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Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung



The general strategy for economic and financial work in the Border Region is to develop the economy and ensure supplies. This being the case, the first and most important questions are: ‘How has our economic work been done in the past?’, ‘What are the successes?', 'What are the shortcomings?’, and, ‘What should be our strategy henceforth?' .

The economy of the Border Region is divided into the two large sectors, the public and the private. The private sector of our economy consists of all agriculture, industry, and commerce undertaken by private individuals. The public sector of our economy consists of the agriculture, industry, and commerce, undertaken by the government, troops, official organizations and schools. The functions and relationship of these two sectors are such that the private sector provides the livelihood of the 1,400,000 people of the Border Region. At the same time through taxation, it assists the government and troops, and supports the sacred cause of the War of Resistance and the reconstruction of the country. The public sector provides the bulk of the living and operating expenses of several tens of thousands of Party members, government-workers and soldiers, thus reducing the amount taken from the people and building up their resources so that these can be obtained in future urgent need. The principles used here are 'Give consideration to both public and private interests' and 'Give consideration to both troops and civilians' .

If our Party and government do not pay attention to mobilizing the people and helping them to develop agriculture, industry, and commerce, their life cannot be improved, and the needs of the War of Resistance cannot be met. As a result there will be trouble between the troops and the people. And if we cannot settle the minds of the troops and the people, it is pointless to consider anything else. Therefore the most important task is for the Party and the government to concentrate great efforts on building up the people's economy.

However, relaying on the taxes handed over by the people alone cannot meet the needs of the War of Resistance and the reconstruction of the country. This is particularly true of the Border Region where the area is large and the population sparse, and where there has long been a large contradiction between the taxes paid by the people and the expenditure of the government. Therefore, we must also concentrate great efforts on managing the public sector of the economy. This is an extremely great responsibility borne by our government, troops, official organizations and schools. In the past few years we have had great successes in this work. In 1943 we must achieve even greater successes so as directly to meet the needs of the War of Resistance and the reconstruction of the country. The more the public sector of the economy grows, the more the burden carried by the people can be reduced. This is another way of building up the resources of the people. And the instrument which unites and reconciles the private and public sectors is the currency.

The Private sector comprises agriculture, animal husbandry, handicrafts, cooperative undertakings, the salt industry, and commerce. Here I shall first deal with agriculture.

The agriculture of the Border Region was depressed during the period of the land revolution. At that time there was much uncultivated land in Yan'an, Ansai, Bao’an, Ganquan, Huachi and the three eastern counties, etc. On the border between Huachi and Bao’an, there was an area called Erjiachuan, which was more than 200 li long, yet only twenty or thirty households lived there. As early as the Tongzhi period (1862-74 ) there was no one living in Wuyasi and Zhangjiacha in Bao’an county. Fucunchuan in Ganquan county, and Jinpenwan and Machichuan in Yan'an county had for the most part ceased to be cultivated. Cotton-planting had ceased throughout the Border region. The decline in animal husbandry was very great. Only 400,000-500, 000 head of sheep remained and 100,000 oxen and donkeys. Textiles, the transport of salt, and other subsidiary undertakings had all been disrupted in the same way. In particular the textile industry had almost completely disappeared. By 1938, only 70,000 packs of eating salt were exported. All this shows how depressed the agriculture of the Border Region was at that time. Agriculture was only speedily restored and developed after the Central Red Army came to the Border Region and civil war ceased, after the local bandits were cleaned up and the peasants were given security, after the 'left' economic policy was corrected and a mild taxation policy was adopted, and after the Party and government's call for the development of agriculture had greatly raised the enthusiasm of the peasants for production.

Table 1.1 gives the statistics for livestock, cotton-planting and opening up of uncultivated lands in the past four years.

Table 1.1 Agricultural activity 1939-42
Year Area of new land opened (mu) Area of cotton planted (mu) Livestock
Oxen Donkeys Sheep
1939 1,002,774 3,767 150,892 124,935 1 1,171,366
1940 698,989 15,177 193,238 135,054 1,723,037
1941 390,087 39,087 202 914 137,001 1,724,203
1942 281,413 94,405 -- -- --
Total 2,373,263 -- -- -- --


(1) The statistics for the livestock of Jiaxian and Mizhi counties have not been included; the 1939 figures for livestock include the 1940 total for seven of the counties.

(2) The figure for the area of new land cultivated is for the amount of new land opened each year. The figures for cotton planted and for livestock are the annual totals for the whole of the Border Region.

These statistics show that year by year the cultivated land of the Border Region has expanded, the acreage of cotton planted has grown, and the amount of livestock has increased. Moreover. the real totals are more than those shown in the statistical table. As a result much of the formerly uncultivated land has become productive. For example, there are now more than a hundred households in Erjiachuan and all the land of the area has been cultivated. Wuyasi and Zhangjiacha are now both fully inhabited. In the past, all eleven districts in Yan'an county had unused land. At preset only Jinpen and Liulin districts, half the Central district and one township in Yaodian district have uncultivated land. In 1939, there were only about 300,000 mu of ploughed land in Yan’an. In 1942, there were 699,538 mu. There used to be a lot of uncultivated land in the counties of Ansai, Anding, Yanchuan, and Yanchang. Now there is very little. Before 1940 the Border Region bought grain from Luochuan county and east of the yellow River. Now, not only, is it unnecessary to buy grain from outside, there is even some surplus grain which is exported to the region of Yulin. Some people have moved here from other areas, livestock has increased, but we do not feel a shortage of grain. In the light of all these facts there is no longer any doubt that the Border Region can be self-supporting in grain.

Cotton-growing has not only again reached its pre-revolutionary peak, but has also developed. For example, the districts of Yongping, Yongsheng and Yuju in Yanchuan county did not previously grow cotton. Now they have all started growing it. The same is true of Yan'an. The profit from cotton is greater than the profit from grain. The return from 1 mu of cotton is on average 700 yuan or more, whereas if grain were planted the return would only be 200 yuan. The ratio is thus 3:1. In 1939, the area planted to cotton was only just over 3,700 mu. In 1942 it was more than 94,000 mu, and the quantity produced reached 1,400,000 jin. This was a great achievement. However the amount needed by the Border Region is 3 million jin. This is our future task.

The increase in livestock has also been very rapid. For example, in 1937 there were only about 8,000 sheep in Yan'an. Now there are more than 60,000. In 1937 there were only 70,000 sheep in Huachi, now there are more than 120,000. Before the land revolution, there were only five flocks of sheep in Zhangjiahe of Third township, Dongyang district, Yanchuan county. (There was no grazing land and there could only be thirty to fifty head in each flock. ) Now there are thirteen flocks. Oxen and donkeys have increased by almost two-thirds since the time of the civil war. As a result in 1940 and 1941 we were able to export 500,000 packs of salt. If it were not for the increase in oxen and donkeys, this salt would have been very difficult to move out.

However, the development of agriculture has not been even Those areas with relatively all-round development and rather more successes include the counties under direct administration and the Longdong sub-region, in particular Yan'an, Ansai, Ganquan, Huachi, Quzi and the three eastern counties. This is because they have a lot of land, few people, and the climate is quite good. These counties also have the biggest share in the subsidiary work of salt transport and at the same time, the largest amount of public expenditure. The area that has not developed is the special military area [Jingbeiqu], because it has a large population and the land is limited. There is no possibility of enlarging the ploughed area. They have had some success there in the gradual restoration of household spinning and weaving work. Moreover, there has been some emigration to the Yan'an area, which has eased the distribution of population and land.

The speed of development has also varied. Development was faster before 1940, particularly in the years 1939 and 1940. In these two years 1,700,000 mu of new land were opened up. In 1940, the number of sheep increased by nearly 600,000, and oxen and donkeys by over 50,000. But in 1941 and 1942 only about 600,000 mu of land were opened up. This is only one-third of the previous two years. There were fewer sheep in 1941 over 1940, and the number of oxen and donkeys only increased by 10,000 (in reality there was a reduction). However, in these two years cotton-growing and textiles both developed.

