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Newspaper Page Text
SATURDAY, JAN. 1, 1921.
establishments had sent in returns. On the ground
of certain data, the Agriculture on Communist
lines Department assumes the number of collect
ive establishments' in the country to be not less
The Soviet Communes represent the newest
form of agricultural activity. They were not in
existence during the first year of the revolution
and appeared first in February 1919. They are
being organised for the purpose of increasing pro
duction by intensive agriculture and by increasing
the cultivated area, thus preparing the ground for
a compelte transition to Communist agriculture
and to the creation of exemplary agronomic
All Soviet Comunes of state importance are
in charge of the Commissariat for Agriculture.
Apart from this a number of Soviet Communes
are in charge of Industrial Unions and serve the
needs of the organizations that have formed them.
The recent returns of the Soviet Communes date
from the end of July 1920. According to these
there are 3076 Soviet Communes in 40 provinces
of Russia exclusive of sugar plantations and
Communes in charge of the Industrial Unions
(neither do these figures include the Ukrainia,
the Don, Siberia and North Caucasus).
The number of communes in charge of in
dustrial organization is 1,020 in 27 provinces.
The total area of Soviet Communes covers 1 .638,
567 deciatines. The total area of the Communes
formed by industrial organizations is 600,000
All the land, no matter in whose hands it is,
belongs to the State. The tenure, however, is very
kaleidoscopic representing a mixture of personal
and collective holding. It entails a tremendous
work of surveying and redistributing the land.
Our problem is to create one producing agricultur
al economy yielding the maximum of agricultural
produce with the minimum of national labor, a
task which involves the gradual redistribution of
The chief hindrance in the way of building up
agriculture on Communist lines is the -lack of
surveyors and agricultural experts. With 35,000
surveyors the agricultural problem could be ac
complished in one year, but with the present
number of 4.000 the work is naturally delayed.
The Tragic Death of Three French Militants.
Last summer the left syndicalist unions of
France chose three delegates to go to Russia to
represent them at the Third International as well
as to try to organize the Revolutionary Trade
The delegates were comrades Marcel Vergeat,
one of the secretaries of the Metal Workers Union ;
Lepetit, a well known militant of the Building
Workers Union; and the exiled secretary of the
Railroad Wor) ers Federation, Leon Midol. For
some reason oi other, comrade Midol did not go.
When the two delegates arrived in Russia, they
wrote back enthusiastic articles and letters about
the achievements of the Russian Workers. Some
of Vergeat's impressions were printed in "LA VIE
OUVRIERE", organ of the left syndicalists.
After making a tour in southern Russia, U
kraine and Odessa, our comrades returned to Mos
cow, preparing themselves to leave for France in
order to take part in the Orleans congress of the
C. G. T. during the last days of September. As the
international police was on the look-out for them,
they could not return thru Finland, Esthonia or
Poland. They had to choose the risky and uncertain
northern route, thru the icy Artie Ocean.
They left Murmansk on a small sailing boat
with one sailor and our comrades in- France were
expecting them to arrive in time to counter-act
Merrheim's insidious propaganda against the Rus
sian Communists. But there was no news from
them for over a month and then anxiety and fear
for their fate filled the hearts of their fellow
workers. During the last days of November the
metal workers and the COMITE DES SYNDICAL
IST REVOLUTIONARIES made in inquiry thru
"L'HUMANITE" from the Swedish Soviet envoy.
The news that Tie wired was distressing Lepetit,
Vergeat and Raymond Lefebvre, delegate of the
French Communists, have perished somewhere in
the sea. .
The Committee of Revolutionary Syndicalists,
a body representing all the left unions in France,
immediately organized relief for the families of
our martyred comrades and within few days the
workers of Paris, themselves in the midst of un
employment and want, collected the sum of 10,000