Stalin, “From a Speech to
the Commission of the 2nd All-Union Congress of Collective Farm
Shockworkers,” 15 February, 1935, I. V. Stalin: Socheneniia, vol 14,
Stanford: Hoover Institution, 1967, pp. 53 - 54.
If you want to strengthen the artel, if you want to have
a massive collective farm movement, which must embrace millions of farms, and
not ones and hundreds, if you want this to get this, then under present
conditions you must necessarily take into account the individual interests of
the collective farmers as well as their general interests…
You are by no means considering the individual interests
of the collective farmers, when you say that no more than one tenth of a
hectare [private] plot of ground to is given to a collective farmer. Some think
that it is impossible to give a cow, others think that it is impossible to give
a sow. In general you want to squeeze the collective farmer. This action will
not come off. This is incorrect.
You people are the vanguard. I understand that you are
very concerned about the collective farm system, about the collective farm
economy. But are all collective farmers really like you? You are already a
minority in the collective farm. The majority thinks somewhat differently. Is
it necessary to take them into account or not? I think that they must be taken
 If you still have in the artels no abundance of products and
you are not able to give individual collective farmers and their families all
that they need, then the collective farm cannot take on itself to satisfy both
social needs and individual ones. Then it is better to say directly that such
and such area of work is social, and such and such is individual. It is better
to admit directly, openly, and honestly that the collective farmer must have his
individual farm [khoziaistvo], small, but individual. It is better to proceed
from what an artel farm is: social, big, large-scale and decisive, necessary
for satisfaction of social needs, and at the same time what a small individual
farm is: necessary for the satisfaction of individual needs, necessary for the
satisfaction of the individual needs of the collective farmer. As soon as there
are families, children, individual needs and individual tastes, then it is
impossible not consider them. And you do not have the right not to consider
them with the individual household interests of the collective farmers. Without
this it is impossible to consolidate the collective farms.
The combination of the individual interests of the
collective farmers with the social interests of the collective farms – that is
the key to consolidating the collective farms.
From a 1935 Law on Collective Farms:
state property, but is given to the collective farms for perpetual use; each
collective farmer can have for individual needs a plot of land of a size from a
quarter to a half a hectare [5/8ths to 1-1/4th acres] (in some raions,
up to one hectare), to contain a cow with two calves, one or two pigs, up to
ten sheep, an unrestricted quantity of chickens and rabbits, and up to twenty
beehives. All these numbers are increased in the raions where cattle
breeding predominates rather than farming.
--quoted in D. Boffa, Istoriia Sovetskogo Soiuza,
Moscow: “Medzunarodnye otnosheniia,” 1994, vol. 1, p. 486.
From the 1936
Constitution of the U.S.S.R.
Article 7. ... In addition to its basic income from the
public collective-farm enterprise, every household in a collective farm has for
its personal use a small plot of land attached to the dwelling and, as its
personal property, a subsidiary establishment on the plot, a dwelling house,
livestock, poultry and minor agricultural implements in accordance with the
statutes of the agricultural artel.