The above outlines the development of agriculture in the Border Region. Now I want to say a few words about how this development took place.

Before the civil war ended, agriculture was in decline. Afterwards it developed. How did this development come about? Apart from the arrival of the Central Red Army, the cleaning up of the local bandits, and the realization of peace so that the peasants could live and work securely, there were the following six reasons.

(1) The 'left' mistakes in economic policy were corrected and the policies to build up the resources of the people were implemented. Although the peasants had obtained a share of land, they were afraid to develop production because of the 'left' economic policy. In addition, because agriculture was disrupted both before and after the revolution, the base was very weak and hindered growth. The Central Committee corrected the left policy and thus put an end to the peasants' tendency to fear developing production. The peasants were then willing to buy more implements, and the rich peasants dared to take on tenants [an huozi] and long-term labourers [au changgong]. The milder policies restored confidence and helped the extension of production. At the same time the high price for grain and the great profit in subsidiary undertakings stimulated the peasants' zeal to produce, and made agriculture develop rapidly. This laid the basis for the levy of 200,000 tan of grain tax and 26 million jin of hay tax in 1941.

(2) Calls were made for the development of production. The Production Mobilization Conference for cadres held by the Central Committee (1939), the Second Party Congress of the Border Region (1939), the first meeting of the Border Region Council (1941) and the first agricultural exhibition, all called for the development of production. These calls played a major role in promoting growth. They first aroused the cadres, and then through them penetrated deeply to the masses, mobilizing men, women, old, young, and even loafers [er liuzi] to take part in production. They increased the labour force, and finally destroyed the peasants' fear of developing production. Thus the amount of new land opened up in 1939 was more than 1 million mu, and real imports of livestock were also greatest in that year.

(3) The immigration policy. A major reason for the enlargement of cultivated land by 2,350,000 mu in the past four years has been that those regions with large amounts of land have absorbed large numbers of immigrants, and increased their population. For example, in 1937 Yan'an (including Yan’an city) only had a population of 34,000. Now its population is roughly 70,000. Because of this, cultivated land in this county has increased from around 300,000 mu to roughly 700,000 mu. In 1936 Ansai only had a population of about 20,000. Now it has a population of more than 40,000. Ganquan originally had about 8,000 people. Now it has more than 14,000. In 1938 Yanchang only had a population of 25,000. Now it has more than 32,000. Yanchuan had the least amount of uncultivated land, but between 1938 and the present its population has increased by over 10,000. Huachi only had a population of 35,000 in 1938. Now it has a population of more than 40,000. Other places such as Bao’an, Anding, Jingbian, and the counties of the Longdong and Guanzhong sub-regions have also increased their population. These immigrants came mostly from Hengshan, Yulin, Shenmu, and Fugu, and secondly from the special military area. They all came voluntarily and were not organized by the government, They were willing to come because there was land and they were treated well. The various counties organized the existing householders to give help with grain tools, and cave houses, etc. At the same time the rich peasants took on tenants, which also helped the immigrants. The increase in immigrants not only enlarged the area cultivated, but also increased livestock, and stimulated commerce. Therefore the immigrants were one of the factors in the development of agriculture.

(4) The policy of incentives. Immigrants do not pay grain tax for three years, and their other obligations are reduced. If some of the peasants’ planting cotton do not make as much profit as those planting grain, the government pays compensation. If livestock is purchased from outside the Border Region, there is a reduction in grain tax by a fixed amount in the first year. In addition, there were the rewards to labour heroes given at the two agricultural exhibitions, which also brought about great results. For example, Wu Manyou and Mao Kehu of Yan’an and Due Fafu of Ganquan were rewarded at the first agricultural exhibition. Now they have become very good, rich peasants. They all pay more than 5 tan of grain tax (in the Border Region 1 tan is 300 jin). Moreover, they have encouraged other peasant householders in the villages to develop production. All these things have promoted the development of agriculture, in particular of grain and cotton.

(5) The reduction in the wastage of labour power, and the better adjustment in the use of labour power. Because we were busy fighting during the civil-war period, we did not pay attention to production and the land was neglected. After peace was established, there were frequent exercises and guard duties by the self-defence army [ziweijun] and many kinds of meetings. Therefore, each month each able-bodied man missed at least three working-days. Later this kind of wastage was reduced. Furthermore, before 1941 not much grain tax was collected, there was little tax grain transport duty, and the amount of work missed was comparatively limited. In recent years in rural areas, contract-labour teams [zhagong] and exchange-labour teams [biangong] have developed and made better adjustment in the use of labour power. We have mobilized loafers to take part in production. The number of women joining-in production has also increased. All these things have helped the development of Border Region agriculture.

(6) The policy of agricultural credit. Formerly there was no agricultural credit but this was offset by the mild taxation policy. Now that grain tax has increased and particularly as 80 per-cent of peasant households must pay it, those households (roughly one-third) lacking oxen, agricultural, tools, and food grain must be helped with credit. Moreover, a supply of credit is very necessary for certain kinds of agriculture that must be developed (like cotton-planting), for agricultural subsidiaries (like spinning and weaving), and for certain regions which need more development. Although only 4 million yuan credit was given in 1942, of which merely 1,500,000 yuan was for oxen, over 2,600 oxen and nearly 5,000 agriculture implements were bought and cotton-planting also expanded. It cannot be denied that this was a great help. But because finances are limited and we can only lend according to the government's financial strength, we still cannot provide enough credit to match the needs of the peasant households. However, a little is always better than nothing, and it does give some help.

The above are several of the major factors in the development of agriculture; below I shall discuss several major lessons to be drawn from our work.

(1) Act according to the conditions of the area and the season. Agricultural regions and seasons are different and methods of development are also different. For example, there is no uncultivated land in the special military area (apart from a small amount in Qingjian). The cultivated land area cannot be enlarged. Sheep-herding is limited by the pasture lands available. There is also a lack of pack-animals for the transport of salt. The policy of rent reduction has not yet been thoroughly implemented. Because of these things, grain production has not increased in those areas, and with the exception of spinning and weaving, subsidiary undertakings have not developed. Although improved techniques such as more frequent hoeing of weeds, greater use of manure, and more deep ploughing were introduced there long ago, we should still carry out more investigation of the situation, and at the right time do our utmost to increase production. However, if we were to employ these improved techniques in areas where land is plentiful population sparse, and working methods primitive, they would not be very effective because they all need an increase in labour power. From the point of view of the peasants of the latter kind of area, deep ploughing is not as good as planting more land. Applying more manure is not as good as opening up more uncultivated land. Planting more land is especially good in areas with low rainfall. Therefore, in these areas the call to improve agricultural methods is in general ineffective at the present time. To really increase production in these regions the most important thing for the moment is to rely on opening up unused land. If in the six years from 1937 to 1942 the increase in ploughed land was roughly 3 million mu then the amount harvested in 1942 was at least 500,000 tan more than in 1936, which is equivalent to 250,000 tan of hulled grain (each tan is 300 jin). If we estimate the grain production of the Border Region in 1942 to be 1,500,000 tan of hulled grain, then over six years, the increase in grain production through the increase of ploughed land is approximately one-sixth of the total. Some of this increase in cultivated land is new land opened up by immigrants, and some is expansion of land farmed by the original households. All this shows us that in directing agriculture, we must adopt different methods in different regions. In one region we should make deep ploughing the key, and in another enlarging the area ploughed. We must also make distinctions with respect to timing. At a time when there is unused land that can be cultivated, we should mainly encourage the opening up of new land. When uncultivated land has been exhausted, then we must turn to encouraging deep ploughing. We must not only make these distinctions between large regions, we must also make them within a county, a district and sometimes even within a township. For example, if certain villages in a township have rather a lot of unused land, we should encourage the opening up of unused land there. If in other villages there is little or no unused land, we should encourage deep ploughing. While there is still uncultivated land in a township, we should encourage the opening up of land. When all the lands have been opened up, we should encourage deep ploughing. Although we have had some successes in the past few years in our work, much has been too empty and generalized. Many of our comrades still do not know how to investigate objective circumstances minutely, nor do they know how to put forward concrete proposals to provide the conditions for increasing production in different regions, and, at different times. Slogans put forward in the past for deep ploughing, opening new lands, water conservancy, and increasing production by 400,000 tan or 200,000 tan, in reality contained much subjectivism. Many peasants were not interested or influenced by them. From this we may conclude that in future we must carry out deep, factual investigation, and solve problems in terms of concrete times, places, and conditions.

(2) As yet the peasants in a large number of areas still pay heavy rents and heavy interest rates, and the policy of reducing these has not been thoroughly implemented. On the one hand peasants must bear the burden of paying rent and interest to the landlords, and on the other they must pay grain tax and money tax to the government. They get too little for themselves, which dampens their enthusiasm to produce. Thus there is no possibility of increasing production. From this we may conclude that we must conscientiously implement the decrees to reduce rent and interest rates.

(3) As a result of the increase in Braid tax, and the newly levied hay tax, sheep tax, and salt-transport requirement, the peasants' enthusiasm for production has diminished. In the two years 1941 and 1942 the peasants paid a large amount of grain tax, hay tax and salt tax, and during these years they expanded the area of ploughed land by only 600, 000 mu, merely 60 per cent of the increase in 1939. Livestock did not increase in 1941, and sheep even declined (of course epidemics had some effect). Immigration also dropped. In 1942 only 4, 843, households came. Moreover, 3,527 old households moved out, the reason mainly being that they feared further burdens. Another reason was that the amount of grain tax collected increased progressively according to the amount harvested and not according to the area of land worked. This method, although rational in terms of sharing the burden equally, hindered the growth of investment in agriculture. It lowered the peasants' enthusiasm to invest in the land because for the same land a good harvest meant paying out a lot and a poor harvest meant paying out little or even nothing. If taxation was based on the area of land worked, this point could be corrected. The enthusiasm of the middle and rich peasants could be raised, and there would be no detriment to the poor peasants. From this we may conclude that there must be limits to the grain tax and hay tax, and at the same time we must improve the methods of taxation so as to promote agricultural production.

(4) Policies should be thoroughly implemented. For example, we stipulated that for three years we would not take grain tax from new immigrants or from those planting cotton, but in fact we have 'welcomed' grain tax from immigrants, and we have levied one-half of the grain tax for land planted to cotton. We originally stipulated that when livestock was bought from areas outside the Border Region we would reduce grain tax by a definite amount for the first year, but this has also not yet been implemented. In addition regulations for giving rewards for increased production have not been fully carried out. All these things not only affect the authority of the government but also diminish the enthusiasm of the peasants. From this we may conclude that henceforward everything pertaining to the decrees announced by the government must be resolutely implemented.

(5) More equitable adjustment in the use of labour power and other methods helpful to peasants, such as exchange-labour teams, contract-labour teams and so forth, have a strong influence on agricultural growth. However, with the exception of some counties like Yan'an, we have still not done enough to organize and promote them. There are certainly many comrades among the county cadres who are actively striving to put ideas to the people, and who have originated many good methods for mobilizing the masses to develop production. They have created many model examples. However, many other comrades are not like this. They lack the spirit of factual investigation and enthusiastic effort. They lack creativity. They feel that there is no work that they can do for agriculture, or they do not know how to set-to. Therefore they only raise empty slogans like 'spring ploughing' or 'autumn harvest'. They remain passive, and let the peasants do things as they like. The government simply keeps a record of what is done. But in fact there are many things to be done. Many good methods can be thought up. For example, during spring ploughing in 1942 some of the peasants in Yan'an felt very discouraged. Instances of moving out, splitting up the family, and selling livestock in preparation for reducing production occurred. From the point of view of the comrades who lack enthusiasm and creativity, these phenomena would be insoluble and it would be best to accept fate and let such bad things happen. But the comrades from Yan'an were not like this. They were neither passive nor bureaucratic They were able to grasp the key to the problem and adopt active methods. They overcame the difficulties. At that time, the Party and government did much propaganda work, and gave help with grain, cave houses, and agricultural tools. Afterwards not only did production not decline, but cultivated land increase by 80,000 mu. This example proved that there is much work in agriculture that ran and should be done by the local Party committees and the local government. Moreover, so long as they grasp the key points and find a method, then when they act they can be effective. From this we may conclude that cadres must be active to overcome difficulties, they must unite with the masses, and according to the needs of the masses create vigorous methods to solve their problems. They definitely cannot be passive and bureaucratic.

In order to give our comrades a clear-cut standpoint on this extremely important question of uniting closely with the masses and conscientiously solving their difficulties, I here specially reproduce for reference the reports of the comrades of Yan'an county on how they handled the problem of opening up unused land, how they handled the problem of refugees, and how they handled the problem of loafers.

What follows is the original report.


(1) We relied on the labour power of immigrant refugees to open up uncultivated land.

There were 25,428 refugees in the period of 1940 to 1942. On the basis of five of them equalling one labour power, there were 5,086 labour powers. Each labour power can open up 10 mu of new land in one year, giving a total of 50,860 mu. (Ten mu is the average figure for the land opened up by refugees in the past three years. In 1942 the land opened up by each labour power was more than this. )

(2) We relied on the labour power of original households and animals to open up unused land, totaling 29,399 mu.

The original households had 10,616 labour powers. The work could be done with each labour power opening up less than 3 mu.

(3) However, the organization of labour power is a major task. This year we adopted methods of collective labour, such as contract-labour teams and exchange-labour teams. We also organized women and loafers to take part in production.

Altogether we organized 487 contract-labour teams. We also drew 4,939 good labour powers into collective labour (exchange-labour teams). This was almost one-third of the total number of labour powers (according to statistics for this spring, there were 15,702 labour powers in the whole county), which meant that out of every three people one took part in collective labour. The method of Contract labour was to form a group of eight to ten good workers from a village and establish a foreman [gongtou]. Then they opened up new land and hoed weeds either for themselves or for others. Sometimes the foreman took part in physical labour, in which case he received pay valued at two labour days per day worked. If he did not take part, he only received pay valued at one labour day per day. Those forming contract-labour teams were either entirely from the local village, or came from outside, or were organized with people from outside the village together with peasant from the village.

The peasants were very pleased that we organized loafers to take part in production. It increased their enthusiasm for work.

More and more women joined in production each year. In particular refugee women took part in opening up uncultivated land, and even more of them in hoeing. There were thirty-nine in Liulin district this year. The refugee women of Third township in Chuankou district did not have any hoes. They went to the mountains and waited until others were tired and resting, then they took up the hoes and began opening-up land. When the others had finished their rest they handed back the hoes and waited again.

(4) We relied on production plans for each peasant household. In 1942, this county laid emphasis on determining production plans for each peasant household based on discussions with that household and with its agreement. The government printed a standard form to record plans including such things as opening up new lands, hoeing weeds, and so forth. When a plan was determined, it was posted up in the home of each family so that afterwards the government could examine the production plan of each household according to the form. When determining peasant household plans we had to pay attention to the following points:

i) The production circumstances of the previous year.

ii) The conditions for the increase of production in the current year.

iii) The amount of labour power (human and animal).

iv) Obtaining the agreement of the man concerned.

v) The need for constant examination and supervision of work.

(5) The effect of agricultural credit was important, in particular the 100,000 yuan credit given to refugees for agricultural tools. When the refugees arrived they did not have a thing. To open up unused land, first a mattock was needed to clear away the scrub and then a hoe to break the land. After agricultural credit was issued and the problem of tools was solved the refugees' desire to open up new land was very strong. In six days they were able to open up 3 mu. In 1942 agricultural credit was given rather late. The earlier credit is given the sooner more land can be opened up. (Note: do not violate the agricultural season.)

(6) During spring ploughing, mobilization work had to be reduced as much as possible. The peasants were allowed the time to open up new land and to take part in production.

