Bolshevik Writers: J. V. Stalin (1879-1953)

J. V. Stalin

REPORT TO THE EIGHTEENTH CONGRESS
OF THE C.P.S.U.(B.) ON THE WORK
OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE

March 10, 1939



From J. V. Stalin, Problems of Leninism,
Foreign Languages Press, Peking, 1976

pp. 874-942.


Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, djr@cruzio.com (March 1998)

    PUBLISHER'S NOTE

The present English edition of J. V. Stalin's Problems of Leninism corresponds to the eleventh Russian edition of 1952. The English translation up to page 766 (including the relevant notes at the end of the book) is taken from Stalin's Works, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1953-55, Vol. 6 and Vols. 8-13, while the rest is taken from the same publishers' 1953 edition of Problems of Leninism. Minor changes have been made in the translation and the notes.

    Volume and page references to Lenin's Works made in the text are to the third Russian edition. References to English translations are added, as footnotes, by the present publisher.




REPORT TO THE EIGHTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE C.P.S.U.(B.) ON
  THE WORK OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE, March 10, 1939


874

I.

The International Position of the Soviet Union

874

  

1.
 
 
2.
 
 
3.

New Economic Crisis in the Capitalist Countries. Intensification of
the Struggle for Markets and Sources of Raw Material, and for a
New Redivision of the World
Increasing Acuteness of the International Political Situation. Collapse
of the Post-War System of Peace Treaties. Beginning of a New Imper-
ialist War
The Soviet Union and the Capitalist Countries


 
875
 
 
880
887

II.

Internal Affairs of the Soviet Union

890


1.
2.
3.

Further Progress of Industry and Agriculture
Further Rise in the Material and Cultural Standard of the People
Further Consolidation of the Soviet Power

891
906
908

III.

Further Strengthening of the C.P.S.U.(B.)

915


1.
 
 
2.
3.
 
4.
 

Measures to Improve the Composition of the Party. Division of
Organizations. Closer Contact Between the Leading Bodies and the
Work of the Lower Bodies
Selection, Promotion and Allocation of Cadres
Party Propagand. Marxist-Leninist Training of Party Members and
Party Cadre
Some Questions of Theory
 


 
 916
919
 
923
927
 


INDUSTRIAL PROGRESS OF THE U.S.S.R. IN 1934-38


1933

1934

1935

1936

1937

1938

Per cent of previous year

1938
com-
pared
with
1933
(%)

1934

1935

1936

1937

1938


In millions of rubles at 1926-27 prices

120.1
 
 
 
 
120.1
 
121.4


 
 
 
 
 
 

123.1
 
 
 
 
123.1
 
67.6


 
 
 
 
 
 

130.2
 
 
 
 
130.2
 
134.8


 
 
 
 
 
 

111.4
 
 
 
 
111.4
 
90.3


 
 
 
 
 
 

111.3
 
 
 
 
111.3
 
92.9


 
 
 
 
 
 

238.8
 
 
 
 
238.9
 
92.9


 
 
 
 
 
 

Total output
 
 Of which:
 
1. Socialist
   industry
2. Private
   industry

42,030
 
 
 
 
42,002
 
28

50,477
 
 
 
 
50,443
 
34

62,137
 
 
 
 
62,114
 
23

80,929
 
 
 
 
80,898
 
31

90,166
 
 
 
 
90,138
 
28

100,375
 
 
 
 
100,349
 
26


Per cent

Total output
 
 Of which:
 
1. Socialist
   industry
2. Private
   industry

100.00
 
 
 
 
99.93
 
0.07

100.00
 
 
 
 
99.93
 
0.07

100.00
 
 
 
 
99.96
 
0.04

100.00
 
 
 
 
99.96
 
0.04

100.00
 
 
 
 
99.97
 
0.03

100.00
 
 
 
 
99.97
 
0.03


    page 893

        The doom of private industry must not be regarded as a thing of chance. It perished, firstly, because the socialist economic system is superior to the capitalist system; and, secondly, because the socialist economic system made it possible for us to re-equip in a few years the whole of our socialist industry on new and up-to-date technical lines. This is a possibility which the capitalist economic system does not and cannot offer. It is a fact that, from the standpoint of technique of production, from the standpoint of the degree of saturation of industry with modern machinery, our industry holds first place in the world.

        If we take the rate of growth of our industry, expressed in percentages of the pre-war level, and compare it with the rate of growth of industry in the principal capitalist countries, we get the following picture:


    GROWTH OF INDUSTRY IN THE U.S.S.R.
    AND THE PRINCIPAL CAPITALIST COUNTRIES
    IN 1913-1938


    1913

    1933

    1934

    1935

    1936

    1937

    1938

    U.S.S.R.   .   .   .
     
