The Kadets

The Kadets (Russia’s Constitutional Democratic Party) f. 1905

Some Key Personalities:

  • Paul Miliukov (1859-1943): Founder of theConstitutional Democratic Party (Kadets) and member of the Russian Duma (Parliament), he became Foreign Minister after the first revolution in 1917 but was removed from this position after a scandal regarding his war management and peace negotiations.  Fled Russia after the Bolshevik takeover
  • Yekaterina Kuskova (1869-1958) — Famine Relief Committee (VKPG) as well as originally part of Kadets.  Left party before the Revolutions of 1917. Expelled by Lenin with The 160 in 1922
  • Sergei Prokopovich (1871-1955) — Kuskova’s husband.  Head of Famine Relief Committee (VKPG) and minister in both Miliukov and Kerensky’s cabinets under the Provisional Government. Expelled by Lenin with The 160 in 1922
  • Nikolai Kishkin (not expelled) — friend of Kuskova and Prokopovich and a leader of the Famine Relief Committee (VKPG).  Mayor of Moscow. Then head of the Cooperatist society. Not expelled in 1922, he stayed in Russia until his death in 1930 and worked at the health resort department of the People’s Commissariat of Health (for Nikolai Semashko)
  • Michael Osorgin (1878-1942) — writer and partner in Berdyaev’s Lavka Writer’s Union.  Participant in the Famine Relief Committee (VKPG).  Expelled in 1922 with The 160.

List of prominent Kadets (from Wikipedia)

 Programme of the Russian Constitutional Democratic (Kadet) Party, 1905

I. Basic Rights of Citizens

1. All Russian citizens, irrespective of sex, religion, or nationality, are equal before the law. All class distinctions and all limitations of personal and property rights of Poles, Jews, and all other groups of the population, should be repealed.

2. Every citizen is guaranteed freedom of conscience and religion. No persecution for religious beliefs or convictions, or for change or refusal to accept religious indoctrination, can be allowed. The celebration of religious and church ceremonies and the spread of beliefs is free, provided these activities do not include any general transgressions contrary to the criminal code of law. The Orthodox Church and other religions should be freed from state protection.

3. Anyone who wishes to express his thoughts orally or in writing has the right to publish and spread them through printing or any other media. Censorship, both general and special, regardless of its name, must be abolished and cannot be reinstated. For their oral or written transgressions the guilty ones will answer before the court.

4. All Russian citizens have the right to organise public or private meetings, in dwellings as well as in the open air, to examine any problem they wish.

5. All Russian citizens have the right to organise unions or societies without needing permission for it.

6. The right to petition is granted to every citizen as well as to all trade unions, gatherings, and so forth.

7. The person and home of every individual should be inviolable. Entry into a private dwelling, search, seizure, and opening of private correspondence are allowed only in cases permitted by law or on order of the court. individual detained in cities or places where courts are located should be within twenty-four hours; in other localities of the Empire not later than days, or be brought before the court. Any detention undertaken illegal without proper grounds, gives a detained person the right to be compensated by the state for losses suffered.

8. No one can be subjected to persecution or punishment except on the basis of law by court authorities in a legally constituted court. No extraordinary courts are allowed.

9. Every citizen has freedom of movement and travel abroad. The passport system is abolished.

10. All the above mentioned rights of citizens must be incorporated into the Constitution of the Russian Empire and be guaranteed by courts.

11. The Constitution of the Russian Empire should guarantee all the minorities inhabiting the Empire, in addition to full civil and political equality enjoyed by all citizens, the right of cultural self-determination, namely: full freedom of usage of various languages and dialects in public, the freedom to found and maintain educational institutions and meetings of all sorts having as their aim the preservation and development of the language, literature and culture of every nationality.

12. The Russian language should be the official language of the central administration, army, and fleet. The use of local languages alongside the language in state and public institutions and educational establishment supported by the state or organs of local self-government is determined by general and local laws, and, within their competence, by the institutions concerned. The population of each locality should be guaranteed education in the native language in elementary schools, and possibly in subsequent education.

