PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS, GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE BULGARIAN COMMUNIST PARTY, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF THE FATHERLAND FRONT
THE FATHERLAND FRONT AND ITS IMPENDING TASKS
(AS COMRADE CHERVENKOV APPEARS ON THE PLATFORM, HE IS
GREETED BY A STORM OF APPLAUSE.
ALL STAND UP AND SPONTANEOUSLY CHEER “CHERVENKOV, CHERVENKOV!”)
I. International Situation
II. Two Stages of Development of our People’s Democracy
III. The Work of the Fatherland Front After Its Second Congress
IV. The Five-Year Plan in Four Years
V. Future Tasks of the Fatherland Front
The present congress has been summoned to report on the fulfilment of the tasks set by Georgi Dimitrov at the Second Congress of the Fatherland Front, to appraise the work done in the intervening years, to review the present international and internal situation and accordingly to chart its new tasks, so that it may continue successfully to play its great social and political part as an organisation of the militant alliance of the working people from town and village, under the leadership of the Communist Party.
I. INTERNATIONAL SITUATION
The Second Fatherland Front Congress met at the height of the so-called “atomic policy” and the “policy of force”, espoused by the American imperialists right after the last volleys of World War II had been fired. Those were the days when the “almightiness” of the American dollar and of the atom bomb was trumpeted throughout the world, when the American imperialists’ bid for world supremacy found an expression in the notorious Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan, in the flagrant rejection of the principles proclaimed at Yalta and Potsdam for securing world peace, and of the U.N. statutes, in the relentless brutal pressure to turn this organisation into a tool and prop for attaining the aggressive aims of the American plutocrats who amassed huge fortunes during the war. Dazzled by their accumulated wealth, avid for new riches, eager to place the whole world under their thumb, to check human progress, to gag and hamstring the freedom-loving peoples, to check the rapidly growing democratic and national movements, to thwart the vastly increased hopes and aspirations for a just and lasting peace of millions of common people throughout the world, the American imperialists, actively supported by their British partners, by these tried flunkeys of capitalism – the right-wing socialists, by the fascist scum, by all dark forces in the world, embarked on the feverish preparation of a new world war, directed mainly against the Soviet Union and the People’s Democracies, against China and the national-revolutionary movements in the colonial and dependent countries. They brazenly supported all reactionary regimes in the world, began arrantly to interfere in the internal affairs of many countries, set out to revive German imperialism as well as fascism and militarism in Japan and elsewhere. The American pretenders for world supremacy made themselves at home in Western Europe. They hurried to build numerous naval, air and ground war bases thousands of miles away from America.
The U.S. set themselves the task of organising and opposing the imperialist camp to the Soviet Union, to the People’s Democracies, and to the peace-loving peoples who, having gone through the war horrors and privations and borne untold losses, realised ever more clearly that they should make a break with the past and take their destiny into their own hands. The whole American economy was geared to the preparation of a new war. A foul anti-Soviet campaign was set in motion. School, press, church, radio, cinema, all means of information were streamlined for the ideological preparation of a new war. The democratic and progressive forces in U.S. were subjected to cruel persecution. The American imperialists who profited considerably from World War II, resorted to a policy of threat, blackmail, overt pressure, unscrupulous cynicism and arrogance as the main instrument in their bid for world supremacy.
This U.S. created and directed front of anti-popular aggressive and imperialist forces, with its criminal designs, was confronted, however, by powerful forces – the forces of democracy and socialism, headed by the Soviet Union. The latter rose in defence of peace, determined to curb imperialist aggression, to spare the world another war. Such was the main distinguishing feature of the international situation in which the Second Fatherland Front Congress met.
At the second Fatherland Front Congress Georgi Dimitrov pointed out that two world camps, one imperialist and the other democratic, had emerged and indicated that as a result of World War II deep changes had taken place in the correlation of forces between these two camps. He stressed that these changes were in favour of the democratic camp and to the detriment of the imperialist camp.
In the first place the Soviet Union, contrary to the expectation of its enemies, emerged from the war much stronger, with a vastly enhanced international prestige. The Soviet socialist system brilliantly passed the severest possible test. This system demonstrated its great superiority over capitalism. The U.S.S.R. became after World War II an impregnable stronghold of peace, democracy and socialism whose peoples showed a unique moral and political unity. It rapidly restored the ravages of the war and late in 1946 already it proceeded to fulfil the first post-war Stalinist Five-Year Plan. The whole Soviet country was gripped by an unprecedented economic and cultural enthusiasm in its victorious march towards communism.
Meanwhile the capitalist countries became the arena of bitter class clashes and struggles, of economic disruption and chaos, of rising unemployment and of a growing feeling of economic insecurity of the working people.
World War II brought about the rout of the then existing shock troops of imperialism. Nazi Germany, militarist Japan and fascist Italy were put out of action. This meant a serious weakening of imperialism.
A number of countries in Central and South Western Europe, such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria and Albania, dropped off from the imperialist system. These countries were liberated by the victorious Soviet Army. They rid themselves of imperialist dependence. Their peoples took their destinies into their own hands. Relying on the support and selfless aid of the Soviet peoples, they carried out deep and thoroughgoing reforms. Not only did they wipe out all feudal vestiges and destroy fascism, but they also created conditions for the consolidation of a People’s Democracy as a government of the working class in alliance with the working peasants and for laying the foundations of socialism. This was a serious blow to imperialism. At the same time it greatly strengthened the democratic camp.
World War II deepened the crisis in the colonial and dependent countries. A mighty upsurge of the national revolutionary movement took place in Asia – China, Vietnam, Burma, India and Indonesia, in the Near East, in Africa and in Latin America. There arose a great unconquerable people’s movement for national freedom and independence. The colonial base of imperialism – its rear – was shaken to its very foundations. This weakened the imperialist system and strengthened the democratic camp.
World War II with its consequences opened the eyes of millions of common people throughout Europe. It also opened the eyes of millions of common people in America. These common people did not want a new war.
No mean role in the weakening of the imperialist camp played the contradictions existing between the individual capitalist countries which, far from lessening and abating, grew ever sharper.
Thus against the aggressive policy of the imperialist camp, launched and dominated by the American plutocrats, there arose gigantic forces – the forces of the working class, of the working masses of town and village, of the progressive intelligentsia, of the democratic and national liberation movements all over the world, led by the Soviet Union. The change in the correlation of forces between the imperialist and democratic camps, brought about in the wake of World War II, continuously strengthened the democratic camp. The forces of the imperialist camp were growing weaker, while those of the democratic camp were growing stronger.
In the vanguard of these forces, Georgi Dimitrov pointed out, were the communist parties – tried and tested during World War II, when in all countries and at the cost of untold sacrifices they had fearlessly fought for the vital interests of their peoples and shown the greatest self-abnegation, stamina and perseverance. It is therefore quite natural that their influence grew considerably and continues to grow, that they became and are becoming mass parties, that they are heading broad people’s fronts, that they are mobilising all sound national forces and consolidating the alliance between workers and peasants on an ever wider scale.
Such was the international situation at the time when the Second Fatherland Front Congress convened.
During the four years which have elapsed since the Second Congress of the Fatherland Front, the U.S. imperialists not only continued their recklessly aggressive policy of rearmament and war preparation, but passed on to direct action in order to realise their predatory schemes of conquest. They concocted the Atlantic Pact, openly directed against the Soviet Union and the People’s Democracies. Like a gang of thieves, they treacherously invaded Korea.
Trampling on all international principles, using their rubber stamp “majority” of obedient satellites and tools, they imposed on the U.N. “decisions” which have nothing in common with the people’s interests and peace. They hinder in every way possible the conclusion of a real Peace Treaty with Germany and the establishment of a united, peace-loving, independent and democratic German state. Already they are openly restoring German militarism in Europe and Japanese samurai militarism in the Far East, with whom they concluded a separate Peace-Treaty.
Yet the last four years did not bring the successes desired by American imperialism, showing up the disparity between their unbridled wishes and their true strength. Andrey Zhdanov was proved right, when, in his report to the first conference of the communist and workers’ parties held in Poland in 1947, he stated that the intentions and desires of the American imperialists were one thing, and that their actual possibility of realising these wishes and intentions was quite another thing. Recent facts and developments show that there exists a considerable discrepancy between these two things.
Recent facts and developments bare the inner weakness and the growing crisis of the aggressive American policy, that much ballyhooed policy of “force” and “Diktat”. They explode the myth of the “almightiness” of the dollar.
New profound changes took place in the world situation in favour of the democratic and anti-imperialist camp and to the detriment of the anti-democratic and imperialist camp.
China dropped off from the imperialist system. The great Chinese people, numbering almost 500 million, took their destinies into their own hands and set up their People’s Republic which, at an accelerated pace and with the selfless aid of the Soviet Union, is successfully transforming and developing its economy and culture, and is dynamically laying the groundwork of its industrialisation. The dictatorship of people’s democracy was consolidated in China. After the Great Socialist October Revolution, the victory of the Chinese people, under the leadership of the tried Chinese Communist Party and of its glorious leader comrade Mao Tse-tung, (Continuous applause), is the second strongest blow inflicted on the imperialist system. The democratic camp grew and won new major positions. The Soviet-Chinese friendship is a fresh powerful force in the struggle for world peace.
The German Democratic Republic came into existence. This fact, in the words of comrade Stalin, is a turning point in the history of Europe.
The aggression of American imperialism in Korea met with the valiant resistance and the united struggle of the freedom-loving Korean people for liberty and independence. This struggle continues already for two years The Korean People’s Army, in brotherly co-operation with the Chinese volunteers, inflicted heavy defeats on the American interventionists, foiled their schemes to conquer and subdue Korea and to launch a campaign in Asia. The prestige of the Yankees suffered an irreparable blow. Likewise the prestige of American arms suffered an irreparable blow. The “great” United States of America got hopelessly stuck in Korea. Its inhuman atrocities, its bacteriological and chemical crimes in Korea show up all the viciousness of the gangsters, trounced in Korea. They also show, however, that the U. S. entire “policy of force” and blackmail has landed in a blind alley. The bloody crimes of the imperialists arouse the growing resentment of the peoples of Korea, China and of the entire world against them. The peoples of the world see still more clearly the bloodstained face of the imperialists and their fiendish plans. That is why they rise against them in spontaneous ire. The “force” of the U.S. imperialist policy suffered a serious reverse precisely in Korea where it had counted on winning an easy victory and where its plans and calculations have completely miscarried.
The national liberation struggle of the Vietnamese people grew in scope and the Vietnam Democratic Republic was proclaimed with comrade Ho Chi Min at the helm. The national liberation movement also gained further momentum in the other countries of Asia, the Near East, Africa, Latin America.
In Western Europe the struggle of the working class and the working people for their vital interests and against the enslaving schemes of American imperialism made still further headway. This is borne out by the wave of strikes and demonstrations. The united national fronts of the people’s masses opposing American imperialism are becoming stronger. Even in the United States there is a growing opposition and resistance to the adventurous schemes of Wall Street and to the monstrous onslaught of the American plutocrats aimed at lowering the living standards of the American working people and at stifling all progressive thinking.
The democratic peace movement of the peoples of the earth has grown immensely and continues to grow. Never before has the world seen such a vast organised movement. The realisation that peace can be preserved and consolidated if the peoples will take the cause of preserving peace into their own hands and defend it to the end spreads ever more widely, penetrates ever more deeply. The world peace movement embraces hundreds of millions of people, regardless of race, nationality, sex, creed, or political convictions, becomes an irresistible force of our times, capable of defending peace and of bridling the aggressive fury of the imperialists. (Applause)
The incessant imperialist armament race intensified during the last four years, the subordination of the economies of the capitalist countries to the preparation of a new war, lead to their further disorganisation bringing them to the verge of catastrophe. An ever increasing number of enterprises producing consumer goods close down, unemployment rises, prices go up, taxes are boosted, while the living standards of the working people go down, spreading mass pauperisation and misery.