    U.S.A. .   .   .   .
     
    Britain .   .   .   .
     
    Germany  .   .   .
     
    France .   .   .   .

    100.0
     
    100.0
     
    100.0
     
    100.0
     
    100.0

    380.5
     
    108.7
     
    87.0
     
    75.4
     
    107.0

    457.0
     
    112.9
     
    97.1
     
    90.4
     
    99.0

    562.6
     
    128.6
     
    104.0
     
    105.9
     
    94.0

    732.7
     
    149.8
     
    114.2
     
    118.1
     
    98.0

    816.4
     
    156.9
     
    121.9
     
    129.3
     
    101.0

    908.8
     
    120.0
     
    113.3
     
    131.6
     
    93.2


        This table shows that our industry has grown more than ninefold as compared with pre-war, whereas the industry of

    page 894

    the principal capitalist countries continues to mark time round about the pre-war level, exceeding the latter by only 20-30 per cent.

        This means that as regards rate of growth our socialist industry holds first place in the world.

        Thus we find that as regards technique of production and rate of growth of our industry, we have already overtaken and outstripped the principal capitalist countries.

        In what respect are we lagging? We are still lagging economically, that is, as regards the volume of our industrial output per head of the population. In 1938 we produced about 5 million tons of pig iron; Britain produced 7 million tons. It might seem that we are better off than Britain. But if we divide this number of tons by the number of population we shall find that the output of pig iron per head of the population in 1938 was 145 kilogrammes in Britain, and only 87 kilogrammes in the U.S.S.R. Or, further: in 1938 Britain produced 10.8 million tons of steel and about 29,000 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, whereas the U.S.S.R. produced 18 million tons of steel and over 39,000 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. It might seem that we are better off than Britain. But if we divide this number of tons and kilowatt-hours by the number of population we shall find that in 1938 in Britain the output of steel per head of the population was 226 kilogrammes and of electricity 620 kilowatt-hours, whereas in the U.S.S.R. the output of steel per head of the population was only 107 kilogrammes, and of electricity only 233 kilowatt-hours.

        What is the reason for this? The reason is that our population is several times larger than that of Britain, and hence our requirements are greater: the Soviet Union has a population of

    page 895

    170 million, whereas Britain has a population of not more than 46 million. The economic power of a country's industry is not expressed by the volume of industrial output in general, irrespective of the size of population, but by the volume of industrial output taken in direct reference to the amount consumed per head of the population. The larger a country's industrial output per head of the population, the greater is its economic power; and, conversely, the smaller the output per head of the population, the less is the economic power of the country and of its industry. Consequently, the larger a country's population, the greater is the need for articles of consumption, and hence the larger should be the industrial output of the country.

        Take, for example, the output of pig iron. In order to outstrip Britain economically in respect to production of pig iron, which in 1938 amounted in that country to 7 million tons, we must increase our annual output of pig iron to 25 million tons. In order economically to outstrip Germany, which in 1938 produced 18 million tons of pig iron in all, we must raise our annual output to 40-45 million tons. And in order to outstrip the U.S.A. economically -- not as regards the level of 1938, which was a year of crisis, and in which the U.S.A. produced only 18.8 million tons of pig iron, but as regards the level of 1929, when the U.S.A. was experiencing an industrial boom and when it produced about 43 million tons of pig iron -- we must raise our annual output of pig iron to 50-60 million tons.

        The same must be said of the production of steel and rolled steel, of the machine-building industry, and so on, inasmuch as these branches of industry, and all others too, depend in the long run on the production of pig iron.

        We have outstripped the principal capitalist countries as regards technique of production and rate of industrial devel-

    page 896

    opment. The is very good, but it is not enough. We must outstrip them economically as well. We can do it, and we must do it. Only if we outstrip the principal capitalist countries economically can we reckon upon our country being fully saturated with consumer goods, on having an abundance of products, and on being able to make the transition from the first phase of communism to its second phase.

