Zinoviev Letter

A letter from Zinoviev to the Communist Party in England incited revolution. Is this surprising? No, not to me at all events. The Bolsheviks claimed that they were trying to take over the world. They were telling the truth on that point. Communists claim that it was a forgery. Surprising? No. Does it get much publicity? No. This means that it was unimportant or that a lot of people in the media and teaching industries want it forgotten. I have only just come across it and there are very few hits on the Internet which means that they were very effective. NB Spartacus Net, a left wing source does not bother to enlighten us by giving us the text.

Spartacus School Net comments
In October 1924 the MI5 intercepted a letter written by Grigory Zinoviev, chairman of the COM intern in the Soviet Union. In the letter Zinoviev urged British communists to promote revolution through acts of sedition. Vernon Kell, head of MI5 and Sir Basil Thomson head of Special Branch, were convinced that the letter was genuine.

Kell showed the letter to Ramsay MacDonald, the Labour Prime Minister. It was agreed that the letter should be kept secret but someone leaked news of the letter to the Times and the Daily Mail.

The letter was published in these newspapers four days before the 1924 General Election and contributed to the defeat of MacDonald and the Labour Party. After the election it was claimed that two of MI5's agents, Sidney Reilly and Arthur Maundy Gregory, had forged the letter and that Major Joseph Ball, a MI5 leaked it to the press. In 1927 Ball went to work for the Conservative Central Office where he pioneered the idea of spin-doctoring.

Research carried out by Gill Bennett in 1999 suggested that there were several MI5 and MI6 officers attempting the bring down the Labour Government in 1924, including
Stewart Menzies, the future head of MI6.

The Zinoviev Letter; published in the London Times, 25 October, 1924

Very Secret

To the Central Committee, British Communist Party

Executive Committee

Third Communist International


Sept. 15, 1924, Moscow

Dear Comrades:

The time is approaching for the Parliament of England to consider the Treaty concluded between the Governments of Great Britain and the U.S.S.R. for the purpose of ratification. The fierce campaign raised by the British bourgeoisie around the question shows the majority the same, together with reactionary circles, as against the treaty for the purpose of breaking off an agreement consolidating the ties between the proletariats of the two countries leading to the restoration of normal relations between England and the U.S.S.R. ...

... Organize a campaign of disclosure of the foreign policy of MacDonald. ...

The IKKI {Executive Committee of the Third Communist International} will willingly place at your disposal the wide material in its possession regarding the activities of British Imperialism in the Middle and Far East. ...

Armed warfare must be preceded by a struggle against the inclinations to compromise which are imbedded among the majority of British workmen, against the ideas of evolution and peaceful extermination of capitalism. Only then will it be possible to count on complete success of an armed insurrection. ...

... It would be desirable to have cells in all the units of the troops, particularly among those quartered in the large centres of the country, and also among the factories working on munitions and at military store depots. ...

In the event of danger of war, ... it is possible to paralyze all military preparations of the bourgeoisie and make a start in turning an imperialist war into a class war. ...

Desiring you all success, both in organization and in your struggle.

With Communist Greetings,

President of the Presidium of the I.K.K.I.


Member of the Presidium


Secretary Kuusinen


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Updated  on Wednesday, 18 July 2012 18:39:01