As a result, during the past four years the correlation of forces has changed and continues to change in favour of the democratic camp. The position of the imperialist camp has weakened and continues to weaken. Its internal contradictions, its internal rottenness and already proven bankruptcy grow more intense and acute.
The facts show that the American “policy of force” did not and could not give the result expected by the imperialist bandits. Some representatives of their own circles are compelled to confess this. In his speech made towards the end of last January the former American President Herbert Hoover openly admitted that the imperialist “policy of force” was undergoing a crisis, that this policy suffered from an incurable organic weakness, that its initiators and exponents were bankrupt. Such opinions are expressed ever more frequently in the bourgeois press of the U.S. and Western Europe.
The arch-reactionary American newspaper “The Christian Science Monitor” advises American imperialists not to act so directly and crudely, to put on a sheepskin every now and then, as, it appears, the sentiments of the peoples, the mounting wave of hatred against the American “policy of force” has to be taken into consideration. “The Wall Street Journal”, the mouthpiece of the American monopolists, openly expresses its fear that the “policy of force” is like gambling on the roulette at which the stubborn gambler is sooner or later doomed to commit suicide. The well known spokesman of the American imperialists Lippmann is compelled to write that the sanguinary adventure in Korea “has now become senseless and useless as nothing more can be decided or gained by military operations.” He is also compelled to admit that the dirty war of the French imperialists in Vietnam cannot bring any good results to those who throw into it French citizens and billions of francs belonging to the French people.
In Europe too the American “policy of force” is suffering setbacks: and is cracking along the seams. “On his arrival in Europe, the American citizen is surprised,” writes the American magazine “The U.S. News and World Report” …. “Instead of being grateful for our generosity, past and present, the Europeans are inclined to blame the U.S. for all their misfortunes, and our aid to Europe, which for the last 10 years has amounted to 60 billion dollars, has won us good will for not more than 10 cents.” These unwilling confessions reveal the crisis in the much ballyhooed “big stick policy”.
The last General Assembly session of the U.N. which ended in February also showed that this policy backfires even with the seemingly obedient representatives of several countries belonging to the so-called American “majority” in this organisation.
All the glib publicity statements and declarations made by the apologists of the Atlantic Pact and of the much vaunted “European Community” (remember Hitler’s “New Order”!) about the “unanimity” and the “unity of thought and action” in the imperialist camp cannot conceal its growing sharp contradictions, cannot hide the fact of the revival of German and Japanese militarism.
Truth will out. The imperialist quarrels and rivalries are increasingly laid bare. Perfidious intrigues, murders and coups d’état highlight the struggle for the redistribution of raw material resources, particularly of oil, for markets, for strategic key positions on land and at sea. The recurrent coups d’état in Syria during the last few years are a striking proof thereof. Anglo-American contradictions are becoming more intense. This in borne out by the confessions contained in the Fechteler Report recently published in the French bourgeois press, by the manner in which this document became known, as well as the manner in which it was “disavowed”. Years on end American and British imperialists have been keeping close tab on each other in the struggle for supremacy in the Middle East. That is the main reason why the Middle East Command planned by the imperialists has such a tough going.
The preparations towards setting up the projected so-called “European Army” are accompanied by sharp backstage quarrels between the American masters and their “allies”. Now the American imperialists are trying to veil their aggressive “policy of force” by a profusion of cant. They allege that they are threatened and that the U.S.S.R. constitutes a menace to them. Hence, they aver, by arming to their teeth, by rearming Western Europe and Japan, by dotting the entire globe with their bases and by forming an “European Army”, they will create “a balance of power” in the world, nobody will dare attack and thus peace will be preserved”.
Such is the revamped “thesis” of the obscurantist war propaganda of the American stranglers of peace and progress after they burned their fingers in Korea. Not successes nor power compelled them to switch their propaganda thesis 180 degrees and to resort to new tricks, so as to cover up the criminal face of American imperialist aggression, laid shamelessly bare before mankind, before its growing indignation.
This new thesis, however, prompted by their own failures will be of no avail to the American imperialists. This thesis can no more hide their true face than a sieve can hold water.
No one is threatening America. Truman and Eisenhower themselves do not think that the Soviet Union is preparing to attack anyone. Why then do the American imperialists need such huge armed forces, such vast military projects running into billions of dollars? If the American imperialists really wanted to secure peace, they can and should accept the simple and clear cut Soviet proposals for a real settlement of the peace issues by showing good will and by complying with the principles of co-operation and mutual respect among nations. But the American imperialists reject these proposals. They go back on the Yalta and Potsdam agreements signed by them. They conclude separate treaties with Japan and Western Germany. They take out the core of the U.N. as an instrument of peace. They fiercely persecute the peace movement. They pursue a policy of discrimination and blockade in international trade. They lend all out support to the most reactionary regimes in the world, revive German imperialism, hamper in every possible way the unification of the German people in a united peace-loving German state. And they still do not conclude an armistice and peace with Korea.
It is perfectly clear, therefore, that American imperialism wants to place the world under its thumb and is plotting new attacks against peace. That is why it rearms and creates various military zones and high-commands, that is why it has been sweating over the organisation of the “Atlantic” and “European” army for the past two years.
The new metamorphosis of American propaganda, the new “peace-loving” sophistry of the crime perpetrators in Korea, set in the pillory of history for all times to come, relies solely on naiveté, on the possibility to fool those who would let themselves be fooled. It expects to patch up the deflated authority and prestige of the dollar politicians, the gaping holes in their political strategy. At the same time this roundabout face is an expression of the already apparent weakness of the “policy of force”, of its crisis, of the alarm caused in the imperialist camp by the growing indignation of the peoples.
The “policy of force” cannot succeed. By means of ultimatums, the American imperialists may intimidate some weak-kneed persons, they may buy traitors, hire right-wing social democrats, those loyal lackeys of capitalism, enlist men like Tito, Yalchin and Papagos. They cannot, however, impose their will upon the world by ultimatums.
The ultimatums of the American imperialists have no effect on the Soviet Union, on China and the People’s Democracies. This much is quite clear. These ultimatums cannot and never will achieve anything. (Stormy Applause) For these countries do not understand and refuse to understand the language of ultimatums.
The Wall Street plutocrats consider military power – the possession of more arms, more bases of all kinds, more bombs, more cholera and plague germs, more cut-throats and hangmen as the only power. But is military power enough and a really effective force when the policy of the American imperialists aimed at preparing a new war disrupts the entire capitalist economy, when the peoples realise ever more clearly the barbarian purpose of that military power as well as the monstrous nature of the crime it is about to perpetrate, when their hatred for this power is steadily rising and turning into a struggle against it?
That, dear comrades, is not real power. Real power consists in economic progress and prosperity, in the consciousness that one’s cause is just and progressive, in the support of the people, in the common interests and unity of all peoples, in defending these interests and giving a true expression to them.
Such is the power of the democratic camp which firmly opposes the crisis-stricken imperialist camp and foils the schemes of the warmongers.
The Soviet Union, the great bastion of peace which heads the democratic camp, has scored tremendous successes in the past four years. Under the direction of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union headed by its great leader Stalin, the Soviet peoples effected vast peace-time construction works which raised to a new and still higher level the economic and cultural power of the Soviet state, ensured its further, unparalleled in its scope, victorious progress in all spheres of life. The first post-war Stalinist Five-Year Plan was fulfilled ahead of schedule – in four years and three months. The 1951 plan was also fulfilled. Thousands of new large enterprises are set into operation. The technical base of the economy, the mechanisation of production, is expanding on a stupendous scale. The dynamic creative activity all over the country, the movement of the innovators, the constant raising of the working people’s qualifications ensure an ever higher productivity of labour. In 1951 Soviet industrial production was twice as high as in 1940. Great are also the successes in the development of Soviet socialist rural economy. Its technical base is constantly expanding. In 1951 it was supplied with 137,000 new tractors, 53,000 combines for gathering in the grain crops. Science, art and culture are flourishing in the U.S.S.R. Soviet science, art and culture, with their wealth and new content, spearhead the progress of mankind, trace the path and outline its future perspectives. The Soviet Union teems with new life-giving forces. The vast constructions of communism, the wonderful Stalinist Plan for the transformation of nature, the systematic reduction of commodity prices, the progressively rising living standards of the working people-such are the fine achievements of the Soviet Union. They bear testimony to the inexhaustible potentialities of the socialist system and to its undoubted advantages over the capitalist system. Relying on Soviet friendship the great Chinese people, the peoples in the People’s Democracies and the German Democratic Republic surmount all difficulties. The policy of the Soviet Union and of the People’s Democracies, in contrast with that of the imperialist countries, is solely dictated by the interests of peace. Peace, peaceful construction, peaceful production, peaceful co-operation among nations – that is the cornerstone of their entire activity, that is the basis of their development and progress.
The consistent and firm peace policy of the Soviet Union is an international factor of prime importance. The Soviet Union does its utmost to reduce world tension, to check the dark forces of war, to preserve peace. If, despite their desperate efforts and intentions, the imperialists were unable to set their fiendish schemes into practice, humanity owes this to the great Soviet Union, to the tremendous successes of Stalin’s peace policy. (Stormy and continuous applause)
When asked by a group of editors of American provincial newspapers whether a third world war was nearer today than two or three years ago, comrade Stalin replied briefly and simply: “No, it is not.” This short and simple answer contains in a nutshell a deep analysis of the present international situation. It underscores the successes achieved in the fight for peace and arms the peoples with a new powerful weapon in this fight.
When asked by the group of American editors whether a meeting of the heads of the Great Powers would be useful, comrade Stalin replied: “Possibly it will be useful.” Comrade Stalin also answered two other questions. He stated that he considered the present time opportune for the unification of Germany and that the peaceful co-existence of capitalism and communism was quite possible, provided there was a mutual desire to co-operate, provided there was a readiness to honour the obligations assumed, and provided the principle of equality and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states was observed.
Comrade Stalin’s replies are of historic importance. They express the continuous readiness of the Soviet Union to co-operate seeking ways and means to reduce the present world tension. They are an evidence of the powerful growth of the peace movement, of the anti-war sentiments of the peoples. They show that the chances of the imperialists to precipitate a third world war are no better than they were two or three years ago, that the democratic camp has further consolidated, its positions, that the “policy of force” of the American imperialists lays, bare its great internal weaknesses.
Comrade Stalin’s replies once and again with final clarity express the peaceful policy of the Soviet Union, its good will and determination to do its utmost to preserve peace. The representatives of the imperialist countries, however, continue their break-neck policy and do not desire a peaceful settlement of international problems.
But he who lives by the sword, shall die by the sword. It seems that the imperialists are beginning to forget the wisdom of the old folk sayings.
“If anyone should fear the consequences of a new world war,” comrade Lavrenti Beriya declared last year, “it is the capitalists in America and in the other bourgeois countries who should fear it most. For a new war will put before the peoples the question of the perniciousness of the capitalist system, which cannot exist without war, and of the necessity to replace this bloody system by another, a socialist system – as it happened in Russia after World War I, as it happened in the People’s Democracies in Europe and Asia after World War II.” (Stormy applause)
Our country, the People’s Democratic Republic of Bulgaria, faithful to the behests of Georgi Dimitrov, during the last four years stood firmly in the camp of peace, democracy and socialism, consolidating Bulgarian-Soviet friendship, struggling, working and recording successes as a sound and reliable force in this camp.
The Fatherland Front grew and consolidated as an important detachment of the great international army of peace.
In the international situation in which it holds its sessions, the Third Congress of the Fatherland Front comes to demonstrate the unreserved appurtenance and devotion of our people to the democratic camp, their boundless love and gratitude towards the great Soviet Union, towards Stalin, the foremost standard-bearer of peace and best friend and defender of Bulgaria and of the Bulgarian people. (Stormy and continuous applause. All rise and cheer: “Stalin, Stalin !”)
