Bolshevik decree nationalising industry (1918)

On June 28th 1918, the Bolsheviks issued the following decree nationalising all Russian industries. This marked the official beginning of the economic policy that became known as “war communism“:

“For the purpose of combating decisively the economic disorganisation and the breakdown of the food supply, and of establishing more firmly the dictatorship of the working class and the village poor, the Soviet of People’s Commissars has resolved:

1. To declare all of the following industrial and commercial enterprises located in the Soviet Republic, with all their capital and property, whatever they may consist of, the property of the Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic.

[A list of factories, mills, mines, etc. followed this resolution]

2. The administration of the nationalised industries shall be organised… by the different departments of the Supreme Council of National Economy…

3. Until the Supreme Council of National Economy issues special rulings for each enterprise, the enterprises which have been declared the property of the Soviet Republic by this decree shall be considered as leased rent-free to their former owners. The boards of directors and the former owners shall continue to finance the enterprises… and also receive the income from them…

4. Beginning with the promulgation of this decree, the members of the administration, the directors and other responsible officers of the nationalised industries will be held responsible to the Soviet Republic, both for the intactness and upkeep of the business and for its proper functioning…

5. The entire personnel of every enterprise – technicians, workers, members of the board of directors and foremen – shall be considered employees of the Soviet Republic. Their wages shall be fixed in accordance with the scales existing at the time of nationalisation…”

V. Ulyanov (Lenin)
Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars