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Title: Barbarous Soviet Russia
Author: McBride, Isaac
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                       “BARBAROUS SOVIET RUSSIA”



                                                   _Copr. Life Pub. Co._


                       “Barbarous Soviet Russia”

                             ISAAC McBRIDE


                                NEW YORK
                             THOMAS SELTZER


                            Copyright, 1920,
                        By Thomas Seltzer, Inc.

                Printed in the United States of America
                          All Rights Reserved



                           NINA LANE McBRIDE


          Acknowledgment is hereby made to the “Christian
          Science Monitor,” “Universal Service” (Hearst),
          and “Asia Magazine” for courtesies extended, in
          using some of the material that appeared in those



     CHAPTER                                                  PAGE

     Preface                                                     9

     I. Entering Red Land                                       13

     II. With the Red Soldiers                                  21

     III. On to Moscow                                          41

     IV. Moscow                                                 51

     V. Interview With Lenin                                    64

     VI. Who Is Lenin?                                          72

     VII. Petrograd                                             87

     VIII. Bolshevik Leaders—Brief Sketches                    102

     IX. Women and Children                                    112

     X. Government Industry and  Agriculture                   120

     XI. Propaganda                                            138

     XII. Coming Out of Soviet Russia                          144

     Appendix                                                  157

     I. Code of Labor Laws                                     159

     II. Resolutions Adopted at the Conference  of the
     Second All-Russian  Congress of Trades  Unions            191

     III. Financial Policy and Results of  the
     Activities of the People’s  Commissariat of
     Finance                                                   241

     IV. REPORTS: (_a_) Metal Industry;  (_b_)
     Development of Rural  Industries; (_c_)
     Nationalization  of Agriculture                           255


     Mr. Average Man’s Impression of the Meaning of     _Frontispiece_
     Certain Russian Words


     Red Army’s Infantry Division                               22

     Trotzky, Commissar of War and Marine                       30

     Lenin and Mrs. Lenin, Moscow, 1919                         38

     Lenin in the courtyard of the Kremlin, Moscow,             46
     Summer of 1919

     Lenin at his desk in the Kremlin, 1919                     50

     Lenin in Switzerland, March, 1919                          62

     Exterior and Interior of Lenin’s Home in Zurich            70

     Gorky and Zinovieff                                        78

     Zinovieff, President of the Petrograd Soviet               86

     Chicherin, Commissar of Foreign Affairs                    94

     Litvinoff, Assistant Commissar of Foreign Affairs         102

     Children of the Soviet School at Dietskoe Selo            110

     Mrs. Lenin visiting a Soviet School                       118

     Soviet Propaganda Train                                   126

     “Red Terror”                                              142


Of the five weeks I spent in Soviet Russia ten days were spent in Moscow
and eight in Petrograd. The remainder of the time I traveled along the
Western Front, from the Esthonian border to Moghilev, with leisurely
stops at Pskov, Vitebsk, Polotzk, Smolensk, and numerous small towns. I
tried to see as much as possible of this vast and unknown land in the
short time at my disposal, and I tried especially to check up from
first-hand observation some of the many things I had heard on the
outside. I also tried to test the truth of what was told me in Russia
itself,—to find visible evidence of the fairness of the claims made.
Some popular fancies were quickly dispelled. Disproof of others came
sometimes in vividly concrete fashion.

Soviet Russia is not unanimously Bolshevist, any more than the United
States has ever been unanimously Democratic or Republican, or
Prohibitionist. The speculators are not Bolshevist, nor are the
irreconcilable bourgeoisie, nor the Monarchists, nor the Cadets nor the
Menshevists, nor the Social Revolutionists and Anarchists. Nevertheless
Russia stands overwhelmingly in support of the Soviet Government, just
as the United States stands overwhelmingly in support of Congress and
the Constitution. There are many who are opposed to Soviet rule in its
present form, and this opposition is not confined to the old bourgeoisie
and the anarchists. It prevails to a certain extent—variously
estimated—among the peasants. But it is an opposition which ceases at
the military frontier of the nation. I found many critics of Soviet rule
within Soviet Russia, but they insisted that whatever changes are to be
made in the government must be made without foreign interference. At
present their first interest is the defence of Russian soil and the
Russian state against foreign assault and foreign interference.

The peasant opposition is mainly due to the deficiencies in
transportation and the shortage of manufactured articles. They blame
this on the government, much as other peoples lay their troubles to “the
government.” The peasants are reluctant to give up their grain for paper
money which is of no value to them unless it will buy shoes and cloth
and salt and tools,—and of these necessities there are not enough to go
round. While the blockade continued the government was striving
vigorously to overcome the shortage of manufactured articles brought
about by the blockade, knowing that this alone would satisfy the
peasants. They claimed to have made encouraging progress, especially in
the production of agricultural machinery, of which they were trying to
have the largest possible supply ready by spring.

Whatever the state of mind of the peasants, they are certainly better
off materially than the city workers. In all the villages I visited I
found the peasants faring much better than were the Commissars in
Moscow. They had plentiful supplies of good rye bread on their tables,
with butter and eggs and milk,—almost unknown luxuries in the cities.
Their cattle looked well fed and well cared for. It was harvest time and
the farmers were gathering in their crops. They told me that the season
had been exceptionally bountiful.

I learned after my return to America that there had been a great deal of
agitation among the upholders of the old Russian order in this country
last summer and early fall over the pogroms which were said to have been
carried on by the Bolsheviki. I found nothing but cooperation and
sympathy and understanding between the Russians and the Jews. There was
no discrimination whatsoever, as far as I could see. Jews and Russians
share alike in the councils of the Soviet Government and in the
factories and workshops.

In fact I found nothing but the utmost kindness and good will towards
the whole world, all through Russia. "If they will only let us alone
they have nothing to fear from us,—not even propaganda,"—was said to me
over and over again. There were no threats made against the
interventionists. The Soviet forces merely went ahead and demonstrated
their strength and ability to defend themselves, and left the record of
their achievements to speak for itself.

                                              ISAAC MCBRIDE.

  “Kloshe Illahe,”
    Bethel, Connecticut,
      March, 1920.

                       “Barbarous Soviet Russia”

                               CHAPTER I
                           ENTERING RED LAND

“You will never return alive. They will slaughter you. They will rob you
of everything. They will take your clothes from your very back.”

With stubborn conviction the dapper young Lettish gentleman spoke to me
as he attempted to change my mind about going into Soviet Russia. He was
attached to the Foreign Information Bureau of Latvia. He had been in
Riga all through the Bolshevist régime, from November, 1918, to May,
1919, when the German army of occupation in the Baltic provinces drove
them out. There was nothing he could not tell me about that régime. He
was especially eager to impart his experiences to foreign journalists.

“Was it really so terrible, then?” I asked him.

“Nothing could have been worse,” he repeated. "Many persons were killed
by the Bolshevists—I saw them myself—but not so many as when the Germans
began their slaughter. There was the Bolshevist program of
nationalization. They nationalized the land. They nationalized the
factories. They nationalized the banks and the large office buildings,
and even the residences.

“Aristocratic women were taken from their comfortable homes and forced
to wait on Bolshevist Commissars in the Soviet dining-rooms. One of our
leading citizens, a man who through hard work had accumulated a great
fortune, was put to work cleaning streets. His fine house with thirty or
forty beautiful rooms, where he lived quite alone with his wife and
servants, was taken away from him, and he was moved into a house in
another part of the city on a mean street where he had never been
before. His home was taken over by the ‘state’ and seven families of the
so-called proletariat were lodged in it. One of our generals was
compelled to sell newspapers on the streets. Our leading artists were
forced to paint lamp posts—and the color was red. They made the
university students cut ice.”

“And the women—did they nationalize them?” I interrupted.

“Well, no, they didn’t do that here in Riga,” he said, “but that was
because they were not here long enough to put it into effect. They were
so busy confiscating property in the six months they held sway that they
had little time for anything else. No, they didn’t nationalize the women
in Riga, but you will find they have done so in Moscow.

“But you must not go to Moscow,” he added. “You will surely never return
alive—but if you do, please come and tell me what you have seen.” And
mournfully he wished me a safe journey.

I returned to the Foreign Office the next day determined to get
permission at once to pass through the Lettish front into Soviet Russia.
It was a hot August day. Officers and attachés sat around panting,
obviously bored that any one should come at this time to annoy them. Yet
despite the heat, they were willing enough to argue with me when they
learned that I wished to go into Soviet Russia. Like the young man I
talked to before, they tried hard to dissuade me. They were full of

“You will be robbed of the clothes on your back the minute you fall into
the hands of the Bolshevists,” they insisted.

“You must be crazy,” said one particularly friendly officer, whose
blonde hair stood straight up from his head so that he looked
perpetually frightened.

“But I am an American correspondent,” I repeated over and over again,
not knowing what else to say.

“So that is it,” said the officer, seeming to understand all at once.
And shortly after that the Foreign Office at Riga decided to recommend
the General Staff that I be permitted to pass the lines. But still they
urged me not to go.

“You will come back naked if you come back alive,” they shouted to me in

I left Riga on a troop train at six o’clock in the evening of September
1, 1919, bound for Red Russia. By noon the following day we had reached
a small town, where I disembarked with the soldiers. The front was
fifteen versts away. There the Reds had established themselves, I was
told, in old German trenches near the town of Levenhoff, 107 versts from

I carried a heavy suitcase, an overcoat and an umbrella, and the thought
of trudging in the wake of the less heavily caparisoned soldiers was
discouraging. I accosted a smart young officer with blonde mustaches. He
listened to me with interest.

“I am an American correspondent,” I said, “accredited to your

He glanced at my papers and shrugged his shoulders with such an air of
indifference that I thought he was not going to help me at all. But he
told me to follow him, and a short distance up the road we came upon a
peasant driving a crude hay-rick drawn by a single gaunt horse.

After a brief parley, none of which I understood, the peasant got down
from his high seat, hoisted my suitcase into the vehicle, and I followed
it. I sat flat on the floor with my feet braced against the sides of the
springless cart, and we started jolting and bumping down the rough road
which ran parallel with the tracks. The peasant sat on a board laid
across the front of the rick.

We had gone only a short way when the booming of guns came from both
sides of us. My driver, however, seemed unconscious of it. We went on
for another five versts. The guns grew louder and I saw shrapnel shells
burst uncomfortably near. They came thicker and faster.

I remembered the peace of Riga some twenty-four hours before this. I
wanted to tell the driver to turn around and go back, and then I
remembered that we did not speak the same language, and certainly,
judging from his impassive back, we were not thinking the same thoughts.
There was an instant when I stopped thinking altogether, and when I knew
that I could not have opened my mouth had I tried to speak. A shell
burst some forty feet away and a piece of shrapnel about the size of a
grape-fruit landed on the floor of the hay-rick between my outspread
legs, broke two slats on the floor of the wagon and dropped harmlessly
to the ground. Then at last the driver turned around, his face white as
chalk. His panic, instead of communicating itself to me, had the very
opposite effect and I suddenly lost all sense of danger. With a
boldness, which surprises me whenever I think of it, I shouted to him:

“For Christ’s sake, go on!”

The driver obeyed reluctantly but soon turned around again.

“Go on!” I cried.

A few minutes later we approached a clump of trees under which stood a
Lettish gun, surrounded by four or five officers. My driver stopped to
talk to them, evidently inquiring whether it was safe to go on. One of
the officers nodded, the others laughed, and one said in good English,
“Everything is all right.”

At four o’clock we reached the headquarters at the front. I presented my
pass to the commanding officer, a stocky young fellow with humorous
wrinkles around his eyes.

“You are an American,” he said, observing me keenly.

“From New York,” I said. “I am going to Moscow on important business for
my paper.” I told him more, giving most impressive details. I convinced

“Well,” he said finally, “you will have to wait until morning. Both of
us are using heavy artillery now.”

I insisted. I wanted to go at once.

“Well, go then,” he said with his first show of impatience. He called a
lieutenant, gave him brief instructions and washed his hands of me.

Right across the neutral zone you could see the Bolshevist trenches,
running at right angles to the railroad with barbed wire on each side so
that a motor train couldn’t rush through. “You can’t go into the front
line trenches,” the commanding officer told me. “Nobody is allowed in
there except military men, but you can go through the opening in the
barbed wire and start across.” That was the best I could do, so the
lieutenant took me around those barbed wires and down into a ditch at
the edge of the railroad and pointed to me to climb the bank. Well, I
climbed up somehow, it was about twenty-five feet; and started down that
track with my big suitcase and a heavy overcoat on, holding up my
umbrella with a white handkerchief tied to it.

It was a very hot day and I had to walk two miles across the neutral
zone—two miles right straight down the tracks. You could see the
Bolshevist trenches in the distance. Pretty soon the firing started. I
couldn’t feel anything dropping near me, so I decided those Lettish
soldiers were popping their heads out of the trenches to see this fool
go across and the Bolshevists were taking pot shots at them.

The Lettish officer had told me: “If they start to fire on you, roll off
down the bank and crawl back to our positions.” But I would have had to
roll twenty-five feet and probably crawl a mile. So I kept on. A
scattering rifle fire spat out from the Red trenches and the shells
screamed steadily overhead. My suitcase dragged heavily and I was
uncomfortably warm, but I made good progress. I had covered about half
the distance when a rifle bullet whipped by my ear. I plunged along the
track with redoubled speed.

As I came within fifty yards of the barbed wire which the Russians had
strung across the tracks, Red soldiers shouted up at me from their
trenches and motioned for me to come down into the adjoining field where
there was a gap in the wire. A few moments later I was in the first-line
trench of the Red army.

I was hot and exhausted and still resentful of that shot. I spoke first:
“Why did you shoot at me?” They did not understand, but one of them
evidently knew I was speaking English. He called down the trench to
another soldier who ran up. He was a tall young Slav, and showed white
teeth in a broad smile as he greeted me in good English.

“Hello, America,” he said.

“Why did you shoot at me?” I repeated indignantly.

“Oh,” he made a deprecatory gesture.

“One of the comrades made a mistake,” he said. “He shot at you without
orders. But you also made a mistake.”

“What was that?” I asked.

“You carried a white flag,” he said, grinning. “It should have been


                               CHAPTER II
                         WITH THE RED SOLDIERS

I asked to be taken to the commanding officer and two soldiers were
detailed to escort me. One of the “comrades” laid down his rifle and
picking up my suitcase led the way down the trenches; the other
shouldered his rifle and followed close behind me. I kept my eye on the
suitcase and trudged along.

They were both very friendly, and with a great show of their English
began talking to me at once.

“Do you know,” said one of them, “that the dock workers are on strike in
New York?” And while I was still wondering to myself how Russia, shut
off from all the rest of the world, could have heard this piece of news,
the other “comrade” burst out:

“Who is going to win the pennant in the National League?”

“Where do you learn these things?” I asked.

“From the bulletins,” he replied briefly. I learned later that the
wireless at Moscow works twenty-four hours a day, and that it grabs from
the air practically all the news that is wirelessed from America to
European countries. Each morning in Moscow bulletins carrying this
information are printed and distributed in the industries, in the
peasant villages and among soldiers.

For three versts we walked along the railroad track, and at last reached
the headquarters at Levenhoff. I was taken to the commanding officer,
who spoke English fairly well.

“What do you want here?” he asked looking me over keenly.

I had expected that question and had my answer ready. I knew I would
have to give an explanation, but what I did not know was that I would
have to give that explanation over and over again all the way from
Levenhoff to Moscow.

“I came to look you over,” I said. “In the world outside there are many
conflicting stories about Soviet Russia and I want to see for myself
what is going on here. I am not a spy. I should like to be allowed to go
to Petrograd and Moscow and to travel through the country and then
return to America and tell what I have seen.”


  Parading on the Famous Hodinskoe Polie in Moscow.

The Red officer took a long look at me and turned to a telephone. I knew
just enough Russian at that time to get the drift of his conversation.
He called up the Brigade headquarters and reported that an “Amerikanski”
journalist had come across the lines and wanted to proceed into the
country. There was much conversation while I stood waiting nervously.
Presently he hung up the receiver and turning to me said, “You will have
to report to the Brigade Command at Praele.”

“And is there a train?” I asked when I learned that I had twenty-two
more versts to go to Praele. There was not; I must drive there in a
droshky. It would be ready for me in a few minutes. And the officer gave
some orders. Presently the droshky arrived and a great powerful Red
Guard with a rifle slung over his shoulder motioned to me to get in. He
climbed in after me and we drove off.

It was early evening by now. Vast stretches of country swept away from
us on either side of the road. I tried to talk to my burly guard, but
his English was as meager as my Russian. Our conversation resolved
itself into wild gestures and signs. The night was clear, brightly
moonlit, and about nine o’clock it grew very cold. The chill crept into
every crevice of my clothing and penetrated to my very bones, and I lost
all interest in the country around us.

For hours we seemed to drive through the chill and dampness. I was
fairly frozen when I realized that the guard suddenly took off his coat
and silently offered it to me. I refused to take it, of course, thanking
him—“Spasiba, Tovarishch!” I said. He chuckled at my Russian and
repeated Tovarishch, the Russian word for comrade.

We reached Praele at midnight. My guard took a receipt for me from the
commanding officer as though I were a bundle of clothes or a package of
groceries, and returned to Levenhoff....

“What do you want here?”

I delivered my speech of explanation. The next question was welcome.
“Would you like something to eat before you sleep?” I was very hungry.
The officer called a soldier who went out and returned with some black
bread and tea, with apple sauce. When I had finished eating, my guard
took me to a large barrack room where about thirty soldiers were
sleeping in their uniforms on wooden bunks built in around the walls.
Several of them woke when we came in and looked me over with interest.
They passed cigarettes and apples. We smoked and munched for awhile
together, and presently every one settled down to sleep.

I awoke about nine the next morning. The soldiers were all up and gone.
A guard came in and led me to a building across the street where three
officers and two privates were breakfasting together. A pleasant-faced
Russian woman presided over the stove. A place was made for me at the
table and I was served with a very unsavory coffee-colored liquid, one
egg, a small piece of butter, and plenty of black bread. While we ate a
young Russian boy about thirteen years old played the violin,—the
_Internationale_, the _Marseillaise_, and some charming folk-songs.

We returned to the barracks after breakfast and a little later the
Commissar attached to brigade headquarters came in to see me. He could
not speak English, so we carried on our conversation through the
Commandant. First of all he asked what I wanted in Soviet Russia. I went
through my patter and they left me. For half an hour I sat wondering
what would happen next. Then the Commandant returned.

“We believe you are telling the truth,” he said. “We are glad to have
people come in from the outside to learn what we are doing and what we
hope to do under Soviet rule. But some whom we have allowed to come in
have gone out and told outrageous lies about our country and our people;
others have come across our lines and have gone away and revealed our
military positions to the enemy. We are defending ourselves and must be
careful. You must pass on to the Division Command at Rejistza, thence to
Army Headquarters, and finally to the High Command for investigation.
After that you will be allowed to remain in Soviet Russia—or you will be

That evening I was taken under guard across country to a small railway
station where we caught a train which brought us to Rejistza at four
o’clock in the morning. A bed was found for me in the station master’s
house. At eight o’clock my guard woke me and dragged me off to the
Commissar and the military Commandant at Division Headquarters, turned
me over to them and took a receipt for me delivered in good order.

After breakfast of black bread and tea came the question, “What do you
want here?” I was told that I would have to wait till the following day
for a decision on my case. Meanwhile I could walk about and see the
town. The Commandant filled out a slip of paper which he told me I was
to show to any one who offered to interfere with my stroll.

I found Rejistza a fair-sized town. The people were going about their
business in normal fashion. They appeared to be in good health and they
were all well clothed. Many of the shops were closed for lack of wares;
others were open, though none seemed to have much stock. There was,
however, an abundance of fruit in the stalls, and some vegetables. The
streets were dirty. Carpenters were at work on some of the houses, many
of which were badly out of repair.

I began looking for some one who could speak English, and soon
discovered a young Russian boy who was eager to talk about his town.

“But why are your streets so dirty?” I asked him.

“Oh, Rejistza always was a dirty town, but we are cleaning it up now as
fast as possible,” he added with civic pride that was obviously newly

The streets were full of sturdy, well-clad soldiers moving through to
the Dvinsk front where the Reds were bringing up reinforcements to stop
the Polish offensive. Bands were playing and the soldiers marched by in
good order, with heads erect, singing the _Internationale_.

I walked down towards the river Dvina. The sun was shining, the air
crisply cold. A crowd of children came bounding out of a school-house
and scampered towards a large park to enjoy their recess hour. They ran
about playing games much as children in this country do. One group
quickly marked out a space on the sidewalk with chalk and began skipping
and hopping in and put among the chalked squares. Others played tag and
still others played hiding games. They were all busy. The teachers had
come out into the park with the children, and for an hour children and
teachers alike played and talked together in the sunlight. Here or there
sat a teacher on a park bench surrounded by a crowd of alert children
who hung upon every word as she related Russian fairy tales.

And when the hour was over every one trooped back into the school-room
with as much ardor as when they came out into the park. I wandered over
to the river, but soon returned to the school-house. I wanted to find
out what a Russian school-room was like.

I slipped in through the door and took a seat near by. No one took
notice of me. The teacher continued her talking and the children
listened with as much interest as they had outside when she was telling
them of the wonderful deeds of the heroes of folk-lore. For an hour I
sat and listened and then walked away still unnoticed. I returned
through the town to the Commissar’s house quite unmolested.

That day I dined with the Commissar and four or five of his staff. I had
looked forward to the meal all day, and was grateful when at last we sat
down to table. Cabbage soup and a small piece of fish were served to
each of us. The others talked a great deal; I waited for more food, but
none came, and I went to bed that night with a great gnawing inside of

I was awakened at four o’clock in the morning by a new guard who led me
off to a train. The decision had been made, as the Commandant had
promised it would be. The train was bound for Velikie Luki. The new
guard and I had breakfast on board—black bread and two apples.

It was four in the afternoon when we reached our destination. A droshky
carried us five versts to the headquarters of the 15th Army, where I was
again delivered into the hands of a Commissar.

Wearily I repeated my lines, thinking much more about the possibility of
getting a meal from this Commissar than I did about getting a pass into
Moscow. I must have looked as hungry and tired as I felt, for the
Commissar instead of granting the pass took me to his home, which was
only a short way down the street.

His house seemed to me to be the most comfortable place I had ever seen.
I was introduced to his wife, who came to meet us at the door. Two
children soon appeared and then the Commissar’s mother, and at once we
began talking like old friends. I was taken to a cheerful room where I
dusted and washed myself, and when I returned to the others the evening
meal was set forth on the table. It seemed almost bountiful to me after
the meager portions of cabbage soup and black bread I had been eating
for the past few days. Actually it was only cabbage soup again, one fish
ball for each, some kasha, black bread and tea. I ate ravenously, and I
am afraid I gave my host and hostess the impression that I was a

I went to bed early that night feeling well fed for the first time in
days. In the morning I set forth early for headquarters with the
Commissar and there was turned over to a guard, who took me out to show
me Velikie Luki.

The town was crowded with soldiers strolling idly along the streets,
soldiers marching briskly to the railroad station, soldiers falling in
and out of barracks, soldiers everywhere,—and singing, always singing,
with bands and without, ceaselessly singing their beloved
_Internationale_. The troops were moving out to the Dvinsk and Denikin
fronts. The thoroughfares were crowded with civilians watching the
regiments pass by—men, women, and children, shouting, waving caps and
handkerchiefs, and joining in the chorus of the soldiers’ song.


  Commissar of War and Marine

I followed the marching lines to the railway station. Trains were
pulling out and empty cars moving in as fast as they could be loaded.
And how they were loaded! Passenger cars, box cars, flat cars, jammed
with shouting, laughing soldiers, waving good-bye, joking and singing.
Every inch of space carried a soldier. Platforms, steps, roofs, and even
the engines were covered with scrambling, good-natured Reds. A train
already filled drew in and emptied a load of men back from the front for
a rest. The wounded were carried off carefully. From the end of the
train a detachment of about two hundred disarmed soldiers marched up the
platform under guard. These were the first prisoners I had encountered,
and I was anxious to see what would be done with them. They marched away
from the station and I asked my guard if we might follow them. He made
no objection. The townspeople paid no attention to the prisoners.
Evidently they were an accustomed sight.

They went about a mile down a long side street, parallel to the
railroad, and then turned abruptly across lots and entered a large
barrack. A sentry was posted outside, but after a little explanation my
guard obtained permission for us to go in. The prisoners were seated on
the floor, with their backs to the wall. Two soldiers brought in
steaming samovars through a side door and others carried in great loaves
of bread. Tea was made and handed around to the prisoners and the bread
was cut in large chunks and given to them. The captives ate hungrily,
their guards chatting and laughing with them. While they were still
eating, two more Red soldiers entered, with bundles of printed
pamphlets, which they distributed among the prisoners, who ate, drank,
and read.

If there was a German soldier there, he received German literature; if a
Lithuanian, he received Lithuanian literature; if he happened to be
French—well, they had it in all languages. All the while they were
holding the prisoners they fed them three times a day, sometimes bread
and tea and sometimes cabbage soup, _and they kept them reading all the
time_; when they were not reading some of the Commissars were in there
talking with them, telling them about the world, and what the war was
about and why they were sent there. They had the organization of it
perfected to such an extent that prisoners were not there five minutes
before they were eating, and they were not eating five minutes before
they were reading.

Bolshevist warfare does not end with the taking of prisoners. The
propaganda follows. The Soviet leaders think more of it than they do of
bullets. They say it is more effective. Three times on the western front
I witnessed this same scene where prisoners were brought in.

In Russia they like very much to take prisoners. The only objection is
that they haven’t got much food and they don’t like to starve them. They
told me that they would like to take a million prisoners a day, if they
had plenty of food and paper. After all, the biggest war they were
carrying on in Russia was a war of education. All along the battle-front
you could see streamers telling the other side what the thing was
about—you could read them a hundred yards away. At night they put two
posts in the ground and fastened the streamer between them. In the
morning, when the sun rose, there it was.

During the two days I spent in Velikie Luki, and later at many other
places along the front, I sought every opportunity to study the Red
army. I am not an expert and cannot report upon the technical details of
military equipment. There seemed no lack of small arms or cannon. In
general the soldiers were warmly clad and strongly shod. Certainly they
were in good spirits. The relations between officers and men were
interesting. There was no lack of discipline. Off duty all ranks mingled
as comrades, men and officers joking, laughing, singing, or talking
seriously together. Under orders the men obeyed promptly. I found it the
same at the front, in the barracks, and at headquarters with the
Commissars and highest officers. When there was no serious work to be
done they associated without distinction.

Wherever I met the Red soldiers I was struck with this combination of
comradeship and discipline. On more than one occasion I have gone into a
commandant’s office along the front, at some high command, and found him
playing cards or checkers with his men. Privates and under-officers
would crowd in unceremoniously and engage in voluble chatter without the
slightest indication of superiority or deference to rank. Then,
suddenly, perhaps a ring on the telephone, and the commander would
receive a report of some development along the front. A brisk order
would bring the room to attentive silence; cards and checkerboards and
fiddles would be shoved aside. The men would file out to their posts.
They seemed to have an instant appreciation of the distinction between
comradeship in the barracks and discipline on duty.

                              THE RED ARMY

The ordinary Red soldier gets 400 rubles a month, with rations and
clothes. Soviet officials told me that there were 2,000,000 thoroughly
trained and equipped men in the fighting forces, with another million in
reserve and under training. About 50,000 young officers, they said,
chosen from the most capable peasants and workers, had already graduated
from the officers’ training schools under the Soviet Government.
Thousands of others had been developed from the ranks.

It is easy for the casual observer to misjudge that subtle and
all-important element known as “morale.” I think that I am perhaps more
than ordinarily skeptical of manifestations of patriotic fervor, knowing
something of the means by which every general staff keeps up the
fighting spirit of the ranks. But I retain from my contact with the Red
soldiers a sense of peculiar zeal and dogged grit. Certainly they do not
want to fight. They want to go home and settle down in peace. But this
frankly confessed distaste for slaughter seems only to emphasize their
determination to see the struggle through to the end. For all their war
weariness they did not act like men driven unwillingly into battle. I
tried to imagine myself enduring what many of them have endured for over
five years, betrayed by their first leaders, overwhelmingly defeated by
their first enemy, and still struggling on against new assaults from
those they had been taught to believe were their friends and allies.

I tried to imagine what vast process of propaganda could have stimulated
this unyielding endurance. Propaganda there undoubtedly was. Just as the
Allied armies had their attendant organizations of welfare workers and
entertainers to keep up the morale, so the Red Army was accompanied by a
carefully organized system of revolutionary propaganda. I suppose the
American soldier would not have fought so well had he not been
constantly reminded that he was fighting to make the world safe for
Democracy. The Red soldier is persuaded that he fights to keep Russia
safe for the Revolution. This ideal is deeply personal. He feels it is
his revolution; he feels that he accomplished it regardless of his
leaders, certainly in spite of some of them; and now it is his to defend
against attacks from without and within. In judging this thing I find
myself turning away from generalizations and disregarding what I was
told by those enthusiasts who have the Red Army in their keeping. I come
back again and again to the men themselves. Before I left Russia I had
seen a great many soldiers. I had lived with them, traveled with them,
slept in their barracks, eaten in their mess. To the American of course,
the conditions under which the European masses manage to maintain
existence, even in normal times, is always a matter of surprise and
wonder. The Soviet Government does everything possible for the Red Army.
It is their constant thought and care. But the utmost that can be
provided, even of bare subsistence, seems painfully inadequate to the

The preferential treatment of the soldiers, of which I had heard so much
before I saw it and shared it, consists principally in maintaining an
uninterrupted supply of black bread and tea. It may be propaganda, it
may be a peculiar quality in the spiritual and physical composition of
the Russian peasant. Whatever it is, I do not believe that any other
European army would endure so long on a ration of black bread and tea.
An occasional apple or cigarette were luxuries, all too quickly consumed
and forgotten. The black bread and tea, constant and unvaried, will ever
remain for me the symbol both of the efficiency of the Soviet Commissary
and of the zeal of the Red soldier. Black bread and tea and song. Their
love for song is amazing,—all songs, but principally the
_Internationale_. They march off to the front singing, they limp back
from battle singing, they sing on the trains, and in the barracks, and
at mess; they sing while they are playing checkers and they sing while
they are sweeping stables. They wake up at night and sing. I have heard
them do it.

I was told that about seventy-five percent of the Czar’s officers were
in the Soviet Army. This was no sign that they were converted to
communism. Their spirit remained essentially patriotic. They supported
the Soviet Government, not because it was a Socialist government, but
because it was _the_ government. They fought to defend Russia.

It was Trotzky who insisted on allowing these old officers to come into
the army. Many of the Communists thought they would betray the soldiers
on the front and turn them over to the enemy. But Trotzky said it was a
question of permitting the experienced officers to train the men and
teach them military tactics or the Red Army would be destroyed. Trotzky
had his way. At every army post, whether it was a company, a brigade, a
regiment or a division, wherever there was an old army officer there was
a trusted Commissar who worked in the office, and every move the old
army officer made was known to the Commissar.

The following manifesto, drawn up and signed by 137 officers of the old
régime, appealing to their former messmates to quit the
counter-revolution and stop making war upon the Soviet Government, which
the people had established and would defend against all attacks, was
sent through the Denikin lines:


"We address this letter to you with the intention of avoiding useless
and aimless shedding of blood. We know quite well that the army of
General Denikin will be crushed, as was that of Kolchak and of many
others who have tried to put at their mercy a working people of many
millions of men. We know equally well that truth and justice are on the
side of the Red Army, and that you only remain in the ranks of the White
Army through ignorance regarding the Soviet Republic and the Red Army,
or because you fear for your fate in case of the latter’s victory. We
think it our duty above all to write you the truth about the position
made for us in the Red Army. First we guarantee to you that no officers
of the White Army passing over into our camp are shot. That is the order
of the Supreme Revolutionary Council of War.

[Illustration: LENIN AND MRS. LENIN, MOSCOW, 1919]

"If you come with the simple desire to lessen the sufferings of the
working population, to lessen the shedding of blood, nobody will touch
you. As to officers who express the desire to serve loyally in the Red
Army they are received with respect and extreme courtesy. We have not to
submit to any kind of outrage or humiliation. Everywhere our needs are
attentively supplied. Full respect for the work of specialists of every
kind is the fundamental motive of the policy of the present government
and of its authorized representatives in the Red Army. Quite unlike the
practice in the old army, you are not asked, ‘Who are your parents?’ but
only one thing—‘Are you loyal?’ A loyal officer who is educated and who
works advances rapidly on the ladder of military administration, is
received everywhere with respect, attention, and kindness. Among the
troops an exemplary discipline has been introduced.

“From the material point of view we could not be better treated. As for
the Commissars, in the vast majority of cases we work hand in hand with
them, and in case of disagreement the most highly authorized
representatives of the power of the Soviets take rapidly decisive
measures for getting rid of the differences. In a word, the longer we
serve in the Red Army, the more we are convinced that service is not a
burden to us. Many of us began to serve with a little sinking of the
heart, solely to earn a living, but the longer our service has lasted
the more we are convinced of the possibility of loyal and conscientious
service in this army. That is why, officer comrades, we allow ourselves
to call you such although we know that the word ‘comrade’ is considered
insulting among you, because among us it indicates relations of simple
cordiality and mutual respect. Without proposing that you should make
any decision, we beg you to examine the question, and in your future
conduct to take account of our evidence. We wish to say one thing
more,—we congratulate ourselves that in fulfilling obligations loyally
we are not the servants of any foreign government. We are glad to serve
neither German imperialism, nor the imperialism which is
Anglo-Franco-American. We do what our conscience dictates to us in the
interest of millions and millions of workers, to which number the vast
majority of the company of the officers belong.”


                              CHAPTER III
                              ON TO MOSCOW

Before leaving Velikie Luki I wandered with my guard down a street of
the town and came upon a Soviet bookstore. Inside were thousands of
books and pamphlets, in what seemed to me all the languages of the
world. The store was full of men and women buying these books and
pamphlets. I learned that this store and many others like it had been
opened almost two years before, and that knowledge of history and social
conditions throughout the world was thus being brought to millions of
Russians formerly held in darkness.

Later in the afternoon of that day the Commissar informed me that I was
free to go on to Smolensk and that if I passed muster there I could go
anywhere I desired in Russia. I was given another guard, a big fellow
who had spent ten years in England and returned to Russia when the Czar
was overthrown. He so much resembled the Irish labor leader, Jim Larkin,
that I called him “Larkin” throughout the course of our journey

He had an exclamation which he used frequently when I was too
pertinacious to suit him.

“God love a duck, what do you want now?” he would roar with a despairing
gesture, and the tone of his voice also was despairing. It may be that
he was justified in his complaint, for there was much that I wanted to
know and to see.

On the last day of our journey towards Moscow he turned to me and said,
“I haven’t prayed for ten years or more,—not since I was down and out in
Glasgow, Scotland, and wandered into a Salvation Army headquarters. Then
I did go down on my knees and pray for help, but I decided since that
praying wasn’t my job. But God love a duck, when I get you safely into
Moscow I’m going down on my knees again and thank God that this job is
over and ask Him to save me from any more Americans of your kind.”

But there was, after all, some excuse for my troubling him so often and
so much. “Larkin” slept on every possible—and impossible—occasion, and
the sound of his snores, with which I can think of nothing worthy of
comparison, kept me awake, so that in self-defence I used to rouse him
every time we reached a station to ask questions about where we were and
why we had stopped there and what the people were doing and why they
were doing it. When I had him sufficiently awake to begin to smoke I
could snatch a bit of sleep for myself, for he invariably sat up until
he had smoked eight or ten cigarettes, after which his snoring began
again and my rest ended.

“Larkin’s” real name was August Grafman, which sounded Teutonic. He was
a Russian Jew, however, and a good fellow. I hope to see him again
sometime, and I commend him to any other Americans who want to see for
themselves what is going on in Russia at the present time. He spoke
English readily and perfectly, and from him I obtained much information
I might otherwise have missed. There was the time when we waited for a
train at a small station in the course of our journey towards Smolensk.
All at once a commotion arose on the other side of the station. Hurrying
around, we saw a man running, pursued by three or four Red soldiers. Two
officers coming toward the station drew their sabres and held them
before the man, who stopped and his pursuers captured him. They brought
him back to the station and I observed that he was a Jew. I wondered if
his crime was that of his race, remembering stories of pogroms. The Jew
was brought into the station and seated on a bench. Immediately the
soldiers surrounded him, and one of them stood up in front of him and
made a long speech. At its conclusion he sat down, and another rose and
made an address. Finally a third vociferously questioned the man. At
last the Jew arose, the soldiers made way for him, and he left the
station. “Larkin” who had been too much interested in the proceedings to
talk to me, now satisfied my curiosity.

The Jew had been caught in the act of picking the pockets of a soldier.
Furthermore it was his third offence. The first man who spoke had tried
to impress the Jew with the enormity of the crime of robbing a man who
was on his way to defend his country. He had said, “Don’t you realize
that a man going out to fight carries nothing with him except what he
actually needs, whether it be money or anything else, and that it is
worse to rob a soldier on this account than an ordinary civilian, with a
home, and all his treasures about him?” The second man had talked of the
defence of the country; the soldiers were going to fight so that when
the fighting ended there would be enough for every one and no need for
stealing. The third had tried to obtain a promise that the man would not
again steal from soldiers. He had been successful, and, “now the Jew is
free,” said Larkin.

