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Second Congress of the Kolkhoz Shock workers, Kolkhoz Statute. February 17, 1935 

Confirmed by the Council of People's Commissariats of the U.S.S.R. and by the Central Committee of the Party

Original Source: Izvestiia, February 18, 1935. U.S.S.R. Laws, 1935, text 82.

I. Aims and Purposes

1. The toiling peasants of the village (settlement, hamlet, khutor, kishlaq, aul) ... in the district of ... voluntarily band together in order to build up, with common means of production and with common labor, a collective, Le. socialist farm, to ensure complete victory over kulaks and all exploiters and enemies of the toilers, to ensure complete victory over poverty and darkness, over the backwardness of small individual farming, to create a high productivity of labor and to ensure, by this means, the well-being of the members.

The path of kolkhozes, the path of Socialism is the only right path for the toiling peasants. The members of the artel take upon themselves an obligation to strengthen their artel, to work honestly, to distribute the kolkhoz income according to the amount of work done, to guard the common property, to take care of the kolkhoz goods, to keep the tractors and machinery in good order, to tend the horses carefully, to execute the tasks imposed by the workers' and peasants' state in order to make their kolkhoz a Bolshevik one and all members of the kolkhoz-well-to-do people.

Il. On the Land

2. All boundaries and hedges which have hitherto divided the plots of the members of the artel, are to be abolished and all individual plots and fields are to be converted into one huge field which is to be utilized collectively by the artel. Land occupied by the artel (as well as all other land in the USSR ) is national State property. According to the laws of the workers' and peasants' State, the land is leased to the artel for an indefinite period, that is to say, forever, and must not either be sold or bought or sublet by the artel.

The District Executive Committees are to prepare a State title-deed for each artel, as evidence of the right to the utilization of land; this title-deed must fix the size and exact boundaries of the land enclosure given to the artel; the land enclosures cannot be decreased, but may be increased, either out of the free State land-fund or out of the superfluous land occupied by individual peasants; always, however, subject to preserving the kolkhoz lands in one block.

Small allotments (vegetable plots, gardens) are to be parceled out of the common land for the individual use of each kolkhoz household. The size of such allotments (exclusive of the site of the house) may vary from a quarter hectare to a half hectare, and, in some districts, to one hectare, in correspondence with local conditions, as determined by the People's Commissariats for Agriculture of the Allied Republics on the basis of the directions issued by the People's Commissariat for Agriculture of the USSR

3. The land enclosure of the artel may in no case be diminished. It is forbidden to parcel out allotments out of the artel's land enclosure to those members who withdraw from the artel. The withdrawing members may receive allotments only out of the free lands of the State land fund. The land enclosure of the artel is to be divided into separate fields in correspondence with the established system of crop rotation. Each field brigade is to work on the same portion of fields during the established period of crop rotation. Kolkhozes which possess large stock-breeding farms, in case of need and if having a sufficient amount of land, may parcel out certain allotments which are to be attached to the stock-breeding farms and used for the cultivation of fodder for the animals.

III. On Means of Production

4. To be socialized: all draught animals, agricultural machinery (ploughs, drill-ploughs, harrows, threshers, movers), seeds, fodder in such quantities as necessary for the feeding of socialized animals, farm buildings necessary for conducting the business of the artel and all industrial undertakings for preparing agricultural products. Not to be socialized, but left in individual possession of a kolkhoz household: houses, animals and fowls owned individually, farm buildings necessary for sheltering animals left in individual possession of a kolkhoz household. Small agricultural implements necessary for the working of individual allotments, are to be left in individual possession of the members when the socialization of agricultural machinery is effected.

The directors of the artel may, in case of need, allot a few horses, out of the total number of socialized draught animals, for serving the personal needs of the members, but on the condition that these services are to be paid for. The artel is to organize a mixed stock-breeding farm, or, if there are a large number of animals, several specialized stock-breeding farms.

