KOENEN: Comrades! The Organization Commission has had extensive meetings in two sub-commissions and gone over the entire draft. A whole series of minor changes have been made, which were all accepted unanimously by the Commission. In addition a number of cuts have been made, which were also accepted unanimously by the Organization Commission. And then a number of motions for additions have been drawn up, which I will announce.
First, an essential change and addition to the section on democratic centralism has been proposed. This amendment has already been submitted to you in the proofs in all languages, and I do not need to go through it. This proposed change was also accepted unanimously. It makes the concept of democratic centralism somewhat clearer and more comprehensible.
The next important addition concerns agitation and propaganda among national minorities. A specific injunction has been inserted on carrying out this agitation and propaganda quite vigorously, and wherever possible in the language of these minorities. The formulation of the trade-union question, the treatment of wage agreements, has been framed more clearly so that no principled disputes over wage agreements can arise.
The paragraph on Propaganda in the Army and Navy was reformulated, and in particular the point was added that, in countries where a standing army still exists, agitation must take into account that in the future the rank and file will be extremely closely bound to the fate of the exploited class. Finally, a specific proposal on the way to deal with troops composed of officers and the student corps was adopted.
The addition on the organization of political struggles that I proposed to you in my report and which during my presentation I read to you almost in its entirety, was accepted in its essentials. Only a few deletions were made, owing to the fact that these ideas essentially were already contained in the Theses on Tactics.
Another point on the participation of the press in carrying out political campaigns was added, and particularly on how editors are to be brought into closer contact with the entire activity of the party and how uniformity is to be introduced into the party press for its revolutionary work, as well as a proposed amendment dealing with the journals, pamphlets and other theoretical and propagandistic publications of the party. All these things are to be included in a centralized manner, consistent with the campaigns of the party.
There was an addition made concerning the social-democratic and independent-socialist press, saying how to conduct subscription work in opposition to it. Here too there was unanimity in the Commission that such an amendment should be made.
Regarding the election of central leaderships in the section on the Structure of the Party Organism, there was a dispute as to whether the party leadership should be responsible only to the party congress or to the International Executive Committee as well. The latter proposal was unanimously accepted by the Commission.
The proposals that the leadership, including the narrower leading body, be elected only by the party congress were revised, and it was decided that it should be optional whether the election of the narrower leading body should take place directly at the party congress or should be done by the elected central committees, or else by the Beirat or Central Ausschuß. The changes were accepted unanimously.
In various places insertions were made on the necessity of creating special working groups, and under some circumstances special leadership bodies, for agitation among women and in rural areas. The same thing was also decided for the Red Aid. The assumption is that special departments for aiding the victims of white terror are to be created by the individual parties.
With regard to the subordination of the various party bodies, the Theses were lacking a clear expression of the fact that the parliamentary deputies are also subordinate to the central party leadership. An insertion was made to take care of this. Acting on a suggestion, we added a recommendation that all parties have a special audit commission, charged with inspecting the treasury and books and reporting regularly to the expanded Ausschuß, Beirat, etc. on its work and findings.
Some comrades on the Commission wished at least to define freedom of criticism in the Theses, with some limitations. The Commission acceded to this wish and found a formulation which I would like to read because of the general interest:
In order, however, that every party decision be carried out energetically by all party organizations and members, the broadest mass of the party must whenever possible be involved in examining and deciding every question. Party organizations and party authorities also have the duty of deciding whether questions should be discussed publicly (press, pamphlets) by individual comrades, and if so, in what form and scope.1
There was unanimous agreement on this suggestion. We also changed the sentence that said one is just a bad communist when he forgets himself and attacks the Communist Party in public.
The section on Illegal and Legal Work is now called On the Combination of Legal and Illegal Work. What we are saying here is that there is no contradiction between legal and illegal work, but rather that the two must overlap. A number of points in this section were formulated more cautiously, some deletions were made, so that bourgeois governments would not be able to make too much out of it. It was also considered necessary to insert some formulations warning of the need for caution in accepting new members. Penetration by unreliable members should be prevented by drawing up candidacy lists. However, for the time being it is left up to individual comrades to implement this regulation in their own sections in whatever way is possible. To prevent spies and provocateurs from penetrating our illegal work it is suggested that comrades who want to do illegal work be specially tested in legal activity first. Finally, to note that there were objections to the phrase before the revolution; it has been replaced throughout by the expression before the open revolutionary uprising.
So those are the essential changes to the present draft on the organization of the party that we are proposing to you. The title will then read: Guidelines on the Organizational Structure of the Communist Party, on the Methods and Content of Its Work.
I come now to the section dealing with the Resolution on the Organization of the Communist International. The resolution has been changed in a few places. In the introduction a few deletions were made that did not affect the essentials. This is on the premise that what has been deleted had already been said in earlier resolutions. Similarly, in the first paragraph of point 2, the sentence that the sections of the International should maintain the closest contact with one another was deleted; instead we immediately say how they should do this. Essential changes were actually made only in the last point. It now reads as follows:
V. To be able to take on this extraordinarily increased activity, the Executive must be considerably expanded. Those sections which were granted 40 votes by the Congress shall each have 2 votes in the Executive, as shall the Executive of the Communist Youth International; those sections which have 30 and 20 votes at the Congress, one vote each. The Communist Party of Russia shall have five votes, as in the past. The representatives of the remaining sections shall have consultative votes. The president of the Executive shall be elected by the Congress. The Executive is instructed to appoint three secretaries, to be drawn from different sections if possible. In addition to them, the members of the Executive sent by the sections are obligated to take part in carrying out the ongoing work through their particular national departments or by taking over the handling of entire specialized fields as rapporteurs. The members of the administrative Smaller Bureau are elected specially by the Executive.2
There were some differences over this point; votes were taken to determine which sections should receive 2 votes. However, the proposal presented to you here was accepted by a large majority.
There was also a dispute on whether the members of the administrative Smaller Bureau should be elected by the Executive from among its own members or whether the Executive should also be entitled to take into the Smaller Bureau comrades who happen not to belong to the Executive. It was finally decided to formulate the sentence in such a way that the Executive has freedom in this regard. However, opinion still remains divided on this point, and we still need to arrive at an agreement on this.
Finally, the Commission which dealt with international questions also went over a number of other requests. These requests, which do not absolutely need to be discussed in a general session, were for the most part referred to the new Executive for consideration. It was proposed that a control commission be created for the activity of the Executive, specifically for what the Executive is to undertake with the parties in particular countries and what the sections are to do. It was not possible to present a finished plan for this. However, the Commission considered this question so important that it did not want to leave it unresolved until the next Congress but thought that we have to find a solution now. The Commission unanimously proposes to first adopt a provisional arrangement, to set up a provisional control commission, so that the new Executive reaches full agreement with the first voting group, that is, with the leaderships of the largest delegations. If agreement is reached between the first voting group and the Executive, then this provisional control commission is to function for this year. As to these two groups and the Executive, the delimitation of their activities should also be done on a provisional basis. However the Commission proposes unanimously that we stipulate now that in general this commission should not have greater rights than the control commissions of the individual national organizations and that in general it is not to decide political matters. This is the proposal we present to the Congress in this matter. We ask everyone to adopt these proposals without extensive dispute in so far as possible. (Vigorous agreement)
There is a proposal that the Executive be enlarged by one representative, giving a representative with decisive vote to the Indian communist movement; he previously could take part in the proceedings only with consultative vote. The Presidium has no objection to this. We believe this is a supportable proposal.
In addition, an amendment has been put forward to elect the members of the Smaller Bureau solely from among the members of the Executive. Does someone want to speak to this?