(7) The government had a tight grasp on the work of opening-up unused land. Only three months were available for this. With a hundred-day plan, each day opening up 800 mu, it was necessary to have a labour force of 1,600. This was one-tenth of the laborer force of the whole county. By 19 April we had only opened up 15,000 mu. This was still far short of completing the task, and already two-thirds of the time had gone. Therefore beginning on 20 April, after a rainfall, there was a twenty-day assault. In the twenty days more than 50 per cent of the whole task was completed. Between 10 March and 19 April, 15,000 mu of land was opened up. This was 18.7 per cent of the work. In the twenty day assault, 46,442 mu of land was opened up, which was 58 per cent of the work.

In the assault the best districts were the following:

Luilin district: the ratio of new land opened up during the period of assault to that opened up before was 1,294.4:100.

Yaodian district: the ratio was 1,184.4:100.

Chuankou district: the ratio was 432.1:100.

Altogether the county government held two meetings of district heads to inspect the work, and issued three directives. The cadres of the county government went down to the districts and townships more than three times.

The districts checked up on the work of the townships up to seven or eight times in some cases, and three times at the very least. The townships also checked up many times on the work of the villages.

The tight grasp of the leadership and the strict check-ups played a decisive role in the completion of the task.


  (1) [Table 1.2 refers to] Statistics on the flow of refugees into Yan'an county in recent years.

Putting it simply, the number of households more than doubled, and the number of people just about doubled.

The refugees who came settled mainly in Chuankou, Liulin, Jinpen. and Yaodian districts. In these districts there was a lot of unused land.

Table 1.2 The flow of refugees into Yan’an county
(Yan'an City excluded), 1938-42
Year Households Number of people
1938 239 1,200
1939 533 1,976
1940 1,137 6,090
1941 5,040 14,207
1942 1,050 6,237
Total 8,009 29,704
Comparison with 1937
  Households Number of people
1937 7, 703 32, 705
Increase during 5 years 8, 009 29,704
Percentage increase 103.9% 90.8%

(2) Statistics on how the government helped the refugees solve problems in production after they had come (Table 1.3).

(3) The methods for solving refugees' difficulties in production were:

(i) There was a lot of land. We proposed that the ownership of publicly-owned uncultivated land should go to those who opened it up. If the owner of privately-owned unused land did not open it up, we let refugees do so. The three-year exemption from tax was an incentive.

Table 1.3 Allocation of State aid to refugees, 1940-42
  1940 1941 1942 Total
Allocation of land (in mu) 10,220.00 3,451.00 6,335.00 20,006.00
Grain (in tan) 669.9 495.00 458.48 1,623.38
Seeds (in tan) 40.18 8.2 47.37 95.75
Agricultural tools (items) 424.00 2,133.00 427.00 2,984.00
Oxen 979.00 82.00 212.00 1,273.00


(a) In 1942, 13,555 jin of sweet potatoes [yangyu] were given up the refugees in addition, and on 273 occasions they were helped with oxen.

(b) Agricultural tools were ploughshares, rakes and hoes.

(ii ) The problem of a place to live. In the beginning they lived in old cave houses or broken-down cave houses. Many of the others who came afterwards were joining friends, relatives, or people of other social relationships. They lived in the cave houses of those friends or relatives. Having settled down, they dug out their own cave house. In other cases one person came in the first year and dug out the cave house. In second year the family came and moved into the house.

(iii) We made arrangements among the peasants for grain to eat. We proposed that if 1 tou of grain was borrowed before spring, after autumn 1 tou and 3 sheng should be repaid. This was a profit of 30 per cent. It encouraged the original households to lend grain and the government guaranteed repayment. Another method was to urge the original households to hire help [diao fenzi], to take on share-cropping tenants [an zhuangjia] and to contract short-term labour [lan gong] from among the refugees. Conditions were decided voluntarily by both sides. Allowing the original households to exploit a little was not a problem because when the refugees first came they did not have a thing. Although they were exploited, we could not let them starve.

Statistics for this year (1942) [are shown in Table 1.4]. Table 1.4 Households reliant upon employers for
food grain in 1942

Hired help [diao fenzi] 359 households
Share-cropping tenants
[an zhuangjia]
466 households
Short-term contract labour
[lan gong]
184 households
Total 1,009 households

These households relied on their employers for food grain. However, the hired helpers [diao fenzi] could only get supplies for themselves. Hired farmhands and short-term contract labourers were able to get food grain for their family members as well. There were 650 households of the latter kind. At a rate of three people per household, this was altogether 1,950 persons. If we add on the 359 hired helpers, the full total was 2,309 people relaying on their employers for grain. If they had asked for aid from the government, at a rate of 5 tou per man per year the amount of grain needed would have been 1,154.5 tou. What a large amount this would have been! Therefore on the basis of mutual agreement between employer and employee, the hiring of farmhands, helpers, and short-term contract labourers solved many great problems. It not only solved the problem of food grains. It also enlarged production and increased the supply of grain. Taking each household as one labour power, there were 1,009 labour powers altogether. One labour power could produce 2 tan of grain, so in total they could increase grain production by 2,018 tan. After consumption this still left a surplus of 863.5 tan. By the following year these people were in a position to carry out production by themselves.

(iv ) The peasants were urged to help the refugees with seed and land to work. Seed was repaid after autumn, and a rent paid for land with the government as guarantor.

(v) The institution of credit for agricultural implements for refugees was very effective in solving the problem of supplying tools to open up new lands. If arrangements for any problem (food grain, supply of agricultural implements, etc.) were not good, the opening up of unused lands could have been impeded. Therefore it was necessary to solve each problem rapidly and at the correct time. A delay of one day reduces the amount of land opened up.

(vi) As for the problem of burdens on the refugees, we resolutely carried out the decisions of the government of the Border Region on treating them well. For three years we made no demands on them, and instead the government helped them solve all kinds of difficulties. This year the government cadres of the county, districts, and townships saved 10 tan of grain for issue to the refugees. While solving the problem of grain for refugees to eat, Third township in Central district made great efforts to reduce their burdens.

(4) Why did the refugees want to come to Yan'an?

(i) We have really solved the difficulties of referees. The solution of the refugee food-grain problem in 1940 had a particularly wide influence. In Chuankou district alone 300 tan of grain was supplied. Therefore many more refugees came in the year 1941.

(ii) Although government calls had a great impact, the effect of the refugees themselves telling their own friends, relations and other social acquaintances of the good treatment they received was even greater. We found that very few refugees who came to us had refugee certificates issued by Suide sub-region. This was because they feared that after having accepted settling-in funds or registration cards from there, they would not be free or they would become public property. They preferred to get money through their own personal relationships.

(5) Opinions concerning future immigrant refugees:

(i) Get more to come by encouraging refugees to use their social connections.

(ii) The government at county and district levels should conscientiously solve problems for them.

(iii) The government of the Border Region should issue some grain and funds to help them, with repayment after autumn.

(iv) Persist in carrying out the decisions to treat refugees favourably.


(1) Statistical summary [given in Table 1.5]. Table 1.5 Mobilization of loafers, 1937-42

Year Original number of loafers Number joining in production Number not yet taking part in production
1937 1,629 299 1,330
1938 1,246 578 668
1939 543 120 423
1940 359 175 184
1941 184 126 58
1942 145 40 105


The chief reason for the increase in loafers in 1942 was that in 1941 Jinpenwan was taken from Gulin county and placed under the administration of this county. According to statistics, that district had forty-three idlers.

(i) In Panlong district, a certain spirit medium beat his 'three mountains' knife[3] into a hoe. He told the masses he would not swindle people again and would work hard in future.

(ii) At Lijiaqu in Third township of Chuankou district, Hui San and Gao Wu were each given the task of opening up 6 mu of uncultivated land this spring. They completed this and even exceeded it by 2 mu. At Tianujiagelao in Fourth township, Yang Yingcheng was given the job of opening up 6 mu. He opened up 9 mu.