Let us repeat the words of our immortal Georgi Dimitrov: “Our people have found here their natural abode and there is no force on earth which can dislodge them, for their vital interests and future completely coincide with the interests of the world democratic camp, headed by the great Soviet Union.”
II. TWO STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT OF OUR PEOPLE’S DEMOCRACY
The Second Congress of the Fatherland Front met, worked and took its decisions at the very beginning of the second stage of development of our People’s Democracy.
On September 9, 1944 the government of big capital, of the capitalist bourgeoisie was overthrown by means of an armed uprising led by the Communist Party and backed by the victoriously advancing Soviet Army. Power passed into “the hands of the great majority of the people, the working people in town and village in which the working class and its communist vanguard played an active and leading role. Having triumphed with the decisive aid of the heroic Soviet Army, the September Ninth Uprising paved the road for building socialism in our country.” (Georgi Dimitrov)
In alliance with the working peasants, relying on the mighty political anti-fascist army, united under the banner of the anti-fascist Fatherland Front, the working class came to power. It formed a government together with its allies – some of them loyal, others wavering, still others with the covert intention to obstruct from within. Immediately after September Ninth the working class and its shock troops did not take at once all key posts in the state apparatus and the economy. This was achieved gradually, in the process of the revolution, in the struggle with the capitalist bourgeoisie, with its agency, against the pressure of the American imperialists. This process was greatly facilitated by the liberating mission of the Soviet Army, by its presence in the country. The Soviet Army saved Bulgaria from imperialist occupation, from intervention and civil war and from the fate of Greece and similar countries.
In the first government, formed on September Ninth, the Communist ministers were a mere minority, holding only four portfolios. Bourgeois elements like Nikola Petkov and others took part in that government. During the first three years of its existence the People’s Government solved primarily democratic and anti-imperialist problems. A large part of the industrial means of production was still in the hands of the capitalist bourgeoisie. But even in these conditions the very fact that a people’s government was in power, a government of the working class in alliance with the working peasants sprung from the September Ninth People’s Uprising, opened the path to socialism in our country.
Within the Fatherland Front, created by Georgi Dimitrov, the great leader and teacher of the Bulgarian people, the working class and its vanguard, the Communist Party, played a key role. This fact was of paramount importance for the fate of the Fatherland Front, as is now abundantly clear to everyone. Although the communists were obviously in a minority in the first Fatherland Front Government, in actual fact they were the decisive force among the people and in the Fatherland Front. Actually power belonged to the local Fatherland Front Committees, in which the communists played the leading role. It is not surprising that in this setup such key positions as the Ministry of the Interior and the newly-created assistant commander institute in the Army were held by the communists. The communists alone could successfully organise the prime task of that moment – to crush the overthrown monarcho-fascist clique, to secure internal order, to re-organise the Army and ensure its participation in the Patriotic War. This was in the general interest of the people, of the Fatherland Front. It was not the number of communists in the Council of Ministers which then determined the role, influence and actual power of the Communist Party in the country.
The participation of elements such as Nikola Petkov, who beyond any doubt represented the interests of the bourgeoisie in the government, did not and could not play a decisive, a leading role in the policy of the Fatherland Front Government. It was the communists who actually played the leading role in the government.
As I said, the immediate tasks which the September Ninth Uprising had to solve were democratic and anti-imperialist in nature – to crush the fascist forces, to liquidate imperialist dependence, to punish the culprits for the criminal alliance with the Nazis, to guarantee democratic rights to the working people, to organise the Patriotic War against Nazi Germany, and to rehabilitate the national economy.
The blow against fascism and its rout, the blow against imperialist dependence and its liquidation was bound to shake the very foundations of the capitalist system in our country, to transcend the limits of our bourgeois democracy, and to open the path for the socialist reconstruction of Bulgaria. The September Ninth people’s democratic revolution, in the process of which the working class in alliance with the working peasants consolidated its power, combined two elements: the national liberation struggle against Nazi dependence and fascism and the people’s struggle against the capitalist yoke.
The fascist regime was swept out on September 9, 1944 The bourgeois-fascist police apparatus directed against the working people was smashed. Already on September 9 a radical change occurred in the character of state power: “the instrument of oppression and exploitation of the working masses in favour of the capitalists was destroyed and a people’s government was created (emphasis mine – V. C.) as an instrument for the destruction of capitalism, for the gradual liberation of the working people from all exploitation.” (Georgi Dimitrov)
The old bourgeois machine was not completely destroyed on September 9 and immediately thereafter. Its final destruction took a longer time, but it was started on September 9 and not later. In other words, the September Ninth Uprising marks the beginning of the people’s democracy as a government of the working class in alliance with the working peasants. This new state power, however, had to be developed and consolidated.
“Although its immediate tasks were of a democratic character,” Georgi Dimitrov said at the Fifth Congress of the Communist Party, “the September Ninth Uprising could not but shake the very foundations of the capitalist system in our country, thus transcending the limits of bourgeois democracy.”
This, then, is the salient feature of the September Ninth Uprising.
It is due to the fact that you cannot eliminate fascism, grant democratic rights to the working masses, consolidate and develop these rights without challenging the very rule of capitalism, for fascism is nothing but the ruthless, terroristic dictatorship of big business. The eradication of fascism cannot be completed without challenging big business. Democratic rights cannot be granted to the toilers, if big business preserves its political and economic power. The September Ninth Uprising, therefore, out to solve problems of a democratic character and the great national problem of our people’s participation in the war for the final destruction of Nazism, could not but turn subsequently against the domination of big business, deal it further serious blows and prepare the ground for its abolition, for the abolition of the entire capitalist system and the passing over to socialism.
However, in order to translate these possibilities into reality our Party had to wage a bitter struggle.”
Several factors had to be taken into consideration:
The whole setting in which the uprising was carried out; the chief measures whose implementation was – as Georgi Dimitrov put it – imperative in that particular setting; and finally, the scope of tasks which could then be realised immediately.
As is known, the September Ninth Uprising occurred while the war against Nazi Germany was still on. No measures dared be taken which could possibly impede the victorious prosecution of the war.
“We must not overlook this important fact, nor should we forget when appraising our Party’s activity during the period of the country’s development after September Ninth until the end of the war and the signing of the peace treaty,” Georgi Dimitrov declared at the Fifth Congress of the Communist Party, “that our country, as a former satellite of Nazi Germany, was under the supervision of a Special Allied Control Commission, whose British and American members were antagonistic to the People’s Government. On the other hand, in the interest of its national existence and in defence of its freedom, Bulgaria had to take an active part in the war against Nazi Germany on the side and under the command of the Soviet Union.”
..... “Only the ripest issues could be submitted for solution, so as not to skip some stages in the development of the struggle of the working class and the working people from town and village against capitalism (emphasis mine – V. C.). In this respect our Party was fully aware of its historic responsibility before the working class and all working people.”
The problems which had to be solved then and whose solution secured the further successful struggle against capitalism were the following: to defend and consolidate the victory of September Ninth – the dominant positions won by the working class and the working people; to stamp out the monarcho-fascist clique and its agency; to mobilise all material and moral forces of the nation for the victorious end of the Patriotic War, to settle the country’s international status by concluding a just peace securing its national independence and state sovereignty.
That is why the only correct slogan was the slogan for the all-out rallying of the democratic and patriotic forces of the whole people for the defence of our national independence, territorial integrity and state sovereignty from the insolent encroachments of international imperialist reaction, headed by the American imperialists. The implementation of this slogan enabled the Communist Party and the Fatherland Front to strengthen their positions, to form closer ties with the broad people’s masses, to enlist the bulk of the intellectuals in the people’s cause and to isolate the enemies of the September Ninth cause. Under the experienced, wise and firm leadership of Georgi Dimitrov the Communist Party and the Fatherland Front honourably fulfilled this slogan.
During this period the People’s Government gave full scope to the development of the working people’s organisations and to the political, social, economic and cultural creative activity of the masses. Women and minorities were granted equal rights. Youths over 18 were granted the right to vote and to be elected. The army was reorganised and political rights were given to soldiers and officers. The people’s militia was consolidated. A law on land ownership was enacted. A number of measures for the restriction of capitalist exploitation and for the organisation of production and trade were carried out. The state apparatus was reconstructed in compliance with the principles of People’s Democracy.
The economic measures following September 9, 1944, aimed at the rehabilitation of the economy which had been disrupted by the war and by Nazi spoliation. In this respect the aid of the Soviet Union, with which our country concluded its first trade agreement, proved invaluable.
The main obstacles which prevented the People’s Government from immediately liquidating the economic base of the overthrown big bourgeoisie were: 1) the war was not yet finished; 2) Bulgaria’s international status was as yet unsettled and 3) Bulgaria as a defeated country, was supervised by an Allied Control Commission.
These very reasons made it impossible to proceed with an integral solution of the socialist tasks and not such factors as, say, that the Communist Party had not yet won over the majority of the working class or that its alliance with the working peasants was not yet firm enough or that, finally, the working class and Communist Party had first to solve the tasks of a bourgeois democratic revolution, to eliminate big landowners and only then to tackle problems of a socialist nature. In fact, there did not exist such a situation in our country, it did not face a bourgeois democratic revolution, as feudal land ownership had long since been abolished.
The victorious advance of the Soviet army of liberation into our country created a most favourable setting on September Ninth. Our working class, headed by its communist vanguard, in close alliance with the working peasants and backed by the Fatherland Front, at first took only some of the key positions into its hands. Taking into account the country’s international situation, it focussed its attention on the solution of democratic and anti-imperialist problems. In the course of the revolution it then successively took over one key position after another in the administration and economy until it finally held them all. Meanwhile it also further consolidated the worker and peasant alliance, strengthened its ties with the people and secured a settlement of the country’s international status, a just peace and finally paved the way for the radical solution of the major task in the name of which it had come into power.
But even during the first stage of the people’s democratic revolution in Bulgaria there were quite a few problems of an anti-capitalist nature which had to be solved. Among the measures which tended to curb capitalism and to prepare the decisive blow against it, let us mention the following: the workers’ control over industry; the state regulation of the production and distribution of raw materials and fuel; the price policy of the government; the single tax on war profits; the confiscation of property acquired by speculation and unlawful means after January 1, 1935; the introduction of the progressive income-tax system; the establishment of a state monopoly on insurance, tobacco and alcohol; the compulsory purchase of nationally vital enterprises; the establishment of state control over private firms in foreign trade and the creation of import and export enterprises with state participation; the nationalisation of domestic wholesale trade; the working out, adoption and fulfilment of the Two-Year Plan.
Owing to the peculiarities of Bulgarian land ownership, the law on land ownership affected almost only the big kulak holdings of over 50 acres and in Dobrudja of over 75 acres. The kulak farms were also affected by the purchasing of heavy agricultural equipment. This shows that even during the first stage the People’s Government encroached upon capitalism, but these encroachments were not yet decisive. They did not determine the nature of the main tasks during that stage.
The Communist Party and the Fatherland Front organised the struggle for a decisive resistance against the attempts of international and home reaction to undermine the cause of September Ninth, to set back the development of the country. During this period both the Communist Party and the Fatherland Front, under the leadership of Georgi Dimitrov, displayed great vigilance, tactical ability and daring. They succeeded in crushing domestic reaction and in isolating the enemies of the September Ninth cause from the people.
The capitalist bourgeoisie, which had not yet been deprived of its economic base and was linked to international capital, obstructed the government policy, tried to wreck and sabotage production and trade through its agency within the Fatherland Front – the reactionary rightist elements. It attempted on the very morrow of the Uprising to start a struggle against the leading role of the Communist Party, to disrupt the economic life of the country, to impede the government measures, to weaken the Fatherland Front and to pave the way for restoration.
You still remember the spontaneous and mighty outburst of popular indignation which swept the country, when in December 1944 the Communist Party made its appeal against the so-called fourth ministerial decree of Damyan Velchev. This measure was aimed at saving the murderers of the working people from the wrath of the people so as to use them as organisers and fomentors of plots and coups d’état against the People’s Government. The might of the people rallied round the Fatherland Front, the devotion and confidence of the working people towards the Communist Party erupted like a volcano. Damyan Velchev and his ilk backed down and played dumb. They turned out to be generals without an army. Their schemes miscarried. All of a sudden it became clear to everyone who was the real master in the country and what was the nature of the People’s Government.
The American imperialists hurried to send their old agent Dr. Gemeto (G. M. Dimitrov), a self-styled leader of the Agrarian Union, on whom they pinned great hopes. Upon his arrival in Bulgaria, his grace set out to organise a bloc of the rightist and reactionary elements within the Fatherland Front against the Communist Party. He and his retinue of American and British spies asked no less and no more than the liquidation of the Fatherland Front committees, they opposed the Patriotic War, the People’s Militia, the People’s Court, and launched a defeatist campaign.
Very soon Gemeto proved to be a dud. (Laughter) He failed to live up to the hopes of his masters. Gemetovism was thoroughly unmasked, routed and smashed. Cleansed of the Gemetovites, the Fatherland Front was further strengthened. The Communist Party further cemented its ties with the sound Fatherland Front forces of the Agrarian Union.
After Gemeto’s flop, international and domestic capitalist reaction replaced him by Nikola Petkov.
American imperialist pressure on our country grew in intensity after the end of the war. The American imperialists openly interfered in our home affairs. The unsettled international situation enabled them to do so. On the order of the American and British imperialists, Nikola Petkov, Kosta Lulchev and their followers left the Fatherland Front and formed a vicious opposition set on restoring the old regime. The parliamentary elections scheduled for August 26, 1945 had to be postponed on account of Anglo-American interference. This circumstance, as well as the great difficulties which our country was undergoing as the result of the destructions and aftermath of the war and of the drought, created propitious conditions for the subversive activities of the opposition.
After a severe struggle, the Fatherland Front crushed also the vicious opposition of Nikola Petkov and Kosta Lulchev. It did its utmost to open the eyes of those Bulgarian citizens who had been temporarily deceived by the demagogy of the opposition so as to enable them to return to the fold of the Fatherland Front. This task was fulfilled with great success. Prodded by their imperialist masters, the opposition centres, who had become entirely isolated from the people, resorted to conspiracies and plots aiming at the forceful overthrow of the People’s Government. These centres, however, were uncovered and met with their desert The People’s Government discovered and crushed a number of other plots.
Bringing the struggle against the opposition to a successful close, the Communist Party and the Fatherland Front consolidated the positions of the working class, broadened and deepened the worker-peasant alliance, rallied the sound democratic and patriotic forces in the country still more closely.
In the elections for the Grand National Assembly the Fatherland Front won 70 per cent of all the votes, while the Communist Party alone won over 50 per cent. Thus the leading role of the Communist Party received popular recognition and approval in a parliamentary way too.
The new Fatherland Front Government, formed after these elections was headed by Georgi Dimitrov. It reflected the general recognition of the Communist Party’s dominant role. The key positions in the administration and the economy were already in the hands of the communists and the most tested militants of the Fatherland Front. The Agrarian Union reorganised its ranks and included the construction of socialism as the main task in its programme.
In this way, the historic victories of September Ninth were defended. The country’s national independence was preserved. A stop was put to the bossing of the imperialists and their agents in our country. Bulgaria was proclaimed a People’s Republic. Its international status was settled. This occurred amid sharp class struggles. The fact that this class struggle did not assume a more acute form, was due to the Soviet Army which, as stressed more than once, by its very presence paralysed the forces of reaction.
It was now possible to proceed with the expropriation of big business and with the nationalisation of industrial enterprises and banks and to launch forward along the road traced out by the September Ninth Uprising. And this was accomplished.
“Bulgarian experience too confirmed the Leninist-Stalinist analysis that in the conditions of decaying capitalism, of the hopeless organic crisis of bourgeois democracy giving rise to fascism, no major and lasting democratic transformations are possible, no progress can be made without encroaching upon the basis of capitalism, without advancing towards socialism. The latter was greatly facilitated in our country by the fraternal aid of a mighty socialist state, the Soviet Union.” (Georgi Dimitrov)
With the natlonalisation of the capitalist industrial enterprises and banks our People’s Democracy was consolidated and assumed its final shape as a specific form of proletarian dictatorship. The necessary conditions existed now for laying the foundations of a socialist society in Bulgaria. The Dimitrov Constitution adopted at that time gave legislative embodiment to the radical changes effected and to the new system of People’s Democracy.
Thus, the first stage in the development of our People’s Democracy extended from September 9, 1944 to the end of 1947. During this period the People’s Democracy originated and was established as a specific form of government of the working class in close alliance with the working peasants. Without the nationalisation of industrial enterprises and banks, effected on December 23, 1947, one could not speak of a firmly established rule of the working class. On the other hand, this nationalisation was prepared by the preceding political, social and economic measures of the People’s Government. It completed the first stage and ushered in the second stage of development of the People’s Democracy – the stage of laying the foundations of socialist society in our country.
The September Ninth Uprising marks therefore the beginning of a process of profound revolutionary changes extending to the end of 1947 and terminating with the nationalisation of large industrial enterprises and banks. These changes are in character and taken as a whole equivalent to a socialist revolution. (Prolonged applause)
The successful completion of the first stage of development of the
People’s Democracy made imperative the question of the further
perspectives and tasks. These perspectives and tasks had to be
formulated clearly. And indeed, they were formulated in Georgi
Dimitrov’s report at the Fifth Congress of the Communist Party as well
as in the Five-Year Plan.
III. THE WORK OF THE FATHERLAND FRONT AFTER ITS SECOND CONGRESS
Freed from wavering and hostile elements, who dropped out or were expelled, the Fatherland Front entered upon the second stage of development of our People’s Democracy reinvigorated, consolidated, internally firmer and more united than ever before. This inner cohesion was an expression of the growing moral, political and patriotic unity of the working people, of the successfully concluded struggle for safeguarding the historic victories of September Ninth, of the conditions created for the transition towards laying the foundations of a socialist society. The Fatherland Front embodied the successes achieved. This was most clearly reflected in its reorganisation at the Second Congress.
At the Second Congress of the Fatherland Front Georgi Dimitrov gave a new direction to its work in conformity with the new stage of development. On his suggestion, the Fatherland Front was reshaped into a unified social-political organisation with a new programme specifying the new tasks of socialist construction, with a general statute obligatory for all its members, and with its own elected leaderships. Its coalition elements were removed. It became an organisation of the militant worker-peasant alliance for the construction of socialism. The leading role of the Communist Party in this construction, as well as in the whole political, social, economic and cultural life of the country was generally recognised.
To the thus reorganised Fatherland Front Georgi Dimitrov set as main task the political and patriotic education of the whole people in the spirit of the Constitution, so that they may actively participate in the government of the country and in the utmost development of its productive forces as well as contribute to the implementation of the Government measures, to the all-round consolidation of Bulgarian-Soviet friendship as a cornerstone of Bulgaria’s entire policy, of its struggle for peace, democracy and socialism.
Four years have elapsed since at its Second Congress the Fatherland Front became a unified social-political organisation. As Georgi Dimitrov put it, this was “a decisive step of historic importance” in its development.
The past four years fully confirmed the correctness of the changes effected, fully confirmed the vital importance of the tasks and aims set by Georgi Dimitrov to the Fatherland Front.
The balance-sheet of the Fatherland Front during the past four years is positive. As an organised and united social and political bulwark of the People’s Government, it made and is making its great contribution to the laying of the foundations of socialism. This contribution consists in the social, political, educational and organisational work which it carried out during these four years for the implementation of the decisions and measures of the People’s Government.
The prime achievement of the Fatherland Front, i.e. the close rapprochement and singleness of purpose between the working class and the economically, politically, socially and spiritually heterogeneous people’s forces has been firmly consolidated and extended during the past four years. This is our greatest success, the chief result of the reorganisation of the Fatherland Front which was announced at its Second Congress and later translated into a living reality.
The Fatherland Front was founded, developed and extended as a genuine embodiment of the worker-peasant alliance, of the alliance of the working class with the sound patriotic forces of the people. First, in the struggle against fascism and Nazi slavery and later in the struggle for building and consolidating the new People’s Democracy and for laying the foundations of socialism, the Fatherland Front made two signal contributions. It helped weld the working class and its vanguard, the Communist Party, with the bulk of the working people from town and village and it helped stabilise and ensure general recognition to the leading role of the working class and the Communist Party in this alliance, as an indispensable prerequisite and guarantee for the successful struggle for national independence, democracy and socialism.
Judging by the scope and firmness of the alliance of the people’s forces headed by the Communist Party, in the name of Bulgarian-Soviet friendship and the building of socialism, we can state without any exaggeration that the Fatherland Front is a bulwark of the People’s Government with deep roots in history – flesh and blood of the Bulgarian people, their mighty indestructible and impregnable bastion. (Stormy applause) In this respect the Fatherland Front has rendered exceptional and historic services to our country. These services can hardly be overestimated.
The Fatherland Front has now over two million members. It embraces 42.39 per cent of all electors in the country. Hence its membership has doubled since the Second Congress.
At the elections for People’s Councils and jurymen on May 15, 1949, 92.01 per cent of the electors voted for the Fatherland Front, while at the elections for the National Assembly and District Councils on December 18, 1949 – 97.66 per cent.
Alongside with its growth and internal consolidation, the Fatherland Front improved its work in every respect and broadened the scope of its activity among the non-Party people’s masses. There is no measure of our People’s Government, no local initiative, in the fulfilment of which it has not taken and is not taking a most active part. During the past four years the main task of the Fatherland Front has been to give all-out aid to the fulfilment of the Dimitrov Five-Year Plan, to help develop and consolidate the co-operative farms, to speed the successful implementation of the sowing campaigns, the gathering in of the harvest and the prompt fulfilment of the state deliveries. To this end the Fatherland Front engaged in a wide educational activity inside its own organisations and among unorganised non-Party people. Almost half a million of its members, the majority of them women, attend regular study and reading groups. All Government decisions and measures are explained to the people and numerous lectures are held on international and domestic problems as well as on cultural topics.
The Fatherland Front committees and organisations actively support the peace committees and work in close collaboration with them. Participating wholeheartedly in the campaigns organised by the National Peace Committee, the Fatherland Front contributes to their success. Two striking examples are the collection of over 6 million signatures for the conclusion of a Peace Pact and the gathering of over 2.3 million presents for the heroic Korean people.
The Fatherland Front also works untiringly to strengthen national defence, to prepare our people, to protect their freedom and national independence against any encroachment of the imperialist fiends and their lackeys.
The Fatherland Front plays a big part in consolidating broadening and deepening the salutary and life-giving friendship of our people with the fraternal Soviet peoples.
At meetings, conferences, gatherings, in the fields, in towns and villages the Fatherland Front acquaints the working-people with the tremendous achievements of the great Soviet Union and with the all-embracing and invaluable aid which it gives us in the building of socialism.
The Fatherland Front organisations are the right hand of the Bulgarian-Soviet societies in conducting thousands of Russian language courses, in popularising the rich Soviet literature, in organising Bulgarian-Soviet friendship months and in their daily and highly useful activities.
After the Second Congress women took a much more active part in the work of the Fatherland Front organisations. They excelled especially by their initiative and enthusiasm in such drives as the collection of signatures for the Peace Pact and the Korean War Relief. In this respect we are most happy to note the change occurring among a great many Turkish women who increasingly participate in our political and cultural life. Until recently a Turkish woman attending a meeting or conference was a rare sight indeed. Today the Turkish woman takes an active part in the reading groups, literacy courses, meetings and conferences. Much credit for this is due to the Fatherland Front.
The number of women taking part in the leading bodies, of the Fatherland Front organisations is also increasing. Whereas in 1950 they constituted a mere 17 per cent of the members of those bodies, in 1951 they attained 29 per cent. This percentage still fails to reflect their true role in the work of the Fatherland front and also falls short of the per cent they should have in its leading bodies.
There is a growing collaboration between the Fatherland Front organisations and the People’s Councils. Much remains to be done, however, in this respect.
Despite the Fatherland Front’s rapid growth since the Second Congress, it has not yet fully carried out unfortunately Georgi Dimitrov’s instruction to enlist the majority of Bulgarian electors. There still exists some apprehension to open widely the doors of the Fatherland Front so that every honest Bulgarian citizen, every Bulgarian patriot may join it. The Fatherland Front has not yet exhausted all its vast possibilities to become an organisation which is easily accessible, interesting and attractive to non Party people.
After the Second Congress the entire work of the Fatherland Front was focussed on fulfilling the main tasks formulated by Georgi Dimitrov in his report at the Congress.
The Third Congress is glad to report that the Fatherland Front has been successful in fulfilling these tasks and that the results obtained are satisfactory. It now has to formulate the new tasks on the basis of the achievements during the last four years so that its work in the forthcoming period may receive a new impetus. It must decide on the measures and general direction of its work which will enable it to catch up with its shortcomings, to get rid of its defects and to consolidate, develop and multiply its undoubted achievements.
Today, however, the Congress of the Fatherland Front must have a clear view of the country’s entire development since 1948, and of its achievements. Permit me to deal now with this question. (Applause)
IV. THE FIVE-YEAR PLAN IN FOUR YEARS
At the Second Congress of the Fatherland Front Georgi Dimitrov reviewed the achievements of the Fatherland Front Government during its first five years in eradicating the evil legacy of the past, in clearing the way for the socialist development of the country which would forever put an end to this evil legacy.
The People’s Democratic Government can be proud of what it has achieved during this period, for it has determined the entire course of our future progress. The changes effected by the Fatherland Front Government were so thoroughgoing that they put our country on the wide road of socialist reconstruction.
Since the Second Congress of the Fatherland Front our country has scored considerable successes in its advance towards socialism.
Utmost energy and perseverance characterised the fulfilment of the militant programme for laying the basis of a socialist society in Bulgaria, as worked out at the Fifth Congress of the Communist Party, under the direct leadership of our unforgettable teacher and leader Georgi Dimitrov, and embodied in the first Dimitrov Five-Year Plan.
Traicho Kostov and his evil gang, this hostile agency within our own ranks, which seriously threatened Bulgaria’s independence and socialist development, was unmasked, routed and stamped out. The card, on which Tito, his American and other imperialist masters had staked, was trumped. The lessons drawn from the rout of Traicho Kostov’s subversive gang reinvigorated the Communist Party, the People’s Government, the ranks of all working people’s organisations and sharpened their vigilance. Their determination to translate the Five-Year Plan for Bulgaria’s socialist transformation into a living reality became even more unswerving. They rose indignantly as one man and like a granite rock against the treacherous attempt to turn aside our country from its only correct road, the road of unshakable Bulgarian-Soviet friendship, a road on which it finally emerged after untold efforts, sacrifices and sufferings, as a result of the people’s democratic revolution of .September 1944. They responded with a mighty wave of growing labour upsurge, confidence, love and devotion to the Party of Dimiter Blagoev and Georgi Dimitrov, to their very own People’s Democratic Government, to the salutary Bulgarian-Soviet friendship, to the great Stalin, our father and foremost defender.
Heartening indeed was the response of the people to the appeals of the Party to ruthlessly combat all shortcomings, complacency, negligence and slackness in work, to educate the masses to freely criticise these faults, to root out all remnants of the bourgeois and fascist past, to be uncompromising in the fight against the decayed capitalist ideology, and to broaden the scope of creative initiatives and of socialist emulation throughout the country. These appeals penetrated everywhere like a life-giving spring wind, awakened latent forces amid the working class and became a living reality.
The Communist Party, standing at the helm of the working people, relying on their full support and on their growing labour upsurge, after routing Traicho Kostov and his gang and armed with the decisions of its Fifth Congress, firmly led the Fatherland Front and the whole country along the road of socialism.
At the very beginning of this road our people suffered a great loss. A heavy misfortune befell them. Our beloved teacher and leader Georgi Dimitrov, the tried people’s helmsman, the internationally famous hero of the struggle against fascism, the outstanding Bulgarian disciple and comrade-in-arms of Lenin and Stalin, the founder of the Fatherland Front and of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, after being stricken with an insidious disease, passed away.
It was a grievous blow to our Party, to the Fatherland Front, to the Republic and to the whole nation. But with redoubled force the Party, Fatherland Front and the Republic, the whole people-workers, peasants, intelligentsia-pledged themselves before the bright memory of Georgi Dimitrov to follow his legacy, his example, his initiatives, to follow them unflinchingly until they become a living reality. With redoubled farce they rallied round his name. They turned their great grief for the late leader into an even firmer moral and political unity, into heightened consciousness and discipline, into creative, constructive energy, and into a firm resolution to bring Dimitrov’s immortal cause to full victory.
The Dimitrov-trained Communist Party and its leadership proved that his great legacy and immortal cause are in sure hands, that nothing can turn them aside from the consistent and unconditional fulfilment of his legacy.
This is borne out by the steady and victorious advance of our country along the road of socialism during the past three years.
This is also borne out by our great political, economic and cultural successes in the course of these three years.
The People’s Government, backed by the working people, by their growing creative upsurge, carried out a number of basic measures which enabled it to master the management of the economy, to gear it to the planning principle, to turn the plan into a directive, into an imperative, to instill and promote state discipline, strict personal responsibility, accountancy and control in the work, to make sure that the production and construction plans are fulfilled, to wage a systematic and steadfast fight for high-quality production, for a reduction in cost, economies, utmost labour productivity, for a popularisation of labour initiatives and emulation, for an extension of trade, consolidation of finances, for a gradual and steady rise in the living standards of the working people.
With an iron hand the People’s Government cleared all the bogs left from the dark past, when the big capitalists and the monarcho-fascist clique rapaciously lorded it over our country. The harm done to the separate branches of the economy and state by the wrecking activities of Traicho Kostov was also mended. Profiting from the tested and rich experience of our Soviet brothers and sisters, availing ourselves of their selfless aid with grit and gratitude, following unswervingly the behests of Georgi Dimitrov, we can report now that not only are the bogs of the past cleared, our economy restored and streamlined along the road to socialism, but that prerequisites have been created in our economy, and consequently in the whole country, for an uninterrupted and unprecedented upsurge.
Our industry is steadily advancing. Last year its output was four times that of 1939. This year it strives to ensure an output 16.4 per cent above the 1953 plan figure. What is most striking about this figure is the real possibility it offers to exceed in 1952 the original 1953 targets, fixed by the Five-Year Plan, for coal, machine-building and ores. The same should be true of this year’s output of the metal, textile, food and chemical industries. During the past four years new, hitherto unknown industrial branches developed in Bulgaria, such as the machine-building; electrical engineering, chemical industries and the industry producing constructional materials. The bases of our own metallurgy have already been laid.
The total capital investment in our construction is increasing from year to year. In 1951 alone, this investment amounted to some hundred billion leva (in old money) or twice as much as in 1948. Conditions are thus ripe for the further upsurge of our economy and for a continuous rise in the living standards of the working people.
Since 1949 the following modernly equipped new enterprises were put into operation: the “Stalin”, “Republika” and “Vulko Chervenkov” thermo-electric power stations the “Vidima” hydro-electric power station, the asbestoscement plant, the “Vassil Kolarov” and “Vulko Chervenkov auto-repair plants, the “Kliment Voroshilov” low tension plant, the “Vassil Kolarov” high tension plant, the electrical-cable plant, several flotation installations the electrical-porcelain plant, the “Ernst Thaelmann” spinning factory and many others.
In this way our industry has long since exceeded the programme of the Five-Year Plan in its rate of development. (Applause)
As regards the level of industrial production, the Five-Year Plan was fulfilled early in 1952. As regards the volume of production in many key industries, the Five-Year Plan will no doubt be fulfilled in four years. (Lengthy applause)
This rapid rate of industrial development is due mainly to the fact that our industry, unstintingly aided in every way by Soviet industry, is developing along socialist lines. Socialism has come to stay in our industry. Private industry has shrunk to less than 0.1 per cent.
A number of basic measures have been carried out in industry so as to improve its management and bring it closer to production. Separate ministries have been created for the heavy, light and food industries. The local industry has been made autonomous. Artisan co-operatives have been merged in a general union, so as to facilitate their development. The progressive principle governs wage payments – workers are paid for the work done, in accordance with its character and overall economic importance and also get bonuses. The harmful wage levelling has been eliminated.
We follow a strict policy aimed at widening and improving the variety and quality of industrial goods, at consolidating business accounting, at properly financing the industrial enterprises, at supplying them with turnover funds, at establishing norms for the use of raw and other materials, at training new industrial cadres, at raising new men and women to leading positions in industry from among our shockworkers and stakhanovites. Our industry has been reconstructed and placed on correct socialist bases.
We are now focussing our attention on the further development of the mining industry, metallurgy, on the production of electric power and on a fuller utilisation of the production capacities of our enterprises.
We must also definitely improve the organised recruiting of manpower and the training of qualified cadres.
Forever gone is the scourge of unemployment which in the past threw out thousands and thousands of our people on the streets in search of jobs and bread and compelled them to leave their country and temporarily seek their fortune in other lands. In oar present conditions, when unemployment is abolished and our growing industry needs new cadres, the organised recruiting of workers assumes great importance. It is also necessary to generalise the system of payment for work performed on the basis of quantity and quality, as well as the bonus system. Greater attention should be paid to improve the living conditions of the industrial workers, especially as regards the development of housing.
We have scored undoubted successes in consolidating our railroad, auto and water transport by a series of appropriate measures.
We are putting order into capital construction and are doing our utmost to reduce the construction costs and to apply the Soviet know-how.
Parallel to the development of our industry, transport .and construction, there is also a steady increase in the number of our workers, a growth in their political activity, labour efficiency and creative enterprise.
Shockwork, socialist emulation and stakhanovism are developing on a wide scale.
Learning from the Soviet stakhanovites and innovators, some of whose fine representatives come to Bulgaria to brotherly share their experience here on the spot, thousands of our industrial, transport and construction workers, men and women, adopt their progressive methods of work, pass on to multi-machine operation, multiple drilling and to the cyclic method in the mining industry and apply the method of the high-speed cutting of metals. The movement of the followers of Levchenko and Mukhanov is assuming wide proportions.
In our country too, heavy train drivers, flve-hundreders*), hundred thousanders**), emerged in transport, fine, skilled master-bricklayers and other followers of the Soviet innovators – in construction. One after the other the names of men and women workers began to appear who have fulfilled the Five-Year Plan two or three years ahead of schedule, or even their personal production plan for two Five-Year Plans. The number of workers who overfulfil their annual plan is growing daily. This is our young, but glorious stakhanovite, innovators’ guard of the working class, the guard of the order bearers, Dimitrov Prize Laureates, the Heroes of Socialist Labour. (Stormy applause)
* five-hundreder – engine driver who covers 500 klm. in 24 hours.
** hundred-thousander – automobile driver who covers 100,000 klm. without any capital repair.
The emergence of new people in our industry, part of whom we saw at the Conference of Shockworkers and Stakhanovites at the end of last year, shows that a radical change has taken place in the conditions and forms of work, that the living conditions of the working people are improving, that work is becoming ever more a matter of honour, valour, glory and heroism.
We achieved great and decisive successes in agriculture. In less than four years we fulfilled the Five-Year Plan for agricultural production. By the end of 1952 this production will appreciably exceed the 1953 level envisaged by the Five-Year Plan for agricultural staple goods such as wheat, maize, cotton, sunflower seed, sugar beet and tobacco. We also fulfilled in less than four years the Five-Year Plan for the building of co-operative farms and the mechanisation of agriculture. Instead of 10,000 tractors and 100 combines, as provided by the Five-Year Plan for 1953, we will have this year over 12,000 tractors and 1,000 combines. (Lengthy and stormy applause)
We can now safely affirm that the co-operative farm system has prevailed in our agriculture. (Applause) Today our village is truly represented by the co-operative farms. (Applause) This revolutionary change is a success tantamount to a second September Ninth. (Applause) A radical change has taken place in our village, giving it an entirely new social and economic character. Poverty and illiteracy have been wiped out for ever. Our new village is emerging with its new people – workers of socialism, This great victory of ours means that the bulk of grain and of some other agricultural goods already comes and will increasingly come from the socialist sector of agriculture – the co-operative farms, state farms and machine-tractor stations. (Applause) Last year two-thirds of the state deliveries of wheat, rye, barley, oats, maize came from this sector. The village bourgeois, the so-called kulak, is no longer a serious factor in the production of grain for the market. The grain problem in our country has been basically solved. (Continuous applause) It has been solved by the co-operative farms, state farms and machine-tractor stations, thanks to our steadfast struggle for their development, for high yields in agriculture and stockbreeding and thanks to the introduction of machine technique and Soviet agro-science. We also value and support the efforts of the private farmers, tomorrow’s co-operative farmers, to raise their output, as they play no mean part in the total production of grain and especially in stockbreeding.
Our co-operative farms keep on stabilising on the basis of a new Statute worked out and adopted in April 1950. The decrees of the Central Committee and the Government on the organisation and remuneration of labour in the co-operative farms, state farms and machine-tractor stations are carried out with success.
Life and creative energy bubble forth in the co-operative farms as never before in the history of the Bulgarian village. (Applause) A tremendous, cultural revolution is taking place in our countryside. Hundreds of thousands of peasants, men and women, young and old, having experienced the joy and blessing of free labour, the advantages of production in common, are engaged in active, co-operative work. They display an amazing energy and organisatlonal abilities, firmness and will in the struggle for a new socialist life. At the beginning of the Five-Year Plan the co-operative farmers were only a small detachment in our village. Today they form a mighty army, which has gone through and surmounted numerous inevitable obstacles, and has steeled itself in this struggle, an army whose victorious forward march no force on earth can stop. (Applause) This army successfully learns from the example of its brothers and sisters – the Soviet collective farmers. It follows their road. Many prominent Soviet collective farmers visited our country as guests of our co-operators, sharing their experience with them and giving them advice and assistance.
On the example of the Soviet collective farmers, eminent people in agriculture and stockbreeding emerged in our country too, outstanding masters of high yields, men and women tractor drivers and combine operators, noted shepherds, swine herds, milkers, poultry and cattle breeders, brigaders, group leaders, agronomists, managers and organisers of co-operative labour. New people came to the fore, bearers of Dimitrov Prizes and the high distinction-Heroes of Socialist Labour.
An upsurge among women co-operators, unparalleled in power and scope, highlights the splendid progress of the co-operative farm movement. Now about half a million women work in the field and stockbreeding brigades of the co-operative farms. (Stormy and continuous applause) There are over 20,000 women group leaders. The number of women brigaders, of women presidents of co-operative farms and of women in the machine-tractor stations is constantly growing.
The Bulgarian peasant woman, boldly and firmly and on a mass scale, is joining the co-operative farms, taking responsible and leading positions. In other words, the co-operative farm movement is becoming twice as invincible. The Bulgarian woman, standing on valiant guard in the co-operatives, will act as a mighty deterrent to anyone daring to encroach upon this great and salutary cause. (Very stormy and continuous applause)
The whole of Bulgaria – and not Bulgaria alone – was deeply stirred on hearing the voice of the emancipated Bulgarian woman, freed from the fetters and drudgery of capitalism and witness her fresh creative power bursting forth. This new woman appeared at the memorable Conferences of Leading Workers in the co-operative farms and machine-tractor stations convoked by the Council of Ministers and the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party last year. Nothing should be left undone to enlist completely this great force in our common constructive work and to aid it to fully spread its wings.
Permit me, on your behalf, comrade delegates, on this occasion and from this platform, to extend fiery greetings to our fine Bulgarian women, builders of socialism, (Thunderous applause) who with irrepressible energy ever more actively, ever more united and zealous enter the administration of the country – from bottom to top, from the co-operative group to the National Assembly, from the tractor and combine to the Council of Ministers ! (Continuous applause)
We are about to decide now a series of highly important problems for the development of stockbreeding and technical crops, so that we may secure our own, Bulgarian native raw materials for industry and export. This year already we shall produce enough cotton to meet our home needs. A great deal of work, however, still lies ahead for the improvement of its quality. We are rapidly developing the production of tobacco, rice and a number of oil-and fibre-yielding crops. We have also fulfilled the task set by the Five-Year Plan for the development of technical crops. This year we are sowing larger areas with technical crops than was envisaged by the Five-Year Plan for 1953. We are striving considerably to exceed in 1952 the 1953 level specified by the Five-Year Plan for the basic technical crops. We are extending the irrigated areas at a rapid rate.
The fulfilment of the decrees of the Council of Ministers and the Central Committee of the Communist Party on the development of Dobrudja’s agriculture, water-supply and electrification, on the construction of the “Stalin” dam and the Sofia irrigation system is under way.
New large enterprises in industry, agriculture and transport will enter into operation this year and next year.
Our home trade has been thoroughly reorganised. Strict order is being introduced in it. A radical change has been effected in its social structure. The state sector in that trade rose from 12.9 per cent in 1947 to 51.3 per cent in 1951. The share of co-operative trade increased from 30.2 per cent in 1947 to 47.1 per cent in 1951. Thus, in 1951, state and co-operative trade accounted for 98.4 per cent of the trade, while private trade dropped from 56.9 per cent in 1947 to 1.6 per cent in 1952. The Five-Year Plan for the participation of the socialist sector in home trade has consequently been fulfilled within three years. Home trade had ceased to be a means of easy profit and speculation in the hands of private capital. It has become a medium in the hands of the state for a wider and improved satisfaction of the growing needs of the working people. The Party and the Government do their utmost to widen the scope and increase the variety and quality of goods and to ensure their prompt delivery to the consumer.
Our commodity stocks have grown apace during the last few years. This enabled us in the spring of 1951 to abolish the coupons for industrial goods and to reduce their prices on the free market. It was now possible to further extend and improve our trade.
The trade network continues to extend rapidly in town and village, especially in workers’ districts, at enterprises and construction sites.
The contract system is increasingly applied in trade. It is a powerful instrument for improving the quality and for diversifying the choice of goods as well as for ensuring their prompt delivery to the consumer.
Socialist emulation for “the best salesman” and for “the best shop” rapidly gains ground in trade. Leading workers appeared also in trade who excelled in supplying their shop with fine goods, in their best display and upkeep, in systematically studying the needs and tastes of the consumer, in being courteous and accommodating salesmen. The number of those fine workers in trade who enjoy the respect of the buyers is on the increase.
In foreign trade too we have carried into effect a number of very important measures. Our foreign trade now serves the needs of our economy, providing it with the necessary raw materials, machines, equipment and spare parts from abroad. There is a steady increase in our trade with the Soviet Union, the People’s Democracies and other countries, with all countries willing to trade with us on a basis of mutual equality and mutual advantage. The establishment of a state monopoly on foreign trade has ensured our country a sound balance of payments.
We introduced a new system of obligatory state quotas, rejecting the old system under which quotas were locally determined on the basis of surplus products and raw materials left in the hands of the farmers after deducting their personal needs. That system was full of loopholes. Anyone, especially kulaks, could cheat the state, conceal the true amount of the sown area and yields, thus reducing the sum total of the harvest, exaggerate his own needs, raise the seed norms set aside for sowing and transfer to the state all losses occurring at the harvest, transport and cleaning of the grain. Harmful levelling tendencies were fostered in the quota fixing. In many localities this was actually done in an arbitrary way. Peasants were given no incentive to increase agricultural yields and productivity. Quotas were kept in a precarious state and great losses were caused to the state.
The new quota system adopted in 1950 is based on differential norms per decade, fixed according to the size and social character of the farm as well as according to the fertility of the soil. Quotas were thus placed on a firm and fair basis which not only guarantees state interests, but also gives an added incentive to peasant producers to work better, to increase the crop capacity of the fields and to obtain ever greater yields, for the more they produce, the greater will be their surpluses after quota fulfilment, surpluses of which they can freely dispose. Under the new system the state takes only a moderate part of the crops, only part of the commodity production. This new system proved highly efficient.
In the last three years we have achieved considerable successes in the organisation and direction of major agricultural drives – sowing, harvesting, threshing, and fulfilling of quotas. Never before has Bulgaria seen such ploughing, and this is only the beginning. Never before has the autumn and spring sowing been done in such a comradely spirit and in such short terms as during the last three years. Two years in succession we have gathered the grain quotas in an exemplary fashion and in time. There is a constant growth in state discipline among co-operative and private farmers, in their consciousness of the priority of state interests. Our rural Party and Fatherland Front cadres in the countryside, our district, county and local people’s councils have grown and are growing as experienced leaders in agriculture, in its mounting upsurge.
Our agriculture is developing and consolidating as a large-scale mechanised socialist agriculture supplied with the most up-to-date machinery and chemical fertiliser.
We have radically reorganised the country’s finances. The fiscal measures carried out since 1949 were aimed at creating a financial system capable of giving a planned day-by-day direction to our economy, to the entire activity of the people’s democratic state. A considerable part of these measures aimed at instilling financial planning in all spheres of our economic and cultural life. This included the introduction of the credit and cash plan of the Bulgarian National Bank. With the introduction of financial planning, it became possible to tap the resources of our economy, to fully mobilise accumulations and savings, to realise a strict regime of economies and to properly and efficiently utilise the funds of all enterprises, institutions and organisations.
The measures carried out in the past three years for introducing order into the planning, financing and control of capital investments are of paramount importance for our economy. A basic and essential achievement in the sphere of finance is the constant utilisation of the rich Soviet experience, in particular in the planning and fulfilment of the budget. This is expressed, above all, by the close co-ordination of the budget with the economic plan, which makes it real and creative – a budget of peaceful socialist construction. Contrary to the deficit-ridden budgets of the capitalist countries, our budget is planned and fulfilled so as to ensure a considerable surplus. This makes it possible to progressively stabilise our currency.
In 1950 and 1951 our financial legislation, including taxation, was completely overhauled on the basis of the vast Soviet experience.
An important law was adopted on the general income tax, in which the principle of progressive taxation found full application. One of its main features is the introduction of a normative fixing of farmers’ revenues. Under this system revenues over the fixed norm are exempt from taxation. This ensures a stimulus for a better cultivation of the land, for higher yields. The law grants special relief to members of co-operative farms. It further abolishes fourteen local taxes and duties, the temporary labour service, the participation of the population in the construction of new railway lines etc. The improvement of the legislation, the laws on the income tax, on the turnover tax, on state duties and on the local taxes and duties, placed taxation on a fair basis, in accordance with real incomes, and simplified the whole taxation system.
A whole chain of measures, effected since 1949, ensured the consolidation of the system of business accounting in the enterprises (the system of non-financing by the state). Strict discipline was introduced into contracts between enterprises by regulating their conclusion and observance. Payments between enterprises and organisations were regulated by setting up forms of payment suitable for a planned economy and tending to accelerate monetary circulation. Conditions were created for the mutual control of enterprises in the fulfilment of their obligations as well as for a day-by-day bank control over payments between enterprises. In 1951 the state granted over 53 billion leva to nationally important enterprises, thereby completely covering their shortage in turnover funds. As a result, the enterprises are now able to carry out their proper and normal functions, to reduce the prime cost of production and to increase the socialist accumulations.
Director’s funds were created whose main purpose is to improve the cultural and living standards of the working class. These funds play an important part in the fight for the fulfilment and overfulfilment of the economic plans.