“But it was his third offense,” I said. “I should think they would
punish him severely.”

“Larkin” gave me a pitying glance. “You don’t understand the Russians,”
he said simply. “They are kind and in their own new born freedom they
want every one to be free.”

At last our train arrived and we got on. To Smolensk and then to Moscow,
I thought. But it was not so simple as that. Our train was going to
Moghilev direct, so we had to get off again at Polotsk at nine in the
evening, where we found that we were half an hour too late to catch the
train for Smolensk. “Larkin” hunted around for a sleeping place for us
when we learned that we would have to stay overnight in the town, and
finally won the favor of the Commissar, who took us to what he called
the “Trainmen’s Hotel,” a large building near the station. In the room
into which we were ushered there were about twenty beds, the linen on
which was far from clean. Two of the beds in one corner of the room were
assigned to us and we lay down fully dressed. After what seemed a few
minutes I was awakened by a vigorous kick, and found a huge Russian
standing over me, brandishing his arms and speaking harshly and
menacingly at me. I hurriedly shook “Larkin” out of his profound
slumber, and at the end of a brief but spirited discussion between the
two in Russian, he informed me that the man had been working all night
in the railroad shop and had come in to sleep. He resented finding his
bed occupied. I suspected “Larkin” of enjoying the joke on me, as I
clambered out and shivered in the cold, but his enjoyment was brief, for
he was almost immediately ordered out by another man who entered and
claimed his bed.

The two of us wandered out forlornly into the cold foggy morning and
went back to the station. The Commissar there made us comfortable in his
office until daylight, when we went down the track to a water tank and
had a “hobo wash” after which we ate our breakfast—one egg each, black
bread and tea, in the Soviet restaurant in the station.

We had been told that we could not get a train to Smolensk before four
o’clock in the afternoon, but at eleven the Commissar told us that a
trainload of soldiers going to the Denikin front would be passing
through at two in the afternoon and that it might be possible to arrange
for our transportation on this train, if we wished it. We did wish it
and at two o’clock we were in a box car full of soldiers en route to
Smolensk, which we would reach at ten that night.

The soldiers sang all evening—Russian soldiers always sing, no matter
how crowded, how hungry, or how weary—but one by one they dropped off to
sleep, huddled up in all sorts of positions. The train jolted along,
slowly, it seemed to me, and it was too dark to see anything through the
window. My guard went to sleep, and I remember thinking we must be near
Smolensk and that I would have to stay awake since he seemed to find his
responsibilities resting lightly. The stopping of the train roused me,
and thinking that we had arrived at Smolensk I shook “Larkin” who looked
at his watch and exclaimed, “Why it’s midnight. We must have passed


Surely enough, we had gone through Smolensk and were seventy five versts
on the other side of it, bound for the Denikin front. I had no
objections to going there eventually but I preferred to have permission
first, so we hastily bundled out of the train and went into the station.
“Larkin” approached the door of the Commissar’s office and tried to
brush past the Red Guard who sat there, and who objected to such an
unceremonious entrance. After an interminable discussion—perhaps five
minutes,—I said, “He wants to see your credentials. Why don’t you show
them to him? Do you want us both to be arrested?”

But the Red guard had lost patience by this time. A snap of his fingers
brought a policeman who arrested “Larkin” and before I had finished the
“I told you so,” I could not restrain, I found the heavy hand of the law
on my own shoulder. The two of us were marched down the street and
locked in a little dark room in what was apparently the town jail.

In the two hours of solitude that followed I shared all my dismal
forebodings with that unfortunate guard. We would be taken for spies and
as spies we would certainly be shot. I couldn’t be sorry that this
penalty would be inflicted upon anyone so stupid and obstinate and
generally asinine as he, but I at least wanted to get back to America
and tell people how stupid a big Russian could be. There were probably
some adjectives also, I am not sure that he listened. In any event I
could not see the signs of contrition that might at least have lightened
my apprehensions.

At the end of two hours two Red soldiers opened the door of our cell and
escorted us to the police station where we were taken at once before the
judge, a simple, but very determined looking peasant, who examined first
the Red Guard who had caused our arrest, the policeman who had arrested
us, and two soldiers who had witnessed the affair.

“Larkin” in the meantime very reluctantly interpreted whatever comments
and explanations I had to make. He became more and more stubborn and
taciturn. The Red Guard told his story, which was verified by the
policeman. The two soldiers further attested to the truth of the tale
and stated that we had been entirely at fault. Then the judge asked my
guard for an explanation, and with the air of one playing a forgotten
ace which would take trick and game, “Larkin” produced our credentials
and laid them triumphantly on the judge’s desk.

When he had read them the judge rose and made a statement which I
demanded my guard should translate.

“Oh he is just saying,” said “Larkin,” “to please tell the American that
we are sorry this thing happened. We are only working people and we must
be careful to guard our country. The Red Guard at the door was simply
obeying orders and doing his duty, and we want the American to
understand that no deliberate offence was intended. There are so many
people making war on us, both inside and outside, and we have to be

When “Larkin” had translated my reply, which was to the effect that we
acknowledged our fault, and had only congratulations for the men who
understood their duty and had the courage to perform it, and that I
regretted having been the cause of so much trouble, the judge himself
led us to a first-class train coach in the yards, unlocked it, and told
us to enter and spend the rest of the night there.

“At eight o’clock in the morning this coach will be picked up by the
train to Smolensk. Now, go to sleep, you won’t have to be on the watch
this time,” he said with a suggestion of a smile.

Weary as I was I still remembered a few more things to say to “Larkin”
who was by this time somewhat subdued. It was not until I had threatened
to report him to the Moscow Government, and had again told him that it
was a brutal thing to take advantage of men who were doing their duty
under the most difficult circumstances conceivable, that my mind was
lightened sufficiently so that I could go to sleep.

Of one thing I had been convinced—the general efficiency of organization
which I had encountered again and again in Soviet Russia. The people
were universally kind, but with strangers they took no chances. Well, I
concluded, they could not have been blamed if they had kept us in jail
for a long while, until they had checked up my entire record in Russia,
at least. And I was grateful that my prison record amounted to two hours
only, thanks to the expedition with which they administer trial to
suspects in Red Russia.

Shut up in our coach we sped on to Smolensk the next day. Another
twenty-four hours in Smolensk, where I was given permission to proceed
to Moscow and again I boarded a train. I had been relayed from one army
post to another; from the company to the regiment, from the regiment to
the brigade, from the brigade to the division, from the division to the
army command, and from the army command to the high command. And after
eight days I was almost within reach of Moscow. On the morrow I would be
off for Moscow itself.

[Illustration: LENIN AT HIS DESK IN KREMLIN, 1919]


                               CHAPTER IV

I reached Moscow on Sunday afternoon and was taken at once by “Larkin”
to the Foreign Office at the Metropole hotel. As we drove through the
picturesque town of many churches we passed great numbers of people
enjoying the sunshine. The parks and squares were full of romping

In the Foreign Office I was greeted by Litvinoff, who gave me
credentials which granted me freedom of action—freedom to go where I
pleased and without a guard as long as I remained in Soviet Russia; and
Communist life began for me.

The Metropole hotel, like all others in Soviet Russia, had been taken
over by the Government. The rooms not occupied by the Foreign Office
were used as living rooms by Government employees. The National hotel is
used entirely for Soviet workers, and the beautiful residence in which
Mirbach, the German ambassador, was assassinated is now the headquarters
of the Third International.

No one was allowed to have more than one meal a day. This consisted of
cabbage soup, a small piece of fish and black bread, and was served at
Soviet restaurants at any time between one o’clock in the afternoon and
seven at night. There were a few old cafés still in existence, run by
private speculators, where it was possible to purchase a piece of meat
at times, but the prices were exorbitant. In the Soviet restaurants ten
rubles was charged for the meal, while in the cafés the same kind of
meal would have cost from 100 to 150 rubles.

The Soviet restaurants had been established everywhere, in villages and
small towns as well as in cities. In the villages and railway stations
they were usually in the station building itself or near it. In the
cities they were scattered everywhere, so as to be easily accessible to
the workers. Some of them were run on the cafeteria plan; in others
women carried the food to the tables for the other workers. One entered,
showed his credentials to prove that he was a worker and was given a
meal check, for which he paid a fixed sum. Needless to say, there was no
tipping. I had not the courage to experiment by offering a tip to these
dignified, self-respecting women. I think they would have laughed at my
“stupid foreign ways” had I done so.

The old café life of Moscow was a thing of the past. If you wished
anything to eat at night you had to purchase bread and tea earlier in
the day and make tea in your room. This was very simple because the
kitchens in hotels were used exclusively for heating water. At breakfast
time and all through the evening a stream of people went to the kitchen
with pails and pitchers for hot water which they carried to their rooms
themselves where they made their tea and munched black bread. There were
no maids or bell boys to do these errands for you, and the only service
you got in a hotel was that of a maid who cleaned your room each

The working people would buy a pound or two of black bread in the
evening on their way home. They had their samovars on which they made
tea, and if they felt so inclined ate in the evening. For breakfast they
again had tea and black bread like every one else. As a result of this
diet hundreds of thousands of people were suffering from malnutrition.
The bulk of the people in the city were hungry all the time.

I found the tramway service,—reduced fifty percent because of the lack
of fuel,—miserably inadequate for the needs of the population which had
greatly increased since Moscow became the capital. The citizens in their
necessity have developed the most extraordinary propensities in
step-clinging. They swarm on the platforms and stand on one another’s
feet with the greatest good nature, and then, when there isn’t room to
wedge in another boot, the late-comers cling to the bodies of those who
have been lucky enough to get a foothold, and still others cling to
these, until the overhanging mass reaches half-way to the curb. I tried
it once myself—and walked thereafter. There were not many automobiles to
be seen. The Government had requisitioned all cars. The motors were run
by coal oil and alcohol, and the Government had very little of these.

During my second day in Moscow I met some English prisoners walking
quite freely in the streets. I went up to a group of three and told them
I was an American, and asked how they were getting on. They said they
wanted to go home because the food was scarce, but aside from the lack
of food they had nothing to complain of.

“Of course food is scarce,” said one, “but we get just as much as anyone
else. Nobody gets much. You see us walking about the streets. No one is
following us. We are free to go where we please. They send us to the
theatre three nights a week. We go to the opera and the ballet. That’s
what they do with all prisoners.”

Another broke in enthusiastically to say that if there were only food
enough he would be glad to stay in Russia. Several of their pals, they
told me, were working in Soviet offices.

They belonged to a detachment of ninety English who had been captured
six months before, on the Archangel front. Before they went into action,
they said, their commanding officer told each one to carry a hand
grenade in his pocket, and if taken prisoner to blow off his head.

“The Bolsheviki,” he told us, "would torture us—first they would cut off
a finger, then an ear, then the tip of the nose, and they would keep
stripping us and torturing us until we died twenty-one days later.

“Well, before we knew it the Bolsheviki had us surrounded. There was
nothing to do but surrender—and none of us used his bomb. The Bolsheviks
marched us back about ten miles to a barrack, where we were told to sit
down. Pretty soon they brought in a samovar and gave us tea and bread,
and when we were about half through eating they brought in bundles of
pamphlets. The pamphlets were all printed in English, mind you, and they
told us why we had been sent to Russia.”

I recognized in his description the thing I had seen myself on the
Western Front a few days before. I asked him if that was the usual way
of treating prisoners.

“Yes,” he said, “that’s the way they do it. They don’t kill you. They
just feed you with tea and bread, and this—what they call on the outside
‘propaganda’ and they say to you, ‘you read this stuff for a week,’ and
you do, and you believe it—you can’t help it.”

It was bitterly cold in Moscow, though the Bolshevists made light of the
September weather and laughed at my complaints. “Stay the winter with
us,” they said, “and you will learn what cold is.” The city was
practically without heat. The chill and damp entered my bones and
pursued me through the streets and into my bed at night. One can stand
prolonged exposure and cold if there is only the sustaining thought of a
glowing fire somewhere, and a warm bed. But in Moscow there was no
respite from the relentless chill. One was cold all day and all night.
The aching pinch of it tore at the nerves. I marvelled at the endurance
of the undernourished clerks and officials in the great damp Government
office buildings, where it was often colder than in the dry sunshine

All the large department stores and the clothing and shoe shops had been
taken over by the Government. Here and there, however, were small
private shops, selling goods without regard to Government prices.

The Soviet stores were arranged much like our large department stores.
One could go in and buy various commodities, shoes in one department,
clothing in another, and so on. Soviet employees had the right at all
times to purchase in these stores at Soviet prices. They carried
credentials showing they were giving useful service to the Government.
Without credentials one could buy nothing—not even food—except from the
privately-owned shops.

To these the peasant speculators would bring home-made bread in sacks
and sell it to the shop speculators, who in turn demanded as much as
eighty rubles a pound. This was the only way of getting bread without
credentials because the Government had taken control of the bakeries. In
a Soviet store a pound of bread could be bought for ten rubles.

All unnecessary labor in Soviet stores had been eliminated. Young girls
and women acted as clerks; very few men were employed in any capacity.
The manager, who usually was to be found on the first floor, was a man,
and he directed customers to the departments which sold the things they
wished to purchase. The elevators were running not only in the stores,
but in the office buildings.

White collars and white shirts could be bought in some stores, but they
were rationed so that it would have been impossible to buy three or four
shirts at one time. The windows in the stores were filled with articles,
but there was no attempt to display goods, and there was no advertising.

A shine, a shave and a hair-cut were obtainable at the Soviet barber
shops. They were not rationed; one could buy as many of these as

Theatres and operas were open and largely attended in Moscow, and the
actors and actresses, as well as the singers, did not seem to mind the

The streets were but dimly lighted, because of the fuel shortage, but I
saw and heard of no crimes being committed. I wandered about the city
through many of its darkest streets, at all hours of the night, and was
never molested. Now and then a policeman demanded my permit, which, when
I had shown it, was accepted without question. The city was well
policed, the streets fairly clean, and the government was doing
everything possible to prevent disease. Orders were issued that all
water must be boiled, but as all Russians drink tea this order was not
unusual or difficult to carry out.

The telephone and telegraph systems seemed to me unusually good.
Connections by telephone between Moscow and Petrograd were obtained in
two minutes. Local service was prompt and efficient, and connections
with wrong numbers were of rare occurrence.

Many newspapers were being published, the size of all being limited on
account of the shortage of paper. In addition to the Government
newspapers and the Bolshevist party papers there were papers of opposing
parties, notably publications controlled by the Menshevists and the
Social Revolutionists.

All of them were free from the advertising of business firms, since the
Government had nationalized all trade. Of course there was no “funny
page” or “Women’s Section.”

As soon as news came from the front great bulletins were distributed
through the city and posted on the walls of buildings where every one
could read them. These bulletins contained the news of both defeat and
victory. If prisoners had been taken or a retreat had been necessary,
the populace was informed of it frankly. There was no attempt to keep up
the “morale” of the civilian population by assuring it that all went
well and that victory was certain. Any one in Soviet Russia who accepted
the responsibilities of the new order did so knowing that it meant
hardship and defeat—for a time.

In Moscow many statues have been erected since the revolution. Skobileff
Square,—now called Soviet Square,—has a statue of Liberty which takes
the place of the old statue of Skobileff. I saw sculptors at work all
over the city, putting in medallions and bas-reliefs, on public
buildings. In Red Square, along the Kremlin wall, are the graves of many
who fell in the revolution. Sverdlov, formerly president of the
executive committee, and a close friend of Lenin, is buried here. I was
told that his death had been a great loss to the Soviet Government.

Moscow, like all the other Russian cities I saw, had schools everywhere,
art schools, musical conservatories, technical schools, in addition to
the regular schools for children.

On “Speculator’s Street” in Moscow all kinds of private trading went on
without interference. I found this street thronged with shoppers and
with members of the old bourgeoisie selling their belongings along the
curb; men and women unmistakably of the former privileged classes
offering, dress suits, opera cloaks, evening gowns, shoes, hats, and
jewelry to any one who would pay them the rubles that they, in turn,
must give to the exorbitant speculators for the very necessities of

These irreconcilables of the old regime, unwilling to cooperate with the
new government and refusing to engage in useful work which would entitle
them to purchase their supplies at the Soviet shops, at Soviet prices,
were compelled to resort to the speculators and under pressure of the
constantly decreasing ruble and the wildly soaring prices, were driven
to sacrifice their valuables in order to avoid starvation. Any one who
desired and who had the money could buy from the speculators; but one
pays dearly for pride in Soviet Russia. The speculators charged
seventy-five rubles a pound for black bread that could be bought in the
Government shops for ten rubles. The right to buy at the Soviet shops
and to eat in the Soviet restaurants was to be had by the mere
demonstration of a sincere desire to do useful work of hand or brain.
Nevertheless these defenders of the old order still held out—fewer of
them every day, to be sure—and the speculators throve accordingly.

It seemed at first glance a strange anomaly. I could see through the
windows of the speculator’s shops canned goods and luxuries, and even
necessities, for which the majority of the population were suffering. I
asked why the Government did not put its principles into practice by
requisitioning all these stocks and ending the speculation. There were
many things in their program, the Bolshevists said, which could not be
carried out at once because the energy of the Government was consumed in
the mobilization of all available resources for national defence. There
were thousands of speculators all over Russia, and it would take a small
army to eliminate them entirely. Half measures would only drive them
underground where they would be a constant source of irritation and
anti-Government propaganda. It was better to let them operate in the
open, they said, where they could be kept under observation and
restrained within certain limits.

Meanwhile the speculators were eliminating themselves and dragging with
them the recalcitrant bourgeoisie on whom they preyed. Hoarded wealth
and old finery do not last forever. As the ruble falls and the
speculator’s prices rise their victims are compelled to sacrifice more
and more of their dwindling resources. The Government prices are a
standing temptation to reconciliation. Only the obdurate bourgeoisie and
the speculators suffer from the depreciation of the ruble. Every two
months wages are adjusted to meet depreciation, by a Government
commission which acts in conjunction with the Central Federation of All
Russian Professional Alliances, representing skilled and unskilled
labor. This serves to stabilize the purchasing power of the workers
earnings, although in the past unavoidable and absolute dearth of
necessities has tended to work against this stabilization.

In the meantime the falling ruble and the avaricious speculator between
them drive thousands of the stubborn into the category of useful
laborers. Every day brings numbers who have, either through a change of
heart, or by economic necessity, been driven to ask for work which will
entitle them to their bread and food cards. Thus the Communists, too
busy with the military defence of their country to attend to the last
measures of expropriation, make use of the irresistible economic forces
of the old order and allow the capitalists to expropriate themselves.

[Illustration: LENIN IN SWITZERLAND, MARCH, 1916]

I found no Red terror. There was serious restriction of personal liberty
and stern enforcement of law and order, as might be expected in a nation
threatened with foreign invasion, civil war, counter revolution, and an
actual blockade. While I was in Moscow sixty men and seven women were
shot for complicity in a counter revolutionary plot. They had arms
stored in secret places and had been found guilty of circularizing the
soldiers on the Denikin front, telling them that Petrograd and Moscow
had both fallen. They made no concealment of their purpose to overthrow
the Government and went bravely to their execution. Several days later
two bombs were exploded under a building in which a meeting of the
Executive Committee of the Communist party was being held. Eleven of the
Communists were killed and more than twenty wounded. The cadet counter
revolutionists, it was charged, committed this outrage as reprisal for
the execution of their comrades. But no terror or persecution followed.
Instead great mass meetings were held everywhere to protest against all
terrorist acts. Intrigue and propaganda were met with counter propaganda
and popular enthusiasm for the Soviet Government.

Before leaving Moscow for Petrograd I applied at the Foreign Office for
permission to go to the Kremlin and interview Lenin. I was told that
permission would be granted, and an appointment was made for me to meet
Lenin at his office at three o’clock on the following day.


                               CHAPTER V
                          INTERVIEW WITH LENIN

A quarter of an hour ahead of the hour set for my appointment with
Lenin, I hastened to the Kremlin enclosure, the well-guarded seat of the
executive government. Two Russian soldiers inspected my pass and led me
across a bridge to obtain another pass from a civilian to enter the
Kremlin itself and to return to the outside. I had heard that Lenin was
guarded by Chinese soldiers, but I looked in vain for a Chinese among
the guards that surrounded the Kremlin. In fact I saw but two Chinese
soldiers during my entire stay in Soviet Russia.

I mounted the hill and went toward the building where Lenin lives and
has his office. At the outer door two more soldiers met me, inspected my
passes, and directed me up a long staircase, at the top of which stood
two more soldiers. They directed me down a long corridor to another
soldier who sat before a door. This one inspected my passes and finally
admitted me to a large room in which many clerks, both men and women,
were busy over desks and typewriters. In the next room I found Lenin’s
secretary who informed me that “Comrade Lenin will be at liberty in a
few minutes.” It was then five minutes before three. A clerk gave me a
copy of the _London Times_, dated September 2, 1919, and told me to sit
down. While I read an editorial the secretary addressed me and asked me
to go into the next room. As I turned to the door it opened, and Lenin
stood waiting with a smile on his face.

It was twelve minutes past three, and Lenin’s first words were, “I am
glad to meet you, and I apologize for keeping you waiting.”

Lenin is a man of middle height, close to fifty years of age. He is well
proportioned, and very active, physically, in spite of the fact that he
carries in his body two bullets fired at him in August, 1918. His head
is large, massive in outline, and is set close to his shoulders. His
forehead is broad and high, his mouth large, the eyes wide apart and
there appears in them at times a very infectious twinkle. His hair,
pointed beard, and mustache, have a brown tinge. His face has
wrinkles,—said by some to be wrinkles of humor,—but I am inclined to
believe them the result of deep study, and of the suffering he endured
through long years of exile and persecution. I would not minimize the
contribution that his sense of humor has made to these lines and
wrinkles, for no man who lacked a sense of humor could have overcome the
obstacles he has met.

During our conversation his eyes never left mine. This direct regard was
not that of a man who wished to be on guard; it bespoke a frank
interest, which seemed to me to say, “We shall be able to tell many
things of interest to each other. I believe you to be a friend. In any
event we shall have an interesting talk.”

He moved his chair close to his desk and turned so that his knees were
close to mine. Almost at once he began asking me about the labor
movement in America, and from that he went on to discuss the labor
situation in other countries. He was thoroughly informed even as to the
most recent developments everywhere. I soon found myself asking him

I told him that the press of various countries had been saying that
Soviet Russia was a dictatorship of a small minority. He replied, "Let
those who believe that silly tale come here and mingle with the rank and
file and learn the truth.

"The vast majority of industrial workers and at least one-half of the
articulate peasantry are for Soviet rule, and are prepared to defend it
with their lives.

“You say you have been along the Western Front,” he continued. “You
admit that you have been allowed to mingle with the soldiers of Soviet
Russia, that you have been unhampered in making your investigation. You
have had a very good opportunity to understand the temper of the rank
and file. You have seen thousands of men living from day to day on black
bread and tea. You have probably seen more suffering in Soviet Russia
than you had ever thought possible, and all this because of the unjust
war being made upon us, including the economic blockade, in all of which
your own country is playing a large part. Now I ask you what is your
opinion about this being a dictatorship of the minority?”

I could only answer that from what I had seen and experienced I could
not believe that these people, who had found their strength and
overthrown a despotic Czar, would ever submit to such privations and
sufferings except in defence of a government in which, however
imperfect, they had ultimate faith, and which they were prepared to
defend against all odds.

“What have you to say at this time about peace and foreign concessions?”
I asked.

He answered, “I am often asked whether those American opponents of the
war against Russia—as in the first place bourgeois—are right who expect
from us, after peace is concluded, not only resumption of trade
relations but also the possibility of securing concessions in Russia. I
repeat once more that they are right. A durable peace would be such a
relief to the toiling masses of Russia that these masses would
undoubtedly agree to certain concessions being granted. The granting of
concessions under reasonable terms is also desirable to us, as one of
the means of attracting into Russia the technical help of the countries
which are more advanced in this respect, during the co-existence side by
side of Socialist and capitalist states.”

In reply to my next question about Soviet power he replied:

"As for the Soviet power, it has become familiar to the minds and hearts
of the laboring masses of the whole world which clearly grasped its
meaning. Everywhere the laboring masses, in spite of the influence of
the old leaders with their chauvinism and opportunism which permeates
them through and through, became aware of the rottenness of the
bourgeois parliaments and of the necessity of the Soviet power, the
power of the toiling masses, the dictatorship of the proletariat, for
the sake of the emancipation of humanity from the yoke of capital. And
the Soviet power will win in the whole world, however furiously, however
frantically the bourgeoisie of all countries may rage and storm.

“The bourgeoisie inundates Russia with blood, waging war upon us and
inciting against us the counter revolutionaries, those who wish the yoke
of capital to be restored. The bourgeoisie inflict upon the working
masses of Russia unprecedented sufferings, through the blockade, and
through their help given to the counter revolutionaries, but we have
already defeated Kolchak and we are carrying on the war against Denikin
with the firm assurance of our coming victory.”

In his replies to my last questions he had covered the ground of the
others on my list, and since the fifteen minutes allotted to me had
extended to more than an hour, I rose to go. I intended to ask him about
“nationalization of women.” I had never believed the story, and had
already discovered that it was false, but I had thought to ask Lenin how
the story arose. When I met him and had talked to him something in his
face silenced the question. Perhaps it was the mocking humor that seemed
ready to flash out of the wrinkled countenance in scathing ridicule, or
perhaps it was the sign of long-suffering and profound thought that lay
deeper. Whatever it was I did not ask that question. I had seen for
myself that women in Soviet Russia are shown a respect and deference far
exceeding the superficial politeness which in other countries too often
serves to conceal political, economic, and domestic oppression. Women
are on an equal footing in all respects with men in Russia, and they
enjoy a greater measure of freedom and security than the women of other

He shook hands cordially, and I went away cudgelling my brains to find
another figure among the statesmen of the world with whom I might
compare him. I could think only of our own Lincoln, whose image came to
me, suggested perhaps by the simplicity and plainness of Lenin’s attire.
Workman’s shoes, worn trousers, a soft shirt with a black four-in-hand
tie, a cheap office coat, and the kindly strong face and figure,—these
were my impressions of the man.

He works from fifteen to eighteen hours a day, receiving reports,
keeping in touch with the situation all over Russia, attending committee
meetings, making speeches, always ready to give anyone advice, counsel,
or suggestion. He lives with his wife who is most loyal and devoted, in
the same building where he has his office, in two modestly furnished

Soviet rule has captured not only the imagination, but also the
intellects of the majority of the rank and file of Russia. Lenin is
looked upon as the highest representative of that principle; he is
trusted and he is loved. I was told that so many people come to see him
from the outlying districts, men, women, and children, that it is
impossible for him to see them all. They bring him bread, eggs, butter,
and fruit,—and he turns all into the common fund.


Sometime in the future, whatever may happen to Soviet Russia, the true
life of Lenin will be written, and when it is he will stand out as one
of history’s most remarkable men.


                               CHAPTER VI
                            “WHO IS LENIN?”

Many conflicting stories were told and published about Lenin after the
Bolshevist uprising in November, 1917. I decided to ascertain for myself
during the two weeks I spent in Switzerland before going into Russia
what the people of that country knew about him.

Lenin arrived in Switzerland in September, 1914, and left for Russia in
March, 1917, with thirty other Russians, on the much-talked-of train
that went through Germany with the sanction of the Kaiser.

A whole myth has grown up around Lenin since his return to Russia. He
was a German agent; he was sent from Switzerland to Russia through
Germany; he went for the express purpose of fomenting revolution in
order to break down the morale of the Russian Army and to make it
possible for German militarism to conquer. Document after document was
printed to prove that this man was mercenary, that he was cold-blooded,
without ideals of any kind, and that he had received millions in money
from the Germans, whose plans he conscientiously carried out,—at least
in connection with the disorganization of the Russian Army. While in
Switzerland for two years during the war, he lived in luxury, always had
plenty of money which was supplied from an unknown source, later
discovered to be the banks of Germany.

I found when I went to Zurich that Lenin had passed the greater part of
his time when in Switzerland in that town, and had lived in the poor
quarter of the city. The house in which he and his wife lived, No. 14
Spiegelgasse, is on a very narrow street running down to the quay. They
lived in one room on the second floor of this house. Their meagre
furniture included a table, a washstand, two plain chairs, a small
stove, a bed, a couch, and a petrol lamp. The room had a plaster ceiling
and was unpapered, the bare board walls seeming most bleak. A cheap,
dingy carpet covered the floor. The room was accessible only through a
dark narrow corridor. On the same floor were three other rooms, two of
which were occupied by two families, and the third was used as a common
kitchen by every one. In this kitchen Lenin’s wife, who was his constant
companion, only secretary and assistant, prepared their frugal meals and
carried them to their room.

For these quarters Lenin paid thirty-eight francs a month, the
equivalent of six dollars and sixty cents in American money.

I was told by many people who had known him in Zurich that Lenin seemed
to wish to mingle only with working people there. His revolutionary
friends took great pride in saying, “He never spent any time with mere
intellectual reformers.” They told me that much of his time was passed
in the Swiss Workers’ Assembly, where he talked to every one, but never
made any speeches. He did speak, however, on many occasions in the
Russian Assembly in Zurich.

His income was derived from articles written for Russian party papers.
Before leaving for Russia he closed his account at a Zurich bank and
drew out the balance on deposit there, which amounted to twenty-five

For a short time while in Switzerland Lenin lived in Berne, in two
rooms. I met the woman at whose Pension he dined while there. She said
she had served Lenin, his wife, and his wife’s mother midday dinners
while they stayed there. The price of those meals was eighty centimes
each,—approximately sixteen cents. She informed me that they prepared
their own breakfasts and evening meals.

The proprietor of the Wiener café, a coffee house located on the corner
of Schrittfaren and Gurtengasse in Berne, told me that he remembered
Lenin well, that he had come into his place on a number of occasions for
a cup of coffee. “He spent most of his time here reading the papers and
talking with the waiters,” he said, and described him as always being
poorly dressed.

None of these simple people thought of Lenin as a person of any greater
importance than themselves. He was one of them, a serious student who
mingled with working people, eager to tell them of their importance in
the political world.

When the Czar was overthrown and the Kerensky Government came into
power, a committee of all the Socialist parties in Switzerland except
the “Social Patriots” made an effort to assist in getting Russian exiles
back to their own country. This committee collected the money for the
transportation of the exiles. They endeavored to secure from France,
England, and Switzerland permission for their passage through Archangel
to Petrograd, but the Allied governments denied this permit. Then the
Swiss Socialists entered into negotiations with the German Government to
secure passage through Germany. On condition that an equal number of
civilian prisoners then held in Russia be allowed to return to Germany,
the German Government agreed to the passage of the immigrants through

The following statement, signed by the members of the Committee, is
given in full, even to the peculiar English of the translation.

                _“The Return of the Russian Emigrants.”_

In view of the fact that the Entente newspapers have recently published
a series of sensational and false accounts and articles regarding the
return of the Russian comrades (Lenin, Zinovieff and others) branding
them as accomplices and agents of Imperial Germany, as coworkers of the
German Government. Simultaneously the German and Austrian press is
attempting to represent these Russian revolution comrades as pacifists
and separate peace advocates, we therefore deem it necessary to publish
the following explanation under the Signature of the Comrades of France,
Germany, Poland and Switzerland to whitewash the Comrades that departed
to Russia.

We the undersigned are aware of the hindrances which the governments of
the Entente are putting in the way of our Russian Internationalists in
their departure. They learned of the conditions which the German
Government has placed before them for their passage through to Sweden.

Not having the slightest doubt as to the fact, that the German
Government is speculating by it to strengthen the one-sided anti-war
tendencies in Russia, we declare:

The Russian Internationalists who during the whole war period have been
combating in the sharpest possible manner imperialism in general and the
German imperialism in particular, and who are now going to Russia in
order to work there for the cause of the Revolution, will thus be aiding
the proletarians of all countries as well, and particularly the German
and Austrian working class by encouraging them to the revolutionary
struggle against their own governments.

Nothing can be more stimulating and inspiring in this respect than the
example of the heroic struggle on the part of the Russian proletariat.
For that reason we the undersigned Internationalists of France,
Switzerland, Poland and Germany consider it to be not only the right but
a duty on the part of our Russian comrades to use the opportunity for
the voyage to Russia, which is offered to them.

We wish them the best results in the struggle against the Imperialistic
policy of Russian bourgeoisie, which constitutes a part of our general
struggle for the liberation of the working class, for the social

                                                  Bern, April 7, 1917.

      Paul Hantstein, Germany
      Henri Guilbeaux, France
      F. Loriot, France
      Bronski, Poland
      F. Platten, Swiss

The above declaration has received the full approval and signature of
the following Scandinavian comrades:

      Lindhagen, Mayor of Stockholm
      Strom, Congressman and Secretary of S. D. P. of Sweden
      Karleson, Congressman and President of Trades Union Council
      Fure Nerman, Editor _Politiken_
      Tchilbun, Editor _Steukleken_
      Hausen, Norway.

The next train left in May, 1917, carrying three hundred Russians, and
another three hundred went through Germany in July, 1917. In July the
French and English governments finally granted permission for a
train-load to pass through those countries to Archangel and thence to
Russia. This trip lasted two months. I learned that the May and July
trains also carried to Russia many active Menshevists, supporters of the
Kerensky Government.

In August another group tried to return, but because Kerensky protested,
the French and English notified this group that they must have passports
from Russia. It was then impossible to go through Germany because of
battles going on along the front. They did not get to Russia until
December, after the Russian-German armistice.

[Illustration: 1. GORKY              2. ZINOVIEFF]

Zinovieff, in an address to the Petrograd Soviet, September 6, 1918,
told the story of the fabled armored train as follows:

“In March, 1917, Lenin returned to Russia. Do you remember the cries
that went up about the ‘armored train’ on which Lenin and the rest of us
returned? In reality Lenin felt a profound hatred of German imperialism.
He hated it no less than he hated any other brand of imperialism....
When a prominent member of the Scheidemann party attempted to enter our
car (which was not armored) in order to ‘greet’ us, he was told, at
Lenin’s suggestion, that we would not speak to traitors and that he
would be sparing himself insult if he refrained from trying to enter.
The Mensheviki and the Social Revolutionists, who were rather stubborn
at first, later on came back to Russia in the same way (more than three
hundred of them). Lenin put the matter simply, ‘All bourgeois
governments are brigands: we have no choice since we cannot get into
Russia by any other way.’”

I found the following in a long article of appreciation written by
Ernest Nobs, editor of the Swiss _Volkrecht_, published in Zurich in
December, 1917.

“One who has seen the last winter, the medium-sized, square-built man,
with a somewhat yellowish face and sharp, sparkling and flashing Mongol
eyes, as he was steering towards some library in a wornout ulster coat,
with a heap of books under his arm, could hardly foresee in him the
future Russian premier.”

In the address mentioned on the foregoing page, delivered at the time
Lenin was shot, Zinovieff said:

Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanoff (Lenin) was born on April 10, 1870, in the city
of Simbirsk. His father, who was of peasant descent, was employed as
Director of Public Schools in the Volga region. His elder brother,
Alexander Ulyanoff was executed by Czar Alexander III. From that time on
his mother showered all her tender affections on Vladimir Ilyich, and
Lenin in his turn dearly loved her. Living as an emigrant, an exile,
persecuted by the Czar’s Government, Lenin used to tear himself away
from the most urgent tasks to go to Switzerland to see his mother in her
last days. She died in 1913.

Upon his graduation from high school (gymnasium) Vladimir Ilyich entered
the law school at the Kazan University. The universities of the capitals
were closed to him because he was the brother of an executed
revolutionist. A month after his entry he was expelled from the
University for participation in a revolutionary movement of the
students. It was not until four years had gone by that he was allowed to
resume his studies. The legal career held no attractions for Lenin. His
natural inclinations lay towards the field of revolutionary activity....
When he was expelled from the Kazan University he went to Petrograd. The
first phase of his activities was confined to student circles. A year or
two later he created in Petrograd the first ‘workmen’s circles’ and a
little later crossed swords on the literary arena with the old leader of
the Populists, N. K. Mikhailovsky. Under the _nom de plume_ of Ilyin,
Lenin published a series of brilliant articles on economics which at
once won him a name.

In Petrograd he, with other workers, founded the ‘Union for the
Emancipation of the Working Class,’ and conducted the first labor
strikes, writing meanwhile leaflets and pamphlets remarkable for their
simplicity of style and clarity. These were printed on a hectograph and
distributed.... Very often now workers coming from far off Siberia or
the Ural to the All-Russian Congress of Soviets recall to him their
activities together in the early 90’s. They recognize that he was their
teacher, the first to kindle the spark of communism in them.

In the 90’s Lenin was sentenced to a long prison term and then exiled.
While in exile he devoted himself to scientific and literary activities,
and wrote a number of books. One of these reached a circle of exiles in
Switzerland, among whom were Plekhanoff, Axelrod, and Zasulich, who
welcomed Lenin as the harbinger of a coming season, and who could not
find words of praise sufficiently strong. Another book, a truly
scientific one, won the praise of Professor Maxim Kovalevsky of the
Paris School of Social Science. “What a good professor Lenin would have
made!” he said.

