and Raising Their Traffic Capacity", published in Izvestia No. 59, March 28, 1918, was demagogically called the "Decree on Dictatorship" by the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries.    [p. 475]

  [147] The Ninth Congress of the R.C.P.(B.) set up a special committee to discuss the co-operative movement. At its meeting of April 2, 1920, the committee examined several variants of the theses on the co-operatives submitted for discussion at the Congress. The committee took as the basis the theses by V. P. Milyutin, who proposed to subordinate co-operatives to the state. After Lenin's speech against Milyutin's theses, the Congress by a majority vote passed a resolution which Lenin had supported.    [p. 480]