V. I. Lenin

Letters to J. V. Stalin for Members of the Political Bureau of the C.C., R.C.P.(B.) on the Promotion of Radio Engineering

Written: 19 May 1922
First Published:Letter No. 1 published Pravda No. 21, January 21, 1949; Dictated by telephone; Published according to a typewritten copy; Letter No. 2 First published in 1945 in tenth Miscellany XXXV; Dictated by telephone; Published according to a typewritten copy
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 2nd English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 33, pages 360-362
Translated: David Skvirsky and George Hanna
Transcription\HTML Markup: David Walters & R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marx.org) 2002. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License


To Comrade Stalin with the request to pass this round to all members of the Political Bureau

Comrade Stalin,

Appended are two reports. The first from Professor Osadchy, an expert on electricity, about radio-telegraph and telephone communication; the second is from Bonch-Bruyevich (who is not related to the well-known Bonch-Bruyevich brothers, one of whom was the Executive Secretary of the Council of People’s Commissars, and the other an outstanding tsarist general). This Bonch-Bruyevich, whose report I append, is a prominent specialist and inventor in radio engineering and one of the principal figures at the Nizhni-Novgorod Radio Laboratory.

These reports show that it is technically quite feasible to broadcast human speech over any distance by wireless; furthermore, it is also possible to use many hundreds of stations that could broadcast speeches, reports and lectures delivered in Moscow to many hundreds of places throughout the Republic, situated hundreds and, under certain conditions, thousands of versts away from Moscow.

I think that from the standpoint of propaganda and agitation, especially for those masses of the population who are illiterate, and also for broadcasting lectures, it is absolutely necessary for us to carry out this plan. Considering the unfitness of most of the bourgeois professors of social sciences whom we are using and even the harm caused by them, we have no other way out than to enable our few communist professors, who are capable of delivering lectures on social sciences, to deliver these lectures for hundreds of localities in all parts of the Federation.

I am, therefore, of the opinion that under no circumstances should we stint funds to complete the organisation of wireless communication and produce efficiently working loudspeakers.

I propose that we pass a decision to allocate, as an extraordinary measure, a sum of up to 100,000 rubles from the gold fund over and above the estimate to organise the work at the Nizhni-Novgorod Radio Laboratory in order to accelerate to the maximum the completion of the work it has begun to instal efficient loudspeakers and many hundreds of stations throughout the Republic, which can repeat for the broad masses the speeches, reports and lectures delivered in Moscow or some other centre.

The Council of Labour and Defence must be instructed to organise special supervision over the expenditure of this fund and, perhaps, if it proves to be expedient, to institute bonuses from the above fund for specially rapid and successful work.

Let me add that today’s Izvestia carries a report about an English invention in radio-telegraphy that transmits radio-telegrams secretly. If we managed to buy this invention, radio-telephone and radio-telegraph communication would be of further tremendous significance for military purposes.


May 19, 1922


Comrade Stalin,

Re today’s paper from Bonch-Bruyevich I think that we cannot finance the Radio Laboratory from the gold fund without special assignments.

I therefore propose instructing the Council of Labour and Defence to find out what expenditures are necessary to enable the Radio Laboratory to accelerate to the maximum the improvement and production of loudspeaking telephones and receivers. This is the only thing for which we should, in my opinion, allocate a definite sum of gold over and above the estimate.


May 19, 1922