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Stalin- Transcripts from Soviet Archives
From the report of JV Stalin to the XVII Congress of the CPSU (b). January 26, 1934
A source: The tragedy of the Soviet village. Collectivization and dispossession. Documents and materials Volume 3. End of 1930 ‐ 1933. Moscow ROSSPEN 2000. Pp. 839‐841
Archive: Stalin I.V. Op. T. 13. S. 317‐318, 320‐323, 325‐328. No. 386
2. The rise of agriculture
The development in the field of agriculture went somewhat differently. Many times, more slowly than in industry, but nevertheless faster than during the period of predominance of individual farming, the growth of the main branches of agriculture grew in the period under review. And in the livestock industry, we even had a reverse process ‐ a drop in the livestock population, and only in 1933, and then in the pig industry alone, there were signs of an upswing.
It is obvious that the enormous difficulties of uniting separate small peasant farms into collective farms, the difficult task of creating a large number of large grain and livestock farms almost from scratch, and, in general, the reorganization period of restructuring and transferring individual agriculture to new collective farm rails, requiring a lot of time and costs ‐ all these factors inevitably predetermined both the slow pace of growth in agriculture and the relatively long period of decline in the development of livestock.
As a matter of fact, the reporting period for agriculture was not so much a period of rapid recovery and a powerful run‐up, but a period of creating the prerequisites for such a rise and such a run‐up in the near future.
... The years of the greatest height of the reorganization of agriculture ‐ 1931 and 1932. ‐ were the years of the greatest decline in cereal production.
... The most painful reorganization period was the livestock sector of agriculture.
Here is the corresponding table.
Livestock in the USSR:
In million heads
c) Sheep and goats
It can be seen from this table that in terms of the number of livestock we have for the reporting period not an increase, but a still continuing decline in comparison with the pre‐war level. Obviously, the greatest saturation of livestock farming branches with large‐scale elements, on the one hand, and intensified kulak agitation for the slaughter of livestock, which had fertile ground during the years of reorganization, on the other hand, were reflected in one table.
It follows from this table, further, that the decline in the livestock began from the first year of the reorganization (1930) and continues until 1933, and the decline reached its greatest extent in the first three years, and in 1933, in the first year after the end the reorganization period, when grain crops began to rise, the size of the decline in livestock reached a minimum.
From this table it follows, finally, that a reverse process has already begun in pig breeding, and in 1933 there were already signs of a direct rise.
The number of collective farms (in thousands)
The number of farms in collective farms (in millions)
Percentage of collectivization of peasant farms
... What are these tables talking about? They say that the reorganization period of agriculture, when the number of collective farms and the number of their members grew at a rapid pace, has already ended, ended in 1932.
Consequently, the further process of collectivization is a process of gradual absorption and re‐education of the remnants of individual peasant farms by collective farms.
This means that the collective farms have won finally and irrevocably.
... The strength of collective farms and state farms is not, however, exhausted by the growth of their sown area and production. It is also reflected in the growth of their tractor fleet, in the growth of their mechanization. There is no doubt that in this respect our collective and state farms have made great strides.
Here is the corresponding table.
Tractor fleet in agriculture in the USSR (including depreciation)
In thousands of pieces
Power in thousands of horsepower
a) tractors in MTS
b) tractors in state farms of all systems
Consequently, 204,000 tractors and 3,100,000 horsepower for collective and state farms. The force, as you see, is not small, capable of rooting out all the petty roots of capitalism in the countryside. Power, twice the number of tractors, which Lenin spoke of in his time as a distant prospect ...
Tractor drivers, combine operators, steering wheels, drivers were trained during the reporting period and sent over 1 million 900 thousand people through the Narkomzem system alone.
More than 1 million 600 thousand people were trained and retrained during the same period of chairmen and members of collective farmsʹ boards, field crop foremen, livestock foremen, accountants.
This, of course, is not enough for our agriculture. But itʹs still something ...
Can we say that these opportunities have been properly used?
Unfortunately, this cannot be said ...
The presence of a huge park of tractors and machines, it would seem, obliges the land authorities to keep these valuable machines in order, to repair them on time, and to use them at work more or less tolerably. What are they doing in this area? Unfortunately, very few. The storage of tractors and machines is unsatisfactory. The repairs are also unsatisfactory, because they still do not want to understand that the basis of repairs is current and average repairs, and not major ones. As for the use of tractors and machines, the unsatisfactory state of this matter is so clear and well known that it does not need proof.