Seventeenth congress of the communist party of the Soviet Union

Ready for Defence!

By K.E. Voroshilov
Peoples Commissar for Naval and Military Affairs of the USSR

Ready for Defence!
Ready for Defence!

Comrades: The Seventeenth Congress of our Party will go down to history as the first congress of Bolshevik unity and of great victories of socialism. Our Party has never known before a congress such as this. And we have never had before such victories as those of which our leader, Comrade Stalin, has told in his report.

We recall the long sequence of our Party congresses, and it is difficult to name even one among them which can compare with this congress in solidarity and Bolshevik unity. Even great Lenin, this mighty architect of new human history, did not succeed in achieving genuine, complete and absolute unity at Party congresses. How much energy and will, how much valuable strength did our Ilyich spend in the struggle against persons whose names it would be sacrilege to mention beside that of Lenin, in order that at the congresses and after them the Party might be united, ready for battle, Marx istieally sound, Leninistically strong.

It is ten years since Lenin died. The whole weight of his historic work has fallen upon the shoulders of his pupil, friend and true armour-bearer Stalin. (Applause.) Stalin did not waver, did not shrink before the difficulties of the unprecedented tasks confronting the Party, the proletariat, the working class of the whole world. In the Party's name he took a vow before the grave of the leader to carry out his bequests, and proudly raising on high the banner of Lenin, he has led the Party, the proletariat, the peoples of the U.S.S.R. onward to the struggle for new victories to supreme glory.

There is no need to recall the great difficulties and severe obstacles which were met with during this heroic struggle for the Party, for the building of socialism. All these difficulties lie behind us. All this belongs to yesterday.

All oppositions, all counter-revolutionary sorties of the enemies of Leninism have been smashed, mercilessly and in good time, by the Party under the leadership of Stalin. The Party has been building socialism in our country, at the same time cleansing its ranks of all counter-revolutionary impurity. The Party has grown and strengthened together with the growth of the victories and achievements in socialist construction. The result of its efforts has been the brilliant successes of which our Stalin has spoken in his report to the congress.

The unity of our Party, achieved by means of struggle and successes, has assured us not only a rapid advance in the construction of our socialist industry, collective farming, defense, transport and culture. The unity of the Party has consolidated, has rallied the foiling masses of our union, organized (he whole people of our country both materially and spiritually. The unity of the Party has had and is having the most beneficial effect on our international position. The strength and rock-like unity of our Party has been appreciated not only by the international proletariat, not only by fraternal Parties; this strength is seriously reckoned with even by our class opponents in their relations with the Soviet Union.

Comrades, we have achieved tremendous successes in all spheres of socialist construction, waging fierce struggle against the enemies of the Party, expending a tremendous amount of strength and time on this struggle.

Now, when we have wholly transferred all our energy and will, all our working time, to the task of construction, to the struggle for further successes of socialism, the results of our work will increase tenfold; they will make themselves felt ever more markedly every day.

Our country, our proletariat, the great Leninist Party led by the Central Committee with steel Stalin at its head, have a great future before them. With each day, with each new victory we will be approaching nearer to this bright future, we will realize it in our daily life, convert it into living socialist reality.

Comrades, before I pass on to speak of questions which, as I feel, interest you more than all others (laughter and applause), permit me to exercise my right as a delegate to the Congress from the Moscow organization (loud, applause) and to dwell upon two questions which are most vital and serious in the work of our Party, upon the questions of agriculture and transport.


I recall how six years ago Comrade Stalin and I once went to visit Comrade Sergo, and in his apartment we met a certain Soviet scientist whose name is world famous. In the course of conversation with Comrade Stalin this scientist accorded us a certain amount of praise for the successes achieved in socialist industry, but he added: "But then as regards the peasantry and questions of agriculture there, it seems to me, you won't succeed." In answer to Comrade Stalin's question why he thought this, the scientist declared that he knew the peasantry well and that "in his inner nature, his position, his psychology, by virtue of his whole history, the peasant is not adapted to socialist organization. The peasant is a private property owner; he will hold fast to his own way of life." Comrade Stalin answered: "Well, maybe something will turn out after all." And something has turned out indeed, comrades! The whole world now knows that it has turned out not badly. The building of collective and Soviet farms represents a tremendous victory for our Party, a tremendous victory of communism. And the millions of collective farm peasants, who together with the workers are building the socialist economy of our country, know this indeed even our respected scientist, who was ill-acquainted with

the science of Marxism-Leninism and no better acquainted with our Party can hardly doubt it now.

Of course, we have not yet solved all the problems, but we did not undertake to convert at one stroke the millions of individual, and for the most part beggarly, peasant farms into flourishing collective farms! Agriculture is already demanding of our Party today, and will demand of it in the future, yet more and more energy in order really and fully to organize it on a new socialist basis, to guarantee everything that is necessary for the further development of socialism in our country. This is indisputable. But what we have done, what we have already achieved, represents the most important, the most fundamental and most difficult part. Peasant farming has now taken the true socialist path. The grain problem has been solved; a definite progress has been made in the development of industrial crops, and, although the requirements of the country are as yet far from satisfied, yet this has already ceased to be a problem. We need hard work, pressureand that is all. We must now tackle in good earnest the task upon which Comrade Stalin has quite correctly concentrated our attention with all Leninist sharpness namely, livestock breeding.

It seems to me that even the speakers who have addressed you here and whose time, it would seem, was not stinted, have not devoted sufficient attention to this sore point. We never thought that it would be possible to transfer millions of peasants from one social system to another without some economic loss, including losses in the sphere of livestock breeding. Nobody expected this, but that could not in any degree deter us from developing a most severe struggle for collectivization, for switching peasant farming on to the new, collective farm track. We knew that there would be something and not a little to pay, but given correct leadership, given correct organization in the various localities, there would have been less to pay. I am profoundly convinced that the local workers, and above all our People's Commissariat for Agriculture, have not done everything they should to ensure that by last year at the latest the reduction of herds of livestock was discontinued.

We have spent billions of rubles on our socialist industry, including many hundreds of millions on the import of machines, lathes and other equipment from abroad. We have made sacrifices in order to speed up our factories and works, to enable them to construct their own machines and thereby to push forward the building of our socialist industry. We have spent and will continue to spend billions of rubles on our agriculture, but I think that we cannot, that we have no right to spend even one million of foreign currency on the import of cattle from abroad. Even at the present day not only the future prospects but also the actual possibilities of our agriculture are so great that we can dispense with such a luxury. We must and can have our own Soviet sheep, pigs, cows and horses on our collective and Soviet farms, have them in the quantities necessary for the development of our economy, for the defence of the country.

