Stalin to Molotov

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  Stalin Letters to Molotov

  Letter 39
[29 July 1929]
Com. Molotov,
For Monday's Politburo meeting

I strongly protest publishing Sten's article in Komsomolskaia pravda (see Komsomolskaia pravda, no. 169), which is similar to Shatskin's article, several days after the Politburo's condemnation of Shatskin's article. 1,2 This is either stupidity on the part of the editors of Komsomolskaia pravda3 or a direct challenge to the Central Committee of the party. To call the subordination of Komsomols (and that means party members as well) to the general party line "careerism," as Sten does, means to call for a review of the general party line, for the undermining of the iron discipline of the party, for the turning of the party into a discussion club. That is precisely how any opposition group has begun its anti-party work. Trotsky began his "work" with this. Zinoviev got his start that way.

Bukharin has chosen this same path for himself. The ShatskinAverbakh-Sten-Lominadze group is embarking on this path, demanding (essentially) the freedom to review the general party line, the freedom to weaken party discipline, the freedom to turn the party into a discussion club. For this the Shatskin-Sten group is trying to turn Komsomolskaia pravda (if it has not already turned it) into its own battle organ. For this it is trying to turn Molodaia gvardiia [Young guard] into its own theoretical journal. For this Komsomolskaia pravda is counterposed to Pravda, and Molodaia gvardiia [is] counterposed to Bolshevik. It is time to call for order and disband this group, which is straying, or has already strayed, from the path of Leninism to the path of petit bourgeois (Trotskyist) radicalism. It is time, because only in this way can these young comrades be corrected and retained for the party.

It is necessary to:
1) Immediately take a close look at the composition of the staffs of Komsomolskaia pravda and Molodaia gvardiia and put at their head comrades who are experienced in the party;4
2) Criticize the ideological vacillations of the Shatskin-Sten Averbakh-Lominadze group;5
3) Show that the Slepkovites6 and the Shatskinites are as similar as two peas in a pod.
I think that the sooner we finish with this affair, the better. To delay would mean hurting the cause and perhaps losing a number of young comrades who could be valuable party workers in the future. To delay would mean allowing a group that has strayed from the path to corrupt young comrades and to go on corrupting our glorious revolutionary youth in the future. That would be completely intolerable.
J. Stalin
29 July 1929

1. Ya. Sten, "Vyshe kommunisticheskoe znamia
MarksizmaLeninizma" (Raise high the banner of MarxismLeninism); L. Shatskin, "Doloi partiinuiu obyvatel'shchinu" (Down with party philistinism), Komsomolskaia pravda (18 June 1929). Shatskin's article was condemned in a resolution of the Politburo on 22 July 1929, and Shatskin himself was relieved of his duties as a member of the editorial collegium of Pravda (RTsKhIDNI f. 17, op. 3, d. 750, l. 5). The Politburo once again returned to this matter on 25 July 1929 and proposed that the editors of Komsomolskaia pravda provide an article clarifying Shatskin's error and that the Komsomol Bureau discuss measures to strengthen the newspaper's editorial staff (ibid., l. 2).
2. According to Stephen Cohen, Sten, Shatskin, and Lominadzewere the best-known members of "a group of radical antiBukharinists sometimes called the 'Young Stalinist Left' [who had been] protégés of Stalin since the early twenties" (Stephen F. Cohen, Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution [New York, 1971], 45960). This letter thus shows Stalin's impatience with signs of independence on the part of his own supportersU.S. Ed.
3. Komsomolskaia pravda was the official newspaper of the Komsomol, the party's youth organizationU.S. Ed.
4. On 15 August 1929, the Politburo approved the new editorial collegium of Komsomolskaia pravda proposed by the Komsomol Bureau. The position of managing editor of the newspaper was eliminated. Those duties were handed to a collegium of three within the editorial staff (ibid., d. 753, l. 4).
5. On 8 August 1929, the Politburo approved a resolution from the Komsomol on Komsomolskaia pravda. The editors of Pravda and Bolshevik were asked to discuss the mistakes in the articles by Sten and Shatskin (ibid., d. 752, l. 3).
6. Stalin is referring to a group of young theoreticians and journalists who shared Bukharin's ideological and theoretical views. A. N. Slepkov was one of the better-known representatives of this group. [Stalin is therefore equating "left" and "right" deviation from his ''general line"U.S. Ed.]

Letter 40
[9 August 1929]
Hello, Com. Molotov, 1
Voroshilov and I have discussed your letter (Sergo has long since left for Nalchik) and have come to the following conclusions.
On England. If Henderson does not provide a new reason, in terms of a concession (which is rather unlikely), it would be better to wait on the question of England until a decisive increase in the grain procurements [has been attained], that is, until the middle or end of October. In middle or late October it will be possible to convene a regular session of the Central Executive Committee, hear the report from the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs, and pass something like the following resolution:
"1) [The Central Executive Committee] approves the course of action adopted by the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs;
2) Considers that there are no grounds for violating the universalprinciple of preliminary establishment of normal diplomatic relations as the necessary legal basis for the ensuing settlement of all disputes, claims, and counter-claims;
3) Assigns the Council of Commissars the task of organizing adelegation to the Anglo-Soviet conference, as soon as ambassadors are exchanged."