Vladimir Ilyich languished in exile like a caged lion. The only thing
that saved him was the fact that he was leading the life of a scientist.
He used to spend fifteen hours daily in the library over books, and it
is not without reason that he is now one of the most cultured men of our
time.... In 1901 Lenin, together with a group of intimate friends, began
the publication of a newspaper, _Iskra, The Spark_. This paper not only
waged a political struggle, but it carried on vast organizing
activities, and Lenin was the soul of the organizing committee.

Lenin’s wife, Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya Ulyanova was the
secretary of _Iskra_ and the secretary of the organizing committee.
Throughout Lenin’s activities as an organizer a considerable share of
the credit is due to his wife. All the correspondence was in her charge.
At one time she was in communication with entire Russia. Who did not
know her? Martov in his bitter controversy with Lenin once called her
"Secretary of Lenin, the Super-Center."...

In the summer of 1905 the first conference of the Bolsheviki was called.
Officially it was known as the Third Conference of the Revolutionary
Social Democratic Labor Party. This conference laid the corner-stone for
the present Communist Party.... In the revolution of 1905 Lenin’s part
was enormous, although he was residing in Petrograd illegally and was
forbidden by the party to attend its meetings openly.

Vladimir Ilyich was exiled for the second time in 1907. In Geneva, and
later in Paris, chiefly through the efforts of Lenin, the newspapers,
_The Proletarian_ and _The Social Democrat_ were founded. Complete
decadence was reigning all around. Obscene literature took the place of
art literature. The spirit of nihilism permeated the sphere of politics.
Stolypin was indulging in his orgies. And it seemed as if there was no
end to all this.

At such times true leaders reveal themselves. Vladimir Ilyich suffered
at that time, as he did right along in exile, the greatest personal
privations. He lived like a pauper, he was sick and starved, especially
when he lived in Paris. But he retained his courage as no one else did.
He stood firmly and bravely at his post. He alone knew how to weld
together a circle of gallant fighters to whom he used to say, “Do not
lose your courage. The dark days will pass, a few years will elapse, and
the proletarian revolution will be revived.”

For two years Lenin scarcely left the national library at Paris, and
during this time he accomplished such a large amount of work that even
those very professors who were attempting to ridicule his philosophic
works admitted that they could not understand how a man could do so

The years 1910–11 brought a fresh breeze to stir the atmosphere. It
became clear in 1911 that the workers’ movement was beginning to revive.
We had in Petrograd a paper, the _Star_, (_Zviezda_), and in Moscow a
magazine, _Thought_ (_Mysl_), and there was a small labor representation
in the Duma. And the principal worker both on these papers and for the
Duma representation was Lenin. He taught the principles of revolutionary
parliamentarism to the labor deputies in the Duma. “You just get up and
tell the whole of Russia plainly about the life of the worker. Depict
the horrors of the capitalist galleys, call upon the workers to revolt,
fling into the face of the black Duma the name of ‘scoundrels and
exploiters.’” At first they found this strange advice. The entire Duma
atmosphere was depressing, its members and ministers met in the Tauride
palace, clad in full dress suits. They learned their lessons however.

In 1912 we started to lead a new life. At the January conference of that
year the Bolsheviki reunited their ranks which had been broken up by the
counter revolution. At the request of the new Central Executive
Committee Lenin and myself went to Krakov (Cracow, in Galicia). There
comrades began to come to us from Petrograd, Moscow, and elsewhere. I
recall the first large general meeting of the Petrograd metal workers,
in 1913. Two hours after our candidates had been elected to the
executive committee Lenin received a wire from the metal workers,
congratulating him upon the victory. He lived a thousand versts away
from Petrograd, yet he was the very soul of the workers of Petrograd. It
was a repetition of what took place in 1906–7 when Lenin lived in
Finland, and we used to visit him every week to receive counsel from
him. From the little village of Kuokalla, in Finland, he steered the
labor movement of Petrograd.

In 1915–17 Lenin was leading a very peculiar life in Switzerland. The
war and the collapse of the International had a very marked effect on
him. Many of his comrades who knew him well were surprised at the
changes wrought in him by the war.

He never felt very tenderly toward the bourgeoisie, but with the
beginning of the war he began to nurture a concentrated, keen, intense
hatred for them. It seemed that his very countenance had changed.

In Zurich he resided in the poorest quarter, in the flat of a shoemaker.
He appeared to be after every single proletarian, trying as it were to
get hold of him and explain that the war was an imperialistic
slaughter.... Lenin has always understood what enormous difficulties
would arise before the working class after it had seized all power. From
the first days of his arrival in Petrograd he carefully observed the
economic disruption. He valued his acquaintance with every bank
employee, striving to penetrate into all the details of the banking
business. He was well aware of the provisioning problem, and of other
difficulties. In one of his most remarkable books he dwells at length on
these difficulties. On the question of the nationalization of banks, in
the domain of the provisioning policy and on the war question Lenin has
said the decisive word. He worked out concretely the plan of practical
measures to be adopted in all domains of national life, long before
October 25, (November 7), 1917. The plan is clear, concrete, distinct,
like all his works....


  President of the Petrograd Soviet


                              CHAPTER VII

I arrived at the Nicolai station in Petrograd on the 24th of September,
from Moscow, and went at once to the Astoria hotel on St. Isaac’s Square
at the farther end of Nevsky Prospekt. As we drove along the
thoroughfare I noticed workmen tearing out the wooden paving-blocks
which covered that famous street, and recalled having read in New York
papers that whole streets in Petrograd had been torn up and used for
fuel. This seemed credible enough, even desirable, I thought, as I
recalled the shivering nights I had spent in Russia. When my droshky
came nearer to the crew of workers I saw worn and broken blocks piled to
one side; in their places new blocks had been put in. Two days later I
walked along this same thoroughfare from one end to the other, still
looking for unmended gaps in the paving. My search was vain. And the
pavements of the side streets, on which I walked miles during my stay in
Petrograd, were in good condition.

Many of the shops along Nevsky Prospekt were closed and boarded up, and
those that remained open had but few wares on their shelves. The large
stores, however, now converted into Soviet stores, were all open and
contained a goodly supply of various commodities, but the bright-colored
toys that used to fill the shop windows of Petrograd had entirely
disappeared. Apparently the peasants of Russia, busy with weightier
matters, had found no time to carve grotesque wooden figures and
charming dolls and the other gayly-colored toys they know so well how to
make. The Russian child who does not have these toys left over from the
old days has to do without.

Whatever beautiful things Russia still had, however, were placed in the
stores along with the necessities. They were not regarded as luxuries
for the few. Art belongs to every one in Soviet Russia.

I learned that the high wall which used to surround the Winter Palace of
the Czar had been torn down, and when I asked why this had been done,
was told that there was a beautiful garden back of this wall, and since
“beauty should not be hidden from the people,” they had torn down the
wall so that all might see the garden. The palace itself was unoccupied.
Its art treasures had been removed to Moscow, and placed in museums
there. It was planned to make a museum of the palace later.

On my second day in Petrograd I went out to Smolny Institute, a large
stone structure overlooking the Neva, formerly a school for the
daughters of the aristocracy, now the office building of the officials
and workers of the Northern Commune and Petrograd Soviet.

In front of the institute there was set up a large statue of Karl Marx.
It looked impressive enough from a distance. But when I passed on my way
into the building and looked back at the statue I discovered Karl Marx—a
silk hat in his hand. I have not yet been able to get over my memory of
the great economist standing there, heroically erect, before the
headquarters of the workingmen’s government, holding a silk hat.

In Smolny Institute I met Zinovieff, president of the Petrograd Soviet,
a curly-haired, impetuous Jew, full of energy and with a deep
understanding of the Russian revolutionary movement. He has been a
life-long friend of Lenin and was his companion in exile. I found him
distrustful at first, but very cordial when convinced that my intentions
were honest.

“Do you still talk about nationalization of women in America?” he asked
me with a broad grin. He was the only official in Soviet Russia who ever
mentioned the subject to me.

Later in the day I attended a meeting of the Petrograd Soviets which
included representatives of all unions, army, navy and peasants. They
were assembled in the Tauride Palace, where the Duma met formerly. A
decree for compulsory education for adults was under consideration, and
Zinovieff spoke for the adoption of the decree. I could not, of course,
understand his impassioned address, which subsequent translation
revealed to be a clear analysis of the whole educational problem. He has
a high-pitched voice, which grated on my ears sometimes, but rang with
earnestness and conviction. The decree, which is now in effect, was
passed by a practically unanimous vote.

It provided that after November 1, 1919, all adults of the Northern
Commune unable to read and write would have to attend public school
classes two hours daily for six months, at the end of which time those
unable to pass the examinations were to be denied the right to work. For
their hours of study the decree provided that they be paid wages at the
rate in effect in their branches of industry.

For those illiterates in occupations requiring eight hours labor, the
working day was reduced to six, giving them the opportunity to spend the
full two hours in school. The six-hour day in force in the hazardous
occupations was reduced to four hours.

Soviet officials informed me that passage of the decree did not mean
that those who were unable to assimilate knowledge would be denied the
right to work. That disciplining would be invoked only for those capable
ones who wilfully refused to study. The measure was but one of the
efforts of the Soviet Government to hasten the development of the
intellectual side of the people’s life and to raise culture in general.
Under Czars there were few public schools, and these were inefficiently
conducted. Seventy-five percent of the people could not read or write.

I inquired about the “Red Terror” in Petrograd. “Yes,” I was informed,
“there were two or three days of Red Terror in August, 1918, when Lenin
was shot, in Moscow.” The rank and file were devoted to this man, and
when they heard of the attempt on his life they turned loose, and it
took three days of hard work on the part of the government officials and
the government party members to stop the rush of the mob. Probably two
thousand were killed, and during the six weeks that Lenin lay between
life and death great crowds of working people watched the bulletins from
his physicians that were posted on walls in all parts of the city from
day to day. I was told that quite aside from his value to the government
itself, it was a godsend to Russia that he survived, because his death
would have meant an uprising that would have spared no human being
believed to be in opposition to Lenin and the Soviet Government. Even
Zinovieff is reported to have lost his head for a little time, when he
heard of the precarious condition of his old friend and comrade.

A Russian friend of mine in America had asked me to look for his father
who lived two or three blocks from St. Isaac’s Square when last heard
from four years before.

I found the old man in his place of business—a picture frame store. He
lived with his wife in two or three rooms in the rear. He had been in
business for years, and was one of the bourgeoisie of the olden days.
When I asked him if he had been disturbed by the Bolsheviki he said that
during the two years since the revolution his store had been visited
once by the authorities—an officer came to inquire for the address of
some person living in the immediate neighborhood.

I asked him how he liked the new regime. “I don’t like it because food
is scarce and prices high.” He showed me a small picture frame. “Before
the war I could sell this for 70 kopecks, now I must charge 40
rubles,—but then maybe it was the war and not the revolution that caused
the high prices,—I don’t know.”

He took me down the street three blocks to visit his daughter, so that
when I returned to America I could assure my friend that his sister,
too, was safe. She and her husband were both working for the Soviet
Government and had but one complaint to make, “scarcity of food.” She
was a teacher in one of the Soviet schools. They had two beautiful boys;
the elder was studying sculpture in a Soviet art school, the younger was
still in the grades. I asked this most intelligent and refined woman
whether the Bolshevists had broken up the homes in Petrograd. She smiled
and said, “Do they believe that in America?” When I had to answer that
“some do,” she replied, “Please tell them it does not show intelligence
to believe such things.”

I talked to three or four of the business men along the Nevsky Prospekt
who were still clinging to their little shops, with their pitiful stocks
of goods. These people have remained undisturbed for reasons I have
already explained. In substance they all said the same thing: “It is
terrible,—terrible. Before long we must quit business. The Bolshevists
are setting up what they call ‘Soviet’ stores. The people don’t come to
us now,—only a few of our old customers. The Soviet stores control the
products and undersell us. Russia is doomed. We want to go away. How is
it in America?”

The last cry of the private shopkeeper in Russia! Some day when the war
is over and Russia is doing business with the rest of the world, these
same shopkeepers will probably find the Soviet stores more attractive
even than their own. They may remember, with no regret, their constant
struggle to survive competition. Doubtless they will get behind the
counters of the Soviet stores, as many of their kind have already done,
and there find security of employment and compensation, and in the
knowledge that they are rendering a real service to the New Russia they
will find an adequate substitute for the stimulation of “private

With the removal of the capital to Moscow, the sending of thousands of
workers to the army, the voluntary emigration to the villages of
thousands of others, and the exodus of the bourgeoisie to Scandinavia,
France, England and even America, Petrograd has probably one half the
population it had under the Czar. Moscow had gained, however, during the
same period in greater proportion than Petrograd lost.


  Commissar of Foreign Affairs

Tram cars were running more regularly than in Moscow, so far as I could
observe. The streets were poorly lighted, as in Moscow, and for the same
reason. All automobiles had been requisitioned by the army and were used
mostly for trucking. The city was policed by women in daytime, by men at
night. It was rather startling to encounter a woman policeman with a
rifle on her shoulder, but the people took it for granted, and I was
told that the women were quite as efficient as the men. In spite of poor
lighting, Petrograd is as safe as Moscow at night—or as safe as New York
or Chicago, for that matter. Prostitution has lost its clientele.
Thousands of women from the streets have found decent employment in
various institutions of the Soviet Government, and are able to lead
independent, normal lives.

I visited one of the large textile industries, which was in full
operation, employing probably three thousand men and women. They were
making civilian suits and overcoats and winter coats for the soldiers.
Motor lorries drove up and carried away thousands of these winter coats
for shipment to the soldiers at the front.

Some of the factories were closing down through lack of fuel. I asked
what would become of the workers who were thrown out of employment, and
was told that pending their re-employment they would be given “out of
work” cards showing that their idleness was not voluntary, and the
government would continue to pay them their regular wages.

I visited Maxim Gorky in his modest apartment near the Fortress of Peter
and Paul. Gorky is typical of a large class of the intellectuals. Two
years ago he was a bitter opponent of Bolshevism, and his writings
violently attacked the government.

Of artistic rather than political temperament, and strongly pacifist, he
was sickened by the killing on both sides. Since then, however, he has
come to the support of the Soviet Government. His tribute to the
constructive ability of the Soviet leaders was issued over his signature
a year ago, and has been widely circulated.

I had been told that Maxim Gorky was suffering from tuberculosis, and
after all the misery I had seen in Soviet Russia because of the lack of
food, I expected to find him emaciated. Instead, he was vigorous and
healthy. He stood before me tall, powerful, with a slight bend in his
shoulders. He seemed with his mass of gray hair like some huge and
fearless animal.

There was sadness in his voice and his gray eyes when he spoke of
Russia’s suffering. Gorky himself was a child of the streets, and he
feels keenly the suffering of the people.

But it was when he spoke of the future of his country that he was the
true Russian. He told me he believed in the invincible spirit of the
Russian masses and their determination to defend “their revolution.” He
dwelt with pride upon the accomplishments of individual workers, whose
native genius had been set free from the old bondage. I was surprised to
find the interest he took in the industries. In one factory just outside
of Petrograd, he told me, they were extracting sugar from the sawdust of
certain woods by a process discovered by a workman. With equal
enthusiasm he told me of another worker who had perfected a method of
preserving fish nets so that their durability had been increased four
hundred percent.

He told me a manifesto would soon be issued to the world, coming from a
number of Russian scientists of established reputation, setting forth
the scientific achievements accomplished under Soviet rule.

“Under two years of Soviet rule,” Gorky said, “there have been more
discoveries made in Russia and there has been more progress in general
than previously in twenty years under Czarism.”

The greatest joy that Gorky finds in his work for the Soviet Government
is in the tremendous task of preserving the art of old Russia and
creating new art. Even in the throes of the revolution when Gorky
opposed the Bolshevik rule, he was working with the government to
preserve the old art.

Under his direction a museum was established in a fine structure,
wherein were stored thousands of art treasures recovered during the
revolution. Bourgeoisie who fled to other countries left their
unoccupied homes full of beautiful things. The Soviet Government took
possession of these homes at once and removed valuable art to the
museum. Manifestos were sent broadcast appealing to the people to
preserve these things which were now theirs. In Petrograd the following
bulletin, under the title “Appeal for the Preservation of Works of Art,”

“Citizens! The old landlords have gone. Behind them remains a tremendous
inheritance. Now it belongs to the whole people. Guard this inheritance;
take care of the palaces. They will stand as the palaces of the art of
the whole people. Preserve the pictures, the statues, the
buildings—these are a concentration of the spiritual force of yourselves
and of your forefathers. Art is that beauty which men of talent have
been able to create even under the lash of despotism. Do not touch a
single stone, safeguard monuments, buildings, ancient things, and
documents. All these are your history, your pride.”

“But it was impossible to save everything,” Gorky told me. “There were
the soldiers and the peasants, who had never had a chance to see any of
these beautiful things in the past. The people did not wish to destroy
these things. They only threw away what seemed worthless to them. One
priceless painting was found in a garbage can. But it was found and
brought back by the people themselves. And now it is in the museum where
every one may see it.”

Gorky is head of the “World Literature Publishing House,” a vast
institution organized by the Soviet Government to publish the best
literary and scientific productions of all countries in popular editions
for the Russian masses. A great staff of literary and professional men
and women are enrolled in this work. Already about six hundred books
have been edited and are ready for publication, although only thirty
volumes had been printed when the work had to stop on account of the
lack of paper. As soon as paper is available they hope to begin printing
millions of volumes in editions which will be within the reach of all
the Russian people.

In addition to this work Gorky has been devoting much time to the
preparation of a series of motion-picture scenarios, composed with
scientific historical exactness, showing the history of man from the
Stone Age down through the Middle Ages to the time of Louis XVI of
France, and finally to the present day. This work was begun in July
1919, and when I talked with Gorky in September of the same year, he
told me that they had already finished twenty-five scenarios. He
described the extraordinary difficulties under which the work was going
forward; the actors and actresses who were often undernourished,
persevered over all obstacles, inspired by an enthusiasm which Gorky
thought would have been impossible in any other country. The Soviet
Government was aiding the production in every way. The best actors and
actresses in the country had been enlisted in this work along with
historians and scientists. The films were being sent into the remote
towns and villages, and thousands of small theatres already were being

The motion picture theatres in general in Petrograd were not showing the
ordinary romances that we see in this country in films. The motion
picture was used largely for educating the people and showing the
development of industry, the proper care of children and the advantages
of sanitary conditions. Russia is in great need of education so far as
sanitation is concerned. In the large cities the sanitation is modern,
but in smaller towns and in the villages the people have no idea of a
sewage system.

The theatre of Soviet Russia had already been organized throughout the
country at the time of my visit. The production of plays and scenarios
was included in the educational program of the government. The theatres
were organized into one corporation and subsidized by the Soviet
Government, which did not, however, interfere in any way with the
artistic work of the producers. I saw Schiller’s “Robbers” and Gorky’s
“Lower Depths” produced wonderfully. The people crowded to the theatres.
The first four performances each week are set aside for the Soviet

Gorky assured me that the elements opposed to Soviet rule “do not find
any support among the rank and file. The working class strongly supports
the Soviets, and most of the peasants approve, although the village
youth is still indifferent.”

The Jewish people were playing an important part in the revolutionary
reconstruction of the country, Gorky said, but added that he did not
mean the class of Jews who had been influential in the old régime. The
Jews who had come forward under the revolution were the ones who had
formerly been kept within the pale. They felt that a new freedom had
been offered them by the Soviet Government, that they would be treated
as brothers, and so they were rendering valuable constructive service.

“If they would only leave us alone,” he cried out bitterly. “Tell
America for the sake of humanity to leave Russia alone.” His words
fairly burned as he sat there and talked, emphasizing each phrase with a
gesture of his clenched fists. “Tell them to leave us alone. I know
quite well that there are many persons in America who have no vision of
this Russia, who have no comprehension of what Russia is. But after all,
you have a few enlightened people in America. Please tell them that
Russia is not Central Africa, without civilization or statesmanship.
Russia is well able to take care of herself.”


                              CHAPTER VIII


Almost inseparable from the name of Lenin, in the minds of Americans, is
that of Trotzky, Minister of War, whose history is well known here. He
was Minister of Foreign Affairs up to the time of the signing of the
Brest-Litovsk Treaty, when it became necessary to mobilize an army to
protect Soviet Russia from foreign invasion, and he was made Minister of
War. He took hold of a badly disorganized and worse discouraged army,
and through his own hard work, and with the assistance of others, built
up an army probably better than any other in the world today.

While in Moscow I heard him address a gathering of some two thousand
women, in the Labor Temple—formerly a noblemen’s club. He had just
returned from the front, and was still wearing his suit of plain khaki
and high boots. He reviewed the work of the Red Army, recounting its
victories and defeats.


  Assistant Commissar of Foreign Affairs

A well-set figure, with black eyes flashing through a pair of thick
glasses; a wealth of jet black hair brushed back from a high forehead;
dark moustache and small beard; his whole face tanned from being in the
open with the troops, he paced the platform from one end to the other,
like a caged lion. When he spoke of the counter-revolutionary forces his
voice resounded through the hall, filled with scorn, and his face wore a
look that was uncanny. The next moment his expression changed, and
lowering his voice he spoke in soothing tones of the heroism and
devotion of the soldiers of the Red Army.

I could understand at the end of his forty minutes’ address what Colonel
Raymond Robins meant when he said: “Trotzky is a great orator.” He is
undoubtedly the most convincing I have ever heard, and I have heard many
in several countries. He seems to tug at his listeners until they find
themselves leaning forward so as not to miss a single word. The history
of this man’s life and activities would make an interesting book. I hope
it will be written.


As Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trotzky was succeeded by Chicherin. He
is a tall, slightly stooped figure, about fifty years old, with eyes
that burn like coals. He is emaciated from hunger and from hard work.
Never a day goes by but Chicherin can be found in his office from twelve
to sixteen hours of the time, working with quiet determination and zeal.
I saw him in his office at the Metropole two or three times, and was
captivated by his kind and gentle manner.

“Yes,” he said to me, "we want peace and are ready to conclude at once.
Concessions are still here for American capital. Leases can be had for
forty-nine years. All we ask is that the Russian labor laws shall
prevail here and the Government shall not be interfered with. There is
flax here, and timber and many other things that the people of your
country want.

“Go back to America and tell them to leave us alone. Just let us get our
breath and turn our energies into productive work.”

They all said that, Chicherin and many other Commissars. All dwelt upon
the need for technical assistance. They look forward to the day when
they will be able to apply the best technical and scientific experience
of the world to the solution of their problems. They need experts in all
lines and of all grades, from simple mechanicians to the most highly
trained laboratory specialists.


Litvinoff is a solidly built, jovial, and very astute Lithuanian. He was
one of the Collegium in the foreign office under Chicherin, and was the
Soviet ambassador in England after the revolution. Later he was sent
back to Russia by the British Government. He is an equally shrewd
business man and diplomat, and looks more like a British member of
parliament than a Russian Bolshevik. He has a keen sense of humor and
fun, but takes his duties very seriously. He is the type of man often
seen among directors of great enterprises in America, putting through
“big deals.” One imagines that if he chose to sell his services to a
capitalist organization or state he could easily become a “big man.”

He was my first host in Moscow, and was very kind and helpful in giving
me all the information and assistance possible.

                            MADAME KOLLONTAY

I met Madame Kollontay in the National Hotel, three or four days after I
arrived in Moscow. She is a beautiful, cultured woman, and an excellent
speaker. She had just returned from a tour of the southern part of
Russia, where she had been establishing schools and organizing homes for
the aged, and informed me that the children are so enthusiastic that
they do not want to go home when the day’s session is over. “There is a
feeling of solidarity among them,” she said. “They are being educated
without the feeling of property of any kind. The psychology of the
people has so changed since the revolution that the old order could not
last even if it were to be restored,” she said “and if the Allies would
only withdraw their armies and stop supporting the counter-revolutionary
forces Russia could recoup herself without outside aid of any kind.”

Asked about the devotion of the people to Lenin she replied that while
he was deeply loved and respected the people were not following him
blindly, and that their devotion was due to the fact that they realized
that he stood always for their best interests.

Madame Kollontay has spent several years in America and asked me about
many of her friends in this country. She said she hoped to be able to
return at some future time.

                           MADAME BALABANOVA

Madame Balabanova, secretary of the Third International, which has
headquarters at Moscow, is an Italian, not over five feet tall, elderly,
but full of fire and spirit. She speaks many languages, including fluent
English. I met her on several occasions in Moscow. She reminded me that
there was much work to be done, and that the revolution had not ended
with the overthrowing of the old order. “We are building the new
society,” she said, “but it is slow work because of the necessity of
converting the country into an armed camp to repel invasion, but when
the war stops we will show the world what Soviet rule can do for the

She said she hoped to go back to Italy sometime, but presumed it would
be impossible, at least until that and other countries had recognized
that the Russians and those in sympathy with them were human beings and
not “carriers of contagion.”

She is a wonderful speaker and an extremely energetic and hard working
little woman, much admired and respected by her colleagues.

I once accompanied her on a visit to a hospital, where she spoke to
wounded soldiers. More than two hundred convalescent soldiers made up
her audience. They lay on their cots or sat in wheel-chairs, some of
them armless or with but one arm, others with one leg shot off, and many
with ugly head wounds. They greeted Madame Balabanova cheerily, and
listened almost eagerly to her story of what was going on at the front
and in the country generally. When she had finished her address there
was a silence, and then from all the men came the deep singing of the


Bucharin, a close friend and companion of Lenin, is the editor of
_Pravda_, the party organ in Moscow. I learned that he, too, had been in
America for two or three months previous to the overthrow of the Czar,
and had hurried back when this news reached him. He is a small figure,
always hurrying somewhere, with a book under his arm. One meets him in
the Theater Square in the morning, in Soviet Square a few hours later,
at the Kremlin still later, and in the evening at the extreme opposite
end of the city. There is a saying about him, “One can never tell where
he will turn up next. He is always on the move.” And yet he always has
time for a kindly word or question or greeting. He is a student of
history and quotes freely, from memory, all the Russian and many
European writers.

                            GEORGE MELCHOIR

George Melchoir is president of the Moscow Central Federation of
All-Russian Professional Alliances. He worked for a long time at
Bayonne, New Jersey, but like many others returned to Russia after the
overthrow of the Czar. He took an active part in organizing the taking
of Moscow in the early days of the Bolshevist uprising.

Melchoir has been a working man all his life, and is extremely
intelligent. The position which he holds demands a great deal of
technical knowledge, as well as executive ability, and every one agreed
that he was thoroughly qualified for his post. I had a long talk with
him. He was enthusiastic about the future of Russia. It would be built
up, he said, by the various unions and peasant organizations.

He is probably thirty-five years of age, of medium height, with a bulky
figure, full of vigor and enthusiasm.


In the early days of the revolution Peters was chief of the Internal
Defense of Petrograd. American newspapers said of him that “his fingers
were cramped from writing death warrants.” I asked him how many death
warrants he had signed and he told me three hundred in all. He expressed
regret that he had been looked upon in other countries as a murderer,
and said it was unfortunate that those people did not understand the
conditions that surrounded Russia while in the throes of a revolution.
He insisted that the warrants he had signed had been necessary in the
interest of the country as a whole, and that they had been signed only
after investigation and a trial of the individuals, and that in no case
had there been an execution to gratify the personal revenge of any one.

He is a Lett, very young, perhaps between twenty-eight and thirty years
old, short and stocky, with a mass of black hair combed straight back.
He lived in England for a number of years, and speaks the English
language easily and fluently.

                            BORIS REINSTEIN

As a former resident of Buffalo, New York, and member of the American
Socialist Labor Party, Boris Reinstein returned to Russia after the
overthrow of the Czar. He was for some time an assistant in the Foreign
Office; later a lecturer in a military school, and is now an official
lecturer in the large college for training writers and speakers in
Moscow. This school was running full blast while I was there. Classes
number from seventy-five to one hundred each. Pupils are elected by
various Soviet organizations over the country, and at the end of six
months’ training are returned to their various communities and others
are sent into their places. The Government supports all these pupils
while they are in training.

Reinstein is an excellent speaker and a tireless worker, and is one of
the kindest and most conscientious men I have ever met. He is certainly
not the “wild-eyed agitator” he has been pictured in the American press.
He has given valuable service to the revolution, though he has lost
twenty-five pounds in doing so.

                             “BILL” SHATOFF

“Bill” Shatoff, described by American papers as “the well-known
anarchist,” is one of the officials of the Soviet Army. When I was in
Petrograd he was the commander of the Petrograd front. He is a big jolly
Russian Jew, and certainly does not look any the worse for his
participation in Soviet warfare, nor for the stinted rations he has
shared with his men.



  Formerly Tsarskoe Selo, the residence of the Czar


                               CHAPTER IX
                           WOMEN AND CHILDREN

The Education of the children occupies as important a place in the
administration of the Soviet Government as the maintenance of the Red
Army. The Budget for education and child welfare is unstinted, and at
every turn one encounters evidence of actual accomplishment in the
interest of the growing generation. “First we must defend the workers’
state against its enemies,” said a Commissar to me, “then we must
prepare the coming generation to carry on and develop the state won for
them by the Red Army.”

In the two years of the revolution 10,000 new schools had been opened.
There were but few children in Soviet Russia who are not attending
classes in grades from kindergarten to high school. I saw few children
idling indoors or out during school hours, nor did I see any at work in
the factories. They troop out from the schools in great bands into the
parks at recess hour. Teachers complained to me of the lack of
text-books, due to the scarcity of paper. They resented bitterly, too,
the necessity of assembling their charges in cold class-rooms.

But in spite of meagre facilities, every one connected with the
government worked hard to make every possible provision for the care and
protection of the children. The government was feeding 359,000 children
daily in the schools in Moscow, and 200,000 in Petrograd. The most
nourishing food obtainable was requisitioned for the children. Milk,
butter and eggs went first to hospitals and to the school restaurants,
where the children were provided with food free. Only when there was an
extra supply were healthy adults permitted to purchase these foods.

I used to watch the children, happy, robust little folk, going from
their class-rooms in great crowds to the restaurants, where they sat in
rows at the long tables. The noon recess lasted for two hours—one hour
for eating and one for play. The children were chaperoned by their
teachers, of whom there were two for each roomful of pupils. One looked
after the mental studies, while the other directed their physical

The children of kindergarten age were called for in the mornings by
their teachers, and were brought home by them at about four o’clock in
the afternoon. At least ninety-five percent of the teachers were women,
and they had all received special training for their profession.

The Soviet law prohibits the employment of children under sixteen years,
except in cases of greatest necessity. Child labor under fourteen is
forbidden. Children between fourteen and eighteen permitted to enter
certain industries are not allowed to work more than four hours a day;
between sixteen and eighteen they may work not more than six hours
daily, and all must spend two hours in school.

With much of the work of preparing meals and the care of children of
school age taken away from them, the women of Russia were enjoying a new
freedom. They had found themselves suddenly with time to work away from
home. They rushed into industry and the professions and set to work with
an ardor and enthusiasm that has done much to establish the Soviet

Women conductors were employed on the street-cars in all the cities in
the daytime, men being employed only at night. Women police also were
employed, and no one seemed to think this extraordinary.

Housekeepers were accorded the same right to vote as factory workers. If
a married woman had a desire to work elsewhere than in her home she did
so, and took her meals with her husband and friends in a Soviet
restaurant. Women shared in the discussions in the Soviet, and were
elected to offices. Far from being “nationalized,” women were accorded
the same respect and treatment as men.

The right of inheritance has been abolished, although dependents such as
minors unable to work, or invalids, are supported out of the property of
the deceased former owner, and no discrimination is made against
children born out of wedlock.

The government recognizes only civil marriages, but an additional
religious ceremony is optional with the contracting parties and is not
restricted in any way by the government. An oral or written statement of
the parties desiring to contract the marriage is required by the nearest
Department of Registration. Boys under eighteen and girls under sixteen
are prohibited from marrying, and the laws of consanguinity in force in
other countries are observed in Russia also. Births must be registered
in the Department of Registration nearest the mother’s residence, and
children born out of wedlock have the same status as those born of a
registered union.

Divorces are granted on the petition of either or both parties. When the
petition is mutual the persons are obliged to state what surnames the
children of the marriage are expected to bear in future. In case only
one party petitions, the surname of the children and the responsibility
for maintenance are decided by the judge.

In Moscow I visited a lying-in hospital under the Division of Motherhood
and Infants, of the Department of Social Welfare. This was one of many
similar institutions this department had established in all the large
and many of the small cities. Here the working women receive care and
nourishment without cost for several weeks before and after child-birth.
They have the best food and medical treatment obtainable, and are paid
their full wages during the time they are out of their accustomed
employment. In connection with this hospital in Moscow, which was
established in an imposing white stone structure formerly an _élite_
finishing school where the daughters of the rich learned French and the
gentle arts, there was a training college where five hundred young
women, chosen by various trade and peasant organizations throughout the
country, were attending a six months’ course of lectures and practical
demonstrations on obstetrics and the care of children. Already three
classes of five hundred each had been graduated and sent back to their
respective communities to apply their experience and to train others.

Moving pictures were shown daily, portraying to the mothers the best
methods of bathing, dressing, and caring for their infants, and these
were supplemented with lectures. Older children of working mothers were
cared for during the day in government nurseries, where they were given
the best possible care and attention.

The following is a table showing the record of the accomplishments in
this department in the year 1919.

 In Moscow and the principal government towns, from returns received in
    October, 1918, and July, 1919

                  Asylums for    Asylums for               for Newborn
 CITIES             Newborn        Children                  Children
                    Children     From 1 to 3   Crèches    Consultations
                   1918  1919   1918  1919    1918  1919   1918  1919
 Moscow               1    2      2     6       4    26      8    17
 Yaroslav             1    1     ..    ..       1     3     ..     2
 Kostroma             1    2     ..     1       2     2     ..     2
 Ivanovna-Voznesensk ..    1     ..     1       2     3     ..    ..
 Tula                 1    1     ..     1      ..     1     ..    ..
 Saratov              1    1     ..     1      ..    ..      3     4
 Voronezh             1    1     ..     1      ..    ..      1     1
 Tver                 1    8     ..     6       3     6     ..     2
 Tambov               1    9     ..     7       2     2      1     1
 Minsk                1    2     ..     1      ..     2      1     2
 Kaluga               1    1     ..     4       2     6     ..     1
 Vitebsk              1    1     ..     1      ..    ..      1     2
 Tomsk                1    1     ..     1      ..    ..      1     4
                     --   --     --    --      --    --     --    --
 TOTAL               12   31      2    31      16    51     16    38

                                   Asylums for
                                  Mothers with
 CITIES                              Newborn
                   Milk Kitchens    Children
                   1918  1919      1918  1919
 Moscow               8   10           1   3
 Yaroslav            ..    1          ..  ..
 Kostroma            ..    1          ..   1
 Ivanovna-Voznesensk ..    2          ..  ..
 Tula                ..    ..         ..  ..
 Saratov              3    4          ..   1
 Voronezh             1    1           1   2
 Tver                ..    ..         ..  ..
 Tambov               1    1          ..  ..
 Minsk                1    2          ..  ..
 Kaluga              ..    1          ..  ..
 Vitebsk              1    2          ..  ..
 Tomsk               ..    4          ..  ..
                     --   --          --  --
 TOTAL               15   29           2   7

More than 2,500 libraries had been established throughout the country
since the revolution. All the larger towns have their high schools,
technical schools, and musical conservatories.

As every able-bodied adult must work in Soviet Russia, I wondered who
went to the advanced technical schools. Each local Soviet elected its
group of students to attend schools for special training for terms
varying from three to six months. At the end of the training the
students returned to their communities to teach, and a new group was
sent for similar training. The schools were free; the students were
furnished with food, clothing, living quarters and books, and were
provided with tickets for theatres, concerts and other entertainments.
All students were granted loans, to be used for spending money while in
school, if they preferred to purchase their own clothing and other
necessaries. In Moscow the average loan was 1,200 rubles, varying
according to the rise or fall of the ruble’s value.

Throughout the country homes for the aged had been established where men
over sixty and women over fifty were cared for by the government,
provided they did not have children or relatives who wished to keep them
in their own homes. In the latter case they were given adequate



  The children, under the supervision of their teacher, are busy in the

I found less of the “institution” atmosphere in these homes than in
those I have seen in other countries. Books, pictures, a meeting-room,
and dining-room, and a general atmosphere of comfort and freedom seemed
to make the elderly people content and happy. They are not considered
“paupers” or “charges on the state,” but human beings who have
contributed their service to society and are entitled to all the peace
and comfort society can give them.

I have dwelt upon the organization and spirit of the Red Army and upon
the education and care of the children more than upon anything else,
because these are the things that made the strongest impression upon me
during my stay in Soviet Russia. They stand out above all else in the
memory of weeks crowded with a multitude of rapid and various
observations. The soldiers and the children come first in the
consideration of the government. Here the greatest ingenuity and energy
have been applied, and here the best results are evident. It has been
the purpose of the Soviet leaders to make the first line of defense—the
army—unconquerable. Government officials claim they have succeeded in
this, and point to the map as evidence. The children, they say, are the
strategical reserves of the communist state. They are aiming to keep
them healthy in body, despite the privations imposed by the blockade,
and to develop them mentally and physically to carry on the future
state. No one can deny the large measure of success realized.