All of us are feeling the consequences of the decline in livestock a bit there is a shortage of wool, a shortage of leather and a shortage of meat. The last point however represents a less vital problem, because if we push forward the breeding of small livestock, if we lake all steps to develop the breeding of poultry, rabbits, pigs, etc., then we will solve the meat problem very quickly. The question that is especially urgent at the present lime is that of horses. This question must be tackled at once and in a real Bolshevik way.

The Central Committee of the Party has devoted the most serious attention to the question of horses. Everything that is being done in regard to preserving horses, to their further reproduction, to the proper care and use of horses all this emanated from the Central Committee. The People's Commissariat for Agriculture of the Union and the agricultural commissariats of the various republics have done and are still doing little in the struggle for the preservation and reproduction of horses. Little, not everything has been done in the various localities, although in some places they have begun to realize that they must concentrate their efforts and their work on solving the horse problem. The number of horses still continues to decrease. What is the reason? What is the explanation? It seems to me that apart from the wrecking activities of counter-revolutionary elements in the countryside, no small share of the blame attaches to the workers in the apparatus of the People's Commissariat for Agriculture, who at one time showed themselves well disposed towards the out-and-out wrecking "theory" to the effect that the mechanization of agriculture, the introduction of tractors and combines was replacing horses and that in the near future it would completely release agriculture from the necessity of employing draught animals. However, it is quite clear that at the present time and in the future the horse will be a most necessary and essential factor in our country, just as it was necessary formerly when we had few tractors. Horses are not the antithesis of tractors, do not compete with them; on the contrary they supplement and help the tractor in many ways. And not only horses but even bullocks, which unfortunately have become all too rare in our Ukraine at the present time, also help, and will continue to help the horse and the tractor. It is not to be expected, Comrade Yakovlev, that we will perform all the light work in agriculture with tractors or with special traction power working on our valuable combustibles. This is not rational, it is inadmissible, it is simply extravagant! We want bullocks, we want good working oxen, and above all horses. And horses are needed not only in agriculture, in the countryside, but also in industry, in the towns. Now, as before, horses have a tremendous importance for the army.

At the end of the World War there were 84,000 automobiles in the French army, and in addition to them the French army had 1,082,000 horses. The German army had over 40,000 machines but at the same time it also had 880.000 horses. The tsarist army at the beginning of the war had 1,142,000 horses and every month 50,000 fresh horses were required to take the place of those that were killed. Of the importance of horses, of our Red cavalry in the Civil War, you are all well acquainted. But you ought also to know very well that both at the present time and in the future our army requires horses in large numbers, and it wants good horses, horses which fully conform to the level of development reached by our armed forces at the present time. What does this mean? It means that the problem of horses, the problem of preserving and reproducing horses, must be tackled properly. First and foremost, it is necessary to put an end once and for all to the wrecking "theories" on the substitution of machines for horses, on the "withering away" of the horse. It is necessary once and for all to put an end to lack of personal responsibility in the use of horses. Not a little valuable experience has been accumulated in the various localities, on the advanced collective farms, in the machine and tractor stations, and it would not be amiss for the People's Commissariat for Agriculture to take this experience into account, to generalize it and to spread it over the whole country.

Further, it is 4necessary to learn not only how to feed and keep horses, but above all how to employ them rationally. If we have already succeeded to a considerable extent in teaching people how to use the motors on tractors, machines, and wherever they are placed, rationally and correctly, then we are obliged to grasp the simple truth that a horse is not a motor but a living being which needs still more attention and care than even a motor does. A horse must be used to the extent of the strength which nature has given it; it is impossible to demand more of it.

The reproduction of our stock of horses demands the preservation of the brood mares and more especially of the foals and young animals. The latter point applies not only to horses. It fully applies also to our stock of horned cattle. Losses cannot be stopped and the stock of animals cannot be further increased unless the young animals are preserved and raised. This is an elementary fact. The killing of calves must be discontinued. It is not enough to feed calves (and we do not understand how to do this very well either); they must afterwards be preserved and raised. And with us unfortunately calves are fattened only to be thoughtlessly slaughtered for the meat. It is true that Comrade Mikoyan has to provide meat to the quantity provided for in the plan, but plans can be fulfilled without exterminating the young animals, which form the basis for the restoration of our livestock. Slaughtering so many calves means that we are deprived of so many cows and bulls. The preservation of calves is a vital condition for the further growth of our livestock this must be firmly borne in mind.

I am convinced that the problem of livestock breeding, which has been presented so forcibly and sharply by Comrade Stalin, will now become one of the most vital problems and that the Parly will solve this problem, like all others, in the shortest possible time.


A few words in regard to transport. Comrade Stalin in his report has directed our attention to this question, pointing out that transport constitutes a "tight place" and that it is already retarding further growth of the national economy at the present time. I listened attentively to Comrade Andreyev today. I am very sorry, Andrey Andreyevich perhaps it does not altogether befit us members of the Politburo to enter into polemics here but all the same, I must say that Andreyev's speech impressed me as 'being like the lecture of a university professor. (Stir in the hall.) A fine lecture for students. (Voices: "Right!") It was very interesting for everybody to listen to the remarks, made in such calm tones, about the position of transport at the present day, about what it will be necessary to do, and so forth. But in my opinion a somewhat different tone should have been used in speaking of railway transport. (Voices: "Right!" Applause.) In addition to what Comrade Andreyev said in regard to laxity and disorganization, it ought also to have been said whence this arises, and above all when this laxity, disorganization, all the other disgraceful facts in the transport system when they will finally be put a stop to.

There are all sorts of difficulties. Take the livestock breeding question alone, about which I have just spoken. This is really a very great difficulty, the solution of which will demand both time and tremendous exertions. With transport the position is completely different. The Central Committee has always devoted great attention to transport and is busying itself with it at the present time more perhaps than with any other questions. At one time Comrade Kaganovich, on the commission of the C.C., devoted almost 50 per cent of his time to transport. The railwaymen cannot complain of the insufficiency of attention paid them by the Party. But in return for this the Party has the right and is obliged to present them with serious demands.

Achievements in the sphere of transport there undoubtedly are, but they are so small that Comrade Stalin at this congress has emphasized that transport constitutes that "tight place" over which our whole national economy is beginning to stumble.

Are there objective difficulties in transport? Yes, there are. But which difficulties are greater the objective or the subjective? Undoubtedly the subjective ones are greater. In what do they consist? In disorganization and in the absence of elementary discipline. I don't know if I am revealing any secrets. ... (Laughter and applause.)

Kaganovich: Even if you did reveal something, we would not have the right to forbid revelations at the congress.

Voroshilov: . . . but we members of the Politburo know that an order by the higher managing officials in (be transport system is not lawor at any rate is not always lawfor their subordinates. We know that exhortations, admonitions and all kinds of conferences have become almost the regular method of work in ' railway transport. (Voices: "Right" Applause.)

This is a very bad business, comrades. It is a bad business in our Party and the country in general and particularly in transport. Why do I speak of this with such chagrin? Because, figuratively speaking, transport is the twin brother of the Red Army. The difference between them is that our army as yet is only preparing for actionwhen the time comes to defend the frontiers, we shall see how it will act (applause) but transport is already in the front line at the present moment, it i& already in action, in action continually every day, every hour, every minute. And it is quite natural that if there are people in the transport system who do not obey their commanders, who neglect their instructions, there must be, cannot but be all kinds of unpleasantness here, all those consequences about which we read every day and which have a painful effect on the whole national economy. And just as Comrade Sergo talked here yester day from this tribune with his comrades, the workers of industry, who by the way are working many times better than the transport workers (applause), so Comrade Andreyev ought to have talked here to the chiefs of railway lines, Cctmrades Bilik, Levchenko and a number of other comrades, who listened to him and. I suppose, complacently thought: "How well our Commissar speaks. See how well everything is going with us." (Applause, laughter).

At present transport is not coping with its freight well, and how will things be tomorrow? We are growing, after all, at a fabulous speed. Transport has to meet : ever new and higher requirements. I am not speaking of the requirements of wartime. Then the transport system will have to work on many lines, in some cases with an intensity literally 8, 9, 10 or even more times greater than at present. Our army today does not resemble the army of yesterday. The army has changed completely a point which I shall dwell on particularly later on. All this confronts transport with much higher demands. It is perfectly clear that, in order to secure the operations of an up-to-date army, up-to-date, transport is needed, splendidly organized, working smoothly and without hitches. Transport must prepare for war just as the army itself must prepare. In the future war transport not only the railways but transport of all kinds will play a tremendous part. This is what our comrades the transport workers do not understand, just as they do not understand how inadmissible is the disgraceful labour fluctuation among the personnel, which in 1932 reached the figure of 30.6 per cent of the workers employed in the power division, on maintenance and the traffic division, while in 1933 this percentage increased to 42. Are not these shameful figures? It is time to understand that all ailments and diseases in the transport system absence of organization, of discipline, of initiative, absence of one-man management, fear of responsibility and inexcusable labour fluctuation represent a dead weight retarding the advance of our national economy.

It would be incorrect to conclude from what has been said that there are not first-rate people working in the transport system well-disciplined workers who know their business well and are utterly devoted to the Party. Yes, there are some, and no small number of them. You think that we do not know these people? We know them; these genuine shock brigaders are well known to us all those whose hearts ache "when they see what is happening in the transport system. But they are to a large extent powerless in face of the present disorder which prevails in railway transport. More than that, even the political departments, one of whose principal tasks is to unite these shock brigaders, to organize and lead them even the political departments, when they get into the atmosphere of railway transport, do not work in the way they were intended to work. The Communist railwaymen, including the members of political departments, cannot raise even the fundamental questions of their work in a serious, concrete and Bolshevik way.

Indeed, the Party organized political departments on the railways somewhat later than on the machine and tractor stations and Soviet farms. But just consider what a difference there is between them. A political department of a Soviet farm or machine and tractor station and a political department in transport these are two completely different institutions (voices: "Right!")the comrades in the political departments on the railways must not be offended if I say it. When you hear about how a member of a political department in the transport system spends his time, when you read how he came to the depot, how he expelled some people, put others to work in their place, shunted the wagons, drove the locomotives., the impression created is both ludicrous and sad. If the political departments in transport occupy most of their time with this sort of thing, if they substitute themselves for the management which should be solely responsible, then we shall not only not adjust transport, we shall upset it still further. (Laughter and applause.) One thing is clear, that the political departments have not yet found the necessary methods and forms of work, and consequently their beneficial influence is not yet making itself felt.

The political departments should concern themselves with what we in the army call the political securing of the operations. (Voices: "Right!" Applause.) Transport, as I said before, is an army which is already in action. It is the duty of the political departments first of all to study the business and understand it, and then, without undue haste, to take the necessary steps to secure all the operations on transport. For this, what is needed first and above all is that organizers and leaders should organize themselves. And it is the duty of these leaders to organize the whole personnel, the whole mass of railwaymen. It is their duty to look after them, to be acquainted with their life, their needs and requirements. Further it is the duty of the political departments to establish real labour discipline not paper discipline from top, absolutely from top to bottom. All this is lacking as yet in the transport system. (Applause.) All this must be done at all costs and it will be done if the Party with all its strength, with all its might and authority, helps railway transport. But then, once Comrade Stalin has taken up the question of transport in real earnest, then, comrades, it will be no joking matter. (Prolonged applause.)

Permit me to go on to the question of defense.


The Central Committee of our Party, the Party as a whole, while working intensively on all the manifold problems of the construction of socialism, has not for one moment lost sight of the necessity of constant care for the defence of the Soviet frontiers, for the building up of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army and defence as a whole. As a result of this joint work of ours, we have today a fully up-to-date, a strong, in short a good army, devoted to the cause of socialism. Our armed forces fully conform to the level of development of our country; they have not lagged behind, have not dared to lag behind its rapid growth by one step.

During the period between the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Party Congresses a tremendous amount of work has been done to radically reconstruct the Red Army. During this period the army has been completely reborn; it has become, one can say, a fundamentally different army in regard to quality and quantity of arms, organizational structure and the fighting preparedness of its cadres.

And indeed in 1930 a number of the means of warfare were still lacking in our country, and what we did have was antiquated and unsuitable in the light of the development of military technique in bourgeois armies. True, even despite the poor technical possibilities which

we had at that time, we always did everything in our power to make the Red Army ready and able to repulse the enemy should he encroach upon our territory. And I can tell you that we military workers and our leader, the Central Committee, never attempted to deceive anyone when we declared to the whole world that our army was ready for battle, that if need be it would fight heart and soul in defence of our country and protect it. This was no mere phrase (applause), this was Bolshevik truth. But, as I have already stated, the army at that time was comparatively weakly armed, and all our hopes rested in the main on the absolute devotion to the cause of socialism among our fighters, commanders and political workers, upon our organization, upon military revolutionary discipline, upon the unanimous desire of the whole army and of the whole toiling population to defend their socialist fatherland at all costs. (Applause.) Now, I repeat, the situation has undergone a marked change. Today the Red Army can justly pride itself on its armaments and on its technical equipment. (Applause.)

In January last year from this tribune, or perhaps from some other this, I believe, has been re-made (Popov: "From this same tribune." Antipov: "From the right one anyway.") well, from this spot more or less, I reported to the Joint Plenum of the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission on the achievements in the sphere of technical equipment which had been made as a result of the successful fulfilment of the First Five-Year Plan. But for us Bolsheviks a year is a long time. And today I can report to the Congress that during the year which has elapsed since the January Plenum the Red Army has become considerably stronger; and a year ago it was already pretty strong. (Applause.)

During the period under review the Red Army has been confronted with the task of radically reconstructing itself on the basis of new technique, so to speak while on the march, at the same time fully and constantly maintaining a high level of fighting preparedness.

At the present time the main problems of the technical reconstruction of the army have been solved by us.

In 1930, at the time of the Sixteenth Congress, we had a very small number of tanks. Some of these tanks were already of our own production while some of them remained from our "earnings" in the form of war trophies. (Laughter.)

At the present time we have an adequate number of absolutely up-to-date tanks.

In 1930 our artillery armaments were in part left over from the imperialist war, from the tsar, and in part constructed by us during previous years This artillery was fairly good, but it was not up to the level of contemporary foreign models. We had very little heavy, howitzer, and light-calibre tank and anti-tank artillery. During past years production has been started on a number of new models of guns and shells and much work has been done in modernizing the existing models.

At the present time our artillery both in regard to quantity and quality is quite decent. (Laughter.)

In 1930 the army was already armed to a considerable extent with heavy and light machine-guns. But we had not yet organized mass production of our own new models, we had no tank and airplane machine- guns of our own production at all, we had no machine- guns for anti-aircraft fire.

At the present time we have a fully adequate number of our own good machine-guns light, heavy, tank, airplane and anti-aircraft.

In 1930 we were still very poor in means of chemical defence. Our chemical industry was just hobbling along. At the present time we have a mighty chemical industry, but not yet mighty enough, Comrade Sergo (turning to Comrade Ordjonikidze), to completely satisfy both the needs of national economy and the requirements of defence. Nevertheless our demands in regard to chemical defence are already being met fairly well.

In 1930 we were very badly secured with means of up-to-date communication. There was almost no radio apparatus. At the present time our means of communication are fairly good telegraph, radio, etc., but we do not yet regard ourselves as fully secured. Comrade Sergo knows this and he will be obliged to give us everything we are lacking in the shortest possible time. (Laughter and applause.)

Great progress has also been made in the technical equipment of the engineering troops.

In regard to our air force. As you are aware, we already had a fairly good air force even in 1930. For several years we have been working hard at this new and most important arm, until we were able to commence a struggle for the capture of all other strongholds of military technique.

But what we had three or four years ago in the way of air forces could not satisfy us. The combination of different types of airplanes within our aviation system was unfavourable. The relative number of scouting planes was too high, and this not from expediency but of necessity, since we were almost unable to construct other planes. We had almost no bombing planes and very few destroyers.

It was necessary to attain a more correct and expedient relation between the different types of planes within our air force. We had to see to it that industry gave us not what it could give but just those airplanes which we needed above all an active fighting air force heavy bombers, destroyers and raiders. Besides this, our air force was lagging quite a long way behind its bourgeois "brethren" in respect of quality; it was lagging behind several years, and for an airplane that is a very long time.

Comrade Stalin followed with especial attention the equipment of our air force and its general condition. He gave no peace either to Comrade Sergo or to Comrade Kaganovich or to Comrade Postyshev in their time, or to other comrades responsible for this work, not to mention us sinners, and, going into all details, he demanded a special speeding up in the reconstruction of our aviation. During the time that has elapsed since the Sixteenth Party Congress our air force has changed beyond recognition. We have created a mighty force of heavy bombers and made improvements in other types of aviation.

The relation of different types of planes within our air force has been considerably improved in the direction desired by us.

Indisputably there have been tremendous achievements in the field of airplane construction, but something yet remains to be done and some improvements to be made in our aviation industry, above all in regard to the production of motors. Motor construction is the most intricate form of production, perhaps the most difficult section of our machine building. We have created completely new and splendid motor building plants. Our industry is turning out a large number of motors at the present time, but in order that not one of the types in our aviation may lag behind the best foreign models, it is necessary to guarantee our airplanes a full supply of motors of correspondingly high quality.

The serial production of new and perfected motors must be mastered more quickly. The work of our scientific research institutes on motors must be pushed forward. It is absolutely necessary to adjust the work of the designers' bureaus in the factories.

Things must be so organized that continual work on the spot, in the factories, may be carried on each one of our existing motors with a view to improving and perfecting it minute work on every part.

By coping with this task too which is not difficult after what we have done already, and I am convinced that we will cope with it in the next few months we will place the might of our magnificent aviation on an extraordinarily high level.

Permit me now, comrades, to read you certain figures you will not understand much (laughter), but it is better to tell you something than nothing at all.

The figures concern the quantitative growth of our war technique.

(Comrade Voroshilov here read certain percentages showing the growth of the technical equipment of the Red Army. His words were drowned by the loud applause of the whole audience.)

Let me read you one more set of figures which shows the changed character of our army. In 1929 the average mechanized horse power in the Red- Army (per one Red Army man was 2.6; in 19303.07, and in 19337.74. This figure is considerably higher than in the French and American armies, higher even than in the British army which is the most highly mechanized of all the bourgeois armies.

Hence it is clear, comrades, with what mighty mechanization our army has been provided.

This new and manifold technique has resulted in a marked rise in the relative strength of technical cadres among the total personnel of the lied Army. In 1929-30 these technical cadres in our army were numerically very insignificant, whereas today upwards of 50 per cent of the total personnel of the army commanders and Red Army men are in contact with technique, are technical specialists to a greater or lesser degree. If our machine-gunners in the infantry, cavalry and other units are added to the number of technical cadres and they have some right to be reckoned as such then the number of technicians will comprise about 70 per cent of the total personnel of the army. I should add that I have in mind only the machine-gunners of regular machine-gun detachments, since every fighter in our army, infantry and cavalry alike, is bound to be acquainted with machine-guns.

Seventy per cent of the personnel directly connected with technique. What does this mean? It means that our army has become an army of technique, an industrialized army so to speak. If in addition to this it is taken into account that the equipment of the army with many different kinds of technique could not but result in a large-scale organizational reconstruction, just as it could not but find its reflection in a very fundamental way in our men, in their training, in the working out of methods of conducting military operations then it will be clear why I say that our army today is a fundamentally different army, a new army.

My report would be incomplete if I did not dwell on the great work that has been done by us in regard to certain auxiliary measures for strengthening the defence of the Soviet Union. I have in mind the fortified districts with which we have already protected not only our western frontier from Lake Ladoga to the Black Sea but also the most threatened side on our Far Eastern frontier and in Eastern Siberia. I also have in mind the considerable work we have done to strengthen the coast defences of the U.S.S.R. on the Black Sea and the Baltic, in the region of Murmansk and more especially in the Far East. These fortifications will present considerable embarrassment to those adventurists who may take a fancy to encroach upon Soviet soil.

In the gigantic work of consolidating the defensive capacity of the Soviet Union work which has been carried out under the leadership and with the help of the Central Committee of the Party we have not been able to confine ourselves merely to land forces and aviation. With the constant and immediate participation and leadership of Comrade Stalin, we are also working to strengthen our naval forces, which are of great importance for our country with its many thousand miles of open coast frontier. Comrade Sergo, to speak between ourselves, also has no small duties to perform in this sphere. During the last few years we have not only consolidated and strengthened the naval forces on the Baltic and Black Sea but, profiting by the fact that Comrade Kirov together with Comrade Yagoda at the head of the heroic army of canal diggers have united the White Sea with the Baltic, we have transferred a "bunch" of ships through the new canal to the north so that we may not be defenceless on this section either.

In addition to this the direct threat of an attack on the Maritime Province has obliged us to set about creating a naval force in the Far East as well. It must be said that we cannot yet boast of the might of these young fleets. I have in mind the North and the Far East. There we have not got battleships and plane-carrying ships, these means of naval attack. But after all, as is well known, we do not intend to attack anyone at sea any more than on land. We only want to defend our shores and frontiers, and we are convinced that those light naval forces and coast defences which we have there already, and above all our naval air force and submarines, will gravely cripple an attacking enemy.

Having concluded my remarks on our naval forces, I deem it necessary to note once again that on this section too Comrade Stalin has started work in a genuine Stalinist fashion (applause), and I do not doubt that our shipbuilding industry, strengthened as it is on the basis of the victories of industrialization, will help us rapidly to make our fleets into real powerful workers' and peasants' navies.

I ought to say a few words more about our industry. The creation of a mighty socialist industry is the supreme achievement of the working class. Our industry is the best section of the whole national economy, the pride of all the toilers of our country. Our defence industry, to which we have given all possible assistance, supplying it above all with fine engineers from our academies, has ensured the technical reconstruction of the army. It is giving us good war technique and better and better models every year. But the Bolsheviks are called Bolsheviks just because they are never satisfied with what has been achieved but always demand something more and better. That is why we demand Comrade Sergo doesn't always like it, occasionally he swears (sometimes rightly but sometimes not rightly) because everyone falls upon him, poor fellow, and lie has to

defend (himself against everyone (laughter) nevertheless we demand it of Sergo, and he, under pressure from all of us, Stalin first and foremost, does not hear his burden badly. (Laughter and applause.) Comrade Stalin and other comrades have said many good things about industry, and I think you will not be angry with me (laughter) if I, having thanked our magnificent working class, engineers and leaders of industry for their good war technique, nevertheless make one or two not altogether pleasant remarks in regard to them.

Above all, in regard to quality of production. Quality, it must be confessed, does not yet always meet the demands of the present day. Take only the work of the motor building industry to which I have referred.

Why is it that up to now some of the best foreign motors are still lighter than ours? Why are they more economical in expenditure of fuel, more powerful? Why do they work longer than ours without repairs? Quality of work has of course improved to a colossal extent in this field too, if we compare it with what we had two years ago, but we do not by any means want to align ourselves with bad examples, we demand alignment with the most advanced models of world industrial production, with the best models of our achievements.

To put it briefly, quality of production still leaves much to be desired. There are frequent cases of rough workmanship in many factories, which lowers the military value of our orders; there is still a high percentage of spoilage. Orders are not always fulfilled in complete sets a point to which Comrade Stalin has already drawn the attention of the Congress and above all that of our workers in production. Take only the question of spare parts; everyone tries to fulfill an order for a tank, a tractor, an automobile, an airplane and so forth. They get blamed for not fulfilling these orders and praised for fulfilling them. But the spare parts, which ought also to be supplied by industry this is put last on the list.

The costs of our production are still high. An especially harmful psychology exists among certain of our "business managers." "We've only got to produce. What's money anyway? It all comes out of the same state pocket after all."

Up to now Comrade Sergo may not agree with this, but I think it is just what happens we have sometimes been paying industry for its bad work, for its inability to do things in an organized way. People do not understand that only by the ruble, only by means of a careful attitude to every Soviet kopek, will you teach people to run production rationally, to guard the machine and the materials, not to allow stoppages of wagons, causing you losses which you try to shift on to our shoulders, etc. Finally, a few more words' about designers' and scientific research organizations in our industry. These organizations are faced with two serious tasks: to design new models and continually to improve and perfect the existing ones, while at the same time rationalizing the processes of their production in every way. We have a huge number of engineers, a host of designers, more talented inventors than there arc anywhere else. We have a large number of designing institutions. They are making progress in science, they are giving big results, but they could and should give us incomparably more. All we have to do is to tackle them properly, to relieve them somewhat of the superfluous work, to transfer some of the people to the factories where necessary, as I have already said in regard to motor building plants, to put them on the spot, closer to production, to organize concrete, detailed designing work. Comrade Sergo has already done much to improve the work of our industry, and I am convinced that now, charged with energy by the Congress, he will do still more, eliminating those individual shortcomings which sometimes blemish the magnificent work and achievements of our Bolshevik industry.

Up to now I have spoken more about Comrade Sergo and industry than about myself and the Red Army. And you. I suppose, are interested not only in how things stand with our technical re-equipment but also in our cadres in how they are assimilating their great new technique, and what these cadres are like.

Each one of you, and particularly those who work in the factories, must understand that to get a new machine is only half the job and sometimes even less. It is necessary to master this machine and get out of it everything of which it is capable. Our army has become another army, an army of technique. For us this has meant above all the necessity of reconstructing the whole work of training commanders and training Red Army men, of directing them both to the work of studying machinery and to that of mastering the ability to use this machinery with technical and tactical correct-ness, and also to the intricate art of using this machinery in war. There was a time when all of us Comrade Yakir and Comrade Tukhachevsky and Comrade Uborevich, and the other commanders and members of the Revolutionary War Council were apprehensive as to whether our commanders and Red Army men would cope with strange and complex technique?

Our apprehensions have been dispelled by the facts. The Red Army has taken to technique with love, zeal and interest. This can be seen from the one fact alone that during the past year we have received 152,000 recommendations from Red Army men, commanders and political workers, from whole platoons and groups of men, in regard to technical inventions and rationalization. A great number of these recommendations have turned out extraordinarily beneficial and are being successfully put into effect; they deal with various improvements of war machines, with attaining greater effectiveness in their use and with perfecting methods of tuition. At the present time we have not only learnt how to handle our war machines but we are ready to put them to use at a moment's notice, to use them properly, as befits the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, defending the state of proletarian dictatorship, (Applause.)

During the last few years the Red Army has made considerable progress in the matter of military training. This progress has been attained as a result of exceptionally intensive work on the part of the whole personnel of the army. Having upwards of seven mechanized horse power to each Red Army man, we have had to smash the old forms and methods of work while on march, to create new types of combinations between troops, unknown in any other army, to break up and reconstruct completely anew the old divisions of the forces, to turn infantry and cavalry commanders into tank and aircraft commanders, and at the same time to be ready at any minute to go into battle in defence of our great country if the situation should demand it.

Our greatest successes have been attained in the individual mastery of technique, about which I have already spoken, in the training of commanders, and in shooting. I want to say a few words about the last. During the years that have elapsed since the Sixteenth Congress, the army has learned to shoot in a real up-to-date way, and it knows its weapons to perfection.

Despite the fact that the tests for shooting are more difficult than in 1930 and that a considerably lower allowance for cartridges is given for training purposes, the shooting tests have shown excellent results.

The results are as follows. They show the percentage of those who passed the test in relation to the total number:

Rifle Shooting in 1930 64
  in 1933 97
Light Machine-Guns in 1930 47
  in 1933 95
Heavy Machine-Guns in 1930 28
  in 1933 98

The results of shooting in the artillery are just as good. The tank gunners have also learnt to shoot well, even when going at full speed. Shooting has greatly improved in the air force. A large percentage of individual army detachments have passed the shooting tests with the mark "excellent."

This is a great success, though still insufficient, since we ought to see to it, and we will see to it, that every commander and Red Army man is a first rate marksman. That this is no fantastic dream is shown by the example of some detachments which have already arrived at the point where the sole mark for all shooters was "excellent."

Our achievements are not confined merely to the sphere of shooting; they may be seen in all departments of military training, especially during the last two years. However, we are far from considering our achievements to be 100 per cent. A great deal of work still lies ahead of us. But the main thing is that the army has become psychologically habituated to the new technique and has subordinated it to its will. We will continue as before to work pertinaciously and to multiply the achievements that has been attained in perfecting the military training of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army.

The Social Composition of the Red Army. During the period under review (from the Sixteenth to the Seventeenth Congress), in connection, on the one hand, with the industrialization of the country, with the creation of machine and tractor stations and Soviet farms, which have resulted in a rapid growth of the working class, and on the other hand, thanks to the technical equipment, the Red Army has considerably changed its social composition; especially marked is the growth in the percentage of workers.

  Workers Peasants Employees
  % % %
Jan.1, 1930 31.2 57.9 10.9
Jan.1, 1934 45.8 42.5 11.7

In addition to this the collectivization of agriculture has led to a qualitative change in the type of Red Army peasant. At the present time more than three-quarters of the peasants serving in the Red Army are already collective farmers. On January 1, 1930, only 5.3% of the peasants in the Red Army were collective farmers, whereas the percentage now is 76.7.

Thus the working class and the collective farm peasantry now constitute the overwhelming majority of the personnel of the Red Army.

Party Membership. During this period there has been an increase in the number of Party and Y.C.L. members in the ranks of the army.

  Members and candidates
of the C.P.S.U.
Y.C.L. members
not yet in the Party
Jan.1, 1930 15.9 18.4
Jan.1, 1934 25.6 23.9

In connection with this it must be taken into account that because of the Party purging no new members were taken into the Party during the past year. This also accounts for the fact that the percentage of Communists among the recruits of 1933 was comparatively low. Nevertheless the total number of Party and Y.C.L. members in the Red Army reaches nearly 50%. Behind these dry figures the 25.6% of Party members and candidates lies a fact, which was confirmed at the Party purging, namely that the army represents one of the ideologically soundest and strongest detachments of our Party.

The results of the Party purging which has been and is going on in our army are as follows: expelled from the Party 4.3%; transferred to the status of candidates and sympathizers 2.4%; whereas the percentage of those expelled from civil Party organizations was 17.0% and of those transferred to the status of candidates and sympathizers 6.3%. The difference, as you see, is considerable.

I cannot deny myself the satisfaction of quoting a couple of brief extracts from the speeches of the chairmen of purging commissions. Summing up the results of the purging in the Leningrad Region, Comrade Shkiryatov declared: "It must be said outright that the Party organization of our Red Army is the best of the best." (Vociferous applause.) The chairman of the purging commission in the Kiev Region, Comrade Manuilsky, expressed his opinion no less strongly. He declared: "The army Communists are one of the healthiest detachments of our Party; the army Communists are one of the most disciplined detachments of our Party; the army Communists are one of the best politically educated detachments of our Party."

As you see, our army possesses not only a considerable percentage of Party members but also a pretty good Party organization, which, it must be added, is working in genuine Bolshevik style on the questions of politically securing the military training of the Red Army as a whole and which, I am convinced, will work with still greater intensity on the questions of securing the victory of the Red Army over our enemies if they should butt into our Soviet garden. (Loud and prolonged applause.)

The Red Army in its present state is in need of a cultured, educated fighter-shockbrigader. The Red Army itself its commanders, political organs, Party organizationsis doing a great deal to achieve this. In connection with the general political and cultural growth of the country, in connection with the work of the People's Commissariat for Education, the character of the recruits who come to the Red Army is also changing in the direction of greater culture and education. Previously we received a high percentage of illiterates into the army whereas now their number has been reduced to one per cent. In addition to this, I may say for your information though you know it already that not a single illiterate leaves the ranks of the Red Army: the army sends out only educated people. (Applause.) The great majority of the semi-literates overcome the defects of their education. Needless to say, this work in some degree distracts the Red Army from its main task that of military training.

The Social and Political Character and the Training of the Commanders. On January 1, 1930, 52.5% of the commanders were members and candidates of the Party and 4.1% were members of the Y.C.L. On July 1, 1933, we already had 67.8% members and candidates of the Party and 4.0% Y.C.L. members. In the tank detachments we have 81.6% Communists and 2.7% Y.C.L. members, whereas in 1930 the respective figures were 67.9% and 2.2%.

In the air force members and candidates of the Party on July 1, 1933, constituted 75.7% and Y.C.L. members 8.4%, whereas the respective figures on January 1, 1930, were 48.1% and 7.8%. Of students at higher educational institutions 75% are now Communists and candidates and 19% Y.C.L. members, while the respective figures used to be 30% and 41%.

Other technical arms communications, chemical, railways, engineers, etc. show roughly the same picture in regard to the percentage of Party members.

The percentage of workers among all commanders was 31.2% on January 1, 1930, and 42.3% on July 1, 1933. At the present time a considerable number of our commanders have raised their military and educational level. Among higher commanders 78.9% have completed studies at academies and courses for perfecting their knowledge. Among senior commanders 48.2% have finished their studies at academies and such courses, while 42.7% have completed their studies at the ordinary military schools. Among the junior commanders 81.4% have completed their studies at the ordinary military schools. The great majority of chiefs of stall have received education at academies.

The growth of technique in the Red Army lias demanded a considerable extension of the system of special military training institutions. In 1930 we had six military academies and four military faculties in the civil higher educational institutions. Since that time the number of these faculties and academies has considerably increased.

Our qualified military and military-technical cadres are trained in these academies, though some of them, not many it is true, we give to industry, transport and communications. We give Comrade Sergo good engineers.

Ordjonikidze: But you take them away from me afterwards.

Voroshilov: At the present time many more students are receiving training in our academies than in 1930.

The military schools also turn out a larger number of commanders at the present time, mainly for technical arms of the service.

As you see, the turning out of new cadres of commandeers ought to ensure that our armed forces are fully manned. The Fight for Culture and Knowledge. The socialist culture and education of the Red Army men and their commanders constitutes a most important condition and prerequisite for the further growth of the fighting, political and special military-technical training of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army.

Intensified work has been and is being carried on in this respect. All commanders who have not received complete secondary and higher education are now obliged as part of their duties to take courses in general education. The political workers are obliged to master a course of military knowledge equivalent to the program of the normal schools attended by their own type of troops.

With the aim of raising the technical culture of the commanders, we have established a "technical minimum" of knowledge for all commanders, and we demand that every commander should master this technical minimum as part of his duties. Further, we are taking a large number of measures to introduce the compulsory study of foreign languages in our academies and schools. From now on not one school and, more particularly, not one academy will have the right to turn out a commander who has not mastered one foreign language.

In addition to this we are doing everything to organize the physical training of Red Army men and of all commanders in such a way that the Red Army may represent a collective of physically strong and finely built men.

I do not wish to weary you with a detailed enumeration of the whole tremendous number of measures we are taking for cultural and educational work in the Red Army. The majority of those present are already acquainted with these measures. 1 will mention only a few of them. The system of cultural-educational institutions attended by Red Army men, by commanders and members of their families has been extended.

  Lenin Corners Clubs Red Army Houses
Jan. 1, 1931 8930 855 97
Jan. 1, 1934 15091 1336 142

The budget devoted to political enlightenment work has also grown:

1929-30 1934
8,300,000 rubles 72,000,000 rubles

Along with the growth of the system of cultural educational institutions, the number of technical appliances for political work has also increased:

  1930 1934
Radio stations 240 1366
Portable radios 800 4800
Portable cinemas 534 3425
Cinemas 945 1540
Portable sound cinemas 1 51
Sound cinemas 8 276

Thanks to all this the Red Army man is acquiring exceptional possibilities for cultural growth.

There has been a considerable growth of artistic work in the Red Army, both on the basis of amateur mass art among the Red Army men and also on the basis of the widespread system of artistic patronage by the art workers' union over Red Army detachments.

In 1933 there were upwards of 2,800 artistic circles and groups in the Red Army (an increase of 150% as compared with 1930).

In 1933 the art workers' union sent 87 artistic brigades and 24 instructors' brigades to the Red Army.

Two brigades of People's Artists and Honoured Artists of the Republic were sent to the Special Far Eastern Army.

In 1933 there were 25 theatres in the Red Army, the chief of these being the Central Theatre of the Red Army.

The work of the Red Army libraries has undergone widespread development; upwards of 75% of the personnel of the Red Army are readers at Red Army libraries, whereas trade union libraries at present comprise only 38% of the workers. The reading of military and technical literature has undergone a marked increase, and during recent times the reading of fiction, etc., has also increased.

Besides obligatory general educational training, a tremendous work, designed to satisfy the cultural requirements of commanders and Red Army men, is being carried out in Red Army Houses and clubs. General educational circles now number thousands, while the number of lectures delivered and excursions organized runs into scores of thousands, so that on the average there are twenty lectures, reports and excursions per man every year.

The best scientific forces in the country academicians, professors, engineers are enlisted to deliver lectures attended by the commanders.

Much more attention has been devoted to questions of general living conditions. The following figures show the number of commanders' children catered for by day nurseries and kindergartens:

  Day Nurseries Kindergartens
  % %
1932 10 25
1933 50.6 52.2

Nevertheless, the tasks put forward in the decisions of the Central Committee and the Council of People's Commissars with regard to providing children's institutions for the children of Red Army commanders have not yet been carried out in many regions, territories and republics.

The struggle for socialist culture and education of the Red Army men and their commanders, for the training of a new socialist man, represents a most important task of the army Party organizations and of the commanders. This task is at the same time one which confronts the whole Party and, more especially, the Young Communist League.


Permit me now, comrades, to proceed to speak of the Far East.

Comrades, before saying a few words about our Special Far Eastern Army and about the steps we have taken in order not to be caught napping in the Far East, I must briefly touch on our Far Eastern neighbors.

It has now become clear to all that Japan has been the first to take the path of extricating herself from the crisis by means of war. She is the chief purchaser of war supplies and raw materials for the war industry on the world market. Besides this the tremendous work which she has been carrying on for the political preparation of the country for a war more serious than the one she is waging in China is plain to the naked eye.

Japanese military writers and plain soldiers, publicists and scholars, factory owners and politicians, public personages and men of state have openly written and spoken so much during the past two years on the necessity of a war by Japan against the U.S.S.R., have sometimes discussed with such cynical frankness in articles and speeches the details of how to conquer our Maritime Provinces, the Trans-Baikal territory and even the whole of Siberia, that it would be strange if we pretended not to notice anything, if we pretended that we continue as before to regard our dear neighbor with trust. At the present time Japan has not only become the virtual lord of Manchuria but, having assumed this position, not only has not guaranteed Soviet interests on the Chinese Eastern Railway, which she obligated herself to do on her own initiative and was bound to do, but on the contrary is doing all she can to encourage interference with our interests by the Manchurian representatives of the C.E.R.

It is remarkable that Japanese "business" people, while carrying on preparations for war against us and not disguising the fact but on the contrary proclaiming it to the whole world through the press, at the same time, despite all conscience, do not hesitate to accuse us of war-like intentions against Japan. The measures we take for the defence of our frontiers and cities are a veritable eye-sore to the Japanese. It would of course be more pleasant for our neighbors if our frontiers with Manchukuo were as defenceless as the frontiers of China were badly covered in 1931. But despite all our good will, we do not intend to do such a favour to anyone. (Applause.)

What directions are Japan's war preparations taking?

They are taking the direction of preparing a military- economic base, of reorganizing, re-arming' and numerically strengthening the armed forces, and finally the direction of preparing a base of operations in Manchuria.

The preparation of a military-economic base finds its expression in foreign purchases of supplies of "strategic raw materials," of which Japan is experiencing a shortage, in the preparation of her apparatus of industrial production and economic apparatus, and also in the growth of the official war budget which has risen from 443,000,000 yen in 1930 to 937,000,000 yen in 1934 that is to say, to 44.5 per cent of the whole state budget. The war industry tank building, airplane construction, etc. is being feverishly developed.

At the same time the land, naval and air forces of Japan are being reorganized, re-armed and numerically strengthened.

(Comrade Voroshilov here gave a number of facts and figures.)

All this is commonly known, all the world knows it now.

Along with all this Manchuria is gradually being converted into Japan's strongest base. At the present time Japan's military forces in Manchuria have already reached such a magnitude as is not required for the "defence of Japanese interests" in this "independent" state.

The growth of troops and armaments in Manchuria continues. And in the light of what has happened and is happening in Manchuria and China all this makes it necessary for us to (be on the alert, to follow attentively all the happenings on their side and to take the necessary measures on our side, to be ready for anything.

Comrades, up to now the wise policy of our Central Committee, with Comrade Stalin at its head, in the sphere of international relations has assured us freedom to maneuver, and we have not allowed ourselves to be involved in a war. At the present time, as Comrade Stalin has said, we constitute a factor of peace for the whole world. All those states, which, from one consideration or another, for a longer or shorter period, do not want to go to war, are grouping themselves round us, want to secure themselves against attack, against war, which they either do not want or are unable to wage.

Comrade Stalin in his report enumerated all the countries and gave an impartial estimate of our relations with them. In the Near East our relations are excellent. Our relations with the Turkish Republic are of the most friendly and stable. Relations with Persia and Afghanistan are fairly good. You know our relations with our European neighbors Comrade Stalin has spoken of them in detail. But thunder clouds are gathering in the Far East. A tempest of war may burst out from that direct on.

Despite the efforts made by our diplomats, we have not yet succeeded in persuading the ruling circles of Japan that peace is better than war, that war with us will not be an easy, a simple or a little war for the Japanese imperialists. The war, if they force it on us, will be a big and serious war. This will be a war with the Bolsheviks in our day. This war will cost its instigators dear. And those of our distant neighbors who think to profit easily at the expense of others should not lose sight of this fact. (Loud and prolonged applause.)

I do not by any means want to say, comrades, that a war with Japan will be easy. If the Japanese imperialists resort to a warlike venture, which, in addition would be a highly risky and difficult business for them, they will do so, of course, after having prepared themselves for it in earnest staking everything on one card, so to speak. The war will therefore be a serious one.

But what have we done in order to make the advanced detachment of our Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, the Special Far Eastern Army on our Far Eastern frontiers, capable of destroying the enemy if he should trespass upon our territory?

During these last two years the Central Committee and Comrade Stalin first and foremost have busied themselves and continue to do so with the Far East. We have somewhat strengthened the armed forces of this region. Permit me not to mention the figures.

I have already told you that in the Far East we have also taken certain steps to consolidate the frontiers. On the more vital sections we have created barriers which it will not be easy for the enemy to cross in order to reach our Soviet soil. (Comrade Voroshilov went on to mention the chief measures taken to strengthen the defences of the Far East.)

This, comrades, in a few brief and of course incomplete words, is what we have done for the defence of the borders of our state in the Far East. In 1922 Vladimir Ilyich, speaking before the Moscow Soviet on November 19 after the Japanese army had evacuated Vladivostok, said: "Vladivostok is far off, but it is our own town." And this town of ours, like the whole of our Maritime Province, like our Northern Sakhalin, like our Kamchatka, like every foot of our territory in the Far East, we must defend at all costs. And we surely will defend it! (Loud and prolonged applause.)

I know, comrades, that all of us like one man are convinced not only that we will defend our Far Eastern territory but also that we will come out victorious from any war, if it is forced upon us. (Applause from the whole hall.)

In conclusion I must say that only unbounded obtuseness, only profound ignorance and desperation can explain the fond dreams of our enemies that they can make any conquests at our expense, that they can in any way destroy communism. Only narrow-mindedness and stupidity, which are evidently the inevitable consequences of the doom of capitalism, can suggest such thoughts to our class enemies.

During the ten years that have elapsed since the day of Lenin's death we have carried out a tremendous work, comrades. Our Party, the working class, all the toilers of the Soviet Union at the present time represent such a tremendous giant force, such a might, such an army of organized fighters that those small shortcomings, those small deficiencies which still accompany our work of construction are nothing but tiny scratches on the magnificent edifice which we have already erected. We have built, it is true, only the foundations of socialism; we have as yet only set about the building of the superstructure; but, comrades, a colossal building is already there and we are living in it today. Its name is the U.S.S.R. We are already living not so badly in this building. Having such a mighty Party, such a splendid and well-organized working class as ours is, having such a wonderful ally as our collective farm peasantry was and has now, more than ever, become, having such a well-tried, wise and supremely great leader as our Stalin, we can face the future unafraid. From day to day we will win ever fresh victories, and no swinish or even fouler snout, wherever it may appear, can terrify the Bolsheviks or will hold up our irresistible march forward. (Vociferous applause.)

Ready for Defence!