The Swiss Social-Democratic Party Congress in Zurich, November 4-5, 1916, discussed the work of the Social-Democratic group in the National Council, the financial reform, attitude on the Kienthal resolutions and the Grütli-Verein, revision oi the party constitution.
Lenin attended all the sessions, and addressed the opening session on behalf of the R.S.D.L.P. Central Committee. His speech, delivered in German, was followed with close attention. There was a sharp struggle between the diverse trends in the party on practically every agenda item.
A positive feature of the Congress, in Lenin's view, was the vigorous fight the Left waged against the Right and Centre. The resolution on the Social-Democratic group in the National Council urged it to set an example of struggle for working-class interests and insisted that it be guided in all its activities by party decisions. The resolution on the financial reform, tabled by Grimm and Huber, approved direct taxation and allowed for indirect taxes on tobacco, alcoholic beverages, stamp duty, etc. Two resolutions were submitted on the attitude towards Kienthal, one by the party Executive and the other by the Left wing; the question was referred to an emergency congress. On the Grütli-Verein -- an affiliated organisation enjoying special status, which took an extreme chauvinist stand in the war -- the Congress declared membership in it to be incompatible with membership in the party. Revision of the party constitution was referred to an emergency congress.
The Zurich Congress, Lenin wrote, "definitely proved that the decision to join Zimmerwald and accept revolutionary mass struggle (resolution of the 1915 Aarau Congress) remains on paper, and that within the party there has been definitely formed a 'Centre'. . . .
This 'Centre', of which R. Grimm has become the head, combines 'Left' declarations with 'Right', i.e., opportunist, tactics" (see p. 137 of this volume [Transcriber's Note: See Lenin's "Tasks of the Left Zimmerwaldists in the Swiss Social-Democratic Party". -- DJR]).
The Committee for the Re-establishment of International Contacts was formed in Paris in January 1916 by French internationalists. This was the first attempt to set up in France a revolutionary socialist organisation as a counterweight to the official social-chauvinist organisations. The Committee conducted propaganda against the imperialist war, published a number of pamphlets and leaflets, exposing the predatory aims of the imperialists and the social-chauvinists' betrayal of the working class. It did not, however, appreciate the need for a decisive break with the opportunists, and had no clear-cut and consistent programme of revolutionary struggle. Nevertheless Lenin regarded the Committee as a factor in rallying the internationalist forces in France and in extending the Left Zimmerwaldist influence. Inessa Armand participated in the Committee on Lenin's instructions.
Under the influence of the October Revolution in Russia and the growth of the French labour movement, the Committee became the centre of the revolutionary internationalist forces in France, and in 1920 merged with the Communist Party.
The allusion is to the assassination of Austrian Prime Minister Stürgkh by Friedrich Adler, the Austrian Social-Democratic leader.