                               CHAPTER X

                            THE SOVIET STATE

The All-Russian Congress of Soviets is composed of representatives of
urban Soviets, one delegate for 25,000 voters, and of rural Soviets, one
delegate for 125,000 inhabitants. This Congress is convoked at least
twice a year. There had already been six meetings. The Congress elects
an All-Russian Central Executive Committee of not more than two hundred
members, which is the supreme power of the republic, in all periods
between convocations of the Congress. It directs in a general way the
activities of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Government, considers and
enacts all measures or proposals introduced by the Soviet of Peoples’
Commissars, convokes the Congress of Soviets, and forms a Council of
People’s Commissars. This council in turn is entrusted with the general
management of the affairs of the republic and in this capacity issues
decrees, resolutions and orders, notifying the Central Executive
Committee immediately of all such orders or decrees.

There are seventeen of these Commissars, (1) Foreign Affairs, (2) Army,
(3) Navy, (4) Interior, (5) Justice, (6) Labor, (7) Social Welfare, (8)
Education, (9) Post and Telegraph, (10) National Affairs, (11) Finances,
(12) Ways of Communication, (13) Agriculture, (14) Commerce and
Industry, (15) National Supplies, (16) Supreme Soviet of National
Economy, (17) Public Health. Each Commissar has a collegium, or
committee, the members of which are appointed by the Council of People’s
Commissars, of which body Lenin is the president.

These committees act as the administrators of the nation, dealing with
ratification and amendments to the constitution; the general interior
and foreign policy of the republic; boundaries; the admission or
secessions of new members; the establishing or changing of weights,
measures, or money denominations; declarations of war or peace treaties;
loans, commercial agreements or treaties; taxes; military affairs;
legislation and judicial procedure; civil and criminal procedure; and

Local affairs are administered by local Soviets, in the following order:
Rural Soviets, of ten or less than ten members, send one delegate to the
rural congress, which in turn sends one delegate for each ten of its
members to the County Soviet Congress. This County Soviet Congress sends
one delegate for each 1,000 inhabitants (though not more than three
hundred in all may be sent) to the Provincial Soviet Congress, which is
made up of representatives of both urban and rural Soviets. The
Provincial Soviet Congress sends from its body one representative for
10,000 inhabitants of the rural districts, and one for each 2,000 voters
in the city, to the Regional Soviet Congress. This Congress sends one
delegate for each 125,000 inhabitants to the All-Russian Congress of

All these Congresses of Soviets elect their own executive committees for
handling local affairs, but in small rural districts questions are
decided at general meetings of the voters whenever possible. The
functions of the local Congresses of Soviets and deputies are given thus
in the Constitution: To carry out all orders of the respective higher
organs of the Soviet Power; to take all steps for raising the cultural
and economic standard of the given territory; to decide all questions of
local importance within their respective territories; and to coordinate
all Soviet activity in their respective territories.

Roughly speaking, the Supreme Council of National Economy, which is
established under the Council of the People’s Commissars, deals with the
organization and distribution of production. It coordinates the
activities of the federal and the local Soviets, and has the right of
confiscation, requisition, or compulsory syndication of various branches
of industry and commerce; it determines the amount of raw materials and
fuel needed, obtains and distributes them, and organizes and supplies
the rural economy. It works in close and constant touch with the
All-Russian Professional Alliances, and under its direction the latter
constantly regulates the wage scales in accordance with the rise and
fall of prices of commodities. When I was in Moscow the average wage
paid was 3,000 rubles per month, and in Petrograd 3,500. A member of the
Council of People’s Commissars received 4,500 per month, out of which he
had to pay rent and buy food and clothing. Lenin, as president, received
the same amount, which was equivalent to about $180 in American money.

All men and women of the republic belonging to the following classes are
allowed to vote after their eighteenth year: Individuals doing
productive or useful work; all persons engaged in housekeeping which
enables others to do productive work; peasants who employ no help in
agricultural labor; soldiers of the army and sailors of the navy;
citizens who are incapacited for work; and foreigners who live in and
are working for the republic.

Suffrage and candidacy are denied to persons who employ labor in order
to obtain profits; persons who live on an income, such as interest from
capital, receipts from property, etc.; private merchants, trade or
commercial brokers; monks and clergy of all denominations;[A] employees
and agents of the former police, gendarmes, or secret service; persons
under legal guardianship, or who have been declared by law as demented
or mentally deficient; and persons who have been deprived of their
rights of citizenship by a Soviet, for selfish or dishonorable offences
for the term fixed by the Soviet.

The Church has been separated from the State and the School from the
Church, but the right of religious or anti-religious propaganda is
accorded to every citizen. The government press has been freed from all
dependence upon capital in the form of advertising, and all the
technical and material means for publication, as well as for the
publication of books and pamphlets are free. Furnished halls, with
heating and lighting free, are given to the poorest peasantry for


Footnote A:

  There have been some modifications of this regulation recently. I have
  heard since my return to America that clergymen are given the right to
  vote provided they are supported by the workers and not from


                          LAND NATIONALIZATION

The brief Land Decree of November 7, 1917, was replaced in September,
1918, by “The Fundamental Law of Socialization of the Land,” which has
already been enforced throughout the country except in the cases of land
owned by peasants and worked by the owner and his family. This land
decree has been enforced gradually, and perhaps less completely than any
other of the Soviet decrees, first because the energies of the
Government were diverted to a war of defence, and secondly, because the
land question would naturally take the longest to settle even in times
of peace.

The land decree provides that all property rights in land, minerals,
oil, gas, peat, medicinal springs, waters, timber and other natural
resources be abolished and the land given to the use of the entire
laboring population, without open or secret compensation to former
owners. The right to use this land belongs to those who till it by their
own labor, and is not restricted by sex, religion, nationality, or
foreign citizenship. Under-surface deposits, timber, etc., are at the
disposal of the Soviet powers, local or federal, and all live stock and
agricultural implements are to be taken over without indemnification by
the land departments of the Soviets. Infants, or minors, cripples,
invalids, or aged persons who would be deprived of their means of
subsistence by the enforcement of this decree are pensioned either for
life or until they attain their majority. Minors are given the same
pension as soldiers.

Land may be used for cultural and educational purposes; for agricultural
purposes, communities, associations, village organizations, individuals
and families; and for industrial, commercial and transportation
enterprises under the control of the Soviet power. It is given to those
who wish to work it for themselves, to local agricultural workers whose
plots are now too small, or who have been employed by land owners, and
to immigrants who come from towns or cities in order to work on the

When the land was turned over to the peasants each one seized the
opportunity to establish his own little homestead. Since that time the
peasants have discovered the benefits of cooperative agricultural
production, and have established their own agricultural communes all
over the country.


In the Orel Government there were 391 of these communes, covering 39,000
dessiatins,[B] with a population of 29,000 people. In the province of
Moghilev there were 225, with more than 11,000 people and 40,000
dessiatins of land. In the Vitebsk government there were 214, covering
60,000 dessiatins of land with a population of 60,000. In the province
of Novgorod there were 72, with 11,376 inhabitants and 22,253
dessiatins. In Kaluga 150, with 6,500 inhabitants, covering 12,000
dessiatins. Officials estimated that this number would be doubled before
the end of 1919. In the Petrograd Government 830 communes were
organized, with 17,000 dessiatins and 15,313 inhabitants, all of whom
were laborers. In Tula there were 78, with 5,465 workers, and 8,554
dessiatins of land.


Footnote B:

  A dessiatin is approximately 2.7 acres.


                               LABOR LAWS

The Soviet Russian Code of Labor Laws passed by the Russian Central
Executive Committee in 1919 covers the whole field of Russian labor
activities. To workers in other countries some of the provisions will
appear drastic, but it must be remembered that Russia is still an armed
camp and that the war has disorganized industry, transportation and
almost every other form of endeavor. I was informed that every effort
was being made under these laws to coordinate the productive forces of
the country with a view to securing the highest possible production for
the pressing needs of the Russian people. When the war stops, as it no
doubt will in the immediate future, Soviet Russia will be faced with the
problem of diverting into productive channels its three million
soldiers, as well as other millions now engaged directly or indirectly
in the war. Just as we had our “Work or Fight” measures in this country
for the purpose of utilizing the nation’s human energy in a profitable
way in time of stress, so in Soviet Russia every effort is being made to
place the workers where the greatest results to the nation as a whole
will accrue.

In connection with the passage of these labor laws, it must be borne in
mind that the working people in Soviet Russia enjoy much more control at
the present time than do the same class of people in possibly any other
country. One must take into consideration the fact that these laws were
initiated by the unions themselves or their representatives, who shared
jointly with the political side of the Government the responsibility for
maintaining the new order. Many of the former so-called bourgeoisie of
the old regime, I was informed, have spent the past two years doing
nothing but live by speculation and they stir up trouble on the
slightest pretext against the new Government. It was primarily to reach
recalcitrants of this character that the compulsory provisions were
inserted in the code. The result of the passage of these laws did not,
so far as I could judge, diminish the enthusiasm of the Russian workers
for the new order, but on the other hand their energy seems to have been
stimulated, no doubt because they were beginning to feel that through
their various organizations this step had been taken for the express
purpose of forcing into production every man and woman in the country
capable of producing and helping to reconstruct Russia.

Article I of the code deals with compulsory labor. It provides that all
citizens of the Soviet Republic, with the following exceptions, are
subject to compulsory labor:

First, persons under sixteen years of age; second, all persons over
fifty years of age; third, persons who have become incapacitated by
injury or illness; fourth, women for a period of eight weeks before and
eight weeks after confinement.

All students are subject to compulsory labor at the schools. Labor
conditions in all establishments, Soviet, nationalized, public and
private, are regulated by tariff rules drafted by the trade unions in
agreement with the directors or owners of establishments and enterprises
and approved by the people’s commissariat of labor.

Article II, entitled “The Right to Work,” provides that all citizens
able to work have the right to employment at their vocations and
remuneration fixed for such class of work. The district exchange bureaus
of the Department of Labor Distribution, in agreement with respective
unions, assign individual wage earners or groups of them to work at
other trades if there is no demand for labor at the vocation of the
persons in question. All persons of the female sex and those of the male
sex under eighteen years of age have no right to work at night or in
those industries in which the conditions of labor are especially hard or

Article III, provides for the methods of labor distribution. Any wage
earner who is not engaged on work at his vocation shall register at the
Local Department of Labor Distribution as unemployed. An unemployed
person has no right to refuse an offer of work at his vocation,
providing the working conditions conform with the standards fixed by the
respective tariff regulations, or, in the absence of the same, by the
trades unions. An unemployed person who is offered work outside his
vocation shall be obliged to accept it on the understanding, if he so
wishes, that this be only until he receives work at his vocation.

Article V, makes provision for the transfer of a wage earner to other
work within the enterprise, establishment or institution where he is
employed. His transfer may be ordered by the managing authorities of
said enterprise, establishment or institution. The decision of the
Department of Labor in the matter of a transfer of labor may be appealed
from under the law by the interested parties to the District Department
of Labor or to the People’s Commissariat of Labor, whose decision of the
matter in dispute is final. In case of urgent public work the Department
of Labor, in agreement with the respective professional unions, may
order the transfer of a whole group of wage earners from the
organization where they are employed to another situated in the same or
a different locality. This is done, provided a sufficient number of
volunteers for such work cannot be found.

Under Article VI, which covers remuneration of labor, the law provides
that in working out tariff rates and determining the standard rates of
remuneration all wage earners of a trade shall be divided into groups of
skill, and a definite standard of remuneration shall be fixed for each
group. In determining the standard of remuneration for each category,
consideration must be given to the kind of labor, the danger of the
conditions under which the work is performed, the complexity and
accuracy of the work. Remuneration for piece-work is computed by
dividing the daily tariff rate by the number of pieces constituting the
production standard. Remuneration for overtime work shall not exceed
time and a half. During illness of a wage earner the remuneration due
him shall be paid as a subsidy from the hospital fund. The unemployed
receive a subsidy out of the funds for unemployed.

Under Article VII, which deals with working hours, provision is made
that the duration of a normal working day must in no case exceed eight
hours for day work and seven hours for night work, and that the duration
of a normal day, first, for persons under eighteen years of age, and
second, for persons working in especially hard or health-endangering
branches of industry, must not exceed six hours. In case the nature of
the work is such that it requires a working day in excess of the normal,
two or more shifts shall be engaged. Except in extreme cases work in
excess of the normal hours, or what is usually called overtime work, is
not permitted. No females and no males under eighteen years of age may
do any overtime work, and the time spent by those on such work in the
course of two consecutive days must not exceed four hours. All wage
earners must be allowed a weekly uninterrupted rest of not less than
forty-two hours, and on the eve of rest days the normal working day is
reduced by two hours. Every wage earner who has worked without
interruption not less than six months shall be entitled to leave of
absence for two weeks, and every wage earner who has worked without
interruption not less than a year shall be entitled to leave of absence
for not less than one month with full pay.

Article VIII deals with methods to insure efficiency of labor. The
standard output for wage earners of each trade and group is fixed by
valuation commissions of the respective trades unions. This article
provides that a wage earner systematically producing less than the fixed
standard may be transferred by the decision of the proper valuation
commission to other work in the same group and category, or to a lower
group or category with a corresponding reduction of wages. However,
appeal can be taken from this provision of the law as well as all other
provisions in the code.

Article IX provides for protection of life, health and labor of persons
engaged in any economic activity, and the carrying out of this part of
the law is entrusted to labor inspectors, technical inspectors and the
representatives of sanitary inspection. The labor inspection is under
the jurisdiction of the People’s Commissariat of Labor and its local
branches, which are the Departments of Labor, and is composed of labor
inspectors, elected by the councils of professional unions. The
inspectors are compelled under the law to visit at any time of the day
or night all the industrial enterprises of their district and all places
where work is carried on, as well as places provided for the workmen by
the enterprises, such as rooming-houses, asylums, baths, etc., and to
assist the trades unions and works committee in their efforts to
ameliorate in individual enterprises as well as in branches of industry.

This brief outline of the Code of Labor Laws, the full text of which
will be found in the appendix, shows how thoroughly the new régime in
Russia has gone into the question of organizing the labor power of the
country for production on the highest scale. I was told over and over
again by various officials of the labor organizations of Soviet Russia
and the Government officials as well, that what they were interested in
above all else at the present time was the organization of labor along
lines that would insure sufficient production of essential commodities
to meet the needs of all the people under Soviet rule.


Before the war there were in Russia 37,000 railway locomotives. At the
end of the war 13,000 were left. Of these, at the time of the Brest
Litovsk treaty, thirty-five percent were disabled. In the spring of 1919
the total number of disabled locomotives amounted to fifty percent.
Since that time there has been some improvement, and last August only
forty-seven percent of them were disabled. There is a great demand for
locomotives. Russia could use to advantage the entire product of the
United States for the next six years. Approximately the same conditions
prevail with reference to cars.

Practically the whole transportation system was given over to the
movement of troops and army supplies. In certain sections of the country
there was a surplus of grain, but no facilities to transport it to the

On the last stage of the journey to Moscow I had a vivid glimpse into
the transportation problem of Soviet Russia. Two or three hours out of
Smolensk we stopped at a small way station and hooked on seventeen cars
loaded with wood intended to relieve the critical fuel shortage in
Moscow. After five or six hours’ journey, with only brief stops, the
train made a prolonged halt. I got out to learn the cause of the delay.
The cars loaded with wood had been uncoupled from the train and men were
busy throwing the billets into the field by the track. The station was
crowded with soldiers. Word had been received to rush reinforcements
southward to meet the advance of Denikin. These cars were needed to
carry the troops.

“What about the wood?” I asked, “Isn’t it needed in Moscow?”

“Yes,” was the reply. “The nights are getting very cold in Moscow. But
Moscow must wait. The army comes first.”

Such incidents were happening daily, hourly, no doubt, all over Russia.
Always, they complained, the necessities of the war and the mobilization
hampered the productive enterprises of the nation.


While I was in Moscow the Government received a report from the Supreme
Council of National Economy to the effect that war industry was
progressing at full speed and producing sufficient supplies and
ammunitions for the army. In addition the departments of building
materials, fur, leather, fuel, metal, chemicals, and trade, had been
organized. There were fifty-one factories in the building material
branch alone, capable of producing 121,500,000 bricks, 2,000,000 poods
of cement, 870,000 poods of lime, and 510,000 poods of tiles. The
tanneries were running on the basis of 240,800 poods annually. The
department of forests had obtained a contract for twenty percent of the
fuel demand, in the Moscow Government alone. There were sixty-eight saw
mills and 128 planing mills running on full time. All paper factories
were working. The chemical department controls the paper, china, and
chemical production. The trade department supervised 175,000 workers and
had its own art industry museum.

The Government is planning the construction of enormous power systems,
one of which will be the largest in the world. They will also utilize
the water falls for great hydraulic power stations, all of which would
require great amounts of machinery from America.


The Volga and Don canal will connect the Black and Caspian Seas and the
Volga river with the Baltic Sea. Canal Dredges are needed to build

                             RAW MATERIALS

There are at present in warehouses in Russia 200,000 tons of flax, the
present market price of which, in London, is over $1,000 per ton. There
are also 100,000 tons of hemp. There is gold, timber, and ninety percent
of the world’s supply of platinum.

Many factories will be erected, great rolling mills, steel mills, etc.
There is no doubt but that Russia will eventually be able to produce
everything it needs. The country is thoroughly stocked with all kinds of
mineral products and it is merely a matter of time before it will be
entirely independent. It struck me that in the meantime the American
business men are missing a wonderful opportunity in these ready markets
for their machinery and equipment. Russia will be, in the course of a
very few years, a very strong competitor, whereas now it offers a vast


                               CHAPTER XI

On my way into Red Russia the train on which I was travelling passed,
between Rejistza and Novo-Sokoliev, a train of ten or twelve cars, the
sides of which were covered with huge, multi-colored placards. It was
the “Lenin Train” used for carrying propaganda literature all over the
republic. When I saw it, it was on a tour of the country behind the
Western Front.

The train was decorated with great paintings in bright colors and with
revolutionary inscriptions. In one of the cars was a moving picture
apparatus and screen; another was fitted up as a book shop; and a third
as a telegraph station which posted the latest news bulletins at every
station, and circulated news from the front and from the rest of the
world. The train carried representatives from government departments and
a staff of speakers and lecturers.

It had been in constant service for about two months, during which time
it travelled through the districts of Pskov, Vitebsk, Lettonia, White
Russia, Lithuania, and Kharkov, covering some 3,590 versts. In all the
stations and towns through which it passed, leaflets, pamphlets and
books were distributed. Meetings were arranged and lectures given, and
the Commissary representatives visited the Soviet institutions offering
suggestions and aid. Workers and peasants assembled about the train and
listened to speeches made from the roofs of cars and gathered bundles of
literature to be distributed in the villages and workshops. They told of
their difficulties to the speakers and asked them for their advice.

In America I had always heard so much about the illiteracy of the
Russian peasants that I wondered what use quantities of reading matter
would be to them. I discovered that illiteracy was not nearly so general
as popularly supposed, and was decreasing rapidly under the government’s
energetic educational program. In every community there is at least one
who can read and write. Russians live in villages everywhere; even on
the plains or steppes such a thing as an isolated farmhouse or workman’s
cottage is rare. The farmer may, and often does, have to go some
distance to work his land, but his home is always among other homes.
When literatures arrives those who can, read aloud. The others gather
around the reader to listen. Long discussions, so dearly loved by the
Russians, follow.

The “Lenin Train” was preceded by telegraphic announcements of its
coming, so there was a crowd to meet it at every station. Sometimes the
reception was very ceremonious. At Rejistza, where it arrived at night,
it was met with banners, music and torches. At a tiny station,
Malinooka, a crowd of peasants from the nearby villages was waiting to
receive their literature and “to hear directly from the seat of their
government.” I learned that five more similar trains were being prepared
to be put on the Volga and its tributaries, and motor-trucks to be sent
into the sections where neither railways nor waterways entered. One was
to be called “The October Revolution,” another “The Communist,” and a
third “The Red Army.” The others were not yet named. Boats too were used
for that purpose.

It was easy to understand why these people, beset on all sides, were
carrying on propaganda to defend their country. But I found that their
propaganda did not end with this defensive material. By far the greater
proportion of it was what might be called cultural. It was intended not
only to waken the people to a realization that their own lives were
threatened, but to teach them that they were a part of the great world
that lay outside their own land. The art, the music, the literature and
the science of the world was brought to them in simple form so that they
could comprehend it and be stimulated to further reading and study.
Whatever else the Russians may be they are not materialistic. I found
them more eager for news and knowledge than for food, of which they got
so little. Whatever news is obtained from the outside world is
disseminated at once, by telegraph and bulletins, to all parts of the

At the town of Praele a Bolshevist soldier said to me with a twinkle in
his eye, “You have a great country in America.”

“Why do you think it a great country?” I asked.

“They are shooting negroes in Chicago and Washington now,” was his
answer; “and that’s the country that talks about Soviet Russia being

Naturally I was interested in the confirmation or refutation of the
reports I had heard, that the Bolsheviki intend to spread their
propaganda all over the world. Soviet officials talked frankly to me
about prisoners and propaganda. They liked to take prisoners, they said.
They only wished they had more food so that they could afford to take
more of them. They didn’t want them to starve. They would like to take a
million prisoners a day if they had enough food and paper. “After all,”
they said, “our war is primarily a war of education.”

At many points along the battlefronts I saw great banners stretched
between posts, with letters large enough to be read a hundred yards
away, telling the other side what the war was about. One, which I had
translated for me on the Lettish front, read, “The Germans are marching
on Riga. German soldiers are helping you to destroy the working class
republic in Russia. If you want to defend Lettland go back and drive the
Germans out of Riga.” The Russians placed great reliance on this
battlefront propaganda. I found evidence in the Lettish ranks of the
effectiveness of these tactics.

In striking contrast to the enthusiasm of the Soviet officials for this
propaganda at the fighting front, and their reliance upon it to achieve
important military results, was their seeming indifference to propaganda
abroad. They were anxious enough that the case for the Russian
revolution and the Soviet Government should be presented to the people
of other countries, but they displayed none of that eager confidence in
their ability to stir revolution abroad with which they are commonly
credited. They believed that by means of propaganda they could break the
morale of any army brought against them; but they did not pretend to be
able to subvert remote governments. They were amused by the fear of
Bolshevik propaganda displayed in the foreign press. They were not
inclined to rate their powers so highly. “To be sure,” they told me, “we
are internationalists and revolutionists, but if other countries are not
ready for revolution how can we stimulate it? That is not our job. We
have had our revolution in Russia and we must bend all our energies to
preserve it. The workers in other countries must take care of their own



  Execution of a Red Guard on an English gunboat in Lake Onega, Russia,
    in the presence of
  English and American Officers

They were willing to give guarantees that the Soviet Government would
not engage in revolutionary propaganda abroad. They told me that they
had repeatedly assured foreign journalists and agents that their
governments could take any measures they saw fit to protect themselves
against Russian propaganda.

Of propaganda in Russia itself there is plenty. I have already described
the propaganda among prisoners of war, and of its effect upon the
English prisoners in Moscow. I have no doubt the same “torture” was
administered to Americans in Siberia. I saw, in an American magazine, a
statement of a Canadian soldier that he and many of his comrades had
been entirely converted to the doctrines of Bolshevism, but he
attributed his conversion to actual experiences and to the things he saw
rather than to anything he had read or been told. It occurs to an
unprejudiced observer who has been in Soviet Russia that the nations
that feared the contagion of Bolshevist propaganda took the worst
possible way of avoiding it when they sent their young soldiers into a
land full of propaganda explaining and upholding the new order
established there.


                              CHAPTER XII
                      COMING OUT OF SOVIET RUSSIA

I was checked and guarded out of Red Russia in the same manner in which
I had been checked and guarded into it. When I was ready to leave
Petrograd, early in October, Zinovieff delegated as my guard and guide a
short, stocky Esthonian, Isaac Mikkal. As Grafman had reminded me of
Larkin, so Mikkal reminded me of Tom Hickey, the famous Texas socialist.
He appeared rather pleased at my calling him “Hickey” which I did,
throughout the journey.

We left Petrograd at eleven o’clock at night, and arrived at Pskov the
next morning at eight, where we had to remain until five in the evening
before we could get a train for Rejistza, which we reached at six the
following day. Here the division commandant stamped our papers and sent
us on to Velikie Luki to the headquarters of the army command.

“Hickey” had turned out to be a less aggressive and efficient guide than
Larkin, and as he could give me little information about either the
country we were passing through or the events that were taking place, I
longed often for my old friend whom I had left at Moscow weeks before.
With our papers stamped at Velikie Luki, we were allowed to go on to the
front without going through Smolensk, and I asked the commandant to give
me a guide who understood that part of the Western Front, so that I
could proceed more swiftly. He granted this request, but said that
“Hickey” must also be of the party, since he had been charged at
Petrograd with my safe delivery and must make his report on his return
to that city. After a brief telephone conversation, in Russian, the
commandant informed me that another guide would appear in less than a
half hour. We had dinner and waited calmly. At the end of the stipulated
time my guide entered, and to my surprise and pleasure it was “Larkin.”

He stopped short, looked at me a moment, raised his hands to his head
and brushed off his cap which fell to the floor. “God love a duck, is it
you? They told me there was a journalist here who wanted to go to the
front but if I had known it was you I would have said I was laid up with

I introduced my two guides and we went to the station, only to find that
the train we had expected to take at eleven that night would not go
before five the next morning. There was nothing to do but climb in one
of the coaches, but since the train was already full of soldiers,
talking, singing, and smoking, there was but little sleep for me that

At five in the morning we started—on time at last. The conductor
informed me that we would reach Rejistza at five in the afternoon, but
we did not arrive until four in the morning. I endeavored to learn from
both “Larkin” and “Hickey” the real reason for the delay, but they told
me to “forget it. A few hours’ delay makes no difference to you, one way
or the other.” At last “Larkin” must have grown very weary of my
importunities. At any rate he said, “Please remember you are in Russia
and that we are at war. All trains are soldier trains. They must stop to
take on soldiers and to let soldiers off. They must stop to make
repairs. They must stop for many reasons. Don’t imagine you are in
America, on an express train. Some time when the war is over trains will
run on time, but now,—well stop kicking.” I stopped.

In Rejistza we learned that we must wait until four P.M. for a train
going to the Dvinsk front. In the division commandant’s office we found
two foreigners who had come across the front the night before. They were
on the way to Moscow, and were being checked in as I had been. The
commandant asked “Larkin,” whom he knew quite well, if he would take
them to Velikie Luki; and on “Larkin’s” saying that he had been
entrusted with the task of seeing me to the front, the commandant told
him that “Hickey” could see me through. I was sorry to lose “Larkin,”
but there was nothing else to be done, and we parted with a cordial wish
that we might meet again under more favorable circumstances. “But, God
love a duck,—I hope you stay out of Russia until peace comes,” were his
last words to me.

When “Hickey” and I finally reached Dvinsk the Poles were shelling the
town. The soldier train on which I was traveling stopped two miles
outside the city and the soldiers detrained and began marching into
Dvinsk to reinforce their comrades. I did not wish to go through Dvinsk.
One experience under shell-fire had been sufficiently shocking to my
nervous system, and it wasn’t my war at any rate. I protested to
“Hickey” that he had been instructed to see me _safely_ across the
front, and demanded that he take me to some other point where I could
cross. He told me that the papers read that I was to pass through the
Dvinsk front. I said that, papers to the contrary notwithstanding, I
refused to cross at Dvinsk. Poor “Hickey” crossed to an officer and held
a discussion, during which he made a few notes. At the conclusion of
their talk he returned to me “If you _won’t_ go this way,” he told me,
“we will have to go back on this train seventy-five versts and then
drive ten versts across country to the thirty-second division command to
get your papers amended. Then you’ll have to return to the same station,
wait for a train, ride forty versts, get off and drive twenty-two versts
across country to the brigade command of this division, and then from
there we will have to drive twenty versts more to the Soviet outposts,
where you can get into the neutral zone and start for the Lettish
outposts seventeen versts away.”

All my former desire for speedy travel and short cuts seemed to have
evaporated. I yielded meekly to this decree and was, I believe, fairly
patient during the two days it took us to carry out this long program.
When we finally arrived at the Soviet front I was told to start down the
road and walk seventeen versts, which would bring me into Lettish
territory. Again my suitcase was heavy, or rather it was still heavy,
and I protested that I could not walk so far and carry it. But no
vehicles were available in that part of the country. My officer
informant pointed to a village two or three versts away, across a field,
and said: “When you get to that village you may be able to hire a

Even that comparatively short walk did not appear attractive, but at
this particular moment there came around a bend in the road an old
Russian driving a familiar hay-rick. He readily consented to take me to
the village, and after saying farewell to “Hickey,” and enjoining him to
“keep smiling,” my aged saviour and I set out on our journey. A half
hour later, in the village, I tried my best, with my still limited
Russian vocabulary, to procure another hay-rick to drive me the fourteen
versts remaining between me and the Lettish front. Out of the crowd of
villagers that surrounded me there emerged a Lettish boy of perhaps
fifteen years, who told me in German that he would take me across. When
the villagers understood what I wanted, the peasant women insisted that
I must have food before starting. I was taken into one of the dingy
little homes, where I was served with good rye bread, butter, milk, and
eggs, which I ate greedily, I am afraid, for I was very hungry. Not even
the thousands of flies that I had to brush away before I could take a
bite prevented my enjoyment of this food.

At seven in the evening my boy rescuer and I reached the Lettish front,
this time in a hay-rick _de luxe_, with straw and an old quilt on the
slats of the floor. The Lettish officers examined me again, and told me
that if I would take a hay-rick and drive twenty-two versts to the
Kreisberg station I could take a train at two in the morning that would
bring me to Riga early the next afternoon. They gave me food, produced a
hay-rick, and, half frozen but safe, I reached Kreizberg and finally
Riga, at one the next afternoon.

Feeling secure at last, I left the station at Riga and proceeded up the
street towards the De Rome Hotel. I noticed an aeroplane circling
overhead, but I had grown so accustomed to war manœuvers that I
disregarded it entirely. About two squares further on my way I heard a
terrific crash and explosion and turned to see smoke rising from the
station I had just left. A German aeroplane had bombed the station,
killing seven people and injuring fourteen.

Arrived at the hotel, I asked the proprietor what was wrong. He told me
that the Germans were marching on the town, and shelling it as they
marched, and that 60,000 of them were just across the river.

My only thought was that I wanted to get out at once. “You can’t go,” he
said. “There are no boats running and the German army[C] controls the
railroad to Mitau.”

Apparently it was as dangerous to come out to civilization as it had
been to go into “barbarous” Soviet Russia. I recalled the peace and the
kindness I had found inside that supposedly violent land with a great

That afternoon I went to the Lettish Foreign Office to visit the
officials who had granted me permission to enter a few weeks before.
They appeared glad to see me, but incredulous as to my identity. Was I
sure that I had been safely through Russia? Was I still in the flesh or
merely a very vigorous and somewhat pugnacious ghost? My young friend
who had been so concerned was very eager to know what I had seen. I told
him I could indeed confirm his worst fears. The Bolsheviki were people
who had but little respect for the sacred rights of private property. I
hastened to make my escape before he could ask me about the
nationalization of women. I did not want to disappoint him too much.

The next day all the guests of the hotel were locked in and forbidden to
leave the hotel. The Lettish staff officers were established in the
hotel, two doors away from my room. Two regiments of Esthonians reached
Riga that day and their first act was to place a big field-gun
immediately in front of the hotel and begin firing over the roof of it
into the German position. Knowing the reputation of the Germans for
finding gun positions, I was not very sanguine over the prospects of my
safe return to America. The shelling lasted for forty-eight hours,
during which time the deafening noise and the jarring of the walls made
rest impossible.

The Danish Consul and his staff occupied the rooms immediately across
the hall from mine. The third day they invited me over to lunch with
them in their room, as Lettish soldiers had been billeted in the
dining-room downstairs. About four in the afternoon, after the wine had
all been consumed, the Danes began singing the songs of their own
country. Scarcely an hour later the door of the room was opened and five
Lettish officers marched in, ordering us all to “Get your clothes
together and get ready.” The Danish Consul asked what they meant. “You
have been drinking the health of Germany and singing German songs. Yon
are under arrest,” was the answer.

I was somewhat disappointed when they apologized after we had shown them
our papers. Arrest and deportation to other shores seemed very
attractive to me just then.

A little later the proprietor came in and told us that food was getting
scarce, that prices had doubled, and that we would have to pay in
Czarist rubles, since the Lettish rubles (which he had been glad to take
before) were no longer any good. After we had organized a vigorous
protest he recanted and we had no further difficulty on that score.

The next day Michael Farbman of the _Chicago Tribune_, with G. G.
Desmond of the _London Daily News_, dropped in from somewhere and told
me there would be a chance that Sunday night of going to Copenhagen on a
British destroyer. Since Desmond was a British subject we chose him to
take up the matter with the British mission. His efforts were
successful, and we left the hotel under cover of darkness and, hugging
the walls of the buildings, we finally reached the British mission. In
company with several English officers we started through the dark
streets at seven-thirty in the evening with shells falling everywhere,
and walked three miles to the bend of the Dvina, out of range of the
firing. Twice we were shot at by Lettish outposts who had not been
informed that we were supposed to pass. Luckily for us they proved to be
bad shots, and the shouts of “English, English” from the officers
stopped the firing. At nine in the evening we reached the river and were
bundled into two small boats, pulled by a slow-going gasoline launch.
The Letts were on one side of the river; the Germans on the other, and
both sides impartially fired at us with their rifles, but although they
hit each boat once they did not touch us. I shall never forget the
English officers, crouching in the bottoms of the boats—beside
me—shouting “English, English” at the top of their voices as we
proceeded, and persisting in their shouting of the word that had
hitherto proven a magic one, in spite of the fact that it could not
possibly be heard by either side, and forgetting, apparently, that if it
were heard by the Germans it might not deter them.

After two and one-half hours of this, during which we traversed eight
miles, we reached the gulf and the comparative safety of the British
cruiser _Abdiel_. At last my troubles were over.

We were to leave for Copenhagen the next morning. However, at ten the
next morning we were transferred from the _Abdiel_ to the _Princess
Margaret_, a Canadian Royal steamer which had been converted into a
mine-layer during the war, and had come into the harbor the night
before, on her way to Riga with a cargo of goods. She could not proceed
up the river because of the firing. English officers and all were
transferred to this ship, because the _Abdiel_ was not leaving and there
was no telling when the _Princess Margaret_ would leave. For three days
we were kept on this boat. During this time more than a hundred refugees
from Riga were added to its list. Eight or nine British cruisers and
destroyers were lying at anchor in the Gulf, and on our second morning
on the _Princess Margaret_ we learned that the English had given the
Germans until that time to evacuate their positions, after which they
would open fire. The Germans had refused, and the bombarding began. The
_Princess Margaret_ stood out of range, but we could see with glasses
the effects of the bombardment, which lasted the whole afternoon, until
finally the German guns were silenced and the Letts crossed the river.

That evening we heard that the destroyer _Cleopatra_ was sailing the
next morning for Copenhagen and England and would come alongside to take
mail, and that the English officers on the _Princess Margaret_ were
going on the _Cleopatra_. Farbman and I sent Desmond to the captain to
get permission for us to go also, which he obtained after some
persuasion. The others remained—and may be there still.

At eight the next morning the _Cleopatra_ came toward us, but the sea
was running high and she could not approach nearer than a hundred yards.
A lifeboat was lowered from the _Princess_, our baggage thrown in, and
we descended on rope ladders to the swaying and tossing boat below. I am
a poor swimmer and the brief but exciting journey to the _Cleopatra_ was
occupied in meditation on my escape from shot and shell only to be
drowned in the waters of the Gulf.

When we finally reached the _Cleopatra_, I was prepared for more delay,
any amount of delay. I had grown so accustomed to it that I thought it
would save my nerves from further strain to take it for granted. However
we started almost immediately. This was Friday morning, October 17th. We
reached Copenhagen Saturday, October 18th, at six in the evening. At
last I had escaped the roar of cannon and the sound of bursting shells.
The relief and the peace of Copenhagen could only be compared with the
peace I had found in “Barbarous Soviet Russia.”


Footnote C:

  This was the Army of Von der Glotz.






I. The Code of Labor Laws shall take effect immediately upon its
publication in the _Compilation of Laws and Regulations of the Workmen’s
and Peasants’ Government_. This Code must be extensively circulated
among the working class of the country by all the local organs of the
Soviet Government and be posted in a conspicuous place in all Soviet

II. The regulations of the Code of Labor Laws shall apply to all persons
receiving remuneration for their work and shall be obligatory for all
enterprises, institutions and establishments (Soviet, public, private
and domestic), as well as for all private employers exploiting labor.

III. All existing regulations and those to be issued on questions of
labor, of a general character (orders of individual establishments,
instructions, rules of internal management, etc.), as well as individual
contracts and agreements, shall be valid only in so far as they do not
conflict with this Code.

IV. All labor agreements previously entered into, as well as all those
which will be entered into in the future, in so far as they contradict
the regulations of this Code, shall not be considered valid or
obligatory, either for the employees or the employers.

V. In enterprises and establishments where the work is carried on in the
form of organized cooperation (Section 6, Labor Division A of the
present Code) the wage earners must be allowed the widest possible
self-government under the supervision of the Central Soviet authorities.
On this basis alone can the working masses be successfully educated in
the spirit of socialist and communal government.

