Soviet Archives - Collection of Government Documents on Workers

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From the Collection of enactment and decrees of the government for 1921, Administration of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR

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About horse‐drawn duty. ( Izv. No. 160, S. U. 58‐373 ). 

Article No. 373.

Circular resolution of the All‐Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of Peopleʹs Commissars.

According to all available data, the Republic is facing an extremely serious fuel crisis, facing the threat of complete paralysis of the railway traffic, mainly due to the weakening of the wheeled carriage of firewood. Only by thoughtful and skillfully, carefully carried out measures aimed at strengthening the carriage of firewood, the crisis can be mitigated.

Meanwhile, numerous information from the localities testifies to the absence of correct norms and methods for carrying out horse‐drawn conscription, to insufficient attention to the needs of agriculture, which creates a basis for discontent among the population. Various commissioners for enhancing labor and animal conscription sometimes abuse the methods of intimidation. The rates of work sometimes exceed the ability to actually perform. The transport distances are not limited by proper limits. The lack of correct accounting     for          gouge    gives      room     for          delinquency and abuse. Exaggerated,                deliberately         impracticable     promises              are practiced concerning the norms of payment in money and in kind.

There is no proper contact between the logging authorities and the Labor Departments, no precise delineation of rights and obligations, no proper responsibility for the irrational use of horse‐drawn force, which does not stop misunderstandings with the acceptance and organization of mobilized people and supply and payment of work.

The Labor Departments, due to the insufficient attention to them by the Executive Committees, are poorly provided with workers and other resources, which makes it impossible for them to establish firm leadership in the conduct of labor service.

All this discredits Soviet power in the eyes of the rural population, provides food for kulak agitation and disrupts the success of labor and horse‐drawn duties.

The Presidium of the All‐Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of Peopleʹs Commissars propose: to pay special attention to the issues of labor and especially horse‐drawn service; establish systematic       control over       the procedure            for          conducting them; harmonize       this         procedure            with       the          basic      needs    of agriculture; make the appropriate adjustments to the activities of the bodies conducting the conscription, for which:

1.  To establish, through the Labor Departments, the maximum norms of horse‐drawn conscription, which are permissible without prejudice to agriculture, agreed with agricultural bodies and approved by the Economic Conferences, and the maximum distances over which peasant carts can be thrown.

Require correct accounting, distribution and attachment of the tug.

2.  To organize, through the appropriate departments, the supply of mobilized people and horses with food, premises, boiling water and medical care.

3.  To declare and implement in practice the strict responsibility of the technical and administrative heads of logging and other economic bodies for the correctness of the application and registration and the rationality of the use of horse‐drawn force.

4.  Mobilize the best workers to the Labor Departments.

5.  Together with the Party Committee and the Political and Educational Committee (Political Education), to promote the elimination of frightening methods of influencing the population and to achieve conscious, self‐directed fulfillment by whole villages and volosts of lesson assignments, especially for carting firewood.

6.  Apply special bonuses to the owners who voluntarily performed the horse‐drawn duty, the most valuable items for agriculture.

7.  Carry out a thorough examination of the degree of debt of economic bodies in relation to the rural population in money and fodder and take measures to fully pay debts with replacement with other items, if necessary, according to established norms.

8.  Establish strict control over the observance of decrees, orders and instructions on labor protection.

9.  The measures taken in accordance with this circular and their results should be reported within a month through the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Internal Affairs.

Signed by:

Chairman of the All‐Russian Central Executive Committee M. Kalinin .

Chairman of the Council of Peopleʹs Commissars V. Ulyanov (Lenin) .

Secretary of the All‐Russian Central Executive Committee A. Yenukidze .

July 14, 1921.

Published in No. 160 of the News of the All‐Russian Central Executive

Committee of Soviets on July 23, 1921.