5. Each kolkhoz household in the districts of cultivation of grain, sugar-beet, cotton, flax, hemp, potatoes and vegetables, tea and tobacco may have in individual possession one cow, not more than two calves, one sow with sucklings or, if the directors of the kolkhoz may think it advisable, two sows with sucklings, not more than ten sheep and goats together, an unlimited number of fowls and rabbits, and not more than twenty beehives.

Each kolkhoz household in agricultural districts with a developed stock-breeding may have in individual possession two or three cows and also calves, two or three sows with sucklings, twenty or twenty five sheep and goats together, an unlimited number of fowls and rabbits, and not more than twenty beehives. Such districts are, for instance, agricultural districts of Kazakhstan not bordering on nomadic districts, forest districts of White Russia, the Chernigov and Kiev provinces of Ukraine, the districts of the Baraba Steppes and Altai districts of Western Siberia, the Ishim and Tobolsk groups of districts of the Omsk province, the hilly part of Bashkiria, the eastern part of Eastern Siberia, agricultural districts of the Far Eastern Area, the Vologda and Kholmogory groups of districts in the Northern Area.

Each kolkhoz household in the districts of non- or semi-nomadic stock-breeding where agriculture is of small significance and stock-breeding is the chief industry, may have in individual possession four or five cows and also calves, thirty or forty sheep and goats in all, two or three sows with sucklings, an unlimited number of fowls and rabbits, not more than twenty beehives and also one horse or one milking mare or 'two camels or two donkeys or two mules. Such, for instance, are the following districts: the stock-breeding districts of Kazakhstan bordering on nomadic districts, the stock-breeding districts of the Turkmen, Tadzhik, Kara-Kalpak and Kirghiz republics, Oirotia, Khakassia, the western part of Buryatia-Mongolia, the Kalmyk autonomous district, the hilly districts of the Daghestan autonomous republic, the Chechen-Ingush, Kabarda-Bikarsk, Karachevsk and Ossetian autonomous provinces of the Northern Caucasus, and also the hilly parts of the Azerbaidzhan, Armenian and Georgian soviet socialist republics.

Each kolkhoz household in the districts of nomadic stockbreeding where agriculture has almost no significance and where stock-breeding is the all-embracing branch of industry, may have in individual possession eight or ten cows and also calves, 100 or 150 sheep and goats in all, an unlimited number of fowls, up to ten horses, five or eight camels. Such districts, for instance, are: the nomadic districts of Kazakhstan, the Nogai district, the nomadic districts of Buryatia-Mongolia.

IV. The Work of the Artel and Its Directors

6. The artel takes upon itself the obligation to conduct its collective farming according to plan and to execute exactly the plans drawn by the organs of the Workers' and Peasants' Government with regard to agricultural production and the duties of the artel towards the State. The artel is to follow exactly the programs of sowing, fallow plowing, weeding, harvesting, threshing and autumn plowing which are to be drawn up in accordance with conditions and peculiarities existing in the kolkhozes, and also the State plan of development of stock-breeding.

Directors and all of the members of the artel take upon themselves the following obligations:

(a) To increase the productivity of the kolkhoz fields by means of the introduction and observance of the correct rotation of crops, deep plowing, extermination of weeds, increasing and improving the fallow and autumn plowing, timely and careful hoeing of cotton plantations, putting in manure taken from the stock-breeding farms and from kolkhoz households, putting in mineral fertilizers, extermination of pests, timely and careful harvesting without losses, tending and cleaning the irrigation fields, the strictest observance of all agricultural and technical regulations established by the local land offices;

(b) to select the best seeds for sowing, to purify them from any admixture, to keep them safe from damage and pilfering, to store them in clean, well-ventilated storehouses, to increase the sowing of pure-bred seeds;

(c) to increase the area under cultivation by means of utilization of all land at the disposal of the artel, of improvement and cultivation of lands laid waste, of plowing up virgin land and by the introduction of a correct land survey within the kolkhozes;

(d) to make full use, on the collective basis, of all draught animals and traction engines, of all implements and agricultural machinery, of seeds and all other means of production which the artel possesses, and also of all tractors, motors, threshers, combines and other machinery which the Workers' and Peasants' State supplies to the kolkhozes through the Machine-Tractor Stations, to organize correct tending of live-stock and machinery and to use every endeavor to keep animals and machinery in the collective farm in good order and condition;

(e) to organize stock-breeding farms, and in those localities where the conditions are favorable, also horse-breeding farms, to increase the number of animals, to improve the breeds and the productivity of the animals, to assist members who work honestly at the collective farm, in purchasing cows and small cattle, to mate cows, mares, etc., with improved and pure-bred bulls, stallions, etc., not only socialized, but also those cows, mares, etc., which are individually owned by the members, to observe the established zoological, technical and veterinary regulations in respect of stock-breeding;

(f) to increase the production of fodder, to improve the meadows and pastures, to render assistance to members who conscientiously work in socialized production and to ensure for them, as far as possible, the enjoyment of kolkhoz pastures, and also to give them, as far as possible, fodder for the cattle owned by them individually, on the condition that the cost of this fodder should be refunded by them;

(g) to develop all other branches of agricultural production in correspondence with local natural conditions and also cottage industries in correspondence with the conditions prevailing in the district, to take care of and to keep clean the ponds, to dig new ones and stock them with fish;

(h) to organize the construction of farm and communal buildings by common labor;

(i) to raise the cultural standard of the members, to introduce newspapers, books, broadcast, to establish clubs, lending libraries and reading-rooms, to build public baths and hairdressing shops, to construct clean and airy field-camps, to keep the village streets in good order, to plant various, especially fruit-bearing, trees, to assist the members in improving and decorating their houses;

(j) to improve the qualifications of the members, to assist the members in training for such duties as brigadiers, tractor drivers, combine - minders, drivers, veterinary surgeons and assistants, stablemen, sowherds, cowmen, shepherds, field laboratory assistants;

(k) to draw the women into the kolkhoz work and the social life of the artel, to appoint capable and experienced women-members to managerial posts, to free women, as far as possible, of domestic work by means of establishing nursery schools, playing grounds for children, and so forth.

V. On Membership

7. Admission to membership is made by the general meeting of the members, which confirms the lists of new members submitted by the directors. All toilers, women as well as men, who have attained the age of 16, may join the artel. Kulaks and all persons deprived of the right to vote are not to be admitted into the artel.

Note. The following exemptions to this rule are permitted:

(a) Children of the lishentsy (disfranchised) who, for a number of years, have been engaged in work of public utility and who are working conscientiously;

(b) Former kulaks and members of their families who, having been deported for their anti-soviet and anti-kolkhoz activities, have proved for a period of three years, by their conscientious work and by their support of the measures passed by the Soviet Government, that they have been corrected.

Individual peasants who have sold their horses in the two years preceding their admission into the artel and who have no seed are to be admitted into the artel on the condition that they take upon themselves an obligation to refund the cost of a horse out of their income by installments over six years and to surrender the required quantity of seed in kind.

8. Members may be expelled from the artel only by a resolution of the general meeting at which not less than two-thirds of the total number of the members are present. The number of members present at the general meeting and the number of votes cast for expulsion should be explicitly stated in the minutes of the meeting. If an expelled member appeals against his expulsion to the district executive committee of the soviets, the case is finally decided by the presidium of the district executive committee of the soviets in the presence of the chairman of the artel and of the appellant.

VI. Funds of the Artel

9. A member admitted into the artel must pay an entrance fee to the amount of 20 or 40 rubles in correspondence with his economic capacity. The entrance fee is to go to the indivisible fund of the artel.

10. Between one-half-and one-quarter of the value of the socialized property of the members (draught animals, machinery, farm buildings, etc.) must go into the indivisible fund of the artel; the more well-to-do the member, the large the proportion of his property which is to go into the indivisible fund. The remaining portion of the property is to be considered as the share of the member. The directors are to settle accounts with a withdrawing membership and have to return to him his share in money; the withdrawing member may obtain a land allotment only outside the land enclosure belonging to the artel. As a rule, the settlement of accounts is effected at the end of the agricultural season.