II. Government Apparatus

13. The constitutional system of the Russian state will be determined by the constitution.

14. People’s representatives are elected by a general, equal, direct and secret ballot, irrespective of their religion, nationality or sex. The party allows within its midst a difference of opinion on the question of national representation, consisting of one or two chambers in which case the second chamber should consist of representatives of the local organs of self-government, organised on the basis of a general vote and spread throughout all of Russia.

15. National representation participates in the realisation of legislative power, in the determination of government revenues and expenditures, and in control of the legality and expedience of actions of higher and lower organs of administration.

16. No decision, decree, ukaz, order or similar act not based on the legislative measure of national representation, regardless of its name or place of origin, can have the force of law.

17. A government inventory, which should include all revenues and expenditures of the state, should be established by law, every year. No taxes, dues, and collections for the state, as well as state loans, can be established other than by legislation.

18. Members of national representative assemblies should have the right of legislative initiative.

19. Ministers are responsible to the representatives of the national assembly, and the latter have the right of questioning and interpellation.

III. Local Self-Government and Autonomy

20. Local self-government should be extended throughout the entire Russian state.

21. Representatives in the organs of local self-government, being close to the population by virtue of the organisation of small self-governing units, should be elected on the basis of universal, equal, direct, and secret ballot, regardless of sex, religion, and nationality, while the assemblies of higher self- governing units can be selected by lower assemblies. Guberniia zemstvos should have the right to enter into temporary or permanent unions among themselves.

22. The competence of the organs of local self-government should include the entire field of local administration, including police, but excluding only those branches of administration which, under the condition of present state life, must be located in the hands of the central government. Organs of local self-government should receive partial support from sources which now go to the budget of the central government.

23. The activity of representatives of the central government should be limited to supervision of the legality of acts of the organs of local self- government; the final decision on any disputes or doubts is reserved for the courts.

24. Following the establishment of rights of civil freedom and proper representation with constitutional rights for the entire Russian state, there should be opened a legal way within the framework of state legislation for the establishment of local autonomy and oblast representative assemblies, with the right to participate in the realisation of legislative authority on familiar matters in accordance with the needs of the population.

25. Immediately following the introduction of the imperial democratic government with constitutional rights, there should be established in the Polish kingdom an autonomous administration with a seim {Parliament} elected on the same basis as the state parliament of Russia, preserving its state unity and participation in the central parliament on an equal footing with other parts of the Empire. Frontiers between the Polish kingdom and neighbouring guberniias shall be established in accordance with the desires of the native and local populations. In the Polish kingdom there should be instituted national guarantees of civil liberty and of the rights of nationalities to cultural self-determination as well as protection of the rights of minorities.

26. Finland. The Finnish Constitution, which safeguards its special state status, should be fully reinstated. All future measures common to the Empire and the Grand Duchy of Finland should be solved by an agreement between the legislative branches of the Empire and the Grand Duchy.

IV. The Courts

27. All departures from the bases of the Judicial Statute of November 20 I864, which separated judicial from administrative power (non-removability of judges, independence of courts, and equality of all citizens before the law) as well as the introduction of subsequent new laws are to be abolished… Courts with class representatives are abolished. Matters of volost’ justice are, subject to the competence of an elected justice of the peace. The volost’ and the institution of zemskii nachal’niks are abolished. The demand for property qualifications to perform the functions of a Justice of the Peace as well as that of a sworn deputy is abolished. The principle of the unity of appellate court is re-established. Advocacy is organised on the basis of true self-administration.

28. In addition to this, the aim of penal policy should consist of:

  • (a) unconditional abolition forever of the death penalty;
  • (b) introduction of conditional conviction;
  • (c) establishment of protection during preliminary investigation; and
  • (d) introduction into court proceedings of controvertible rule.

29. The immediate task centres on the full examination of the criminal code, the annulment of decrees which are contrary to the foundations of political freedom, and the reworking of the draft of the civil code.

