Can it be said that before entering the Second World War our country already possessed the necessary minimum of the material potentialities needed to satisfy these main requirements? I think it can. To prepare for this immense task we had to carry out three five year plans of national-economic development. It was these three five-year plans that enabled us to create these material potentialities. At all events, the situation in our country in this respect was ever so much better before the Second World War, in 1940, than it was before the First World War, in 1913.
What were the material potentialities at our country's disposal before the Second World War?
To help you to understand this I will have to make you a brief report on the activities of the Communist Party in the matter of preparing our country for active defence.
If we take the data for 1940 the eve of the Second World War -- and compare it with the data for 1913 -- the eve of the First World War -- we shall get the following picture.
In 1913 there was produced in our country 4,220,000 tons of pig iron, 4,230,000 tons of steel, 29,000,000 tons of coal, 9,000,000 tons of oil, 21,600,000 tons of market grain and 740,000 tons of raw cotton.
Such were the material potentialities of our country when she entered the First World War.
This was the economic basis old Russia could utilize for the purpose of prosecuting the war.
As regards 1940, in that year the following was produced in our country: 15,000,000 tons
of pig iron, i.e., nearly four times as much as in 1913; 18,300,000 tons of steel, i.e., four and a hallf times as much as in 1913; 166,000,000 tons of coal, i.e., five and a half times as much as in 1913; 31,000,000 tons of oil, i.e., three and a half times as much as in 1913; 38,300,000 tons of market grain, i.e., 17,000,000 tons more than in 1913; 2,700,000 tons of raw cotton, i.e., three and a half times as much as in 1913.
Such were the material potentialities of our country when she entered the Second World War.
This was the economic basis the Soviet Union could utilize for the purpose of prosecuting the war.
The difference, as you see, is colossal.
This umprecedented growth of production cannot be regarded as the simple and ordinary development of a country from backwardness to progress. It was a leap by which our Motherland became transformed from a backward country into an advanced country, from an agrarian into an industrial country.
This historic transformation was brought about in the course of three five-year plans, beguming with 1928 with the first year of the First Five-Year Plan. Up to that time we had to restore our ruined industries and heal the wounds inflicted upon us by the First Worid War and the Civil War. If we take into con-
sideration the fact that the First Five-Year Plan was carried out in four years, and that the execution of the Third Five-Year Plan was interrupted by the war in the fourth year, it works out that the transformation of our country from an agrarian into an industrial country took only about thirteen years.
It cannot but be admitted that thirteen years is an incredibly short period for the execution of such a gigantic task.
It is this that explains the storm of debate that was roused in the foreign press at one time by the publication of these figures. Our friends decided that a "mirac]e" had happened; those who were ill-disposed towards us proclaimed that the five-year plans were "Bolshevik propaganda" and "tricks of the Cheka." But as miracles do not happen and the Cheka is not so powerful as to be able to annul the laws of social development, "public opinion" abroad was obliged to resign itself to the facts.
By what policy was the Communist Party able to create these material potentialities in so short a time?
First of all by the Soviet policy of industrializing the country.
The Soviet method of industrializing the country differs radically from the capitalist method of industrialization. In capitalist countries, industrialization usually starts with light indus-
try. In view of the fact that light industry requires less investments, that capital turnover is faster, and profits are made more easily than in heavy industry, light industry becomes the first object of industrialization, in those countries. 0nly after the passage of a long period of time, during which light industry accumulates profits and concentrates them in the banks, only after this, does the turn of heavy industry come and accumulation begin gradually to be transferred to heavy industry for the purpose of creating conditions for its expansion. But this is a long process, which takes a long time, running into several decades, during which you have to wait while the light industry develops and do without heavy industry. Naturally, the Communist Party, could not take this path. The Party knew that war was approaching, that it would be impossible to defend our country without heavy industry, that it was necessary to set to work to develop heavy industry as quickly as possible, and that to be belated in this matter meant courting defeat. The Party remembered what Lenin said about it being impossible to protect the independence of our country without heavy industry, and about the likelihood of the Soviet system perishing without heavy industry. The Communist Party of our country therefore rejected the "ordinary" path of industrialization and commenced the industrialization of the country by
developing heavy industry. This was a very difficult task, but one that could be accomplished. It was greatly facilitated by the nationaliization of industry and the banks, which made it possible quickly to collect funds and transfer them to heavy industry.
