History of Industrialization

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  The History of Industrialization USSR 1929-1932

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I. Industry of the USSR in the first five-year plan

Industry financing – P15

Income from state enterprises – P34

Industrial capital construction – P38

On the execution of the state budget for 1932 – P99

On the import of the main goods into the USSR – P137

Organization of production. Industry results – P257

II. The working class of the USSR in the struggle for socialist industrialization

On the implementation of the national economic plan for 1931- P354

On the implementation of the national economic plan for January - October 1932 – P429

The working-Class Training and Distribution of Staff – P459

On the growth of working-class cadres, the state of unemployment and measures to alleviate it – P472

On the state of schools – P513

On the provision of newly launched factories with qualified personnel – P524

On the training of qualified workers in 1931 – P536

On the shortcomings of the work of schools of FZU in heavy industry – P591

The number of women among workers (including apprentices) of the qualifying factory industry of the USSR for 1928 - July 1, 1932 – P596

Notes – P620

Chronicle of the decisions of the Communist Party and the Soviet government on industrialization (October 1928-December 1932) – P649


The published second collection of the publication of the all-Union series of documents on the history of industrialization of the USSR (1926-1941) contains materials about the first five-year plan.

The task of the first five-year plan, set by the Communist Party, was to build the foundation of a socialist economy in the shortest possible time in the form of powerful heavy industry and socialist agriculture, to strengthen the country's defense capability, and to eliminate the capitalist elements of town and country. Proceeding from this task, almost three quarters of capital investments in industry were directed to heavy industry, which produces the means of production. More than 1,500 enterprises were to be built, including such giants as the Magnitogorsk and Kuznetsk metallurgical plants, the Stalingrad and Kharkov tractor plants, the Gorky automobile plant, and a number of others. The threat of aggression by the imperialist countries necessitated extremely high rates of industrial construction.

The implementation of the first five-year plan took place in a difficult situation and with enormous difficulties associated with the capitalist encirclement, the class struggle within the country, the actions of the right opposition against the high rates of socialist construction, and the attack on the kulak. By this time, the country had an enormous increase in the need for foreign exchange funds for the purchase of equipment abroad. The country's foreign exchange balance was negatively affected by the decline as a result of the global economic crisis (1929-1933) in prices for raw materials and agricultural products, which were the main item of Soviet export. A big and difficult to solve problem was the training of qualified workers and engineering and technical workers. In addition, there was no experience of mass industrial construction and the organization of large-scale production.

The advantages of the socialist economic system, skillfully used by the Communist Party and the Soviet government, the heroic labor of the Soviet people, primarily the working class, were the key to successfully overcoming difficulties and early fulfillment of the tasks of the first five-year plan in 4 years and 3 months. In a short time, modern heavy industry and advanced machine building were created, the technical dependence of the Soviet state on capitalist countries was largely eliminated, and major successes were made in training qualified workers and specialists. The widely developed construction from a semi-handicraft industry turned into a branch of industrial labor. In the Soviet Union, a base was created for the reconstruction of all branches of the national economy, and the capitalist elements of town and country were basically eliminated. The creative activity of the working class, the working peasantry and the Soviet intelligentsia has grown immeasurably. Mass socialist competition unfolded.

The main features of socialist industrialization during the years of the first five-year plan determine the structure of the published collection, the principles of selection and systematization of the material. The collection consists of two sections:

1. "Industry of the USSR in the first five-year plan",

2. "The working class of the USSR in the struggle for socialist industrialization." 

Let us remind the reader that in the first collection of our series in the section "The course of the Communist Party for socialist industrialization", the fundamental documents are presented in which the party, on the basis of Lenin's doctrine of socialism, gave a detailed program of socialist industrialization - the resolutions of the XIV Congress, XV All-Russian Conference and XV Congress of the All-Union Communist Party (b) [1] ... Without a thorough study of these documents, serious research and analysis of the materials published in this collection is impossible. The documents of the Central Committee of the CPSU relating to 1928-1932 are placed in this edition according to the topic and chronology, without highlighting them in a special section. Each section of the collection consists of chapters covering the following issues: the financing of industry, capital construction in industry, the organization of production and the results of the work of industry, the size and composition of the working class, the problem of training workers and technical specialists, socialist competition, and the participation of the working class in production management.

