V. I. Lenin

Speeches in the Debate on the Question of the Powers of Representation of the District and the Vyborg Organisations at the St. Petersburg City Conference of the R.S.D.L.P.{1}

FEBRUARY 11 (24), 1906

Published: First published in 1930 in the magazine Proletarskaya Revolutsia No. 12. Printed from secretarial notes preserved in the Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism under the C.P.S.U. Central Committee.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, pages 178.2-179.1.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) © 2004 Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.  



Comrade Dan has no knowledge of parliamentary tactics. In all the countries of Western Europe a member of the bureau is not deprived of the right to motion proposals.


There are two proposals: a decision on the question of the 56 votes, and exclusion of the whole district organisation from the conference. I request a vote.



I request a vote on the following question: can a section of the St. Petersburg organisation here be deprived of representation?


I request my proposal to be put to the vote first: does the assembly agree to vote on Comrade Martov’s proposal?


Comrade Nikolai motioned a proposal which he very correctly called radical{2}; when a motioned proposal supersedes all the others, it is voted on first.


{1} The St. Petersburg City Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. was called by the St. Petersburg Committee on February 11 (24), 1906, to decide on the attitude to the Duma. The conference was guided by Lenin and was attended by 65 delegates with vote. Elections to the conference were held after discussion and voting on the tactical platforms of the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks with one delegate from thirty voting Party members. The Bolsheviks won a substantial majority. The Mensheviks demanded the invalidation of the votes of the district R.S.D.L.P. organisation, which was almost entirely Bolshevik. Lenin made speeches and remarks during the debate on the question of the district R.S.D.L.P. organisation (see present edition, Vol. 12, pp. 123–25). The conference confirmed the representation of the district organisation. It heard a report from the St. Petersburg Committee and adopted Lenin’s resolution recognising the representation at the conference valid, the conference effective and its decisions binding. Lenin gave the report on the attitude to the Duma (there is no record of it in the minutes). At the end of his report Lenin read out a resolution on the tactics of active boycott. The Menshevik   resolution was read out by Martov. By 36 votes to 29, the conference came out in favour of the active boycott, but had no time to adopt a resolution giving detailed motivation of the tactic.

To discuss this and give it final approval, a second city conference of the St. Petersburg organisation was called at the end of February and the beginning of March. It was attended by 62 delegates and discussed draft resolutions tabled by Lenin, Martov and an additional one by the Mensheviks of Okhta District. After a long and bitter struggle, the conference adopted Lenin’s resolution by 35 to 24 with one abstention. It set up a committee, which included Lenin, to give the final wording to the resolution. The Mensheviks refused to take part in the committee and walked out. p. 178

{2} A reference to the proposal of I. A. Konovalov (Nikolai) at the St. Petersburg City Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. on February 11 (24), 1906,to close the debate on the district and Vyborg organisations; to recognise the vote as correct and the representation as valid, and proceed with the agenda of the conference. p. 179

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