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source seven
Part of a speech by VM Molotov, chairman of the Council of People's Commissars (leader of the government under Stalin), referring to forced labour, 1931
(Catalogue ref: FO 371/15589)
FO 371/15589; speech by Molotov on forced labour, 1931


  1. According to Molotov, why was forced labour being used?

  2. What was Molotov’s attitude to forced labour? Choose 4 quotes from his speech to support your answer.

  3. Why do you think Molotov gave this speech?

  4. Why did Molotov say that forced labour was not used to produce goods for export?

  5. What are the advantages and disadvantages for a historian using this source as evidence?