Declaration of the People's Government of Finland

Due to will of the people – people, who have been consumed by hatred and anger at Cajander-Erkko-Tanner pitiful government’s criminal policies – has today formed in eastern part of Finland the new government of our country, the provisional People’s Government, which hereby calls for the whole of the Finnish people to the crucial battle for defeating the tyranny of executioners and war provocateurs.

That reactionary, greedy plutocracy, which with the assistance of foreign imperialistic forces drowned in streams of blood the working population of Finland’s democratic freedom in 1918, transferred our fatherland to a bloody slaughterhouse of our workers. Having sold the advantages of our independence, the plutocrats in cohorts with all kinds of imperialistic enemies of Finland and Soviet Union continuously plotted provocative strategies of war against Soviet Union and finally plunged our country into the furnace of war against Socialist Soviet Union, the great friend of Finnish people.

In this critical situation, the deep ranks of Finnish workers, which always have desired, and continue to desire, to live peacefully together with citizens of the Soviet countries, consider it as their elementary right and sacred duty to take the fate of their fatherland into their own reliable hands. Within various parts of the country, the people have arisen and proclaimed the formation of a Democratic Republic. A number of the soldiers of Finnish army have already moved to the side of the new people supported government.

Soviet Union, which has never threatened or disturbed Finland, which has at all times valued and respected its independence and for the past two decades has tolerated vile provocations of war from those adventurist powers that be White-Finland supporters, now considers it imperative to utilize the assistance of the Red Army put end to this matter that is threatening the safety of its people. This objective also fully corresponds to life aims of our people. Because of this, the Finnish people receive with enthusiasm the brave and unbeatable Red Army and greet them in knowledge that the Red Army will arrive in Finland not as conqueror, but as the liberator and friend.

The People’s Government of Finland, in the strong belief that the Soviet Union does not harbor any intention aimed at violation of our independence, fully approves of the actions of the Red Army on territory of Finland and supports them. The People’s Government of Finland considers this to be valuable assistance for population of Finland on part of the Soviet Union for the purpose that, with a common approach, the extremely dangerous seat of war which the war provocative criminal government has created in Finland could be eliminated as soon as possible.

For the purpose of earliest realization of this aim, the People’s Government of Finland calls upon the government of Soviet Union to give all required assistance of the Red Army to the Democratic Republic of Finland.

In order to take part in common battle hand-in-hand with the heroic Red Army, the People’s Government of Finland has already set up the first Finnish Army Corps, which will be reinforced during the upcoming battles by volunteers from amongst revolutionary workers and peasants, and which is destined to become the future strong core of the People's Army of the Finland. The first Finnish Army Corps will receive the honor of bringing the People’s Republic of Finland flag to the capital city, and raising it on the roof of the Presidential Palace, to the joy of the workers and to the horror of the enemies of people.

Our State will be a Democratic Republic that serves the interests of people, – as opposed to Cajander’s and Erkko’s plutocratic democracy, that serves the interests of capitalists and landed gentry. But our State is not Socialist State by nature, for the Soviet system cannot be established by the efforts of the government alone, without the consent of the whole people and in particular that of peasantry.

In conformity of above our government is a People’s Government of the Democratic Republic of Finland. It will obtain support from the broad front of workers. Within its present composition, the People’s Government of Finland regards itself as a provisional government.

Immediately upon arrival in Helsinki, the capital of the country, it will be reorganized and its composition enlarged by inclusion of working class members and representatives of various parties and groups participating in the popular front of people. Eventual composition of People’s Government, its powers and actions are to be sanctioned by a diet elected on basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by a secret ballot.

The People’s Government regards as its primary tasks the overthrow of the government of the White Guards, the routing of its armies, the establishment of peace, and ensuring the independence and security of Finland by means of establishing lasting friendly relations with the Soviet Union.

The People’s Government of Finland will turn to Government of Soviet Union in order to recommend concluding the Pact of Mutual Assistance between Finland and the Soviet Union, and to comply with the age-old national hope of the Finnish people for reuniting the Karelian people with it in a single independent State of Finland. The People’s Government of Finland has every reason to believe that the direction followed in establishment of friendly relations with Soviet Union enables the Soviet Government to give agreement to a proposal of this nature.

The People’s Government wishes to maintain friendly relations with all other States as well. It recognizes fiscal and economical agreements of Finland with other nations, providing these agreements are not in conflict with factors of external authority and provided these States do not engage in hostile conduct against Finland Democratic Republic and its People’s Government.

In their domestic policy, the People’s Government set itself the following tasks:

1. Creation of a People’s National Army of Finland.

2. Institution of State control over large private banks and large industrial enterprises and realization of measures assisting medium and small enterprises.

3. Realization of measures for complete elimination of unemployment.

4. Reduction of the working day to eight hours, with provision of a two-week summer vacation for workers and a reduction in house rent for workers and employees.

5. Confiscation of lands belonging to landed gentry, without touching the land and properties of peasants, and transfer of the confiscated land to peasants having no land or possessing small allotments.

6. Exemption of peasants from payment of taxes and tax arrears.

7. State assistance in every form for the improvement of economic status of poor peasants, in the first place by allotting to them additional land, pastures and, when possible, forests for their domestic needs, from lands confiscated from the landed gentry.

8. Complete democratization of Finland’s state organization, administration and courts.

9. Enhancement of state subsidies for cultural needs and reorganization of schools; to ensure the possibility of attendance in schools to the children of workers and other needy people, and also solicitude in every form for the development of public education, science, literature and the arts in a progressive spirit.

The hated-by-people plutocratic government, which has done everything possible to deliver our country of birth to ruin, having lost all support amongst the common people, has now, as has come to our notice, resigned. In place of this hated government has been placed the government of Tanner. But, Tanner is just as much the enemy of people as Cajander. Tanner’s government is not a bit better, if not indeed worse, than Cajander’s government. It is just as much hated by our people as Cajander’s government.

Let’s drive these executioners far away from Finland! Let’s strike to ground the entire bankrupt gang of government!

Arise, the suffered working population of Finland! Valiantly enter the battle against the tyranny of oppressors and executors!

Arise all citizens, who value the future of country of birth! Drive away from shoulders of people the dark multitudes of reactionaries! Let’s pave the way for rise of prosperity and culture, for fulfillment of centuries of national hopes!

Let the workers, peasants and working civilization of Finland be victorious in this matter of life and heart!

Under the flag of free and independent Democratic Republic of Finland – forward, towards victory!

People’s Government of Finland:
Chairman of People’s Government and Foreign Minister of Finland: Otto Kuusinen
Vice-Chairman of People’s Government and Treasurer: Mauri Rosenberg
Minister of Defense: Aksel Anttila
Minister for Home Affairs: Tuure Lehen
Minister for Agriculture: Armas Äikiä
Minister for Education: Inkeri Lehtinen
Minister for Karelian Affairs: Paavo Prokkonen

Terijoki, 1 Dec. 1939

Translated by Olli Makkonen, 2011