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Substance and Shadow in the Soviet Seven Year Plan

Courtesy Reuters

NIKITA Khrushchev's report on the new Seven Year Plan for 1959-1965, published last November and endorsed by the January Party Congress, is a package remarkable both for its content and its vivid wrapping. The hard content was provided by the data on past economic achievements of the Soviet Union which Khrushchev reviewed, as well as by what he revealed of his economic program for the seven years ahead. On both counts he had an impressive story to tell. In the 1950s, the Soviet record of industrial expansion, scientific advance and technological accomplishment has been a startling one. Even in agriculture, where the Soviet economic system had been failing badly, Khrushchev's own vigorous leadership has at last added a creditable page to the record by bringing about a striking expansion of output. This background of fast economic growth has also enabled the régime to let the consumer share increasingly in

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