I think this is the only decision we can make. To accept Henderson's suggestion would mean entangling ourselves and pushing ourselves into a trap. To accept Henderson's suggestion would mean:
a) discouraging Italy, Germany, France, and the others whorecognized us without preliminary conditions and pushing them toward a break with us;
b) strengthening those elements in America that do not want torecognize us;
c) justifying the way the Conservatives broke with us;
d) helping all the Deterdings and Chamberlains to move the focusof attention from normal economic relations to the question of debts, claims of private persons, and propaganda;

e) tacitly agreeing to pay debts, not only to England, but toGermany, France, and so on because consenting to Henderson's proposal would create a precedent that everyone would definitely latch on to;

f) facilitating the creation of a united anti-Soviet front.

Worse than all this, even if we were to agree to Henderson's proposal, we would not achieve the restoration of relations because we would still not come to an agreement on the disputed matters, since [Prime Minister] MacDonald apparently wants to diverge dramatically from the agreement of 1924 2 and impose completely unacceptable terms on us.

Now Henderson and MacDonald are exactly where we want them because we can accuse them of being more bourgeois than the fascists in Italy, than the capitalists in France and Germany who recognized us without any preliminary conditions. But (if we accept Henderson's proposal) we will be exactly where they want us, because they will accuse us of not valuing the cause of peace and thus not making concessions on the disputed matters, and then they will say that they don't believe it is possible to recognize the

To accept Henderson's conditions means to get into a trap our enemies have set for us.
The proposed draft resolution of the Central Executive Committee is in my view the only acceptable answer to the fraud of the bourgeoisie and its lackeys from the "Labour government."

Regarding Bukharin (publication of the Comintern resolutions, etc.), we are in full agreement with you.3
Rakovskii should be sent to an even more remote place so that he can't lie anymore about the Bolsheviks in the press.4
I consider both of Bukharin's letters to be underhanded. This Kadet5 professor apparently doesn't understand that you can't fool Bolsheviks with such fraudulent letters. He is a typical Kadet lawyer.

The business of Komsomolskaia pravda came out quite well.
That's it for now.

1. Above the text of the letter is a notation: "Read it. A. Mikoian, J.Rudzutak, Yaroslavskii, Kaganovich."
2. A general agreement between the USSR and Great Britain on 8 August 1924 (Dokumenty uneshnei politiki SSSR [Documents of USSR foreign policy], vol. 7 [Moscow, 1963], 60924).
3. In a resolution entitled "On Com. Bukharin," the X plenum of the Comintern Executive Committee (319 July 1929) approved the Central Committee's April decision to remove Bukharin from the work of the Communist International.
4. Rakovskii was expelled from the party in 1927. While in exile, he wrote a number of articles for Biulleten' oppozitsii (Bulletin of the opposition), which was published abroad by Trotsky. After Stalin's letter, Rakovskii was transferred from the lower Volga region to Barnaul [Barnaul is in western Siberia, south of NovosibirskU.S. Ed.].
5. The Kadets, or Constitutional Democrats, were the leading liberal party in the decade before the revolution U.S. Ed.

Letter 41
[10 August 1929]
Hello, Com. Molotov,
I read the Central Committee's decree on grain procurements. 1 Despite all its merits, I think it is completely inadequate. The main problem with grain procurements at present is 1) the presence of a large number of urban speculators at or near the grain market who take the peasants' grain away from the government and the main thing create a wait-and-see attitude among the grain holders; 2) competition between procurement organizations, which creates the opportunity for grain holders to be obstinate and not give up the grain (while waiting for higher prices), to hide the grain, to take their time turning over the grain; 3) the desire of a whole number of collective farms to hide grain surpluses and sell grain on the side. The presence of these factors which will grow worse if we don't take emergency measures nowprevents our procurements from increasing (and will continue to do this). Measures ought to be taken now against this evil if we really are thinking of finishing up the procurements in January or February and coming out of the campaign as victors. The Central Committee decree should have said this first of all. But the decree skirts this issue or, if it does address it, mentions it in passing, and what is said in this regard is lost in the endless number of other (secondary) points, liberally sprinkled through the whole six-foot-long decree. I'm afraid that, because of the way this is being handled, we will not collect enough grain.
My advice:
1) give a directive immediately to the [local] GPUs to immediately start punitive measures regarding urban (and urban-related) speculators in grain products (that is, arrest them and deport them from grain regions) in order to make the grain holders feel right now (at the beginning of the grain procurement campaign) that little can be gained from speculation, that the grain can be given without trouble (and without loss) only to state and cooperative organizations;

2) give a directive immediately to the directors of the cooperatives, Soiuzkhleb [state grain purchasing agency], OGPU, and the judicial agencies to expose and immediately hand over to the courts (with immediate dismissal from their posts) all those procurement officials caught [trying to obtain grain by competing with other state agencies], as indisputably alien and Nepman elements (I don't exclude "Communists") who have burrowed into our organizations like thieves and have maliciously helped to wreck the cause of the workers' state;
3) establish surveillance of collective farms (through the CollectiveFarm Center, the party organizations, the OGPU) so that those directors of collective farms caught holding back grain surpluses or selling them on the side will be immediately dismissed from their posts and tried for defrauding the state and for wrecking.

