V. I. Lenin
Banks and Ministers
Pravda No. 32, April 14, 1917.
Lenin Collected Works, Volume 24, page 122.
N. N. Pokrovsky, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and the present Vice-Chairman of the Central War Industries Committee, has become a member of the Board of the Russian Bank for Foreign Commerce. Count V. N. Kokovtsov, the former Chairman of the Council of Ministers, has also become a member of the Board.
These happy tidings were brought to us by last night’s papers.
A minister today, a banker tomorrow; a banker today, a minister tomorrow. It is “war to the end”—both today and tomorrow.
This state of affairs prevails not only in Russia, but in every other country where Capital rules. A handful of bankers, who have the whole world in their grip, are making a fortune out of the war.
But Pokrovsky and Kokovtsov, we may be told, were ministers during the old regime, and we are now living in a regenerated Russia.
We will answer with a question:
In how many banks do the present ministers, Guchkov, Tereshchenko, and Konovalov—have an interest (in the capacity of directors, shareholders, or actual owners)?
Our comrades, the bank employees (who, by the way, should organise a union of their own as soon as possible), would do well to gather material on this subject and publish it in the labour press.