(iii) In Liulin district this year, seven men were reformed and joined in production. In Wuyang district twelve men were investigated. After a struggle, nine of them took part in production. In Fengfu district there were eight men. At Ganguyi in Yaodian district eight men were organized in two groups to go to Zhangjiakou to open up new land.

(iv) At Nanyigou of Third township in Fengfu district, Bai Fenyu was a shaman before 1936. By 1941 he had an ox and hired a man. He had 200 sheep and had become the village head. He paid 10.2 tan grain tax, 200 jin salt tax, and 50(1 jin hay tax. This year he has got another ox and hired a helper. He has expanded production and his prospects are very good.

(v) Because the government mobilized them to take part in production, the loafers of Panlong district said: 'If things go wrong this year government men will be even more strict with us'. For example, Li Dejin from Lijiabian in Fourth township used to smoke opium. This year he has opened up 6 mu of new land and also stopped smoking. In the whole district there were twenty-seven loafers. They have written guarantees that they will do well in production, and as a result twenty of them are very good.

(vi) At Liujiaping in Mudan district there is a man (name unknown) with extremely bright prospects now that the government has mobilized him to join-in production. Later he sought out one of the government personnel and treated him very w ell saying "The government was right to get us to take part in production'. Gao Yucheng from the same district used to be a It at en He did not farm and he did not cut firewood. Winter and summer, wearing a ragged old cotton-padded jacket he would curl up on the cold Rang. Each day he would smoke one-fifth of an ounce [er qian] of opium. His wife and children cried from cold and hunger. After the revolution and educated by the government, he has become the production director of Fourth township. Everybody praises his method of work. He is a labour hero. Moreover he keeps a close watch on loafers. He forces then to make production plans. Every five days he goes up into the hills to supervise them. Under his direction Liu Guai and Yan Fenghe have each planted 24 mu of land this year.

(2) Our methods of mobilization are:

(i) Doing propaganda, educational, and persuasive work to get them to take part in production. Having got some grain in their prospects improve.

(ii) The government gives them definite production tasks, such as opening up uncultivated land (see examples above) . They are inspected at regular intervals. Moreover special people in the villages are designated to supervise their production.

(iii) Urging the masses to struggle against them, and to force them to join production. This year in the two villages, Jinpenhe and Yunshansi in Third township, Panlong district, production competitions were organized. In this situation, Chang Degong, a loafer in Jinpenhe, was forced by the villagers to go up into the hills to open up new land. He has opened up 3 mu. At the moment he is preparing to plant 15 mu.

(iv) Organizing the loafers in collective labour. The loafers are concentrated in the district town and organized into tea. Is to open up new land. After they Bet rid of the opium-smoking habit, they can go home. The land opened up and farmed is given to whoever does the work.

(v) The government solved some of the loafers' production difficulties.

(3) Results.

The masses were very pleased that the government made the loafers take part in production. The masses opposed them very much because they did no work at all, paid no grain tax, and caused trouble every time there was mobilization work. As for the loafers themselves, after they obtained some real results from production, they realized that the government was acting for their betterment. The above examples clarify this point. As for those who were extremely stubborn and refused to change, some even running away when the government tried to mobilize them, on their return they joined in a little light productive labour. In this county no loafers have become bandits.

We have not referred to this report of the leading comrades of the Party and government of Yan'an county without purpose. The spirit of the comrades of Yan'an county is entirely the spirit of Bolsheviks. Their attitude is enthusiastic, and there is not the slightest passivity in their thoughts and in their actions. They are not at all afraid of difficulties, and are able vigorously and firmly to overcome them all. Look how responsible they are towards their work: 'In 1942 agricultural credit was given rather late. The earlier credit is given the sooner more land can be opened up!' 'It was a necessary to solve each problem rapidly and at the correct time: A delay of one day reduces the amount of land opened up!' 'Determine the production plans of each peasant household.' 'The tight grasp of the leadership and the strict check-ups played a decisive role in the completion of the task.' How vastly different and hoar much better is this spirit than that of those timid people who draw back, full of sighs when they meet difficulties, and of those who are not conscientious in their work and try to get by and neglect things! Imbued with such spirit, there is not one thing that the comrades of Yantan did not handle realistically and practically. They have a full understanding of the feelings, needs, and concrete circumstances of all the people of Yan'an county. They are completely united with the masses. They carry out extremely good investigation and research, and thus they have learned the Marxist art of leading the massed. They are entirely without subjectivism, sectarianism, and the Party 'eight-legged essay'. How does this compare with those subjectivists who do not solve problems according to the demands of the masses but according to their own subjective imagination? And with those bureaucrats who do no investigation and research work at all end, though they work for many years, have no idea of whet is going on beneath them? In there not a world of difference between them? We hope all the comrades of the Border Region will have this spirit of the comrades of Yan'an, this attitude towards their work, this one-ness with the masses, this willingness to carry out investigation work, and thus also learn the Marxist art of leading the masses to overcome difficulties so as to make our work successful whatever is undertaken. Quite a few of the comrades of the various counties of the Border Region are like or more or less like the comrades of Yan'an. We hope that the model experience of these comrades can quickly spread to all counties, districts, and townships.

The above is a summary of agricultural work in the Border Region in the past. What follows are the tasks for the year 1943.

The major demand on agriculture is to increase the production of grain and cotton (subsidiary undertakings will be discussed elsewhere). In the light of the present need for grain and cotton and also in order to strive for some grain and cotton for export it is still necessary for us to mobilize the peasant masses to increase the production of hulled grain by 200,000 tan and to increase the production of cotton by 1,600,000 jin. Is there any hope that this can be achieved? In the six years between 1937 and 1942, it is estimated that roughly 3 million mu of uncultivated land was opened up and the production of grain increased by 500,000 tan. Well then, is it possible in the next few years once again on the basis of opening up new land and other methods to increase the production of grain by 400, 000 tan equivalent to 200, 000 tan of hulled grain? In the years between 1939 and 1942 the land planted to cotton exceeded 90,000 mu and the raw cotton produced reached 1,100,000 jin. Well then in the next few years is it possible to increase the land planted to cotton by more than 100, 000 mu, and the cotton produced by more than, 60,000 jin?

We consider that all this is entirely possible.

If the peasants are able to increase the production of hulled grain by 20,000 tan then even if they hand over 200,000 tan of grain tax as in 1941, they will still only have to give the government the amount of increase. They themselves will be able to keep an amount equal to the entire previous harvest. As for cotton, even if in future we levy some in tax, the peasants will still be able to keep the largest part of the harvest, and e problem of cotton cloth supply for the Border Region can be solved.

What are the policies which will effectively attain the above targets and not remain just empty words? According to our past experience the following eight policies must be implemented: (1) the reduction of rent and the reduction of interest rates, (2) an increase in the opening up of uncultivated land, (3) an increase in the planting of cotton; (4) not violating the agricultural seasons; (5) better adjustment in the use of labour power: (6) an increase in agricultural credit; (7) improvement in technical skill; (8) implementing progressive taxation. In what follows I shall deal with each of these eight points separately.

Our first agricultural policy is the reduction of rent and the reduction of interest rates. Approximately one-half of the 1,400,000 people of the Border Region have received a share of land. The remainder have not yet done so, such as those in the Suide-Mizhi special military area, Longdong sub-region, Fuxian county and many places in Sanbian sub-region and so forth. In these regions we should carry out the reduction of rent and interest rates in accordance with government decrees. This is an extremely important policy for increasing the peasants' enthusiasm for production. After rent and interest rates have been reduced, the peasants' burdens from the landlords are less and the amount they can keep themselves is increased. Thus their enthusiasm for production is greatly raised and they can produce more. The Northwest Bureau [Xibei Ju] has already made concrete arrangements with the Border Region Government over this policy and I will not speak more of it here.