VI. The labor conditions in the communal enterprises organized as well
as supported by the Soviet institutions (agricultural and other
communes) are regulated by special rules of the All-Russian Central
Executive Committee and of the Council of People’s Commissars, and by
instructions of the People’s Commissariat of Agriculture and Labor.

The labor conditions of farmers on land assigned them for cultivation
are regulated by the Code of Rural Laws.

The labor conditions of independent artisans are regulated by special
rules of the Commissariat of Labor.

                               ARTICLE I
                          ON COMPULSORY LABOR

1. All citizens of the Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic, with
the exceptions stated in Sections 2 and 3, shall be subject to
compulsory labor.

2. The following persons shall be exempt from compulsory labor:

     (_a_) Persons under 16 years of age;

     (_b_) All persons over 50 years;

     (_c_) Persons who have become incapacitated by injury or illness.

3. Temporarily exempt from compulsory labor are:

     (_a_) Persons who are temporarily incapacitated owing to illness or
     injury, for a period necessary for their recovery.

     (_b_) Women, for a period of eight weeks before and eight weeks
     after confinement.

4. All students shall be subject to compulsory labor at the schools.

5. The fact of permanent or temporary disability shall be certified
after a medical examination by the Bureau of Medical Survey in the city,
district or province, by accident insurance office or agencies
representing the former, according to the place of residence of the
person whose disability is to be certified.

_Note I._ The rules on the method of examination of disabled workmen are
appended hereto.

_Note II._ Persons who are subject to compulsory labor and are not
engaged in useful public work may be summoned by the local Soviets for
the execution of public work, on conditions determined by the Department
of Labor in agreement with the local Soviets of trade unions.

6. Labor may be performed in the form of—

     (_a_) Organized cooperation;

     (_b_) Individual personal services;

     (_c_) Individual special jobs.

7. Labor conditions in government (Soviet) establishments shall be
regulated by tariff rules approved by the Central Soviet authorities
through the People’s Commissariat of Labor.

8. Labor conditions in all establishments (Soviet, nationalized, public
and private) shall be regulated by tariff rules drafted by the trade
unions, in agreement with the directors or owners of establishments and
enterprises, and approved by the People’s Commissariat of Labor.

_Note._ In cases where it is impossible to arrive at an understanding
with the directors or owners of establishments or enterprises, the
tariff rules shall be drawn up by the trade unions and submitted for
approval to the People’s Commissariat of Labor.

9. Labor in the form of individual personal service or in the form of
individual special jobs shall be regulated by tariff rules drafted by
the respective trade unions and approved by the People’s Commissariat of

                               ARTICLE II
                           THE RIGHT TO WORK

10. All citizens able to work have the right to employment at their
vocations and for remuneration fixed for such class of work.

_Note._ The District Exchange Bureaus of the Department of Labor
Distribution may, by agreement with the respective unions, assign
individual wage earners or groups of them to work at other trades if
there is no demand for labor at the vocations of the persons in

11. The right to work belongs first of all to those who are subject to
compulsory labor.

12. Of the classes exempt from compulsory labor, only those mentioned in
subdivision “_b_” of Section 2 have a right to work.

13. Those mentioned in subdivisions “_a_” and “_c_” of Section 2 are
absolutely deprived of the right to work, and those mentioned in Section
3 temporarily deprived of the right to work.

14. All persons of the female sex, and those of the male sex under 18
years of age, shall have no right to work during night time or in those
branches of industry where the conditions of labor are especially hard
or dangerous.

_Note._ A list of especially hard and health-endangering occupations
shall be prepared by the Department of Labor Protection of the People’s
Commissariat of Labor, and shall be published in the month of January of
each year in the _Compilation of Laws and Regulations of the Workmen’s
and Peasants’ Government_.

                              ARTICLE III

15. The enforcement of the right to work shall be secured through the
Departments of Labor Distribution, trade unions, and through all the
institutions of the Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic.

16. The assignment of wage earners to work shall be carried out through
the Departments of Labor Distribution.

17. A wage earner may be summoned to work, save by the Departments of
Labor Distribution, only when chosen for a position by a Soviet
institution or enterprise.

18. Vacancies may be filled by election when the work offered requires
political reliability or unusual special knowledge, for which the person
elected is noted.

19. Persons engaged for work by election must register in the Department
of Labor Distribution before they are accepted, but they shall not be
subject to the rules concerning probation set forth in Article IV of the
present Code.

20. Unemployed persons shall be assigned to work through the Departments
of Labor Distribution in the manner stated in Sections 21–30.

21. A wage earner who is not engaged on work at his vocation shall
register in the local Department of Labor Distribution as unemployed.

22. Establishments and individuals in need of workers should apply to
the Local Department of Labor Distribution or its division
(Correspondence Bureau) stating the condition of the work offered as
well as the requirements which the workmen must meet (trade, knowledge,

23. The Department of Labor Distribution, on receipt of the application
mentioned in Section 22, shall assign the persons meeting the
requirements thereof in the order determined by the same.

24. An unemployed person has no right to refuse an offer of work at his
vocation, provided the working conditions conform with the standards
fixed by the respective tariff regulations, or in the absence of the
same by the trade unions.

25. A wage worker engaged for work for a period of not more than two
weeks, shall be considered unemployed, and shall not lose his place on
the list of the Department of Labor Distribution.

26. Should the Local Department of Labor Distribution have no workers on
its lists meeting the stated requirements, the application must be
immediately sent to the District Exchange Bureau, and the establishment
or individual offering the employment shall be simultaneously notified
to this effect.

27. Whenever workers are required for work outside of their district, a
roll-call of the unemployed registered in the Department of Labor
Distribution shall take place, to ascertain who are willing to go; if a
sufficient number of such should not be found, the Department of Labor
Distribution shall assign the lacking number from among the unemployed
in the order of their registration, provided that those who have
dependents must not be given preference, before single persons.

28. If in the Departments of Labor Distribution, within the limits of
the district, there be no workmen meeting the requirements, the District
Exchange Bureau has the right, upon agreement with the respective trade
union, to send unemployed of another class approaching as nearly as
possible the trade required.

29. An unemployed person who is offered work outside his vocation shall
be obliged to accept it, on the understanding, if he so wishes, that
this be only temporary, until he receives work at his vocation.

30. A wage earner who is working outside his specialty, and who has
stated his wish that this be only temporary, shall retain his place on
the register on the Department of Labor Distribution until he gets work
at his vocation.

31. Private individuals violating the rules of labor distribution set
forth in this article shall be punished by the order of the local board
of the Department of Labor Distribution by a fine of not less than 300
rubles or by arrest for not less than one week. Soviet establishments
and officials violating these rules on labor distribution shall be
liable to criminal prosecution.

                               ARTICLE IV
                           PROBATION PERIODS

32. Final acceptance of workers for permanent employment shall be
preceded by a period of probation of not more than six days; in Soviet
institutions the probation period shall be two weeks for unskilled and
less responsible work and one month for skilled and responsible work.

33. According to the results of the probation the wage earner shall
either be given a permanent appointment, or rejected with payment for
the period of probation in accordance with the tariff rates.

34. The results of the probation (acceptance or rejection) shall be
communicated to the Department of Labor Distribution.

35. Up to the expiration of the probation period, the wage earner shall
be considered as unemployed, and shall retain his place on the eligible
list of the Department of Labor Distribution.

36. A person who, after probation, has been rejected, may appeal against
this decision to the union of which he is a member.

37. Should the trade union consider the appeal mentioned in the
preceding section justified, it shall enter into negotiations with the
establishment or person who has rejected the wage earner, with the
request to accept the complainant.

38. In ease of failure of negotiations mentioned in Section 37, the
matter shall be submitted to the Local Department of Labor, whose
decision shall be final and subject to no further appeal.

39. The Department of Labor may demand that the person or establishment
provide with work the wage earner who has been rejected without
sufficient reason. Furthermore, it may demand that the said person or
establishment compensate the wage earner according to the tariff rates
for the time lost between his rejection and his acceptance pursuant to
the decision of the Department of Labor.

                               ARTICLE V

40. The transfer of wage earners in all enterprises, establishments, or
institutions employing paid labor, can take place only if it is required
in the interest of the business and by the decision of the proper organ
of management.

_Note._ This rule does not apply to work with private individuals
employing paid labor, if the work is of the subdivisions mentioned in
“_b_” and “_c_” of Section 6.

41. The transfer of a wage earner to other work within the enterprise,
establishment or institution where he is employed may be ordered by the
managing organs of said enterprise, establishment or institution.

42. The transfer of a wage earner to another enterprise, establishment
or institution situated in the same or in another locality, may be
ordered by the corresponding organ of management with the consent of the
Department of Labor Distribution.

43. The order of an organ of management to transfer a wage earner as
mentioned in Section 40 may be appealed from to the respective
Department of Labor (local or district) by the interested individuals or

44. The decision of the Department of Labor in the matter of the
transfer of a wage earner may be appealed from by the interested parties
to the District Department of Labor or to the People’s Commissariat of
Labor, whose decision in the matter in dispute is final and not subject
to further appeal.

45. In case of urgent public work the District Department of Labor may,
in agreement with the respective professional unions and with the
approval of the People’s Commissariat of Labor, order the transfer of a
whole group of wage earners from the organization where they are
employed to another situated in the same or in another locality,
provided a sufficient number of volunteers for such work cannot be

46. The discharge of wage earners from an enterprise, establishment or
institution where they have been employed is permissible in the
following cases:

     (_a_) In case of complete or partial liquidation of the enterprise,
     establishment or institution, or of cancellation of certain orders
     or work;

     (_b_) In case of suspension of work for more than a month;

     (_c_) In case of expiration of term of employment or of completion
     of the job, if the work was of a temporary character;

     (_d_) In case of evident unfitness for work, by special decision of
     the organs of management and subject to agreement with the
     respective professional unions.

     (_e_) By request of the wage earner.

47. The organ of management of the enterprise, establishment or
institution where a wage earner is employed, or the person for whom a
wage earner is working must give the wage earner two weeks’ notice of
the proposed discharge, for the reasons mentioned in “_a_,” “_b_” and
“_d_” of Section 46, notifying simultaneously the Local Department of
Labor Distribution.

48. A wage earner discharged for the reasons mentioned in subdivisions
“_a_,” “_b_” and “_d_” of Section 46 shall be considered unemployed and
entered as such on the lists of the Department of Labor Distribution and
shall continue to perform his work until the expiration of the term of
two weeks mentioned in the preceding section.

49. The order to discharge an employee for the reasons mentioned in
subdivisions “_a_,” “_b_” and “_d_” of Section 46 may be appealed from
by the interested persons to the Local Department of Labor.

50. The decision of the Local Department of Labor on the question of
discharge may be appealed from by either party to the District
Department of Labor, whose decision on the question in dispute is final
and not subject to further appeal.

51. Discharge by request of the wage earner from enterprise,
establishment or institution must be preceded by an examination of the
reasons for the resignation by the respective organ of workmen’s
self-government (works and other committees).

_Note._ This rule does not apply to the resignation of a wage earner
employed by an individual, if the work is of the character mentioned in
subdivisions “_b_” and “_c_” of Section 6.

52. If the organ of workers’ self-government (works or other committee)
after investigating the reasons for the resignation finds the
resignation unjustified the wage earner must remain at work, but may
appeal from the decision of the Committee to the respective professional

53. A wage earner who quits work contrary to the decision of the
Committee, pursuant to Section 52, shall forfeit for one week the right
to register with the Department of Labor Distribution.

54. Institutions and persons employing paid labor shall inform the Local
Department of Labor Distribution and the respective professional union
of each wage earner who quits work, stating the date and the reason

                               ARTICLE VI
                         REMUNERATION OF LABOR

55. The remuneration of wage earners for work in enterprises,
establishments and institutions employing paid labor, and the detailed
conditions and order of payment shall be fixed by tariffs worked out for
each kind of labor in the manner described in Sections 7–9 of the
present Code.

56. All institutions working out the tariff rates must comply with the
provisions of this article of the Code of Labor Laws.

57. In working out the tariff rates and determining the standard
remuneration rates, all the wage earners of a trade shall be divided
into groups and categories and a definite standard of remuneration shall
be fixed for each of them.

58. The standard of remuneration fixed by the tariff rates must be at
least sufficient to cover the minimum living expenses as determined by
the People’s Commissariat of Labor for each district of the Russian
Socialist Federated Soviet Republic and published in the _Compilation of
Laws and Regulations of the Workmen’s and Peasants’ Government_.

59. In determining the standard of remuneration for each group and
category attention shall be given to the kind of labor, the danger of
the conditions, under which the work is performed, the complexity and
accuracy of the work, the degree of independence and responsibility as
well as the standard of education and experience required for the
performance of the work.

60. The remuneration of each wage earner shall be determined by his
classification in a definite group and category.

61. The classification of wage earners into groups and categories within
each branch of labor shall be done by special valuation commissions,
local and central, established by the respective professional

_Note._ The procedure of the valuation commissions shall be determined
by the People’s Commissariat of Labor.

62. The tariff regulations shall fix the standard of remuneration for a
normal working day or for piece-work, and particularly the remuneration
for overtime work.

63. Remuneration for piece-work shall be computed by dividing the daily
tariff rate by the number of pieces constituting the production

64. The standard of remuneration fixed for overtime work shall not
exceed time and a half of the normal remuneration.

65. Excepting the remuneration paid for overtime work done in the same
or in a different branch of labor, no additional remuneration in excess
of the standard fixed for a given group and category shall be permitted,
irrespective of the pretext and form under which it might be offered and
whether it be paid in only one or in several places of employment.

66. Persons working in several places must state in which place of
employment they wish to receive their pay.

67. Persons receiving excessive remuneration, in violation of Section
65, shall be liable to criminal prosecution for fraud, and the
remuneration received in excess of the normal (standard) may be deducted
from subsequent payments.

68. From the remuneration of the wage earner may be deducted the excess
remuneration received in violation of Section 65, and the remuneration
earned by the wage earner during his vacation; deduction may also be
made for cessation of work.

69. No other deductions, except those mentioned in Section 68, shall be
permitted, irrespective of the form or pretext under which they might be

70. Payment of remuneration must not be made in advance.

71. If the work is steady, payment for the same must be made
periodically, at least once in every fortnight. Remuneration for
temporary work and for special jobs provided the same continues at least
for two weeks, shall be paid immediately upon completion of work.

72. Payments shall be made in money or in kind (lodgings, food supplies,

73. To make payments in kind special permission must be obtained from
the Local Department of Labor which shall determine the rates jointly
with the respective trade unions.

_Note._ The rates thus determined must be based on the standard prices
fixed by the respective institutions of the Soviet authority (valuation
commissions of the Commissariat of Victuals, Land and Housing
Department, Price Committee, etc.)

74. Payments must take place during working hours.

75. Payments must be made at the place of work.

76. The wage earner shall be paid only for actual work done. If a
cessation of work is caused during the working day by circumstances
beyond the control of the wage earner (through accident or through the
fault of the administration), he shall be paid for the time lost on the
basis of the daily tariff rates, if he does time work, or on the basis
of his average daily earning, if he does piece-work.

77. A wage earner shall be paid his wage during leave of absence
(Sections 106–107).

78. During illness of a wage earner the remuneration due him shall be
paid as a subsidy from the hospital funds.

_Note._ The manner of payment of the subsidy is fixed by rules appended

79. Unemployed shall receive a subsidy out of the funds for unemployed.

_Note._ Rules concerning unemployed and the payment of subsidies to them
are appended hereto.

80. Every wage earner must have a labor booklet in which all matters
pertaining to the work done by him as well as the payments and subsidies
received by him are entered.

_Note._ Rules regarding labor booklets for wage earners are appended

                              ARTICLE VII
                             WORKING HOURS

81. Working hours are regulated by the tariff rules made for each kind
of labor, in the manner described in Sections 7–9 of the present Code.

82. The rules for working hours must conform with the provisions of this
article of the Code of Labor Laws.

83. A normal working day shall mean the time fixed by the tariff
regulations for the production of a certain amount of work.

84. The duration of a normal working day must in no case exceed eight
hours for day work and seven hours for night work.

85. The duration of a normal day must not exceed six hours: (_a_) for
persons under 18 years of age, and (_b_) in especially hard or
health-endangering branches of industry (note Section 14 of the present

86. During the normal working day time must be allowed for meals and for

87. During recess machines, beltings and lathes must be stopped, unless
this be impossible owing to technical conditions or in cases where these
machines, beltings, etc., serve for ventilation, drainage, lighting,

88. The time of recess fixed by Section 86 is not included in the
working hours.

89. The recess must take place not later than four hours after the
beginning of the working day, and must continue not less than a half
hour and not more than two hours.

_Note._ Additional intermissions every three hours, and for not less
than a half hour, must be allowed for working women nursing children.

90. The wage earners may use their free time at their own discretion.
They shall be allowed during recess to leave the place of work.

91. In case the nature of the work is such that it requires a working
day in excess of the normal, two or more shifts shall be engaged.

92. Where there are several shifts, each shift shall work the normal
working hours; the change of shifts must take place during the time
fixed by the rules of the internal management without interfering with
the normal course of work.

93. As a general rule, work in excess of the normal hours (overtime
work) shall not be permitted.

94. Overtime work may be permitted in the following exceptional cases:

     (_a_) Where the work is necessary for the prevention of a public
     calamity or in case the existence of the Soviet Government of the
     R. S. F. S. R. or human life is endangered;

     (_b_) An emergency, public work in relation to water supply,
     lighting, sewerage or transportation, in case of accident or
     extraordinary interruption of their regular operation;

     (_c_) When it is necessary to complete work which, owing to
     unforeseen or accidental delay due to technical condition of
     production, could not be completed during the normal working hours.
     If leaving the work uncompleted would cause damage to materials or

     (_d_) On repairs or renewal of machine parts or construction work,
     wherever necessary to prevent stoppage of work by a considerable
     number of wage earners.

95. In the case described in subdivision “_c_” of Section 94, overtime
work is permissible only with the consent of the respective trade union.

96. For overtime work described in subdivision “_d_” of Section 94,
permission must be obtained from the local labor inspector, in addition
to the permit mentioned in the preceding section.

97. No females and no males under 18 years of age may do any overtime

98. The time spent on overtime work in the course of two consecutive
days must not exceed four hours.

99. No overtime work shall be permitted to make up for a wage earner’s
tardiness in reporting at his place of work.

100. All overtime work done by a wage earner, as well as the
remuneration received by him for the same, must be recorded in his labor

101. The total number of days on which overtime may be permitted in any
enterprise, establishment or institution must not exceed 50 days per
annum, including such days when only one wage earner worked overtime.

102. Every enterprise, establishment or institution must keep a special
record book for overtime work.

103. All wage earners must be allowed a weekly uninterrupted rest of not
less than 42 hours.

104. No work shall be done on specially designated holidays.

_Note._ Rules concerning holidays and days of weekly rest are appended

105. On the eve of rest days the normal working day shall be reduced by
two hours.

_Note._ This section shall not apply to institutions and enterprises
where the working day does not exceed six hours.

106. Every wage earner who has worked without interruption not less than
six months shall be entitled to leave of absence for two weeks,
irrespective of whether he worked in only one or in several enterprises,
establishments or institutions.

107. Every wage earner who has worked without interruption not less than
a year shall be entitled to leave of absence for one month, irrespective
of whether he worked in only one or in several enterprises,
establishments or institutions.

_Note._ Sections 106 and 107 shall take effect beginning January 1,

108. Leave of absence may be granted during the whole year, provided
that the same does not interfere with the normal course of work in
enterprise, establishment or institution.

109. The time and order in which leave of absence may be granted shall
be determined by agreement between the management of enterprise,
establishment or institution and proper self-government bodies of the
wage earners (works and other committees).

110. A wage earner shall not be allowed to work for remuneration during
his leave of absence.

111. The remuneration of a wage earner earned during his leave of
absence shall be deducted from his regular wages.

112. The absence of a wage earner from work caused by special
circumstances and permitted by the manager shall not be counted as leave
of absence; the wage earner shall not be paid for the working hours lost
in such cases.

                              ARTICLE VIII

113. In order to assure efficiency of labor, every wage earner working
in an enterprise, establishment or institution (governmental, public or
private) employing labor in the form of organized collaboration, as well
as the administration of the enterprise, establishment or institution,
shall strictly observe the rules of this article of the Code relative to
standards of efficiency, output and rules of internal management.

114. Every wage earner must during a normal working day and under normal
working conditions perform the standard amount of work fixed for the
category and group in which he is enrolled.

_Note._ Normal conditions referred to in this section, shall mean:

     (_a_) Good condition of machines, lathes and accessories;

     (_b_) Timely delivery of materials and tools necessary for the
     performance of the work;

     (_c_) Good quality of materials and tools;

     (_d_) Proper hygienic and sanitary equipment of the building where
     the work is performed (necessary lighting, heating, etc.).

115. The standard output for wage earners of each trade and of each
group and category shall be fixed by valuation commissions of the
respective trade unions (Section 62.)

116. In determining the standard output the valuation commission shall
take into consideration the quantity of products usually turned out in
the course of a normal working day and under normal technical conditions
by the wage earners of the particular trade group and category.

117. The production standards of output adopted by the valuation
commission must be approved by the proper Department of Labor jointly
with the Council of National Economy.

118. A wage earner systematically producing less than the fixed standard
may be transferred by decision of the proper valuation commission to
other work in the same group and category, or to a lower group or
category, with a corresponding reduction of wages.

_Note._ The wage earner may appeal from the decision to transfer him to
a lower group or category with a reduction of wages, to the Local
Department of Labor and from the decision of the latter to the District
Department of Labor, whose decision shall be final and not subject to
further appeal.

119. If a wage earner’s failure to maintain the standard output be due
to lack of good faith and to negligence on his part, he may be
discharged in the manner set forth in subdivision “_d_” of Section 46
without the two weeks’ notice prescribed by Section 47.

120. The Supreme Council of National Economy jointly with the People’s
Commissariat of Labor may direct a general increase or decrease of the
standards of efficiency and output for all wage earners and for all
enterprises, establishments and institutions of a given district.

121. In addition to the regulations of the present article relative to
standards of efficiency and output in enterprises, establishments and
institutions, efficiency of labor shall be secured by rules of internal

122. The rules of internal management in Soviet institutions shall be
made by the organs of Soviet authority with the approval of the People’s
Commissariat of Labor or its local departments.

123. The rules of internal management in industrial enterprises and
establishments (Soviet, nationalized, private and public) shall be made
by the trade unions and certified by the proper Departments of Labor.

124. The rules of internal management must include clear, precise and,
as far as possible, exhaustive directions in relation to—

     (_a_) The general obligations of all wage earners (careful handling
     of all materials and tools, compliance with instructions of the
     managers regarding performance of work, observance of the fixed
     standard of working hours, etc.);

     (_b_) The special duties of the wage earners of the particular
     branch of industry (careful handling of the fire in enterprises
     using inflammable materials, observance of special cleanliness in
     enterprises producing food products, etc.);

     (_c_) The limits and manner of liability for breach of the above
     duties mentioned above in subdivisions “_a_” and “_b_.”

125. The enforcement of the rules of internal management in Soviet
institutions is entrusted to the responsible managers.

126. The enforcement of the rules of internal management in industrial
enterprises and establishments (Soviet, nationalized, public or private)
is entrusted to the self-government bodies of the wage earners (works or
similar committees).

                               ARTICLE IX
                          PROTECTION OF LABOR

127. The protection of life, health and labor of persons engaged in any
economic activity is entrusted to the labor inspection—the technical
inspectors and the representatives of sanitary inspection.

128. The labor inspection is under the jurisdiction of the People’s
Commissariat of Labor and its local branches (Department of Labor) and
is composed of elected labor inspectors.

129. Labor inspectors shall be elected by the Councils of Professional

_Note I._ The manner of election of labor inspectors shall be determined
by the People’s Commissariat of Labor.

_Note II._ In districts where there is no Council of Trade Unions, the
Local Department of Labor shall summon a conference of representatives
of the trade unions which shall elect the labor inspectors.

130. In performing the duties imposed upon them concerning the
protection of the lives and health of wage earners the officers of labor
inspection shall enforce the regulations of the present Code, and
decrees, instructions, orders and other acts of the Soviet power
intended to safeguard the lives and health of the workers.

131. For the attainment of the purposes stated in Section 130 the
officers of labor inspection are authorized—

     (_a_) To visit at any time of the day or night all the industrial
     enterprises of their districts and all places where work is carried
     on, as well as the buildings provided for the workmen by the
     enterprise (rooming houses, hospitals, asylums, baths, etc.);

     (_b_) To demand of the managers of enterprises or establishments,
     as well as of the elective organs of the wage earners (works and
     similar committees) of those enterprises or establishments in the
     management of which they are participating, to produce all
     necessary books, records and information;

     (_c_) To draw to the work of inspection representatives of the
     elective organizations of employees, as well as officials of the
     administration (managers, superintendents, foremen, etc.);

     (_d_) To bring before the criminal court all violators of the
     regulations of the present Code, or of the decrees, instructions,
     orders and other acts of the Soviet authority intended to safeguard
     the lives and health of the wage earners;

     (_e_) To assist the trade unions and works committees in their
     efforts to ameliorate the labor condition in individual enterprises
     as well as in whole branches of industry.

132. The officers of labor inspection are authorized to adopt special
measures, in addition to the measures mentioned in the preceding
section, for the removal of conditions endangering the lives and health
of workmen, even if such measures have not been provided for by any
particular law or regulation, instructions or order of the People’s
Commissariat of Labor or of the Local Department of Labor.

_Note._ Upon taking special measures to safeguard the lives and health
of wage earners, as authorized by the present section, the officers of
inspection shall immediately report to the Local Department of Labor,
which may either approve these measures or reject them.

133. The scope and the forms of activity of the organs of labor
inspection shall be determined by instructions and orders issued by the
People’s Commissariat of Labor.

134. The enforcement of the instructions, rules and regulations relating
to safety is entrusted to the technical inspectors.

135. The technical inspectors shall be appointed by the Local
Departments of Labor from among engineering specialists; these
inspectors shall perform within the territory under their jurisdiction
the duties prescribed by Section 31 of the present Code.

136. The technical inspectors shall be guided in their activity, besides
the general regulations, by the instructions and orders of the People’s
Commissariat of Labor and by the instructions issued by the technical
division of the Local Department of Labor.

137. The activity of the sanitary inspection shall be determined by
instructions issued by the People’s Commissariat of Health Protection in
conference with the People’s Commissariat of Labor.

                         APPENDIX TO SECTION 79



1. An “unemployed” shall mean every citizen of the Russian Socialist
Federated Soviet Republic subject to labor duty who is registered with
the Local Department of Labor Distribution as being out of work at his
vocation or at the remuneration fixed by the proper tariff.

2. An “unemployed” shall likewise mean:

     (_a_) Any person who has obtained employment for a term not
     exceeding two weeks (Section 25 of the present Code);

     (_b_) Any person who is temporarily employed outside his vocation,
     until he shall obtain work at his vocation (Sections 29 and 30 of
     the present Code).

3. The rights of unemployed shall not be extended—

     (_a_) To persons who in violation of Sections 2, 24 and 29 of the
     present Code, have evaded the labor duty, and refused work offered
     to them;

     (_b_) To persons not registered as unemployed with the Local
     Department of Labor Distribution (Section 21 of the present Code);

     (_c_) To persons who have wilfully quit work, for the term
     specified in Section 54 of the present Code.

4. All persons described in Section 1 and subdivision “_b_” of Section 2
of these rules shall be entitled to permanent employment (for a term
exceeding two weeks) at their vocations in the order of priority
determined by the list of the Department of Labor Distribution for each

5. Persons described in Section 1 and subdivision “_b_” of Article 2 of
these rules shall be entitled to a subsidy from the local fund for

6. The subsidy to unemployed provided in Section 1 of the present rules
shall be equal to the remuneration fixed by the tariff for the group and
category on which the wage earner was assigned by the valuation
commission (Section 61.)

_Note._ In exceptional cases the People’s Commissariat of Labor may
reduce the unemployed subsidy to the minimum of living expenses as
determined for the district in question.

7. A wage earner employed temporarily outside of his vocation
(Subdivision “_b_” of Section 2) shall receive a subsidy equal to the
differences between the remuneration fixed for the group and category in
which he is enrolled and his actual remuneration, in case the latter be
less than the former.

8. An unemployed who desires to avail himself of his right to a subsidy
shall apply to the local funds for unemployed and shall present the
following documents: (_a_) his registration card from the Local
Department of Labor Distribution; and (_b_) a certificate of the
valuation commission showing his assignment to a definite group and
category of wage earners.

9. Before paying the subsidy the local funds for unemployed shall
ascertain, through the Department of Labor Distribution and the
respective trade union, the extent of applicant’s unemployment and the
causes thereof, as well as the group and category to which he belongs.

10. The local funds for unemployed may for good reasons, be denied the

11. If an application is denied, the local fund for unemployed shall
inform the applicant thereof within three days.

12. The decision of the local fund for unemployed may within two weeks,
be appealed from by the interested parties to the Local Department of
Labor, and the decision of the latter may be appealed from to the
District Department of Labor. The decision of the District Department of
Labor is final and subject to no further appeal.

13. The payment of the subsidy to an unemployed shall commence only
after he has actually been laid off and not later than by the fifth day.

14. The subsidies shall be paid from: the fund of insurance for the

15. The fund of unemployment insurance shall be made up,

     (_a_) from obligatory payments by all enterprises, establishments
     and institutions employing paid labor;

     (_b_) from fines imposed for default in such payments;

     (_c_) from casual payments.

16. The amount and the manner of collection of the payments and fines
mentioned in Section 15 of these rules shall be determined every year by
a special order of the People’s Commissariat of Labor.

                         APPENDIX TO SECTION 80


1. Every citizen of the Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic,
upon assignment to a definite group and category (Section 62 of the
present Code), shall receive, free of charge, a labor booklet.

_Note._ The form of the labor booklets shall be worked out by the
People’s Commissariat of Labor.

2. Each wage earner, on entering the employment of an enterprise,
establishment or institution employing paid labor, shall present his
labor booklet to the management thereof, or on entering the employment
of a private individual—to the latter.

_Note._ A copy of the labor booklet shall be kept by the management of
the enterprise, establishment, institution or private individual by whom
the wage earner is employed.

3. All work performed by a wage earner during the normal working day as
well as piece-work or overtime work, and all payments received by him as
a wage earner (remuneration in money or in kind, subsidies from the
unemployment and hospital funds), must be entered in his labor booklet.

_Note._ In the labor booklet must also be entered the leaves of absence
and sick leave of the wage earner, as well as the fines imposed on him
during and on account of his work.

4. Each entry in the labor booklet must be dated and signed by the
person making the entry, and also by the wage earner (if the latter is
literate), who thereby certifies the correctness of the entry.

5. The labor booklet shall contain:

     (_a_) The name, surname and date of birth of the wage earner;

     (_b_) The name and address of the trade union of which the wage
     earner is a member;

     (_c_) The group and category to which the wage earner has been
     assigned by the valuation commission.

6. Upon the discharge of a wage earner, his labor booklet shall under no
circumstances be withheld from him. Whenever an old booklet is replaced
by a new one, the former shall be left in possession of the wage earner.

7. In case a wage earner loses his labor booklet, he shall be provided
with a new one into which shall be copied all the entries of the lost
booklet; in such a case a fee determined by the rules of internal
management may be charged to the wage earner for the new booklet.

8. A wage earner must present his labor booklet upon the request:

     (_a_) Of the managers of the enterprise, establishment or
     institution where he is employed;

     (_b_) Of the Department of Labor Distribution;

     (_c_) Of the trade union;

     (_d_) Of the officials of workmen’s control and of labor

     (_e_) Of the insurance offices or institutions acting as such.

                         APPENDIX TO SECTION 5


1. Disability for work shall be determined by an examination of the
applicant by the Bureau of Medical Experts, in urban districts, or by
the provincial insurance offices, accident insurance offices or
institutions acting as such.

_Note._ In case it be impossible to organize a Bureau of Medical Experts
at any insurance office, such a bureau may be organized at the Medical
Sanitary Department of the local Soviet, provided, however, that the
said bureau shall be guided in its actions by the general rules and
instructions for insurance offices.

2. The staff of the Bureau of Experts shall include:

     (_a_) Not less than three specialists in surgery;

     (_b_) Representatives of the Board of Directors of the office;

     (_c_) Sanitary mechanical engineers appointed by the Board of the

     (_d_) Representatives of the trade unions.

_Note._ The specialists in surgery on the staff of the bureau shall be
recommended by the medical sanitary department, with the consent of the
Board of Directors, preferably from among the surgeons connected with
the hospital funds, and shall be confirmed by a delegates’ meeting of
the office.

3. During the examination of a person at the Bureau of the Medical
Commission, all persons who have applied for the examination may be

4. An application for the determination of the loss of working ability
may be made by any person or institution.

5. Applications for examination shall be made to the insurance office
nearest to the residence of the person in question.

6. Examinations shall take place in a special room of the insurance

_Note_. If the person to be examined cannot be brought to the insurance
office, owing to his condition, the examination may take place at his

7. Every person who is to be examined at the Bureau of Medical Experts
shall be informed by the respective insurance office of the day and hour
set for the examination and of the location of the section of the Bureau
of Medical Experts where the same is to take place.

8. The Bureau of Medical Experts may use all methods approved by medical
science for determining disability for work.

9. The Bureau of Medical Experts shall keep detailed minutes of the
conference meetings, and the record embodying the results of the
examinations shall be signed by all members of the bureau.

10. A person who has undergone an examination and has been found unfit
for work shall receive a certificate from the Bureau of Medical Experts.

_Note_. A copy of the certificate shall be kept in the files of the

11. The records as well as the certificates shall show whether the
disability is of a permanent or temporary character. If the disability
for work be temporary, the record and certificate shall show the date
set for examination.

12. After the disability for work has been certified the proper
insurance office shall inform thereof the Department of Social Security
of the local Soviet, stating the name, surname and address of the person
disabled, as well as the character of the disability (whether temporary
or permanent).

13. The decision of the Bureau of Medical Experts certifying or denying
the disability of the applicant may be appealed from by the interested
parties to the People’s Commissariat of Health Protection.

14. The People’s Commissariat of Health Protection may either dismiss
the appeal or issue an order for the re-examination of appellant by a
new staff of the Bureau of Experts.

15. The decision of the new staff of the Bureau of Experts shall be
final and subject to no further appeal.

16. Re-examinations to establish the recovery of working ability shall
be conducted in the same manner as the first examination, with the
observance of the regulations of the present article of the Code.

17. The expenses incurred in connection with the examination of an
insured person shall be charged to the respective insurance office. The
expenses incurred in connection with the examination of a person not
insured shall be charged to the respective enterprise, establishment or

18. The People’s Commissariat of Labor may, if necessary, modify or
amend the present rules for the determination of disability for work.

Rules concerning payment of sick benefits (subsidies) to wage earners:

1. Every wage earner shall receive in case of sickness a subsidy and
medical aid from the local hospital fund of which he is a member.

_Note I._ Each person may be a member of only one insurance fund at a

_Note II._ A person who has been ill outside the district of the local
hospital fund of which he is a member shall receive the subsidy from the
hospital fund of the district in which he has been taken ill. All
expenses thus incurred shall be charged to the hospital fund of which
the particular person is a member.

2. The sick benefits shall be paid to a member of a hospital fund from
the first day of his sickness until the day of his recovery, with the
exception of those days during which he has worked and accordingly
received remuneration from the enterprise, establishment or institution
where he is employed.

3. The sick benefit shall be equal to the remuneration fixed for a wage
earner of the respective group and category.

_Note I._ The group and category in which the wage earner is enrolled
shall be ascertained by the local hospital fund through the Department
of Labor Distribution or through the trade unions.

_Note II._ The subsidy for pregnant women and those lying-in shall be
fixed by special regulations of the People’s Commissariat of Labor.

_Note III._ In exceptional cases the People’s Commissariat of Labor may
reduce the subsidy to the minimum of living expenses as determined for
the respective district.

4. Besides the subsidies, the hospital funds shall also provide for
their members free medical aid of every kind (first aid, ambulatory
treatment, home treatment, treatment in sanatoria or resorts, etc.)

_Note._ To secure medical aid any hospital fund may, independently or in
conjunction with other local funds, organize and maintain its own
ambulatories, hospitals, etc., as well as enter into agreements with
individual physicians and establishments.

5. The resources of the local hospital funds shall be derived:

     (_a_) From obligatory payments by enterprises, establishments and
     institutions (Soviet, public and private) employing paid labor;

     (_b_) From fines for delay of payments;

     (_c_) From profits on the investments of the funds;

     (_d_) From casual payments.

_Note._ The resources of the local hospital funds shall be consolidated
into one common fund of insurance against sickness.

6. The amount of the payments to local hospital funds by enterprises,
establishments and institutions employing paid labor shall be
periodically fixed by the People’s Commissariat of Labor.

_Note I._ In case these obligatory payments be not paid within the time
fixed by the local hospital funds, they shall be collected by the Local
Department of Labor; moreover, in addition to the sum due, a fine of 10
per cent thereof shall be imposed for the benefit of the hospital fund.

_Note II._ In case the delay be due to the fault of the responsible
managers of the particular enterprise, establishment, or institution,
the fine shall be collected from the personal means of the latter.

7. The decision of the hospital funds may be appealed from within two
weeks to the Department of Labor. The decision of the Department of
Labor shall be final and subject to no further appeal.