I think that without these and similar measures, we will fail in our job.

Otherwise we will get only speeches and no concrete measures to help grain procurement.
Please show this letter to Mikoian.

I hope there won't be any disagreements among us on this.
I forgot to reply in the first letter to the question of the
"uninterrupted week." It goes without saying that this idea should be promoted, brushing aside the objections of Uglanov and other whiners. 2 This will be one of the greatest achievements of our production policy and practice.
That's it for now.

J. Stalin 10 August 1929 I agree wholly.


1. Stalin was referring to the draft of the decree "On grain procurement," which was approved in final form by the Politburo on 15 August 1929 and which incorporated all of Stalin's comments. The decree ran as follows (RTsKhIDNI f. 17, op. 3, d. 753, l. 3):
In order to fulfill completely the annual plan of grain procurements for January-February and to maintain a firm price policy, the Politburo decrees:

a) To direct the OGPU to implement decisive punitive measures

regarding urban and urban-related profiteers of grain products. b) To oblige Tsentrosoiuz, Khlebotsentr, and Soiuzkhleb [state grain purchasing agencies] to resolutely direct all their offices to immediately remove all purchasing officials caught engaging in price competition, not excepting Communists, for maliciously harming the cause of the workers' state. To instruct the OGPU and judicial bodies to issue through their channels a directive on combating competition of this kind.

To propose that the Commissariat of Transport and the leadership of the unions of rail and water transport workers,

along with the Commissariat of Trade, take additional measures to curb grain profiteering.

c) To propose that the Collective Farm Center maintainsurveillance over collective farms: those directors who have been caught holding back surplus grain or selling it on the side should be immediately removed from office and tried for defrauding the government and for sabotage. Have the Commissariat of Trade, the OGPU, and party organizations ensure the implementation of this decree.
d) To send this decree to all party organizations in the regions with grain surpluses.

2. The uninterrupted workweek (with a system of revolving days off) was intended to increase the use of equipment. But the nepreryvka [the idiomatic noun formed from the adjective nepreryvnaia, "uninterrupted"] had many negative aspects that were discussed in a speech made on 22 July 1929 at a meeting of the Commissariat of Labor chaired by Commissar N. A. Uglanov. On the following day, Uglanov sent a report to the Council of Commissars stating that "to pass a resolution at the present time concerning an overall or even partial transition to the uninterrupted week would be impossible." On 22 August 1929, the Politburo approved the draft of a Council of Commissars resolution on the transition to the uninterrupted workweek (ibid., d. 754, l. 2).

Letter 42
[21 August 1929]
Hello, Com. Molotov, 1

1) On England. Litvinov is wrong. Litvinov doesn't want tounderstand that Henderson has replaced the question of procedure with the question of a settlement (and not simply negotiations) of disputed (all!) questions. To accept this would mean losing our diplomatic gains, arming our enemies, and driving ourselves into a dead end. Whatever conversations Dovgalevskii might have after Henderson's declaration and the reply from Foreign Affairs,2 they (the conversations) would be portrayed as negotiations on the substance of the matter, and we would end up in the most ridiculous position. I think that the transfer of the issue from the presidium to the full Central Executive Committee is not necessary, because if Henderson backs away from his position, the issue can be covered in the presidium, and if he doesn't, we can resolve the issue in the Central Executive Committee session itself (bypassing the presidium), tacitly proceeding from the premise that "plenum of the presidium" means a Central Executive Committee session. It would seem then that your question about "emphasizing the transfer of the issue from the presidium to the Central Executive Committee" no longer arises.

