I. Letters from Comrade Glebov to members of the "collegium ".
"Relations with the Central Organ and the League have not been settled yet. I must say that since our declaration they have become impudent and their appetites have been growing. Our position here is very difficult: control of things abroad is in the hands of the League, private sources are in the hands of the Central Organ, and so we are up to our ears in debt. In these straits (with a debt of 9,000 round our necks), I have to think about finding some solution. I have therefore asked the minority to let me have an outline of their desired reforms."
b) September 7.
"Last night I had a business meeting, in the presence of S., with three spokesmen of the minority: Popov, Blumenfeld, and Martov."
Of the questions discussed at this meeting, which, in Glebov's words, turned into"a preliminary meeting for the arrangement of peace", let me mention the following:
1) Organisational relations abroad.
"Responsibility for the movement in Russia to be assumed by the Central Committee, the Central Organ, and the League. With a view to removing mutual friction and creating a greater interest in the work and complete confidence, the general direction of affairs to be entrusted to a commission of representatives of the Central Committee, the Central Organ, and the League. The Central Committee to have two votes and the right of veto. . . ."
"The Central Organ to come under the Central Committee's control with a certain amount of autonomy, as follows: There must only be one distribution centre abroad, the Central Committee's. But the Central Organ is to keep charge of its own part of the border. Literature distribution in Russia to be in the Central Committee's hands. To give it greater autonomy, however, the Central Organ is to have charge of the South. Let me explain. The Central Organ has its own transport arrangements It fears that in the event of a change of administration it might be deprived of its routes. It therefore requests to be guaranteed them by organisational means."
c) September 7.
"Dan and possibly others here too are furious over yesterday's agreement as to the management of affairs. What a greedy lot! What they would like is to set up abroad a committee of representatives of the Central Organ, the Central Committee, and the League, which would decide everything abroad- each only to have one vote, of course. Not bad, eh?"
"I want to draw your attention to the desire the Council has expressed for replenishment [this refers to replenishment of the Central Committee representation on the Council]. Somebody will have to be elected in place of Lenin, who will, of course, proclaim it unlawful. I would suggest Dan or Deutsch -- with the express proviso that they are being appointed only for the purpose of representation on the Council. There is nobody else we can elect, it seems to me."
II. Letter from a Central Committee agent (now officially co-opted to the Central Committee ) to Comrade Glebov :
"Over the declaration there's such a to-do that it's hard to sort things out. The one thing that's clear is that all the committees except the Kharkov, Crimea, Mining Area, and Don are majority committees. The Don Committee is neutral, I think, but I don't know for certain. Of the 'majority' committees, the Riga, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Northern have, as I informed you before, expressed lack of confidence in the Central Committee on account of the declaration. Full confidence in it has been expressed by only a very few committees. The rest have expressed confidence in it as regards attempts at reconciliation -- with the proviso that if these should fail a special congress is to be called immediately. Of these last-named committees, some make it a condition of reconciliation that the minority should cease to regard themselves as a 'contracting party' and abandon their demand
for co-optation as a 'contracting party'(?). That is the picture. If the reconciliation doesn't come off, the Central Committee forfeits the confidence of the majority of the committees and will, consequently itself be obliged to agitate for a congress in order to surrender its mandate. And the committees' frame of mind makes it quite clear that a congress would pass decisions along the lines proposed by the twenty two, viz., to dismiss the editors and hand over the editorship to the majority, to reform the party Council, etc. But, as I have already told you, if the reconciliation is to satisfy the committees, the minority must accept the declaration and cease to regard themselves as a 'contracting party'. If they do that, I think Lenin will lose all support in Russia and it will be possible to restore peace. Your remark that matters with Martov are straightening out 'little by little' surprised me. The editors' obstinacy is becoming positively exasperating, and in spite of my sympathies for them ideologically and otherwise, I am beginning to lose confidence in them as political 'leaders'. They now have the organisational question cleared up, and if they persist in their obstinacy in the absence of support from Russia (the minority are powerless here), it will show that they are only fighting for posts."
That was the beginning of the bargain; and here is the finale.
The Central Committee circulated a letter to the committees informing them that
"The negotiations will be completed very shortly (in a couple of weeks at the outside), and meanwhile we can inform you that (1) the Central Committee has not co-opted any minority members (somebody is circulating a slander to that effect); . . . (3) the negotiations with the minority are being conducted precisely along the lines that Valentin reported to you, namely, that if there are to be any concessions, they can only be on the part of the minority and must consist in the Central Organ abandoning factional controversy and in the minority dissolving their secret organisation, renouncing their demand for co-optation to the Central Committee, and turning over all their enterprises (technical equipment, transport arrangements, contacts) to the Central Committee. Only on these conditions can peace be restored in the Party. And there is reason to hope that is how it will be. At all events if the minority should now evince a desire to continue their old policy, the Central Committee will immediately break off the negotiations and proceed to summon a special congress."
That is how the Central Committee tried to soothe the committees, which expressed lack of confidence in it; and here are some letters of "prominent " members of the minority. The letters were received in the middle of December 1904, Old Style.
"At last we have had a meeting with the riffraff. Their reply was as follows: they agree to autonomy for our technical enterprises; but as regards the agitation commission, they object, considering that to be a direct function of the Central Committee (direction of agitation), and prefer reform of the Central Committee to this plan; however, they cannot co-opt officially just now, and propose instead the de facto (unofficial) co-optation of three members of the minority (Popov, Fomin, and Fischer). Naturally, X. and I at once agreed, and henceforth the Menshevik opposition is officially dissolved. It is a veritable load off our minds. The entire Central Committee is to have a meeting with us in a day or two, after which we shall arrange a conference of the committees closest to us. . . .
"We are, of course, quite certain that we shall gain control of the Central Committee and direct it along the lines we want. That will be all the easier since many of them already admit the correctness of the minority's criticism on points of principle. . . . In all the consistent firm-liner committees (Baku, Odessa, Nizhni-Novgorod, and St. Petersburg) the workers are demanding the system of office by election. That is a clear symptom that the firm-liners are in their death-agony"
Simultaneously with this another letter was received:
"An agreement has been reached between 'minority' representatives and the Central Committee. The representatives signed an undertaking. But as there had been no canvass of the 'minority' first, the undertaking, not unnaturally, turned out not altogether satisfactory: it expresses 'confidence' in the Central Committee, instead of in its unity policy; it speaks both of absorption in the Party and of terminating our separate existence, whereas the latter alone would be sufficient. Lastly, the undertaking does not contain the 'credo' of the 'minority'. In view of this, it has been decided to have all the 'minority' organisations pass a resolution containing the 'credo' and the amendments indicated, while of course recognising our representatives' agreement with the Central Committee as valid."
It is very likely that the individuals caught red-handed and exposed by these documents will, with their usual "moral sensitivity", do their best to divert the Party's attention from the contents of the documents to the moral issue of the right to publish them. I am certain that the Party will not allow itself to be fooled, by this sleight-of-hand. I declare that I take upon myself full moral responsibility for this exposure, and will give all necessary explanations to the court of arbitration that investigates the matter as a whole.