Privileged rations at the end of 1920

[Translator's note: This document illustrates a number of features of Soviet life towards the end of the War Communism period. Firstly, state employees were almost all paid at least partly in kind, through a rationing system, as economic collapse and the rapid depreciation of the currency made money wages increasingly worthless. Secondly, the size of the rations depended on a complex system of entitlements, in which the nature of the recipient's work and his or her presumed social origins played an important part. Thirdly, this resolution represents one of the early examples of the ruling stratum awarding itself extra material privileges on account of its own importance or "indispensability". It should be borne in mind, however, that life on these "enhanced" rations was still very far from luxurious. - FK]

Resolution of the Council of People's Commissars

To amend and develop the regulations adopted by the Council of People's Commissars on 14 June 1920 on enhanced rations for responsible and irreplaceable staff of the central institutions of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic based in Moscow, the Council of People's Commissars resolves:

1. An enhanced ration is established for responsible, irreplaceable and other staff essential for the normal operation of the central institutions of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic based in Moscow.

2. The ration may be extended to members of these employees' families living with them, dependent upon them, and not liable for labour service in accord with the Code of Labour Laws.

3. Persons included in the ration have no right to receive any other rations except labour rations.

Note: The maximum number of rations to which staff members and their families are entitled is limited to four.

4. The monthly norm for these rations is set as follows: flour - 20 lb, butter - 1½ lb, vegetable oil - 2 lb, tea - ¼ lb, sugar - 1 lb, salt - 1½ lb, semolina - 7 lb, fish - 10 lb, meat - 10 lb, vegetables - 1 pud (36 lb), soap - 1 lb, matches - 3 boxes.

5. The Commission for Workers' Supply is responsible for setting the overall number of these rations, determining which institutions will have their staff eligible for the ration, allocating these rations among the institutions and overseeing their distribution.

6. The distribution of these rations among the staff of the institutions will be carried out by the institution itself on the responsibility of the person heading the institution or of some person to whom this task has been entrusted.

Note: Lists of staff members registered for these rations will be forwarded monthly to the Commission for Workers' Supply for verification.

7. The People's Commissariat of Food (the Instructors' Department of the Administration of General Distribution) is charged with the task of implementing and checking the operation of these regulations.

Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars
V Ulyanov (Lenin)
Business manager of the Council of People's Commissars
[V D Bonch-Bruevich]
Secretary of the Council of People's Commissars
L Fotieva

Source: Yu A Akhapkin et al., Dekrety Sovetskoy vlasti t. XI, Izdatel'stvo politicheskoy literatury, Moscow, 1983, pp. 413 - 414