V. I. Lenin

Interview with Arthur Ransome, Correspondent of the Daily News{1}

Interviewed: March 23, 1918
Published: First published in 1932 in Russian (as an illustration) and in English in the book: R. H. Bruce Lockhart, Memoirs of a British Agent, London. Printed from the typewritten text with a postscript in Lenin’s own hand.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, 2nd English Edition, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 42, page 67.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: D. Walters
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) © 2003 Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.  

One of the weakest spots in Balfour’s speech is the statement that the Japanese are going to help the Russians.{2} Which Russians?

In Russia today there is one power, which by its nature is destined to wage a life and death struggle against the attacks of international imperialism-that is the Power of the Soviets. The first step, however, of those Russians, whom the Japanese intend to “help”, as soon as they heard rumours of the advance of the latter, was to demand the abolition of the Soviet Power. Should the Japanese move into Siberia, these same "Russians" whom the Japanese are going to “help”, will demand the abolition of the Soviets throughout the whole of Siberia. What can take the place of the Soviet Power?

The only power that can take its place is a bourgeois government. But the bourgeoisie in Russia has proved clearly enough that it can only remain in power with foreign help. If a bourgeois government, supported by outside help, should establish itself in power in Siberia, and Eastern Russia become lost to the Soviet, then in Western Russia the Soviet Power would become weakened to such an extent that it could hardly hold out for long; it would be followed by a bourgeois government, which would also need foreign help. The Power to give this help would, of course, not be England. It is easy to understand what avenues are opened up by this possibility.

I confirm that I really said this in a conversation with .Ransome, and I give permission for it to be printed.


Moscow 23.III.1918


{1} A photo copy of the typewritten text of this interview with a postscript in Lenin’s own handwriting (as well as an English translation of it) was published in 1932 in the book: B. H. Bruce Lockhart, Memoirs of a British Agent. The copy of the typewritten text of the interview bears the following note by Lenin: “23/Ill given to Ransome#8221; (Central Party Archives of the Institute of MarxismLeninism of the C.C. of the C.P.S.U.).

Daily News—a bourgeois newspaper published in London from 1846 to 1928.

{2} Lenin is referring to the speech of A. Balfour, the British Foreign Minister, in the House of Commons on March 14, 1918, in which the latter tried to cover up the true aims of the Japanese intervention by hypocritically alleging that in occupying Siberia with the consent of the Allies, and seizing the Siberian railway, Japan would be preventing a German invasion of northern Asia.

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