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John G. Wright

International Notes

Purging the Polish C.P. –
“Big Bank Depositors” Grow in U.S.S.R. –
French C.P. and Organic Unity

(15 January 1938)

From Socialist Appeal, Vol. II No. 3, 15 January 1938, p. 6.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Polish C.P. Purged by Stalin

The Bulletin of the Russian Opposition (No. 60–61) reports that the most prominent members of the Central Committee and the Political Bureau of the Polish C.P. have been placed under arrest in Moscow: S. Prukhniak, Bronkovski, Y. Ryng, Vera Koscheva, Genrikovski, Valetski, together with other well known Polish communists: Krayevski, S. Guberman, Jan Gempel, La-pinski, Bronik and Bruno Yassenski. There are also unverified rumors to the effect that the General Secretary of the Polish C.P., Lenski, has likewise been arrested.

Caste of Bank Book Owners Flourishes in the U.S.S.R.

Finansovaya Gazetta for Dec. 18, 1937, carries a significant item on the growth of the privileged caste in the U.S.S.R. Beginning with the Second Five Year Plan, and coincident with the introduction of Stakhanovism, there has been a marked growth of savings deposits, which have almost doubled in one year, from 2½ billion in 1936 to 4 1/3 billion rubles in 1937. (In Jan. 1933 the amount in savings accounts totalled 974.3 million rubles.) Of the total number of depositors (14 million) less than one-third are listed as “workers”. (Functionaries constitute 34.5%; Kolkhozniki – 22%.)

Says Finansovaya Gazetta:

“The notable thing is the growth of big depositors, these having savings accounts of 1,000 rubles and over. At the beginning of 1935 there were 436,000 such depositors; at the beginning of 1936 they numbered – 681,000; and on Jan. 1, 1937 – 1,053,000. Of these, 210,000 had over 3,000 rubles each.”

These statistics indicate not only an accelerated growth of “big depositors”, i.e., of the privileged caste, but an ever increasing disproportion between a tiny fraction of the population and the bulk of the masses. Taking the figures in the indefinite form given, and assuming that each of 201,000 depositors has only 3,000 rubles while the rest of the “big depositors” have only 1,000, these statistics show that 7% of the total number of depositors possess almost one-third of the total savings of the population. The disproportion is of course even greater in reality (millionaire kolkhozniks, “millionaire” artists, etc. etc,). It appears especially monstrous when compared with the average monthly wage of the unskilled: 110–115 rubles a month!

French C.P. Drives for Organic Unity

The Third Session of the Congress of the French C. P. which convened in Arles in the last week in December was devoted to a fervent appeal by Jacques Duelos for unity with the S.P. Said Duclos: “Don’t you know that the realization of unity will be decisive for the integral application of the measures inscribed in the programme of the People’s Front?”

Among the achievements of the People’s Front which Duclos forbore to mention in his passionate plea was the following: After a recent sit-down strike in the Gondolo biscuit factories had been “settled”, the workers upon returning to work found the factories occupied – this time by armed gangs of Fascists. From two to three hundred of these Fascists in the Gondolo plant as l’Humanité itself reports “refused to allow some 80 workers to enter, among whom there were those who had worked 15 and 16 years in the plant.” (L’Humanité, Dec. 28)

Elsewhere (as at Heaudebert à Nanterre) the bosses merely contented themselves with firing “numerous” strikers.

What do the Stalinists propose? The headline of l’Humanité screams: “The Government Must Put an End Immediately to This Scandal.”

And, indeed, instead of screaming separately as they do now the Socialists, if they listen to the ardent wooing of Duclos, will be able to scream for the Government to intervene in one “unity party” with the Stalinists.

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