Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the Councils of Workers, Soldiers, Peasants and Cossack Deputies
About granting the People's Commissar of Food emergency powers to combat the rural bourgeoisie, harboring grain stocks and speculating with them.
The disastrous process of the collapse of the country's food business, the heavy legacy of the four-year war continues to expand and escalate. While the consuming provinces are starving, there are still large stocks of even the harvested grain of 1916 and 1917 in producing gubernias. This bread is in the hands of the village kulaks and the rich, in the hands of the rural bourgeoisie. Satisfied and wealthy, having accumulated huge sums of money earned during the war years, the rural bourgeoisie remains stubbornly deaf and indifferent to the groans of the starving workers and the peasant poor, does not export grain to At the same time, the bread is in place at fabulous prices for bread speculators-bagmen.
This persistence of the greedy, wealthy village kulaks must end. The food practice of previous years showed that the breakdown of fixed bread prices and the abandonment of the grain monopoly, making it easier for a handful of our capitalists to feast, would make bread completely inaccessible to the multimillion-dollar mass of workers and subject them to inevitable starvation.
On the violence of the bread owners over the starving poor, the answer must be violence against the bourgeoisie.
Not a single pood of bread should remain in the hands of the holders, with the exception of the quantity necessary for planting their fields and for the food of their families until the new harvest.
And this needs to be enforced immediately, especially after the occupation of Ukraine by the Germans, when we are forced to be content with grain resources, which are barely enough to sow and cut down on food.
After discussing the situation and taking into account that only with. the strictest accounting and uniform distribution of all grain stocks, Russia will emerge from the food crisis, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the Soviets decided:
1) Confirming the inviolability of the grain monopoly and fixed prices, as well as the need for a ruthless struggle against bread-speculators-bagwires, to oblige every bread owner to have all the excess in excess of the amount necessary for planting the fields and personal consumption according to the established standards before the new harvest, to declare delivery in a week after the announcement of this decree in each parish. The order of these applications is determined by the People’s Commissariat of Food through local food authorities.
2) Call upon all working and poor peasants to unite immediately for the merciless fight against the kulaks.
3) To declare all those who have surplus bread and are not exporting it to dumping points, as well as lavishing grain stocks for brewing, are enemies of the people, bring them to a revolutionary court so that the guilty are sentenced to imprisonment for at least 10 years, were expelled from the community forever, all their property was confiscated, and self-racers were, moreover, awarded to forced public works.
4) In the event that someone discovers an excess of bread that is not declared for delivery, in accordance with clause 1, bread is taken free from him, and the cost of undeclared surplus due at fixed prices is paid in half to the person who will indicate hidden surplus, after the actual receipt of them at the bulk points, and at half the size - the rural community. Claims for hidden surpluses are made to local food organizations.
Taking into account that combating the food crisis requires quick and decisive measures, that the most fruitful implementation of these measures in turn requires the centralization of all food orders in a single institution and that such an institution is the People's Commissariat of Food, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the Council decides to better deal with the food crisis, give the People’s Commissar of Food the following powers:
1) Issue mandatory food ordinances that go beyond the usual limits of competence of the People’s Commissariat of Food.
2) Repeal decisions of local food authorities and other organizations and institutions that are contrary to the plans and actions of the People’s Food Commissioner.
3) Require the agencies and organizations of all departments to unconditionally and immediately execute the orders of the People’s Food Commissioner in relation to food.
4) Use armed force in the case of countering the taking of bread or other food products.
5) Dissolve or reorganize local food authorities in the event of opposition to the orders of the People’s Food Commissioner.
6) Dismiss, dismiss, bring to a revolutionary court, arrest officials and employees of all departments and public organizations in the event of their disorganizing interference at the disposal of the People's Commissar of Food.
7) To transfer these powers (except the right to arrest, clause 6) to other persons and institutions in the field with the approval of the Council of People's Commissars.
8) All the activities of the People's Food Commissioner, related by their nature to the departments of the Communication Ways and the High Council of the National Economy, are carried out in consultation with the relevant departments.
9) The decrees and directives of the People’s Food Commissioner issued in the order of these powers are checked by the Board of the People’s Commissariat of Food, having the right, without suspending the execution, to appeal them to the Council of People’s Commissars.
This decree comes into force on the date of its signing and is put into effect by telegraph.
Signed: Chairman of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the Councils Y. Sverdlov.
Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars V. Ulyanov (Lenin).
Secretary Vser. Centre. Use Com Avanesov.
May 9 (April 26), 1918.
Published in No. 94 of the News of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of Soviets of May 14 (1), 1918.