8. The People’s Commissariat of Labor may, whenever necessary, change or
amend the foregoing rules concerning sick benefits to wage earners.


                    Moscow, June 16th to 25th, 1919

A year’s work of the professional trades unions of Russia was completed
by a new conference, the second one in its history—which shows how young
our professional movement is as yet. The past year was unparalleled in
the history of the entire international trade union movement, both
according to the kind of activity as well as those circumstances under
which our unions had to carry on their work.

It was a year of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

On the ruins of the demolished capitalist system, the proletariat of
Russia has taken upon itself the task of building up a new, Socialist
Russia. While struggling and conquering, it was gradually turning to
constructive work—strengthening its dictatorship by taking possession of
the entire apparatus of the country’s economic administration.

The proletariat, organized into professional unions, constituted the
vanguard of the Socialist revolution. The unions were the hotbeds of
revolution, and it has fallen to their lot to solve the most complicated
problems—in fact they took into their hands the management of all
economic affairs, taking over the factories, the mills and the mines.
This problem was difficult in itself, and its complexity was increased
still further through the economic disintegration and chaos which were
caused by the imperialist world war.

The Second All-Russian Conference of Trades Unions demonstrated that the
Russian professional trades union movement has grown stronger during the
year and that its organization has improved in both quantity and

The qualitative progress made by the Russian trades union movement
expressed itself in that marvelous intelligence which the Conference
displayed in grappling with the complicated problems it had to face. If
the first All-Russian Conference of Professional trades unions outlined
a rough draft of a plan according to which the working class was to
steer its course during the period of its supremacy, if at that first
conference the delegates were groping in the dark, trying to feel the
correct way,—the second Conference found the path sufficiently cleared
to proceed forward toward the solution of new problems put forth by the
life and practice of the professional movement. If at the First
Conference we could only speak of regulating industry and controlling
it, now, at this Second Conference, we can already tabulate the results
of organization in the realm of industry by the efforts of the working
class itself.

A big stride forward was made by the proletariat organized within
professional trades unions, when in discussing the question of
organization it pointed out clearly and definitely the place which the
proletariat of the entire world is occupying under the present
circumstances. The Conference has not only firmly and decisively drawn
the line between its position and that of neutrality, but it took a
definite stand in favor of recognizing “the revolutionary class struggle
for the realization of Socialism through the dictatorship of the

The quantitative growth of the Russian trades unions since the first
Conference, notwithstanding the fact that the counter-revolution has
snatched away a number of provinces (Siberia, Finland, the Donetz
region, Caucasia, etc.), has resulted in a membership of 3,422,000
whereas only 2,500,000 members were represented at the First Conference.
Thus, within one year the membership increased by almost one million.
According to the All-Russian industrial groupings, the number of union
members represented at the conference was distributed as follows:

    Metal trades                                            400,000

    Tanners                                                 225,000

    Members of Trade-Industrial Union (probably             200,000
    sales clerks)

    Workers engaged in the food industry                    140,000

    Tailors                                                 150,000

    Chemists                                                 80,000

    Architectural and building trades                       120,000

    Wood-working trades                                      70,000

    Printers                                                 60,000

    Railroad workers                                        450,000

    Glass and chinaware workers                              24,000

    Water transportation workers                            200,000

    Postal-telegraphic employees                            100,000

    Sugar industry                                          100,000

    Textile workers (according to data furnished   by       711,000
    the local union)

    Firemen                                                  50,000

    Oil miners and refiners                                  30,000

    Chauffeurs                                               98,000

    Bank employees                                           70,000

    Domestic help                                            50,000

    Waiters (in taverns)                                     50,000

    Cigar and cigarette makers                               30,000

    Drug clerks                                              14,000

    Foresters                                                 5,000

According to the data furnished by the committee on credentials, there
were 748 delegates at the Conference with the right to vote, and 131
with a voice. The political composition of the Conference (according to
the results of an informal inquiry) was as follows: 374 Communists, 75
sympathizers, 15 Left Socialists-Revolutionists, 5 Anarchists, 18
Internationalists, 4 representatives of the Bund, 29 United
Social-Democrats, 23 non-partisans, and 236 delegates did not state
their party affiliations. The party registration bureaus showed entirely
different results, which have been confirmed by the vote cast for the
main resolutions. Thus, at the Communist bureau 600 persons have
registered (this includes party members having the right to vote,
sympathizers, and people with a voice only, but no vote), the
Internationalists had 50 persons, and the United Social-Democrats had

Geographically the delegates were represented as follows:

                                     Second             First

       From Unions                 Conference         Conference

       The Northern Region    100  delegates      69  delegates

       The Central Region     320      "         112      "

       The Volga Region       144      "          25      "

       The Ural Region          2      "          13      "

       The Southern Region     31      "          62      "

       The Western Region      30      "          ..      "

       From Soviets and
       Northern Region         29      "

       Central Region          70      "

       Ural Region              3      "

       Southern Region          6      "

       Western Region          14      "

       Volga Region            30      "

The local Soviets of the Professional Unions were represented according
to regions, as follows:

       Central Region        36 cities         1,004,500 persons

       Northern Region       16 cities           396,000 persons

       Volga Region          19 cities           499,300 persons

       Western Region         7 cities            73,800 persons

       Southern Region        4 cities            64,000 persons

                                ——————                 —————————

       Total                 82 cities         2,037,600 persons

       At the preceding      49 cities         1,888,353 persons

From June 16th to 25th, 1919, during the nine days of its work, the
second All-Russian Congress of Trades Unions solved the fundamental
questions of the Russian professional (trades union) movement. The
Conference more precisely defined the place of the professional trades
unions in a proletarian state, it has more concretely outlined the
interrelations of the trades unions with the organs of administration
and, above all, with the People’s Commissariat of Labor. All other
questions, such as the regulation of working hours and wages, the
safeguarding of labor and the social insurance of laborers, the
organization of production, and workmen’s control have been solved on
the basis of the experience of the past year.

The Russian professional unions entered upon a new era of proletarian
activity. And the unions are already facing practical problems—to put
into practice the principles and resolutions adopted and in all phases
of its work to follow one direction, that of still further strengthening
its power, and participating more closely in establishing the might of
proletarian Russia.


                (_A resolution introduced by M. Tomsky_)

One year of political and economic dictatorship of the proletariat and
the growth of the workers’ revolution the world over, have fully borne
out the correctness of the position taken by the first All-Russian
Conference of the Professional Trades Unions, who have unconditionally
bound up the fate of the economically organized proletariat with that of
the Workers’ and Peasants’ Government.

The attempt, under the flag of “unity” and “independence” of the trades
union movement, to pit the economically organized proletariat against
the organs of the political dictatorship of its own class, has led the
groups which were supporting this slogan, to an open struggle against
the Soviet Government and has placed them outside the ranks of the
working class.

In the course of the practical cooperation with the Soviet Government in
the work for the strengthening and organization of the nation’s economic
life, the professional trades unions have passed from control over
industry to organization of industry, taking an active part in the
management of individual enterprises as well as in the entire economic
life of the country.

But the task of nationalization of all the means of production and the
organization of society on the new principles of Socialism demands
persistent and careful labor involving the reconstruction of the entire
governmental apparatus, the creation of new organs of control, and
regulation of production and distribution, based on the organization and
activity of the laboring masses who are themselves directly interested
in the results.

This makes it imperative for the trades unions to take a more active and
energetic part in the work of the Soviet Government (through direct
participation in all governmental institutions, through the organization
of proletarian mass control over their actions, and the carrying out, by
means of their organization, of individual problems with which the
Soviet Government is confronted), to aid in the reconstruction of
various governmental institutions and in the gradual replacement of the
same by their own organizations by amalgamating the unions with the
governmental institutions.

However, it would be a mistake at the given stage of development of the
professional trades union movement with the insufficiently developed
organization to convert immediately the unions into governmental organs
and to amalgamate the two organizations as well as for the unions to
usurp of their own accord the functions of governmental institutions.

The entire process of complete amalgamation of the professional unions
with the organs of government administration must come as an absolutely
inevitable result of their work, in complete and close cooperation and
harmony and the preparation of the laboring masses, for the task of
managing the governmental apparatus and all the institutions for the
regulation of the country’s economic life.

This, in its turn, places before the unions the problem of welding
together the as yet unorganized proletarian and semi-proletarian masses
into strong productive unions, initiating them, under the control of the
proletarian unions, into the task of social reconstruction and the
general work of strengthening their organizations, as regards
centralization and smoothly working unions as well as the strengthening
of professional discipline.

Directly participating in all fields of Soviet work, forming and
supplying the man-power for the governmental institutions, the
professional unions must, through this work for which they must enlist
their own organizations as well as the laboring masses, educate and
prepare them for the task of managing not only production but the entire
apparatus of government.



            (_A resolution embodied in V. Schmidt’s report_)

Professional trades unions organized according to the scale of
production, called upon to regulate the conditions of labor and
production in the interests of the working class as a whole, under the
conditions of proletarian dictatorship, are becoming gradually converted
into economic associations of the proletariat, acquiring a nation-wide
significance. On the other hand, the Commissariat of Labor, as an organ
of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Government, in which the organized
industrial proletariat is at the present moment playing a leading part,
serves as an instrument for the introduction of the economic policy of
the working class, utilizing for this purpose its apparatus and all the
power vested in governmental authorities to enforce its laws and

Therefore, with a view to eliminating the duality in the united economic
policy of the working class, it is necessary to recognize that all
fundamental decisions of the supreme union organ—the Congress of
Professional Unions—are to be adopted by the People’s Commissariat of
Labor and embodied in its proposed legislation and all special
obligatory regulations bearing on the conditions of labor and
production, must first be approved by a majority of the All-Russian
Central Council of Professional Trades Unions.

The Conference fully approves of coordination and cooperation between
the All-Russian Central Council of Trades Unions and the People’s
Commissariat of Labor and suggests that the local councils (Soviets) of
trades unions participate in the work of local branches (departments) of
the Commissariat of Labor, on the basis of the relations prevailing
between the central bodies, for which purpose the local councils of
trades unions are to send their representatives into the leading Soviets
and make up out of the union apparatus its subdivisions (tariff, social
insurance, labor safeguarding, etc.)

In order to finally eliminate all duplication in the solution of
questions concerning the conditions and regulation of labor by separate
departments, the Conference suggests that the All-Russian Central
Executive Committee and the Soviet of People’s Commissaries concentrate
all its efforts to the working out of standards regulating the
conditions of work, wages, organization of labor, order of employing and
discharging help, safeguarding labor, and social insurance, through the
People’s Commissariat of Labor.


        (_A resolution on the report made by Comrade Rudzutak_)

1. The process of taking over the control of the industries which is now
being completed by the workers’ government, places the vocational
associations in a position where they are coming to play an ever more
and more important part in the special fields of their activity.

2. Standing in close relationship to the actual production and thus
being the natural guardians of industry against the remnants of the
bureaucratic apparatus permeated by the traditions of the old regime,
the unions must build a new Socialist order, in accordance with the
fixed program of production based on a national plan for the utilization
of the proper products and material.

3. In the interests of preserving a single plan of organization of
production, management and distribution, it will be necessary to
concentrate in one center all the units of production, which are now in
the charge of various departments (Chief Artillery Department, Navy and
War Departments, etc.)

4. The participation of the unions in the industrial management should
consist in the working out of a system of activity for the regulating
and managing organs as a whole, insofar as there is a possibility of
some part or other of their membership not being permeated by the spirit
of Socialistic constructive activity. The management of the leading
departments and centers must be composed mainly of the representatives
of professional unions, following an understanding between the
corresponding All-Russian Industrial Association or the All-Russian
Council of Trades Unions and the presiding officers of the Supreme
Council of National Economy.

5. All delegates representing the trades unions within the
administrative and regulating bodies are responsible to the
corresponding unions and are to report on their activities at regular

6. In order to keep up the organic connection between the unions and the
management of the government owned mills, the unions are to call
conferences of the management of the largest enterprises, not less than
once in two months, for the purpose of discussing and passing upon the
most important practical questions arising in the process of work.

7. In order to convert the regulating and managing organs into a
proletarian apparatus for constructive Socialist work and in order to
obtain the cooperation in this work of the large masses of the more
advanced workers, it is necessary to saturate all the organs of
regulation and management with proletarian elements by means of placing
in their ranks responsible workers who assert themselves within the
central and local trade union groups.

8. Together with the part which the unions are playing in the matter of
directing the industrial life along the channels fixed by the programs
of production, based upon the subjugation of private interest to those
of society as a whole, comes their activity in connection with the basic
element of production—labor. Therefore, the decisions of the central
trade union associations are obligatory insofar as they bear on the
questions of wage scales, inspection of labor, internal regulations
within the factories, standards of production and labor discipline.

9. Being placed in the position of organizers of production at a moment
when Russia is now more than at any other time, affected by a shortage
of various kinds of material which causes a reduction of the output, the
unions must safeguard the proletariat against the possibility of its
exhaustion or degeneration, as a class of producers, at this critical
period, and to safeguard its nucleus against social disintegration and
its absorption by other classes; it is therefore necessary:

     (_a_) wherever a shortage of raw material exists to reduce the
     working day or the number of days per week, keeping employed at the
     factory the largest possible number of workers.

     (_b_) to introduce, wherever the number of hours or days per week
     is reduced, obligatory attendance at technical and educational
     courses, so as to utilize the crisis for the purpose of lifting the
     technical and cultural level of the laboring masses.

10. At the same time, in view of the primary significance of actually
supplying the mills with the necessary products, and the impossibility
of increasing the productivity of labor and introducing discipline,
unless this question is solved in a satisfactory manner, it is necessary
to enable the trades unions to participate as closely as possible in the
work of production and distribution of provisions.

                            WORKERS’ CONTROL

          (_Resolution in connection with N. Glebov’s report_)

The Second All-Russian Congress of Vocational Unions, having heard the
report on workers’ control, recognizes the following:

1. Workers’ control, which was the strongest revolutionary weapon in the
hands of the labor organizations in their struggle against economic
disruption and the sabotage practised by the employers in their struggle
against the proletariat for economic supremacy, has led the working
class into direct participation in the organization of production.

2. The economic dictatorship of the working class has created new
conditions which stirred up the activity of the large masses of the
workers. Through their vocational associations the workers have been
called upon to organize the country’s economic life and to participate
in the management of production.

3. At the same time the working class domination over the economic life
of the country has not as yet been completed. A subdued struggle is
still seething within the new forms of economic life, which calls forth
the necessity on the part of the laboring masses to control the
activities of the institutions in charge of the management of

4. Under such conditions of transition from the capitalist system to the
Socialist regime, the workers’ control must develop, from a
revolutionary weapon for the economic dictatorship of the proletariat,
into a practical institution aiding in the strengthening of this
dictatorship in the process of production.

5. The problems of workers’ control must be confined to the supervision
of the course of work in the various establishments, and to practically
check on the activity of the management of individual mills as well as
that of entire branches of industry. The workers’ control is carried out
in practice in a certain order according to which control does not
precede, but, on the contrary, follows the executive work.

6. Workers’ control is also to solve the problem of the gradual
preparation of the large masses of the working class for direct
participation in the matter of management and organization of industry.

With this object in view the Congress resolves:

1. To confirm the decision of the first All-Russian Congress of
Vocational Unions regarding the formation of organs of control, both
local and central, under the guidance of the vocational associations of
the working class.

2. Within every nationalized industrial, commercial, and transport
house, the local committee for control takes upon itself the supervision
of the work of the enterprise and the activities of its management, for
which purpose it gathers and systematizes all data relative to the
running of the establishment and places the same at the disposal of the
control department of their trade union, before which, whenever the
necessity arises, the question of auditing the books of the enterprise
is brought up.

     _Note._ In extraordinary cases the local control commission has the
     right on its own responsibility to fix the time for a revision of
     their enterprise, with a precise statement of the subject of
     control, on condition that the local control committee immediately
     notify to that effect the Department of Control of the
     corresponding industrial (vocational) union.

3. The local control committee is being formed of: (_a_) representatives
of the corresponding industrial (vocational) union; (_b_) of the persons
elected by the general meeting of the workers employed in a given
factory, who are subject to approval by the committee of the
corresponding industrial (vocational) union. The members of the local
control committee elected from among the committee of the industrial
union, retain their office for a considerable length of time; while the
persons elected at the general meeting are to be replaced in as short a
period as possible, with a view to training the large masses of the
people in the work of management and organization of industry so as to
insure the gradual transition to the system of universal participation
in it of all the workers.

4. The local control committee is responsible for its activities both
before the general meeting of the workers of their factory and before
the control department of their industrial (vocational) union. In case
of abuse of authority, negligence in carrying out its duties, and so on,
the local control committee is subject to severe punishment.

5. The representatives of the local control committee participate at the
sessions of the management of the mill or factory, having only a voice,
but no vote in the matter. The rights of administration of the
establishment remains with the management and therefore the entire
responsibility for the work of the enterprise rests with the management.

6. The coordination of the workers’ control within the limits of any
given industry must be centered within the industrial (vocational)
union. The union creates a Workers’ Control Department which is
responsible before the management of its union.

7. The Congress authorizes the All-Russian Central Council (Soviet) of
Vocational Unions to direct the institutions of workers’ control. For
this purpose the All-Russian Central Council is to form a supreme organ
of workers’ control, composed of the representatives of the industrial
(vocational) unions.

8. With a view to coordinating all activities and eliminating the
duplication of functions in the work of control, the organs of the
People’s Commissariat of State Control must work in contact with the
controlling organs of the industrial (vocational) unions.

9. The supreme organ of workers’ control is to work out the
instructions, fully determining the rights and duties of the lower
organs of control and their organization. Until such time as these
instructions are made public the organs of workers’ control in the
nationalized enterprises are to be guided by these rulings.

10. The regulations for the workers’ control of nationalized enterprises
must be decreed by the Council of People’s Commissaries.

11. In the establishments which have not been nationalized workers’
control is to be carried out in accordance with the decree of November
14, 1917.

                        WAGE AND WORK REGULATION

    (_Resolution introduced in connection with V. Schmidt’s report_)

Observing a great variety and lack of coordination of the tariff (wage
scale) regulations which hamper not only the standardization of labor,
but their practical materialization, and explaining such an abnormal
phenomenon in this matter by the presence of a number of glaring
defects, (absence of a definite system of wages, which would serve as a
basis of the tariff regulations, the elasticity of groups and
categories, the elimination from these regulations of the salaries of
the higher technical, commercial and administrative personnel), defects
due to the rapid transition from one form of wage scale regulation to
another; due to the weakness of the local unions and their local
separatism, and, finally, the inconsistency (instability) of the local
organs of governments in regard to the wage regulation policy, the
Second All-Russian Congress of Vocational Unions deems it necessary to
introduce the following amendments and additions to the wage

1. The basic principle of wage scale regulation, in connection with the
struggle for the restoration of the country’s economic forces, must be
the responsibility of the laborers and other employees for the
productivity of labor before their union, and the responsibility of the
latter before the class associations of the proletariat. For this
purpose the wage scale regulations must be based on the system of
compensation of labor power which would serve as an incentive for the
laborers to outdo each other in their desire to raise the productivity
of labor in the nationalized enterprises, i.e. the piece-work and
premium system founded on a rock-bottom standard of production, with a
firmly fixed schedule of either increased pay or decreased hours of work
in compensation for production above the standard requirements.

In those branches of industry where it is impossible to standardize the
work, a scale of wages is to be applied on the basis of the time
employed with definite hours of work and strict working regulations.

2. The wage scale of the industrial union is to include the higher
technical, commercial and administrative personnel, whose salaries are
to be subject to the control of the union. In accordance with this, the
tariff regulation is to be divided into three fundamental parts; (_a_)
the higher technical, commercial, and administrative personnel; (_b_)
the lower technical and administrative personnel; the employees of the
managements, the offices, institutions and commercial establishments,
and (_c_) the laborers.

3. In order to eliminate too large a number of groups and categories
(five groups and 15 categories) and to insure a fair compensation of the
basic nucleus of the workers and other employees occupied in the
industries, a subdivision into four groups and 12 categories is fixed
for each of the three ranks (the higher personnel, the lower staff, the
workers), the ratio of the higher wage to the lower within the limits of
each one of the four given groups, from the first category to the 12th,
is 1:1.75.

4. The wage scale regulations for individual groups of the workers and
for certain branches of industry or parts thereof, must contain
provisions either for the shortening of hours, or for the increase of
pay as compensation for particularly harmful, dangerous, difficult or
exhaustive labor, and in connection with climatic conditions.

5. Clothing and footwear is to be distributed to the workers engaged in
the wood chopping industry, the sewerage and street cleaning industry,
or occupied in underground work, work at a particularly high
temperature, or necessitating the handling of harmful chemicals.
Particularly difficult and harmful work (such as, underground work, the
peat gathering industry, the preparation of wood fuel, work at a high
temperature, work with poisonous gases and acids exhausting the system)
should carry with it a home and a higher wage. This latter measure is to
be carried out by the All-Russian and local councils of the Vocational
Unions. In order to put these additions and amendments to the wage scale
regulations into actual life and in order to do away with the obnoxious
multiformity the Congress resolves:

To recognize the wage scale regulation which is being carried out on a
national scale and which affects all the workers and employees of a
given industry, from the highest administrator down to the skilled
laborer,—as the one which best answers the fundamental needs of
standardizing the wages.

To grant to the All-Russian Central Committee of the Industrial Unions
the exclusive right to finally work out the wage scale regulations and
to submit them for approval of the All-Russian Central Council of
Professional Unions and to the People’s Commissariat of Labor.

To deprive the local branches of the All-Russian centralized unions of
the right to directly submit their wage scale for approval over the head
of their central body, so long as an All-Russian industrial wage scale
is in operation.

To leave to the local Soviets (councils) of the Vocational Unions the
right to fix the wage scale regulations only for the local unions, which
have no All-Russian association, using the wage scale regulations in
force as a guide; under no circumstances changing the regulations passed
on a national scale. Besides, it is the duty of the local Soviets of the
Vocational Unions to coordinate individual scales in different
industries while putting them into practice, and the right to present a
grounded petition for the transfer of a given locality into another
district in accordance with the proportional (percentage) scale of
district decrease of wages.

The Congress approves of the work of the committee and the section on
the construction of wage scale regulations and recommends to the
All-Russian centralized industrial unions to accept them as a basis. The
Congress authorizes the All-Russian Central Council of Vocational Unions
to carry out this resolution strictly and without any deviations.



     (_Resolution passed in connection with A. Bakhutov’s report_)

In capitalist society, with the complete economic and political
supremacy of the bourgeoisie, the legal measures which were enacted for
the safeguarding of labor and the individual kinds of social insurance
of the workers were being enforced under the control of the capitalist
state, together with the employing class, and beyond the reach of direct
influence of the labor organizations. With the establishment of the
dictatorship of the proletariat it became possible for the first time to
put point blank all the questions arising out of the struggle against
the grave consequences of the conditions of labor, which remain as a
legacy of the capitalist era, as well as preventive measures and the
solutions of the questions, in accordance with the Socialist aims of the
present moment. The actual safeguarding of labor and the social
insurance of the worker, with a view to safeguarding his life and
increasing his strength and power, proved to be indissoluble aspects of
the same problem—changing of conditions of labor, the reconstruction of
the industrial environment in which the worker is laboring, and the
betterment of his living conditions.

The October revolution determined the basic principles of social defence
for the proletariat of Russia, having given over the safeguarding of
labor and social insurance of the toilers into the hands of the working
class, and for the first time it has created organs of factory
inspection on the basis of elective representation.

But the acute civil war and the economic work of organization, as the
fundamental problem which has been confronting the working class during
the first year of the October _coup d’état_, have diverted the attention
of the proletariat from a problem of no lesser significance—the
safeguarding of its health, as the main source of national economy—and
its economic organizations became indifferent. This is the reason why
the working class paid but very little attention to questions of labor
safeguards and social insurance, as well as to the institutions in
charge of these questions.

                  *       *       *       *       *

At the present moment, however, the building of a new life, the
reconstruction of the conditions of labor on a Socialist foundation, the
safeguarding of production for the life and health of the workers, the
betterment of their living conditions, the workers’ insurance against
all accidents depriving him of his labor power, the amalgamation of the
various kinds of insurance agencies into one powerful organization, and
the management of the same, are becoming the most important problems
which the vocational unions are to solve. Together with the economic
work of organization which includes the safeguarding of labor, social
insurance of the toilers must take the proper place in the every-day
work of the unions.

Taking all this into consideration, the second Congress of Vocational
Unions finds it necessary that the vocational unions—

1. Take active part in the construction of united government insurance
bodies through the formation of corresponding subdivisions within the
departments of labor of the local Soviets, in accordance with the
instructions of the Department of Social Insurance and Labor Safeguards
of the People’s Commissariat of Labor; 2. That they energetically carry
out the “regulations of social insurance of the workers” of October
31st, 1918; 3. That they immediately start the organization within the
unions of permanent committees on the safeguarding of labor, and of
_nuclei_ for the same within the various mills and factories for the
purpose of cooperating with the governmental institutions charged with
the safeguarding of labor; 4. That they intensify the work on the spot
for the creation of labor inspection by means of selection and training
for this purpose of the active workers; 5. That they practically spread
the validity of the safeguarding of labor regulations and their
enforcement over all types of labor (in the building trades, in the
transport service, over domestic servants, commercial and office
workers, restaurant help, and agricultural workers); 6. That they pay
particular attention to the conditions of labor in the small
semi-handicraft establishments; 7. That they assist in the practical
efforts of labor inspection to remove the children from the works and
for the introduction of a shorter work-day for minors, enabling them at
the same time to continue their education; 8. That they take an active
part in the organization of local sanitary-hygienic and technical
investigations of the conditions at the factories and mills, and in the
working out of various obligatory standards and various measures for the
safeguarding of labor; 9. That they carry out the principles of labor
safeguarding through the current activity of the local and central
organs regulating the nation’s economy; 10. That they take an active
part in the work of improving the living conditions of the working
population; 11. That they energetically push the agitational and
educational work among the proletarian masses along the lines of
vocational hygiene and sanitation and the technique of insuring safety,
as well as on general questions of social insurance and labor


Whereas in the process of development of the social revolution the
division of society into a handful of parasites, on the one hand, and
into the masses of workers and peasants overloaded with excessive toil,
on the other, is constantly disappearing, and the entire population is
being transformed into a mass of producers who must be insured, in
accordance with the provisions of the regulations on social insurance of
the laborers, of October 31, 1918, against all accidents that might
incapacitate them, and

Whereas the work of social insurance can be developed on condition of
immediate participation of vocational unions through the medium of the
corresponding organs of the People’s Commissariat of Labor,

The second Congress of Vocational Unions holds that all insurance
business, its functions, the institutions of the People’s Commissariat
of Social Insurance, affecting the workers, must be amalgamated into the
common work of the Department of Social Insurance and Labor Safeguard of
the People’s Commissariat of Labor.

Having discussed the question of interrelations between the Commissariat
of Public Health and the Department of Social Insurance and Labor
Safeguards of the People’s Commissariat of Labor, the second All-Russian
Congress of Vocational Unions resolved to accept the following
principles as a basis for the solution of the question:

1. Social insurance and labor safeguarding being a complete and
logically united institution, with the dictatorship of the proletariat
in power, when the entire population of the Russian Socialist Federal
Soviet Republic is being transformed into laborers, covers the
activities of Commissariat of Health, thus representing under the
circumstances one of the most important and most necessary links of one

2. It is possible to carry into life the measures of social insurance
and labor safeguards with the necessary system and on a vast scale, only
if the work is done in the closest connection and intimate touch with
the masses that are interested in it, and on the condition that the
masses cooperate most energetically.

3. The union of any group of functions into one whole may be determined
exclusively by their proximity and similarity, else there is a
possibility of the least efficient combination of all or any individual
branches of government activity, to the detriment of the regular
development and direction of the same and to the certain amount of
independence so necessary to each and every one of the activities.

4. The medico-prophylactic activity, like the entire institution for
social insurance and labor safeguards, must be united, i.e., both the
organizing and organic work is concentrated in the hands of bodies and
institutions specially created for that purpose, and depending from the
same common central body. As regards the necessary differentiation of
labor it must be carried out exclusively within the common bodies, but
under no circumstances must it be done by means of tearing away from
them of any of the parts closely bound through common problems and
peculiarities of the work, no matter how considerable each of them,
taken apart, might be.

In view of the above principles, the Congress resolves that:

1. The Commissariat of Public Health must be amalgamated with the
Department of Social Insurance and Labor Safeguards.

2. All organs of social insurance and labor safeguards must be built
from top to bottom entirely on the basis of vocational unions’

3. The question of the order of uniting the Commissariat of Public
Health with the Department of Social Insurance and Labor Safeguards of
the People’s Commissariat of Labor is given over to the Central
Executive Committee for consideration.

                        AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING

      (_Resolution based on Tzyperovich’s and Kossior’s reports_)

1. The Socialist revolution has put before the proletariat a series of
the most important problems in the field of reconstruction.
Simultaneously and in connection with the revolutionization of the
economic relations, the working class, as the standard-bearer of
Socialism, must get down to the work of creating a proletarian culture,
instead of that of the bourgeoisie, in order to prepare the masses for
the complete realization of the Socialist Commonwealth.

2. The dictatorship of the proletariat, enabling the working class to
fully utilize all the cultural acquisitions of mankind, is already now
putting forward a new creative form of the cultural movement, in the
shape of proletarian cultural organizations.

3. Vocational unions, as working class organizations, notwithstanding
all their weakness and the isolation of the proletarian cultural
organizations from the masses of the working class must organically
enter into their work, concentrating within them all their activity for
the general work along questions of science and art and endeavoring with
a view to making it sound, to subject their activity to the influence
and guidance of the industrially organized laboring masses.

4. The Vocational Unions are also facing as an immediate problem the
utilization on as large a scale as possible of those facilities which
have been created by the Commissariat of Public Education in the matter
of compulsory, and free education, of education for people above school
age, for technical training, etc.

The vocational unions must have their representatives in the
Commissariats of Public Education, who are to shed light on the needs of
the trade union movement and demand that these needs be satisfied

5. At the same time, the vocational unions are to continue their
cultural and educational activity, creating educational institutions and
organizations which would answer the immediate problems of the
vocational movement.

6. The building up of clubs, especially for the districts and provinces,
is desirable. The type of a vocational-political club is preferable, if
possible of a large size.

7. It is necessary at present to build libraries in the districts. But
for the central trade-industrial unions special libraries are to a
certain extent superfluous (outside of special publications, guides,
etc.) They can easily and with much greater success be replaced by
public and municipal libraries, to which the trade-industrial unions
should turn their attention, by sending to the same the representatives
of their cultural-educational departments, as delegates.

8. The publishing associations of the individual unions must be
technically united into one Publishing Association of the Council of
Unions. The program of the publications must be adapted to the needs of
the trade union movement, but at the same time it must be so flexible
and elastic as to be of service to the agitational activity of the
unions in various directions (appeals, bulletins, etc.). The
amalgamation of the periodic trade-union organs,—is a problem of the
immediate future. Besides, it is necessary to issue at present a monthly
or semi-monthly magazine in order to explain the general questions of
theory and practice of the trade-industrial movement.

The organization of central expeditions for all trade union publishing
societies is already now an imperative necessity.

9. In order to materialize the above enumerated problems each central
body of the trade-industrial unions of a given industry is to have its
own cultural and educational department whose activities are to be
coordinated by the Soviets (councils) of the Vocational Unions at the
center and in the local branches.

On the question of vocational training the Congress finds that:

1. Vocational training, as one of the mightiest weapons in the general
system of cultural-industrial socialist education of the working class,
may attain its object on condition that, together with the vocational
training of the workers along the lines of skilled labor, they will also
be given a general industrial education, acquainting them with the
general questions of the condition of technical and industrial
development, political economy, economic geography, and also the
questions of administrative and technical management of an enterprise.

2. Vocational training is concentrated in the hands of the Committee on
Vocational Training, which is formed at the Commissariat of Public
Education of the representatives of the vocational unions. The Committee
is given charge of the general direction, financing and working out of a
single program in the field of vocational training. For the management
of each individual school a School Soviet is formed of the
representatives of the vocational union, the Commissariat, and the

3. Within each branch of industry, a network of vocational schools is to
be established as soon as the needs and requirements of the
corresponding All-Russian Vocational Association are made known. In the
first place the schools are being organized in those places and points
for the preparation of such groups and types, of skilled workers as will
be found necessary by the proper industrial associations.

4. The cultural and educational departments of the All-Russian
Industrial Associations are connected with the Committee on Vocational
Training of the Commissariat of Education and are to determine both the
quantity and type of school needed and the technical possibility of
their opening in this or that particular locality. The Committee is
bound immediately to satisfy these demands, in case of necessity taking
a census of the technical personnel available as instructors in
vocational schools.

5. The vocational unions will utilize the schools for the organization
of courses and lectures on questions of theory and practice of the labor
movement, striving at their widest possible development and their
transformation into a disseminator of all kinds of cultural and
technical knowledge among the proletarian masses.

                      THE QUESTION OF PROVISIONING

         (_A resolution based on Comrade Antzelovich’s report_)

Fully supporting the general principal policy of the Workers’ and
Peasants’ Government on the questions of provisioning and supplying the
population, taking into consideration the extraordinary difficulty of
the food situation, caused by the general conditions of the moment and
by the weakness of the food supplying apparatus, the Congress resolves
to give its best forces to the work of organization of the provisioning
work, to continue the work of mobilization and centralization for this
purpose of the proletarian forces on an all-Russian scale, and is hereby
submitting for the approval of the Council of People’s Commissaries the
provisions stated below:

1. The Congress recognizes the War-Provisioning Bureau of the
All-Russian Soviet of Vocational Unions, acting in accordance with the
instructions adopted by the Soviet, as the central body in charge of
mobilization and distribution of the proletarian forces in the field of

In order to fulfil its tasks the War-Provisioning Bureau of the
All-Russian Soviet of Vocational Unions: (_a_) mobilizes the labor
power, selecting it from among the vocational unions and their organs
(the shop committees, etc.); (_b_) promotes the workers into the
positions of members of the colleges, provincial provisioning
committees, district provisioning committees, and other provisioning
organizations, appointing them to office through the People’s
Commissariat for provisioning; (_c_) sends the workers’ provisioning
detachments composed of the best forces into the villages to do the work
of organization. The detachments are working under the leadership of
members delegated by the War-Provisioning Bureau into the local
provisioning bodies, and are to act as auxiliary organizations to those
provisioning bodies; (_d_) it organizes the provisional expeditions with
special tasks to aid the provisioning organizations among them in the
localities freed from occupation; (_e_) it organizes the work of labor
inspection, working under the control of the War-Provisioning Bureau,
both in the field of provisioning and in the allied fields of
transportation, etc.; the problems of inspection consist of the
renovation, reorganization and the placing of the entire system of
provisioning bodies on a proletarian basis; (_f_) it selects with the
aid of the proper vocational unions specialists in different lines of
the provisioning work, making them available to fill executive offices;
(_g_) in its work the Central War-Provisioning Bureau is leaning for
support on the auxiliary local war-provisioning bureaus of the Soviets
of Vocational Unions, uniting the entire activity of the vocational
unions for the betterment of the provisioning work.

2. From the point of view of unity of the general system of distribution
of necessaries, the Congress deems it necessary to put into practice in
full measure the participation of labor cooperation in the matter of
distributing the products so that, in the course of time, and labor, all
the united system of distribution may be organized after the pattern of
a single type of consumers’ communes.

Workers’ cooperative societies must become the chief distributors of
products among the workers.

Considering it necessary thus to impose on the workers’ cooperative
societies the extremely important task of constructive Socialist work
and the work of actually supplying the workers with the necessaries,
without which the productivity of labor cannot be increased, the
Congress holds that these functions can best be carried out by the
workers’ cooperatives on the following conditions: (_a_) the creation of
a united organized basis for the cooperative and vocational associations
(factory or mill committees), which is to be carried into practice by
means of an agreement between the All-Russian Council of Vocational
Unions and the All-Russian Council of Workers’ Cooperative Societies;
(_b_) the All-Russian Councils of Vocational Unions and the Workers’
Cooperative Societies exchange representatives; (_c_) all members of the
vocational unions must join the Workers’ Cooperative Society and every
member of the latter must become a member of a vocational union; (_d_)
the common leading body of the workers’ cooperative societies must be
the meeting of representatives (conferences) of the shop committees and
collective associations, uniting the employees and the laborers not
occupied in the mills and factories; (_e_) the workers’ cooperatives
must immediately be induced to participate in the broadest possible
manner in the work of organizing all municipal commerce; the control and
general direction in the matter remaining in the hands of the
provisioning bodies; (_f_) the existing special productive-distributive
organs such as that in charge of transportation of the provisions,
waterway transportation of provisions, (canals, rivers, etc.), must be
transformed into well organized, open workers’ cooperative societies;
(_g_) the workers’ cooperative societies are to be induced to take up
the practical work of organization of these branches of industry whose
scale and problems justify such work, and which are engaged in the
production of the prime necessities.

3. The furnishing of the proletariat with the products provided for it
by the government plans of distribution, must be insured through the
appropriation of a special fund for the purpose on the plan adopted for
the army. The special department of the Commissariat for Provisioning
which is in charge of the planning, calculating, and distributing of the
products intended for the workers, must be organized in accordance with
an understanding between the All-Russian Council of Vocational Unions
and the Council of Workers’ Cooperatives, and it must not form its own
technical and economic apparatus.

