Council of Labor and Defense


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Council of Labor and Defense

 

a body of the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR that directed the work of the economic commissariats and all national defense agencies.

The Council of Labor and Defense was established in April 1920 to replace the Council of Workers’ and Peasants’ Defense. As stipulated in the statute adopted by the Eighth All-Russian Congress of Soviets in December 1920, the council had the powers of a commission of the Council of People’s Commissars. Its local bodies were economic conferences at the oblast, provincial (gubernia), district (uezd), and volost levels. In May 1921, V. I. Lenin drew up the draft of the “Instructions of the Council of Labor and Defense to Local Soviet Bodies” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 43, pp. 266–91).

The membership of the Council of Labor and Defense consisted of the chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars, who was the council’s chairman; the people’s commissars for military and naval affairs, railroads, agriculture, food, labor, and the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspectorate; the chairman of the Supreme Council of the National Economy; a representative of the All-Russian Central Council of Trade Unions; and the director of the Central Statistical Board, who was a nonvoting member. V. I. Lenin was the first chairman of the council.

In February 1921, Gosplan (State Planning Committee) was established under the Council of Labor and Defense. In 1923, with the formation of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR, the Council of Labor and Defense of the RSFSR was abolished, and the Council of Labor and Defense of the USSR was formed in its place. On Apr. 28,1937, by decree of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR, the Council of Labor and Defense of the USSR was abolished; its functions were transferred to the Economic Council under the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR.

REFERENCE

Genkina, E. B. Lenin—predsedatel’ Sovnarkoma i STO. Moscow, 1960.
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