SPEECH IN REPLY TO DEBATE
5 March 1937
Comrades, in my report I dealt with the main problems of
the subject we are discussing. The debate has shown that there is now complete
clarity among us, that we understand the tasks and that we are ready to remove
the defects in our work. But the debate has also shown that there are several
definite questions of our organizational and political practice on which there
is not yet complete and clear understanding. I have counted seven such
Permit me to say a few words about these questions.
1) We must assume that everybody now understands and
realises that excessive absorption in economic campaigns and allowing ourselves
to be carried away by economic successes while Party political problems are
underestimated and forgotten, lead into a cul-de-sac. Consequently, the
attention of Party workers must be turned in the direction of Party political
problems so that economic successes may be combined and march side by side with
successes in Party political work.
How, practically, can the task of reinforcing Party
political work, the task of freeing Party organizations from minor economic
details, be carried out? As is evident from the debate, some comrades are
inclined to draw from this the wrong conclusion
that economic work must now be abandoned entirely. At all events, there were
voices which said in effect: Well, now, thank god, we shall be free from
economic affairs, now we shall be able to devote our attention to Party
political work. Is this conclusion correct? No, it is not correct. When our
Party comrades who were carried away by economic successes abandoned politics,
it meant going to the extreme, for which we had to pay dearly. If, now, some
comrades, in setting to work to reinforce Party political work, think of
abandoning economic work, this will be going to the other extreme, for which we
shall pay no less dearly. You must not rush from one extreme to the other.
Politics cannot be separated from economics. We can no more abandon economics
than we can abandon politics. For convenience of study people usually,
methodologically separate problems of economy from problems of politics. But
this is only done methodologically, artificially, only for convenience of study.
In real life, however, in practice, politics are inseparable from economics.
They exist together and operate together. And whoever thinks of separating
economics from politics in our practical work, of reinforcing economic work at
the expense of political work, or, on the contrary, of reinforcing political
work at the expense of economic work, will inevitably find himself in a
The meaning of the point in the draft resolution on
freeing Party organizations from minor economic details and increasing Party
political work is not that we must abandon economic work and economic
leadership, but merely that we must no longer permit our
Party organizations to supersede the business organizations, particularly the
land departments, and deprive them of personal responsibility. Consequently, we
must learn the Bolshevik method of leading business organizations, which is,
systematically to help these organizations, systematically to strengthen them
and to guide economy, not over the heads of these organizations, but through the
medium of them. We must give the business organizations, and primarily the land
departments, the best people, we must fill the staffs of these organizations
with fresh workers of the best type who are capable of carrying out the duties
entrusted to them. Only after this has been done can we count on the Party
organizations being quite free from minor economic details. Of course, this is a
serious matter and requires a certain amount of time. But until it is done the
Party organizations will have to continue for a short period to deal very
closely with agricultural affairs, with all the details of ploughing, sowing,
2) Two words about wreckers, diversionists, spies,
etc. I think it is clear to everybody now that the present-day wreckers and
diversionists, no matter what disguise they may adopt, either Trotskyite or
Bukharinite, have long ceased to be a political trend in the labour movement,
that they have become transformed into a gang of professional wreckers,
diversionists, spies and assassins, without principles and without ideals. Of
course, these gentlemen must be ruthlessly smashed and uprooted as the enemies
of the working class, as betrayers of our country. This is clear and requires no
But the question arises: how is this task of smashing and
uprooting the Japano-German Trotskyite agents to be carried out in practice?
Does that mean that we must strike at and uproot, not only real Trotskyites, but
also those who at some time or other wavered in the direction of Trotskyism and
then, long ago, abandoned Trotskyism; not only those who are really Trotskyite
wrecking agents, but also those who, at some time or other, had occasion to walk
down a street through which some Trotskyite had passed? At all events, such
voices were heard at this Plenum. Can such an interpretation of the resolution
be regarded as correct? No, it cannot be regarded as correct. In this matter, as
in all others, an individual, discriminate approach is required. You cannot
measure everybody with the same yardstick. Such a wholesale approach can only
hinder the fight against the real Trotskyite wreckers and spies.
Among our responsible comrades there are a number of
former Trotskyites who abandoned Trotskyism long ago and are fighting Trotskyism
not less and perhaps more effectively than some of our respected comrades who
have never wavered in the direction of Trotskyism. It would be foolish to cast a
slur upon such comrades now.
