Leaders & Controversies

Transcript: Source1

Part of a report from the British Ambassador in Moscow, comparing 1936 USSR production targets with those from 1935
(Catalogue ref: FO 371/20344, January 1936)

Source 1a

4. The following increases in crops are anticipated (figures are in most cases derived from percentages and are therefore only approximate): -

(million tons)
Sugar beet
(million tons)
(thousand tons)
Flax, fibre
(thousand tons)


5. In 1935 live-stock is stated to have increased as follows: horses, by 5 per cent; cattle, by 18 per cent; pigs, by 38 per cent; sheep and goats, by 25 per cent. The following are the approximate figures for 1935 and the plan for 1936: -

Sheep and goats

... ...

Source 1b


7. Only 26.8 million tons were produced in 1935. The plan for 1936 has therefore been retained at the same figure as for 1935, viz., 30 million tons. 22.2 million tons, or an increase of 7 per cent are to be provided by the Baku oil-field, and 3.4 million tons, or an increase of 2 per cent, by Grozni. Failure to fulfil the oil plan in recent years has greatly handicapped the work in other branches of the national economy.


8. Production in 1936 is to be raised to 135 million tons (approximately 108 million tons in 1935) of which 80 million tons will be provided by the Donetz coal-field, and 17.8 million tons by Kuznetsk. Mechanisation will be increased to 80.7 per cent for cutting and 87.7 per cent for hauling.


Source 1c

Machine-Building Industry.

11. The output of the machine-building industry, which is developing rapidly, is to be increased by a further 24 per cent. Imports have now dropped to a very small sum – 62 million roubles in 1935 as compared with an average of 500 million roubles per annum during the First Five-Year Plan (1929-32).

Automobile Industry.

12. 161,500 automobiles are to be produced in 1936, as compared with 96,700 in 1935, but the growth in numbers will be confined to motor trucks, as the car plants at Moscow and Gorki are being converted for the manufacture of new types of machines. By the end of 1936 it is estimated that the country will have 314,000 trucks and 86,000 cars.

Chemical Industry.

13. Chief attention will be devoted in 1936 to raising the production of fertilisers – increasing quantities of which are to be supplied to agriculture – synthetic rubber, dyes and plastic materials. The manufacture of synthetic rubber, it is claimed, has now been successfully mastered, and the output plan has accordingly been raised to 42,000 tons as compared with 25,000 tons in 1935 and 11,000 tons in 1934. The consumption of alcohol per ton of rubber was reduced from 6.9 tons in 1934 to 4.2 tons in 1935.


Source 1d

Railway Transport.

16. In 1935, for the first time in many years, the railways over-fulfilled the transport plan – by 13 per cent. The average daily car-loading in 1936 has been fixed at 78,500, or an increase of 15.4 per cent over 1935. The total freight traffic is estimated at 457 million tons, or 67 million tons more than in 1935. 1,900 locomotives and 90,000 freight wagons are to be added in 1936.

17. Reconstruction work is to be undertaken on the busiest sections of the railways, Moscow-Donbas, Donbas-Krivoi Reg. &c., and round Sverdlovsk, 539 kilom. are to be electrified; 2,000 kilom. of double track will be put into operation; the construction of new lines over a stretch of 5,000 kilom. will be begun; and track repair work on 30,000 kilom. (of the 84,000 kilom. in operation) will be carried out over the most important sections. Measures are to be taken to diminish the number of accidents “which still continue to be a great impediment to the efficient operation of the railways.”

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