2) On Azerbaidzhan.3 Gikalo must be supported in everything, because he is right fundamentally (he has retained anyone more or less capable of work from among the old cadre of the local officials). Artak and Shatunovskaia view Mirzoian's removal by the Central Committee as a victory for them, just as Shatskin views the party's victory over the rightists as his personal victory over the Slepkovites. This is all nonsense and stupidity. Both Shatunovskaia and Artak should be sent back to Moscow to the Communist Academy4 (to which they had previously been assigned and from which they have now returned to Baku "by decision of the Baku party activists"). Nothing good can be expected from them in Baku. What can be expected from them is obvious from Krasnyi's stupid article in Komsomolskaia pravda about Baku 5 (once again Komsomolskaia pravda is sticking its nose in other people's business!). Both Buniat-zade and the chairman of the Azerbaidzhan Council of Commissars must be kept.6 (As officials, all the Shatunovskiis and Artaks put together aren't worth one Buniat-zade.)7 Bagirov (despite his past sins)8 will have to be confirmed as chairman of the Cheka in Azerbaidzhan: he is now the only person who can cope with the Musavatists9 and Ittikhadists10 who have reared their heads in the Azerbaidzhan countryside. This is serious business and there should be no fooling around. It is too bad (really too bad) about Kasumov. He was one of the best officials, capable of becoming a major official in the future. Please do not settle the matter of sending him somewhere without my involvement.11

3) On the Transcaucasian Regional Committee. TheTranscaucasian Committee is not providing leadership to the national central committees [of the individual republics]. It is incapable of leading them. It must be fundamentally purged and renewed. This is a complex matter. It will have to be postponed until the fall.12

4) I. N. Smirnov's "statement" is trash. These gentlemen shouldn'tbe given any concessionsall they want to do is to escape from Art.
5813 and then base themselves in Moscow for their wreckerist "work."14

5) You're right when you say that Bukharin is going downhill. It'ssad, but a fact. What can you say?it must be "fate." It's strange, though, that he hopes to trick the party with petty underhanded "maneuvers." He is a typical representative of the spineless, effete intelligent in politics, leaning in the direction of a Kadet lawyer.15 The hell with him . . .

6) The Politburo has adopted my proposals concerning grainprocurement. This is good, but in my opinion, it is inadequate. Now the problem is fulfilling the Politburo's decision. There is no need to insist that all procurement organizations (especially in Ukraine) will evade this decision. Furthermore, I'm afraid that the local GPU will not learn about the Politburo's decision, and it (the decision) will get bogged down in the "bowels" of the OGPU. Therefore, it is necessary to demand the following from procurement organizations, the OGPU, the Collective Farm Center, and so forth:

a) copies of their instructions to subordinate organs concerning the fulfillment of the Politburo's decision; b) regular reports every two weeks (even better, once a week) about the results of the fulfillment of the decisions. The Worker-Peasant Inspection and the Central Control Commission should be involved in this as well. I don't know how you regard this matter and the outlook for grain procurement (Mikoian probably thinks that since the decision has been reached, he now has 130 million poods of an untouchable reserve sitting in the grain elevators). But I think that our grain procurements are still poor. Judge for yourself: For the first ten days of August we fulfilled only 15 percent of the plan. Let us say that for the remaining two ten-day periods we will fulfill not 15 percent but 20 percent of the plan; this is still not what we need now. I'm afraid that this poor pace will become the standard for future procurements. And grain procurement this year will provide the basis for everything we're doingif we foul up here, everything will be wiped out. And the danger of a foul-up will grow if we don't insist that the Central Committee's decision be fulfilled with unrelenting firmness and ruthlessness. 16

7) Pay serious attention to the oil business in the Urals. It turns out they decided to place only ten derricks per year. The derrick equipment is largely percussive rather than rotary, so the drilling will be murderously slow. That means that the Supreme Economic Council and the "chiefs" of oil extraction agencies (Uralneft, Azneft and Grozneft)are treating the extraction of oil in the Urals approximately as Nobel treated Ukhta.17 This is a monstrosity and a crime. I think we must a) organize now a special trust, "Uralneft," freeing the Urals from its "chiefs'' who are prepared to delay the extraction of oil there; b) put at the head of Uralneft an experienced Communist/oilman, after kicking out the wrecker Dobrynskii from the Urals (I think his name is Dobrynskii), who is the current "chief" of Grozneft ("what's god for you is no good for us"); c) oblige the Supreme Economic Council to erect between forty and eighty rotary derricks this very year. Without these and similar measures, the business will run into obstacles (or even perish), and we won't have any real new prospecting in the Urals.18 Well, that's it for now.
J. Stalin

P.S. On the Cotton Committee. I have received information that members of the Cotton Committee as well as Gosplan workers (especially the Cotton Committee) don't believe in the correctness of the Politburo decisions regarding the increase in the cotton production five-year plan19 and want to defeat it in practice in order to show they are right. If that's true (I think there's a good likelihood that it is), it must be acknowledged that such an "idea" from the Cotton Committee members is the most vile form of wrecking and deserves the harshest punishment. In general, I don't think that Mamaev has long to live as head of the Cotton
Committee.20 It's possible that he will be able to free himself from the old traditional routines of the Cotton Committee, but I think it's unlikely. Therefore it is entirely correct that the Central Committee has begun to think now about providing the Main Cotton
Committee with new, outstanding workers. I suppose Fushman will be good for this. Kharitonov would perhaps do, if he is capable of honest work. Shadunts would be very good, but Sergo adamantly objects. Therefore it would be better to give Reingold to the Cotton Committee instead of Shadunts. In place of Fushman and
Kharitonov, other officials of equal value should be given to the
Worker-Peasant Inspection.21
J. Stalin
21 August 1929