Our second agricultural policy is to increase the amount of uncultivated land opened up. Peasants in areas where there is a lot of uncultivated land consider that deep ploughing is not as good as opening up new land. We should therefore organize the peasants in the counties, districts, and townships where such land exists to develop it as a means of increasing the production of grain. Besides land freshly cultivated by the original households, we must mainly rely on encouraging immigrants to come and develop unused land. At present the conditions are right for getting immigrants. The various counties should do a large amount of organizational work. According to circumstances they should determine specific tasks for the new and old households separately. Like Yan'an county they should make specific sowing and planting plans for each household. Such plans should include both the opening up of new land and the planting of cultivated land. For 1943 the planned increase in production of grain for the entire Border Region has been fixed as 80,000 tan of hulled grain. This should be achieved through the people and the troops opening new lands and improving agricultural methods.

Our third agricultural policy is to increase the planting of cotton. The entire Border Region needs 3 million jin of cotton. If on average each mu of land can yield a net total of 20 jin of raw cotton, we only need 150,000 mu of land for cotton. If each mu can only yield a net total of 15 jin or even less, we shall need 200,000 mu. We should prepare our cotton-land according to the latter estimates. But because households planting cotton for the first time lack experience and faith, even if we expand the area planted to cotton, the harvest will not live up to expectations. Therefore it is not possible to attain the full target for cotton production in a single year and we should increase cotton land by 56,000 mu in 1943. Together with the previous 94,000 mu, the total will be 150,000 mu making it possible to increase production to 2,250,000 jin. There is no problem over land and seed for planting this area of cotton, but there is a great shortage of cotton-ginning equipment. If each ginning machine can gin 60 jin of cotton per day on average, we need 300 machines in order to be able to gin 3 million jin of cotton in half a year. In 1943 there will be 2,250,000 jin of cotton to be ginned. For this we need more than 200 machines. However, at present there are only a hundred or so broken and old machines of which only fifty can be used every day. If we attempt to gin 2 million jin of cotton on fifty machines we will need two whole years. Therefore solving the problem of ginning the cotton is a vitally necessary part of the policy of expanding the planting of cotton. A further point is that up to the present the peasants of the Border Region have still not learned to press cotton-seed oil. With 2 million jin cotton we will also get 4 million of cotton seed. Each 100 jin can produce 12 jin of cotton-seed oil. If we can solve the problem of pressing the oil, then the returns to the peasants growing cotton will increase. Their enthusiasm for growing cotton will also rise. In relation to the above needs, in 1943 the government should do the following work to expand the planting of cotton: (1) Allocate the planting of cotton to peasant households with suitable land so as to make a total of 150,000 mu. Help the households planting cotton with seed, manure and techniques. Those who have difficulties with draught animals and implements should be given credit. (2) Construct cotton-ginning machines and spare parts, and supply them to the peasants planting cotton. Help them to repair old machines. At the same time organize them to buy cotton-ginning machines from outside areas, helping with credit. In these ways solve the problem of ginning the cotton. (3) Do research into methods of pressing cotton-seed oil so that the peasants planting cotton will be able to extract 480,000 jin of oil from the 4 million jin of seed (each jin is worth 15 yuan, a total value of 7,200,000 yuan). (4) Organize joint public and private cotton cooperatives to undertake work such as cotton-ginning, making up into bundles, selling, pressing oil and so forth. (5) Give rewards to peasants good at growing cotton and introduce good methods of planting cotton and ginning so as to increase the enthusiasm of the peasants growing cotton and to raise the amount and quality of the cotton.

Our fourth agricultural poling is not to violate the agricultural seasons. That is, in busy agricultural seasons we should allow the peasants to cease all meetings and mobilization work which is not related to agriculture. Under the present circumstances in the Shaan-Kan-Ning Border Region, in busy agricultural seasons we should stop all meetings and mobilization of the peasant masses outside of their agricultural work, so as to economize on labour and animal power, and let it all be used for agricultural production. Essential meetings and mobilization should be carried out during gaps in the work. The previous mistake of holding too many meetings and too much mobilization must be corrected.

Our fifth agricultural policy is better adjustment in the use of labour power. To this end there are the following methods: incentives to immigrants, mutual-aid labour, mobilization of women, mobilization of loafers, emphasizing support for families with kin serving as soldiers in the War of Resistance, granting leave of absence to take part in the War of Resistance, granting leave of absence to take part in production, obtaining help from the troops, and so forth. All of these assist in adjusting the use of labour power.

As regards incentives to immigrants, we must rely on cooperation between the government and the people. The methods to be employed are as follows. (1) the Party and government of the Suide-Mizhi special military area should be responsible for organizing immigrants with a total of 5,000 labour powers to go to the directly administered counties to open up unused land. However, the basic principle must be voluntary participation, and all kinds of propaganda and organizational work should be done. (2) The government should set aside some grain for lending to immigrants who need help. It should also provide credit for agricultural implements and fully carry out preferential treatment by waiving grain tax for three years. (3) The old households should be encouraged to help the new households by lending grain, giving up some cultivated land, lending out cave houses, and so forth. In these loans the peasant doing the lending should be permitted to charge some interest, with the rate freely decided by the two parties. (4) Peasant households with a good basis should be organized to take on the poorest immigrants as tenants [huozhong]. The amount of rent should not be excessively low, so that the old households will be happy to take them on. (5) Immigrants from outside should be encouraged to come by old households who have contact with outside areas. Each county in the frontier areas should have a special person responsible for their reception. He should tell them about regions where there is land to be opened up so that they can go there and settle down. For example recently 600 refugees from Henan came to Longdong sub-region; they should be welcomed in this way.

Mutual-aid labour means that within one village or among several villages the peasant households not only plough and plant their land independently but in busy seasons also carry out mutual aid. For example, on a voluntary basis five, six seven or eight households can become one group. Those that have labour power can supply labour power. Those that have animal power can supply animal power. Those that have a lot can supply a lot, those that have little can supply a little. In rotation and collectively they can plough hoe, and harvest for each household in the group, and they can settle accounts in autumn. Work can be repaid by equal amounts of work. Those who supply more can receive supplementary wages from those who supply less, according to the wage rate of the village. This method is called mutual-aid labour. The mutual-aid cooperatives and ploughing teams previously set up throughout the Kiangsi Soviet were all organized according to this method. In villages with a large population, several small teams can join together into a mutual-aid cooperative. The teams have a team head and a deputy head. Cooperatives have a cooperative head and a deputy cooperative head. Adjustment in the use of labour can also take place between cooperatives. These, then are the labour cooperatives of the peasant masses. They are extremely effective. Not only do they mean that peasant households which lack labour power can plant, hoe and harvest at the correct time, but also those households which do not lack labour power can, through collective labour, get even more profit from their planting, hoeing and harvesting. This method is entirely beneficial and has no drawbacks. We should promote it widely. The system of exchange-labour teams which some areas in the Border Region have already implemented is the same method. Each county should strive to organize mutual-aid cooperatives and greatly expand collective labour by the peasants. Apart from this, there are contract-labour teams. These are also welcomed by the peasants of the Border Region. The method is not one of mutual aid but a kind of hired-labour organization for the busy agricultural seasons. Several people or even more form a group and collectively work for the people who hire them. When they have finished working for one household they go to another. It is another method of adjusting the use of labour power. All areas should help those who come from outside to do contract labour by helping them to find work to do and so forth.

As for mobilizing women to take part in production, although many of the women of the Border Region have bound feet, they are still a large labour force second only to the men. They can take part in various kinds of supplementary agricultural work such as planting vegetables, sowing seeds, hoeing weeds, feeding livestock, taking food to the fields, drawing water, and gathering the harvest, etc. There are also some who can take part in basic labour. They have generally done these things in the past. In future we should spread propaganda and encouragement widely, stimulating their enthusiasm for labour so as to raise agricultural production. Comrades in the leading organs of Party and mass organizations for women have as yet not found the orientation for their work. They feel there is nothing that they can do. In fact their first task should be that of looking into and helping the women of the Border Region to play a wider role in productive labour, so that all those women who can take part in labour go to the production front and together with the men solve the great problem of how to increase production. There are sill a large number of women in the Border Region who have not untied their bound feet. This is a great hindrance to labour and production. We should use the two methods propaganda and compulsion so that within a few years we make them untie their bound feet. Henceforth no one is permitted to bind the feet of young girls, no matter who they are.

As for mobilizing loafers to take part in productive labors, we have already had some remarkable successes over the past few years. After the various counties did this work, the number of loafers greatly decreased. However, in those regions where they still exist we should use both persuasion and compulsion to mobilize all of them to go to the production front during 1943. The experience of Yan'an county in this work is good, Bolshevik experience. Mobilizing loafers to take part in production not only increases the labour force but also reduces the number of bad people doing bad things. It is supported by the people and strengthens social peace.

When emphasizing support for families with members working in the War of Resistance, we have in the past put support for families with civilian personnel in first place and support for families with kin serving as soldiers in the War of Resistance second. This is entirely wrong. Now we should reverse this and put support for families with kin serving as soldiers in the War of Resistance first. The system of substitute cultivation [daigengzhi] should first be applied conscientiously for those family dependents of soldiers in the army resisting Japan who lack labour power (making no distinction between our own army and friendly armies). Secondly it should be applied to those dependants of workers in the Party and government who truly lack labour power. In those areas where labour cooperatives [exchange-labour teams] have been successfully organized, the solution of this problem can be entrusted to the cooperative.

Granting leave of absence to take part in production means that in the busy agricultural seasons Party and government officials in the Border Region whose families have difficulties are each year permitted to return home on two occasions, each time for several days, so that they can take part in family based agricultural production. The primary and secondary school of the Border Region should also stop classes in the busy agricultural seasons, letting the students and local teachers return home to help production. This is another method of adjusting the use of labour.

The armed forces assisting in production means that each busy agricultural season the troops of the Border Region spend several days helping the peasants in the areas around where they are stationed with the ploughing, hoeing and harvesting. Moreover they do not receive any payment (they eat their own food). On the one hand this can help adjust the use of labour power, and on the other hand it can strengthen the relationship between the army and the people. The political work departments of the army should plan this work.

If all the above seven ways of adjusting the use of labour power are well implemented, they will be of great help to agricultural production in the Border Region. Among them the most important is the mutual-aid cooperative, which should be realized generally throughout the whole Border Region.

Our sixth agricultural policy is to increase agricultural credit. In 1942 the government issued credit for draught animals, cotton-planting, water conservancy work and so forth. This was greatly appreciated by the peasants and helped some of them to overcome their difficulties. One-third of the peasants of the Border Region lack draught animals and agricultural implements. This is an extremely: important problem. If we want agriculture to develop, helping this huge number of peasant masses to solve their difficulties is a very important policy. One way of doing this is to increase agricultural credit. In 1942 under the sponsorship of the Border Region Bank, 1,580,000 yuan of credit for draught animals and agricultural implements was issued to 8,025 peasant households in the seven counties, Yan'an, Ganquan, Fuxian, Ansai, Zichang, Gulin and Zhidan. Together with capital of more than 1,030,000 yuan amassed by the peasants themselves, this bought 2,672 draught animals, and 4,980 pieces of agricultural equipment. Over 100,000 mu of new land was opened up and grain production increased by an estimated 26,000 odd tan. In addition, the three counties Yanchang, Yanchuan and Gulin issued 1,530 yuan of credit for planting cotton and for cotton-seedlings. The area planted to cotton grew by over 51,000 'a and could produce an estimated increase of 870,000 Jin of cotton. In view of the achievements through agricultural credit in 1942, a further 17 million yuan should be lent in 1943 in addition to re-lending the 3,110,000 yuan. Of this, 14 million yuan should be credit for agricultural implements and draught animals and 3 million yuan should be for planting cotton. Based on the experience in issuing credit in 1942, methods for credit in 1943 Should pay attention to the following points:

(1) Credit should be given in those regions which have a lot of unused land to new and old immigrants and old households of poor peasants who have labour-power but lack implements, draught animals and grain, and to peasant households which have planted a lot of land but have no money with which to hire labour for hoeing.

(2) After trials by the Commodities Bureau [Wuzi Ju]. we should introduce loans in kind, buying draught animals and suitable implants from outside or assisting peasant households themselves to purchase them. Only in this way can we truly increase the draught animals and agricultural implements in the Border Region. Otherwise the peasants can only buy implements and animals from the rich peasants and landlords of the Border Region with their Border Region currency. This merely has the function of adjusting the ownership of animals and tools within the Border Region and does not increase the total stock of animals and implements.

(3) Agricultural credit for next year has already been increased. We should also alter the policy used this year of concentrating issue of credit in the counties around Yan'an. We should issue a suitable amount to the Sui-Mi, Longdong, Sanbian, and Guanzhong sub-regions. But this should not be done on an egalitarian basis. Instead it should be issued in a planned way to those counties, districts and peasant households where there is a lot of unused land, where the need for funds is greatest, and where there can be profitable production.

(4) The organization for issuing credit must be improved. That is to say, credit must be issued through district and township governments, and cooperatives which have the trust of the masses. Therefore the cadres of the districts and townships must be made to recognize the great significance of agricultural credit in the development of agriculture. They must not look upon it as a disaster-relief system. They may not adopt a policy of egalitarian distribution nor an irresponsible attitude.

(5) The formalities for issuing credit must be simple. Use the local methods for giving credit with which the peasants are already familiar. There is no need for formalities such as the 'letter of request for credit', etc.

(6) Of the total agricultural credit of 20,110,000 yuan set aside 8 million yuan specially as credit for cotton and wheat seedlings, The households which borrow this can repay in kind after the cotton and wheat harvest. Although these funds are specified as funds for cotton and wheat seedlings, the peasants should be able to use them freely. Such credit is of mutual benefit to public and private interests. The government gets repayment in kind and the peasants can reduce exploitation through paying high interest rates on loans.

(7) The issue of credit should not violate the agricultural seasons. The Finance Department [Caiting] and the Border- Region Bank should make rapid plans so as to issue half of the entire total of credit before the end of the lunar year this year, that is about 10 million yuan.

Our seventh agricultural policy is to improve agricultural techniques. Improving techniques means carrying out research into things that are feasible, starting from the existing agricultural techniques and the peasants' production skills in the Border Region. The aim is to help the peasants improve the mayor processes in the production of grain and cotton and to increase production. Some improvements are very possible. We have already had quite a lot of experience. It is wrong to lack faith and enthusiasm on this point. However, there is no basis for boasting of the possibility of great improvement, or for considering that we can realize modernized, large-scale agricultural techniques in the Border Region.

How should we implement this policy? We consider that the following things should be done:

(1) We should build effective water conservancy projects. Jingbian provides an example. In Yangquiaopan, Changcheng district, Jingbian county there are 25,000 mu of land that can be irrigated. They have already irrigated 5,000 mu. In 1943 they want to carry out further construction. According to the Jingbian comrades, 1 mu of dry land only yields 1 tou of hulled grain. However 1 mu of irrigated land can be planted three times per year. The first planting is spring wheat which yields 8 tou, equal to 4 tou of hulled grain. The second planting is black beans, yielding 4 tou equal to 2 tou of hulled grain. The final planting is turnips, yielding 2,000 jin. Each is worth 0.3 yuan and the total value is 600 yuan. On the basis of each tou of hulled grain being worthy of 150 yuan, this is the equivalent of 4 tou of hulled grain. These three things give a total equivalent of 1 tan of hulled grain. This is ten times the yield of dry land Therefore the peasants of Jingbian often proudly say, 'Plant wheat first and then black beans. The black bean forest contains turnips too.' The major problems in constructing irrigated land are those of the distribution of land rights, of mobilizing manpower, of organizational leadership, and of building ditches and dykes. If one of these four is not right then nothing can be achieved. In 1942 the comrades of Jingbian led the peasants to construct six dykes in Tuwan and Yangquiaopan. etc. After the dykes they built ditches, channeling in the water to irrigate the land. First of all they solved the question of land rights by dividing the new irrigated land between landlords and peasants at ratios of 70 per cent to 30 per cent, 60 per cent to 40 per cent, or half and half. This aroused the enthusiasm of the peasant masses. According to the comrades from Jingbian: 'So long as the problem of land rights is solved, it is easy to call on the peasants. For example, we constructed ten irrigated areas. Over a hundred new households came in addition to the existing 200 peasant households and of these more than thirty came from other districts.' They also say: 'Government funds are very important in the construction of irrigated land. However we must mainly rely on the organization of manpower and on unutilized capital. In Jingbian we built 5,000 mu of irrigated land in 1942. Altogether we used 28,560 labour days, which is an average of 5.7 per mu. The total funds were 858,000 yuan. Of this 210,000 yuan came from public funds and 648,000 yuan from unutilized capital absorbed. Of course a large proportion of these resources was made up by the ordinary folk giving their labour instead of cash.'

