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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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On the correct use of live and dead implements by means of mutual labor assistance in order to cultivate and sow low‐power and Red Army farms. ( Izv. No. 61, S. U. 25‐146 ). 

Article 146.

Decree of the Council of Peopleʹs Commissars.

 (In the development of 16 of the decree of the 8th Congress of Soviets ʺOn measures to strengthen and develop peasant agricultureʺ (Collection 1921, No. 1, Art. 9 ).

The poor harvest and lack of food this year have led to a large reduction in the number of draft animals in the peasant economy. A long interruption in the production of agricultural machines and implements within the country, a long‐term suspension of their import from abroad, and a reduction in the repair of the tools and machines available to peasants created an acute shortage of dead implements in the peasant economy.

The measures currently being taken to raise agriculture, in particular by replacing the appropriation in kind with a tax in kind, by increasing the import of machines, implements, etc. from abroad, cannot get the peasant economy out of its predicament even during this spring. Some of the peasant farms will not be able to cultivate their land on their own.

In view of this, it is necessary to carefully use the live and dead inventory on the basis of mutual assistance of the owners. This measure, taken in pursuance of 16 of the resolution of the 8th Congress of Soviets on the strengthening and development of the peasant economy, is of temporary importance, pending the elimination of the acute shortage of live and dead inventory by means of state aid.

Approving the following instructions on the correct use of live and dead implements, the Council of Peopleʹs Commissars indicates to the committees for expanding crops and improving land cultivation (sowing committees), Land Departments (Land Departments), Rural Committees for improving agricultural production (Rural communities) and the entire peasant population that labor mutual assistance peasants with cattle and implements cannot be understood by anyone as the abolition of ownership of them. The combination of farms into groups for mutual assistance cannot be understood by anyone as a transition to a common farm, and the very combination into groups is temporary and, if possible, voluntary, for the duration of the forthcoming field work. In no case can the use of someone elseʹs equipment be free, and everyone who uses someone elseʹs horse, plow, plow,

Taking into account all of the above, the Council of Peopleʹs Commissars proposes the following to the leadership:


1.  Volost Land Departments through the Village Committees for the

Improvement of Agricultural Production (Selkoms) and Village Councils (Village Councils) find out for each village the amount of agricultural implements that are lacking in individual farms, which are required for the complete processing of their land use area.

2.  Upon completion of the inventory of inventory missing in each village, the Village Councils, together with the Selkoms, determine the procedure for using available live and dead inventory in such a way that all field work is completed, if possible, completely.

3.  Having established the procedure for use, the Selkoms, together with the Selkoms, divide the farms into groups, in relation to the division into groups for the elections of the Selkoms ( 16 of the instructions of the All‐Russian Central Executive Committee on Selkoms) into fifty farms, so that each group has a total of all the necessary equipment; joining groups is temporary and, if possible, voluntary for the duration of the forthcoming field work.

Note . Rural Soviets and Selkoms are obliged to pay attention to their composition when forming groups, including in each group both sufficient farms and farms that do not have a sufficient amount of inventory, which have expressed a desire to form a group; moreover, it is necessary to strive to ensure that, whenever possible, the group members would have adjacent strips of land.

4.  The inventory is used primarily by its owner. In addition, sharing the inventory does not remove any ownership of the inventory from the owner.

5.  The repair of dead equipment used by the group lies with the responsibility of the group members and is carried out by their means, since it is not possible to make it in repair shops free of charge.

Note . The responsibility for preserving the equipment used by the group rests with all its members. Supervision of this is entrusted to a member of the Selkom who is in charge of the work of this group. For negligent handling of someone elseʹs inventory and damage to it, the perpetrators are turned over to the Peopleʹs Court and are obliged to compensate the owner for the loss.

6.  Mutual labor assistance is carried out in such a way that farms that do not have a sufficient amount of inventory, instead of the inventory received from farms that have such, provide them, if possible, with labor assistance, and also take part in feeding the working cattle of the entire group by preparing fodder during work, however, on the condition that this does not interfere with the correct management of their economy and does not create the exploitation of some farms by others.

Note . For the correct conduct of mutual assistance and prevention of exploitation, the Uyezd Committees for the expansion of crops and the improvement of land cultivation (Uposevkoms) establish the amount of labor remuneration, that is, they establish what kind of work and in what quantity should be performed by farms that are insufficient in terms of inventory in payment for using someone elseʹs inventory. Selkoms,           Village Councils               and Volost   Executive Committees (Volostpolkoms) monitor compliance with the total rule and bring to justice those responsible for the exploitation of other peopleʹs labor.

7.  In case of refusal of individual citizens from compensation with labor for the equipment provided to them and refusal to provide live and dead equipment, the Village Councils and Selkoms inform the Volost Committee for General Labor Service (Volkomtruda) about this in order to bring the perpetrators to justice as labor deserters.

8.  The division of farms into groups must be completed by the Village Committees no later than April 15, 1921.

9.  Upon completion of the distribution of farms into groups, the Village Councils report this to the Volost Land Department (Volzemotdel), indicating the name and quantity of inventory missing by families.

Note , Information is delivered by the chairmen of the Village Councils under their personal responsibility.

10.                Volost Land Departments, on the basis of information received from the Village Councils, cover the entire shortage of inventory in individual villages from rental points and with the permission of the Uposevkom, from the temporary surplus of inventory of Soviet farms and collective farms located in this volost. Information about the lack or excess of inventory in the volost is submitted by the Volost Zemotdels to the Uyezdnye.

11.                Horses entering the village from the land organs (clause 5 of the decree on measures for the development and strengthening of agriculture) are primarily transferred to farms that do not have horses; if they cannot feed them due to lack of forage, horses are transferred to groups that are obliged to feed them.

12.                Supervision over the accurate and timely implementation of this instruction shall be entrusted to the provincial, county and volost seeding committees.


For the farms of the Red Army men belonging to the groups, the same procedure is established, but with the following changes.

1.                   Providing the needs of the Red Army farms with everything necessary, clarifying the lack of equipment necessary for the Red Army farms in each village and all the concerns about them are assigned to the Commission for Assistance to the Farms of the Red Army, which conducts its work through the Village Councils.

2.                   The processing of the plots of the farms of the Red Army men, the repair of their equipment, as well as the supply of live and dead equipment in a group farm is carried out in the first place.

3.                   The provision on compensation by labor and participation in livestock feeding for the use of equipment for the Red Army farms included in the group does not apply, since workers in the families of the Red Army are cut off from their farms.

Signed by:

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

Deputy Peopleʹs Commissar of Agriculture Osinsky .

N.P. Gorbunov, Administrator of the Council of Peopleʹs Commissars .

L. Fotieva, Secretary of the Council of Peopleʹs Commissars .

March 17, 1921.

Published in No. 61 of the News of the All‐Russian Central Executive

Committee of Soviets dated March 22, 1921.