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2. State labor exchanges and employment agencies must immediately take measures for putting the unemployed to work—and first of all those hitherto enjoying the right to unemployment insurance pay.
3. Unemployed persons must accept work not only in accordance with their own specialty, but also, if necessary, work requiring no special qualification.
4. No reasons for refusal of such proposed work will be accepted, except illness, supported by a medical certificate. Refusal to accept work will involve removal of such persons' names from labor exchange files.
The labor exchanges are the offices through which employment is secured in the state industries. On the date that the above decree was issued, the Workers' Gazette, a Russian paper, stated that to be striken from labor exchange files would imply explusion from trade unions with the probable loss of civic rights and the certain loss of accident or illness insurance.
On October 20, 1930, the central committee of the Communist Party issued a resolution which states that:
Skilled workmen and specialists employed in less important branches of the national economy, factories or administrative organizations, can be removed by the request of the Commissariat for Labor and sent to more important industries, particularly, coal mining, iron, and steel, transport and large construction undertakings, regardless of where they are located.
This resolution also says that slackers and floaters are to be deprived of the right to work in industrial undertakings for six months.5
III. TRADE OF THE UNITED STATES IN ANTHRACITE COAL, WITH
SPECIAL REFERENCE TO RUSSIA
The coal imported from Soviet Russia into the United States consists of anthracite. For a number of years anthracite has been imported into this country, but the Russian imports began only in 1929. The following table shows the imports for consumption of anthracite from all countries since 1922.
Anthracite coal-Imports for consumption, 1922 to October, 1930.1
1U; S. Department of Commerce, Foreign Commerce and Navigation of the United States. General imports.
Prior to 1929, practically all the imports of anthracite came from the United Kingdom.
Imports of anthracite from Russia amounted to 113,170 tons in 1929 and to 147,139 tons in the first 10 months of 1930.6
The following table gives the importations of coal from Russia by customs districts in 1929 and for the first 10 months of 1930.
4 Walter Duranty in New York Times, Oct. 12, 1930, Sec. I, p. 9.
Imports for consumption of anthracite coal from Russia by customs districts, 1929,
and first 10 months of 1930 1
It will be noted that practically all the imports of Russian anthracite in 1929 and 1930 entered New England customs districts. New England was also the predominant market for imported anthracite from all countries in 1927 and 1928.
The following table shows the imports of anthracite from Soviet Russia by months in 1929 and the first 10 months of 1930:
Imports for consumption of anthracite from Soviet Russia, by months, 1929 and 1930
United States exports of anthracite have been as follows since 1922:
1 U. 8. Department of Commerce, statistics section, coal division, mimeographed report, Nov. 29, 1930.
Total exports of coal from Russia amounted to 388,682 tons in 1927–28, and to 726,443 tons in 1928–29. These include shipments to all countries.
IV. RESERVES AND PRODUCTION OF COAL IN SOVIET RUSSIA 1. Reserves.—The total Russian coal reserves are estimated to be about 475,000,000,000 tons, 83 per cent of which are in Asiatic Russia. 8 The Donetz Basin, situated in the Ukraine, and not far from the Black Sea, is the most important developed Russian coal field. It is the source of the anthracite coal exported to the United States. The Donetz coal is in one large field, which extends from west to east for a distance of 300 miles. It is considered the largest coal field in Europe, but it is split up into several areas, with varying qualities of coal. Roughly, the flaming coals are at the western end of the field, the coking and semianthracite coals in the center, and the anthracite in the east, though coking coals are also found toward the northeast corner. Throughout the Donetz field the seams vary much in thickness; the bulk of the output is from seams of 21 to 35 inches; but seams of 5 feet are moderately common, and the maximum thickness is 7 feet. 1
The Donetz coal reserves are estimated at 68,167,000,000 tons, of which 39,599,000,000 tons are classed as anthracite and semianthracite and 28,568,000,000 as bituminous. 11 These anthracite deposits are over twice as large as the remaining anthracite coal reserves of Pennsylvania, which amount to about 15,000,000,000 tons, about two-thirds of the original deposits.12
2. Production.—The following table shows the production of coal in the Soviet Union for recent years and a comparative figure of the output in 1913 in the present territory of the union. Output of coal in Soviet Union, by principal mining areas
(Thousands of metric tons)
1 Santalov and Segal, Soviet Union Yearbook, 1930, p. 145.
The production of coal in the Soviet Union was much greater in 1928–29 than in 1913. However, in 1913, the area that is now the Soviet Union used to a large extent coal from what is now Polish territory. The Soviet Union now depends on itself for coal.