The reconstruction and centralisation of the credit system and, in particular, the reconstruction of the Bulgarian National Bank and its conversion into the accountant of the state, considerably fostered the establishment of business accounting, so as to ensure control through the lev and to stabilise it.
The introduction of socialist forms of crediting and of a stronger bank control over the activity of enterprises stimulated the circulation of bank loans. In the second half of 1951, after the enactment of the decree of the Council of Ministers and the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party on the bank reform, loan circulation shows a sharp improvement. Whereas in the first half of 1951, the circulation of loans is 128 days, in the second half year it is 33.1 days. In point of fact, since 1949 we have created a new finance and credit system.
Our financial successes are largely due to the wide utilisation of the rich Soviet experience, introduced in all sectors of the financial system, and to the successes of our entire socialist construction.
The aforementioned basic measures, successfully carried out in the past three to four years enabled us to eliminate the last remnants of the rapacious and arbitrary rule of the fascist-capitalist clique and the consequences of the wrecking activities of the Traicho Kostov gang. What is more they also enabled us to advance in socialist construction, to fulfil The Five-Year Plan in four years – both in the level and volume of production.
This enabled us to firmly consolidate the reserves of the state. The national income rises rapidly parallel with the growth of the whole economy, of the country’s forces of production. This year’s national income is almost double that of 1939. The working people, led by the Communist Party, stubbornly fight and nobly work to win positions which ensure them a constantly growing prosperity.
One of the salient traits of our revolutionary changes is their tendency to improve the material and cultural standards of the working people.
Our national culture is in an upsurge. The network of general educational and special primary, intermediate and higher educational institutions, of scientific research institutes is expanding; science draws ever closer to socialist practice and places itself at the service of the people, following the example of Soviet science, learning from it and making use of its experience.
Literature and art, casting off the last pernicious traces; of bourgeois influence, are flourishing. The theatre is prospering. Our nascent and buoyant cinematography is forging ahead with great impetus, inspired by the example of the great Soviet cinema art. Bulgarian music and musicians are scoring remarkable successes. Bulgarian sports are making real progress. Vast is the scope of amateur art activity among the working class and the co-operative farmers, in the army, among the whole people. Wonderful talents rise from the ranks and file of the people. Growing are the ranks of order-bearers, of Dimitrov Prize Laureates, of people’s merited workers in the sphere of culture. It is no mere coincidence that at the World Youth Festival in Berlin, for instance, some of the top prizes were awarded to the representatives of our youth. Conditions have been created for the further powerful upsurge of our national culture. As a bright reflection of all our successes and potentialities came the Decree of the Council of Ministers and the Central Committee of the Communist Party on the monetary reform, abolition of rationing and reduction of state retail prices. This decree has already been put into effect. It climaxed the efforts of the working people, of the Party and the Government in the last three to four years. It reflected our great victory in ensuring the all-round upsurge of our country. Now we can openly affirm: a victory has been won thanks to the selfless labour of the people, their devotion to the Fatherland Front Government and the Communist Party, thanks to the correct political and economic leadership of the Government and the Communist Party. This victory has enabled us confidently to take the road on which the Soviet Union has embarked long since – the road of a successive reduction of commodity prices, the road of a continuous rise of real wages and of the living standards of the working people. (Applause)
The monetary reform, carried out in a spirit of fine discipline and display of high patriotic consciousness and enthusiasm, in an atmosphere of unprecedented upsurge among the working class and the working peasants, marks the great advantages of the people’s democratic system over capitalism, over every capitalist country. No capitalist country is able to carry out such a reform as ours, entirely aimed at guaranteeing the basic interests of the working people. No capitalist country can afford to do this, if for no other reason because the government there is in the hands of the exploiters, the sworn enemies of the working people, and because its entire policy is dictated by their thirst for maximum profits at the cost of the working people. A monetary reform like ours, accompanied by the abolition of all rationing and the reduction of state retail prices, by a rise in the living standards of the working people, cannot be carried out without the great economic and political achievements outlined above, without the existence of substantial material reserves and resources, without the stabilisation of the financial and credit system. It is a question of possibilities, for in our country the stability of the currency is guaranteed, above all, by the stocks of commodities released into circulation at hard prices. The fact that we have carried out this reform means that these stocks are at hand.
The effected monetary reform is a proof of the soundness of our economy and finances. It puts an end, once and for all, to all consequences of capitalist class rule in the sphere of monetary circulation. It was effected amid a growing economic upsurge, accompanied by the abolition of all rationing. In view of the heavy economic heritage of the past, rationing was inevitable for a certain period of time. But by introducing a levelling principle in distribution, rationing hampered our development and acted as a brake on the rise of labour productivity. This brake has now been eliminated.
The monetary reform was prepared with great circumspection. We weighed all the pros and cons before taking a decision. But we made our decisions confidently and judiciously. We effected this reform so that it may leave a lasting trace and secure us a stable currency for a long time to come, because such measures must be carried out with a long view, not merely for five or ten years. All conditions therefore are at hand. It depends on us that they be turned into reality. Until yesterday our lev was one of the weakest currencies. Until yesterday a dollar was worth 284 leva. Today Bulgaria is a country with a hard currency. The rate of exchange of our lev increased 42 times. (Applause) Let the enemy say and concoct what he likes. The fact is that today one dollar is worth 6 leva and 80 stotinki. (Applause) It is a well known fact that the rate of exchange of a national currency is far from being of secondary importance. It testifies to the character of a reform, to the economic condition of a country. Why do the drachma and the dinar depreciate, while the rate of exchange of the lev rises, and how! Because the drachma is “propped” by the exhausted Greek economy which is totally disrupted and looted by the American and British imperialists, because the dinar “rests” on the Yugoslav economy which is being shattered by the Tito gang and sold out to the same American and British imperialists. Our enemies prattle of the devaluation of the lev which has allegedly taken place in our country. A fine devaluation! Such a “devaluation” makes their mouths water (laughter) but their yardstick is too puny, they simply can’t do it. (Applause) In the recent past the Titoites, for instance, depreciated the dinar six times to please the American imperialists. Prior to the reform the lev had a gold content of roughly three-thousandths grams (0.003121). Now, after the reform, it constitutes roughly thirteen hundredths (0.130687) grams of pure gold. In other words, before one gram of gold was worth 322 leva, while now it is worth only 7 leva and 65 stotinki. (Applause) This means that our lev has increased its gold content 42 times.
Futile are all speculations with the temporary minor sacrifices which the working people have to bear, because the lasting benefits they derive from the monetary reform are great, because the state bears the main burden of the reform, because the reform is primarily directed against the remnants of the capitalist and profiteering elements.
The monetary reform and the abolition of rationing, the passing over to a fully developed trade in all goods, the firmly pursued policy of successive price reductions and of rising living standards of the working people puts before us serious tasks, on whose fulfilment depends the further consolidation and development of this great and vitally important reform.
The consumers make much higher demands on our trade and they are both justified and entitled to do so. They demand and will buy only high-quality goods, they look for a great choice of goods. The consumers will not buy poor quality and standard goods. They have hard Bulgarian coins in their pockets and will not spend them on just anything. (Animation) They have the right to and the full liberty of choice. Trade organisations cannot dump just anything on the market. The Ministry of Trade, the Central Co-operative Union, the trade organisations must now thouroughly reorganise themselves so that they may fully acquaint themselves with the consumer’s tastes, desires and requirements, and ensure a high quality and a great choice of goods. This means that our national and local industry must produce such goods, must ensure a great choice of high-quality goods, and fight for the good name of the Bulgarian trade mark. The display and storage of goods as well as the service in the shops must become exemplary. Socialist emulation must be fostered to this end, enlisting all trade workers and employees. It is necessary now, after the abolition of rationing, to reorganise our trade network so as to best satisfy the growing needs of the working people.
Even more firmly we must pursue a strict policy of financial discipline and economy, of lowering prime costs, of raising labour productivity, of avoiding overexpenditures, of strict observance of business accounting, of a final elimination of any tendency toward levelling in wage payments, of completely and promptly fulfilling Government measures, of pressing home our economic policy, which secured as a solid success with the reform carried into effect on May 11 this year. What do these great successes show? They show that engaged in peaceful construction, we promptly and consistently fulfil the legacy of Georgi Dimitrov who taught us that the peaceful constructive policy of the Communist Party and the People’s Government is a correct policy. They show the great potentialities of the workers and peasants freed from the fetters of capitalism, of what they are capable, when they work not for exploiters, but for themselves, for their state, when the Communist Party and the Government correctly guide their labour, their efforts. Obviously, we would not have had these successes, not for that matter would we have had a people’s government, without the historic triumph of the great October Socialist Revolution, without the U.S.S.R. and its victory in World War II, without its constant aid and without the aid and co-operation of the People’s Democracies. We would not have succeeded without learning and continuing to learn from the inexhaustible and beneficent experience of the Bolshevik Party, without following and continuing to follow the great ideas and example of the teacher and leader of all progressive humanity, comrade Stalin. (All rise. Stormy and continuous applause. Cheers: “Stalin – Stalin!”)
This is the mainspring of our successes.
These then are the basic achievements in our economic and national development during the four years since the Second Congress of the Fatherland Front.
It is in this setting that the Third Congress of the Fatherland Front meets. Its purpose is to list the contribution of the Fatherland Front to the country’s successes and to chart its future tasks.
Set against the background around us, to the West and to the South, the background in the capitalist countries – a background of war hysteria, of rising prices, unemployment, insecurity for the morrow, sharp conflicts and convulsions, unbridgeable contradictions which shake to its very foundations the rotten capitalist system, which is irrevocably doomed and has outlived itself – life in Bulgaria shines forth in all its vitality, creativeness and peacefulness.
This year our people will fulfil the Five-Year Plan in four years, while the Yugoslav Five-Year Plan adopted way back in 1946 by the Titoites, was prolonged with one year, but although that year is up, there is as yet no word or sign of its impending fulfilment. The Titoites pawned the whole Yugoslav economy, the life and future of the fraternal Yugoslav peoples to the American and British imperialists. War preparation is their main concern. That is why the Yugoslav economy is in such a mess, for it serves not the people, but their betrayers and their deadly enemies – the fomenters of a new war.
Our people achieved great successes in the development and socialist reconstruction of their economy, because they got rid of capitalist dependence, broke the neck of the traitors and march in close brotherly alliance with the Soviet peoples, because they avail themselves of the selfless Soviet aid, remained and will always remain true to the Bulgarian-Soviet friendship, true to the legacy of Georgi Dimitrov to guard this friendship more than the apple of their eyes. (Very stormy and continuous applause)
But no matter how great and significant these successes and the victories won on the economic front, they give us no ground for self-complacency, still less for dizzy-headedness or for resting on our laurels. There is no ground for this and it would be a crime, indeed, if we allowed even the semblance of such a thing. What we have achieved is but a particle of what we must achieve, of what we fight and work for. Vast tasks lie ahead of us and we must solve them; new difficulties face us and we must surmount them. There are also shortcomings in our work, in some areas and places, quite serious shortcomings.
The great successes must not dim our sight to existing weaknesses and shortcomings. We must not permit this. The great successes attained, which we rightfully point out because they show that we are advancing along the correct path, inspire fresh confidence and self-respect in the people, a consciousness of their power as masters. These successes must mobilise and inspire us for still more persistent and fruitful work so as to surmount the difficulties, shortcomings and weaknesses and score fresh successes and victories.
Only thus shall we prove worthy of the victories won and of the responsible historical tasks entrusted to us.
V. FUTURE TASKS OF THE FATHERLAND FRONT
At the time of the Second Congress of the Fatherland Front our country, as I stated at the beginning, was emerging from the period of the formation and consolidation of the People’s Democracy as a special form of government of the working class in alliance with the working peasants and was entering the period of the construction of the foundations of socialism.
