Fifth Congress of Soviets of the USSR

Fifth Congress of Soviets of the USSR

 

a congress of soviets held in Moscow from May 20 to May 28, 1929. First on the agenda was a report by the government of the USSR covering the period from April 1927 (delivered by A. I. Rykov). The first five-year plan for the development of the national economy of the USSR was the subject of a general report by G. M. Krzhizhanovskii and of a report on the plan for industrial development, given by V. V. Kuibyshev. A report on the upswing in agriculture and the establishment of cooperatives in the countryside was presented by M. I. Kalinin. The members of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR were elected. The congress was attended by 1,675 delegates with a casting vote and 884 with a consultative vote. Workers constituted 56.4 percent of the delegates, peasants 24.8 percent, and office employees 18.8 percent.

The congress approved the domestic and foreign policy of the Soviet government and the steps taken to ensure the country’s rapid industrialization and the socialist reconstruction of agriculture. It enjoined the government to devote maximum attention to questions of culture and to assure the realization of compulsory elementary education, the eradication of illiteracy, the improvement of general and vocational-technical education, and the formation of cadres of specialists and scientists from among the working people.

In a resolution adopted by the congress on May 28, the five-year plan was described as a “comprehensive program of the socialist reconstruction of the national economy.” The resolution adopted after M. I. Kalinin’s report stated that the restoration of the country’s agriculture had been essentially completed. However, a slow growth rate in several agricultural branches, notably grain production, and a general discrepancy in the development of agriculture and industry had become serious obstacles to attaining the objectives of socialist transformation.

The congress urged the government and all Soviet agencies to support the initiative of shifting entire villages to collective forms of labor, to overcome the resistance of the kulaks, and to create the conditions that would make kolkhozes economically attractive to the peasant masses. At the same time, the congress discussed measures to ensure the prosperity of individual farms belonging to the poor and middle peasants. The congress approved the law on the general principles of land use and management, the Central Executive Committee’s resolution on measures to improve harvest yields, and the statute providing for a single agricultural tax. It also endorsed the proposed measures to organize new sovkhozes and strengthen existing ones and outlined ways to strengthen agricultural cooperatives and expand the kolkhoz movement.

The Central Executive Committee of the USSR formed at the congress was composed of 587 members and 302 candidate members. The congress elected the Soviet of the Union, comprising 451 members and 239 candidate members, and endorsed the composition of the Soviet of Nationalities, with 136 members and 63 candidate members.

REFERENCES

5 s”ezd Sovetov: Stenograficheskii otchet. Moscow, 1929.
S”ezdy Sovetov Soiuza SSR, soiuznykh i avtonomnykh Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik: Sb. dokumentov, 1917–1936, vol. 3. Moscow, 1960.
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