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Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

Letter to Tan Zhenlin 

October 15, 1952

[Source: Selections from Mao Zedong's Letters, pp. 450-451.]

Comrade Zhenlin: [1]

The [information that] Comrade Chen Yun[2] has acquired on conditions in Xiaozhen xiang, Qingpu xian,[3] is quite worthy of attention. I enclose it here for your perusal; please make a copy of it and send to the Party committee of the South Jiangsu district.

According to Comrade Bo Yibo,[4] when he was in Shanghai, he already knew that last year's grain requisition in the Zhejiang and South Jiangsu districts has been too heavy and that the East China Bureau has resolved to return part [of that] to the peasants. I wonder what the results have been in this matter? How much, in total, has been returned [to the peasants] in the two districts? How many people's problems have been resolved [by the action]? What is this year's harvest like? Has the quantity of the [state] grain requisition been greatly reduced?

In order to resolve this problem, I suggest that you convene at the East China Bureau a special conference of the people responsible for the two districts and the secretaries of the xian [party] committees of some characteristic xian in the two districts. Before the meeting is held, you can dispatch two investigation teams, one to go to Zhejinag and the other to South Jiangsu; let them go directly to the villages in several xian and investigate [the conditions] in a dozen or so xiang, focusing especially on investigating the real situations with regard to the peasant’s' [contributions to] public grain and other burdens¾ this then can be the basis for discussion at the meeting.

In short, we must earnestly and solidly resolve the problem of giving relief to those peasants who in the past have had little to live on because the [public] burdens have been too heavy. The grain requisition this year must not exceed the rate stipulated by the Centre[5]. [We must] greatly reduce the burden of the people.

I hope that you will notify me your opinions.

In comrade's salute!


Mao Zedong

October 15, 1952


1.  Tan was at the time of this letter, third secretary of the East China Bureau of the CC or the CPC.

2.  Chen was at this time a vice-premier of the Government Administration Council and director of the Financial and Economic Commission of the Central People's Government.

3.  This locality is within the municipality of Shanghai.

4.  Bo was at this time deputy director of the Financial and Economic Commission and deputy minister of finance.

5.  In February 1950, when the Government Administration Council [GAC-MDP] drew up regulations for the requisition of public grain in the "new liberated areas," it stipulated that such requisition "should not exceed seventeen percent of the gross agricultural income, and the added public grain requisition done by the local people's government must not exceed, fifteen percent of the official grain requisition." In its "Directive on the Work of Agricultural Taxation and Requisition in 1952" the GAC stipulated: "In those parts of the late liberated areas where land reforms has been completed, a unified system of accumulative progressive tax on the basis of a total combined rate will be followed in 1952. The accumulative progressive tax rate will start at seven percent and end at thirty percent. As a rule no additional surtax will be allowed." In this way the burden of the peasants was some what alleviated.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung