M. N LAPTIN and A. A. PRUTSKY. The Movement of Production Innovators (1958 - 1963)
The article traces the development of the emulation movement of Communist Labour shock workers, production teams and collectives of industrial enterprises between 1958 and 1963. Side by side with disclosing the main prerequisites for transition from numerous forms of the socialist emulation movement to the widespread drive of shock workers, production teams, shbps and whole industrial enterprises for winning the title of Communist Labour, the authors analyze the quantitative growth and qualitative changes attending the development of that movement in the past few years. The article shows the influence exerted by the Communist Labour emulation movement on increasing the level of labour productivity, bringing down production costs and improving the quality of manufactured goods, heightening the working people's activity in the management of production, introduction of new technology, improving labour organization and perfecting technological processes.
The authors cite interesting facts and materials illustrating the work of numerous Designing and Technological Bureaus, Economic Analysis Groups and Innovators' Councils organized on a voluntary basis and staffed by non-salaried personnel. Stressing the important role of the Communist Labour emulation movement in advancing the working people's general education, political and technological level, Laptin and Prutsky point out that in a comparatively short period this movement has assumed a truly mass, nationwide character owing to the organizing and inspiring role of the Communist Party and the all-round support and encouragement from the Soviet government.
A. M. GINDIN and I. S. MUSLYUMOV. The Early Socialist Transformations Carried Out by the Soviet Government in Azerbaijan
Drawing on the latest scientific achievements of Soviet historiography in elaborating the history of the Great October Revolution, as well as on archive materials and the periodical press of 1917 - 1918, the authors of this article highlight the development of the socialist revolution in Azerbaijan and the carrying out of socialist transformations in this Soviet Republic. Particular attention is devoted to the part played by the proletariat of Baku in effecting a number of deep-going socialist transformations in the early months following the establishment of Soviet power in Baku and the pre-Caspian areas of Azerbaijan. This heightened attention is explained by the fact that Baku was the first Soviet city in Transcaucasia, the outpost and standard-bearer in the struggle for the victory of Soviet power throughout the Transcaucasian territory.
The article stresses that in a short space of time the Bolsheviks of Azerbaijan, led by the Central Committee of the Party and relying on the assistance of the peoples of Russia, carried out a number of far-reaching economic and political measures designed to consolidate Soviet power. Some of these measures, the authors write, contributed to the establishment and consolidation of Soviet government bodies, helped to extend Soviet power to a number of districts, facilitated the introduction and maintenance of revolutionary public order, furthered the political education and enlightenment of the popular masses and strengthened the international unity of the working people. Others were aimed at expropriating the capitalists, putting an end to economic dislocation, implementing workers' control over production and distribution, organizing and regulating the supply of food.
The authors comprehensively analyze all these measures, emphasizing that their character makes it possible to expose and effectively refute the fallacious view, widespread during the personality cult period, that in the early years after the October Revolution the Soviet government's organizational function in the sphere of economic development was insignificant. The extensive factual data cited in the article convincingly refute the attempts of reactionary bourgeois historiography to play clown the significance of the socialist revolution for the outlying national districts of tsarist Russia.
Academician N. M. DRUZHININ. The Liberation War of 1813 and Russian Society
N. M Druzhinin regards the war of 1813, which was fought by the Russian army in alliance with the German patriotic forces on Germany's territory against Napoleon, as a war of liberation which ended in the downfall of the despotic regime established by the French conqueror in the German lands. N. M. Druzhinin points out that this war was a logical sequel to the German people's preceding struggle against Napoleon's yoke. The feeling of national protest was expressed by representatives of the nobility and bourgeois intelligentsia who tried to stir up the patriotic sentiments of the German people. This period also witnessed spontaneous armed risings against Napoleon's yoke (notably in Tyrol province and in the northern parts of Germany) which, however, ended in failure. It was becoming increasingly clear that the dismembered and weakened Germany was not in a position to re-establish its political independence without the assistance of a powerful external force. It was the Russian army that was destined to become such a force. The defeat of Napoleon's army on the battlefields of Russia and the victorious advance of the Russian troops within the bounds of Prussia, writes N. M. Druzhinin, served as a powerful impetus which awakened the dormant energy of the German people. The author paints a vivid picture of the rapid spread of the liberation movement against the French domination in Germany and shows the important part played by Russia in this movement. The country's ruling circles headed by the tsar wanted to take advantage of the nation-wide character of the war in Russia and Germany to further their own narrow and selfish class interests. A sizable part of the army and progressive-minded representatives of the nobility regarded the joint struggle of the Russian and German peoples against Napoleon's yoke as a guarantee of national regeneration in both countries. Drawing on his analysis of Russian periodical publications, diaries and memoir literature of that period, the author shows the different attitude of the various sections oi Russian society to the war of 1813, which determined their further polarization in the postwar period.
In observing the 150th anniversary of the battle of Leipzig, N. M. Druzhinin writes in conclusion, we cherish both the memories of the common struggle for national independence and the long-standing traditions of the revolutionary movement in Russia and Germany, whose rise and development was greatly influenced by past battles, "disappointed hopes and new political aspirations.
V. I. POPOV. The 1936 Conference in Montreux
The Montreux Conference on the straits question holds an important place in the history of international relations. The convention signed on July 20, 1936, by the Conference participants-Turkey, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, Australia, France, Bulgaria, Japan, Greece, Yugoslavia and Rumania-which established a new international regime of the Black Sea straits replacing that of the Lausanne convention, has been in operation for more than a quarter of a century.
The article vividly reflects the sharp struggle which developed between the Soviet and British delegations at the Conference. The Soviet government urged the establishment of a regime that would firmly guarantee the security of the Black Sea powers. The Soviet delegation insisted on restricting the passage through the straits of war vessels belonging to non-Black Sea powers and on granting the right of free passage to warships of the Black Sea states.
Following a two-week discussion of the Turkish draft convention, which was adopted in the main by all the participating powers and supported by the U.S.S.R., the British delegation unexpectedly submitted to the Conference its own draft. This British move could only be described as an obvious attempt fully to retain all the articles of the Lausanne convention of 1923 which was prejudicial to the rights and interests of the Black Sea countries. Completely disregarding the special position of the Black Sea powers, for which the Bosporus and the Dardanelles form the only existing passage from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean and vice versa, the British delegation maintained that all countries should enjoy "equal rights" of transit and navigation through the straits and insisted on opening the straits to the warships of all nations.
In taking this line Britain sought to secure unrestricted passage into the Black Sea for the war vessels of aggressive states. Fully realizing that these plans stood little chance of success, British diplomacy was contemplating another move, namely, the proposal to close the straits to warships of all countries in general, which was tantamount to locking up the Soviet navy in the Black Sea.
Anxious to safeguard the security and uphold the interests of the peace-loving states, the Soviet government resolutely came out against the British proposals. In this situation the British government was compelled to revise its policy. On July 20, 1936, a new convention defining the regime of the straits was signed, which, despite a number of shortcomings, signified an important step forward in strengthening the security of the Black Sea states.
E. M. VINOKUR, Y. I. KOMAR and S. I. KUZNETSOVA. Source Materials on the History of the African Working Class
The survey examines the basic available sources containing materials on the numerical strength, composition, structure and position of the working class after the second world war in thirteen African countries situated to the south of the Sahara. After a brief reference to the most important data cited in a number of U.N. and ILO publications, the authors concentrate their attention on local sources, notably statistical materials and special surveys devoted to individual aspects of the process of formation and conditions of the working class in Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika, Northern and Southern Rhodesia, Nyasaland, Chad, Gabon, Congo (Brazzaville), Central African Republic, Congo (Leopold-ville), Angola and Mozambique.
The article discloses the significance of migration and urbanization for the rise and development of the proletariat and graphically illustrates the specific features and peculiarities attending these processes in individual countries.
The authors critically analyze and make effective use of published sources for a number of independent estimates illustrating the absolute numerical strength and structure of the working class, its relative proportion in the gainfully employed population, the heavy burden of colonial exploitation, the material and labour conditions of the African working people. The authors stress the immense gap in the wages received by African and European workers (with the latter often getting ten to twenty times more for the same kind of work), resulting from the privileged position and an almost exclusive right to skilled jobs enjoyed by European workers, as well as from discrimination existing in the system of payment for equal work. Notwithstanding certain wage increases won by African workers in the postwar years, the overwhelming majority of them are still paid between 50 and 20 per cent of the cost-of-living minimum. Only the miners in Northern Rhodesia have won the "luxury" of supporting their families by dint of persevering strike struggles. As a rule, African workers lead a semi-starvation existence, which explains the appallingly high incidence of such dreadful diseases as anaemia, pellagra, etc, The authors make an attempt not only to bring together the basic sources on diverse problems of the history of the African working class but also to analyze the actual value and authenticity of the data contained in these sources.
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