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Address to the Reception of Directors and Stakhanovites of the Metal Industry and the Coal Mining Industry

29 October 1937


My toast will be a little singular and unusual. It is the custom with us to toast the health of the directors, heads, leaders and Commissars of the People. This is naturally not a bad thing, but outside of the superior leaders are the middle and lower leaders, and of these middle and lower leaders we have dozens. These are modest people, they do not push themselves forward, one hardly notices them. But it would be blindness not to notice them. Because on these people depends the output of production in all our National Economy. That is to say that on them depends also the destiny of our economic conditions.

To the health of our middle and lower economic leaders. (Ovations and cheers).

In general it must be said of these leaders that unfortunately they are not always aware of the heights to which history has raised them under the conditions of the Soviet regime. They do not always understand that to be a leader in the economy, under the conditions of our country, signifies that they must prove themselves worthy of this great honour, of this great consideration, and prove themselves worthy of the great confidence shown in them by the working class, by the people. In the old days, in the time of capitalism, the leaders of the economy, the diverse directors, administrators, heads, foremen and supervisors were considered guard dogs of the owners and capitalists. The people detested them and saw them as enemies, knowing that they directed the economy according to the interests of the owners, and to the profit of the capitalists. Conversely, in our Soviet regime, the directors of the economy have every reason to rejoice in the confidence and love of the people, because they direct the economy not for the profit of a handful of capitalists, but in the interests of the whole people. That is the reason why the title "leader of the economy" in the conditions of our country is an honoured title and why each head in the Soviet regime must prove himself worthy of this great honour, this great confidence, in the eyes of the people. The confidence of the people in the worker-directors of the economy is a great thing, Comrades. The leaders come and go, but the people remain. Only the people are immortal, everything else is ephemeral. That is why it is necessary to appreciate the full value of the confidence of the people.

To the health of our worker-directors of the economy who have understood the greatness of their task and are conscious of it, and who will not allow anyone to dishonour and disgrace this great title of director of the Soviet economy. (Ovations and cheers).

Comrades, we have amongst us the pioneers of the new cause in the sphere of the national economy, the fighters of the Stakhanovite movement. To the health of the pioneers and fighters for the new cause. To the health of Comrades Stakhanov, Droukanov, Isotov, Riobachapka, and others. (Cheers),

And finally, to the health of the young and the old pioneers of the blast furnaces, of the metal industry, and above all to the health of the workers of the blast furnaces, Comrade Korolov, of his father, and his son, and of the whole Korolov family, workers of the blast furnaces, so that the Korolov family do not remain behind the new methods of work. (Tempestuous applause).

Korolov, the father said, leaning towards Stalin: "Comrade Stalin, I am already an old man, but I will work with all my strength in order to accomplish your desire, and to march at the head of other workers in the mines."

31 October 1937