1. In the upper left-hand corner is Mikoian's notation: "I've read it.
A. M."
2. The Commissariat of Foreign Affairs' statement on the course ofthe negotiations to restore diplomatic relations between the USSR and Great Britain was published in the Soviet press on 2 August 1929 (Dokumenty vneshnei politiki SSSR [Documents of USSR foreign policy], vol. 12 [Moscow, 1967], 42930).
3. The reference is to the struggle within the leadership of the
Azerbaidzhan Communist Party. On 1 July 1929, the issue "On the Baku Affair" was reviewed at the Politburo and the following was decided (RTsKhIDNI f. 17, op. 3, d. 747, l. 4):
b) Relieve Com. Mirzoian from his duties as secretary of the Azerbaidzhan party, recall him immediately to the Central Committee. Acknowledge the necessity of replacing the top officials of the GPU and Central Control Commission of Azerbaidzhan, after proposing that the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission of Azerbaidzhan nominate new candidates for the posts of chairmen of the Central Control Commission and the GPU of Azerbaidzhan and submit them for confirmation to the All-Union Central Committee. Recommend Com. Gikalo for the post of first secretary of the Azerbaidzhan party.
On 14 August 1929, Gikalo sent a telegram to the Central Committee that was discussed at the Politburo on the following day. The resolution acknowledged "that Com. Gikalo's line, especially with regard to keeping the best Turkic cadres, is correct" (ibid., l. 4).
On 26 September 1929, the Politburo approved the draft of directives to implement the Central Committee's decree regarding the Azerbaidzhan Central Committee report. The directives were based on Stalin's instructions as presented in the current letter (ibid., d. 759, l. 9):
At the same time that new cadres are being promoted, it is necessary to preserve in every way possible the old cadres who have passed through the Bolshevist schoolthe Turkic officials, among others. . . . Special attention must be paid to stepping up the struggle with the counter-revolutionary parties of Musavatists and Ittikhadists who are reviving their activities.
4. Beginning in October 1929, Artak attended government courseson Marxism-Leninism and Shatunovskaia was a student in similar courses run by the party.
5. B. Krasnyi's article "Partiinye 'vospitateli' bakinskogokomsomola" (The party "educators" of the Baku Komsomol) was published in Komsomolskaia pravda on 21 August 1929. He discussed the participation of the Azerbaidzhan Komsomol leadership in the conflicts with the Transcaucasian Party Organization.
6. On 16 September 1929, the Politburo resolved: "Not to carry outthe changes in the Azerbaidzhan Council of Commissars (chairman, Com. Musabekov; deputy chairman, Com. Buniatzade)" (ibid., d. 758, l. 6).
7. On 30 January 1930, the Politburo approved the TranscaucasianRegional Committee's motion to nominate Buniat-zade to the post of chairman of the Azerbaidzhan Council of Commissars and Musabekov to the post of chairman of the Azerbaidzhan Central Executive Committee (ibid., d. 775, l. 11).
8. On 24 September 1929, at a meeting of the Central ControlCommission, the question of the leaders of the Azerbaidzhan Party Organization was considered. The resolution on Bagirov ran as follows: "Inform Com. Bagirov that in 1924, as chairman of the GPU, he did not take measures against the intolerable methods of the GPU, and warn him that as chairman of the Azerbaidzhan GPU he will bear full responsibility if such incidents reoccur in the GPU apparat" (ibid., f. 613, op. 1, d. 90, l. 47).
9. Musavat [Equality], a bourgeois-national party in Azerbaidzhanfrom 1911 to 1920. With the support of Turkey and later of Great
Britain, this party remained in power in Azerbaidzhan from September 1918 until April 1920. After Soviet rule was established, it ceased to exist.
10. Ittikhadists, members of the Turkish nationalist party Ittikhadve terakki [Unification and progress] that was founded in 1899 and operated until 1926.
11. On 4 July 1929, the Central Control Commission's committeeon the purging and checking of the Agdam City District of Karabakh Region removed Kasumov Mir Bashir from executive work
for two years and reprimanded him for committing "a number of crude political mistakes." The Central Control Commission amended the text of this committee's decision on 18 July and decreed that Kasumov should be "reprimanded for committing a number of mistakes that led to the distortion of the class line at the lower rungs of the soviet apparat" (ibid., f. 124, op. 1, d. 839, l. 38).

12. On 30 October 1929, the Politburo confirmed the Central Committee's directive on the future work of the Transcaucasian Regional Committee, which emphasized the need to improve the leadership exercised over the central committees of the republican Communist parties (ibid., f. 17, op. 3, d. 765, ll. 6, 16, 17).

Personnel transfers were also made. On 5 January 1930, the Politburo confirmed the new composition of the presidium and secretariat of the Transcaucasian Regional Committee (ibid., d. 771, l. 11).