As regards organization and leadership, the Jingbian comrades Say:

'We adopted the following two methods of leadership when building irrigated Land. First we organized water conservancy committees of three to five men from good peasants in the locality. These were responsible for balancing equitably the use of labour, tools, and so forth. However, it was often difficult for them to solve problems of property rights and water-use rights, hindering the implementation of water-conservation work. Therefore it was necessary to have a second method whereby the government delegated cadres to assist in leadership and to solve difficult disputes among the masses. Cadres from the Water Conservancy Bureau [shuili Ju] and a further three delegated by the county government took partial control of construction at the ten sites.'

The comrades of Jingbian have also decided that in 1943 they will continue by constructing 4,000 mu of irrigated land in Yangquiaopan. However since there were originally only sixty households there and in 1942 only about forty new households came in, the total of a hundred or sixty households still leaves a problem of labour power. They have therefore decided to appeal for a hundred households to come in 1943. At present they have already begun to dig out cave houses and to prepare dwellings. 'Settling a hundred immigrant households is a heavy task. Since most of them came from Hengshan and many will be refugees, they will need a lot of credit if we are to succeed. If the immigrants arrive, together with the labour power already in the area there will be no difficulty in constructing, 4,000 mu in 1943.' As well as this the comrades of Jingbian have also built a kind of ' water-logged land' [Shuimandi]. Water-logged lands are 'large pieces of flat land surrounded on three sides by high mountains and on the fourth side by a deep gully [tian qou]. Some are 2,000 to 3,000 mu and some are 200 to 300 mu. The soil of such land is very good but on top of it is piled sand and gravel which obstructs the seedlings and spoils the quality of the soil'. The method of constructing water-logged land is 'to build a solid dyke along the side of the gully on top of which sand willows [shaliu] and pea-trees [ningtiozi] (in winter this supplies food for the sheep) are planted. This dyke prevents the water that runs off the mountains during the course of the year from flowing away through the gully. It all lies on the land. The mud is very thick. It is extremely fertile and has a high water-content. It is very good for planting crops. Furthermore, each year the area expands and the mountain gullies become flat land. Thus the productive area is increased'. The yield of this water-logged land is more than double that of dry land. 'Five mu of dry land yields 1 tan of grain but 5 mu of water-logged land can yield 2 or 3 tan. The comrades of Jingbian only discovered how to build this water-logged land during the mobilization for the spring ploughing in 1942. Therefore it has as yet only been tried out in two places totaling 1,000 mu. They are preparing to construct such lands in a good many places in 1943 and the total area will be over 13,000 mu. They say 'In the entire county from 50,000 to 60,000 mu of water-logged land can be built'. I have given the example of Jingbian in detail to prove that the case for building water conservancy works is far from hopeless. Conditions for doing so exist in several places. In particular the conscientious and practical spirit of the comrades of Jingbian provides an effective model for the various counties. Although the water-conservancy conditions in other counties cannot be the same as those in Jingbian, by relying on the leadership of the Party and government and the efforts of the people some water conservancy can be started in those places where conditions are really right. In 1943 the government should set aside 2 million yuan as funds for carrying aft water conservancy works in the Yangquiaopan area of Jingbian, the Huluhe area of Fuxian and so forth.

(2) We should popularize the use of superior-quality seeds. If we have good seeds we can get a bigger harvest even without increasing labour and manure. For example the Guanghua agricultural station has already successfully tried out the 'Wolf's tail' seed. It has a high yield, is resistant to insects and birds, and can be planted anywhere. There? sweet-potato yield is also higher than average. We should encourage the peasants to plant them. First each county should select one or two districts and order some peasants to carry out tests. If they find the soil and climate suitable, then such seeds can be popularized so as to increase production.

(3) We should encourage the opening up of new land and the turning over of the earth during autumn, as this can reduce insect pests and promote the aeration of the soil. It can also conserve the water content and increase the harvest of the following year.

(4) After popularizing the organization of mutual-aid cooperatives we should encourage the peasants to increase the number of times they hoe weeds. The purpose of hoeing weeds is not only to get rid of weeds and to help the seedling, but also to conserve water and resist drought. If we increase the number of times we undertake hoeing, we can increase the amount of harvest even if we do not use much manure.

(5) In the summer and winter of 1943 the five sub-regions should separately hold exhibitions organized by the Reconstruction Department [Jianting] and five special offices [zhuanshu]. In the light of the experience of the two previous agricultural exhibitions in the Border Region, we should improve the layout, introduce and promote the achievements of model-peasants, and popularize an agricultural production movement in the labour style and skills of Wu Manyou. In 1943 the agricultural exhibition of the sub-regions should include the achievements of the troops, the official organizations and schools in agricultural production. This will encourage their agricultural production and will also promote unity between the troops and the people.

(6) In 1943 the Liberian Daily and Border Region Masses Dally should widely promote the Wu Manyou production movement so that many more Wu Manyous will be created within the five sub-regions.

(7) The primary and secondary schools of the Border Region should run general agricultural knowledge classes and edit textbooks for winter-study containing practical information on Border Region agriculture with the aim of improving agriculture and increasing production.

(8) the Reconstruction Department should call a meeting of experts to get down to research on the 'willow-root' water which flows from the hilltops, so as to deal with it in a scientific manner and to prevent people from contracting 'limping sickness' after drinking it. If this problem can be salved then much fertile land in the neighborhood of the hills can be put under the plough and become good arable land.

Our eighth agricultural policy is to implement progressive agricultural taxation.

In the past agricultural taxation was in the form of national salvation grain tax. Although it was levied on progressive principles, the amount levied each year was not standard. The amount levied per family varied from year to year. In 1941 there were cases of taxes being apportioned out [tanpai]. Although an assessment method [pinquizhi] was instituted in 1942 as being more equitable, there were still inequalities . The most important failing was that the amount of tax was not fixed. This dampened the enthusiasm of the peasants for production. We propose that in 1943 the government should examine and register the land held by the people, and thereby construct a simple progressive agricultural tax. The amount of tax should be decided according to the amount of land, its quality, and so forth. In this way the peasant will be able to calculate the amount of tax themselves according to the amount and quality of the land they farm. Once the peasants can do this, they can work out the ratio between income and expenditure for the family for the entire year. They can then set-to and produce with greater enthusiasm for production. This will guarantee an increase in the production of grain. Moreover, inequalities will not arise when the government levies the tax. After carrying out the preparatory work in 1943, we can implement progressive taxation in 1944. Counties where preparation is completed early, can carry it out on a trial basis in 1943.

Reduction of rent and of interest rates, an increase in opening up new lands, popularizing the planting of cotton, not violating agricultural seasons, better adjustment in the use of labour power, an increase in agricultural credit, improvements of agricultural techniques, and preparation for implementing a progressive tax — these eight items are the effective agricultural policies which we can and meat carry out in 1943. With the exception of the progressive tax for which we can make preparations and which can be tried out in a few counties, the other seven items should be implemented immediately. Many of them should commence during the winter of 1942. Otherwise the time will be lost and they will become empty words.

The above is a summary of our work as regards agriculture in the private sector and our strategy for 1943. What follows is a discussion of closely related agricultural subsidiary undertakings such as animal husbandry and handicrafts.

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Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung