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Post-war cancellation of a rationing system and its social and economic efficiency in the cities of the Kirov region

s. G. Egorov


Work is presented by department of National history of the Vyatka state humanities university.

The research supervisor - the doctor of historical sciences, professor V.I. Bakulin

Cancellation of a rationing system in the Kirov region through consideration of social and economic problems of the region, activity of local authorities in the context of nation-wide policy is shown in article that allows to reveal both the general regularities, and local features of the held event for cancellation of cards.

The impact of reform on quality of life of urban population, reaction and moods of the last on transformations of December, 1947 is reflected in work

Article reviews cancellation of the card system in the Kirov region through consideration of its socioeconomic problems, activity of local authorities in the context of nation-level policy, that enables us to recognize both general regularities and local peculiarities of measures taken for card system cancellation.

The article considers the influence of this undertaking on quality of life of urban population, attitude and feeling of people towards reforms of December 1947.

In December, 1947 in the Soviet Union the monetary reform and cancellation of cards which had to stabilize a social and economic situation in the country were undertaken and increase living standards of the people.

In the Soviet historiography to these transformations appreciation [8 was traditionally given, to page 433-444; 9, page 26; 11, page 156; 17, page 159]. It was emphasized that the monetary reform and cancellation of cards were completion of post-war reorganization of economy, revitalized area of goods turnover and finance.

However assessment of actions of December, 1947 cardinally changed at a boundary of the 80-90th of the last century. In scientific and educational literature, journalism the negative attitude to a post-war monetary reform and cancellation of carat - points [2, page 80-81 began to prevail; 13, page 18; 15, page 114-115; 10]. Statements about the "extortionate" nature of a monetary reform [14, page 277] became the general.

Acquaintance to primary sources and regional materials on this problem calls into question this thesis.

The main feature of transformations of December, 1947 was the synchronism of realization of such large-scale actions in the country as a monetary reform and cancellation of cards on food and manufactured goods.

The basic bases according to which the monetary reform and cancellation of a rationing system of supply was undertaken were specified in the joint resolution of Council of ministers of the USSR and the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks) [16, page 460-467]. Concerning changes in the financial sphere the main thing was the fact that new money with limited exchange of old bank notes was put into circulation.

Restrictions in exchange made a proportion 1:10, ten rubles in old money for one ruble in new. The order of assessment of monetary deposits in savings banks was essentially other. Here certain privileges worked: the deposits up to 3 thousand rubles making the vast majority were left without changes; on deposits up to 10 thousand rubles - the sum exceeding 3 thousand rubles was overestimated in a proportion 3:2. And, at last, on deposits over 10 thousand rubles in size: the first 10 thousand exchanged in the ratio 3:2, and the rest of a contribution exchanged on a proportion 2:1, for 2 rubles of old money - 1 ruble new [16, page 465].

Differences in an order of exchange of cash and revaluation of deposits in savings banks were explained in the relevant resolution by the aspiration of the state to strike a blow to speculative elements which, using difficulties of wartime and deprivations of post-war ruin, created considerable stocks of money.

Holding a monetary reform coincided with cancellation of cards, i.e. with December 16 the transition to open trade was carried out. At establishment of uniform retail state prices the ration prices of a number of food products were reduced. So, the flour prices and bread forming the basis of a diet of most of the population of that time were reduced by 12%, grain and pasta - for 10%. Meat, fish, fats, sugar, vegetables were on sale at the operating ration prices. From food only on milk, eggs, tea and fruit the new prices exceeding ration level were established [16, page 466-467].

Thus, transition to open trade was followed by reduction of prices, no approach of retail prices to commercial was observed. It is fair also for the manufactured goods sharply scarce in the first post-war years. According to the resolution of the price of fabrics, footwear, clothes, knitwear raised in comparison with former ration, but were established at the level of 3.2 times below free market prices [16, page 467].

On December 14-15 in the Kirov region the continuous inventory and revaluation of the goods and products which are in retail chain stores in warehouses, bases and catering establishments [5, l was carried out. 75]. Rumors, despite the taken measures for preservation of this event in secret, widely expatiated on holding a monetary reform on area and in Kirov. The most real trade fever turned out to be consequence of it.

If average market prices of flour and potatoes before holding a monetary reform were respectively 30 and 10 rub for kilogram, then on December 15 in the market there was sharp increase in prices. Flour cost already 100 rub/kg., and potatoes - 25-30 rub/kg. [4, l. 51]. Considerably the number of cases of purchase of stamps increased by 4-5 thousand rubles. Thus, people with large sums of money on hands tried to materialize them in the form of food and manufactured goods. So, in the area the market prices of valenoks reached on December 15 2500 rub for couple, one meter of calico cost 300 rub [4, l. 51].

All in the regional center by the beginning of trade without cards it was prepared for opening of 140 shops and 36 dining rooms and stalls. However, gortorg from 18 shops opened only 8 in this connection at a number of shops turns were formed. The regional consumer union from 150 trade enterprises involved 147. The flour-grinding and baking enterprises in Kirov were prepared for free trade and normally provided the population with flour and baked bread [5, l. 74, 79].

In general the first days of trade without cards and at uniform state prices showed that the retail chain stores of area, except for separate cases, were well prepared for free trade. Shops began trade with good and rather wide (in concepts of those years) the range of food and industrial goods [5, l. 76].

In regional reports on carrying out reform and transition to open trade it was noted that "from the very first days trade without cards yielded the positive results in satisfaction of consumer demand of the population" [5, l. 78]. Really, sales of the main food on area increased by dozens of percent [5, l. 76] (tab. 1).

Such significant growth in consumption of food was in many respects provided that it agrees governmental

Table 1

Dynamics of consumption of food, December, 1947

the Name of a product Is sold to

for the I half of December, Is sold to t for the II half of December, t The II half of December in % to the I half of December

Bread and bakery products: in total on area 4150 8048 172

including: in Kirov 1145 2384 208

>. Suburban 144 327 227

Omutninsk 238 588 205

Sugar: in total on area: 137 453 330

including: in Kirov 31 166 585

>. Suburban 9 14 155

Omutninsk 10 29 290

Confectionery: in total on area 51 186 364

including: in Kirov 7 76 1086

>. Suburban 1 6 600

Omutninsk 2 15 750

to the resolution: "The salary to workers and employees for the first half of December, 1947, a monetary allowance the serviceman, grants, pensions and grants for December, 1947 to pay money of a sample of 1947 within December 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20, 1947 everywhere in the territory of the USSR, irrespective of established periods of payment of salary" [16, page 465]. Thus, in spite of the fact that the monetary reform was a restriction action, thanks to early monetary payments the new bank notes succeeded not only to keep the previous level of consumption, but also it is essential to raise it at city population groups.

In the Kirov region the salary payment was generally finished by December 20. Only budgetary institutions received within five days 16,079 thousand rubles [4, l. 55].

It is characteristic that in the first days in the regional center the people generally bought bread: 16/Х11 - 207.5 t, 17/Х11 - 150 t, 18/Х11,148 t. In the next days, probably after creation of grain stocks, the attention of buyers focused already on fats, grain, confectionery [4, l. 3].

Excessive demand for bread in the first days of free trade is quite clear. Even in rear regions in 1941-46 the workers and employees experienced cruel hunger. The speech of the worker of Red Work factory Nikulin who addressed factory workers on a meeting with the following words is characteristic: "I am a dystrophic person, I till December 15 hardly went, and today freely bought loaf of bread, did not feel under myself legs, ran home" [4, l. 11]. The worker Makarov is a mechanic of one of the military enterprises on whom in military winters every day of 15-20 people died of hunger, remembered: "And soon cancelled also cards. Saw regiments with loaves white and black - went crazy" [12].

Cancellation of a rationing system seriously affected market prices. As it was noted, "cancellation of cards on food and manufactured goods and holding a monetary reform considerably influenced decrease in market prices of flour, meat, dairy products, oil animal, potatoes and vegetables that respectively reduced demand for these goods in retail chain stores of Kirov" [4, l. 43].

in post-war years there was a significant increase in structure of goods turnover of a share of nonfoods. If in 1944 it was the share of manufactured goods only a quarter of goods turnover, then in 1947 already about one third. In 1948 as a result of a monetary reform and transition to open trade this indicator grew even more - to 40% [1, page 210-211].

At the same time during cancellation of cards cases when instead of expansion of open trade a number of trade organizations, the organizations of working supply (OWS) and the district consumer unions on various pretexts practiced the various closed its forms were observed and established any norms of sale of goods per customer. Sale of goods in buffets, the closed shops, according to lists it was carried out. In particular, in the first days after cancellation of cards and a monetary reform a number of violations and shortcomings such in structures ORSOV was opened. So, in buffet of ORSa of Iskozh plant, bread was on sale according to lists, at the rate of 700 g on the worker and 400 g on the dependent; ORS White holunitskogo the plant did not organize trade in food products at all; ORSy of the forest industry established sale of goods on norms: on the person for five days - 600 g - 1.5 kg of bread, 200 g of fats,

Thus, transition to open trade made market prices more available to most of the population that weakened pressure upon shops of the state and cooperative trade (tab. 2).

One of indicators of increase in the standard of living of workers of the Kirov region

150-350 g of sugar, were entered the admission with a mark about sale of bread [5, l. 76]. However these cases of restriction free Torahs - govl in the organizations of working supply had no mass character, local authorities took necessary measures to their prevention, perpetrators were made responsible.

As showed checks, abuses and speculative frauds were connected with entering into cash desks of trade organizations of large sums of old money for concealment from accounting of various liquid goods. Generally from account food and vodka [5, l took cover. 75].

In certain cases members of the party and state regional nomenclature also participated in economic crimes. At the beginning of 1948 with a formulation "were politically unstable and in the mercenary purposes committed crimes when holding a monetary reform" the first secretary of the Pizhansky district committee, the chairman of Kilmezsky district executive committee, the chief of Zuyevsky district office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the second secretary on shots of the Zhdanov district committee of the regional center [7, l were discharged of work. 77].

Certainly, after cancellation of a rationing system and holding a monetary reform of a problem of food supply

Table 2

Average food prices before reform

the Name of products The average prices before holding a monetary reform, rub for 1 kg The average prices after introduction of a monetary reform, rub

For December 16 For December 17

Flour 30 7 5

Potatoes 10 3 2-3

Onions 15 - 7

Milk 18 6 5-6

Meat 70-100 45 35-45

and providing the region with manufactured goods of the population were not allowed up to the end. In the late forties - the beginning of the 1950th residents of the Kirov region quite often could not buy freely some types of food and consumer goods. The success of transformations of December, 1947 was that workers and employees had an opportunity in the presence of separate interruptions in supply nevertheless rather freely to buy the most necessary food - bread and grain and also to get things without which normal life is impossible, - threads, fabrics, rubber and leather footwear and so forth

It was undoubted success in comparison with lean military years when the most part of urban population could not even dream of it. In February, 1948 the first secretary of regional committee I.T. Bykov noted that in day in Kirov bread more than a kilogram on the person [3, l is on sale. 234]. The famous armorer-designer G.S. Shpagin working at munitions factory No. 327 in the city the Vyatka Glades as the deputy of the Supreme Council of the USSR addressed the regional authorities: "We have a leadership team of shops and departments submitted the notice of resignation. What reason? They answer: you do not make room (housing construction means. - You sell page E.) except bread of nothing", "... to us zanaryadit the car of a cod, the people learned and hooted. You, speak, with the cod not only us, but also will stink all city. What to do, our people want some herring too." [6, l. 85].

These words of Georgy Semyonovich are very indicative. At the beginning of 1948 workers, ITR, employees took for granted free sale of bread and showed discontent if they in shops delivered a cod, but not herring. And several months ago loss of food-cards meant for them if not starvation, then extreme degree of exhaustion.

Undoubtedly, after holding a monetary reform and cancellation of cards the standard of living of workers and employees of the Kirov region increased a little.


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