When, after the unsuccessful Russian-Japanese war 1904-1905 it took a lot of money to make up for the damage suffered, and on the horizon of world politics, signs of another military campaign, incomparable in scale to the former Asian battle, appeared, the government put pressure on the "drunk budget." Once again. Nobody assumed then that the new turn of the state wine policy, which at first caused the people’s delight, would be one of the reasons for the collapse of the Russian Empire.
... In the second half of 1913 VN Kokovtsev - Chairman of the Council of Ministers with the preservation of the portfolio of the Minister of Finance, ordered to publish a draft of the state list of income and expenditure for 1914. Estimated excise taxes should be exceeded for 54,6 mln., State-run wine operations and moreover - 935,8 mln. In total the complexity of the gross wine income promised 970 465 000 rub. (27,3% of the sum of all receipts). And it was 222,4 million more than in 1908. Even state-owned railways in 1914 could bring no more than 24,2%, customs revenue - 9,8%, and oil - only 1,4%.
How much money will 970,4 million rubles. a hundred years ago? Multiply this amount by the 1091 coefficient (this is the value of the fall in the value of the ruble in August 2014 to the royal ruble in August 1914) and get more 1 trillion. current Russian rubles!
Let us ask another question: what role did the almost billion-dollar wine income play in the imperial economy? Huge! The planned receipts and deductions for 1914 are the balance in 3 558 261 499 rub. Of these, spending on military needs is more than 849 million (23,74%). The police - 1,69%, the courts - 1,56%, A separate corps of gendarmes - 0,22%. For comparison: the cost of the line "Enlightenment, science and art" - 7,6%. Healthcare - 1,15%. So vodka was a significant help to the economy of the state.
In January, 1914, a state-owned wine monopoly building that stood firm for two decades, gave an unforeseen crack. Who has it? A clever and energetic Peter L. Bark (1869-1937) (pictured), comrade (deputy) Minister of Commerce and Industry. He managed to make a favorable impression on the emperor when, in the first month of 1914, he presented to the audience a draft on ways to increase budget profitability, including by refusing to sell vodka and replacing lost wine income with profits from other sources. Among them is the introduction of a single income tax (introduced in 1916). To the king, these ideas were close. Nicholas II was alarmed by the extent of drunkenness among his subjects, "pictures of people's weakness, family poverty and abandoned farms, the inevitable consequences of a drunken life". In the prewar period, a tightly knit budget was needed from reliable, sober sources. In addition, major industrialists, engaged in the production of non-alcoholic commodity products, and authoritative representatives of the intelligentsia, who saw in the “drunken budget” a threat to the existence of the state, grumbled.
As for Kokovtsev, he frankly disliked Bark, of this “arrogant and unfriendly” type, but he knew him from his former duty stations as an official who knew his business perfectly. Having heard about the favorable outcome of the meeting of a promising competitor with Nicholas II, an experienced dignitary, ahead of events, submitted to the Emperor a letter of resignation from the post of Chairman of the Council of Ministers and the Minister of Finance due to "disunited health." To the first, Nicholas II expressed his royal gratitude for the zealous conduct of finances, thrift, the constant excess of income over expenditure, "extensive state experience and prudent caution." He awarded the "Earl of the Russian Empire dignity."
To the second, Bark, who was appointed on the same day as the Head of the Ministry of Finance (Peter Lvovich was appointed Minister in May 2014), Nicholas II gave his instructions. In the highest rescript two tasks were set. The first was to support "national labor, deprived in a difficult moment of the need for monetary support by means of a well-placed and affordable loan." The second was determined by the revision of the laws on the state sale of drinks, in which the king hoped for a response from the State Duma and the State Council.
There were no words about the curtailment of the state-owned wine monopoly in the document. It was proposed to modernize this direction of state policy by adopting corrective laws. Nevertheless, Bark in all Explanatory Notes to the projects of the state list of income and expenditure on 1915, 1916 and 1917, public speeches, other official situations associated with his actions to close the "bureaucrats", constantly referred to the Highest rescript. Waving them like a flag.
So, after the arbitrarily interpreted Supreme Rescript, the rather strange wine reform of Barka started under the cover of the imperial name.