Among our comrades there are some who ideologically were
always opposed to Trotskyism, but who, notwithstanding this, maintained personal
connections with individual Trotskyites which they did not hesitate to dissolve
as soon as the practical features of Trotskyism became clear to them. Of course,
it would have been better had they broken
off their personal friendly connections with individual Trotskyites at once, and
not only after some delay. But it would be foolish to lump such comrades with
3) What does choosing the right people and putting
them in the right place mean?
It means, firstly, choosing workers according to political
principle, i.e., whether they are worthy of political confidence, and secondly,
according to business principle, i.e., whether they are fit for such and such a
This means that the business approach must not be
transformed into a narrow business approach, when people interest themselves in
the business qualifications of a worker but do not interest themselves in his
It means that the political approach must not be
transformed into the sole and exclusive approach, when people interest
themselves in the political face of the worker but do not interest themselves in
his business qualifications.
Can it be said that this Bolshevik rule is adhered to by
our Party comrades? Unfortunately, this cannot be said. Reference was made to
this at this Plenum. But not everything was said about it. The point is that
this tried and tested rule is frequently violated in our practical work, and
violated in the most flagrant manner. Most often, workers are not chosen for
objective reasons, but for casual, subjective, philistine, petty-bourgeois
reasons. Most often, so-called acquaintances, friends, fellow-townsmen,
personally devoted people, masters in the art of praising their
chiefs are chosen without regard for their political and business fitness.
Naturally, instead of a leading group of responsible
workers we get a little family of intimate people, an artel, the members of
which try to live, in peace, try not to offend each other, not to wash dirty
linen in public, to praise each other, and from time to time send vapid and
sickening reports to the centre about successes.
It is not difficult to understand that in such a family
atmosphere there can be no place for criticism of defects in the work, or for
self-criticism by leaders of the work.
Of course, such a family atmosphere creates a favourable
medium for the cultivation of toadies, of people who lack a sense of
self-respect, and therefore, have nothing in common with Bolshevism.
Take for example Comrades Mirzoyan and Vainov. The first
is the secretary of the Kazakhstan Territorial Party Organization, and the
second is the secretary of the Yaroslavl Regional Party Organization. These
people are not the worst in our midst. But how do they choose workers? The first
dragged with him to Kazakhstan from Azerbaidjan and the Urals, where he had
worked formerly, thirty to forty of his "own" people and placed them in
responsible positions in Kazakhstan. The second dragged with him to Yaroslavl
from the Donetz Basin, where he had worked formerly, over a dozen of his "own"
people and also placed them in responsible positions. And so Comrade Mirzoyan
has his own artel. And Comrade Vainov also has his own artel. Guided by the
method of choosing and placing people, could they not choose workers from among
the local people? Of course they could. Why, then, did they not do so? Because
the Bolshevik method of choosing workers precludes the possibility of a
philistine petty-bourgeois approach, precludes the possibility of choosing
workers on the family and artel principle. Moreover, in choosing as workers
people who were personally devoted to them these comrades evidently wanted to
make themselves, to some extent, independent of the local people and independent
of the Central Committee of the Party. Let us assume that Comrades Mirzoyan and
Vainov, owing to some circumstance or other, are transferred from their present
place of work to some other place. What, in such a case, will they do with their
"tails"? Will they drag them again to the new places where they are going to
This is the absurd position to which the violation of the
Bolshevik rule of properly choosing and placing people leads.
4) What does testing workers, verifying the
fulfilment of tasks mean?
Testing workers means testing them, not by their promises
and declarations, but by the results of their work.
Verifying the fulfilment of tasks means verifying and
testing, not only in offices and only by means of formal reports, but primarily
at the place of work, according to actual results.
Is such testing and verification required at all?
Undoubtedly it is required. It is required, firstly,
because only such testing and verification enables us to get to know the worker,
to determine his real qualifications. It is required, secondly, because only
such testing and verification enables us to determine the virtues and defects of
the executive apparatus. It is required, thirdly, because only such testing and
verification enables us to determine the virtues and defects of the tasks that
Some comrades think that people can be tested only from
above, when leaders test those who are led by the results of their work. That is
not true. Of course, testing from above is needed as one of the effective
measures for testing people and verifying the fulfilment of tasks. But testing
from above far from exhausts the whole business of testing. There is another
kind of test, the test from below, when the masses, when those who are led, test
the leaders, draw attention to their mistakes and indicate the way in which
these mistakes may be rectified. This sort of testing is one of the most
effective methods of testing people.
The Party membership tests its leaders at meetings of
Party actives, at conferences and at congresses by hearing their reports, by
criticising defects and, finally, by electing or not electing this or that
leading comrade to leading bodies. The strict adherence to democratic
centralism, in the Party, as the rules of our Party demand, the obligatory
election of Party bodies, the right to nominate and to object to candidates,
secret ballot, freedom of criticism and self-criticism -- all these and similar
measures must be carried out in order, among other things, to facilitate
the testing and control of Party leaders by the Party membership.
The non-Party masses test their business, trade union and
other leaders at meetings of non-Party actives, at mass conferences of all
kinds, at which they hear the reports of their leaders, criticise defects and
indicate the way in which these defects may be removed.
Finally, the people test the leaders of the country during
elections of the government bodies of the Soviet Union by means of universal,
equal, direct and secret suffrage.
The task is to combine testing from above with testing
5) What does educating cadres on their own mistakes
Lenin taught that conscientiously exposing the mistakes of
the Party, studying the causes which gave rise to these mistakes and indicating
the way in which these mistakes may be rectified are one of the surest means of
properly training and educating Party cadres, of properly training and educating
the working class and the toiling masses. Lenin says :
"The attitude of a political party toward its own mistakes is one of the most
important and surest criteria of the seriousness of the party and of how it
fulfils in practice its obligations toward its class and toward the toiling
masses. To admit a mistake openly, to disclose its reasons, to analyse the
conditions which gave rise to it, to study attentively the means of correcting
it -- these are the signs of a
serious party; this means the performance of its duties, this means educating
and training the class, and then the masses."
This means that it is the duty of Bolsheviks, not to gloss
over their mistakes, not to wriggle out of admitting their mistakes, as often
happens among us, but honestly and openly to admit their mistakes, honestly and
openly to indicate the way in which these mistakes may be rectified, honestly
and openly to rectify their mistakes.
I would not say that many of our comrades would cheerfully
agree to do this. But Bolsheviks, if they really want to be Bolsheviks, must
have the courage openly to admit their mistakes, to reveal their causes,
indicate the way in which they may be rectified, and in that way help the Party
to give the cadres a proper training and proper political education. For only in
this way, only in an atmosphere of open and honest self-criticism, is it
possible to educate real Bolshevik cadres, is it possible to educate real
Two examples to demonstrate the correctness of Lenin's
Take, for example, our mistakes in collective farm
construction. You, no doubt, remember 1930, when our Party comrades thought they
could solve the very complicated problem of transferring the peasantry to
collective farm construction in a matter of three or four months, and when the
Central Committee of the Party found itself obliged to curb these over-zealous
comrades. This was one of the most dangerous periods in the life of our Party.
was that our Party comrades forgot about the voluntary nature of collective farm
construction, forgot that the peasants could not be transferred to the
collective farm path by administrative pressure, they forgot that collective
farm construction required, not several months, but several years of careful and
thoughtful work. They forgot about this and did not want to admit their
mistakes. You, no doubt, remember that the Central Committee's reference to
comrades being dizzy with success and its warning to our comrades in the
districts not to run too far ahead and ignore the real situation were met with
hostility. But this did not restrain the Central Committee from going against
the stream and turning our Party comrades to the right path. Well? It is now
clear to everybody that the Party achieved its aim by turning our Party comrades
to the right path. Now we have tens of thousands of excellent peasant cadres for
collective farm construction and for collective farm leadership. These cadres
were educated and trained on the mistakes of 1930. But we would not have had
these cadres today had not the Party realised its mistakes then, and had it not
rectified them in time.
The other example is taken from the sphere of industrial
construction. I have in mind our mistakes in the period of the Shakhti wrecking.
Our mistakes were that we did not fully appreciate the danger of the technical
backwardness of our cadres in industry, we were reconciled to this backwardness
and thought that we could develop extensive socialist industrial construction
with the aid of specialists who were
hostile to us, dooming our own business cadres to the role of bad commissars
attached to bourgeois specialists. You, no doubt, remember how unwillingly our
business cadres admitted their mistakes at that time, how unwillingly they
admitted their technical backwardness, and how slowly they assimilated the
slogan "master technique." Well? The facts show that the slogan "master
technique" had good effects and produced good results. Now we have tens and
hundreds of thousands of excellent Bolshevik business cadres who have already
mastered technique and are advancing our industry. But we would not have had
these cadres now had the Party yielded to the stubbornness of the business
leaders who would not admit their technical backwardness, had not the Party
realised its mistakes then, and had it not rectified them in time.
Some comrades say that it is inexpedient to talk openly
about our mistakes, as the open admission of our mistakes may be construed by
our enemies as our weakness and may be utilised by them. That is nonsense,
comrades, sheer nonsense. On the contrary, the open admission of our mistakes
and their honest rectification can only strengthen our Party, raise the prestige
of our Party in the eyes of the workers, peasants and working intelligentsia,
increase the strength and might of our state. And that is the main thing. If
only the workers, peasants and working intelligentsia are with us, all the rest
Other comrades say that the open admission of our mistakes
may lead, not to the training and strengthening of our cadres, but to their
becoming weaker and disturbed, that we must spare and take care of
our cadres, that we must spare their self-esteem and peace of mind. And so they
propose that we gloss over the mistakes of our comrades, relax criticism, and
still better, ignore these mistakes. Such a line is not only radically wrong but
extremely dangerous, dangerous first of all for the cadres whom they want to
"spare" and "take care of." To spare and take care of cadres by glossing over
their mistakes means killing these very cadres for certain. We would certainly
have killed our collective farm Bolshevik cadres had we not exposed the mistakes
of 1930, and had we not educated them on these mistakes. We would certainly have
killed our industrial Bolshevik cadres had we not exposed the mistakes of our
comrades in the period of the Shakhti wrecking, and had we not educated our
industrial cadres on these mistakes. Whoever thinks of sparing the self-esteem
of our cadres by glossing over their mistakes is killing the cadres and the
self-esteem of cadres, for by glossing over their mistakes he helps them to make
fresh and perhaps even more serious mistakes, which, we may assume, will lead to
the complete breakdown of the cadres, to the detriment of their "self-esteem"
and "peace of mind."
6) Lenin taught us not only to teach the masses, but
also to learn from the masses.
What does that mean?
It means that we, the leaders, must not get swelled heads,
must not think that because we are members of the Central Committee, or People's
Commissars, we possess all the knowledge necessary to lead properly. Rank alone
does not give knowledge and experience. Still less does title.
It means that our experience alone, the experience of the
leaders, is not sufficient to enable us to lead properly, that, consequently, we
must supplement our experience, the experience of the leaders, with the
experience of the masses, the experience of the Party membership, the experience
of the working class, the experience of the people.
It means that we must not for a moment relax, let alone
sever our ties with the masses.
And finally, it means that we must listen attentively to
the voice of the masses, to the voice of the rank-and-file members of the Party,
to the voice of the so-called "little people," to the voice of the people.
What does leading properly mean?
It does not in the least mean sitting in offices and
Leading properly means:
Firstly, finding the proper solution to a problem; but it
is impossible to find the proper solution to a problem without taking into
account the experience of the masses who feel the results of our leadership an
their own backs;
Secondly, organizing the application of the correct
solution, which, however, cannot be done without the direct assistance of the
Thirdly, organizing the verification of the fulfilment of
this solution, which again cannot be done without the direct assistance of the
We, the leaders, see things, events and people only from
one side, I would say, from above; consequently, our field of vision is more or
less limited. The masses, on the other hand, see things, events
and people from the other side, I would say, from below; consequently, their
field of vision is also to some extent limited. In order to find the proper
solution to a problem these two experiences must be combined. Only then will the
leadership be correct.
This is what not only teaching the masses but also
learning from the masses means.
Two examples to demonstrate the correctness of Lenin's
This happened several years ago. We, the members of the
Central Committee, were discussing the question of improving the situation in
the Donetz Basin. The measures proposed by the People's Commissariat of Heavy
Industry were obviously unsatisfactory. Three times we sent the proposals back
to the People's Commissariat of Heavy Industry. And three times we got different
proposals from the People's Commissariat of Heavy Industry. But even then we
could not regard them as satisfactory. Finally, we decided to call several
workers and lower business and trade union officials from the Donetz Basin. For
three days we discussed matters with these comrades. And all of us members of
the Central Committee had to admit that only these ordinary workers, these
"little people," were able to suggest the proper solution to us. You no doubt
remember the decision of the Central Committee and of the Council of People's
Commissars on measures for increasing coal output in the Donetz Basin. Well,
this decision of the Central Committee and the Council of People's Commissars,
which all our comrades admitted was a correct and even a remarkable one, was
suggested to us by simple people from the ranks.
