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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 12, 1955

RESOLUTION OF THE 1ST MEETING OF THE KWP CC PRESIDIUM OF 1-2 FEBRUARY 1955

This document was made possible with support from the ROK Ministry of Unification, Leon Levy Foundation

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    The Korean Worker's Party Central Committee identifies the causes of the shortcomings in grain purchase work and decrees new methods and solutions to overcome these problems.
    "Resolution of the 1st Meeting of the KWP CC Presidium of 1-2 February 1955," March 12, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI fond 5, opis 28, delo 314. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116304
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[CPSU CC stamp: Secret Copy Nº 1

12125 7 April 1955

7 April 1955] Nº 583/dv

to the CPSU CC

to Cde. B. N. PONOMAREV

By agreement I am sending you a Korean Worker's Party CC document received by the USSR Embassy in the DPRK, "Summing Up of the Results of the Work Concerning Grain Purchases and Measures to Intensify Work in the Countryside".

ATTACHMENT: the aforementioned on 16 pages

[signature]

(I. KURDYUKOV)

[handwritten note:

"to the archive.

the material was used

in a note to the CC about

the situation in Korea.

V. Gorbunov  I. Shcherbakov

2 June 1955  30 May 1955

I. [[surname illegible]]

3 June 1955"]

2-PP/zhv

1 - to the addressee

2 - to file

Nº 943-dv

7 April 1955

   [stamp of the USSR MFA             SECRET

Far East Department       Copy Nº [3]

Secret

Incoming Nº 1267s

17 March 1955]

RESOLUTION OF THE 1ST MEETING OF THE KWP CC PRESIDIUM

of 1-2 February 1955

Summing Up of the Results of Work Concerning Grain Purchases and Measures to Increase Work in the Countryside

__________________________________

The political and economic importance which grain purchase work has is exceptionally great. It is great because, first, the concentration of surplus grain in the hands of the state through purchases gives the peasants great benefits. In purchasing grain from the peasants in regions of mass production of grain, the state does not allow prices for rice to drop and thereby increases the profitability of peasant farms. In addition, in selling the purchased grain at an appropriate price the state fosters an increase of their standard of living; second, grain purchases by the state permit speculation in grain to be eliminated and; third, they allow the urban population to be supplied with grain.

However, we have made many mistakes in the course of this work; as a result many peasants and urban dwellers are expressing dissatisfaction at this work.

The following are the main shortcomings and mistakes.

First, the work to determine the size of the harvest was done incorrectly. When totaling up the harvest of late crops the size of the proposed harvest was considerably inflated and accordingly the size of the tax on the late crops turned out to be 4-6%, too high.

When drawing up grain purchase plans it was assumed that the peasants had a large amount of surplus grain, and this led to grain being bought even from those peasants who did not have a surplus. This also occurred because  many rural and district workers, trying to distinguish themselves at any cost, reported to higher authorities about the fulfillment and even the overfulfillment of purchase plans, although they did not have real conditions for fulfilling the plans. Even national and provincial organizations did not exercise proper control over the activity of the purchasing organizations, as a result of which they received false information from the field in which the figures were greatly exaggerated. The national and provincial organizations demanded purchases of quantities of surplus grain which the peasants  in fact not have. This caused discontent among the population.

Second, before the start of the purchasing campaign our provincial, city, district, and rural Party organizations and headquarters did not do the proper work to record the surplus grain in the countryside. A strict distinction was not made between peasants who had surpluses and peasants who did not have. Work was poorly done to explain the state's interests in grain purchases to the peasants, and the conscious participation in the purchasing campaign of the peasants who had surplus grain was not ensured. As a result of this not only the ordinary peasants but also Party members and Party activists of the countryside did not take a proper part in this work. All the activity of the purchasing organizations came down to fulfilling the assignments of the purchase plan by any means. This is a reflection of how our organizations are very weak in a political sense.

Third, when carrying out this work, the enormous critical damage which was done to the peasants by the lengthy war was not taken into account. The question of compensation for this damage in the shortest possible time was urgently called for, that is, meeting the peasants' vital needs in essential commodities. However, the Party CC and Cabinet of Ministers have so far only concerned themselves about purchasing rice from peasants without considering their needs for goods. As a result, in spite of the fact that grain was purchased at an appropriate price the peasants were not interested in receiving money inasmuch as they could not buy any goods for this money which they received from the sale of  grain. Consequently, the passivity of the peasants during the sale of the grain was the fault of the state.

Although we bought the appropriate amount of grain we nevertheless cannot feel satisfied. Having sown dissatisfaction among the peasants we have caused great harm to our work with the masses. We thereby violated basic principles of our Party policy: rallying the broad masses around the Party and government and first of all strengthening the alliance of the working class and working peasantry. The KWP CC Presidium has again and again pointed out that officials of the Party CC, provincial, city, district, and rural Party organizations and also officials of the Cabinet of Ministers and people's committees of all the provinces, cities, districts, and villages should deeply and clearly realize all the mistakes they have made and draw the appropriate conclusions in the interests of strengthening management of agriculture.

These conclusions [are]:

First, the whole course of the current purchasing campaign has shown that rural Party members, who constitute one-third of the entire Party membership, have a poorly-developed revolutionary class consciousness.

The lack of class consciousness among rural Party members is no accidental result. Many current Party members who personally experienced the oppression and exploitation of the Japanese imperialists and landowners in the past not only did not acquire revolutionary training but also fell under the influence of the petit bourgeois ideology which was constantly manifested in the countryside as a result of the dominance of small-scale commodity production there; these Party members forgot their past situation when due to land reform they received land holdings without a bitter class struggle.

In spite of this, Party organizations are too poorly doing the educational work which is directed at exposing ideas that are harmful to us and which are current both among peasants who are Party members and are not Party members, and at increasing their class consciousness. As a result of this many Party members do not clearly understand the nature of the revolution in our country at the current stage, the revolutionary duty of a Party member, the ultimate aim of our Party, and other very important questions, raising their own welfare above the interests of the state.

This is one of the reasons for which many Party members, peasants, and especially officials of cells and also district and village Party committees have not had a conscientious attitude toward the matter of grain purchases. This is also a reflection of the fact that the positions of senior officials who constitute the nucleus of Party organizations in the countryside are very precarious.

Second, the results of the purchasing campaign show that the class contradictions in the countryside between the kulaks and the poorest peasantry are gradually intensifying and  subversive actions of hostile elements directed at wrecking Party and government policy are constantly increasing.

However, so far some Party members have not been noticing the intensifying class contradictions in the countryside, and pass over the malicious actions committed by hostile-minded elements.

Consequently, these Party members do not distinguish friends from enemies and also take an unprincipled "indulgent position" with respect to enemies.

As a result of this, the enemies hiding in the countryside openly pursue their subversive activity, using for this [purpose] any occasion to weaken the class vigilance of the officials of Party and state organizations and Party members or any difficult moment for the state.

This is also one of the reasons causing difficulties in the matter of grain purchases.

Third, the results of the purchasing campaign demonstrate that the work of Party and government organizations to manage agriculture has been poorly monitored and that the work of these organizations has suffered from lack of organization and planning. Many Party and government officials were too enamored of slogans, while formally supervising the grain purchase work.

Many Party and government organizations hold to the view that the devastation to agriculture from the war can be quickly repaired without large capital investment. For this reason they are not studying the necessary measures to ensure high harvest yields and do not try to accelerate the development of agriculture but are engaged only in drawing up unrealistic plans containing exaggerated, inflated figures. Therefore, this year, too, the desire for an additional several hundred thousand tons of grain without large capital investments and effort has no basis.

This year, too, Party and government officials clearly do not recognize the fact that without correcting these shortcomings it is impossible to avoid the people's discontent which is now being caused by grain purchases and collection of the agricultural tax in kind.

This was one of the very reasons for the damage which was caused to Party and government policy with respect to the countryside and the grain purchase matter itself.

Fourth, the results of the purchasing campaign shows that up to now many officials of Party and government organizations are not trying to put an end to bureaucratic methods of work but in other cases they even try to practice these methods.

In spite of the fact that after the historical February speech* the entire Party launched a vigorous struggle against bureaucratism many officials still did not understand that bureaucratism is directly connected with the old ideology, the remnants of which were firmly rooted in their consciousness. Hence the struggle with it has been viewed as a temporary phenomenon which can be eliminated as a result of two or three campaigns. A struggle against bureaucratism is not being waged at this moment.

* this means Kim Il Sung's speech. [Original] translator's note.

Therefore, instead of pursuing organizational and political work to implement Party policy, some Party officials sometimes appeared in the role of a casual observer and sometimes as a policeman; a democratic style in work is replaced by bureaucratic methods, and as a result instead of politically motivating the masses they are completely satisfied with this role as observers. Can this be called the methods of Party work? This only shows that the Party is extraordinarily weak politically.

It needs to be noted that the bureaucratism of Party officials not only did not allow the purchasing campaign to be conducted at a sufficiently high political level but also caused discontent among the peasants, pulling part of the peasants from under Party and government influence.

In order to eliminate all the above shortcomings as quickly as possible and strengthen Party work in the country side the KWP CC Presidium decrees:

1. Radically improve the methods of agricultural management, put an end to bureaucratic methods of work used by officials of Party and government organizations, and carry out all political and economic tasks correctly without misinterpretations, closely tying them to Party and government policy. Launch an uncompromising Party struggle against painting over shortcomings, the drafting of unrealistic plans, complacency, and conceit.

Senior Party organizations and bodies of people's government should systematically root out incorrect tendencies toward undervaluing the management of agriculture and stop the superficial management of agriculture by Party organizations. It is necessary to increase the level of political organization work of Party organizations in the shortest possible period and thereby ensure the success of agriculture politically.

While systematically criticizing the serious mistakes in the course of the work to purchase grain which were committed by individual Party and government officials, force each official to have close contact with the masses and develop and implement measures to strengthen ties with the people with this purpose.

Charge Cde. Pak Geum-cheol  developing and submitting to the Party CC Political Council a specific plan to launch a struggle for the quickest possible and timeliest eradication of a harmful style of work

2. All Party organizations are to decisively improve and strengthen ideological and educational work to improve the class consciousness of Party members of the countryside and the peasant masses. Pursue ideological work in parallel along with the socialist transformation of agriculture in order to also change the backward consciousness of the peasants.

Charge Cdes. Pak Yong-bin [sic] and Ha Ang-cheon developing and submitting to the Party CC Political Council a plan in which specific measures would be developed to radically improve ideological and educational work in order to increase the class consciousness of Party members. It should reflect measures of the CC Agitprop Department and provincial Party committees to increase the sense of Party duty and class consciousness among Party members.

3. Party organizations, increasing the class consciousness and vigilance of each official and every Party member in every way, should organize and launch active work against reactionary elements hiding in rural regions. It is necessary to root out reactionary elements in the countryside systematically and consistently by pursuing a firm policy of suppressing the enemy.

Charge Cdes. Pak Geum-cheol and Pang Hak-se  developing measures to organize and launch a nationwide and Party-wide fight against spies based on the situation which has developed in our country and taking into account the importance of the struggle with the enemy.

4. Grain purchasing work is to henceforth be organized and conducted in the following direction.

The 1954 grain harvest procurement being conducted in the country is to be finished by 10 February 1955. After summing up the results of the grain procurement again widely launch free purchases at the grass roots through consumer cooperatives.

In order to meet the need for grain by poor peasants and city dwellers it is necessary to widely launch work to exchange grain for manufactured goods in peasant markets and the free purchase and sale of grain between peasants and consumers selling grain.

Simultaneously with a systematical explanation to all Party members and peasants of the political and economic importance of the work to procure grain Party organizations and bodies of people's government should point out that the procurement of grain will henceforth continue from year to year. The future procurement of grain is to be conducted taking into account the above shortcomings and the serious lessons resulting from them.

First of all, it is necessary to prepare beforehand to carry out work well to procure grain. A system of contracts needs to be implemented in order to provide agricultural cooperatives with the necessary resources. Forward contracting for grain needs to be widely used in agricultural cooperatives, but the sale of meat and fish [needs] to be widely organized in agricultural-and-livestock and agricultural-and-fishing cooperatives.

In addition, forward contracting of grain can be done among private farmers while strictly observing the principle of voluntary participation.

Party organizations and government bodies at all levels should increase state control and exert every effort to ensure the stability and equilibrium of food prices, which is the basic criterion of prices for commodities.

5. The supply of villages with large quantities of high-quality consumer goods and farm implements which the peasants need is an important measure in expanding the economic link between the city and countryside, in improving the peasants' living standards and in strengthening the alliance between the working class and the peasantry even more.

Experience shows that a larger assortment of goods needs to be transported to villages in order to buy agricultural production.

This is especially necessary in order to meet the quickly growing needs of the peasants for manufactured goods in connection with grain purchases and in order to eliminate the danger of inflation through the accumulation of enormous sums of money received by the peasants. Quickly organize the transport of a large quantity of goods to villages for the grain purchased. Charge Cdes. Choe Chang-ik and Yun Gong-heum and Gosplan with developing measures and bringing in a larger quantity of goods that the peasants need, especially textiles, fresh fish, household articles, etc. during March 1955 from stocks of domestic goods, and gradually prepare the necessary quantity of goods needed to purchase grain from the 1955 harvest by bringing in foreign goods. All Party organizations ought to devote serious Party attention to the operation of consumer cooperatives which are the link between the city and the countryside, strengthen the managerial personnel of the cooperative and systematically direct its operation.

6. All Party organizations and government bodies should take vigorous steps to develop agriculture as quickly as possible, which is being restored and developed especially slowly in comparison with industry in view of the loss of the labor force and draft animals and the reduction of fertilizers caused by the brutal three-year war.

Such dangerous tendencies ought to be eliminated as letting the development of agriculture be done by laissez-faire, and send a work force, equipment, and materials for the development of agriculture, thereby reducing the part of the expenditures in industry and industrial sectors provided by the economic plan for the revival and development of industry for 1955.

Accordingly, charge Cde. Kim Il and the chairmen of the provincial Party committees with first pursuing measures to reduce the number of construction workers by 10-20,000 before the start of the spring plowing and send them to the countryside. Offset the labor shortage in agriculture on this basis and plow all abandoned and unproductive land.

Charge Cde. Kim Il and the State Planning Committee with partially reworking the economic plan and submitting a draft of the expenditure of additional capital investment in agriculture to the Cabinet of Ministers by 20 February 1955.

7. Recognize that it is necessary to reexamine the system of collecting an agricultural tax in kind in order to eliminate confusion in the management of agriculture and put the latter on a firm planned basis taking into consideration that one-third of all farms are farms of a socialist or semi-socialist type. To do this, determine the rates of the agricultural tax in kind for agricultural cooperatives for 1955 in advance, before the spring plowing.

Charge Cdes. Kim Il and Pak Hun-il with submitting a specific draft for carrying out the necessary measures to do this by  February 15, 1955.

8. Party organizations and government bodies should deal seriously with the issue of economizing food and monitoring its distribution.

Strict control over the market sale of food belonging to the state and consumer cooperatives needs to be organized, the grain distribution system improved, and the system of special grain supply abolished, providing an additional supply of meat and fish products instead.

It is necessary to put an end to speculation in grain forever and widely launch a fight against theft of food and a movement for economizing food.

All Party organizations should pay special attention to conserving state reserves of food, pursue all necessary measures to increase the security of grain storehouses, and watch over the storage of grain so that no grain spoils or is lost.

Considering food difficulties in the country, do not allow an increase of the government staff in 1955 in a single sector.

9. All Party organizations should increase work to strengthen bodies of people's government. The main task in strengthening the bodies of people's government is to comprehensively strengthen the bond between the people and the bodies of people's government by winning trust and support of the popular masses.

Therefore it is necessary as never before to increase the authority of the bodies of people's government among the people and particularly among the broad masses of the peasantry.

This is why Party organizations should fight tendencies for the bodies of people's government to become estranged from the peasant masses which are exhibited in grain procurement work. It is necessary to propagandize and explain the importance of the bodies of people's government as a new form of government of the workers and peasants.

It is necessary for the peasants to recognize that only people's power gave them land, that it liberated them from eternal dependence on landowners, that all the economic, political, and cultural measures of people's power are directed at improving living standards  of all people, particularly the peasants, who compose a majority of the population of our country, in order for the peasants themselves to preserve and love people's power like their dearest possession.

It is necessary at the same time to resolutely improve the work of the people's committees and elevate their role in every way.

Senior Party officials and officials of bodies of people's government, plainly picturing that the main responsibilities and tasks of district and village people's committees are managing agriculture, should resolutely increase the leadership role and activity of district and village people's committees for the development of agriculture.

The slightest estrangement from the people in the work of district and village people's committees means a lack of understanding of the essence of people's power. District and village people's committees should so organize work that the interests of the peasants are taken into account with each step in their activity. At the same time it is necessary to root out the backward small property ownership ideology from the peasants' consciousness.

10. All Party organizations should actively organize and carry out mass political work to explain to the peasant masses the enormous successes and prospects of the nationwide struggle for the postwar revival and development of the economy. In the course of procurement work it developed that in view of the insufficient mass political work of Party organizations the material successes and the progress of the breathtaking struggle of the workers were almost unknown to the peasants.

Therefore, all Party organizations and senior Party officials should launch work so that the peasants distinctly picture the political and economic importance of our great cause, our successes and prospects for the future.

The main thing is to propagandize and explain that in investing enormous resources in industrial enterprises, railroads, and transportation the state is developing and restoring industry and transportation at a rapid tempo, thereby seeking an increase of the production of the manufactured goods which the peasants need, that the timely fulfillment of the three-year plan for the revival and development of the economy leads to a lowering of prices and increases the purchasing power of the peasants. It is necessary not only to increase the peasant's responsibility in the struggle to develop agriculture based on state and personal interests, but to also increase their own responsibility.

11. All Party organizations should take steps to approach the situation which has been created in the countryside politically correctly by analyzing and critiquing the mistakes made in individual villages in connection with procurement work, and by a correct summation of the results of the procurement work.

Party organizations should continue to encourage leading peasants who have exhibited activeness in the course of the procurement campaign, to intensify political work among peasants who express signs of dissatisfaction, to mobilize all peasants to participate in and prepare for field work and the spring planting campaign, and to carefully study all the state measures being conduced to prepare for the spring planting this year. It is necessary to struggle to ensure the fulfillment of the agricultural production plan for 1955 in practice, not on paper.

CHAIRMAN OF THE KWP CC KIM IL SUNG

Translated by: Kim Du-bong

Kovalev [signature]

Rozanov [signature]

Fadeyev [signature]

Five copies printed

1 - to Cde. Molotov

2, 3 - to Cde. Fedorenko

4 - to Cde. Tugarinov

5 - to file

Nº 185

12 March 1955

Drafted by Fadeyev

Typed by Sarycheva

5-lv

12 March 1955