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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 11, 1945

CABLE NO.2,3,4,5 FROM MOSCOW TO STALIN ON AMENDMENTS TO 'REGULATIONS CONCERNING ELECTIONS TO THE USSR SUPREME SOVIET'

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    Malenkov responds to Stalin with changes to several articles in "Regulations Concerning Elections to the USSR Supreme Soviet" and draws his attention to a discrepancy in voting rights between the regulations and the USSR constitution that necessitates a constitutional ammendment.
    "Cable No.2,3,4,5 from Moscow to Stalin on amendments to 'Regulations Concerning Elections to the USSR Supreme Soviet'," October 11, 1945, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 97, ll. 32-34. Contributed by Sergey Radchenko and translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134688
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Top Secret

Incoming Cable Nº 2, 3,4, 5

from Moscow

arrived 11 October 1945 0600

decrypted 11 October 1945 0830

addressed to Comrade STALIN

The following changes have been made to the “Regulations Concerning Elections to the USSR Supreme Soviet” in accordance with your instructions:

First change: in article two, the word “sex” has been added after the words, “regardless of racial or national origin”, and the words “and be elected” have been excluded after the words “have the right to participate in the election of deputies”.

Second change: a new article with the following content has been included after the second article: “Any citizen of the USSR who has reached the age of 23 may be elected a deputy of the USSR Supreme Soviet regardless of racial or national origin, gender, religion, educational qualification, way of life, social origin, financial situation, or past activity, with the exception of the mentally ill and those convicted by a court with deprivation of electoral rights”.

Third change: A new article with the following content has been included after the seventh article: “persons living on Soviet territory and are citizens of the USSR, but [who are also] citizens [or] subjects of foreign countries do not have the right to take part in elections and be elected to the USSR Supreme Soviet[“].

Fourth change: at the end of the fifth article the words, “equally with men” has been replaced by the words “on an equal basis with men”.

Fifth change: in Article 109, “in the free” has been added after the words “will hinder citizens of the USSR”.

The entire regulation with the five changes indicated above has been looked over in accordance with the above instructions; no corrections are required in the remaining articles.

I consider it necessary to direct your attention to the fact that the first and second changes require a change in Article 135 of the Constitution of the USSR, which says: “Elections of deputies are general, but all citizens who have reached the age of 18 years, regardless of racial or national origin, religion, educational qualification, way of life, social origin, financial situation, or past activity, have the right to take part in elections and be elected, with the exception of the mentally ill and those convicted by a court with deprivation of electoral rights”.

It ought to be borne in mind that this Article 135 of the Constitution concerns the right to elect and be elected to all soviets of worker’s deputies, not just to the USSR Supreme Soviet.

The procedure for changing the USSR Constitution is established by Article 146 of the Constitution, which says: “A change to the USSR Constitution is made only by a decision of the USSR Supreme Soviet adopted by no less than 2/3 of the votes of each of its houses”.

As a way out of this situation I suggest adopting the following decree in the name of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet, publishing it as the same time as the regulation about the elections:

“The age qualification for Soviet citizens elected to the USSR Supreme Soviet”. Having examined the submission of the legislative proposals commissions of the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities about the need to increase [inserted by hand: change] the electoral qualification for Soviet citizens elected to the USSR Supreme Soviet in view of the fact that the performance of the responsibilities of deputy of the USSR Supreme Soviet requires a certain sociopolitical and life experience the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet decrees:

1. Establish that any citizen who has reached the age of 23 can be elected a deputy of the USSR Supreme Soviet, regardless of racial or national origin, sex, religion, educational qualification, way of life, social origin, financial situation, or past activity with the exception of the mentally ill and those convicted by a court with deprivation of electoral rights.

2. Submit a proposal for approval of the next session of the USSR Supreme Soviet about a corresponding change and addition to Article 135 of the USSR Constitution.”

11 October 1945                   Nr. 23340                   Malenkov

Chief of the 4th Section [illegible signature]