MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE |  V. I. Lenin


V. I. Lenin

THE SECOND ALL-RUSSIA CONGRESS
OF MINERS

[ January 23, 1921 ]

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

Vol. 32, pp. 54-68.

Translated from the Russian
Edited by Yuri Sdobnikov


Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, djr@marx2mao.org (May 2000)

THE SECOND ALL-RUSSIA CONGRESS OF MINERS .   .   .   .   .

54

  1.
 
 

REPORT ON THE ROLE AND TASKS OF THE TRADE UNIONS
DELIVERED ON JANUARY 23 AT A MEETING OF THE COM-
MUNIST GROUP OF THE CONGRESS .  .   .   .   .   .   .   .


 
54

2.
 
 

SPEECH CLOSING THE DISCUSSION DELIVERED AT A
MEETING OF THE COMMUNIST GROUP OF THE CONGRESS,
JANUARY 24  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .


 
64

NOTES



page 535


NOTES

  [20] The Congress was held in Moscow's Trade Union House from January 25 to February 2, 1921. It was attended by 341 delegates, of whom 295 had voice and vote, and 46, voice only. They represented more than 332,000 members of the Miners' Trade Union. Lenin and Kalinin were Honorary Chairmen.
    The items on its agenda were: report of the Miners' Trade Union Central Committee; reports of the Mining Council and its departments; fuel supply problems; tasks of the trade union; organisation of production; wage rates; organisation; cultural and educational work; labour safety measures; international ties; concessions, and election of a new Trade Union Central Committee. The Congress decided to issue an appeal for unity to the organised workers of all countries.
    Prior to the Congress, on January 22-24, the R.C.P.(B.) group had four meetings to discuss the trade unions' role and tasks, which were addressed by Lenin, Trotsky and Shlyapnikov. The absolute majority of the group supported Lenin's platform, which won 137 votes; Shlyapnikov's received 61, and Trotsky's, 8.
    The Congress helped to solve the fuel crisis and work out production programmes for the mining industry.    [p. 54]

  [21] The reference is to the resolution of the Second Congress of the Communist International, "On the Role of the Communist Party in the Proletarian Revolution". See Vtoroi kongress Kominterna (Second Congress of the Communist International, Moscow, 1934, pp. 640-46).    [p. 62]

  [22] The reference is to the Eighteenth Congress of the French Socialist Party in Tours, December 25-30, 1920. It was attended by

page 536

285 delegates with 4,575 mandates. The main question on the agenda was the Party's affiliation to the Communist International. The issue was a foregone conclusion because at the federation congresses held before the national Congress, an absolute majority had voted for immediate entry into the Third International on the basis of the 21 conditions. Still there was a bitter struggle at the Congress between supporters of affiliation (Paul Vaillant Couturier, Marcel Cachin, Daniel Renoult) and its opponents (Leon Blum, Jean Longuet, Marcel Sembat and others). Clara Zetkin, who had come to the Congress in spite of the French Government's ban and police harassment, delivered a brilliant speech and conveyed greetings on behalf of the Communist International.
    After a four-day debate, the delegates voted for affiliation by 3,208 mandates, or more than 70 per cent.
    The majority set up the Communist Party of France, which was finally formed in May 1921. The minority, led by Leon Blum, aimed at splitting the workers' movement, and walked out of the Congress, forming their own reformist party, which retained the old name of the French Socialist Party.    [p. 62]

  [23] The Workers' and Peasants' Inspection (Rabkrin) was set up in February 1920 on Lenin's initiative, on the basis of the reorganised People's Commissariat for State Control which had been formed in the early months of the Soviet power.
    Lenin attached great importance to control and verification from top to bottom. He worked out in detail the principles of organising control in the Soviet state, kept an eye on Rabkrin's activity, criticised its shortcomings and did his best to make it more efficient. In his last articles, "How We Should Reorganise the Workers' and Peasants' Inspection" and "Better Fewer but Better", Lenin outlined a plan for reorganising Rabkrin. To merge Party and state control and to enlist more workers and peasants in its activity were the basic principles of Lenin's plan, and this he regarded as the source of the Party's and the state's inexhaustible strength. On Lenin's instructions, the Party's Twelfth Congress set up a joint organ, the Central Control Commission and the Workers' and Peasants' Inspection, to exercise Party and state control.
    During Stalin's personality cult, these principles were violated, and Lenin's system of control was substituted by a bureaucratic apparatus. In 1934, Stalin secured a decision to set up two control centres -- the Central Committee's Party Control Commission, and the Government's Soviet Control Commission. The People's Commissariat for State Control of the U.S.S.R. was set up in 1940; it was reorganised into the Ministry for State Control in 1946, and later, into the Commission for State Control. Pursuant to a decision of the Twenty-Second Congress, which stressed the importance of Party, state and mass control, the November 1962 Central Committee Plenary Meeting deemed it necessary to reorganise the system of control on Leninist principles. The Party

page 537

and State Control Committee of the C.C. of the C.P.S.U. and the Council of Ministers of the U.S.S.R. was set up under a decision of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U., the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet and the Council of Ministers on November 27, 1962.    [p. 68]