        What do we require to outstrip the principal capitalist countries economically? First of all, we require the earnest and in domitable desire to move ahead and the readiness to make sacrifices and invest very considerable amounts of capital for the utmost expansion of our socialist industry. Have we these requisites? We undoubtedly have! Further, we require a high technique of production and a high rate of industrial development. Have we these requisites? We undoubtedly have! Lastly, we require time. Yes, comrades, time. We must build new factories. We must train new cadres for industry. But that requires time, and no little time at that. We cannot outstrip the principal capitalist countries economically in two or three years. It will require rather more than that. Take, for example, pig iron and its production. How much time do we require to outstrip the principal capitalist countries economically in regard to the production of pig iron? When the Second Five-Year Plan was being drawn up, certain members of the former personnel of the State Planning Commission proposed that the annual output of pig iron towards the end of the Second Five-Year Plan should be fixed in the amount of 60 million tons. That means that they assumed the possibility of an average annual increase in pig iron production of 10 million tons. This, of course, was sheer fantasy, if not worse. Incidentally, it was not only in regard to the production of pig iron that these

    page 987

    comrades indulged their fantasy. They considered, for example, that during the period of the Second Five-Year Plan the annual increase of population in the U.S.S.R. should amount to 3-4 million persons, or even more. That was also fantasy, if not worse. But if we ignore these fantastic dreamers and come down to reality, we may consider quite feasible an average annual increase in the output of pig iron of 2-2.5 million tons, bearing in mind the present state of technique of iron smelting. The industrial history of the principal capitalist countries, as well as of our country, shows that such an annual rate of increase involves a great strain, but is quite feasible.

        Hence, we require time, and no little time at that, in order to outstrip the principal capitalist countries economically. And the higher our productivity of labour becomes, and the more our technique of production is perfected, the more rapidly shall we be able to accomplish this cardinal economic task, the more shall we be able to reduce the period of its accomplishment.

        b) Agriculture. Like the development of industry, the development of agriculture during the period under review has followed an upward trend. This upward trend is expressed not only in an increase of agricultural output, but, and primarily, in the growth and consolidation of socialist agriculture on the one hand, and the downfall of individual peasant farming on the other. Whereas the grain area of the collective farms increased from 75 million hectares in 1933 to 92 million in 1938, the grain area of the individual peasant farmers dropped in this period from 15.7 million hectares to 600,000 hectares, or to 0.6 per cent of the total grain area. I will not mention the area under industrial crops, a branch in which individual peasant farming has been reduced to nil. Furthermore, it is well

    page 898

    known that the collective farms now unite 18.8 million peasant households, or 93.5 per cent of all the peasant households, aside from the collectives engaged in fishery, handicrafts, hunting, etc.

        This means that the collective farms have been firmly established and consolidated, and that the socialist system of farming is now our only form of agriculture.

        If we compare the areas under all crops during the period under review with the crop areas in the pre-revolutionary period, we observe the following picture of growth:


    AREAS UNDER ALL CROPS IN THE U.S.S.R.


    Millions of hectares

    1938
    compared
    with
    1913 (%)

    1913

    1934

    1935

    1936

    1937

    1938


    Total crop area
     
        Of which:
     
    a) Grain
     
    b) Industrial
     
    c) Vegetable
     
    d) Fodder
     


    105.0
     
     
     
    94.4
     
    4.5
     
    3.8
     
    2.1
     


    131.5
     
     
     
    104.7
     
    10.7
     
    8.8
     
    7.1
     


    132.8
     
     
     
    103.4
     
    10.6
     
    9.9
     
    8.6
     


    133.8
     
     
     
    102.4
     
    10.8
     
    9.8
     
    10.6
     


    135.3
     
     
     
    104.4
     
    11.2
     
    9.0
     
    10.6
     


    136.9
     
     
     
    102.4
     
    11.0
     
    9.4
     
    14.1
     


    130.4
     
     
     
    108.5
     
    244.4
     
    247.4
     
    671.4
     


        This table shows that we have an increase in the area for all crops, and above all for fodder, industrial crops and vegetables.

        This means that our agriculture is becoming more high grade and productive, and that a solid foundation is being provided for the increasing application of proper crop rotation.

    page 899

        The way our collective farms and state farms have been in creasingly supplied with tractors, harvester combines and other machines during the period under review is shown by the following tables:


    1) TRACTORS EMPLOYED IN AGRICULTURE IN THE U.S.S.R.


    1933

    1934

    1935

    1936

    1937

    1938

    1938
    compared
    with 1933
    (per cent)


    a) Number of tractors (thousands)

    Total .   .   .   .   .
     
         Of which:
    a) In machine and
       tractor stations .
    b) In state farms
       and auxiliary
       agricultural
       undertakings .   .