11. Out of the crops gathered and the animal products raised, the artel must:

(a) Fulfill its obligations towards the State in respect of deliveries of products and the return of seed loans; pay out in kind to the Machine-Tractor Station for the work done by the Station, in accordance with the contract, which has the force of the law, and fulfill other contracts entered into;

(b) store seed for the next year's sowing and fodder for animals for the whole year and create permanent, annually renewed, seed and fodder funds to the extent of 10 or 15 percent of the annual requirements, in order to insure itself against failure of crops or shortage of fodder;

(c) create, in accordance with the decision of the general meeting, funds to assist disabled, old or sick people, poor families of Red Army soldiers, and to maintain nursery schools and waifs; all these funds should not exceed 2 per cent of the total annual production;

(d) fix the proportion of the products which, in accordance with the decision of the general meeting, is to be sold to the State or on the free market;

(e) share out the remaining portion of the crops and animal products produced by the artel among the members in accordance with the number of working days earned by each member.

12. The money income of the artel is to be expended for the following purposes:

(a) To pay taxes to the State established by law and insurance premiums;

(b) to defray necessary expenses in connection with current requirements, such as repairs of agricultural machinery and implements, medical treatment of animals, combating pests, etc.;

(c) to defray administrative expenses of the artel, to the extent of not more than 2 per cent of the total income in money;

(d) to assign money for cultural needs, such as training of brigadiers and other specialists, organization of nursery schools, purchasing of wireless, etc.;

(e) to augment the indivisible funds of the artel for the purchase of cattle, agricultural machinery and building materials, for paying wages to workers hired for building operations, for repayment of long-term loans received from the Agricultural Bank; the total sum assigned for the replenishing of the indivisible: fund is to equal not less than 10 percent and not more than 20 percent of the total money income of the artel;

(f) the remaining money income of the artel is to be shared out among the members in accordance with the number of working days earned by each member.

All sums received by the artel must be entered in the books on the day the money is received.

The directors must prepare an estimate of revenue and expenditure for the ensuing year; this estimate is valid only after it has been confirmed by the general meeting. The directors may spend money only in accordance with the confirmed estimate; arbitrary moving of money from one item of the expenditure estimate to another is not to be permitted, and the directors, if such operations are necessary, must first obtain the consent of the general meeting. The artel must keep its money on the current account with a bank or a savings bank. The withdrawal of money from the current account is made by order of the directors, which order is valid when it is signed by the chairman and by the accountant.

VII. Organization and Remuneration of Labor, and Labor Discipline

13. All operations in connection with the running of the business of the artel are to be performed by the personal labor of its members in accordance with the rules and regulations approved by the general meeting. It is permitted to engage nonmembers for agricultural operations only when they possess special knowledge and training (agronomists, engineers, technicians, and so forth). The hiring of outside casual labor is permitted only under exceptional circumstances when urgent operations cannot be performed in time by the members working at full pressure, and also for building and constructional operations.

14. The directors form production brigades out of the members of the artel. Agricultural brigades are to have the same personal for the full period of crop rotation. The agricultural brigade must work the same plot for the full period of crop rotation. The directors, by a special deed, must hand over to each agricultural brigade all necessary machinery, draught animals and farm buildings.

Stock-breeding brigades are to have the same personnel for the period of not less than three years. The directors must hand over to each stock-breeding brigade productive cattle, machinery and draught animals necessary for carrying out the business, and also stables, cow-sheds, pigsties, and other similar buildings.

Work is to be 'shared out among the members of the brigade by the brigadier, who must, in the best possible way, make proper use of each member of his brigade, not permitting himself, while sharing out the tasks, to be influenced by family or other private considerations, and taking into account the qualifications, experience and physical fitness of each member and, in respect of pregnant or nursing women, the necessity of alleviating their work; women must be freed from all work for a period of one month before and one month after giving birth, and during these two months must receive remuneration equal to one-half of the average number of working days they normally earn.

