Nineteenth Congress of the CPSU
Nineteenth Congress of the CPSU
held in Moscow on Oct. 5-14, 1952, and attended by 1,192 delegates with casting votes and 167 with consultative votes, representing 6,013,259 members of the party and 868,886 candidate members.
Of the delegates with casting votes, 5.9 percent were under 36 years old, 17.7 percent were between 36 and 40, 61.1 percent were between 41 and 50, and 15.3 percent were over 50. By length of party membership, 1.2 percent had joined the party before 1917, 6.2 percent between 1917 and 1920, 36.4 percent between 1921 and 1930, 36 percent between 1931 and 1940, 16.1 percent between 1941 and 1945, and 4.1 percent after 1946. Of the 1,192 delegates, 709 had completed their higher education, 84 had an incomplete higher education, 223 had graduated from secondary school, and 176 had an incomplete secondary or elementary education. The delegates with casting votes included 147 women, 62 Heroes of the Soviet Union, and 66 Heroes of Socialist Labor.
The first item on the agenda of the Nineteenth Congress of the CPSU was the summary report of the Central Committee of the ACP (Bolshevik), which was presented by G. M. Malenkov. The summary report of the party’s Central Auditing Commission was read by P. G. Moskatov, directives of the Nineteenth Congress concerning the fifth five-year plan for the development of the USSR (1951-55) were presented by M. Z. Saburov, and amendments to the rules of the ACP (Bolshevik) were read by N. S. Khrushchev. The final business on the agenda was the election of members of the central party bodies.
The congress summarized the results of the activity of the Communist Party and the Soviet people since the Eighteenth Congress of the ACP (Bolshevik), which had been held more than 13 years ago in March 1939. The period between the Eighteenth and Nineteenth party congresses was characterized by many events of world historical importance. During the early years of the third five-year plan (1938-40) the USSR achieved major successes in the development of the economy and considerably strengthened the country’s defenses. The invasion by fascist German forces on June 22, 1941, interrupted the peaceful labor of the Soviet people.
During the Great Patriotic War (1941-45) the working class, kolkhoz peasantry, and intelligentsia of the USSR, under the leadership of the Communist Party, displayed great heroism and selflessness in defense of the freedom and independence of the socialist homeland. Harsh wartime experiences further tightened the bonds between the Communist Party and the broad masses of the Soviet people, as was reflected in the growth of party membership. Despite heavy losses of party members on the fronts, party membership increased by more than 1.6 million during the Great Patriotic War.
The Nineteenth Congress pointed out the realignment of class forces in the world arena. As a result of the changes brought by World War II (1939-45), two basic world sociopolitical camps have developed: the socialist democratic camp and the imperialist reactionary camp. The national-liberation struggle in the colonial and dependent countries received a new and powerful stimulus. In the postwar period the USSR restored its war-damaged economy within a short time and ensured its further development, relying not on foreign aid but on its own forces and means.
The summary report of the Central Committee of the party noted that, because of the new tasks facing the country in the wake of the war, as well as the transition to peaceful construction, major improvements in internal party and ideological activity were necessary, and the level of leadership of party organizations in state and economic activities must be raised.
The Nineteenth Congress of the CPSU affirmed directives for the fifth five-year plan for the development of the USSR, (1951-55). For the five-year period, the plan envisaged an increase in industrial production of about 70 percent, including 80 percent in the means of production, an increase of 65 percent in consumer goods, and a twofold increase in machine building, metalworking, and the capacity of electric power stations.
Under the fifth five-year plan the agricultural sector was to increase mechanization, raise yields, expand the socially owned livestock, and at the same time markedly increase its productivity and augment the gross and marketable outputs of crops and the products of animal husbandry. The plan also called for further improvement in the material and cultural living standards of the workers and for a 60-percent increase in the national income.
The Nineteenth Congress of the CPSU adopted a resolution renaming the Ail-Union Communist Party (Bolshevik) the Communist Party of the USSR. Another resolution remarked that the party had been called both Communist and Bolshevik as a result of the struggle against the Mensheviks, with the purpose of distinguishing the Bolshevik Communist party from the Mensheviks. Inasmuch as the Menshevik Party had long ceased to exist in the USSR, the dual name for the party had lost its purpose, especially since the term “Communist” reflected most clearly the nature of the party’s tasks.
The congress adopted new party rules, including a brief definition of the CPSU and its principal tasks, a newly edited paragraph on membership in the party, a fuller definition of the duties and rights of party members, and clauses stipulating new intervals for convening party congresses and plenums of the party’s Central Committee.
The Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU was reorganized as the Presidium of the Central Committee, and administrative activities of the Central Committee were concentrated in its Secretariat. The Party Control Commission was reorganized as the Committee of Party Control under the Central Committee. All-union party conferences were abolished. The congress agreed upon the need to revise the existing party program and created a commission to undertake the revision.
Guest delegates of 44 fraternal Communist and workers’ parties attended the Nineteenth Congress of the CPSU. In speeches they emphasized the decisive role of the USSR in defeating the reactionary forces of imperialism during World War II, and they expressed gratitude to the CPSU for its aid and support. J. V. Stalin responded to these felicitations at the closing session, expressing the gratitude of the congress to all fraternal parties for their support of the CPSU.
The Central Committee of the CPSU (125 members and 111 candidates) and Central Auditing Commission (27 members) were elected by the congress.
REFERENCESKPSS v rezoliutsiiakh i resheniiakh s”ezdov, Konferentsii i Plenumov Ts. K., 8th ed., vol. 6. Moscow, 1971.
Istoriia KPSS, 4th ed. Moscow, 1971. Pages 549-51.
Ocherki Istorii KPSS. Moscow, 1966. Pages 370-72.