The Joint Conference of the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. and Party Officials (for purposes of secrecy it was known as "the summer" or "August" Conference), was held from September 23 to October 1 (October 6-14), 1913 in the village of Poronin (near Cracow) where Lenin spent the summer months. The Conference was attended by twenty-two delegates (17 with a vote and 5 with voice but no vote). Sixteen delegates represented local Party organisations: St. Petersburg -- Inessa Armand, A. Y. Badayev and A. V. Shotman; Moscow and the Central Industrial Area -- F. A. Balashov, Y. T. Novozhilov, R. V. Malinovsky and A. I. Lobov (the two last-named were found to be provocateurs), Ekaterinoslav -- G. I. Petrovsky; Kharkov -- M. K. Murnnov; Kostroma -- N. R. Shagov; Kiev -- Y. F. Rozmirovich ("Galina"), Urals -- S. I. Deryabina ("Sima", "Elena"). Lenin, Krupskaya, Troyanovsky and others
represented the Central Committee Bureau Abroad, the Central Organ of the Party Sotsial-Demokrat and the magazine Prosveshcheniye. The Bolshevik deputies to the Fourth Duma also represented the Party organisations in the constituencies and towns that elected them to the Duma. Representatives of the Left wing of the Polish Social-Democratic Party, J. S. Hanecki, G. Kamenski ("Domski") and others attended; these delegates had a voice but no vote.
The Conference discussed the following questions: (1) reports from the localities, report on the work of the Polish Social-Democrats, report on the work of the Central Committee, (2) the national question; (3) the work of Social-Democrats in the Duma; (4) the situation in the Social-Democratic Duma group; (5) the question of organisation and the Party congress; (6) the strike movement; (7) work in legal associations; (8) the Narodniks; (9) the Party press; (10) the forthcoming International Socialist Congress in Vienna. The first two days were devoted to a private conference of the Duma deputies on questions of practical work in the Duma.
Lenin guided the work of the Conference; he opened the meeting with an introductory speech and delivered reports on the work of the Central Committee, the national question and the International Socialist Congress in Vienna; Lenin also spoke on almost all the points of the agenda, made proposals and compiled or edited the draft resolutions.
Reports from the localities told of the growth of the working class movement. The Conference decided in favour of united All-Russian Party work to guide the actions of the working class on a country-wide scale.
Lenin's report on the Central Committee activity summarised what had been done since the Prague Conference in 1912. In his report on the Vienna International Socialist Congress Lenin proposed sending as many delegates as possible from both legal and illegal organisations, and suggested the holding of a Party congress at the same time as the International Congress. The Conference ended with Lenin's closing speech.
The minutes of the Conference at Poronin have not been found. The resolutions were published as a separate pamphlet under the title Notification and Resolutions of the Summer, 1913, Joint Conference of the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. and Party Officials, issued abroad by the Central Committee. For reasons of secrecy some of the resolutions were not printed in full; omitted were point 6 of the resolution on the strike movement and points 1-5 of the resolution on the Party press. The full texts of the resolutions were published illegally in a mimeographed edition.
It was intended to hold the Party congress at the same time as the International Socialist Congress, which would have made it easier to keep secret the preparations for calling it. Intensive preparations for the congress were made during the spring and summer of 1914, but owing to the outbreak of war the congress was not held.
The newspaper referred to was Nash Put (Our Path ) published in Moscow from August 25 to September 12 (September 7-25), 1913. The paper was launched on Lenin's proposal and under his guidance; Lenin sent his articles simultaneously to Pravda and to Nash Put. Among the contributors to Nash Put were Maxim Gorky, the Bolshevik deputies to the Fourth Duma, Demyan Bedny, M. S. Olminsky and I. I. Skvortsov-Stepanov. The newspaper was popular among the workers and received immense help from them; 395 groups of workers supported the paper by monetary collections. Its daily circulation was from 17,000 to 20,000 copies.
The newspaper was persistently persecuted by the police and finally suppressed; only 16 issues appeared. Moscow workers responded to the suppression of Nash Put with mass strikes in protest against the persecution of the working-class press. They did not, however, succeed in re-starting the paper.
The Central Organ of the R.S.D.L.P., the newspaper Sotsial-Demokrat, began appearing illegally in February 1908. The first issue was printed in Russia but owing to the arrest of the editors and destruction of the printing-press the paper was moved out of the country -- first to Paris and then to Geneva. Altogether 58 issues appeared.
In accordance with a decision of the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. the Editorial Board was composed of representatives of the Bolsheviks, Mensheviks and Polish Social-Democrats. The newspaper printed Lenin's articles giving guidance to the Party. On the Editorial Board Lenin conducted a struggle for a consistently Bolshevik line. Some of the editors (Kamenev and Zinoviev adopted a line of conciliation towards the liquidators and attempted to prevent Lenin's political line from being implemented. The Mensheviks Martov and Dan sabotaged the work of the Central Organ Editorial Board and at the same time openly defended liquidationism in the newspaper Golos Sotsial-Demokrata (Voice of a Social-Democrat ). Lenin's implacable struggle against the liquidators led to Martov and Dan's resigning from the Editorial Board in June 1911. From December 1911 Sotsial-Demokrat was edited by Lenin.
In 1912 and 1913 the paper appeared with big intervals between issues, only 6 issues appearing in those years. After the outbreak of the First World War Sotsial-Demokrat was published more regularly, the last issue appearing in Geneva on January 18 (31), 1917.
The subsection referred to was that of a resolution on "The Social-Democratic Group in the Duma" adopted by the Fifth (All-Russian) Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. in 1908. Lenin's draft for this subsection was adopted by the Conference with some amendments that spoiled the original formulation (the conditions under which voting was permissible for items of expenditure on cultural requirements were less definite in the resolution than in Lenin's draft). This part of the resolution on "Social-Democratic
Activities in the Duma" was confirmed in a new, improved version by the Poronin (Summer) Conference.
The congresses referred to are the Fifth (London) Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. in 1907 and the International Social Congress at Stuttgart in the same year; the resolutions were directed against the opportunist principle of trade union "neutrality".
The resolution refers here to the decision adopted by the liquidators' August Conference in 1912 to the effect that "cultural-national autonomy" was compatible with the Programme of the R.S.D.L.P.