V. Financial and Economic Policy

30. There should be re-examination of government expenditure in order to eliminate unproductive expenses, and to bring about an appreciable increase of state resources for the real needs of the people.

31. The redemption payments should be repealed.

32. There should be replacement of indirect by direct taxes, general lowering of indirect taxes, and gradual repeal of indirect taxes on items of general consumption.

33. There should be a reform of direct taxes on the basis of progressive income, a reform of property taxation, and a progressive tax on inheritance.

34. In conformity with the condition of individual industries, there should be a lowering of custom duties in order to cut down the cost of products of general consumption and to improve the technical level of industry and agriculture.

35. Saving banks should be used for the development of small loans.

VI. Agrarian Legislation

36. There should be an increase of arable land for that part of the population which works the land with its own labour, namely landless and poor peasants – as well as other peasants – by state, princely, cabinet, monastery, and private estates at the state’s expense, with private owners being compensated at a fair (not market) price for their land.

37. Expropriated land should be transferred to a state and land reserve. Rules by which the land from this reserve should be given to a needy population (ownership, or personal or communal use, and so forth) should be determined in accordance with peculiarities of land ownership and land usage in different parts of Russia.

38. There should be broad organisation of government aid for migration, resettlement, and arrangement of the economic life of peasants. There should be reorganisation of the Boundary Office, termination of surveying, and introduction of other measures for bringing prosperity to the rural population and improving the rural economy.

39. Legislation dealing with the lease relationship should be promulgated in order to protect the right of tenants and the right to re-lease . . .

40. The existing rules on hiring of agricultural workers should be repealed and labour legislation should be extended to agricultural workers….

VII. Labour Legislation

41. There should be freedom of labour unions and assemblies.

42. The right to strike should be granted. Punishment for violations of law which occur during or as a result of strikes should be determined in general terms and under no circumstances should be extreme.

43. Labour legislation and independent inspection of labour should be extended to all forms of hired labour; there should be participation of workers’ elected representatives in inspections aimed at safeguarding the interests of workers.

44. Legislation should introduce the eight-hour working day. Where possible, this norm should be immediately realised every where, and systematically introduced in other industries. Night work and overtime work should be prohibited except where technically and socially indispensable.

45. Protection of female and child labour and the establishment of measures to protect male labour should be developed in dangerous enterprises.

46. Arbitration offices, consisting of an equal number of representatives of labour and capital to regulate all kinds of hiring which are not regulated by labour legislation, and solving of disputes which may arise between workers and employers, should be established.

47. Obligatory state medical care (for a defined period), accident and work-connected illness compensations, which are to be contributed to by the employers, should be established.

48. State old age security and disability allowances for all individuals who make a living by their own work should be introduced.

49. Criminal responsibility for violation of laws dealing with the protection of labour should be established.

VIII. Problems of Education

Public education should be founded on freedom, democracy, and decentralisation in order to realise the following goals:

50. The elimination of all restrictions on school admissions based on sex, origin, or religion.

51. Freedom of private and public initiative to found and organise all sorts of educational institutions, including education outside the school; freedom of instruction.

52. Better liaison should be organised on the between various school classes in order to make easier a transfer from one school to another.

53 There should be full autonomy and freedom of instruction in universities and other institutions of higher learning. Their numbers should increase. The fee for attending lectures should be lowered. Institutions of higher learning should organise education to meet the needs of broad layers of society. Students should have freedom to organise themselves.

54. The number of institutions of secondary learning should increase in accordance with public needs; the fee for these should be reduced. Local public institutions should have the right to participate in the formulation of the education curriculum.

55. A universal, free, and obligatory system of education should be introduced in elementary schools. Local self-government should extend material aid to those who need it.

56. Local self-government should organise institutions for the education of the adult population – elementary schools for the adult, as well as public libraries and public universities.

57. Professional education should be developed.

Source: V. Ivanovich (ed.), Rossiiskiia partii, soiuzy i ligi, St. Petersburg 1906, pp. 14-18.

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