4. In order to help the methods of proletarian work to permeate more
fully the entire system of the provisioning institutions it is necessary
to inject into their midst representatives of Vocational Unions and
Workers’ Cooperative Societies, particularly representatives of the
All-Russian Council of Vocational Unions and the All-Russian Council of
Cooperative Societies, into the Collegium of the People’s Commissariat
for Provisioning.

In the matter of preparing the products which are subject to monopoly,
by government counter-agents (as per decree of January 21st) the central
workers’ cooperatives (city) and all centralized workers’ cooperative
organizations (regional, provincial and all-Russian) are to be called
upon to help, while the matter of preparing the products not subject to
monopoly should be entirely given over to the cooperative societies,
headed by the Workers’ Cooperative Society, the management to be given
over to the Central Buying Committee (Tzentrozakup) and a corresponding
portion of the products is to be set aside for the needs of the army.

5. In order to create a solid basis in the matter of supplying farm
products and with a view to intensifying agriculture and other types of
farming it is necessary to call upon the workers’ cooperative societies
to properly utilize and organize the large Soviet agricultural
establishments and other farming undertakings.

6. For the successful solution of its tasks in the domain of Socialist
construction work it is necessary to bring about the closest
organizational union and coordination of activity of the vocational
unions and workers’ cooperative societies in the matter of raising the
class consciousness of that proletariat and, for this purpose, the joint
organization of workers’ homes, clubs, institutes for practitioners, and
so on.

                      THE QUESTION OF ORGANIZATION

               (_Resolution based an M. Tomsky’s report_)

                           GENERAL PRINCIPLES

1. Adapting its organizations to the conditions of the economic struggle
in capitalist society, the working class in the interests of economy and
concentration of its divided forces, gradually passed over from the
close narrow guild organizations to the broader vocational and, finally,
in the course of struggle against capitalism, building its forces on the
principle of more efficient centralization of power for the realization
of its war aims (class war aims), it came to form organizations
embracing all the workers of a given branch of industry (production)
into one union.

The industrial union is one union having the follow-lowing basic
characteristics: (_a_) the union rallies all the workers and other
employees engaged in a given branch of production, regardless of his
functions; (_b_) the treasury is centralized; (_c_) the business of the
union is transacted on the basis of democratic centralization; (_d_) the
wage scales and conditions of labor are determined by one central body
for all the categories of labor; (_e_) a uniform principle of
construction from top to bottom; (_f_) the sections are playing the part
of technical and auxiliary organs; (_g_) the interests of the
industrially organized workers and other employees of a given industry
are represented before the outside world by one central body.

2. The industrial union comprises only the permanent workers and
employees of a given industry who are directly engaged in the process of
production or serve to aid the same. All auxiliary branches serving _not
production but the producers_ and all the temporary and casual help
remain members of their industrial union.

3. This principle of construction of our unions recognized by the third
Conference of the Vocational Unions, and by the first All-Russian
Congress of Vocational Unions, presupposing the union of all the workers
of a given industry into one organization (union), can be consistently
carried into practice only by means of uniting all the workers and
employees (“higher” and “lower”) into one union, which became possible
of realization only after the political and economic prejudices
separating the laborer from the other employees and from the technical
personnel have been done away with.

4. Even if the first Congress of Vocational Unions considered it
impracticable to unite into one union all the higher employees and
laborers,—at the present moment, after a year of proletarian
dictatorship during which a good deal of the antagonism between the
different categories of laborers and other employees has been spent,
when it has been proved from experience that one union in its turn leads
to the eradication of all antagonism in the midst of the workers—it must
now be recognized as desirable and necessary to unite into one union all
persons who are wage workers engaged in one establishment, one industry
or one institution.

Only in such establishments or institutions where the hiring of laborers
and other employees and the increase or decrease of their wages is being
decided by one member of the administrative or technical personnel, the
latter cannot be members of the given union.

5. The industrial principle of union structure as applied to workers
occupied in other branches of national industries, than manufacture
(transportation, commerce, and farming), and also in institutions
fulfilling definite functions of government (postal-telegraph,
medico-sanitary departments, education, etc.), must be used to unite the
workers of small isolated branches of industry and management into more
powerful unions. As a basis for such amalgamation one must take the
similarity of conditions of labor and the functions carried out.

6. Categorically defending the consistent introduction and application
of the principle underlying production as regards all categories of
workers, not accepting into its labor organizations those unions which
are built on guild, corporation and narrow trade lines, for the purpose
of better serving the economic interests of the most typical industrial
groups and categories, the organization of sections on a local and
national scale is allowed within each vocational union.

The unions binding together several allied branches of industry have the
right to form industrial sections, the same having the right to call
independent Congresses in order to decide the questions of their own
industry, on condition however, that the decisions of such sectional
Congresses, which will be contrary to the rulings of the general
Congress or the regulations of the leading organs of the labor union
movement, may be annulled by the leading body of the industrial union.

7. Striving towards unity and smooth work in labor union activity and
the greatest efficiency in the utilization of the power and means at the
disposal of the labor unions, it is necessary to recognize most
definitely the principle of centralization of the union organization,
based on unity and centralization of union finances and strict inter-
and intra-union discipline.

8. With this principle as a starting-point, the _organization of the
section cannot have the character of open or masked federalism_. Under
no circumstances could the sections be allowed to have separate
sectional treasuries, additional assessment of members of the sections
for organization and agitation and generally for any work of the union,
neither can they be allowed independent representation outside of the
union or to build the leading union organs, committees, on the principle
of sectional representation.

9. In exceptional cases of reconstruction of the existing federated
unions into a centralized industrial union, only as an allowance for the
transitional stage the Executive Committee elected at the meeting of all
the delegates or at the meeting of the All-Russian Congress, can be
enlarged through the addition of representatives of the sections, who
then have no vote, only a voice.

10. All attempts to violate the principle of industrial organization for
the purpose of restoring the federated trade unions by means of
organization of the inter-sectional bureaus uniting analogous sections
of the various industrial unions, must be emphatically condemned.

11. Fighting for the complete annihilation of classes, at this
transitional period of proletarian dictatorship, the Russian trade-union
movement aiming at the union of all workers into centralized industrial
unions for the purpose of subjecting the semi-proletarian elements to
the influence of the economically organized proletariat and inducing it
to enter the class struggle and take part in Socialist reconstruction;
we think it necessary to get the new, and as yet unorganized, strata of
government and social workers to join the All-Russian Vocational
Associations, on condition of their complete submission to proletarian
discipline and to all regulations of the leading central bodies of the
trade union movement, and particularly, the principles of organization.

12. At the same time it would be the greatest error at the present stage
of development of our trade union movement with its insufficient degree
of organization, to infuse into it the craftsmen and small shop owners
who due to their isolation and unorganized state, do not allow of
proletarian control; the same applies to the labor “artels,” “unions of
labor communes” and so-called professional people who are not wage

Being the representatives of the dying crafts and petty bourgeois
industry, these elements permeated with the conservative economic
ideology of individual and small-scale production (artel), due to their
numerical size, are liable to disorganize the ranks of the economically
organized proletariat.

13. Considering as the only correct and fundamental basis for the union
of the workers into industrial unions, the economic basis (the economic
part played by the groups of laborers in the general system of national
economy), the All-Russian Vocational Association cannot accept into its
midst unions _built along national, religious, and generally, any unions
not built along economic lines_.

14. Uniting the laborers and other employees into unions, independently
of their political and religious beliefs, the Russian trade union
movement as a whole, taking the position of the international class
struggle, resolutely condemns the idea of neutralism, and considers it a
prerequisite for the admission of individual unions into the all-Russian
and local associations—that they recognize the revolutionary class
struggle for the realization of socialism _by means of the dictatorship
of the proletariat_.

15. Regarding the Russian labor-union movement as one close proletarian
class organization, having one common class aim—to win and organize the
socialist system, one must admit that _any member of any industrial
union_, affiliated with the all-Russian or local union council, who is
fulfilling his duties as such, being at the same time a member of the
All-Russian General Vocational Association, upon being transferred from
one industry to another, _joins the proper union with the rights of an
old member_, without paying any initiation fee. No one must be at the
same time a member of two unions.

16. This latter rule wholly applies also to the group transfer of whole
establishments from one union to another—_no payments are to be made out
of the treasury of the unions, nor are to be made either to the members
who leave it or to the union into which they are transferred_, by the
first union.

17. Endeavoring to better the economic conditions of all the workers,
regardless of whether they are members of the union or not, the unions
taking upon themselves the responsibility for the proper functioning of
an establishment or institution, for the labor discipline among the
workers and the enforcement of the union regulations of wages and
standards of production, the unions must endeavor _to introduce
compulsory membership_ in all the establishments and institutions
entering into it, _through resolutions adopted at general meetings of
the workers_.

18. Recognizing _the necessity of a united plan for the construction of
all trade unions_ as the only condition insuring right relations between
the individual local organizations and their centers, also insuring the
enforcement of union regulations and union discipline, the second
Congress thinks it necessary, for the purpose of creating unity of
activity on a local as well as national scale, to adopt a united scheme
for the structure of the industrial unions and their combines.


1. The highest directing body of the all-Russian labor union movement is
the All-Russian Congress of Trade Unions and the All-Russian Central
Soviet of Vocational Unions operating from one Congress to the other, on
the basis of principle regulations adopted by the Congress.

          _Note._ A conference is called only in case it is
          impossible to call a properly organized congress.

2. All regulations of the All-Russian Congresses, Conferences and the
All-Russian Central Council of the Industrial Unions are compulsory not
only to all the unions, affiliated with the All-Russian Vocational
Association, but for every individual member of a union, as well.

3. _Violation of the rules and disregard of the same on the part of
individual unions_ carries with it expulsion of such a union from the
family of the proletarian unions.

4. The supreme organ of the All-Russian Industrial Union is its Central
Committee; all rulings of that committee which do not contradict the
regulations issued by the higher councils of the All-Russian General
Vocational Association are obligatory for all of its branches and for
each and every one of its members.

5. All local councils of the unions are being constructed according to
the plan of the All-Russian Central Council of the Vocational Unions,
with a corresponding proportional change of numerical ratio. All
congresses of vocational unions are being called on the principle of
direct proportion.

6. The rulings of the All-Russian Industrial Unions cannot be nullified
by the rulings of the local councils of unions and are obligatory for
the organs of the given union in each locality.

7. The local councils of the Vocational Unions being the leading organs
of the labor union movement and authorized representatives of the entire
proletariat, economically organized within a certain locality, are at
the same time guided in their activities by all the rules of the
All-Russian Congresses, Conferences and the All-Russian Central Council
of the Trade-Industrial Unions, and as regards the branches of the
industrial unions, the regulations laid down by their guiding central
bodies are obligatory. The rulings of the local Trade Union Councils
which are in contradiction to the regulations of the policy of the
entire unions or their managing bodies, are not obligatory for the local
branches of the industrial unions.

8. The branches of the All-Russian Industrial Unions affiliated with the
All-Russian Central Trade Unions Council automatically enter into the
local Trade Union Councils.

9. The local Trade Union Councils are to see to it that the unions are
properly organized, and that they follow the directions issued by the
governing bodies and fulfil their financial obligations towards the
unions; they are also to aid and support them in their activities.

10. In the interests of centralization of union activity, the
strengthening of the ties between the centers and the local bodies, and
in order to place the finances of the unions on a proper plane and bring
about closer cooperation and connection between the trade unions on the
one hand, and the organs of the Supreme Council of National Economy and
the Commissariat of Labor, on the other, in the work of bringing about a
uniform structure of the Trade Unions and Union Councils and
standardizing the wage scales throughout the country,—one must admit
that the geographical (provincial) amalgamations as well as the
provincial Union Councils are only unnecessary organs of transmission
between the center and the periphery which constitute a nonproductive
expenditure of energy and means.

11. The All-Russian Centers, their branches and subdivisions in the
various localities, united through the Trade Union Councils, constructed
after the pattern of the All-Russian Central Trade Union Council, the
Shop Committees or Employees’ Associations (Collective Associations) as
the original _nuclei_ of the trade unions—this is the best scheme of
organization structure, answering the basic problems at the present
moment confronting the trade union movement. Territorial grouping
according to divisions and subdivisions should be established by the
All-Russian Central body of the given union, depending upon the
geographical area and degree of concentration of any given branch of
industry, keeping, insofar as possible within the boundaries fixed by
the administrative divisions.

Only by observing the given scheme of organization can the finances of
the union be placed on a proper level and the centers receive due
financial strength, which is a necessary condition for further and more
systematic activity.

12. The most suitable principle by which to determine the membership
dues during the period of chronic depreciation of paper money would be a
proportional assessment. The normal amount of membership dues, the
Congress considers is one per cent of the wages earned. Special
additional dues or assessments for special needs of the local divisions
of the industrial unions are allowed only upon the resolution of general
meetings, or meetings of delegates or conferences of a given union.

13. Regarding the Branch of the Industrial Union (within a province or
region) as the highest organ of the union in the given locality
(government or region), as the first step toward the actual realization
of the centralization of the union funds, the Congress considers the
following financial relations as necessary:

(_a_) Fifty per cent of all membership dues of the branches of the
All-Russian Central Industrial Union go to the All-Russian Central
Committee of the given Industrial Union.

(_b_) The divisions (district and sub-regional) of a branch (government
or region) of a Union work according to the budget approved by the

(_c_) Ten per cent of all the funds remaining at the disposal of a
branch of a union goes to the local Trade Union Council.

(_d_) The local bureaus of the Trade Unions (in small towns) exist on 10
per cent of the budget appropriated by the branch of the industrial
union to its divisions.

(_e_) The local unions which are not affiliated with any all-Russian
union associations are to give 10 per cent to the local Trade Union
Council, and 10 per cent to the All-Russian Central Trade Union Council
transferred through the local Trade Union Council.

14. All trade organizations as well as members who have not met their
financial obligations within three months without sufficient reasons,
are automatically expelled from their union and from the All-Russian
Trade Association, and can be reinstated only upon payment of the sum
they owe plus the usual initiation fee.

15. The following initiation fees are to be fixed: (_a_) half a day’s
wages for individual members entering the union, (_b_) the All-Russian
Trade Union upon entering the All-Russian Central Trade Union Council
pays 10 per cent of all the initiation fees collected from the total
number of its members, (_c_) the same amount is paid by all the branches
of the All-Russian Trade Unions upon their admission into the local
Trade Union Council, (_d_) the local unions which have no all-Russian
trade union pay upon entering the local council 10 per cent of the
initiation fees collected, a half of which amount goes to the
All-Russian Central Trade Union Council.

16. In the interests of the development of union activity with the
present character of the Russian trade union movement, all special funds
which cannot be touched, such as the strike fund, the reserve funds,
etc., must be annulled as such and added to the rest of the union’s
general treasury. The fund for the aid of unions outside of Soviet
Russia is being created by the All-Russian Central Trade Union Council
for which purpose special collections and contributions are to be used.

17. In the interests of the proper arrangement of the control system,
the simplification and systematization of the union’s business, we must
make it obligatory to have a single uniform system, as worked out by the
All-Russian Central Trade Union Council.

18. The basic nucleus of the Industrial Union on the spot is the Factory
Committee or the Collective Association of the office employees in the
form of an Office Workers’ Union.

19. “Regulations of the Factory and Mill Committees” adopted by the
Moscow Trade Union Council and approved by the All-Russian Central
Council of the Industrial Unions coordinated with the resolutions of the
present second All-Russian Congress of Trade Unions must be used as the
basis for the determination of the part, the tasks and interrelations of
the Factory and Mill Committees with the other organizations.

20. As a basis for the regulations governing the Employees’ Associations
(Collective Associations), in addition to the general principles which
form the basis of the “Factory and Mill Committee Regulations,” the
following principles are to be laid down:

(_a_) Participation in the hiring and dismissal of employees, (_b_)
obligatory participation in the Wage Scale Committees and endeavor to
see to it that the wage scale regulations be carried out in practice,
(_c_) the recognition of the collective association and its rights to
exist only as an organ of the corresponding union, (_d_) participation
in the organization and improvement of the technical apparatus of the
given institution, (_e_) non-interference with the general direction of
the activities of the state and social institutions.

The All-Russian Central Trade Union Council is authorized within the
shortest time to work out and publish the regulations of the Factory and
Mill Committees and the Employees’ Collective Associations.

21. To avoid mixing up of terms and ideas regarding the character of the
union organs we must recognize the uniform terminology of the same, as
carrying out the same functions, namely:

(_a_) All-Russian Central Trade Union Council retains its name, (_b_)
the leading organs of the All-Russian Trade Unions are called “Central
Committee of the Trade Unions,” their executive organs are to be called:
“Presidium of the Central Committee of the Trade Unions,” (_c_) their
government (province) organs—“The management of the government
(province) or regional branch of the All-Russian Trade Union,” (_d_) the
Local Government Trade Union Councils are called: “Such and such
Government Trade Union Council,” and the district councils as well as
the small town councils “Such and such District Trade Union Bureau,”
“Such and such Trade Union Bureau.”

22. All-Russian Central Trade Union Council on the basis of the
principles laid down, must work out in the shortest possible period the
following sample by-laws which are to be obligatory for all trade
organizations affiliated with any of the following All-Russian Trade

(_a_) The All-Russian Trade Union, (_b_) local union having no
corresponding all-Russian association, (_c_) Local Trade Union Council,
(_d_) Trade Union Bureau.

23. The All-Russian Central Trade Union Council must work out and enact
through the People’s Commissariat of Labor and the Soviet of National
Economy or the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, the regulations
governing the coalitions on the following basis: (_a_) the right to be
called a union is given only to trade unions affiliated with the
All-Russian Central Trade Union Council, registered and published by the
latter, (_b_) all other organizations of an economic character not
affiliated with the All-Russian Trade Association are to be called

24. The All-Russian Central Trade Union Council and the government
councils must periodically report on all unions registered with it.

25. In accordance with the general principles of organization, adopted
at the second Trade Union Congress the corresponding amendments are to
be introduced into the by-laws of the All-Russian Central Trade Union
Council adopted by the first All-Russian Trade Union Congress.


                (_Amended and approved by the Congress_)

1. The All-Russian Trade Union Congress elects an executive body of the
All-Russian Central Trades Union Council—the presiding officers
(Presidium), who are to submit a detailed report on their activity to
the following Congress.

2. The supreme leading body of the All-Russian Trade-Union Association
is the All-Russian Central Trade-Union Council, which is to be guided in
its activity by resolutions of congresses and conferences and which is
responsible for its actions to the All-Russian Trades Union Congress.

3. All the regulations of the All-Russian Congresses, Conferences as
well as those passed by the All-Russian Central Trades Union Council are
obligatory to all unions affiliated with the All-Russian Trades Union
Association as well as to every union member. The violation of these
rules and disobedience of the same carries with it expulsion from the
family of proletarian unions.

4. The All-Russian Central Council is to fulfil the following tasks:

(_a._) It is to maintain and establish a connection with all the
existing and newly arising trade union organizations;

(_b._) It is to aid in the creation of local all-Russian vocational
unions as well as the amalgamation of all trades;

(_c._) It is to establish connections with the central trade union
bodies of all countries;

(_d._) It is to carry out all the necessary work connected with the
preparation and calling of All-Russian conferences and congresses, it
works out a program of business to be transacted by the congresses, it
takes care of the preparation of reports, and it publishes the
fundamental principles;

(_e._) It appoints the time for the calling of conferences and

(_f._) It periodically publishes in the press reports on its activities;

(_g._) It issues its bulletin (periodical organ);

(_h._) It connects, and acts as representative for the entire
trade-union movement before the Central government institutions and
social organizations;

(_i._) It aids the unions in their work of organization and guides that
work, for which purpose it issues various by-laws, instructions, forms
of accounting (book-keeping), etc.;

(_j._) It takes part in organizations and institutions, serving the
interests of cultural and educational activity among the proletariat;

(_k._) It aids in promoting the development of the trade union movement,
by means of verbal and written propaganda and agitation.

6. In order to accomplish its tasks successfully, the All-Russian
Central Trades Union Council organizes the necessary departments.

7. The funds of the All-Russian Central Trades-Union Council consist of
the following: (_a_) 10 per cent of the membership dues collected by the
Central Committees of the All-Russian Trade Union Association; (_b_)
five per cent of the revenue coming from the local unions not affiliated
with the All-Russian Trade Unions, but affiliated, through the local
Soviet, with the All-Russian All-Trades Association, (_c_) out of
appropriations designated by the organs of the Soviet Government for
specific purposes.

8. The All-Russian Central Trade Union Council is composed of the

(_a_) Nine members elected by the Congress, and

(_b_) Representatives of the All-Russian Trade Unions, on the basis of
one delegate to every 30,000 to 50,000 workers, and one more delegate to
every additional 50,000 dues-paying members.

_Note._ All-Russian Trades Unions whose membership is below 30,000, send
their representative, who has a voice, but no vote. Unions whose
dues-paying membership is below 30,000 may unite and send a delegate to
the All-Russian Trades Union Council, who will then have the right to
vote at the meetings.

9. The nine members elected by the congress are to be the presiding
officers of the All-Russian Central Council; in order to effect a change
in the composition of the presidium, a vote of not less than two-thirds
of the general number of members of the All-Russian Central Council is
required, or if the All-Russian Associations demand the recall of that
body, the total membership of the associations demanding such recall
must exceed one-half of the entire membership of the All-Russian
Association comprising all trades.

_Note._ The members of the presidium (executive committee), are to be
replaced (in case they resign or are recalled) at the plenary session of
the All-Russian Central Trade Union Council.

10. Such recall and election of a new executive body may take place only
in extraordinary cases when the general conditions do not permit the
calling of an extraordinary congress or conference.

11. A plenary session of the All-Russian Central Council takes place at
least once a month. The All-Russian Central Council at a meeting of all
its members elects an auditing committee and other committees and
responsible officers, leaving to the executive committee (presiding
officers) to organize branches (departments), to invite workers to join
them, etc.

12. The All-Russian Conference of Trades-Unions is to consist of all the
members of the council (Soviet), and of representatives of provincial
trades-union councils—one to every 25,000 members.

_Note._ Representatives of All-Russian Associations who are admitted to
the plenary session (_plenum_) with only a voice and no vote, have the
right to vote at the conference.

13. The All-Russian Central Trades Union calls congresses of the trades
unions at intervals not longer than one year. Extraordinary congresses
are called at the decision of the All-Russian Central Council, at the
demand of All-Russian Associations, or in cases where the All-Russian
Associations having not less than half the total membership affiliated
with the All-Russian Workmen’s Association, demand that an extraordinary
convention be called.

14. The right to representation at the Trades-Union Congresses is
restricted to those unions which in their activity are guided by the
principles of the international class struggle of the proletariat, which
are affiliated with the local councils of the trades unions and which
pay their dues regularly.

15. The following have a right to vote at the congress:

(_a_) The local trades unions having a dues-paying membership of no less
than 3,000, are entitled to one delegate, and those whose membership
exceeds 5,000 are entitled to one delegate for every 5,000 dues-paying
members (complete 5,000 only, not for any fraction thereof).

(_b_) The central All-Russian Associations are entitled to one delegate
each; but in case the total number of workers affiliated with them
exceeds 10,000 they are entitled to two delegates.

(_c_) Petrograd and Moscow send three delegates each.

(_d_) Local unions having under 3,000 members may amalgamate for the
purpose of sending their delegates.

16. The following have a voice, but no vote:

(_a_) Representatives of the central bodies of Socialist parties; of the
All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the Council (Soviet) of
Workers’ and Peasants’ Delegates; individuals and institutions at the
invitation of the All-Russian Central Council or the Congress itself.

(_b_) All members of the All-Russian Central Soviet.

17. The rules of procedure for the congress (convention) are worked out
by the All-Russian Central Council and are subject to approval by the

18. The order of business (program) to be transacted at the convention
is to be made public at least one month before the congress is convened.
Individual organizations have the right to introduce new points into the
order of business not later than two weeks prior to the meeting of the
congress, of which changes the All-Russian Central Council immediately
notifies, through the press, all the trades unions.


19. An All-Russian Trades Union, desiring to enter the All-Trade
Association must submit to the presidium of the All-Russian Central
Trades Union Council the following documents:

(_a_) the by-laws,

(_b_) information on the number of dues-paying members,

(_c_) information on the existing branches and number of dues-paying
members of each of them,

(_d_) minutes of any convention or conference at which the central
committee of the organization has been elected,

(_e_) financial report,

(_f_) sample copies of such publications as the All-Russian Trades Union
has published, and all other material shedding light on the character of
the union’s works.

20. An All-Russian Trades Union may be registered with, and admitted
into, the All-Russian Central Trades Union Council on the following

(_a_) the by-laws and the structure of the union are to be brought into
accord with the general principles of organization as adopted by the
convention and carried out by the All-Russian Central Trades Union

(_b_) the character and activity of the union must not contradict the
resolutions of the All-Russian Trades Union Convention or the general
tendencies of the Russian trades union movement;

(_c_) the payment of a corresponding initiation fee;

21. An all-Russian union may be expelled at a plenary session from the
All-Russian Central Trades Union Council on the following grounds:

(_a_) failure to obey the general rules of discipline obligatory to all
trades union organizations;

(_b_) failure to pay membership dues within three months, without any
reasonable cause.

22. The All-Russian Central Trades Union Council, in cases where the
central committee of the All-Russian Trades Union violates the decisions
of the convention, conference, or All-Russian Central Trades Union
Council, may dissolve the same, and must immediately call an All-Russian
convention or conference of the given trades union for the purpose of
electing a new directing body.

                                           November 7, 1919.




When the Soviet Government was first organized, a number of purely
financial questions arose which necessitated the utilization of the
services of the old financial-administrative apparatus in the form in
which it existed prior to the October Revolution. It is quite natural
that the first period of work in the domain of finance, that is, between
the October Revolution and the Brest-Litovsk Peace, had of necessity to
be marked by efforts to conquer the financial apparatus, its central as
well as its local bodies, to make a study of its own functions and,
somehow or other, to adapt itself to the requirements of the time.

While in the domain of the Soviet Government’s economic and general
policy, this period has been marked by two most far-reaching and
important changes which, strictly speaking, had been prepared prior to
the October Revolution—the nationalization of banks and the annulment of
the government debt; the financial policy, in the narrow sense of the
word, did not disclose any new departures, not even the beginnings of
original constructive work.

Gradually taking over the semi-ruined pre-revolutionary financial
apparatus, however, the Soviet Government was compelled to adopt
measures for the systematization of the country’s finances in their

This second period in the work of the People’s Commissariat for Finances
(approximately up to August, 1918) also fails to show any features of
sharply marked revolutionary change. From the very beginning the
authorities have been confronted with a chaotic condition of the
country’s financial affairs. All this, in connection with the large
deficit which became apparent in the state budget, compelled the
Commissariat of Finance to concentrate its immediate attention on
straightening the general run of things and, thus, prepare the ground
for further reforms.

In order to accomplish the systematizing of the financial structure, the
Government had to lean for support on the already existing unreformed
institutions, i.e., the central department of finance, the local
administrative-financial organs—the fiscal boards tax inspection,
treasuries, excise boards—and, more particularly, the financial organs
of the former local institutions for self-government (Zemstvos, and

Such a plan of work seemed most feasible, since the apparatus appeared
suitable for fulfilling slightly modified functions; but the local
government was not yet sufficiently crystallized or firmly established,
neither was any stable connection established between that local
government and the central bodies.

Under such circumstances, the old institutions, which by force of habit
continued to work exclusively at the dictate of and in accordance with
instructions from the central bodies, seemed to be the most convenient
and efficient means of carrying out measures which the central
authorities had planned to straighten out the general disorder
prevailing in financial affairs.

However, this idea soon had to be discarded, the local Soviets insofar
as they organized themselves and put their executive organs into
definite shape, could not and did not have the right to neglect the work
of the old financial organs functioning in the various localities, since
the Soviets represented the local organs of the central government as a
whole, and since it was upon them that the responsibility for all the
work done in the localities, rested.

Under such conditions friction was inevitable. In accordance with the
principles of the old bureaucratic order, the local financial
institutions neither knew nor had any idea of subordination other than
the slavish subordination to the central authorities which excluded all
initiative on their part.

Under the new conditions, these local financial institutions were to
constitute only a small component part of the local Soviets. Acute
misunderstanding of the local authorities among themselves and between
the local and central authorities on the subject of interrelations among
all of these institutions, have demonstrated the imperative necessity
for a reorganization. With this work of reforming the local financial
organs (September, 1918) a new period opened: the third period in the
activity of the commissariat, which coincides with the gradual
strengthening of the general course of our economic policy. The economic
policy definitely and decisively occupies the first place which duly
belongs to it, while the financial policy, insofar as it is closely
bound up with the economic policy, is being regulated and directed in
accordance with the general requirements of the latter.


The financial policy of Soviet Russia was, for the first time,
definitely outlined by the eighth (March, 1919) Convention of the
Russian Communist Party.

The eighth party convention clearly and concretely stated our financial
problems for the transitionary period, and now our task consists in
seeing to it that the work of the financial organs of the Republic
should be in accord with the principles accepted by the party.

These principles, briefly, are as follows: (1) Soviet Government State
monopoly of the banking institutions; (2) radical reconstruction and
simplifications of the banking operations, by means of transforming the
banking apparatus into one of uniform accounting and general bookkeeping
for the Soviet Republic; (3) the enactment of measures widening the
sphere of accounting without the medium of money, with the final object
of total elimination of money; (4) and, in view of the transformation of
the government power into an organization fulfilling the functions of
economic management for the entire country,—the transformation of the
pre-revolutionary state budget into the budget of the economic life of
the nation as a whole.

In regard to the necessity for covering the expenses of the functioning
state apparatus during the period of transition, the program adopted
outlines the following plan: “The Russian Communist Party will advocate
the transition from the system of levying contributions from the
capitalists, to a proportional income and property tax: and, insofar as
this tax outlives itself, due to the widely applied expropriation of the
propertied classes, the government expenditures must be covered by the
immediate conversion of part of the income derived from the various
state monopolies into government revenue.”

In short, we arrive at the conclusion that no purely financial policy,
in its pre-revolutionary sense of independence and priority, can or
ought to exist in Soviet Russia. The financial policy plays a subsidiary
part, for it depends directly upon the economic policy and upon the
changes which occur in the various phases of Russia’s political and
economic order.

During the transitional period from capitalism to Socialism the
government concentrates all of its attention on the organization of
industry and on the activities of the organs for exchange and
distribution of commodities.

The financial apparatus is an apparatus subsidiary to the organs of
production and distribution of merchandise. During the whole of this
transitional period the financial administration is confronted with the
following task: (1) supplying the productive and distributive organs
with money, as a medium of exchange, not even abolished by economic
evolution, and (2) the formation of an accounting system, with the aid
of which the government materialize the exchange and distribution of
products. Finally, since all the practical work in the domain of
national and financial economy cannot and should not proceed otherwise
than in accordance with a strictly defined plan, it is the function of
the financial administration to create and compile the state budget in
such a manner that it might approximate as closely as possible the
budget of the entire national economic life.

In addition to this, one of the largest problems of the Commissariat of
Finance was the radical reform of the entire administration of the
Department of Finance, from top to bottom, in such a manner that the
fundamental need of the moment would be realized most fully—the
realization of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the poorest
peasantry in the financial sphere.


The work of the financial institutions for the solution of the first
problem of our financial policy, i.e., the monopolization of the entire
banking business in the hands of the Soviet Government, may be
considered as having been completed during the past year.

The private commercial banks were nationalized on December 14, 1917, but
even after this act there still remained a number of private credit
institutions. Among these foremost was the “Moscow People’s Bank”
(Moscow Narodny Bank) a so-called cooperative institution. There were
also societies for mutual credit, foreign banks (Lion Credit Warsaw
Bank, Caucasian Bank, etc.); and private land banks, city and government
(provisional) credit associations.

Finally, together with the Moscow People’s Bank there existed government
institutions—savings banks, and treasuries. A number of measures were
required to do away with that lack of uniformity involved and to prepare
the ground for the formation of a uniform accounting system.

A number of decrees of the Soviet of People’s Commissaries and
regulations issued by the People’s Commissariat of Finance, have
completed all this work from September 1918 to May 1919.

By a decree of October 10th, 1918, the Societies for Mutual Credit were
liquidated; three decrees of December 2nd, 1918, liquidated the foreign
banks, regulated the nationalization of the Moscow People’s
(Cooperative) Bank and the liquidation of the municipal banks; and,
finally, on May 17th, 1919, the city and state Mutual Credit
Associations were liquidated. As regards the question of consolidating
the treasuries with the offices of the People’s Bank, this has been
provided in a decree issued on October 31st, 1918; the amalgamation of
the savings banks with the People’s Bank has been affected on April
10th, 1918.

Thus, with the issuance of all the above-mentioned decrees, all the
private credit associations have been eliminated and all existing
Government Credit Institutions have been consolidated into one People’s
Bank of the Russian Republic. The last step in the process of reform was
the decree of the People’s Commissariat of Finance which consolidated
the State Treasury Department with the central administration of the
People’s Bank. This made possible, by uniting the administration of
these organs, the enforcement of the decree concerning the amalgamation
of the treasuries with the People’s Bank. The decree of the People’s
Commissariat of Finance of October 29th, 1918, issued pursuant to
Section 902 of rules on state and county financial organs, practically
ends the entire reform of uniting the treasuries with the institutions
of the Bank.

This reform constitutes the greatest revolutionary departure, in strict
accordance with the instructions contained in the party program. Prior
to the completion of this reform, the old pre-revolutionary principle
continued to prevail—that of opposition of the State Treasury to the
State Bank, which was independent financially, having its own means,
operating at the expense of its capital stock, and acting as a
depository for the funds of the State Treasury and as its creditor.
Insofar as the new scheme of our financial life has been realized, this
dualism, has finally disappeared in the process of realization of the
reform. The Bank has now actually become the only budget-auditing
savings account machinery of the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet
Republic. At the present moment it is serving all the departments of the
state administration, in the sense that it meets all the government
expenditures and receives all the state revenue. It takes care of all
accounting between the governmental institutions, on the one hand, and
the private establishments and individuals on the other. Through the
hands of the People’s Bank pass all the budgets of all institutions and
enterprises, even the state budget itself; in it is concentrated the
central bookkeeping which is to unify all the operations and to give a
general picture of the national economic balance.

Thus, we may consider that the fundamental work, i.e., "the
monopolization of the entire banking business in the hands of the Soviet
Government, the radical alteration and the simplification of banking
operations by means of converting the banking apparatus into an
apparatus for uniform accounting and general bookkeeping of the Soviet
Republic"—has been accomplished by the Commissariat of Finance.


As regards the carrying into practice of a number of measures intended
to widen the sphere of accounting without the aid of money, the
Commissariat of Finance has, during the period above referred to,
undertaken some steps insofar as this was possible under the

As long as the state did not overcome the shortage of manufactured
articles, caused by the general dislocation of industrial life, and as
long as it could arrange for a moneyless direct exchange of commodities
with the villages, nothing else remains for it than to take, insofar as
possible, all possible steps to reduce the instances where money is used
as a medium of exchange. Through an increase of moneyless operations
between the departments, and between the government and individuals,
economically dependent upon it, the ground is prepared for the abolition
of money.

The first step in this direction was the decree of the Soviet of
People’s Commissaries of January 23rd, 1919, on accounting operations,
containing regulations on the settling of merchandise accounts
(products, raw material, manufactured articles, etc.) among Soviet
institutions, and also among such industrial and commercial
establishments as have been nationalized, taken over by the
municipalities, or are under the control of the Supreme Council of
National Economy, the People’s Commissariat for Food Supply, and
Provincial Councils of National Economy and their sub-divisions.

In accordance with this decree, the above-mentioned accounts are to be
settled without the medium of currency, by means of a draft upon the
state treasury for the amount chargeable to the consuming institution,
and to be credited to the producing institution, or enterprise. In the
strict sense, the decree establishes a principle, in accordance with
which any Soviet institution or governmental enterprise requiring
merchandise, must not resort to the aid of private dealers, but is in
duty bound to apply to the corresponding Soviet institutions,
accounting, producing or distributing those articles. Thus, it was
proposed, by means of the above-mentioned decree, to reduce an enormous
part of the state budget to the mere calculation of interdepartmental
accounts, income on one side and expenditures on the other. In other
words, it becomes possible to transact an enormous part of the
operations without the use of money as a medium of exchange.

As regards the policy of the Commissariat of Finance in the domain of
the circulation of money, one of the most important measures in this
respect was the decree of the Soviet of People’s Commissaries of May
15th, 1919, on the issue of new paper money of the 1918 type.

This decree states the following motive for the issue of new money:
“this money is being issued with the object of gradually replacing the
paper money now in circulation of the present model, the form of which
in no way corresponds to the foundations of Russia’s new political
order, and also for the purpose of driving out of circulation various
substitutes for money which have been issued due to the shortage of
paper money.”

The simultaneous issue of money of the old and new type made it
impossible for the Commissariat of Finance to immediately commence the
exchange of money, but this in no way did or does prevent it from
preparing the ground for such exchange, in connection with the annulment
of the major part of the old money in a somewhat different manner.
Creating a considerable supply of money of the new model (1918) and
increasing the productivity of the currency printing office, the
Commissariat is to gradually pass over to, in fact has already begun,
the issue of money exclusively of the new type. A little while after the
old paper money has ceased to be printed, the laboring population, both
rural and urban, as well as the Red Guards all of whom are not in
position to accumulate large sums, will soon have none of the old money.
Then will be the time to annul the money of the old type, since this
annulment will not carry with it any serious encroachment on the
interests of the large laboring masses.

