(Decree of the Council of People's Commissars of the U.S.S.R. and of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B) )
19 April 1938
The Council of People's Commissars and the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B) have warned on several occasions, local Party organizations and Soviets about the prejudice which excludes Kolkhozines from the Kolkhozes, without any foundations. The Council of People's Commissars and the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B) have shown more than once that such a practice is anti-Party and anti-Governmental. However, in many regions and many Republics, this unfounded exclusion of Kolkhozines has taken place. The exaggerations and the distortions, then, of the exclusion of Kolkhozines from the Kolkhozes have reached ridiculous proportions in the administrative regions of Sverdlovsk, Novossibirsk, Smolensk, Kalinine, Kamenetz, Podolsk and Jitomir, and in the regions of Altai, of Krasnoda, of Ordjonikidze and in the S.S.R. of Kazakhstan. The Council of People's Commissars and the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B) emphasize that the harmful practice of excluding Kolkhozines exists equally in other regions.
The practice shows that the directors and presidents of the Kolkhozes, instead of respecting the statutes of the agricultural artel and not tolerating arbitration against Kolkhozines, are themselves committing illegal actions. The authority has established that exclusions of Kolkhozines have no foundation whatsoever, operate with absolutely no legitimate pretext and only from the most insignificant of motives. The most widespread form of illegal exclusions of Kolkhozines is the exclusion of members of families, of which the fathers are taking a temporary or a permanent part in working for firms or enterprises of the State. This form of exclusion based on parental ties, fundamentally contradicts the statutes of the agricultural artel.
Before the permitting of the exclusion of Kolkhozines, the statutes of the agricultural artel state a series of intermediate measures of a preventive and educative nature for each Kolkhozine who violates the internal laws of the Kolkhoz, as for example : he is made to re-do work of a bad quality within his normal working hours without warning, without blame being put on the commune in general, without inscription on the black-list, without interfering with the five day week and without suspension. But the lines the Kolkhozes are taking, for some unknown reason, have not adhered to these measures and very often exclude Kolkhozines from the Kolkhozes for a simple violation of internal rules.
If, according to the statutes of the agricultural artel, exclusion from the artel can only be effected by a decision of a general assembly of members of the artel and moreover with the participation of not less than two thirds of all the members, in effect this statutory law is very often violated. The cases are not rare where the exclusion of Kolkhozines are pronounced by the authorities of the Kolkhoz and even by its own president.
Instead of repressing and correcting this harmful practice of exclusion of Kolkhozines, the worker-directors of the Party and of the district Soviets do not take decisive measures for the repression of the arbitration against Kolkhozines; they have an insensitive and bureaucratic attitude of the type which is so harmful to Kolkhozines, the type of attitude which makes no use of the provisions made against the illegal exclusions within the Kolkhozes and leaves unpunished the people who persist in arbitration against Kolkhozines. The attitude of these people in fact reduces their own role to that of simply registering the cases of exclusion and drawing up statistical reports for the leading Soviet organs. Worse, the workers themselves often push the presidents and managements of the Kolkhozes on to the road of illegal exclusions of Kolkhozines under the pretext of purging the Kolkhozes of foreign and hostile social elements, from the class point of view.
The Council of People's Commissars and the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B) estimate that at the basis of such a practice is found a formal attitude, bureaucratic and insensitive on the part of a great number of worker-directors of the Kolkhozes as regards the destiny of living people, the people of the Kolkhoz. These directors do not understand that to exclude a Kolkhozine from a Kolkhoz signifies depriving him of his means of livelihood and that signifies not only dishonouring him in the face of public opinion, but also condemning him to starvation. They do not understand that exclusion from the Kolkhozes artificially creates a dissatisfaction, an unrest among the excluded Kolkhozines, brought about in a great many cases by their insecurity and uncertainty regarding their standing in the Kolkhoz. That is what makes this affair the enemy of the people.
The Council of People's Commissars and the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B) decree :
1. To forbid the purging of the Kolkhozes under any pretext whatsoever.
2. To forbid exclusion from the Kolkhozes of members of the families of Kolkhozines under the pretext that a member of that family is going to work temporarily or permanently for the State.
3. To forbid exclusion from the Kolkhoz for the violation of internal rules and rulings.
4. To establish for the future that exclusion of Kolkhozines from Kolkhozes can only be applied as an extreme measure against members of the Kolkhoz who are declared to be incorrigible and who disrupt or disorganize the Kolkhoz, only after the preventive and educative measures have been exhausted, and only in strict accordance with the type of exclusion defined by the statutes of the agricultural artel, that is to say, conforming with the decisions of the general assembly of members of the artel of which not less than two thirds must be present.
Equally, in each case the appeals made by those excluded from the Kolkhoz must be examined with the greatest attention.
5. To warn the directors and the management of the Kolkhozes as well as the workers of the Party and district Soviets, that those guilty of the violation of the present decree will be handed over to legal jurisdiction as would any common criminal.