There an acute shortage of fuel” in the Soviet Union in 1929–30. "On the whole, the fuel situation in Soviet industries is becoming strained and the reserves in factories as well as in transport (railways, steamship lines) are becoming more meagre." 13 The per capita
7 Soviet Union Year Book, 1930, p. 311.
Statement of coal division of the U. 5. Department of Commerce. 10 Great Britain, Imperial mineral resources bureau, The Mineral Industry of the British Empire and Foreign Countries, Part III, coal, coke, and by-products, London, 1922, p. 81. 11 U. S. S. R., Zapasy Ugleii v. S. S. S. R., Leningrad, 1927, p. 6. 12 Report of the U. S. Coal Commission, 1925, Part I, p. 36. 13 Pravda, Oct. 2, 1930.
production of coal in the Soviet Union in 1928–29 was about onequarter of a ton, compared with about 5 tons in the United States.
The production of coal in the Donetz Basin in 1929–30 was 36,000,000 tons, while the official plan called for a production of 40,000,000 tons.14 It may be noted, however, that only the smaller, though an increasing, part of the output of the Donetz Basin consists of anthracite, the output of anthracite in recent years being as follows: Russian production of anthracite, 1917 to 1928–29 1
of tons 1917.
4, 997 1918.
2, 075 1919.
1, 487 1920.
1, 369 1921
1, 528 1922–23_
1, 723 1923–24.
2, 042 1924-25.
3, 513 1925–26.
3, 307 1926–27
5, 411 1927–28.
7, 732.9 1928-29.
9, 338. 7 Efforts are being made to develop new mines, but many difficulties have arisen. An insufficiency of engineers, as well as of skilled and common labor, exists. The largest Russian coal fields are in Siberia too distant from Russian industrial centers for economical exploitation. The opening of new mines has been delayed.16
V. COST OF PRODUCTION OF COAL IN THE DONETZ BASIN
The Russian statisticians devote much attention to cost of production studies, and such studies of coal are facilitated by the unified governmental control of coal districts, detailed reports being required by the Russian administration. The rapid expansion of the coal industry, accompanied by a certain amount of confusion, recognized by soviet publications, has probably impaired the accuracy of the statistics. The cost figures published by the Soviet Government are the only ones available. According to them the cost of producing a ton of coal by the Donetz coal “trust” was 10.54 rubles in 1927-28 (the fiscal year ended September 30, 1928) and 10.41 rubles in 1928–29.16
In the last quarter of the year 1929-30 costs of production increased owing to decreased efficiency of coal-cutting machines, and the disorganization of labor. 17
Wages were 51 per cent of the costs of production in 1927–28 and 54 per cent of the cost in the following year. The costs apparently include the usual items. A charge is made for "rent,” but it is not known exactly what this is.
Russian costs expressed in rubles can not at the present time (1930) be stated in gold values.18 The above figures have therefore only a limited significance for international comparisons.
From 1917 to 1926–27, U.S. S. R., 10 Years of Soviet Power in Figures, Moscow, 1927, pp. 244-245; last 2 years, '. S. S. R., Statisticheskii Biulleten, June, 1929, p. 14, October, 1929, p. 18.
1 Russian Economic Notes, Dec. 5, 1930, p. I.
16 CI. Department of Commerce, Russian Economic Notes, July 18, 1930, pp. 3-6; Sept. 12, 1930, pp. 1-2; Nov. 7, 1930, p. 2.
16 Gorni Zhurnal (The Official Soviet Mining Journal), Oct., 1929, p. 1761. 17 Russian Economic Notes, Sept. 12, 1930, D. 2. Translation of an article from Izvestia, Aug. 17, 1930. 18 See Introduction,
VI. QUANTITY AND VALUE OF ANTHRACITE COAL PRODUCED IN THE
DONETZ BASIN The Soviet Government publishes statistics of the monthly production of anthracite coal in the Donetz Basin and gives the value of this production at what it calls the current price. From these statistics can be calculated the current value in rubles per ton placed upon anthracite by the Soviet Government.
The following table gives these statistics from February, 1929, to February, 1930. Later statistics are not at present available. Anthracite coal produced in the Donetz Basin—Quantity, value, and value per ton 1
1 U. S. S. R., Ezhemesiachnii Statisticheskii Biulleten, February, 1929, to February, 1930. 2 Statistics for May not available.
According to the above figures the average domestic price of Russian anthracite for the 12-month period shown was 9.63 rubles per ton.19 It is presumed that this was the price at the mine although no statement is made on this point by the soviet publication from which the figures were obtained.
The average price at which Russian anthracite was imported to the United States during the same period is shown in the following table:
Anthracite coal-Imports for consumption from Soviet Russia 1
1 No imports from Soviet Russia in Asia. Data furnished by U. S. Department of Commerce. 19 See introduction as to ruble conversion.