The first section consists of three chapters. Most of the first chapter (on the financing of industry) consists of explanatory notes to the reports of the People's Commissariat of Finance of the USSR on the execution of the state budget of the USSR for 1928/29, 1929/80, 1931 and 1932. (doc. No. 1, 2, 3, 4). These notes contain information about the structure of revenues and expenditures of the state budget, about the financial results of the industry and the amount of intra-industrial savings, about the ratio and amount of budgetary funds and intra-industrial savings in financing industrial construction and their distribution by industry. Much space in the notes is given to the results of the principles of cost accounting in the management of industry and construction, the role of the credit reform of 1930-1931,

The notes also show the participation of the population in the financing of socialist industrialization. The questions of class policy in the tax system, the amount of the turnover tax and contributions to cooperation, etc. are most fully covered in them. An important place is occupied by information about the spread of voluntary loans among the working people - a new form of financing socialist industrialization, based on the high political activity and consciousness of the working class, the working peasantry and the Soviet intelligentsia. In general, documents and materials on tax policy make it possible to trace the change in the class structure of Soviet society as a result of the policy of socialist industrialization and collectivization of agriculture, aimed at eliminating the capitalist elements in the country.

The notes to the reports of the People's Commissariat of Finance of the USSR reflect the great efforts of the Soviet state to train skilled workers and engineers and technicians. Particularly indicative in this respect are the corresponding documents of 1931 and 1932, when a special section on financing of personnel training appeared in the reports. Prior to that, funds for training were not allocated from all the amounts spent on education in general. Thus, the very appearance of a special section in the reports of the People's Commissariat of Finance of the USSR shows how much attention has been paid since 1931 to the problem of personnel.

Less complete information on the implementation of state budgets is contained in the materials for the government's report for 1928-29 and the draft state budget of the USSR for all the years of the first five-year plan. The market surveys of the Council of Congresses of Industry and Trade (before 1930) and the USSR State Planning Committee also contain a number of data on the execution of the state budget, but they are inaccurate and should be classified as preliminary information. Thus, the notes of the People's Commissariat of Finance of the USSR are the most generalizing and complete document on the financing of socialist industry; they are far superior to all sources published so far on this subject.

During the first five-year plan, when the Soviet Union bought a significant part of the equipment abroad, foreign trade acquired great importance for the successful technical reconstruction of industry. The published statistical materials show the composition and volume of exports and imports by weight and value (doc. No. 5, 6). Unfortunately, information about industrial equipment is given in tons, without breakdown by type. A somewhat more detailed grouping of export and import goods is contained in the statistical collection Foreign Trade 1918-1940. (M., 1958). However, the prices and the cost of goods there are equated to the prices of 1955, which makes it difficult to compare them with the rest of the materials presented in the published collection.

In the second chapter of the first section of the collection (on capital construction of industry), the main group of documents is made up of market reviews of the State Planning Committee of the USSR for 9 months 1929/30, for the special quarter of 1930 and for 1931, materials for the government's report for 1928/29 and a review of the TsUNKU of the State Planning Committee of the USSR for 9 months of 1932. The publication of reviews for 9 months of 1929/30 and 1932 (and not for a full year) is due to the fact that, in comparison with annual reports, these reviews provide the most complete information and differ in depth. analysis of capital construction, as well as the work of the building materials industry. The reviews contain information on the implementation of capital construction plans in all industries, the organization of design, the supply of construction materials.

According to the reviews, one can trace how in the first five-year plan the first steps were taken towards transforming construction into a modern, technically well-equipped construction industry.