15. Agricultural operations are to be carried out on the basis of piecework remuneration. The directors are to work out and the general meeting is to confirm the normal output and remuneration for each separate job in terms of working days; these standards must be worked out for each agricultural operation. The normal output which a conscientious working man may produce is to be fixed for each operation; conditions of draught animals, machinery and soil are to be taken into consideration. Each operation--as, for instance, to plough up one hectare, to sow one hectare, to hoe one hectare of cotton plantation, to thresh one ton of grain, to dig out two hundredweights of sugar beet, to pluck one hectare of flax, to moisten one hectare of flax, to milk one liter of milk, and so on, is to be valued in terms of working days in correspondence with the necessary qualifications of the laborer, the complexity, difficulty and importance of the operation for the artel.

The brigadier must, not less than once a week, calculate all the work which has. been done by a member, and, in accordance with the established scale of remuneration, enter the number of earned working days into the labor book of the member. The directors must display every month the list of members, showing the number of working days earned by each member during the preceding month.

The annual amount of work and the income earned by each member is to be certified, apart from the accountant, also by the brigadier and the chairman of the artel. The list showing the number of working days earned by each member is to be publicly displayed not later than a fortnight before the date of the general meeting, which is to confirm the distribution of the income earned by the artel.

If an agricultural brigade, as a result of good work, should gather crops from its plot exceeding the average crops obtained by the artel, or if a stock-breeding brigade, as a result of good work, should show a better output of milk per cow, better fattening of cattle or ensure full preservation of young animals, the directors are to increase the remuneration of the members of such brigades to the extent of 10 per cent of the total of working days earned by them; the best shock-workers in the brigade are entitled to 15 per cent increase, and the brigadiers or stockbreeding farm managers to 20 per cent.

If an agricultural brigade, as a result of bad work, should gather crops from. its plot below the average of the crops obtained by the artel, or if the stock-breeding brigade, as a result of bad work, should show a poorer output of milk per cow, poorer fattening of cattle or larger mortality among young animals, the directors are to fine the members of such brigades to the extent of 10 per cent of the number of working days earned by them.

The distribution of income among the members is to be made exclusively in accordance with the number of working days earned by each members.

16. Money may be advanced to a member during the year to an amount not exceeding 50 per cent of the sum earned by him. Advances in kind are to be made by the directors; only after the beginning of threshing operations and out of the threshed grain which is left for the requirements of the artel (10 or 15 per cent of the total threshed grain).

Those artels which are engaged in the cultivation of technical plants, may grant money advances to their members before the deliveries of cotton, flax, hemp, sugar-beet, tea, tobacco, etc., are completed; the advances cannot exceed 60 per cent of the money received for the delivered products and may be given out once a week, in correspondence with the progress of deliveries.

17. All members of the artel must take upon themselves the obligation to take good care of the property of the artel and of the machinery belonging to the State, and working on the artel's fields, to work honestly, to observe the provisions of the Articles of Association, to carry out the resolutions of the general meetings and the orders of the directors, to adhere to the established regulations, to execute conscientiously the tasks and social duties imposed upon them by the directors and brigadiers, to observe the labor discipline.

The directors are entitled to impose penalties, in accordance with the established regulations, upon those members who waste or neglect the common property, shirk their work without sufficient reasons, work badly or infringe the labor discipline and the Articles of Association; the penalties are: to do the badly done work over again without any remuneration in terms of working days, warning, reprimand, reproof at the general meeting, entering the name of the offender on the blackboard, fines to the extent of five working days, removal to low-paid jobs, temporary dismissal from work. In cases when all measures of education and punishment imposed by the artel fail to produce effect, the directors must put before the general meeting their suggestion to request the expulsion of incorrigible members. The expulsion must be carried out in accordance with the provisions stated in paragraph 8 of the present Articles of Association.