13. Article 58 was the all-purpose section of the criminal codeunder which political arrests were made. See Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 3 vols. (New York, 197378), 1:6067U.S. Ed.

14. In 1929, after Trotsky was exiled abroad and Stalinist policymoved clearly to the left, many supporters of Trotsky in exile recanted and asked to be reinstated into the party. Among them were I. N. Smirnov and V. A. Ter-Vaganian. From July to the end of October 1929, the Smirnov group prepared several versions of its statement. In the first version, while recognizing their mistakes, they also criticized Stalin's policy and demanded that Trotsky be returned to the country. Gradually, they backed down and wrote a statement acceptable to Stalin. On 30 October 1929, the Politburo ruled: "Consider the statement of I. N. Smirnov acceptable" (RTsKhIDNI f. 17, op. 3, d. 765, l. 5).

The statement was published in Pravda on 3 November 1929. Previously, on 25 October, the Politburo had passed the following resolution (ibid., d. 764, l. 6):

Regarding those former Trotskyists against whom administrative measures were taken: the OGPU must terminate the administrative measures against those who openly declare their break with the opposition and [their desire for] the cessation of factional fighting and who acknowledge the general line of the party and the decisions of the party as correct (although their statements are not sufficient for acceptance into the party); as for the former Trotskyists, who remain active, the GPU must ameliorate the administrative measures applied to them, restricting them to semi-exile and designating places where residence is prohibited them.

15. The Kadets, or Constitutional Democrats, were the leadingliberal party in the decade before the revolutionU.S. Ed.
16. All of Stalin's directives were incorporated in the Politburo'sdecree "On the course of grain procurements and implementation of Politburo directives," 29 August 1929. The resolution ran as follows (ibid., d. 755, ll. 34):

a) The Politburo notes the slowness of fulfillment, and in some cases the virtual nonfulfillment, of Central Committee directives on the need to increase grain procurements and combat grain profiteering, to increase competition among grain purchasers, and to combat cases of state farms and collective farms withholding their grain and selling it on the side. b) The Politburo notes the weak course of procurement throughout the middle and lower Volga, throughout the North Caucasus, and also throughout Siberia and Kazakhstan. c) Coms. Molotov and Mikoian are assigned to draft Politburo directives to local party organizations on implementing Central Committee directives, on systematically checking up on fulfillment, and on informing the Central Committee concerning the measures taken. The draft directives should be put to a voice vote and sent out in the name of the Politburo. d) In the near future, information from the Commissariat of Trade on the course of the grain procurements and the implementation of the Central Committee's directives should be on the agenda of each Politburo meeting, with a summoning of leaders of the main procurement organizations and the OGPU. e) In order to check up on the fulfillment of the Central Committee's directives and to help local organizations improve grain procurement, send Com. Mikoian to the Volga and North Caucasus for a period of two weeks and send Com. Eismont to Kazakhstan. For the same purpose, mobilize Coms. Badaev, Kiselev, Antselovich, and Leonov. . . . f) Propose that OGPU guarantee the implementation of the Politburo's directives concerning resolute punitive measures against urban and urban-related grain speculators and report to the Politburo on the measures taken within a week.

17. Uralneft, Azneft, and Grozneft were agencies in charge of oilextraction in the Urals, Azerbaidzhan, and Groznyi (a town in the North Caucasus), respectively. Ukhta is a town in northern RussiaU.S. Ed.

18. On 5 September 1929, the Politburo passed a resolution "OnUralneft" (ibid., d. 756, l. 5):
a) to assign the Labor Defense Council and Gosplan: 1) to ensure that the target figures for 19291930 guarantee a pace of development for Uralneft that will provide an opportunity to erect fifty derricks, as well as to establish the most modern methods of oil extraction suitable for the soil, and to increase the size of construction projects correspondinglyapproximately 15 million rubles; 2) to guarantee the necessary imports for Uralneft in the import plan for 19291930; 3) to incorporate in the target figures of the Commissariat of Transport all measures necessary to increase Uralneft's shipments by the main rail lines and to build underground pipelines in the area of the oil wells; b) to appoint Com. K. Rumiantsev chairman of the Uralneft trust.

19. The Central Committee's decree of 18 July 1929, "On the Workof Chief Administration of the Cotton Industry," stipulated a sharp increase in the recently approved five-year plan to develop cotton production. The original five-year plan called for a yield of 590,400 tons of cotton by 1932, but the new Central Committee decree demanded an increased yield of 787,200 tons (Spravochnik partiinogo rabotnika [Party worker reference manual], issue 7, chap. 11 [Moscow, 1930], 22632).

20. Mamaev was dismissed from his position at the Chief Administration of the Cotton Industry on 30 November 1929 and was appointed deputy director of the board of Amtorg (American Trading Corporation) (RTsKhIDNI f. 17, op. 3, d. 767, l. 8).