We are now about to complete the laying of the foundations of socialism and are about to face the tasks of building the very edifice of socialism. (Applause)
The Fatherland Front represents the mainstay of the People’s Government and of its local organs. In the system of People’s Democracy, the Fatherland Front is a mighty lever, the product of our particular historic conditions, which links the leading force of the People’s Democracy – the Communist Party – with the broad non-Party masses in town and village and enables it successfully to co-operate with them and to guide them in the common brotherly cause of all our forward-looking forces.
The Fatherland Front is called upon as an organised and ever growing mainstay of the People’s Government, to co-operate to the utmost in the building of socialism by spreading political education among the population and by drawing it into taking part in the government. The Fatherland Front is a wide open people’s school for the administration of the state.
The Fatherland Front has not yet exhausted its potentialities. The basic tasks charted by Georgi Dimitrov at its Second Congress are still valid.
What is needed under these conditions?
It is necessary that the Fatherland Front continue to work with redoubled energy for its further growth, for embracing all working people, for the further development of its agitational, political, cultural and educational work, in the spirit of the Dimitrov Constitution.
The Fatherland Front will continue successfully to play the role of a mighty and useful lever in the people’s democratic system by concentrating its efforts on embracing all honest and patriotic men and women, all peace-loving forces of the people, by becoming the broadest front of patriotism and peace in Bulgaria. This means that it has to become a still broader mass support of the People’s Government in general, and of the local People’s Councils, in particular, and to merge its whole work with the work of the latter. (Applause)
This is what the present situation requires.
The People’s Councils are the direct expression of the People’s Democracy. They are the organs of the People’s Government through which state leadership is brought into effect all along the line. The Fatherland Front, now more than ever, must become direct assistant in the wards and villages. It must take over much of their work with the masses of the working people there. It must become their still sounder social basis. It must infuse new blood into the numerous organisations and institutions which surround the People’s Councils. It must become the principle exponent, interpreter and promoter of their decisions. It must politically educate the population, must explain and help implement the decisions and measures of the Government and the People’s Councils. Finally, it must co-operate in the utmost development of the people’s initiatives and in the broadest inclusion of the working people in the administration.
May the Fatherland Front become a still larger and broader mass organisation of the working people in town and village and especially in the village.
May the Fatherland Front become the first and direct assistant of the local People’s Councils.
Close co-operation with the People’s Councils – such must now be the central slogan of the Fatherland Front.
Stated more concretely, the Fatherland Front must:
1) instil and consolidate in the people a high consciousness of
their own strength and role as masters of their own destiny;
2) cultivate in the working people a high patriotism, a conscious socialist attitude towards labour and public property, towards the fulfilment of their rights and duties:
3) work for the further consolidation of the militant alliance between the working class and the working peasants, for the continuous growth of the moral-political unity of the working people in our country;
4) work for the further consolidation of the inflexible Bulgarian-Soviet friendship, as a basic guarantee for our national independence and socialist development;
5) draw the broadest strata of the population into the fight for the defence of peace and for exposing the instigators of a new war, nurture in them an irreconcilable hatred for the imperialist fomenters of a new war and their Titoite and other tools in the Balkans;
6) prepare the people to defend to the last their country, their liberty and independence against every encroachment of the imperialists, educate them in the spirit of revolutionary vigilance;
7) cultivate in the people a feeling of patriotic dignity, a feeling of pride and consciousness of the immeasurable superiority of the socialist system over the capitalist system, of the growing power of the camp of peace, democracy and socialism, headed by the Soviet Union, and wage an irreconcilable struggle for rooting out the last vestiges of bourgeois ideology;
8) co-operate in encouraging criticism of the shortcomings in the work among the broad masses of people, organise and exercise public control over the activity of the state and economic organs in the localities without interfering in their functions as organs of the government.
The whole past activity of the Fatherland Front has prepared it worthily to carry out these important assignments. Some obvious deficiencies in the methods and forms of its practical work should be eliminated, however.
In the organisational life of the Fatherland Front some harmful ideas and habits have been lately implanted which in fact close its doors to the broad non-Party masses, render its internal structure so rigid as to often make it uninteresting and unattractive to those who join an organisation for the first time. Various rules and local “ingenuities” so complicate the admission of new members that one would sometimes think that it is easier for a camel to pass through a needle’s eye than to be admitted to the Fatherland Front. (Animation) Without taking into account the differences in the structure, discipline, purpose and tasks, existing between the Communist Party and the Fatherland Front, between the organisation of the vanguard, of the guiding and leading force in the state and society and such a broad, all-embracing organisation, connecting the vanguard with the population throughout the country, as is the Fatherland Front, many of its militants ape the Party methods and forms of work, methods correct for the Party, but not for the Fatherland Front. The Party forms and methods should not be mechanically transferred to the Fatherland Front.
This harmful practice in the organisational life of the Fatherland Front must be eradicated. All its activists must learn still more patiently to explain, persuade, educate and reeducate the people who enter the Fatherland Front with their different habits, prejudices, views, very often with vacillations and doubts, to win them for the great cause of socialism so that it may become a really all-embracing front of all patriotic men and women, of all partisans of peace in our country.
The Fatherland Front apparatus must be simplified, paid offices and red-tape methods must be trimmed down to a minimum, the stream of directives and circulars must be checked, long outdrawn meetings must be cut down, forms and methods of work must be modified so as to ensure the further growth of the Fatherland Front and its consolidation as a sound prop and motive force of the local People’s Councils.
The main work must be concentrated in the local committees and organisations of the Fatherland front, in their co-operation with the local People’s Councils. This is where the centre of gravity of its whole activity must now fall. Not an endless stream of circulars and directives from above, from the permanent bureau of its National Council, endless meetings, a huge apparatus of scribblers which deals with absolutely everything and assumes many functions which are not its own, but concentration on the work of its local organisations in their co-ordinated activity with the People’s Councils. The main functions of the National Council should be to control and supervise the proper fulfilment of the Congress decisions, to direct through its press and oral instructions the political and educational activity of the Fatherland Front.
The Fatherland Front should become more easily accessible, more interesting for non-Party people, especially for the non-Party peasants. It should become an organisation where they can have their say, where they can be heard and correctly understood, where they can learn and develop politically, where they can engage in public work. Through the Fatherland Front and the People’s Councils the working people must be drawn into the public control, into the various public initiatives, into the government of the village, the district, the county and the state.
The Fatherland Front represents an organised, vast and highly diverse audience. It is necessary that the educational work among this audience be adapted in form as well as in content to its various categories. Oral, press, and visual agitation must now engage the attention of the Fatherland Front. The truth about our construction, about its successes, about our perspectives, the Stalinist truth about peace, about the international situation, about the great successes of the Soviet Union, about the successes of the People’s Democracies, must find its way into the most remote hamlets. That truth must spread through all information media, such as educational meetings of the primary organisations, public meetings, ward, house and block conferences and talks special women’s meetings wherever appropriate, newspapers and magazines, their collective reading, study circles, posters, slogans, wall papers, cartoons, propaganda tableaux and diagrams, amateur art activity, literary clubs – through all forms and methods which present-day life has produced and will suggest in the future as the most appropriate and vital.
To ensure the maximum enlistment of non-Party people, especially in the countryside, in particular women, and complete unity of action between the Fatherland Front organisations and the People’s Councils, it is necessary that joint measures be taken by the local Party organisations and Agrarian associations. The sound indestructible link of the Fatherland Front with the People’s Council must also be consolidated by the mutual co-operation between its locally leading members and the leaderships of the People’s Councils.
The newspaper “Fatherland Front” evidently must become the common organ of the Presidium of the National Assembly and the National Council of the Fatherland Front (Applause)
In this capacity the newspaper “Fatherland Front” must .focus its attention on the political and patriotic education of the broad masses, must promote full co-operation between the local Fatherland Front organisations and the local People’s Councils.
The newspaper “Fatherland Front” must explain the Government measures in apt and simple terms. It must also mobilise the non-Party people within the Fatherland Front or still outside it, for participation in the fulfilment of these measures, in the work of the People’s Councils, in the government of the country.
The newspaper “Fatherland Front” must propagandise our socialist construction with redoubled energy, illustrate it clearly, point out its experience, the creative initiatives and successes of the working people, popularise the great achievements of the Soviet Union, Soviet experience, the achievements of the People’s Democracies, give truthful information and reviews of the international situation. At the same time it must boldly criticise the shortcomings in our work and promote the drawing of the working people in it.
The newspaper “Fatherland Front” must address itself to the non-Party people, especially to its rural readers. It must dispose of a dense network of its own correspondents in all towns and villages.
The work of the publishing house of the National Council of the Fatherland Front needs yet to be improved. It must concentrate its chief attention on ensuring the publication of a well-documented political-educational pamphlet literature, adapted mainly to non-Party people in accordance with the tasks which the Fatherland Front now faces.
The Fatherland Front must further expand its agitation and propaganda body of activists.
In this connection it should be stressed that the Communist Party and the Agrarian Union must fight against all tendencies in their own ranks to underestimate the role and tasks of the Fatherland Front, must spare quite a few activists from their ranks for permanent work in the Fatherland Front – activists who will throw themselves heart and soul into the work so that the decisions of this Congress may be fully realised.
To promote the further growth of the Fatherland Front, it is necessary that some amendments and supplements be made in its Statute, the draft of which the National Council has submitted to the attention of the Congress.
The Fatherland Front no longer needs a programme of its own. Whereas in the past it was justified in formulating its own programme, both on July 17, 1942, and on September 17, 1944 as well as at the Second Congress at the beginning of 1948, now that these programmes have already been realised, that the leading role of the Communist Party receives general recognition in the ranks of the Fatherland Front and in the country, – there is no reason for a separate programme. The Fatherland Front works for the building of socialism. This should be stated in its Statute.Such are the basic problems which the present Congress must discuss and solve in connection with the future tasks of the Fatherland Front.
I conclude, comrades!
Looking back at the road covered we may say:
The Bulgarian nation is stepping forth as a socialist nation. The working class, the working people from town and village, the intelligentsia, are firmly welded in their Fatherland Front under the leadership of the Communist Party. Our country is marching forward with seven-leagued boots, (Thunderous applause) – self-confident, bold, proud and happy, forever linked by bonds of lofty and sincere friendship with the great Soviet Union, forever true to the camp of peace, democracy and socialism. (Stormy and prolonged applause)
Gone forever are the cruel capitalist exploitation, the imperialist plunder, the horror of fascist tyranny, the puny and disrupted economy, the unbridled speculation, unemployment, misery and the hopeless existence of the broad working masses.
Vast, bright vistas open up before our people who are boldly treading on the broad avenue of socialism.
We know that a great deal of work many efforts, and inevitable difficulties, which must be surmounted, still lie ahead of us. But for a people like ours who after so many trials and tribulations have become the masters of their own destiny, who are not alone but surrounded by many selfless and sincere friends and, above all, enjoy the friendship and aid of the Soviet Union, of the great Stalin, (All standing thunderously and continuously applaud and cheer “Stalin-Stalin!”, “Stalin-Chervenkov!”) a people who have already tasted the fruits of freedom and independence, the first fruits and advantages of the socialist path of development, who have rallied their forces into such a mighty rock which no storms can shake, into such a faithful and concordant, united and disciplined social-political army like the Fatherland Front, who have such a steeled and tried leader tested in the fiercest class battles, as the Bulgarian Communist Party, the Party of Georgi Dimitrov – such a people will surmount any and all difficulties, undaunted by any exertions or sacrifices, in order to lead their vital socialist cause to full victory. (Thunderous applause)
Long live, grow strong and prosper our socialist country Bulgaria. (All rise, stormily applaud. Unending shouts “Hurray!”) Long live our invincible and victorious Fatherland Front! (Shouts “Hurray!” Stormy and prolonged applause)
Long live our glorious Communist Party! (Shouts “Hurray” Continuous stormy applause. Cheers: “BCP – BCP” Bulgarian Communist Party)
Forward toward new victories! (Interminable shouts “Hurray!”
Stormy applause. Mighty and prolonged cheers. “With Chervenkov –
forward!” “With Chervenkov – forward”)