V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on February 21, 1922
Published: First published in 1945 in Lenin Miscellany XXXV. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 480b-481.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Comrade Gorbunov:

Both results are drawn up badly.[1] These people don’t know how to distinguish technology from economics, conclusions from premises.

I propose that you:

1) have both the S.E.C. and the State Planning Commission separately give their conclusion signed by responsible persons, as soon as possible;

2) at once take exploratory measures to enable us to obtain a written and signed conclusion from all the members of the Mikhailov commission one by one, and leaving them the least possibility to make arrangements with each other (it’s up to you to do this cleverly: phone up everyone, find out who is free at what hour, send cyclists to “catch” them, etc.);

3) the conclusion should be drawn up in accordance with the following programme (explanations and notes separately) 

1. Possible extraction worth ... million gold rubles α) now

β) with additional expenditure of ... million gold rubles over a period of ... years
(separately for Kyshtym, Ridder, Ekibastuz, Tanalyk),

2. Shall we manage without the concessionaire (probably) or not? if not, why?

α) due to lack of capital?

β) due to the impossibility of buying and bringing in first-class equipment?

γ) due to the impossibility of employing first-class engineers?

δ) due to the impossibility of buying and bringing in foodstuffs? clothes? workers?
or for any other (which?) reasons?

3. Conclusion: α) shall we accept Urquhart’s terms?

β) modify them? how?

γ) reject them altogether?

You must first manage (swiftly) to catch all the members of the commission separately, and get their written replies to these questions.

Then let me know the results, and after this we shall put pressure on the S.E.C. and the State Planning Commission.[2]



[1] A reference to the conclusions of the I. K. Mikhailov commission on whether to grant a concession to Leslie Urquhart.

[2] The Mikhailov commission had reached the Conclusion that foreign capitalists were to blame for destroying the indicated enterprises, and came out against granting a concession to Urquhart. Replying to Lenin’s questions, the commission emphasised that these enterprises could be restored by the efforts of the Soviet state. See this volume, Document 758.

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