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73

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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TRADE 73
**
local Soviets, " committees for mutual help," etc,
etc, collected 155 illegal taxes.
The central Soviet Government has just taken
measures to counteract this extra taxation, and
has decided that the peasants shall only pay " one
single tax," to be paid in kind or with goods
according to local conditions. Kamenev, in par
ticular, spoke very strongly, on the occasion of the
last congress of the Communist Party (April,
1923), against the imposition of illegal taxes upon
the peasants.
The decrees of May 17 and July 17 (1921) per
mitted the handicrafts industry and the producing
Co-operatives to realise their stocks in order to
procure raw materials or such articles as they
required. Barter, not trade by the medium of
money, was supposed to regulate the relations
between these small producers in town and country.
It was simultaneously decreed that the products
of the larger industries should form a " State fund
of Goods," the sale of which, in exchange for agri
cultural produce, was placed in the hands of the
Co -operative Societies, and only in special cases
of those of private commission agents.
It was soon discovered that the system of barter
made business extremely difficult, and at the end of
July (1921) the right was conceded to every citizen
to trade in agricultural and industrial products, and
also to hire the nationalised shops and stores which
the Co-operatives did not claim. All trading, save
in the goods which were a State monopoTy, was
permitted, and all traders had to be registered and
to pay for a licence to trade.

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