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THE ANTHRACITE COAL INDUSTRY OF SOVIET RUSSIA
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. 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 1928–291
of tons 1917, 1918.
4, 997 1919.
2, 075 1920.
1, 487 1921
1, 369 1922-23.
1, 528 1923-24.
1, 723 1924-25
2, 042 1925-26
3, 513 1926-27
3, 307 1927-28
5, 411 1928-29.
9, 338. Efforts are being made to develop new mines, but many difficultie have arisen. An insufficiency of engineers, as well as of skilled an common labor, exists. The largest Russian coal fields are in Siberi too distant from Russian industrial centers for economical exploitatio The opening of new mines has been delayed.15
V. COST OF PRODUCTION OF COAL IN THE DONETZ BASIN
The Russian statisticians devote much attention to cost of produ tion studies, and such studies of coal are facilitated by the unifi governmental control of coal districts, detailed reports being requir by the Russian administration. The rapid expansion of the coal i dustry, accompanied by a certain amount of confusion, recogniz by soviet publications, has probably impaired the accuracy of t statistics. The cost figures published by the Soviet Government the only ones available. According to them the cost of producing ton of coal by the Donetz coal “trust” was 10.54 rubles in 1927(the fiscal year ended September 30, 1928) and 10.41 rubles 1928-29.16
In the last quarter of the year 1929–30 costs of production increa owing to decreased efficiency of coal-cutting machines, and the organization of labor.17
Wages were 51 per cent of the costs of production in 1927-28 54 per cent of the cost in the following year.
The costs appare include the usual items. A charge is made for "rent,” but it is known exactly what this is.
Russian costs expressed in rubles can not at the present time (1 be stated in gold values. 18 The above figures have therefore o limited significance for international comparisons.
From 1917 to 1926–27, U. S. S. R., 10 Years of Soviet Power in Figures, Moscow, 1927, pp. 2442 years, C.S. S, R., Statisticheskii Biulleten, June, 1929, p. 14, October, 1929, p. 18.
1 Russian Economic Notes, Dec. 5, 1930, p. 1. 18 Cf. Department of Commerce, Russian Economic Notes, July 18, 1930, pp. 3-6; Sept. 12, 1930, Nov. 7, 1930, p. 2.
1$ Gorni Zhurnal (The Official Soviet Mining Journal), Oct., 1929, p. 1761. 17 Russian Economic Notes, Sept. 12, 1930, p. 2. Translation of an article from Izvestia, Aug. 18 See Introduction,
VI. QUANTITY AND VALUE OF ANTHRACITE COAL PRODUCED IN THE
Th point States
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.
1927-28. 1928-29.. October
Anthracite coal produced in the Donetz Basin—Quantity, value, and value per ton 1
1 U. S. S. R., Ezhemesiachnii Statisticheskii Biuileten, 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
In Gove an in The The inch Sov obs
1 ma fro
Value per ton
19 19 18
17,089 2, 890 2,889 10, 397 11, 716
4, 304 11, 346 11, 938 26, 621 13, 816
70,972 303, 197
6. 466 6. 595
1 No imports from Soviet Russia in Asia. Data furnished by U. S. Department of Commerce. 19 See introduction as to ruble con version.
VII. OCEAN FREIGHT RATES ON ANTHRACITE COAL FROM SOVIET
The freight costs to transport Russian anthracite from its principal point of export (Mariupol) to the North Atlantic coast of the United States are given by soviet publications as follows (per ton).20
$3.41 4. 02 4, 14
According to a statement issued by the coal division of the Department of Commerce, the ocean freight rate on Donetz anthracite to United States ports north of Hatteras ranged from about $3.50 to $4 through the early part of 1930. A bulletin called The International Coal Trade Situation, issued by the United States Department of Commerce quotes later ocean freight rates on Donetz anthracite to ports north of Hatteras as follows (dates shown are dates of the bulletin): Aug. 18, 1930
$3. 10-$3. 16 Sept. 16, 1930 (a particular cargo)
3. 20 Nov. 15, 1930 (a particular cargo).
VIII. TECHNICAL CONDITIONS OF DONETZ COAL MINES In 1929 a commission composed of representatives of the Soviet Government, labor unions, and other interested Russian groups made an investigation of the technical conditions of the Donetz coal mines The report was published in the Russian official mining journal.21 The following account is an abstract of parts of this report, and also includes information published (apparently under the auspices of the Soviet Government) in a monograph 22 by an experienced Russian observer.
1. Machine mining.--A very great effort has been made to introduci machine mining in the Donetz Basin, Machine production increase from 200,000 tons in 1922-23 to 5,515,000 tons in 1927–28,22 and t 7,620,000 tons in 1928–29. The percentage of Donetz Basin cox mined by machines has been as follows: 1927-28 21 1928–29 21
30. 1929-30 23
39. The following table shows, up to 1927-28, the number of coal-cuttir machines in the Donetz Básin, and the average annual output p machine.
28 Quoted by Russian Economic Notes, Dec. 27, 1929, p. 3. Converted from English currency at or $4.8665 to the pound sterling.
21 Gorni Zhurnal, October, 1929, p. 1757. 22 Liberman, Lev; Trud i Byt, Moscow, 1929, p. 98. This is a monograph based on personal observat and the study of records of numerous investigations. The author had before the World War written rep of Russian coal mining.
