Russian Expectations For 1936
Newspapers To Print 39 Million Copies
Front Our Russian Correspondent The second session of the central executive committee of the U.S.S.R. has confirmed the economic plan for the year 1936.
It is an interesting document embracing all aspects of the life of the great communist state. As there is no private production and trade, everything is supplied by organs of the state.
The plan is sub-divided into seven sections: industry, agriculture, transport, housing, trade, labour, and culture.
Each of them gives a general survey of the achievements proposed for the current year.
We learn that the U.S.S.R. is to produce, in 1936, 135 million tons of coal, 30 million tons of oil, 16 million tons of steel, all very imposing figures.
Evidently, in order to confirm Stalin's promise that "life is to be beautiful and gay," the plan promises the manufacture of 955,000 gramophones with 50 million records, half a million wireless sets, a quarter of a million cameras, and so on.
The Meat Ration
Soviet citizens will, however, be less favoured in other "products of consumption." Thus the meat production is estimated at 650,000 tons which, per head of the population, means some Sibs. of meat per year.
The average citizen will have some 201bs. of fish per annum. But whether he will get his full share of the two and a half million tons of sugar to be produced in 1936 is not stated, for it is likely that most of it will be used for export.
In the same way a very great part of the cotton and linen goods produced by the textile industry will be exported to the East to compete with Manchester goods; but, were even all the three and a half milliard yards of these fabrics distributed among the people of the U.S.S.R.. this would mean only 22 yards per head.
There will be 104 million pairs of new boots and shoes made, leaving some sixty million people without any new shoes in 1936.
The " Great Communist Culture"
A curious item stands in the paragraph of the timber industry, providing that 787 thousand tons of paper are to be produced, an average of 101bs. of paper per head.
Isvestia, in extolling the plan, speaks of the "great communist culture"—theatres, schools, universities to be built in distant Yakutia, Kazakstan, Kirghizia; Shakespeare, Balzac and Flaubert to he translated into Asiatic languages, newspapers to be printed in 39 million copies, all that upon the modest average of 101bs. of paper per head.
No wonder that, when the speeches of the "beloved leader" are issued in millions of copies, there is no paper for children's copy-books and grammars. the subject of continuous complaints in the same Soviet press!