Second Congress of Soviets of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Second Congress of Soviets of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Workers’, Peasants’, and Army Deputies
held in Moscow from Jan. 26 to Feb. 2, 1924. It was attended by 2,124 delegates (1,540 with casting votes, 584 with advisory votes). The agenda was (1) report on the activity of the Soviet government (L. B. Kamenev), (2) ratification of the Constitution of the USSR (A. S. Enukidze), (3) budget of the USSR (M. K. Vladimirov), (4) founding of the Central Agricultural Bank (A. V. Tsiurupa), and (5) formation of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR—elections to the Soviet of the Union and confirmation of the Soviet of Nationalities.
The work of the congress went on during the days of national mourning for V. I. Lenin; the first session was devoted to his memory. Speeches about Lenin and the fulfillment of his legacy were delivered by K. E. Voroshilov, M. I. Kalinin, N. K. Krupskaia, A. V. Lunacharskii, J. V. Stalin, C. Zetkin, members of the government of the USSR, and representatives of the workers, peasants, and intelligentsia. The congress adopted the appeal “To Toiling Humanity.” To perpetuate the memory of Lenin, it resolved to consider January 21 a day of mourning; publish the complete collected works of Lenin; build the Lenin Mausoleum on Red Square in Moscow, as well as monuments in the capitals of the Union republics and in Leningrad; rename Petrograd Lenin-grad; and establish a special Lenin fund to aid homeless children, victims of the Civil War and of hunger.
The congress interrupted its work on January 27 for Lenin’s funeral, resuming work on the evening of January 30. The report on the activity of the Soviet government was heard and approved. On January 31 the first Constitution of the USSR was ratified. On the basis of the constitution, the congress elected the bicameral Central Executive Committee of the USSR, which was made up of the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities. The Central Executive Committee of the USSR for the second convocation was elected; it included 414 members and 220 candidate members of the Soviet of the Union and 100 members of the Soviet of Nationalities (70 from the RSFSR, five from the Ukrainian SSR, five from the Byelorussian SSR, and 20 from the Trans-caucasian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic). A resolution was adopted concerning measures in the realm of financial policy. In order to promote systematically the rehabilitation of agriculture, a resolution on the establishment of the Central Agricultural Bank was adopted on February 1. These resolutions aimed at liquidating difficulties in the rehabilitation of the national economy and at further strengthening the alliance between the working class and the peasantry. On February 2 the Communist faction of the congress and non-Party delegates met in a session at which reports on the results on the Thirteenth Conference of the RCP (Bolshevik) (held Jan. 16-18, 1924) and on the international situation were heard. On February 2, M. M. Litvinov informed the congress of the de jure recognition of the USSR by Great Britain.
REFERENCES“ezdy Sovetov Soiuza SSR, Soiuznykh i Avtonomnykh sovetskikh sotsialisticheskikh respublik: Sb. dokumentov, vol. 3 (1922-36). Moscow, 1960.
N. V. MANSVETOV