V. I. Lenin

The Third Congress of the R.S.D.L.P.

APRIL 12–27 (APRIL 25–MAY 10), 1905




APRIL 21 (MAY 4)


Comrade Kitayev’s proposal is more practical, for under it the convocation of an emergency congress demands a quorum equal to one-half of the number of votes at the preceding congress.


On the contrary, things are facilitated by the establishment of the specified number required to convene a congress. The required number of votes is established after each congress. One addition only is necessary, and that is a note under which the list of committees confirmed by the C.C. shall be published in the C.O.


The list of newly confirmed organisations shall be published immediately in the Party C.O., with a statement of the time of their confirmation by the C.C.


I am in favour of the initial wording of § 6 carried Vperyod,{2} as otherwise there is an irregularity.



I agree with the opinion of Comrade Petrov and the others. Comrade Belsky’s proposal should be inserted in the note.{3}


In the interests of the C.O. I must come out in favour of Comrade Kitayev’s amendment. With the newspaper issued weekly, there is need to be informed of developments and have sufficient quantities of material.{4}


I favour unanimous co-optation.{5} The C.C. is not big, and for the sake of positive effort and political direction, we must ensure that its members are like-minded.


I agree with Comrade Kuznetsov: § 13 should be deleted from the Rules and the corresponding resolution tabled by Comrade Belsky in the Bureau adopted.{6}

Trety ocherednoi syezd R.S.D.R P. Polny tekst protokolov, Central Committee publication, Geneva, 1905
Printed from the text of the book


{1} During the debate, on the draft Party Rules, the Congress substantially reworked the Party’s organisational principles, chiefly on three main questions: 1) amendment of § 1 of the Rules; 2) precise definition of the powers of the Central Committee and an extension of the autonomy of local committees; 3) establishment of a single centre. The Congress adopted § 1 as worded by Lenin. By a   majority, the Congress abandoned the dual centre arrangement, in the form of the C.C. and the C.O., which the Second Congress had set up. One centre—the Central Committee—was retained. The Third Congress devoted a great deal of attention to the demarcation of the powers of the Central Committee and those of the local committees, and to the relations between the committees and the periphery, which was granted more powers. By a majority, the Congress decided to expunge § 8 from the draft Rules and adopt a special resolution on the question. Lenin voted for retaining § 8 in the Rules. The nineteenth sitting on April 22 (May 5) adopted a resolution motioned by V. V. Vorovsky (Orlovsky) on the duty of the centres to inform the periphery about Party affairs and to reckon with their voice, the resolution which replaced § 8 of the Rules (see Trety syezd R.S.D.R.P., pp. 325, 327–28).

To prevent the committees from abusing their autonomy, and to make it possible to replace the committees which do not justify themselves, § 9 of the new Rules said: “A local committee. must be dissolved by the C.C. if two-thirds of the C.C. and two-thirds of the local workers belonging to the Party organisations declare for such dissolution”. For two of Lenin’s speeches during the debate on the Party Rules on April 21 (May 4) see present edition, Vol. 8, pp. 413–15. p. 158

{2} § 6 of the draft Rules published in No. 13 of Vperyod on April 5 (March 23), 1905, said: “All organisations within the Party shall autonomously manage all matters relating specially and exclusively to that sphere of Party activity for the dealing with which they have been set up.” The Third Congress adopted § 6 in a different wording (see Trety syezd R.S.D.R.P., p. 461). p. 158

{3} Under § 7 of the draft Party Rules, every Party organisation with the right of vote at the Congress had the right to publish Party literature at its own expense and on its own behalf. O. A. Kvitkin (Petrov) came out for § 7 with the amendment of A. A. Bogdanov (Maximov) to the effect that “all periodical Party publications shall publish all the C.C. statements at its request”.

P. A. Krasikov (Belsky) proposed that permission to publish Party literature should be given only when the practical slogans contained in it were in complete accord with the decisions of inter national Social-Democratic congresses and Party congresses. § 7 of the Party Rules was adopted in the wording proposed by D. S. Postolovsky (Mikhailov) with the amendment by A. A. Bogdanov (see Trety syezd R.S.D.R.P., p. 461). P. A. Krasikov’s amendment was rejected. p. 159

{4} During the debate on § 11 of the draft Party Rules, which said that “Every Party organisation shall place before both the C.C. and the C.O. Editorial Board all the means for making a study of all its activity and all its members”, A. M. Essen (Kitayev) motioned the following addendum: “submitting detailed reports to the C.C. on its activity, at least twice a month”. After Lenin’s speech, this addendum was adopted. p. 159

{5} A reference to § 12 of the draft Rules, which said that “Co-optation of members to the C.C. shall be unanimous”. The unanimity proposal was adopted. p. 159

{6} § 13 of the draft Rules said: “The Committee of Party Organisations Abroad has the aim of conducting propaganda and agitation abroad and also of promoting the movement in Russia. It shall provide support to the movement in Russia only through persons and groups specially designated by the C.C.”

The resolution of P.A. Krasikov (Belsky) said: “The Third Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. authorises the C.C. to examine and approve the Rules of the Organisation Abroad with the rights of a full-fledged Party committee conducting propaganda and agitation abroad, with the proviso that the Committee of Organisations Abroad shall give assistance and support to the movement in Russia only through persons and groups specially designated by the C.C.”

The Congress deleted § 13 from the Rules and adopted P. A. Krasikov’s resolution. p. 159


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