Thus the issue of new money is one of the most needed first steps on the
road to the preparation of the fundamental problem, that is the
annihilation of a considerable quantity of money of the old type,
reducing in this way the general volume of the mass of paper money in

We thus see that here, too, the Commissariat of Finance followed a
definite policy. It goes without saying that from the point of view of
Socialist policy all measures in the domain of money circulation are
mere palliative measures. The Commissariat of Finance entertains no
doubts as to the fact that a radical solution of the question is
possible only by eliminating money as a medium of exchange.

The most immediate problem before the Commissariat of Finance is
undoubtedly the accomplishment of the process which has already begun,
namely, the selection of the most convenient moment for the annulment of
the old money. As regards the part which currency generally (at this
moment of transition) plays, there can be no doubt that now it is the
only and therefore inevitable system of financing the entire
governmental machinery and that the choice of other ways in this
direction entirely depends upon purely economic conditions, i.e., mainly
upon the process of organization and restoration of the national economy
as a whole.


The explanatory note, attached to the budget for July to December, 1918,
thus depicts our future budget: “When the Socialist reconstruction of
Russia has been completed, when all the factories, mills and other
establishments have passed into the hands of the government, and the
products of these will go to the government freely and directly, when
the agricultural and farming products will also freely flow into the
government stores either in exchange for manufactured articles or as
duty in kind ... then the state budget will reflect not the condition of
the monetary transactions of the State Treasury ... but the condition of
the operations involving material values, belonging to the State, and
the operations will be transacted without the aid of money, at any rate
without money in its present form.”

It is clear that at present the conditions are not yet fully prepared
for the transition to the above-stated new form of state budget. But, in
spite of this, the Commissariat of Finance has taken a big step forward
in the direction of reforming our budget.

The budget of the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic, adopted by
the All-Russian Central Executive Committee on May 20, 1919, represents
the experiment in effecting a survey not so much of the financial
activity of the state, as of its economic activity, even though it is as
yet in the form of money.

In the work of reforming the budget, the Commissariat of Finance has
come across two obstacles which are a heritage of the pre-revolutionary
time: the division of revenue and expenditures into general state and
local, and the hesitation on the part of some to include in the budget
all the productive and distributive operations of the Supreme Council of
National Economy and of the Commissariat for Food Supply. Both, the
first and second obstacles have been somewhat surmounted, and the
above-mentioned (third) revolutionary budget is already different from
the two preceding budgets in many peculiarities which are very typical.
These consist in a complete account of all production and distribution
which the state has taken upon itself. This experiment is by no means
complete, but the achievement should nevertheless be judged as
considerable. The concrete conditions for making out the budget, as is
stated in the explanatory note, have already made it possible to enter
upon the road of accounting for the entire production and distribution
of the nation, and that thereby the foundation has been laid down for
the development of the budget in the only direction which is proper
under the present conditions.

The budget of the first half of 1919 has followed the same fundamental
principles for the construction of the state budget by including the
expenditures of the entire state production and distribution as well as
the sum total of the revenue-in the form of income from the productive
and distributive operations of the state. In other words, this budget
for the first time takes into account all the transactions of the
Supreme Council of National Economy and of the Commissariat for Food

The further development of the budget will be directed toward the
working out of the details of this general plan, and, in particular,
toward differentiating revenue and expenditures: (1) direct, actual
money received or paid, and (2) transactions involved in the accounting
of material and labor, but not involving any actual receipts of money,
or requiring any actual disbursements in money.


In the field of taxation one must bear in mind first that the entire
question of taxation has been radically changed with the beginning of
Communist reconstruction.

Under the influence of the combined measures of economic and financial
legislation of the Republic, the bases for the levying of land, real
estate, industrial taxes, taxes on coupons, on bank notes, on stock,
stock exchange, etc., completely disappeared, since the objects of
taxation themselves have become government property. The old statute
regulating the income tax (1916), which has not as yet been abolished,
was in no way suitable to the changed economic conditions. All this
compelled the Commissariat of Finance to seek new departures in the
field of taxation.

However, it was impossible to give up the idea of direct taxation prior
to the complete reformation of the tax system as a whole. Our work of
Communist reconstruction has not been completed; it would be absurd to
exempt from taxation the former capitalists as well as the newly forming
group of people who strive for individual accumulation. This is why the
system of direct taxation, which has until recently been in operation,
was composed of fragments of the old tax on property and of the partly
reformed income tax law. However, beginning with November, 1918, to this
old system there were added two taxes of a purely revolutionary
character which stand out apart within the partly outgrown system “taxes
in kind” (decree of October 30, 1918) and “extraordinary taxes”
(November 2, 1918).

Both decrees have been described as follows by Comrade Krestinsky,
Commissary of Finance, at the May session of the financial

“These are decrees of a different order, the only thing they have in
common is that they both bear a class character and that each provides
for the tax to increase in direction proportion with the amount of
property which the tax-payer possesses, that the poor are completely
free from both taxes, and the lower middle class pays them in a smaller

The extraordinary tax aims at the savings which remained in the hands of
the urban and larger rural bourgeoisie from former times. Insofar as it
is directed at non-labor savings it cannot be levied more than once. As
regards the taxes in kind, borrowing Comrade Krestinsky’s expression,
“it will remain in force during the period of transition to the
Communist order, until the village will from practical experience
realize the advantage of rural economy on a large scale compared with
the small farming estate, and will of its own accord, without
compulsion, _en masse_ adopt the Communist method of land cultivation.”

Thus, the tax in kind is a link binding politically the Communist
socialized urban economy and the independent individual petty
agricultural producers.

Such are the two “direct” revolutionary taxes of the latest period. In
regard to the old system of pre-revolutionary taxes, the work of the
Commissariat of Finance during all of the latest period followed the
path of gradual change and abolition of the already outgrown types of
direct taxation and partial modification and adaptation to the new
conditions of the moment, of the old taxes still suitable for practical

At the present moment the Commissariat of Finance has entered, in the
domain of direct taxation reforms, upon the road toward a complete
revolution in the old system. The central tax board is now, for the
transitional period, working on a project of income and property
taxation, the introduction of which will liquidate all the existing
direct taxes, without exception. The single tax which is being proposed,
is so constructed that it covers the very property of the citizen, i.e.,
it constitutes a demand that the citizen yield that part of his savings
which is above a certain standard, etc.

In closing the review of the activity of the Commissariat of Finance
during the two years of its existence, one must note briefly the great
purely organizational work, conducted by it on a natural as well as a
local scale.

The reform has been definitely directed towards simplifying the
apparatus and reducing its personnel as far as possible.

Finally, with this reform, the Commissariat of Finance has been
organized in the following manner: the central office, the central
budget-accounting board (former People’s Bank and Department of State
Treasury) and, finally, the central tax board (former Department of
Assessed Taxes and of Unassessed Taxes). Upon the same pattern are also
being modeled the local financial bodies.


                          DOCUMENT IV—A, B, C

        From _Economic Life_, (Nov. 7, 1919). The official organ
               of the Supreme Council of National Economy
                   Finance, food, trade, and industry


                          A—OUR METAL INDUSTRY

The two years that have passed since the November Revolution have been
marked by civil war, which still continues. Russia’s isolation from the
outside world, the loss and, later on, the recapture of entire provinces
of decisive importance to her industries, the feverish, and therefore
unsystematic, transfer of the industries to a peace basis, and then,
during the last year the reorganization of the industries, the unusual
conditions of transportation, the fuel and the food questions, and as a
result of these, the question of labor power growing more acute—this is
the sad picture of conditions under which the Russian proletariat has
organized and maintained the nation’s economic life.

And though these familiar conditions of actual life have affected all
branches of industry, the greatest sufferer in this respect has been the
metal industry, which forms the basis for our defence and the foundation
for all our industrial life.

We might add here that the metal industry, and in particular the metal
working industry as its most complicated and many-sided phase, both in
assortment of products and in the nature of production, was by no means
strong in Russia even under the rule of the bourgeoisie. As compared
with the more developed capitalist countries, the metal industry in
Russia has been at a disadvantage because of the very geographical
situation of its centers, remote from the sources of raw material and
fuel, artificially built up and having suffered all the consequences of
an unsound foundation. As a result of these conditions, there is lack of
specialization and poor development of large scale production which
means a lack of the necessary prerequisites for successful production.

These are the external conditions under which the administration of our
metal industry has been compelled to work.

The first and most fundamental problem has been that of systematic
monopolization of industry. Only under this form of industrial
organization—if freed from all the negative features of the capitalist
trust,—is operation possible, even on a reduced scale, so that later on
we might lay the solid foundations for new constructive work in the
organization of the nation’s economic life of Socialist principles. The
process of monopolization may be considered as complete by this time.
Large associations have been formed, such as the trust of united
government machine shops “Gomza,” amalgamating the largest mills
producing the means of transportation and machine construction, and the
large metallurgical mills, the trust of state copper working factories,
the trust of government automobile works, the trust of government
aviation work, the trust of government wire nail, bolt and nut
factories, the trust of the Maltzoff Metallurgical mills, the
association of the Kaluga metallurgical mills (cast iron, utensils, and
hardware), the trust of the Podolsk mechanical and machine construction
shops the Petrograd mills for heavy production, the Petrograd mills for
medium machine construction, and the Petrograd mills for heavy output
(production on large scale) are united under individual district
administration boards.

Not all the enterprises consolidated within the associations have become
closely bound up among themselves during this transitional period. In a
matter of such gigantic proportions mistakes have been, of course,
inevitable and they will have to be rectified. However, the results of
the experience of the last two years are sufficient ground for the claim
that the working class has solved the problem of consolidating industry.

The central administration of the Gomza mills thus characterizes the
significance of this consolidation: "The consolidation of the mills
working on transportation equipment, working with the metallurgical
group makes it possible to utilize most efficiently all the resources
available, such as fuel, raw material, technical forces, and the
experience of the various mills with a view to obtaining the best
possible results under the existing conditions. The amalgamation of the
mills has already, during the past year, made it possible to distribute
among them in the most rational manner, that inconsiderable quantity of
metal products and mineral fuel, all products included, which the groups
had in its possession. This enabled the mills to adapt themselves to the
usage of local fuel. The concentration, even though only partial, of
some of the branches of the metallurgical industry, also of the
blacksmithing and iron foundry branches, was made possible entirely by
the amalgamation. The specialization of the mills, according to the
types of steam engines, Diesel or other machines, has been decided along
general lines, by the Metal Department of the Supreme Council of
National Economy, and the question is being worked out in closest
cooperation with the Technical Department of the “Gomza.” The
amalgamation of the mills will make it possible to carry out gradually
this specialization and utilize its results.

The central administration of the united mills states, in a report of
its activities, that owing to the consolidation of the mills, the
problems of supplying them with raw material, fuel and labor power, were
solved in a fairly satisfactory way, thus placing production on a more
or less constant basis. The mills entering this combination, if left to
their own resources, would have been doomed to a complete shutdown.

The trust of the airplane building works has so completely amalgamated
all the mills, which entered the combination that it now would be at a
loss to determine in advance which of the mills would perform any given
part of its program of production; to such an extent are these mills
bound up together through constant interchange of fuel, raw material,
supplies and even labor power.

The process of concentration of the industries in the Ural region is
being successfully carried out by the Bureau of the Metal Department,
through the organization of district and circuit officers.

Outside of the combine only those mills remained where production is
merely organized: the Moscow works “Metal,” “Electrosteel,” “Scythe,”
“Aviation Outfits,” and the Satatov mill—“Star” (Zwezda). These works
are temporarily in the immediate charge of the Metal Department.

The Gomza trust during the entire period of its existence, up to July
1st, 1919, has produced 69 new locomotives and repaired 38 old ones; it
has produced 1,744 new and repaired 1,040 old coaches; it has completed
670 small cars; 261,327 poods of axles and tires; 7,543 poods of
switches; and 118,659 poods of various locomotive and car parts. The
table given below representing the output for the first six months of
1919, as compared with the same period for 1916 and 1918, of the Vyxunsk
Mining District, gives an idea of the work of the Department of
Metallurgy of our largest trust:


                 Output in Thousands of Poods            Ratio

                   I      II      III     IV       IV:I   IV:II  IV:III

                January January July January
                  to      to      to      to
                 June,   June,   Dec.,   June,
                 1916    1918    1918    1919

                 ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------

 Standard bars     86,7    91,4    74,2   133,6     154   146,1   179,9

 Roofing iron
   and billets      ...     ...    37,3    37,3     ...      ..   100,0

 Sheet iron and
   plates         112,1    59,3     3,5    10,9     9,7    18,4   321,1

 Plough shares
   mould-boards     ...     ...     ...     7,7     ...     ...     ...

 Pipes            225,4   125,0    56,4    61,1    24,7    78,8   108,2

 Wire             255,2   106,7     4,9    22,6     8,8    21,2   455,1

 Nails            114,9   117,4    79,3    51,4    44,8    43,8    64,9

 Pitchforks         ...     2,8     3,7     1,0     ...    36,6    27,2

 Shovels            6,6     6,0     4,5     2,2    33,7    37,3    50,5

                 ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------

                  800,9   508,6   263,8   327,8   40,9%    64,5   124,2


It is apparent from the data given in the above table that the total
output for the first six months of 1919 was almost 41 per cent of the
total output for the corresponding period of 1916, and 64.5 per cent of
the total product for the first half year of 1918, and 124.2 per cent of
the last six months of 1918. The figures expressing the ratio of the
total output of metal for the same periods are respectively—91.4 per
cent, 120.6 per cent and 153.2 per cent.

Taking into consideration the extremely difficult conditions of
production, the results may be considered satisfactory.

If we turn to the production of another of our trusts—“Central Copper
Works” (Centromed), we note that during the period of October to
December, 1916, the main Tula factory has produced 73.4 per cent of its
capacity, during January to June of 1919—89.9 per cent, and finally
during July and August of this year (1919)—about 87 per cent. The
Kolchugin works have produced the various articles of their manufacture
during the same periods in quantities which amounted to from 16 to 48
per cent, 30 per cent to 77 per cent and 20 per cent to 36 per cent of
the quantities it was scheduled to produce, while the samovar factories
have produced 44 per cent of the scheduled output.

The mills entering the association of the Central Aviation Works have
produced 36 per cent to 180 per cent of the quantity they planned to
turn out, while during July, August and September of 1918 this
percentage ranged in the various mills and branches of production from
26 per cent to 120 per cent.

A comparatively considerable increase of production has been noted on
the works combined in the automobile trust

It would be absolutely impossible, within the limits of a newspaper
article, to amplify the illustration of the above statements by means of
statistical data, especially in view of the fact that the data
pertaining to the latest period has not been arranged systematically.
However, the figures cited above, we trust, give some idea of the
process and results of the concentration of industry and permit the
deduction that the productivity of labor in our large works, insofar as
it did not completely depend upon conditions which under the present
circumstances are insuperable,—has increased as compared with that for
the preceding year, and in some exceptional cases, it has even arisen to
the pre-war level.

Nevertheless, our large industry has been getting into even greater
difficulties. A number of crises weighing on it are breaking down its
last forces. Of these the most acute and serious are the fuel and food
crises, the latter demoralizing labor. This enforced comparative
idleness has been thoroughly utilized during the revolutionary period,
for the purpose of preparing for the time when the external conditions
would permit our large industries to run at full speed.

In addition to the work of adapting our industry to modern conditions of
production (altering the mills to suit them to the usage of wood fuel,
by changing the construction of the furnaces and cupolas) the Technical
Council of the Metals Department of the Supreme Council of National
Economy is conducting the enormous work of standardizing the industry
and specializing the mills by means of a detailed study of the
individual branches of industry. It is also engaged in the restoration
of the old, and in the organization of new, industries on the basis of
specialized labor and production on a large scale. This latter task has
been carried out by a number of commissions organized by the Metal
Department of the Supreme Council of National Economy.

The Technical Council of the Metals Department conducted its work
chiefly on the plane of standardizing production within the metal
industry, reducing to a minimum the types of construction of the same
article. Under capitalist conditions of production the law of
competition frequently led individual manufacturers to deliberately
flood the market with a multitude of various constructions of the same
machines in order to compel the consumer purchasing a machine or
implement at a given mill, to buy all the parts and often have his
machine repaired in the same shop. It is needless to point out to what
extent this increased the cost of production and, what is still more
important, the cost of exploitation. The Technical Council has tackled
the question not from an abstractly scientific viewpoint, but from a
practical standpoint, working in close cooperation with our metal works.
Every master part, every detail is being worked out on the basis of data
collected at the mills by subcommittees consisting of specialists. Then
the project is submitted to the mills where the necessary changes and
coordination are suggested. The comments given by the mills are compiled
and revised, before this or the other table or drawing is introduced;
the same applies to the technical specifications and assortments.

Master parts of three categories are being worked out: (1) for the
production of metal ware on a large scale, (2) for general machine
construction, (3) for the construction of Diesel engines, which is now
developing into a general division of thermo-technics.

In addition to this, a project is being completed for a lathe designed
for the needs of home industries, and for repair work. A project is
being worked out for a series of lathes of all sizes, required for
machine construction shops.

Besides work on the standardization of industry, efforts are also being
made to lay down the technical conditions.

Of the above mentioned committees, the following deserve special

(1) The committee on steam turbine construction is distributing orders
for the construction of turbines of various types. The Petrograd metal
works and the Putiloff wharf have already completed part of their
orders. In addition to this, the committee has investigated the
construction of steam turbines in Russia.

(2) The committee on tractor construction has redistributed and again
alloted orders among the Obukhov factory, the Mamin mill and the
Kolomenksky mill for 75, 16 and 30 horse-power tractors. The drawings
for the latter type of tractor have been worked out by the committee.
Out of the number of tractors ordered at the Obukhov works, the first
three Russian-made tractors are already completed. The others will be
turned out in January and in June of 1920. It is proposed to organize
the production of tractors on a large scale at the new Vyxunsk mill, the
building of which is being completed.

(3) The committee on the construction of gas generating installations
which has determined the basic type of gas generating engine most
suitable for the conditions of Russian machine construction, has
standardized the normal power of the engines; it has also outlined the
preliminary measures for the adaptation of certain mills to large scale
production of gas-generating engines.

(4) The committee for the development and improvement of steam boiler
construction in Russia, has prepared the material and worked out
detailed conditions for a contest of stationary water-tube boilers, the
cheapest as to cost of production and the most economical in operation
to be adopted by the committee. The committee also prepares the
conditions for a contest on the production of a mechanical stoker,
having investigated possible productivity and modern methods of
production of steam boilers in Russia.

(5) The committee on the construction of refrigerating machinery
ascertained the requirements for 1919–1920 in the line of refrigerating
machinery; it is laying down and determining the types of refrigerating
machines and apparatus that would be most desirable; it is working out
the construction of the same, etc. Finally, it has drawn up plans for
the construction of refrigerator-barges to sail regularly on the Volga
between Astrakhan and Rybinsk.

In addition to the above-mentioned commissions, the Metal Department has
a number of committees now functioning, such as the committee in charge
of supplying the country with high grades of steel, having a technical
convention of its own the committee on the organization of the Ural
industries, the committee on locomotive construction, etc.

As we have mentioned before, simultaneously with rendering support to
large industries and taking steps for their conversion to normal
conditions, particularly careful attention had to be given to the
intermediate, small and home industries.

Intermediate industry comprises almost all of the agricultural machine
construction, under the direction of the agricultural machinery section
of the Metal Department of the Supreme Council of National Economy. This
section operates in close contact with the local governing bodies in
charge of the people’s industries: provincial, councils of national
economy. According to the data of the section, covering the period of
October 1st, 1918 to October 1st, 1919, the following simple as well as
complicated agricultural machines and implements have been produced:

          147,453 ploughs
            3,717 winnowing machines
            1,440 straw cutters
           11,451 harrows
           98,689 scythes
          684,420 sickles
           11,980 harvesting machines

For the purpose of organizing the production of scythes in the most
efficient manner possible the agricultural machine section created a
special Scythes Bureau, which is investigating this line of production,
ascertaining the possible amount of productivity if manufactured in the
machine shop manner or according to the home industry method, both in
the central provinces and in the Ural region. The bureau has laid down a
plan for radical change in the nature of production by means of
splitting it into two fundamental processes: the metallurgical—the
rolling of steel of worked out profile; and the finishing process in the
mills and shops. For the purpose of rolling the metal it has been
proposed to utilize the Vyxunsk mill, which has been requested to
include in its program the rolling of steel for the production of

In the field of home industry production on a small scale the committee
on metal products and apparatus of the Metal Department is working in
close cooperation with other government institutions, having organized
agencies in Pavlovsk, Tula, Murom, and Vladimir, for the purpose of
financing artisans and distributing raw material among them on the one
condition that they turn in their product to the government stores for
organized distribution. The results of this work can be judged by the
following approximate data on the cost of manufactured products, the
stock on hand from previous year returned to the factories and
enterprises of the Murom, Pavlovsk, Tula region, as well as to the group
of cast iron foundries of the provinces of Kaluga and Ryazan.

The Murom district, manufacturing cutlery and to some extent also
instruments, has turned out, during the period following the
organization of the government agency, 15 million roubles’ worth of
goods, while the total worth of it, including remnants returned, amounts
to 25 million roubles; the Pavlovsk district engaged in the manufacture
of cutlery, locks and instruments,—among others, surgical
instruments—has produced since October 1st, 1918, 70 million roubles’
worth of merchandise; including the remnants, this would aggregate to
100 million roubles. The Tula district (hardware, locks, stove
accessories, samovars, hunters’ rifles), has produced since May 1919, 30
million roubles’ worth of goods, which, including the remnants, amount
to 60 million roubles. The cast-iron foundries of the Kaluga and Ryazan
districts (manufacturing cast-iron utensils, stove accessories and
various other castings) have produced since October 1st, 1918, 50
million roubles’ worth of merchandise, including the remnants.

Thus, the total amount of goods produced amounts to 165 million
roubles,—or to 235 million roubles, if the value of the remnants is
added,—taking 40 as the co-efficient of its value according to
peace-time prices.

The central administration could not take upon itself the direct
organization of home industries to the full extent. Its best assistants
in this matter are the local institutions of national economy—the
provincial and district metal committees, which have been brought in
close contact with the central administration by the conventions of the
representatives of the district and provincial metal committees. These
conventions were being called at regular intervals for the purpose of
working out and ratifying their programs concerning production and
distribution of metals, and financial questions.

We must also mention the fact that all the measures in the domain of the
metal industry are being carried out with the close and immediate
cooperation of the workers’ producing association—the union of metal

Thus, as has been proven from practical experience, the methods and
forms of organization of the metal industry have turned out to be
correct. Their application is therefore to be continued and widened,
strengthening the ties binding these organizations with the local
administrative bodies, such as the provincial and district metal
committees and with the central management of the amalgamated

The great obstacle in the path of future development in our metal
industry is the food question, which carries with it the dissolution of
labor power. Considering the fact that circumstances have compelled our
industry in general, and particularly the metal industry, to supply
chiefly the needs of national defence, to which it is necessary to give
right of way over all other interests, the authorities and the labor
organizations must do everything in their power to avert the food crisis
threatening the metal workers, even if this be to the detriment of the

It is necessary not only to cease all further mobilization of laborers
and responsible workers, but also to select a considerable portion of
those already mobilized for the purpose of transferring them from the
army into industry.

The course of work of the metal industry during the past two years gives
us reason to hope that these measures, if introduced systematically,
might make it possible to cope with the difficult external conditions
and furnish a mighty stimulus for preparing the metal industry for the
needs of peaceful construction.

                                               M. VINDELBOT.


                 B—FROM “ECONOMIC LIFE,” Nov. 7, 1919.

The Supreme Council of National Economy has put into practice the idea
of nationalization of all our industries: at present there is not one
mill or factory of any considerable size that is not the property of the

During the second year of its existence, the Supreme Council of National
Economy has made some headway in the work of nationalization of land. As
a particular instance we might cite the fact that it was upon the
initiative and due to the energetic efforts of the Supreme Council of
National Economy that the land fund for the sugar industry has been
nationalized. The total area of land nationalized for the sugar industry
amounts to 600,000 dessiatins.

The sugar-beet industry has furnished the initial step in the
development of the rural industries, since this particular industry has
been better preserved during the transitional period of the Revolution.
The alcohol industry occupies the next place. Its development has been
begun by the Supreme Council of National Economy during the last few

These two large branches of rural industry are followed by a number of
lesser significance, such as the production of starch, molasses, butter,
milk, tobacco, medicinal herbs, the group of fibre plants, etc. The
Supreme Council of National Economy is now laying a solid foundation for
the development of all these industries.

What then is the program of action of the Supreme Council of National
Economy for the development of the rural industries? In the first place,
to supply definite land areas for the cultivation of certain plants, the
introduction of definite forms of agricultural labor, and of uniform
management for the manufacturing and agricultural industries, the
establishment of close connections between the industrial proletariat
and the citizens engaged in the rural industries.

Among the problems enumerated above, foremost is that of uniting the
industrial proletariat with the rural workers. The Supreme Council of
National Economy has already begun to work on this task. Thus the
industrial proletariat is now officially in possession of 90,000
dessiatins of land, on which communes have been organized. The crops
from these estates go to satisfy the needs of the associations in whose
name the estates are registered. At the same time, the industrial
proletariat, through participation in agricultural labor, is introducing
new ideas into the rural industries.

The Supreme Council of National Economy is mining the coal from the
depths of the earth and exploiting the peat deposits. In order to
utilize the resources completely, it is paying particular attention to
the conversion of swampy areas and exhausted turf deposits into areable
land, transforming the bottom of the exploited turf areas into vegetable
gardens, the sections bordering upon the swamps into artificial meadows,
and the uplands into fields. During last summer similar work was
accomplished on a considerable scale on the lands of the central
electric station, in the Government of Moscow, the Ilatur electric
station, in the Government of Ryazan, Gus-Hrustalny, in the Government
of Vladimir, and the Gomza estates in the Government of Nizhni-Novgorod.
Thus, during last summer, the work was organized in four central
provinces, abounding in large areas of land, which cannot be
conveniently used for agricultural purposes.

Simultaneously the improvement of dwellings, and the building of
garden-cities is being given careful and immediate consideration. This
work is being carried on by the Supreme Council of National Economy at
the electric station of Kashirsk, the Shatur station and the Central
Electric station.

In order to unify rural industries the Supreme Council of National
Economy has formed the central administration of agricultural estates
and industrial enterprises, assigning to it the task of uniting and
developing as far as possible, the work of the rural mills.

The Central Administration of Agriculture considers it one of its
immediate problems to propagate widely the idea of nationalization of
land for all rural industries and the opening of new districts for those

In apportioning the land, especially valuable districts should be set
apart, such as the meadows, flooded with water from the Don river, fully
suitable for the cultivation of tobacco, fibre plants, and olives, on a
large scale.

These lands, if distributed among the peasants will never yield such
wealth as they could do were they nationalized for rational

Next on the program of the Central Administration of Agriculture is the
building up of new branches of rural industry, such as the working of
sugar beets into molasses and into beet flour, in the northern
districts, the production of ammonium sulphate out of the lower grades
of peat, the preparation of fodder out of animal refuse, the production
of turf litter material, the preparation of new sources of nitrate
fertilizer out of peat, etc.

Electric power must be utilized for the cultivation of land. The
practical realization of this problem has been started on the fields of
the electric power transmission department. This Fall we succeeded in
tilling the ground by means of a power-driven plow.

In order to build up the rural industries, practical work must be
carried on, simultaneously with that which is being done on the
particularly important lands, also on such lands as will not be the bone
of contention between the proletariat and the peasantry.

What lands are these? The swampy areas, the forest-covered lands, those
districts where the people are starving, the dry lands, the scarcely
populated districts, etc.

These are the brief outlines of the program. The foundations of
absolutely all of the development of rural industry mentioned have been
laid down. The practical steps for the materialization of the plans have
to some extent already been, or are being, undertaken.

All of this work the Supreme Council of National Economy had to carry
out under extremely difficult conditions. Prior to that, a considerable
part of the sources of raw material for the rural industries has been
completely torn away from the Soviet Republic. Another serious hindrance
was the insufficient number of already existing organizations, which
would be capable of fulfilling the tasks outlined by the Council. A
considerable amount of harm has been done to this work by
interdepartmental friction.

But difficult as the present conditions may be, and no matter how strong
is the desire of the former ruling classes to turn back the tide of
life, this is impossible and can never take place.

                                CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION OF AGRICULTURE.


                 C—FROM “ECONOMIC LIFE,” Nov. 7, 1919.

The nationalization of agriculture is one of the most complicated
problems of the Socialist Revolution, and perhaps in no other country is
this problem as complex as in Soviet Russia.

At the time when the decree on Socialist land management was made
public, the fundamental elements of nationalization had hardly begun to
take shape: the territory affected by nationalization was by no means
defined; there was not the personnel necessary for the creation and
enforcement of any plan concerning production; the large masses of
laborers hardly understood the idea of nationalization and in some
instances were hostile to the measures by means of which the Soviet
power was carrying out the program of nationalization.

In order to summarize the results of the work, which began on a
nation-wide scale in March, 1919, and to estimate these results, one
must first realize the conditions which formed the starting-point for
the work of the People’s Commissariat of Agriculture at the time when it
commenced to carry out the nationalization of agriculture.

The extent of the capitalist heritage, which our organized Soviet
estates now have at their disposal, amounts to 615,503 dessiatins or
areable land, situated in the Soviet provinces and formerly in the hands
of private owners. Eighty-five per cent of the areable land, which
formerly belonged to the landed aristocracy was taken over for the
purpose of both organized and non-organized distribution—chiefly the

The equipment of the various estates was diminished and destroyed to no
lesser extent. Instead of the 386,672 privately owned horses, registered
in the Soviet provinces, according to the census of 1916, the Soviet
estates in the hands of the People’s Commissariat of Agriculture
received 23,149 horses—a number hardly sufficient for the cultivation of
one-third of the area under cultivation now belonging to the Soviet
estates. Of the 290,969 cows—only 43,361 came into the possession of the
Soviet estates. The entire number of horses and cows will yield
sufficient fertilizer for only 13,000 dessiatins of fallow land, i.e.,
about 10 per cent of the area intended to be converted into areable

The supply of agricultural machinery and implements was in the same

The Soviet estates had almost no stocks of provisions. The workmen were
compelled either to steal or to desert for places where bread was more

The winter corn was sowed in the fall of 1918 on very limited areas (not
over 25 per cent of the fallow land), very often without fertilizer,
with a very small quantity of seeds to each dessiatin. In 13 out of 36
Soviet provinces (governments) no winter corn has been sowed at all.

A considerable portion of the estates taken over by the People’s
Commissariat of Agriculture could not be utilized due to the lack of
various accessories, such as harness, horseshoes, rope, small
instruments, etc.

The workers were fluctuating, entirely unorganized, politically
inert—due to the shortage of provisioning and of organization. The
technical forces could not get used to the village; besides, we did not
have sufficient numbers of agricultural experts familiar with the
practical organization of large estates. The regulations governing the
social management of land charged the representatives of the industrial
proletariat with a leading part in the work of the Soviet estates. But
torn between meeting the various requirements of the Republic of prime
importance, the proletariat could not with sufficient speed furnish the
number of organizers necessary for agricultural management.

The idea of centralized management on the Soviet estates has not been
properly understood by the local authorities, and the work of
organization from the very beginning had to progress amidst bitter
fighting between the provincial Soviet estates and the provincial
offices of the Department of Agriculture. This struggle has not yet

Thus, the work of nationalizing the country’s agriculture began in the
spring, i.e., a half year later than it should have, and without any
definite territory (every inch of it had to be taken after a long and
strenuous siege on the part of the surrounding population), with
insufficient and semi-ruined equipment, without provisions, without an
apparatus for organization and without the necessary experience for such
work, with the agricultural workers engaged in the Soviet estates having
no organization at all.

According to our preliminary calculations, we are to gather in the Fall
of this year a crop of produce totaling in the 2,524 Soviet estates as

                                                              Area in
                                                Poods      Dessiatins

  Winter crop                               1,798,711          54,000

  Spring corn                               4,765,790          97,720

  Potatoes                                 16,754,900          23,754

  Vegetables, approximately                 4,500,000           4,659

Of the Winter corn we received only a little over what was required for
seed (in a number of provinces the crops are insufficient for the
consumption of the workers of the Soviet estates).

The Soviet estates are almost everywhere sufficiently supplied with
seeds for the spring crops.

The number of horses used on the Soviet estates has been increased
through the additional purchase of 12,000 to 15,000.

The number of cattle has also been somewhat increased.

The Soviet estates are almost completely supplied with agricultural
implements and accessories, both by having procured new outfits from the
People’s Commissariat for Provisioning and by means of energetic repair
work on the old ones.

The foundation has been laid (in one-half of the provinces sufficiently
stable foundations) for the formation of an organizational machinery for
the administration of the Soviet estates.

Within the limits of the Soviet estates the labor union of the
agricultural proletariat has developed into a large organization.

In a number of provinces the leading part in the work of the Soviet
estates has been practically assumed by the industrial proletariat,
which has furnished a number of organizers, whose reputation had been
sufficiently established.

Estimating the results of the work accomplished, we must admit that we
have not as yet any fully nationalized rural economy. But during the
eight months of work in this direction, all the elements for its
organization have been accumulated.

We have strengthened our position in regard to supplies, having been
enabled not only to equip more efficiently the Soviet estates (2,524)
already included in our system of organization, but also to nationalize
during the season of 1920 additional 1,012 Soviet estates, with an area
of 972,674 dessiatins. The combined area of the nationalized enterprises
will probably amount in 1920 to about 2,000,000 dessiatins within the
present Soviet territory.

A preliminary familiarity with individual estates and with agricultural
regions makes it possible to begin the preparation of a national plan
for production on the Soviet estates and for a systematic attempt to
meet the manifold demands made on the nationalized estates by the
agricultural industries: sugar, distilling, chemical, as well as by the
country’s need for stock breeding, seeds, planting and other raw

The greatest difficulties arise in the creation of the machinery of
organization. The shortage of agricultural experts is being replenished
with great difficulty, for the position of the technical personnel of
the Soviet estates, due to their weak political organization, is
extremely unstable. The mobilization of the proletarian forces for work
in the Soviet estates gives us ground to believe that in this respect
the spring of 1920 will find us sufficiently prepared.

The ranks of proletarian workers in the Soviet estates are drawing
together. True, the level of their enlightenment is by no means high,
but “in union there is strength” and this force, if properly utilized,
will yield rapidly positive results.

In order to complete the picture of the agricultural work for the past
year we are citing the following figures: the total expenditures
incurred on the Soviet estates and on account of their administration up
to January 1st, 1920, is estimated to amount to 924,347,500 roubles. The
income, if the products of the Soviet estates are considered at firm
prices, amounts to 843,372,343 roubles.

Thus, the first, the most difficult year, has ended without a deficit,
if one excludes a part of the liabilities which are to be met during a
number of years, i.e., horses and implements.

Of course, it is not the particular experience which the workers possess
that has caused the favorable balance of the Soviet estates, this being
mainly due to the fact that the productive work in the realm of
agriculture under modern conditions is a business not liable to lose.

And this is natural: industry in all its forms depends upon the supply
of fuel, raw material, and food. Nationalized rural economy has an
inexhaustible supply of solar energy—a fuel supply independent of
transportation of the blockade.

The fundamental element of production—land—does not demand any
“colonial” means of restoration of its productivity. And as for
provisions, these we get from the earth under the sun!

After eight months of work on the nationalization of our rural economy,
as a result of two years of titanic struggle on the part of the
proletariat for the right to organize the Socialist industries with its
own hands,—is it not high time to admit that the most expedient, most
far-sighted, and correct method to stabilize the Soviet power would be
to use the greatest number of organized proletarian forces for the work
of nationalizing our agriculture?

                                                      N. BOGDANOV.

Transcriber’s Note

The page reference in the list of Illustrations to p. 54 (LENIN AT HIS
DESK IN KREMLIN, 1919) is incorrect. The photograph appears facing p.
50. The entry has been corrected.

On p. 149, a train station town is variously spelled ‘Kreisberg’ and
‘Kreizberg’. Both are retained.

In the Appendix, the organizational names of various Unions are
variously called ‘Trades’ or ‘Trade’. No attempt was made to make them

On p. 257, the quoted passage beginning "The consolidation of the
mills..." has no closing quote, and it is unclear where it might have
been intended.

The following table provides information on the relatively few
typographical errors, and their resolution.

       p. 25 Rej[z]istza                    Removed.

       p. 46 sold[i]ers                     Added.

       p. 98 [o/O]ne priceless painting     Corrected.

      p. 192 I[t/f] at the First            Corrected.

      p. 207 [(]five groups and 15          Added.

      p. 222 follow[low]ing                 Line break repetition.

      p. 227 con[s]truction                 Added.

      p. 228 Vo[ac/ca]tional                Transposed.

      p. 232 Commit[mit]tees                Line break repetition.

      p. 256 econo[o]mic                    Line break repetition.

      p. 274 territor[it]y                  Removed.

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