The other example. I have in mind the case of Comrade
Nikolayenko. Who is Nikolayenko? Nikolayenko is a rank-and-file member of the
Party. She is an ordinary "little person." For a whole year she had been giving
signals that all was not well in the Party organization in Kiev; she exposed the
family spirit, the philistine petty-bourgeois approach to workers, the
suppression of self-criticism, the prevalence of Trotskyite wreckers. But she
was constantly brushed aside as if she were a pestiferous fly. Finally, in order
to get rid of her they expelled her from the Party. Neither the Kiev
organization nor the Central Committee of the C.P. of the Ukraine helped her to
bring the truth to light. The intervention of the Central Committee of the Party
alone helped to unravel the knot. And what transpired after the case was
investigated? It transpired that Nikolayenko was right and the Kiev organization
was wrong. Neither more nor less. And yet, who is Nikolayenko? Of course, she is
not a member of the Central Committee, she is not a People's Commissar, she is
not the secretary of the Kiev Regional Organization, she is not even the
secretary of a Party cell, she is only a simple rank-and-file member of the
As you see, simple people sometimes prove to be much
nearer to the truth than some high institutions.
I could quote scores and hundreds of similar examples.
Thus you see that our experience alone, the experience of the leaders, is far
from enough for the leadership of our cause. In order to lead properly the
experience of the leaders must be supplemented by the experience of the Party
membership, the experience
of the working class, the experience of the toilers, the experience of the
so-called "little people."
But when is it possible to do that?
It is possible to do that only when the leaders are most
closely connected with the masses, when they are connected with the Party
membership, with the working class, with the peasantry, with the working
Connection with the masses, strengthening this connection,
readiness to heed the voice of the masses -- herein lies the strength and
invincibility of Bolshevik leadership.
We may take it as the rule that as long as the Bolsheviks
maintain connection with the broad masses of the people they will be invincible.
And, on the contrary, as soon as the Bolsheviks become severed from the masses
and lose their connection with them, as soon as they become covered with
bureaucratic rust, they will lose all their strength and become a mere squib.
In the mythology of the ancient Greeks there is the
celebrated hero Antaeus who, so the legend goes, was the son of Poseidon, god of
the seas, and Gaea, goddess of the earth. Antaeus was particularly attached to
his mother who gave birth to him, suckled him and reared him. There was not a
hero whom this Antaeus did not vanquish. He was regarded as an invincible hero.
Wherein lay his strength? It lay in the fact that every time he was hard pressed
in the fight against his adversary he touched the earth, his mother, who gave
birth to him and suckled him, and that gave him new strength.
But he had a vulnerable spot -- the danger of being
detached from the earth in some way or other. His enemies took this into account
and watched for it. One day an enemy appeared who took advantage of this
vulnerable spot and vanquished Antaeus. This was Hercules. How did Hercules
vanquish Antaeus? He lifted him off the ground, kept him suspended, prevented
him from touching the ground and throttled him.
I think that the Bolsheviks remind us of the hero of Greek
mythology, Antaeus. They, like Antaeus, are strong because they maintain
connection with their mother, the masses who gave birth to them, suckled them
and reared them And as long as they maintain connection with their mother, with
the people, they have every chance of remaining invincible.
This is the key to the invincibility of Bolshevik
7) Lastly, one more question. I have in mind the
question of the formal and heartlessly bureaucratic attitude of some of our
Party comrades towards the fate of individual members of the Party, to the
question of expelling members from the Party, or the question of reinstating
expelled members of the Party. The point is that some of our Party leaders
suffer from a lack of concern for people, for members of the Party, for workers.
More than that, they do not study members of the Party, do not know what
interests they have, how they are developing; generally, they do not know the
workers. That is why they have no individual approach to Party members and Party
workers. And because they have no individual approach in appraising Party
members and Party workers they
usually act in a haphazard way: either they praise them wholesale, without
measure, or roundly abuse them, also wholesale and without measure, and expel
thousands and tens of thousands of members from the Party. Such leaders
generally try to think in tens of thousands, not caring about "units," about
individual members of the Party, about their fate. They regard the expulsion of
thousands and tens of thousands of people from the Party as a mere trifle and
console themselves with the thought that our Party has two million members and
that the expulsion of tens of thousands cannot in any way affect the Party's
position. But only those who are in fact profoundly anti-Party can have such an
approach to members of the Party.
As a result of this heartless attitude towards people,
towards members of the Party and Party workers, discontent and bitterness is
artificially created among a section of the Party, and the Trotskyite
double-dealers cunningly hook onto such embittered comrades and skilfully drag
them into the bog of Trotskyite wrecking.
Taken by themselves, the Trotskyites never represented a
big force in our Party. Recall the last discussion in our Party in 1927. That
was a real Party referendum. Of a total of 854,000 members of the Party, 730,000
took part in the voting. Of these, 724,000 members of the Party voted for the
Bolsheviks, for the Central Committee of the Party and against the Trotskyites,
while 4,000 members of the Party, i.e., about one-half per cent, voted for the
Trotskyites, and 2,600 members of the Party
abstained from voting. One hundred and twenty-three thousand members of the
Party did not take part in the voting. They did not take part in the voting
either because they were away, or because they were working on night shift. If
to the 4,000 who voted for the Trotskyites we add all those who abstained from
voting on the assumption that they, too, sympathised with the Trotskyites, and
if to this number we add, not half per cent of those who did not take part in
the voting, as we should do by right, but five per cent, i.e., about 6,000 Party
members, we will get about 12,000 Party members who, in one way or another,
sympathised with Trotskyism. This is the whole strength of Messieurs the
Trotskyites. Add to this the fact that many of them became disillusioned with
Trotskyism and left it, and you will get an idea of the insignificance of the
Trotskyite forces. And if in spite of this the Trotskyite wreckers have some
reserves around our Party it is because the wrong policy of some of our comrades
on the question of expelling and reinstating members of the Party, the heartless
attitude of some of our comrades towards the fate of individual members of the
Party and individual workers, artificially creates a number of discontented and
embittered people, and thus creates these reserves for the Trotskyites.
For the most part people are expelled for so-called
passivity. What is passivity? It transpires that if a member of the Party has
not thoroughly mastered the Party program he is regarded as passive and subject
to expulsion. But that is wrong, comrades. You cannot interpret the rules of our
Party in such a
pedantic fashion. In order to thoroughly master the Party program one must be a
real Marxist, a tried and theoretically trained Marxist. I do not know whether
we have many members of our Party who have thoroughly mastered our program, who
have become real Marxists, theoretically trained and tried. If we continued
further along this path we would have to leave only intellectuals and learned
people generally in our Party. Who wants such a Party? We have Lenin's
thoroughly tried and tested formula defining a member of the Party. According to
this formula a member of the Party is one who accepts the program of the Party,
pays membership dues and works in one of its organizations. Please note : Lenin'
s formula does not speak about thoroughly mastering the program, but about
accepting the program. These are two very different things. It is not necessary
to prove that Lenin is right here and not our Party comrades who chatter idly
about thoroughly mastering the program. That should be clear. If the Party had
proceeded from the assumption that only those comrades who have thoroughly
mastered the program and have become theoretically trained Marxists could be
members of the Party it would not have created thousands of Party circles,
hundreds of Party schools where the members of the Party are taught Marxism, and
where they are assisted to master our program. It is quite clear that if our
Party organizes such schools and circles for the members of the Party it is
because it knows that the members of the Party have not yet thoroughly mastered
the Party program, have not yet become theoretically
Consequently, in order to rectify our policy on the question of
Party membership and on expulsion from the Party we must put a stop to the
present blockhead interpretation of the question of passivity.
But there is another error in this sphere. It is that our
comrades recognise no mean between two extremes. It is enough for a worker, a
member of the Party, to commit a slight offence, to come late to a Party meeting
once or twice, or to fail to pay membership dues for some reason or other, to be
kicked out of the Party in a trice. No interest is taken in the degree to which
he is to blame, the reason why he failed to attend a meeting, the reason why he
did not pay membership dues. The bureaucratic approach displayed on these
questions is positively unprecedented. It is not difficult to understand that it
is precisely the result of this heartless policy that excellent, skilled
workers, excellent Stakhanovites, found themselves expelled from the Party. Was
it not possible to caution them before expelling them from the Party, or if that
had no effect, to reprove or reprimand them, and if that had no effect, to put
them on probation for a certain period, or, as an extreme measure, to reduce
them to the position of candidates, but not expel them from the Party at one
stroke? Of course it was. But this calls for concern for people, for the members
of the Party, for the fate of members of the Party. And this is what some of our
It is time, comrades, high time, to put a stop to this
disgraceful state of affairs. (Applause.)