The Western Mail, April 11th, 1931
COMMUNIST'S FIVE-YEAR PLAN
MIXTURE OF SUCCESSES AND FAILURES.
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PROGRESS AT EXPENSE OF HAPPINESS.
By GARETH JONES.
Soviet Five-Year Plan has been working for two and a half years.
have been the achievements?
is no doubt that; great progress has been made in some branches of industry.
The electrical power developments have been tremendous and the output
is five times that of 1913.
now penetrate into the distant solitudes of Siberia. A Trans-Siberian
air-line will soon revolutionise the postal and passenger services between
Europe and Japan. A Welshman who flew from the South of Russia to Moscow
last summer was struck by the excellent arrangements of the Soviet Aviation
Company. Under the Five-Year Plan the book trade is to develop quickly,
and masses of books are now offered to the peoples of Russia at low prices.
The export of grain last year astonished the world although it was only
one-half of the average pre-war exports. The export of oil is jumping
up, and the output in 1930 was almost double that of 1913. Education is
provided for under the Five-Year Plan and is progressing favourably as
is the excellent propaganda for health and temperance. New technical colleges
are being established, and this part of the Plan is also succeeding.
THE PLAN FAILS.
spite of these achievements there have been very serious breakdowns in
the Plan. Coal production dropped rapidly last summer, and while the output
in March was 4,700,000 tons, it was only 2,900,000 tons in August. There
has been a severe shortage of fuel this winter. The coal position is gradually
improving, but it will be impossible at the present rate to reach anywhere
near the 83 million - tons aimed at this year. Nevertheless, the output
will develop, and the figure for 1930 (47,000,000 tons) was a two-thirds
increase ever the 1913 figure.
Moscow Trial showed that the Five-Year Plan was doing badly in many branches.
While the first year of the Plan was a success, the second was disappointing
to the Communists. Production did increase, but it was at the expense
of quality and at the expense of the standard of living of the workers.
Transport was disorganised throughout the country. The lack of skilled
labour was felt keenly. These difficulties are going to increase with
the extra burdens which the Plan places on the country.
rapid speed at which Stalin is trying to industrialise Russia has led
to great hunger and suffering. Food is scarce. The health of the nation
may be affected by the present privations. The discontent of the masses
has been tremendous, and there has been talk of revolution against the
Communists. There has been a wave of hatred against Stalin which has spread
into the Communist party. The anti-Stalin group is called the Right Wing
Opposition, and it is strong in the rank and file of the party and in
As I walked past the Kremlin,
the citadel where Stalin lives, I saw sentries everywhere, and in one
place where the rampart was broken a Red soldier walked up and down with
his painted bayonet ready.
Stories are whispered about
Stalin in corners of trains.
STORY OF STALIN.
is a typical story told me in the Donetz Basin:- Stalin had a dream in
which Lenin appeared to him.
Stalin! How are you? asks Lenin.
Im fine, replies Stalin.
splendid, says Stalin. You know, we have our Five-Year Plan
now and our achievements are amazing.
says Lenin. And what are you going to do when the Five-Year Plan
well have another Five-Year Plan.
Lenin crushes Stalin by saying:
that time every man, woman, and child in Russia will have died and joined
me, and youll be the only man left to carry out your second Five-Year
has disgraced the leaders of the Right Wing Opposition, Rykoff, Tomsky,
and Bukharin, and has placed his own men in key positions. The Right Wing
Communists want to slow down the Plan and pay more attention to the happiness
of the working class. Stalin is at present supreme, but if there is much
more hunger and suffering his position will be weakened. This would not
mean, however, the breakdown of the Communist regime, but the victory
of the moderates in the party.
of the future? He would be a daring man who would venture to prophesy
the future of Russia. The figures at which the Bolsheviks aim are fantastic
and can never be carried out by 1933. But as far as one is able to judge
Soviet Russia will in time be able to increase her exports of coal, grain,
oil, and timber.
shipments of coal abroad are at present small, but she is trying to get
a foothold in several British markets and such as Italy. Her exports of
grain will depend on the harvest, but if her crop is as good this year
as it was last year, then Canada is going to suffer still further and
the grain market will be seriously disturbed. Russias oil supplies
are vast and she will continue to increase her oil exports. Her timber
will also continue to hit Canada, the Scandinavian States and the Baltic
States, and France.
Russia will probably, therefore, be a competitor in such natural products
as coal, grain, oil, timber, and furs. Where manufactured goods are concerned,
however, it will be a. long time before she will gain the experience and
the skill and the organisation of the Western countries. Moreover, Russia
herself will be a market absorbing vast quantities of manufactured goods
and her need for machinery from abroad to make the goods will be great
for a long time yet.
OF SUCCESSES AND FAILURES.
Russias trade system, by which export and import are a State monopoly,
enables her to sell at any price. If she makes a large profit on oil,
then she can afford to sell grain or coal far below cost price. The Soviet
Union has become one vast centralised business concern controlling 158,000,000
people with a miserable standard of living. So far the Five-Year Plan
has been a mixture of successes and failures. It is increasing the production
of Russia, but at the expense of quality and human happiness. Difficulties
galore lie in its path, but if these difficulties are overcome, then Soviet
Russia will be a powerful competitor.
success of the Plan would strengthen the hands of the Communists throughout
the world. It might make the twentieth century a century of strugg1e between
Capitalism and Communism.
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