Gosplan, unlike all the other major government departments, did not manage or control any specific sector or function of the economy. It was established in February 1921 not as a People’s Commissariat but as the ‘State General Planning Commission’.1 It was responsible to the Council of Labour and Defence (STO), the permanent committee for economic affairs. STO was in turn a sub-committee of the Council of People’s Commissars (Sovnarkom), the supreme executive body. Gosplan was not legally a part of but attached to STO; this arrangement emphasised both that it was more autonomous than an ordinary government department, and also that its status was advisory rather than executive. This was its formal status. In practice, however, the Politburo was the supreme decision-making body; and the role of Gosplan was to act as an adviser to the political leaders in the Politburo, and it frequently reported directly to them.


Capital Investment Production Plan Central Committee Current Prex Investment Plan 
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  1. 1.
    Sobranie uzakonenii, 1921, art. 106 (dated 22 February) legislation of the Russian Federation; Gosplan was transferred to the USSR when the latter was established in 1923, and was renamed ‘State Planning Commission (Izvestiya, 14 July 1923; A.V. Venediktov, Organizatsiya gosudarstvennoi promyshlennosti v SSSR (Moscow, 1961) ii, p. 33) and further Gosplans were established in each of the republics of the Union.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    See N. Jasny, Soviet Economists of the Twenties (Cambridge, 1972) pp. 92–123;Google Scholar
  3. and N. Valentinov, Novaya ekonomicheskaya politika i krizis partii posle smerti Lenina: vospominaniya (Stanford, 1971) passim.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Protokoly prezidiuma Gosplana 1923g., i (1991), 193 (session of 23 May). Krzhizhanovsky added that ‘we take market relations into account, we want to be realists, but at the same time we will firmly hold the wheel in the direction which is necessary’. See also citations from Krzhizhanovsky and Strumilin in R.W. Davies, The Socialist Offensive (London, 1980) 35.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    E.H. Carr, Socialism in One Country, 1924–1926 (London, 1958) i, 503–8.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    These measures are described in E.H. Carr and R.W. Davies, Foundations of a Planned Economy, 1926–1929 (London, 1969) pp. 299–302,667–9,684–91, 773–6,816–18.Google Scholar
  7. 13.
    See personnel changes reported in R.W. Davies, et al. (eds) Soviet Government Officials, 1922–1941: A Handlist (Birmingham, 1989), 71–2.Google Scholar
  8. 14.
    See R.W. Davies, The Soviet Economy in Turmoil, 1929–1930 (London, 1989) pp. 399–400.Google Scholar
  9. 21.
    V.I. Kuz’min, V bor’be za sotsialisticheskuyu rekonstruktsiyu, 1926–1937 (Moscow, 1976) pp. 187–8.Google Scholar
  10. 22.
    A.S. Tochinskii, Byli industrial’nye (Moscow, 1970) 186–8 (Tochinskii’s own account written many years later, and biased in his own favour).Google Scholar
  11. 29.
    XVII konf. (1932), 149 (Molotov’s report); see also p. 170 (Kuibyshev); the prices are not stated (see E. Zaleski, Stalinist Planning for Economic Growth (London, 1980) p. 117).Google Scholar
  12. 34.
    See E. Zaleski, Planning for Economic Growth in the Soviet Union, 1918–1932 (Chapel Hill, 1971) p. 217; the revised figures appear in an article sent to press in May (PKh, 1, 1932, 133).Google Scholar
  13. 88.
    O.V. Khlevnyuk, et al. (eds), Stalinskoe Politbyuro v 30-e gody (Moscow, 1995) pp. 90–2.Google Scholar
  14. 116.
    On the work of Gosplan on plan balances, which were strongly emphasised from 1936 onwards, see S.G. Wheatcroft’s article in S.G. Wheatcroft and R.W. Davies eds, Materials for a Balance of the Soviet National Economy, 1928–1930 (Cambridge, 1985) 43–4.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. W. Davies
  • O. Khlevnyuk

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