V. I.   Lenin

The Results of the Arbitration of the “Trustees”

Published: Sotsial-Demokrat, No. 25, December 8 (21), 1911. Published according to the Sotsial-Demokrat text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1974], Moscow, Volume 17, pages 365-367.
Translated: Dora Cox
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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At the Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee in January 1910, the representatives of the Bolshevik faction (recognised as the representatives of that faction by all participants in the Meeting) concluded, as is well known, an agreement with all the other factions of our Party. This agreement was published in No. 11 of the Central Organ, and its purport was that the Bolsheviks agreed to dissolve their faction and transfer its property to the Central Commit tee, on condition that all the other factions did the same and followed the Party line, that is to say, an anti-liquidationist and anti-otzovist line. The agreement, which was endorsed by the Central Committee, definitely provided that in the event of violation of these conditions the funds were to be returned to the Bolsheviks (see the resolution, published in No. 11 of the Central Organ).

The generally known facts of the violation of that agreement by the other factions compelled the Bolsheviks, a year ago, on December 5, 1910, to file an application, i.e., to declare that the agreement was null and void, and to demand the return of their funds.

This demand had to be submitted to the “trustees”—Kautsky, Mehring, and Zetkin—for arbitration. The court of arbitration ruled that, provisionally, up to November 1, 1911, part of the funds were to be turned over for account able expenditure to the Technical Commission and the Organising Commission Abroad composed of representatives of the Bolsheviks, conciliators, and the Poles.

In October 1911, two of the arbitrators, Mehring and Kautsky, resigned their posts. After this the third arbitrator   had not the right to exercise authority alone, and after some hesitation also resigned.

Thus it turned out that after November 2, 1911, the Bolshevik faction, which had, on December 5, 1910, annulled the agreement with the other factions, was no longer bound by any contractual relations with the former trustees. Therefore it took possession of its printing-plant and is now taking possession of its other property.

Naturally, having freed itself from the “ties” with the liquidationist, otzovist, and simply intrigue-mongering groups abroad, the Bolshevik faction will devote all its energy, as has already been proved by the efforts of its members in forming the Russian Organising Commission, to rallying all the pro-Party elements around the Russian Organising Commission and the general Party conference which it is convening.

The representatives of the Bolshevik faction, who concluded the agreement at the Plenary Meeting in January 1910.[1]

P. S. The above statement had already been submitted to the Editorial Board of the Central Organ, when we read the leaflet of the so-called Central Committee Bureau Abroad containing a letter from two of the former arbitrators, dated November 18, 1911. Whom are Igorev and Lieber trying to deceive by posing as the Central Committee Bureau Abroad, when the Letts and even Tyszka have resigned from it? Why are they silent about this resignation? Why do they say nothing about the fact that by November 18, two and a half weeks had elapsed since the court of arbitration had ceased to exist, and that therefore the letter of November 18, 1911, has no significance whatever, nor can it have any? Or, are we, perhaps, to conclude that prior to November 1, 1911, Igorev and Martov did not recognise the court of arbitration? Then say so, gentlemen, and prove it! Perhaps you recognise the court of arbitration after November 1, 1911? Prior to November 1, 1911, you stood condemned by the universally recognised court of arbitration; for, despite all your entreaties, demands, and “protests”, it refused to give a centime to either you or Trotsky. Now the gentlemen who were condemned by the legitimate, universally recognised court of arbitration, are trying   to shelter behind the private opinion of former members of the court which is no longer binding on anyone. Since the First of November, 1911, no court of arbitration has existed, and in this respect we have all gone back to the situation which existed prior to the Plenary Meeting. If the former trustees now attempted to hold up the Bolshevik funds, that would be an unlawful act.

But the point is that all that Igorev and Lieber are after is to create a “sensation”; they are afraid, however, to set forth the history of the arbitration on the basis of exact documents. Unless you cheat you won’t sell—that is their motto.


[1] The signatures of Lenin and others follow.

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