    210.9
     
     
     
    123.2
     
     
     
    83.2

    276.4
     
     
     
    177.3
     
     
     
    95.5

    360.3
     
     
     
    254.7
     
     
     
    102.1

    422.7
     
     
     
    328.5
     
     
     
    88.5

    454.5
     
     
     
    365.8
     
     
     
    84.5

    483.5
     
     
     
    394.0
     
     
     
    85.0

    229.3
     
     
     
    319.8
     
     
     
    102.2


    b) Capacity (thous. hp)

    All tractors .   .   .
     
         Of which:
    a) In machine and
       tractor stations .
    b) In state farms
       and auxiliary
       agricultural
       undertakings .   .

    3,209.2
     
     
     
    1,758.1
     
     
     
    1,401.7

    4,462.8
     
     
     
    2,753.9
     
     
     
    1,669.5

    6,184.0
     
     
     
    4,281.6
     
     
     
    1,861.4

    7,672.4
     
     
     
    5,856.0
     
     
     
    1,730.7

    8,385.0
     
     
     
    6,679.2
     
     
     
    1,647.5

    9,256.2
     
     
     
    7,437.0
     
     
     
    1,751.8

    288.4
     
     
     
    423.0
     
     
     
    125.0


    page 900


    2) TOTAL HARVESTER COMBINES AND OTHER MACHINES
    EMPLOYED IN AGRICULTURE IN THE U.S.S.R.
    (in thousands at end of year)


    1933

    1934

    1935

    1936

    1937

    1938

    1938
    compared
    with 1933
    (per cent)

    Harvester combines
    Internal-combustion
      and steam engines
    Complex and semi-
      complex grain
      threshers .   .   .
    Motor lorries  .   .
    Passenger autocars
      (units) .   .   .   .

    25.4
     
    48.0
     
     
    120.3
    26.6
     
    3,991

    32.3
     
    60.9
     
     
    121.9
    40.3
     
    5,533

    50.3
     
    69.1
     
     
    120.1
    63.7
     
    7,553

    87.8
     
    72.4
     
     
    123.7
    96.2
     
    7,630

    128.8
     
    77.9
     
     
    126.1
    144.5
     
    8,156

    153.5
     
    83.8
     
     
    130.8
    195.8
     
    9,594

    604.3
     
    174.6
     
     
    108.7
    736.1
     
    240.4


        If in addition to these figures, we bear in mind that in the period under review the number of machine and tractor stations increased from 2,900 in 1934 to 6,350 in 1938, it may be safely said, on the basis of all these facts, that the reconstruction of our agriculture on the foundation of a new and up-to date technology has in the main already been completed.

        Our agriculture, consequently, is not only run on the largest scale, is not only the most mechanized in the world, and therefore produces the largest surplus for the market, but is also more fully equipped with modern machinery than the agriculture of any other country.

        If we compare the harvests of grain and industrial crops during the period under review with the pre-revolutionary period, we get the following picture of growth:

    page 901


    GROSS PRODUCTION OF GRAIN AND INDUSTRIAL CROPS
    IN THE U.S.S.R.


    In millions of centners

    1938
    compared
    with
    1913

    1913

    1934

    1935

    1936

    1937

    1938


     Grain .   .   .   .   .
     
     Raw cotton .   .   .
     
     Flax fibre   .   .   .
     
     Sugar-beet .   .   .
     
     Oil seeds .  .   .   .
     


    801.0
     
      7.4
     
      3.3
     
    109.0
     
     21.5
     


    894.0
     
     11.8
     
      5.3
     
    113.6
     
     36.9
     


    901.0
     
     17.2
     
      5.5
     
    162.1
     
     42.7
     


    827.3
     
     23.9
     
      5.8
     
    168.3
     
     42.3
     


    1,202.9
     
       25.8
     
        5.7
     
      218.6
     
       51.1
     


    949.9 
     
     26.9 
     
      5.46
     
    166.8 
     
     46.6 
     


    118.6
     
    363.5
     
    165.5
     
    153.0
     
    216.7
     


        From this table it can be seen that despite the drought in the eastern and southeastern districts in 1936 and 1938, and despite the unprecedentedly large harvest in 1913, the gross production of grain and industrial crops during the period under review steadily increased as compared with 1913.

        Of particular interest is the question of the amount of grain marketed by the collective farms and state farms as compared with their gross harvests. Comrade Nemchinov, the well known statistician, has calculated that of a gross grain harvest of 5,000 million poods in pre-war times, only about 1,300 million poods were marketed. Thus the marketed proportion of the grain crop in those days was 26 per cent. Comrade Nemchinov computes that in the years 1926-27, for example, the proportion of marketed produce to gross harvest was about 47 per cent in the case of collective and state farming, which is large scale farming, and about 12 per cent in the case of individual peasant farming. If we approach the matter more cautiously and assume the amount of marketed produce in the case of collective and state farming in 1938 to be 40 per cent of the gross

    page 902

    harvest, we find that in that year our socialist grain farming was able to release, and actually did release, about 2,300 million poods of grain for the market, or 1,000 million poods more than was marketed in pre-war times.

