V. I.   Lenin

Speech at a Conference of Chairmen of
Gubernia and Uyezd Executive Committees

February 1, 1920

Delivered: February 1, 1920
Published: Krasnaya Gazeta (Petrograd) No. 24, February 3, 1920. Printed from the newspaper text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, 2nd English Printing, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 42, pages 163b-164a.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: D. Walters
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2003). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.README

At a meeting of executive committee chairmen preceding the opening of the session,[1] Lenin said, in dealing with the current situation:

In so far as the international situation stays as it is, and the whole course of events points to its stability, the tasks of economic activities should be advanced by us to the fore. As regards transport, we not only have to bring   this to the fore, but simply drag this transport out by the ears, save it from imminent disaster. Trains carrying grain are stopping, we have more grain than we can transport. Military operations are often impeded through lack of transport. February is the most difficult month for transport, and we are simply heading for disaster.

We are threatened by a danger of transport dislocation more serious than in October, when Yudenich and Denikin were winning their biggest victories. More energy must be applied to save transport. We must carry out mobilisations here again and again. We shall have to rob a number of institutions of their workers and keep on robbing them to combat the chaos in transport.

The whole art of government and policy-making consists in being able to assess and know in good time where to concentrate your main forces and attention. We must now extricate transport in the course of two months. Unless we work the same miracle in two months with transport as we have done with Kolchak, disaster threatens us.

A number of vigorous and revolutionary measures are needed. This is a military and combat task and calls for combat action in military style.


[1] This refers to the first session of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee, seventh convocation, held in Moscow on February 2-7, 1920. On February 2 Lenin delivered his report at the session on the work of the A.C.E.C. and the Council of People’s Commissars (see present edition, Vol. 30, pp. 315-36).

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