The Labour Armies

Order No.194

By the Chairman of the Revolutionary War Council of the First Labour Army, February 24, 1920, No.194, Yekaterinburg

Transcribed and HTML markup for the Trotsky Internet Archive by David Walters

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The labour reports reveal both the extremely small number of Red Army men who have been drawn into productive labour and the extremely low level of the productivity of this labour. I order:

1. Heads of labour sections to assign definite tasks to units, through their commanders and commissars.

2. Commanders and commissars to be called to account for non-fulfilment of tasks.

3. Units which show a lack of conscientiousness in relation to their labour duties to be made penal units, with a very strict regime.

4. All institutions of the army, divisions, etc., to adapt themselves to work, assigning the maximum number of workers to the labour front. Without waiting for instructions from above, they are to show maximum initiative in increasing the number of direct participants in productive labour.

5. Everyone, from the army commander to the youngest Red Army man, to remember that the army has a simple but well-defined task – to fell timber and procure grain, and to load this timber and grain on to the railways.

6. Special plenipotentiaries of the Council of the Labour Army to ascertain on the spot the reasons for the poor progress of work, to arrest the most guilty individuals and to send them to be dealt with by the army’s Revolutionary Tribunal.

7. Heads and commissars of administrations and institutions in which idlers are discovered to be held strictly responsible to me, regardless of their previous services.

8. This order to be personally signed by commanders and commissars of individual units and read out in all companies, squadrons, batteries and task-forces.

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Last updated on: 26.12.2006