3: Russian Economic Notes, Dec. 5, 1930, p. 1.
Coal-cutting machines and production per machine in Donetz Basin I
2. Otherehepment - lechunia neans of hauling the coal from the mines are invieglate. in 1947S, Of 5,515,000 tons of coal mechanically minted, only 130,00 tots are havied out by electricity 24 The mining commuSsion to the dieetrical motors in bad condition. They are not in general property protected. Seventy per cent were in a dangervus ineerintcal state or dangerously placed. The hoisting and drawing cables are? isa teretire. -5 Good arrangement for disposal of wisio intatti vetrer foreign latter displaced in the procurement of the could not res iz bosatte It No per cent of the mines (of three larve centers in the ['ere is an usuficient supply of timbers, and insullivient timberettige ["70 sierators hoists) in 27 per cent of the ruines investigattert werden al meeti of replacement or repair. A continuous supply or power popurin the elevators was available in only half of the vas
3. Ventilation. Pinutive vives tot veep pace with mine development. There is so murheet wisselle? Mi Cuplicate ventilation. Of 42 working itleriis observa, tid per cent in sui insuficient ventilation, 62 per cent has the substantialementiunt, vilper cent of ventilation Tacked suficient posteri litelineitiiert was observed in the use of available ventilation equipment."
4. (ius, kust, mille sinesten sie It iyit months of 1928–29, 18,000 stup pages of work 10?? (Husord by excessive density of gas. Worknueu do not properiv olsay the rules for the protection against gas. [n the tirst quarter of 1975 ?!. reported cases of breaking regulations, including stuolus in mines, discipline was administered in only 250 cases, 29 Sixty-one ruinest Bluse investigated were found to be dangerous because of tuso. the lust is dampened in only 15 per cent of the mines. Explosives are suvrei unei transported in an unsafe manner and the ille'll who used explosives in many cases do not know how to handle then. :) Eletric light is insuficient in all mines, and available lights are often inproperly placed. In the mines investigated 71 per cent of the workilen did not have individual lamps, 31 and the lanips that are used hare many derects and many require repair. Repairs are very inetficient.
24 Trud i Byt., p. 99. 23 (torni Zhurnal, November, 19:29. p. 181. 28 Ibid, 1869, 27 Thid, p. 188,8. 28 Thid, p. 1864–65. 29 Ibid, p. 1865. 0 (torni Zhurnal, Novembar, 142, p. 1-ni, 31 Tbil, p. 1867. * Thill, p. 1867
5. Water supply.--The water supply is insufficient and bad. Not more than 10 per cent of the supply is potable, and all the water is hard. The open wells used by the miners are insanitary. On the basis of 50 liters per capita per day, the water supply in the Donetz Basin is not equal to 44 per cent of the present requirements.33 The present distribution of the water is extremely inefficient.34
IX. CONDITIONS OF LABOR IN DONETZ COAL MINES
1. Labor supply.-The average number of workmen employed by the Donetz coal mines increased from 78,000 in 1921 35 to 175,000 in the second quarter of 1928–29, and to 185,000 in August, 1930. There is a large turnover of labor. In 1924–25 an average of 89,00 workers was maintained. In the same year 117,000 workers wer hired and 129,000 quit or were discharged. The average number workmen maintained in 1925–26 was 126,000, requiring the hiring 172,000 new men, mostly to replace the 149,000 who left. In 1926– the number of workers on the job averaged 140,000, involving th hiring of 191,000, while 182,000 had left during the year. The tot number of workmen hired during the first half of 1929–30 was 195,23 while the number leaving their jobs was 178,830.40 Undoubted many of the workmen reported as leaving are hired again during t same year, The turnover, in any case, is asserted by numerous Sovi sources to be enormous and to create a serious problem, since the can be no proper training or discipline of workers with such a changi supply. At present the demand for workmen in the Donetz Ba exceeds the supply:
2. Technical workers. In the Donetz Basin there is a decided sho age of foremen, technicians, and other skilled workmen.4 Howev a good deal of foreign technical assistance is being utilized. Th United States engineering firms, in addition to European concer are assisting the Donetz coal industry.42 It is stated that fore technical experts are paid as much as $10,000 a year.
Four years ago the maximum pay for any communist was 225 rubles per mo Now the law has been changed so that the compensation for communist engir and technicians, as well as noncommunists, may be greater than 225 rubles may be even a thousand rubles a month, according to the individual abilities display in their work.43
In 1928 the average monthly salary of the highest general clas technical personnel in the Donetz Basin was 391 rubles. 16 The mi grade received 259 rubles and the lowest grade 185 rubles. The ave was 243 rubles. 47
33 Trud i Byt., p. 122.
12 The American companies are Stuart, James and Cooke; the Roberts and Schaefer Co.; and th and Garcia Co. (Economic Review of the Soviet Union, Apr. 15, 1930, p. 149.)
*3 Hugh L. Cooper in Williamstown Institute of Politics. Proceedings, Aug. 1 and 2, 1930, p. 8. 10 It is not known whether foreigners were included in these statistics. 17 Gorni Zhurnal, March, 1929, p. 333.