        Consequently, the high proportion of produce marketed constitutes an important feature of state and collective farming, and is of cardinal importance for the food supply of our country.

        It is this feature of the collective farms and state farms that explains the secret why our country has succeeded so easily and rapidly in solving the grain problem, the problem of producing an adequate supply of market grain for this vast country.

        It should be noted that during the last three years annual grain deliveries to the state have not dropped below 1,600 million poods, while sometimes, as for example in 1937, they reached 1,800 million poods. If we add to this about 200 million poods or so of grain purchased annually by the state, as well as several hundred million poods sold by collective farms and farmers directly in the market, we get in all the total of grain released by the collective farms and state farms already mentioned.

        Further, it is interesting to note that during the last three years the base of marketable grain has shifted from the Ukraine, which was formerly considered the granary of our country, to the north and the east, that is, to the R.S.F.S.R. We know that during the last two or three years grain deliveries in the Ukraine have amounted in all to about 400 million poods annually,whereas in the R.S.F.S.R. the grain deliveries during these years have amounted to 1,100-1,200 million poods annually.

        That is how things stand with regard to grain farming.

        As regards livestock farming, considerable advances have been made during the past few years in this, the most back-

    page 903

    ward branch of agriculture, as well. True, in the number of horses and in sheep breeding we are still below the pre revolutionary level; but as regards cattle and hog breeding we have already passed the pre-revolutionary level.

        Here are the figures:


    TOTAL HEAD OF LIVESTOCK IN THE U.S.S.R.
    (In millions)


    J u l y

    1938
    compared with

    1916
    according
    to census

    1933

    1934

    1935

    1936

    1937

    1938

    1916
    according
    to census
    (per cent)

    1933
    (per cent)


     Horses .   .   .
     
     Cattle .   .   .
     
     Sheep and goats
     
     Hogs   .   .   .
     


     35.8
     
     60.6
     
    121.2
     
     20.9
     


    16.6
     
    38.4
     
    50.2
     
    12.1
     


    15.7
     
    42.4
     
    51.9
     
    17.4
     


    15.9
     
    49.2
     
    61.1
     
    22.5
     


    16.6
     
    56.7
     
    73.7
     
    30.5
     


    16.7
     
    57.0
     
    81.3
     
    22.8
     


     17.5
     
     63.2
     
    102.5
     
     30.6
     


     48.9
     
    104.3
     
     84.6
     
    146.4
     


    105.4
     
    164.6
     
    204.2
     
    252.9
     


        There can be no doubt that the lag in horse breeding and sheep breeding will be remedied in a very short period.

        c) Trade turnover and transport. The progress in industry and agriculture was accompanied by an increase in the trade turnover of the country. During the period under review the number of state and co-operative retail stores increased by 25 per cent. State and co-operative retail trade increased by 178 per cent. Trade in the collective-farm markets increased by per cent.

        Here is the corresponding table:

    page 904


TRADE TURNOVER


1933

1934

1935

1936

1937

1938

1938
compared
with
1933
(per cent)

1. State and co-op-
erative retail stores
and boothes -- at end
of year   .   .   .   .
 
2. State and co-op-
erative retail trade,
including public ca-
tering (in millions of
rubles)   .   .   .   .
 
3. Trade in collect-
ive-farm markets (in
millions of rubles)  .
 
4. Regional whole-
sale departments of
the People's Commis-
sariats of the Food
Industry, Light Indus-
try, Heavy Industry,
Timber Industry, and
and Local Industry of
the Union Republics
-- at end of year .   .


 
 
285,355  
 
 
 
 
 
49,789.2
 
 
 
11,500.0
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
718  


 
 
286,236  
 
 
 
 
 
61,814.7
 
 
 
14,000.0
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
836  


 
 
268,713  
 
 
 
 
 
81,712.1
 
 
 
14,500.0
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1,141  


 
 
289,473  
 
 
 
 
 
106,760.9
 
 
 
15,607.2
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1,798  


 
 
327,361  
 
 
 
 
 
125,943.2
 
 
 
17,799.7
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1,912  


 
 
356,930  
 
 
 
 
 
138,574.3
 
 
 
24,399.2
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1,994  


 
 
125.1
 
 
 
 
 
278.3
 
 
 
212.2
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
277.7