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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Bolshevik decree nationalizing industry and transportation June 28, 1918



In one of the most significant, and world altering, revolutionary moments in human history, on June 28, 1918 -- in the face of the forces of counter-revolution -- the Council of People's Commissars (which included Lenin) of the Great October Socialist Revolution issued a decree nationalizing and placing in the people's hands the bulk of Russian industries, transportation, utilities and other enterprises.


This laid the foundation of the future Soviet economy that produced decades of spectacular advances for the peoples of the Soviet Union. In the year of its formation the republics of the Soviet Union combined accounted for a mere 1% of the world's industrial production. Yet in 1982, despite the staggering devastation during the Second World War, this had grown to 20%, a truly astonishing achievement entirely based on socialist planning and ownership of the economy.


Tragically, during the counter-revolution from above that overthrew socialism in the USSR all that the people had built was stolen by a resurgent capitalist class and oligarchy.


Here we reprint the decree in full.


DECREE OF THE COUNCIL OF PEOPLE’S COMMISSARS ON THE NATIONALIZATION OF ENTERPRISES IN A NUMBER OF INDUSTRIES, RAILWAY TRANSPORT ENTERPRISES, PUBLIC UTILITIES, AND STEAM MILLS


June 28, 1918


In order to overcome economic dislocation and food shortages, and to consolidate the dictatorship of the working class and the village poor, the Council of People’s Commissars has

resolved:


I. To declare the following industrial and commercial industrial enterprises situated on the territory of the Soviet Republic, with all their capital and properties in whatever form, the property of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic:


In the mining industry


(1) all enterprises owned by joint-stock companies or partnerships, extracting mineral fuel (coal, lignite, combustible shales, anthracite, etc.).

(2) All iron and copper ore mining enterprises owned by joint-stock companies or partnerships.

(3) All platinum mining enterprises.

(4) All tungsten mining enterprises.

(5) All silver, lead and zinc mining enterprises.

(6) All enterprises in the asbestos industry.

(7) The following gold-mining enterprises:

(a) the Lena Goldfields Partnership; the Kochkar Goldfields Company and all enterprises of the Kochkar system; (c) the Upper Amur Gold-Mining Company; (d} the Amur Gold-Mining Company; (e) the Russian Gold-Mining Company; (f) the Fedorovskoye Gold-Mining Company {g} the South Siberian Gold-Mining Company; (h) the Amgun-GoldMining Company; (i) the Miassy Gold-Mining Partnership; (j) the South Altai Gold-Mining Company; (k) the Olkhovsky Gold Mines Joint-Stock Company; (l) the Altai Gold-Mining Company; (m) the Lower Selenga Partnership; (n) the Tsimanskaye Gold-Mining Company; (o) the Mariinsk Goldfields Company; (p) the Yeltsov and Levashov Partnership; (q) the Draga Joint-Stock Company; (r) the Okhotskoye Gold-Mining Partnership; (r) the Aidyrly-Kvarken Goldfields; (t) the Moscow Timber Partnership (the North Zaozerye Woodland); (u) the Trans-Urals Mining Partnership.

(8) The following salt-extracting enterprises:

(a) the Kuli Salt Extracting Company (Lake Kuli); (b) the Molla-Kara salt extracting enterprise belonging to TerAvanesov; (c) all the Usolye salt works;


In the metallurgical and metalworking industries


(9) All enterprises owned by joint-stock companies or partnerships, with a basic capital of one million roubles or more, as well as all large enterprises the aggregate property of which equals or exceeds one million roubles according to the latest balance sheet, and which are engaged in one or several of the following types of production: smelting of iron and copper; manufacturing of semifinished products from them and treatment of the said semi-finished products by rolling, drawing, stamping and by chemical methods; manufacture of all kinds of machines (engines, mechanical implements, agricultural machinery, etc.), aircraft, self-propelled vehicles; shipbuilding, steam locomotives and railway coachbuilding; building of bridges and steel structures; making of precision instruments, firearms, machine-guns, artillery pieces and their parts; manufacture of metal frames and other articles from metal, excluding air brakes.

(10) In addition, all enterprises turning out metal articles which are not manufactured anywhere else in the Russian Federative Republic are declared the property of the Russian Federative Republic, irrespective of the size of their basic capital.

In the textile industry

(11) All cotton-processing enterprises owned by joint-stock companies and partnerships, with a basic capital of not less than one million roubles.

(12) All enterprises owned by joint-stock companies and partnerships which process wool, flax, silk and jute, as well as finishing and dyeing enterprises, with a basic capital of not less than 500,000 roubles.

(13) All hemp-processing enterprises owned by joint stock companies and partnerships, with a basic capital of not less than 200,000 roubles.


In the electrical engineering industry


(14) All power stations owned by joint-stock companies and partnerships, producing electricity for commercial purposes and possessing a basic capital of not less than one million roubles.

(15) All electrical engineering enterprises owned by joint stock companies and partnerships, manufacturing dynamo machines, electric motors, transformers, electrical measuring instruments and other electrical goods, with a basic capital of not less than one million roubles.

(16) All cable works owned by joint-stock companies and partnerships with a basic capital of not less than one million roubles.

In the timber and woodworking industry

(17) All sawmills owned by joint-stock companies and partnerships, with a basic capital of not less than one million roubles.

(18) All mechanized woodworking enterprises owned by joint-stock companies and partnerships.


In the tobacco industry


(19) All enterprises, owned by joint-stock companies and partnerships, incorporating tobacco factories and having a basic capital of not less than 500,000 roubles (according to 1914 data), and those incorporating shag factories and having a basic capital of not less than 300,000 roubles (according to 1914 data).


In the rubber industry


(20) All enterprises of the rubber industry.


In the glass and ceramic industry


(21) All enterprises owned by joint-stock companies and partnerships, producing glass, cut glass, mirrors, chemical glass, bottle glass, chinaware, faience, pottery, glazed tile, ceramics, majolica and terracotta, with a basic capital of not less than 500,000 roubles (according to 1914 data).


In the leather and shoemaking industry


(22) All shoe-making factories and tanneries owned by joint-stock companies and partnerships with a basic capital of not less than 500,000 roubles (according to 1914 data).

In the cement industry

(23) All cement plant owned by joint-stock companies and partnerships, with a productive capacity of not less than 500,000 barrels a year.


Steam mills


(24) All steam mills owned by joint-stock companies and partnerships, with a fixed capital of not less than 500,000 roubles.


Public utilities


(25) All water-supply enterprises, gas works, electric and horse-driven tramlines and sewerage enterprises throughout the Soviet Republic become the property of the Soviets of Workers’ and Peasants’ Deputies.


Railway transport


(26) All enterprises of private railway companies, including auxiliary tracks, both in operation and under construction.


In other industries


(27) All cellulose and wood pulp enterprises owned by joint-stock companies and partnerships.

(28) All enterprises of joint-stock companies and partnerships incorporating factories producing writing paper, cardboard, cardboard articles and cigarette paper with basic capital of not less than 300,000 roubles (according to 1914 data).

(29) All enterprises of joint-stock companies and partnerships incorporating artificial fat, soap and stearin works with a basic capital of not less than one million roubles (according to 1914 data), and tallow-melting and oil mills with a basic capital of not less than 500,000 roubles (according to 1914 data).

(30) All enterprises of joint-stock companies and partnerships which incorporate plants producing:

(1) mineral acids;

(2) calcium, carbide, and

(3) charcoal, with a basic capital of not less than 500,000 roubles (according to 1914 data).

(31) All enterprises of the Petrograd Bone-Roasting Company.

(32) Enterprises of:

(1) the Joint-Stock Company for the manufacture and marketing of gunpowder (Winner’s);

(2) the Russian Company for the manufacture and marketing of gunpowder (Schlusselburg); and

(3) the Baranovsky Gunpowder Works Company.


Note. Unless specified otherwise, the basic capital of joint-stock companies and partnerships is calculated according to data for 1916 or the last period accounted for ending in 1916. In the case of enterprises founded after 1916 the calculation is carried out according to the latest data for the year when the statute of the enterprise was approved.


II. The appropriate departments of the Supreme Economic Council are instructed urgently to organize management of the nationalized enterprises, with observance of all the previously issued relevant decrees and under the general guidance of the presidium of the Supreme Economic Council.


With respect to the enterprises mentioned in Section I, Paragraph 24 of this Decree (steam mills), this commission is entrusted to the Commissariat for Food Supply with full observance of all the previously issued decrees on the management of nationalized enterprises.


With respect to the enterprises mentioned in Section I, Paragraph 25 of this Decree (public utilities), the same commission is entrusted, on the same condition, to the local Soviets of Workers’ and Peasants’ Deputies.


With respect to the enterprises mentioned in Section I, Paragraph 26 of this Decree (railways and subsidiary lines), the same commission is entrusted to the Commissariat of Railways, subject to ultimate approval by the Council of People’s Commissars.


III. Pending a special decision of the Supreme Economic Council regarding each particular enterprise, the enterprises declared under this Decree to be the property of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic are regarded as leased to their former owners gratis; their boards and former owners continue to finance them and receive profits in the usual manner.


IV. From the moment of the issue of this Decree, the board members, directors and other executives of nationalized enterprises are accountable to the Soviet Republic for their safety

and normal operation. Those who abandon their offices without the consent of the appropriate agencies of the supreme Economic Council, or inexcusably mismanage the affairs of the enterprise, not only answer to the Republic with all their property but will be prosecuted in the courts of the Republic as for a grave criminal offence.


V. The entire office, technical and operative personnel of a nationalized enterprise, as well as the directors, board members and other executives, are declared to be in the service of the Soviet Socialist Federative Republic, and are paid according to the rates that existed prior to nationalization, out of the profits and working capital of the enterprise. Members of the technical and managerial personnel of nationalized enterprises who abandon their offices are answerable to a revolutionary tribunal, with all the severity of the law.


VI. The personal means of board members, shareholders and owners of nationalized enterprises are sequestered until the relationship of the sums involved to the working capital and resources of the enterprises is ascertained.


VII. The boards of all nationalized enterprises are instructed to draw up without delay balance sheets as on July 1, 1918.


VIII. The Supreme Economic Council is instructed to work out in the shortest time possible, and to dispatch to all nationalized enterprises, detailed instructions on the organization of management and on the tasks of the workers’ organizations stemming from this decree.


IX. Enterprises belonging to consumers’ cooperative societies and partnerships and their associations are not subject to conversion into the property of the Republic.


X. This Decree becomes effective from the day of its signing.


Moscow, June 28, 1918.


Chairman of the Council of People’s

Commissars, V. Ulyanov (Lenin).

People’s Commissars: Tsyurupa, Nogin.

Business Manager of the Council of People’s Commissars: V. Bonch-bruyevich.

Secretary of the Council: N. Gorbunov.

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