18. Pilfering of socialized kolkhoz and State property, a criminally negligent attitude towards property and cattle belonging to the artel and towards machinery belonging to the Machine Tractor Stations is to be considered by the artel as a betrayal of the kolkhoz cause and as assistance rendered to the enemies of the people. Persons guilty of such criminal offences which undermine the basic principles of kolkhoz order, must be handed over by the artel to judicial authorities to be punished in accordance with the severe laws of the Workers' and Peasants' State.

VIII. Management of the Artel

19. The business of the artel is to be managed by the general meeting of the members and, in the intervals between the meetings, by the directors elected by the general meeting.

20. The general meeting is the highest authority in the management of the artel. The general meeting:

(a) Elects the chairman and the directors of the artel and also the auditing commission of the artel; the auditing commission is approved by the district executive committee of the soviets;

(b) effects the admission of new members into and the expulsion of members of the artel;

(c) confirms the program of the annual production, the estimate revenue and expenditure, the building program, the normal outputs and valuation of tasks in terms of working days;

(d) confirms the agreement with Machine-Tractor Station; (e) confirms the annual report of the directors, which is to be accompanied by the conclusions of the auditing commission, and also the reports of directors regarding the most important agricultural campaigns;

(f) fixes the extent of various funds and also the amounts of products and money to be paid out per working day;

(g) confirms the regulations regarding the carrying out of the business of the artel.

The decisions of directors affecting the matters enumerated in the present paragraph of the Articles of Association are null and void if not confirmed by the general meeting. The quorum of the general meeting is to be not less than one-half of the membership of the artel; this quorum may decide all matters except the election of chairman and of the directors, expulsion of members, and agreement on the extent of various funds; for resolutions upon these matters, the quorum of the general meeting must be not less than two-thirds of the membership. The resolutions at the general meetings are passed by a majority of votes and the voting effected by show of hands.

21. For the running of current business of the artel the general meeting elects, for a period of two years, from five to nine directors in accordance with the size of the artel. The directors are to act as the executive committee of the artel and are responsible for the working of the artel and for the fulfillment of its obligations towards the State.

22. The general meeting elects the chairman of the artel, who is also to preside over the meetings of the directors; the chairman is to manage the day-to-day business of the artel and also to check constantly the execution of the resolutions passed by the directors. The chairman's duty is to convene the meetings of directors not less than once in every fortnight to discuss the current business and pass the necessary resolutions. The directors elect, on the nomination of the chairman, a vice-chairman, who is to assist the chairman in the execution of his duties. The vice-chairman, in all his work, is to follow the directions of the chairman.

23. Brigadiers and managers of the stock-breeding farms are appointed by the directors for a period of not less than two years.

24. The directors appoint an accountant chosen from the members of the artel or hired from outside. The accountant is to keep accounts of the property, income and expenditure of the artel in accordance with the forms prescribed and is to be completely under the orders of the directors and the chairman of the artel. The accountant has no authority to manage independently the funds of the artel, to grant money advances or to expend the resources of the artel. This authority belongs to the directors and the chairman of the artel exclusively. All documents relating to the expenditure of money must be signed by the chairman or by the vice-chairman and countersigned by the accountant.

25. The auditing commission exercises control over all economic and financial activities of the directions, sees if all the revenue in money and in kind is duly credited in the books, if the regulations prescribed by the Articles of Association on expenditure are observed, if the property of the artel is kept in good order, if there is no pilfering of the property or embezzlement of money funds, if the artel meets its obligations towards the State. if it pays its debts and collects debts due to it. Besides this, the auditing commission carefully checks all reckonings between the artel and its members, brings to light every case of cheating by members, inaccurate statements on the number of working days and on delays in payment of remuneration for the earned working days and all other cases of infringement of the interests of the artel or of its members.

The auditing commission audits the accounts four times a year. It is to put before the general meeting its conclusions on the annual report of the directors; these conclusions are to be heard by the general meeting immediately after the report of the directors. The report of the auditing commission is to be confirmed by the general meeting. The auditing commission is responsible for its activities to the general meeting of the artel.

Source: The Slavonic (and East European) Review. Vol. XIV, No. 40 (July, 1935), 188-198.