At the beginning of the first five-year plan, as evidenced by the memorandum of the State Planning Committee of the USSR (doc. No. 9), there was a transition from the economic to the contracting method of construction, which made it possible to carry out construction work by permanent, often specialized construction organizations with more or less stable personnel and relatively well-equipped mechanisms ... However, during the years of the first five-year plan, there was still no permanent construction personnel in general construction organizations, especially at large construction sites. Often, the staff of a new enterprise was recruited from among the builders, and construction organizations recruited new workers. Mechanization of construction was also weak; many labor-intensive works were performed manually. All this, along with the increase in prices for building materials, led in 1931 and 1932. to the rise in the cost of construction work.

The third chapter (on the organization of production and the results of the work of industry) includes a large group of documents on the conditions and results of the development of industry for all the years of the first five-year plan. The data for 1928/29 are contained in the materials for the government report for 1928/29. Although these materials were published at one time, they have now become a bibliographic rarity. Therefore, their publication in this collection seems to be extremely necessary. In addition, in comparison with the unpublished market survey of the Council of Congresses of State Industry and Trade, they contain more verified information and are much broader in subject matter. In the materials for the government's report, the reader will find information: about the work of not only large-scale industry, but also small and handicraft; the most complete data on concessions, agreements with foreign firms on technical assistance; about the work of foreign specialists in the USSR and the study of Soviet engineers abroad. In the years of the first five-year plan, along with the import of equipment, these forms of cooperation with technically developed states were of great importance for the Soviet country.

Information on the development of industry for 1929/30, a special quarter of 1930 and for 1931 is contained in the market surveys of the State Planning Committee of the USSR, and for nine months of 1932 - in the survey of TsUNKhU of the State Planning Committee of the USSR (documents 19, 20, 25, 26). These documents reflect the characteristic features and peculiar conditions that determined the development of industry in 1929 / 30-1932. They also give an idea of ​​the great difficulties that had to be faced in the implementation of the five-year plan in the field of industry. The reviews of the State Planning Committee of the USSR are supplemented with tables containing data on the output of the most important industrial products and products and changes in their cost (doc. No. 27, 28). Numerical data show the successes of Soviet industry (primarily machine building) in solving the task set by the party: liquidation of the technical dependence of the Soviet Union on the capitalist countries. It should be noted that if at the beginning of industrialization new products, which the Soviet industry began to produce, were often yesterday's technology, and their manufacture was carried out on the basis of old methods of organizing production, then in the years of the first five-year plan, newly mastered products were already at the advanced level for of their time, techniques were produced on modern equipment, although their quality in some cases left much to be desired due to non-compliance with production technology.

The published documents contain information about partial non-fulfillment of annual production plans. This failure was due to the fact that the plans provided for a significantly greater increase in the gross industrial output than in the initial five-year plans, and the real possibilities of industry were not always taken into account. Thus, the plan provided for an increase in the gross industrial output in 1929/30 by 32%, in 1932 by 36%, but in reality the increase was, respectively, 22 and 15%. In studying these materials, it must be borne in mind that, despite the partial failure to fulfill the annual plans, the initial tasks of the five-year plan were nevertheless fulfilled ahead of schedule. If, for example, the plan for 1931 was fulfilled in terms of gross industrial output by 78.4%, then the volume of production [2].

The third chapter of the first section also publishes a large group of documentary materials showing the improvement of the industrial management system and organization of production (doc. No. 18, 22, 23). The experience of the industry in 1930 required the improvement of the enterprise management system and labor organization in accordance with the principles of cost accounting. New tasks in this area were set in the Report of the Commission of the Supreme Council of the National Economy of the USSR on the mobilization of internal resources at the 1st All-Union Meeting of Business Executives (document No. 21) and subsequently included in the recommendations of the meeting.

During the years of the first five-year plan, the solution of such an important problem as the organization of labor in new enterprises equipped with the latest technology, the development of which was a difficult task for engineers, technicians, and workers, acquired great importance. These objective difficulties were compounded by errors in a continuous production week.

A number of documents are published in the chapter that provide information on how these errors were corrected. Of particular interest is the report of the Collegium of the People's Commissariat of Labor in the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR, which covers in detail the restructuring of wages, the introduction of a four-brigade schedule at enterprises with a continuous production week, and talks about measures that contributed to a radical improvement in technical and standardization work (doc. No. 24).

