DECREE OF THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT OF THE USSR:
“ON THE PROTECTION OF THE PROPERTY
OF STATE ENTERPRISES, COLLECTIVE FARMS, AND COOPERATIVES, AND ON THE CONSOLIDATION OF PUBLIC (SOCIALIST) PROPERTY

 

7 August 1932

In the recent time we have received an increased number of complaints from workers and collective farmers about cargo theft from railway and river transport, as well as theft of property belonging to cooperative societies and collective farms, perpetrated by hoodlums and antisocial elements. There has also been an increasing number of complaints about coercion and threats from kulak elements aimed at those collective farmers who refuse to withdraw from collective farms and continue honestly and selflessly developing them.

The Central Executive Committee and the Soviet of People Commissars of the USSR believe that public property (belonging to the state, collective farms, and cooperative societies) is the foundation of the Soviet state system, that it is sacred and inviolable and that people attempting to obtain public property into their private possession should be considered enemies of the people. In view of this, an unrelenting struggle against thieves of public property is the foremost duty of Soviet government bodies.

On the basis of these considerations and in order to grant the requests of workers and collective farmers, the Central Executive Committee and the Soviet of People Commissars of the USSR have resolved:

 

I

  1. Consider the importance of railway and river cargo equal to that of state property and reinforce cargo protection in every way.

  2. As a measure of judicial repression for the theft of railway and river cargo, apply the highest measure of social protection—shooting and the confiscation of the entire property. Under extenuating circumstances, replace this measure with at least 10 years of imprisonment with the confiscation of property.

  3. No amnesty to be applied to criminals guilty of cargo theft.

 

II

  1. Consider the importance of property belonging to collective farms and cooperative societies (harvest in the field, public reserves, cattle, cooperative warehouses and stores, etc.) equal to that of state property and reinforce theft protection of this property in every way.

  2. As a measure of judicial repression for the theft of property belonging to collective farms and cooperative societies, apply the highest measure of social protection—shooting and the confiscation of the entire property. Under mitigating circumstances, replace this measure with at least 10-year imprisonment with the confiscation of property.

  3. No amnesty is to be applied to criminals guilty of stealing property belonging to collectivefarms and cooperative societies.

III

  1. Conduct an unrelenting struggle against those antisocial kulak and capitalist elements which are using coercion and threats or advocate the application of coercion and threats to collective farmers in order to make them withdraw from collective farms and thus cause forcible disintegration of collective farms. Consider these crimes equal in gravity to treason.

  2. In cases concerning the protection of collective farms and collective farm workers from coercion and threats from kulak and other antisocial elements, apply as measures of judicial repression five to ten years of imprisonment in concentration camps.

  3. No amnesty to be applied to criminals found guilty in these cases.

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(Original document in Sobranie zakonov (Collection of Laws) 1932, N˚ 62); reproduced in Tragediia sovetskoi derevni. Vol. 3. (Moscow, 2001) Pp. 453-454.