21. On 23 August 1929, the Central Committee Secretariatreviewed the request of the Central Asian party bureau and the Main Cotton Committee for the assignment of certain officials, including Kharitonov, Shadunts, and Reingold, to work in the cotton-producing regions. The Secretariat approved only Reingold and released him from his duties at Gosplan (ibid., op. 113, d. 768, l. 18).

Letter 43
[23 August 1929]
23 August 1929
Hello, Com. Molotov,

1) Pay particular attention to the construction of new iron and steel works. I mean Telbes, Magnitogorsk, and so on. According to the figures, the situation is poor in this area. Lokatskov (I think that's his name) is the head of Main Ferrous Metals. His experience is in the Ural Mountains area, that is, with the old routines, because the methods of iron and steel production in the Urals (ferrous metals, blast furnaces, etc.) are really ancient. American and German specialists are either absent or brought in merely for show in the smallest numbers possible. Meanwhile, there is no greater need for foreign technical assistance than in this complex business. You should shake up Kuibyshev and Lokatskov and demand from them (at the beginning, and then we'll see) written reports on the status of this area, the type and amount of technical assistance, 1 and so on. Why, for example, couldn't we bring in Austin and Co. or some other firm on a contract basis to build the new plans? Etc., etc.

2) I read the Comintern's resolution on Bukharin. It didn't turn outtoo badly. I think the publication was a little late.

3) I just read Bystrianskii's report on his talk with Bukharin. 2 Just as I thought, Bukharin has slid into the swamp of opportunism and must now resort to gossip, forgery, and blackmail: he doesn't have any other arguments left. Talk of "documents" and "land nationalization" etc. is the fraud of a petty lawyer who has gone bankrupt in his ''practice." If his disagreements with the present Central Committee are explainable in terms of Stalin's "personality," then how does one explain his disagreements with the Central Committee when Lenin lived? Lenin's "personality"? But why does he praise Lenin so much now, after his death? Isn't it for the same reason that all renegades like Trotsky praise Lenin (after his death!)? Our lawyer has completely tied himself in knots.

4) I read Shatskin's letter. It's a cowardly and dishonest letter.Shatskin will continue his "business."3

5) What if Krinitskii were to be made second secretary of the Transcaucasian Regional Committee (after first purging the
Transcaucasian Committee of its old ballast), while leaving Orakhelashvili as first secretary (Krinitskii will find it difficult without him because he doesn't know a single local language)? Then we'll see.4
Well, bye for now.
J. Stalin

P.S. When does Rykov arrive?5
1. The question of consulting foreign experts on iron productionwas reviewed more than once at the Politburo after Stalin's letter. On 10 January 1930, the Politburo approved a decree drafted by Rykov, "On the use of foreign technical assistance in iron and steel works" (RTsKhIDNI f. 17, op. 3, d. 772, ll. 11, 1517).
2. The reference is probably to a routine denunciation of Bukharin.No documents related to this matter have been discovered.
3. The reference is to L. Shatskin's letter to the Central Committeedated 17 August 1929, where he protested charges made against him in a Komsomol decree and a Pravda editorial regarding his article "Down with Party Philistinism" (ibid., d. 754, ll. 1014). On 22 August 1929, the Politburo approved the Komsomol's resolution condemning Shatskin's "opportunistic" views (ibid., ll. 3, 15).
4. On 30 October 1929, the Politburo fulfilled Orakhelashvili'srequest to relieve him of his duties as secretary of the Transcaucasian Regional Committee and created a five-person secretariat that included A. I. Krinitskii (ibid., d. 765, l. 17). On 5 January 1930, the Politburo confirmed Krinitskii as secretary of the Transcaucasian Regional Committee (ibid., d. 771, l. 11).
5. By a Politburo resolution of 16 May 1929, Rykov was granted athree-month leave (ibid., d. 740, l. 9).

Letter 44
[29 August 1929]
Hello, Com. Molotov,
Received your letter of 27 August.

1) Regarding England. Our position is entirely correct. ThePolitburo's decision on Litvinov's proposal was correct. 1 The point is not only to achieve recognition without getting lost along the way. The point is that our position, based on the exposure of the "Labour government," is an appeal to the best elements of the working class of the whole world; our position unleashes the proletariat's revolutionary criticism of the "Labour government" and helps the cause of the revolutionary education of workers of all nations (England above all). It helps the Communists of the world educate the workers in the spirit of antireformism. It's a crime not to use a "God-given" occasion for this purpose; Litvinov does not see and is not interested in [the revolutionary aspect of policy]. But the Politburo should take all this into account.

2) On China. The same has to be said about China. The point is not only or not even mainly how to resolve this or that "conflict." The point is really to use our tough position to unmask completely and to undermine the authority of Chiang Kai-shek's government, a government of lackeys of imperialism, for attempting to become the model of "national government" for the colonial and dependent countries. There can be no doubt that each clash between Chiang Kai-shek's government and the Soviet government, just as each concession Chiang Kai-shek makes to us (and he is already starting to make concessions), is a blow against Chiang Kai-shek and exposes Chiang Kai-shek's government as a government of lackeys of imperialism and makes it easier to carry out the revolutionary education of the workers in colonial countries (and the Chinese workers above all). Litvinov and Karakhan (and they are not the only ones) don't see that. So much the worse for them.

3) Generally I would have to say that in taking a tough positionwith regard to the "Labour government" and Chiang Kai-shek's government, we are exposing (and have already exposed) a number of extremely interesting behind-the-scenes connections that make obvious (even to the blind) the direct dependence of these supposedly "popular" governments on the most reactionary forces of "their own" ("national'') and international imperialism. This is a very important and necessary revolutionary task, which will, at the same time, raise the prestige of the Soviet government in the eyes of the workers of all countries (and above all in the eyes of the working class of the USSR). It is a crime against the USSR not to take this factor into account.

4) The campaign against petit bourgeois radicalism (Shatskin andCo.) went well.

5) Also the campaign went well against Bukharin, as the ideologueof the rightists, etc. The article in Pravda about Bukharin is superior.2

6) Regarding Mirzoian, I agree with you.3

7) It would be good to appoint Rumiantsev from Baku to headUralneft [oil extraction agency in the Urals]. He knows the business well and would push things forward. 4

8) I already sent [via] Mikoian (in reply to his letter) a lettercongratulating the Politburo on its success in smashing the nest of Gromans, Vinogradskiis, and other such bourgeois politicians ensconced in Gosplan, the Central Statistical Administration, and so on. Hound them out of Moscow and put in their place young fellows, our people. Communists.5

9) The grain procurements have gone well. Stick to a firm policyregarding Siberia, Kazakhstan, Bashkiria. No concessions to Eikhe and other comrades wishing to shirk difficult responsibilities. We must and can accumulate 100 million poods of emergency reserves, if we are really Bolsheviks and not just full of hot air. If absolutely necessary, we could knock off 57 million, but no more, and only under the condition that it be made up in other regions. If we can beat this grain thing, then we'll prevail in everything, both in domestic and foreign policies.

10) I am beginning to recuperate in Sochi after my illness in Nalchik.

Well, that's it for now. Regards.

J. Stalin

P.S. Just received the text of the reply (ours) to the Chinese note.6 Obviously you have lost your nerve somewhat and let the Chinese put one over on you. And this is at a time when victory was assured. What the Chinese want, that is, the removal of Yemshanov and Eismont, ended up in the declaration, implying that we and not the Chinese are to blame. And what we want, that is, the removal of the TAIPANan indication that we (and not the Chinese) are rightdid not get into the declaration (you restricted yourself only to an "oral report" of this to Dirkesen)! Thus we are supposed to sign a paper (a declaration) saying we're wrong and the Chinese are right in spite of the obvious facts of the case! That means giving the defeated enemy the fruits of our victory. I see here the "wisdom" of Litvinov and Bukharin. And what if the Chinese don't agree to removing the taipan after such a declaration (signed by us)? After all, they have the right not to agree to it, since in the declaration we signed there is nothing said about appointing a new taipan. What do you intend to do then? Only one thing to do: swallow the bitter pill. It's too bad, really too bad.
J. Stalin

1. On 22 and 26 August 1929, Litvinov's proposal concerningEngland was discussed at the Politburo and the decision was sent to the Special File.
2. In the article, "Ob obshibkakh i uklone T. Bukharina" (On themistakes and deviation of Com. Bukharin; Pravda, 24 August 1929), Bukharin was accused of being the "chief leader and inspirer of the deviationists."
3. On 30 September 1929, the Politburo decided to assign Mirzoianto party work in the Urals (ibid., d. 761, l. 51).
4. The Politburo accepted Stalin's proposal on 5 September 1929:
Rumiantsev was appointed chairman of the Uralneft trust (ibid., d. 756, l. 5).
5. At a Politburo session on 22 August 1929, the question of theCentral Statistical Administration and its Advisory Council was reviewed. The personnel of the Advisory Council had to be changed radically and the top positions of the Central Statistical Administration had to be reinforced with party members (ibid., d. 754, l. 3). In December 1929, the Central Statistical Administration was transferred to Gosplan (ibid., d. 769, l. 2). The new personnel of the Gosplan presidium and its statistical sector were confirmed at a Politburo session on 25 December 1929 (ibid., d. 770, l. 4).
6. The report of the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs concerningthe draft Soviet-Chinese declaration about settling the Chinese Eastern Railway conflict was published in the Soviet press on 31
August 1929 (Dokumenty vneshnei politiki SSSR [Documents of
USSR foreign policy], vol. 12 [Moscow, 1967], 48183). On 6 January 1930, the Politburo reappointed Yemshanov vice-chairman of the board of the Chinese Eastern Railway (RTsKhIDNI f. 17, op.
3, d. 771, l. 8).