Supreme Administrative Commission for the Preservation of Government

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Supreme Administrative Commission for the Preservation of Government Order and Social Tranquillity

 

established in Russia on Feb. 12, 1880 (after an explosion set off by S. N. Khalturin in the Winter Palace on February 5), to lead the struggle against the revolutionary movement.

The creation of the Supreme Administrative Commission was one of the manifestations of confusion of authority. The membership of the Supreme Administrative Commission included Count Loris-Melikov as its head; K. P. Pobedonostsev, a member of the State Council; General-Adjutant Prince A. K. Imeretinskii, the chief of staff of the guards and the St. Petersburg military district; M. S. Kakhanov, director of affairs for the Cabinet of Ministers; Senators M. E. Kovalevskii and I. I. Shamshin; the oberprocurator of the Senate, P. A. Markov; the acting chief of the gendarmerie, P. A. Cherevin; the major general of retinue, M. I. Bat’ianov; the chief secretary of the office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, S. S. Perfil’ev; and from May, the head of the Office of the Press, N. S. Abaza.

To the head of the Supreme Administrative Commission was granted all military and civil authority in St. Petersburg and its vicinity and the direct conduct of investigatory matters for state crimes. The Third Section and the corps of gendarmes were temporarily subordinated to him. In February 1880, Loris-Melikov addressed the inhabitants of the capital with the aim of drawing “the well-meaning society” into the struggle against the revolutionary movement. The activity of the commission led to the unification of all administrative and judicial organs that had been created to struggle against the revolutionary movement, to speed up the investigations on state crimes, and to regulate the problems of administrative exile and police surveillance. Taking advantage of the support of the heir to the throne, Loris-Melikov interfered in all areas of state administration. On April 11 in a report to Alexander II, he posed the question of introducing a series of reforms. Although the Supreme Administrative Commission was only a consultative-executive organ, its head was practically a dictator.

On Aug. 6,1880, the Supreme Administrative Commission was abolished. The Third Section was abolished, and all of its functions were transferred to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, where the Department of State Police was created. Loris-Melikov was appointed minister of internal affairs. These measures led to the centralization of the gendarme police organs within a single administrative body.

REFERENCE

Zaionchkovskii, P. A. Krizis samoderzhaviia na rubezhe 1870-1880 gg. Moscow, 1964.

P. A. ZAIONCHKOVSKII

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.