There can be no doubt that without this it would have been impossible to transform our country into an industrial country in so short a time.
Secondly, by the policy of collectivizing agriculture.
To put an end to our backwardness in agriculture and to provide the country with the largest possible amount of market grain, cotton, and so forth, it was necessary to pass from small peasant farminig to large-scale farming, for only large-scale farming can emloy modern machinery, utilize all the achievements of agricultural science and provide the largest possible quantity of market produce. But therev are two kinds of large-scale farming -- capitalist and collective. The Commuist Party could not take the capitalist path of developing agriculture not only on grounds of principle, but also because that path presupposes an exceedingly long process of development and requires the preliminary ruination of the peasants and their transformation into agricultural labourers. The Communist Party therefore took the path of collectivizing
agriculture, the path of organizing large farms by uniting the peasant farms into collective farm's. The collective method proved to be an exceedingly progresgive method not only because it did not call for the ruination of the peasants, but also, and particularly, because it enabled us in the course of several years to cover the entire country with large collective farms capable of employing modern machinery, of utilizing all the achievements of agricultural science and of providing the country with the largest possible quantity of market produce.
There is no doubt that without the policy of collectivization we would not have been able to put an end to the age-long backwardness of our agriculture in so short a time.
It cannot be said that the Party's policy met with no resistance. Not only backward people, who always shrink from everything new, but even many prominent members of the Party persistently tried to pull our Party back, and by every possible means tried to drag it onto the "ordinary" capitalist path of development. All the anti-Party machinations of the trotskyites and of the Rights, all their "activities" in sabotaging the measures of our Government, pursued the one object of frustrating the Party's policy and of hindering industrialization and collectivization. But the Party yielded neither to the threats of some nor to the
howling of others and confidently marched forward in spite of everything. It is to the Party's credit that it did not adjust itself to the backward, that it was not afraid to swim against the stream, and that all the time it held on to its position of the leading force. There can be no doubt that if the Communist Party had not displayed this staunchness and perseverance it would have been unable to uphold the policy of industrializing the country and of collectivizing agriculture.
Was the Communist Party able to make proper use of the material potentialities created in this way for the purpose of developing war production and of supplying the Red Army with the armaments it needed?
I think it was, and that it did so with the utmost success.
Leaving out of account the first year of the war, when the evacuation of industry to the East hindered the work of developing war production, we can say that during the three succeeding years of the war the Party achieved such successec as enabled it not only to supply the front with sufficient quantities of artillery, machine guns, rifles, aerophnes, tanks and ammunition, but also to accumulate reserses. Moreover, as is well known, the quality of our armaments, far from being inferior, was, in general, even superior to the German.
It is well known, that during the last three years of the war our tank industry produced annually an average of over 30,000 tanks, self propelled guns and armoured cars. (Loud applause.)
It is well known, further, that in the same period our aircraft industry produced annually up to 40,000 aeroplanes. (Loud applause.)
It is also well known that our artillery industry in the same period produced annually up to 120,000 guns of all calibres (loud applause ), up to 450,000 light and heavy machine guns (loud applause ), over 3,000,000 rifles (applause ) and about 2,000,000 automatic rifles. (Applause.)
Lastly, it is well known that our mortar industry in the period of 1942-44 produced annually an average of up to 100,000 mortars. (Loud applause.)
It goes without saying that simultaneously we produced corresponding quantities of artillery shells, mines of various kinds, air bombs, and rifle and machine-gun cartridges.
It is well known, for example, that in 1944 alone we produced over 240,000,000 shells, bombs and mines (applause ) and 7,400,000,000 cartridges. (Loud applause.)
Such is the general picture of the way the Red Army was supplied with arms and ammunition.
As you see, it does not resemble the picture of the way our army was supplied during the First World War, when the front suffered a chronic shortage of artillery and shells, when the army fought without tanks and aircraft, and when one rifle was issued for every three men.
As regards supplying the Red Army with food and clothing, it is common knowledge that the front not only felt no shortage whatever in this respect, but even, had the necessary reserves.
This is how the matter stands as regards the activities of the Communist Party of our country in the period up to the beginning of the war and during the war.
SPEECH DELIVERED BY J. V. STALIN