From a number of documents in this chapter, one can trace how the foundations of the modern organization of labor were created during the years of the first five-year plan, which subsequently ensured the rapid development of the Soviet economy.

A well-known addition to the documents published in the chapter can be a number of materials published in due time. In the first place among them should be put: the first five-year plan, control figures for 1928/29 and 1929/30 and national economic plans for 1931 and 1932. In addition to the repeatedly published report on the implementation of the first five-year plan [3], there are reports of the Supreme Economic Council and the People's Commissariat for Heavy Industry [4], as well as a transcript of the I All-Union Conference of Socialist Industry Workers. Some statistical information on the introduction of a four-brigade schedule is contained in the "Bulletin on labor accounting" [5].

Only the most basic statistical information is published in this publication. The researcher will find more detailed information in the statistical collections published by TsUNKhU. These include, first of all, the collections "Socialist Construction of the USSR" and "Industry of the USSR" [6] ... Since TSUNKHU does not have data for 1932 on changes in the share of industry in individual republics and regions of the Soviet Union, the corresponding information for 1934 placed in the collection "Industry of the USSR" is of great importance. Considering that in 1933 it was mainly those objects that were mainly built in the years of the first five-year plan, the information for 1934 can be (albeit with some reservations) taken into account as totals for the period covered. Reconstructive shifts in industrial equipment for 1929-1932 shown in the 1932-1934 census of industrial equipment. The materials of this census were published [7].

The second section of the published collection consists of two chapters. The first chapter contains documents on the size and composition of the working class, the training and distribution of industrial personnel. The main part of this chapter is made up of opportunistic reviews of the People's Commissariat of Labor of the USSR on the implementation of labor plans (doc. No. 33), memoranda of the People's Commissariat of Labor on various issues related to the training of workers and engineering and technical workers and their provision of the country's industry (doc. No. 37, 38, 39).

The training of personnel for new factories during the years of the first five-year plan became the subject of tireless concern of all Party, economic and trade union organizations. As a result of the widespread deployment of industrialization and collectivization, unemployment was eliminated. The recruitment of enterprises through labor exchanges was replaced by a system of organized recruitment of labor under contracts with collective farms. The published documents trace the development and improvement of this system, the degree to which it meets the needs of industry and construction. The documents give an idea of ​​the situation with the provision of labor for all branches of industry and construction (including seasonal branches of labor), the impact of quantitative and qualitative changes in the composition of the working class on the results of industrial production.

The documents of this chapter also contain information on the social and national composition of the new workers, on the training of workers in the national republics and for these republics in the industrially developed regions of the Soviet Union, on the change in the number of workers by industry in the republics and large industrial regions of the country (doc. No. 42). Documents show that in 1929-1930. By no means, all business organizations have understood the need for timely training of qualified personnel for new enterprises. Despite a number of resolutions of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) and the Council of People's Commissars, proper measures for training personnel were not always taken on the ground. Already in the second half of 1930, when the Stalingrad Tractor Plant and a number of other new enterprises were put into operation, the Supreme Council of the National Economy encountered great difficulties.

Published in the chapter, a special report of the USSR People's Commissariat of Labor (doc. No. 32) is devoted to the number and composition of specialists in the national economy, based on the records of specialists carried out by the USSR People's Commissariat of Labor in 1930. This document shows what great advances in the training of engineering and technical personnel in industry were made by 1930.

The chapter contains relatively few documents on the composition of the working class. This is because most of the extant sources have already been published [8]. A number of important materials were also published on the composition of specialists in the 1933 census, on the sources of staffing the industry with workers, the reasons for turnover, and on other issues [9]. In 1932, materials were published on the number and composition of workers - members of the CPSU (b) [10].

In addition, the People's Commissariat of Labor published a number of reports on its work for the IX Congress of Trade Unions and the VI Congress of Soviets [11]. During the years of the first five-year plan, Izvestia of the People's Commissariat of Labor of the USSR was systematically published, which contained legislative and normative material on labor.

The second chapter of the second section of the collection is devoted to issues of socialist emulation and workers' participation in production management. As a rule, the chapter includes documents published for the first time mainly by trade union organizations: information summaries, memoranda, statistics on the number of competitors, etc.

The chapter opens with a resolution of the November (1928) Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) "On the control figures of the national economy for 1928/29." (doc. No. 43). The party called on the workers and all working people of the country to increase labor and political activity, to overcome the difficulties of socialist industrialization in every possible way. The documents of the chapter highlight the origins of mass socialist competition - the Ural Siberian roll call (doc. No. 49)) review of production meetings (doc. No. 51), the competition of workers in the coal industry (doc. 45) that arose as a response of workers to the decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) of 17 January 1929 "On the tasks of the coal industry" [12] ... The resolution of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks published in the chapter "On the socialist competition of factories and plants" (document No. 50) shows how the party guided the masses in their noble aspiration to fulfill the five-year plan as soon as possible, to make their homeland a powerful industrial power.

The same chapter highlights the issues of promising forms of organizing socialist competition, put forward by workers and engineers and technicians during the first five-year plan. These forms of competition greatly contributed to the improvement of the organization of labor in enterprises. The chapter's documents also cover the issues of workers' participation in production management, in particular: production meetings (doc. 51, 70, etc.), promotion (doc. 64, 65), patronage of institutions (doc. No. 67), participation of trade unions in the work of planning bodies (documents No. 60, 62, etc.). When examining these documents, it should be borne in mind that if the trade unions kept systematic reporting on the work of industrial meetings, then such reporting was not kept on the promotion and patronage of the state apparatus. Therefore, as a rule, only a few survived,

A necessary addition here may be the already mentioned statistical collections "Labor in the USSR", which contain statistical information on the number and composition of those participating in the socialist competition, reporting materials of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions, as well as collections of documentary materials published by state archives [13].

The chapter contains a number of documents on innovation and invention. During the years of the first five-year plan, this movement gained great momentum among the workers; it most clearly testifies to the inexhaustible source of creativity and initiative in the working class of the USSR (doc. 57, 69, etc.).

The published documents were extracted from the funds of the Central State Archives of the National Economy of the USSR (TSGANKH USSR), the Central State Archives of the October Revolution, the highest bodies of state power and government bodies of the USSR (TSGAOOR USSR) and other archives, as well as from some documentary and statistical collections of the late 20th x-early 30s.

Archaeographic processing of documents was carried out in accordance with generally accepted publication rules. All abbreviated words not included in the abbreviation list are expanded without square brackets unless the correctness of the expansion is in doubt or may be twofold. The figures in the tables, in the event that the amount does not converge with the total number during the calculation, have not been corrected, but the footnotes indicate that the sum of the numbers does not converge with the total.

Some of the documents are published in extracts. Information that is not related to the topic of the collection or is of secondary importance is omitted. Extracts are specified in footnotes. Extracts include a list of omitted sections, chapters and paragraphs or a brief summary of them, except for the following documents: resolutions of congresses and conferences of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b); statistical tables, if data outside the chronological scope of the collection is omitted.

In the materials for the reports of the government and the People's Commissariat of Finance of the USSR, the omitted chapters and paragraphs are indicated only for the section from which the extract is published. Extracts from documents are indicated in the heading by the word "from" and by dots in the text, and the latter is not put in the case of omission of entire sections, chapters, and paragraphs.

In the materials for the reports of the government and the People's Commissariat of Finance of the USSR, the numbering of tables was changed in accordance with the extracts, and the diagrams were omitted without reservations. Materials and statistical tables, previously published and without a date, are dated by content, since it is not possible to establish a more precise date.

The appendices to the collection contain notes, a list of abbreviations, a list of sources used, an index of enterprises, a chronicle of decisions of the Communist Party and the Soviet government on industrialization issues for the period from October 6, 1928, to December 10, 1932.