Courtesy Reuters

The New Soviet Plan: Guns Still Before Butter

The published figures of the new Soviet Five Year Plan attracted wide attention in the world press. This is understandable. Implementation of the plan will result in an increase in Soviet economic and military might and will provide a base for the extension of Soviet political and economic influence. Although the new plan has not been finally adopted-it is scheduled to be approved later by the Supreme Soviet-one may assume that in all important respects the plan is set.

The Sixth Five Year Plan (1956-1960) was abolished in September 1957 because it was found to be unrealistic. The Seven Year Plan (1959-1965) which replaced it was not fulfilled in the majority of its main objectives- national income, agriculture, standard of living, labor productivity, etc. Virtually no data have been published on the results of the plan, the only admission being that "fulfillment of the plan was hampered by serious shortages" and that "certain difficulties were encountered in expanding the economy."

The Eighth Five Year Plan (1966-1970) has three distinctive features. The first is that it is more realistic and takes previous experience into account. In the preceding plan, national income was to increase by 65 percent, to be achieved in 7.4 percent yearly increases; actually, the increase was about 4.4 percent annually. The planned increase in the output of agricultural products during this period was set at 70 percent, about 8 percent per year; the actual increase in the seven-year period was only 10 percent, or less than 2 percent per year. In other words, agricultural output barely kept ahead of population growth. In 1965 the grain harvest, for example, amounted to 120.5 million metric tons, as compared with the planned figure of 180 million tons.

Under the new Five Year Plan, the national income is scheduled to increase by 38 to 41 percent, or about 6.7 percent per year, while the volume of industrial production is supposed to show a 47 to 50 percent rise, or about 8 percent per year. In agriculture, the 1970 target figure is arrived at by increasing the 1961-1965 average yearly production by 25

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