11 March Bark sends the Circular No. 2293 to the seats, demanding from subordinates to “get a clear mind”, especially the imperial will, which the Ministry of Finance only conscientiously performs, “to justify the trust placed in us from the height of the Throne”. There were timid attempts by regional financial management officers to resist the pressure of the new chief. The manager of excise supervision of the Arkhangelsk province justifies local drinking with the harsh climate of the region and the low culture of the population. Explains that the trade in state alcohol does not cause the harm "which the illegal trade in strong drinks with secret dents of rampant and drunkenness brings to the life of the peasant and worker."
30 July 1914 publishes an essay about the measures taken by the Ministry of Finance "in the approval of sobriety among the people in pursuance of the supreme will, proclaimed in the 30 January January 1914." The emphasis is not on legislative modernization of the wine monopoly, as the Emperor instructed, but on its desirable complete elimination. Interdepartmental measures of an administrative nature and social impact that were set up to restrict the sale of alcohol were listed, which, of course, was a matter of right, but not the only one! And not a word about the available credit for the needs of national labor, as Nicholas II wished.
... In the 1915 mural project, the new Minister of Finance complains about the enormous expenses caused by the war, ambiguously emphasizing: “The embarrassment of the state treasury increased in this difficult time for all, however, even more because The throne of the pre-indications were suspended, since half of 1914, of the operation of the state-owned wine monopoly, with the complete closure of state-owned wineries and with a significant reduction in any trade in spirits. Introducing the salutary beginnings into the national life, as indicated in the Supreme Rescript 30 in January 1914 of the year to assert sobriety among the people, this measure led, however, to a complete detraction of the samago krupnago from sources of state revenues. ” One would like to say: listen, my dear, you yourself threw up the idea, and now destroy the wine monopoly, what are you dumping on the king?
In the last Explanatory Note to the draft budget for the 1917 revolutionary year PL Bark writes: "In 1915, out of the amounts of state savings banks, loans were issued by small-scale 1 862 loans to loans totaling 5,4 million rubles." Meanwhile, the peasant public institutions that have used them over the past five years, it turned out ... 21. The amount of the loan taken by them was equal to ... 0,9 mln. Rub. And this is on 22 million peasant households ?! Mr. Bark was playing a more than strange game, and he did not start solving the capital of the two problems, credit, the Emperor assigned to him. And more than two years have passed ...
But what about the people, how did he meet the Minister of Finance's wine reform? Yes, in 1915, alcohol consumption has plummeted. Sumptuously! Yes, vodkas were the only ones who wanted unrecoverable drunks, and 840 citizens of every thousand people toughened the tightening of anti-alcohol policies, although they complained about the absence of the previous range of vodkas and wines for the New 1915 year. Yes, labor productivity in production increased from seven percent to nine and even (in metallurgy) to 13%. Yes, absenteeism was reduced by 20-40 and higher percentages. Yes, the Minister of Justice announced that “in sober months, the work of judicial officials was reduced by half, an order was given to suspend work on the organization of new prisons.” But so it continued, unfortunately, not for long. And the fact remains: the trade in vodka and in the period of mobilization, and in the following war years, if it did not flourish, then it did not stop.
Now back in the summer of 1914. 20 July, Russia entered the First World War.
The literature has confirmed that since the announcement of the partial mobilization of 16 July, a certain regulatory act was adopted (who writes the royal decree, who is the law, who is the decree), completely prohibiting the sale of alcohol for a mobilization period. I did not find this document.
And I will be grateful if I receive a link to it: the full name, when and by whom it was accepted (approved), the source of publication. In my version, the elimination of the state-owned wine monopoly, but not the adoption of the notorious “dry law”, developed in the following legal framework.
Governors and mayors of localities, where the state of emergency protection was introduced due to the political situation, received the status of Commanders with enormous powers. As the acquaintance with “Gubernskiye Vedomosti” from different places of the Russian Empire showed, the attitude of the Commanders to the wine question was very different. I will give an example.
The governor of the Ryazan province, Prince A.I. Obolensky served in this position from 1908 to 1914. (then he was appointed Petrograd mayor). The public interpretation of the topic of coagulation of the state-owned wine monopoly on the pages of the Ryazan Provincial Gazette has been avoided. Nevertheless, preventive information was regularly posted in the newspaper, in particular, about the establishment of new anti-alcohol publications, for example, the magazine “Sobriety”. Replaced the prince in this post N.N. Kissel-Zagoryansky. He immediately posted in the newspaper on 9 August 1914, the announcement of the seizure of them as the commander in chief of the general jurisdiction of a number of offenses in the field of alcohol. Including: "... 2) On the sale without proper permission of alcohol, wine and vodka products purchased from the places of state sale of drinks (Section 1, Art. 1112, Set. About akts. Collection.)".
In the same way, each Commander in Chief, having received extraordinary powers, began to interpret the wine question in his own way. And note, in the text of the Ryazan prohibitive norm, there is not even a hint that trade in vodka, other spirits, and wine is closed in the Empire. And this rate was published in August. Consequently, during the partial mobilization of July 16, and during the full mobilization of July 18 and 21, no radical alcoholic innovations were present. Otherwise, the obligatory decree of Kisel-Zagoryansky would have sounded different.
The leader who officially published his point of view on this topic should probably be recognized as the Mayor of Moscow A.A. Adrianova. He became the chief commander on July 11, 1914, after the introduction of the state of emergency protection in the city. And on July 16, on the day Nicholas II announced a partial mobilization, he signed a binding decree posted in Moscow the news"Dated July 17 (30), 1914. This decree is fundamentally different from the texts of similar documents in Ryazan, Arkhangelsk, Tomsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novgorod and other" Gubernskie Vedomosti "published as the Governors assume the post of Chief Commander. The text of Adrianov's resolution also contained the following directive: “It is prohibited for a period from the first day of mobilization until a special announcement ... the sale or dispensing of alcoholic beverages, both for drinks and for take away. In private places, the sale of drinks of all categories and names, beer shops and buffets, at railway stations and at theaters and other places of entertainment, with the exception of restaurants of the 1st category, clubs and public gatherings, and, however, from these latter places, sale is take-out is not allowed. "
It seems that this is one of the first regional obligatory decrees devoted to the fight against drunkenness during the mobilization period; it was mistaken by some of the researchers for the royal decree (“dry law”).
And it was launched into information circulation in the wrong edition, and then replicated in the literature and the Internet by a large audience, for various reasons, did not grasp the essence of important historical events. But A.A. Adrianov did not invent it. In his decision, he relied on numerous provisions of the legislation regulating the circulation of alcohol, for example, the Charter on excise duties, and chose the norms suitable for Moscow.
In the Russian provinces, in obligatory resolutions on restaurants of the 1 category, they were far from always commemorated, the regulations were superimposed on simple drinking establishments. This was later, in the Moscow City Duma in December 1914, voted about the complete cessation of the sale of wine in Moscow during the war. Exactly one year later, the Petrograd State Duma voted for a similar decision.
In Moscow, a number of other provinces and regions, the attitude to the anti-alcohol regulations of the military mobilization showed rigor. Memories of the tragic experience of rampant "drunken mobilization" in the Russo-Japanese war have not yet been erased. However, events 10-year-old lesson were not for everyone. In Russia, the mobilization of 1914 covered over 5,1 million recruits from 22 to 43 years, many of them previously had military service and conscription drunk. Therefore, a significant proportion of recruits at the time of mobilization was in a state of intoxication of varying degrees. Drunken heads saw impunity for the violations of public order: how soon, it will be necessary to shed blood for the Tsar, and here the police are blocking spiritual impulses. Just think, you turned the state-owned wine shop, scored "quarters" in your bosom, is it really necessary to punish you in front of the front ?!
However, the drunken aggressiveness of several thousand people from 5 millions is a scanty statistic by military standards. The emperor recognized the mobilization of the past brilliantly.
The second replicated version of the false “dry law” concerns the Highest Commandment of 22 August 1914, “On the extension of the prohibition of the sale of alcohol, wine and vodka for local consumption in the Empire until the end of wartime”. The text is not long: “The Chairman of the Council of Ministers notified the Minister of Justice that the Sovereign Emperor, 22 in August 1914, commanded the most deigningly deign: the existing prohibition of selling alcohol, wine and vodka for local consumption in the Empire continues until the end of wartime”.
An unusual document, like the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing! Indeed, according to the concept of the Ministry of Finance from 1914, as early as in August of 1914, all the official trade in alcohol — alcohol, wine, and vodka — was discontinued. On paper. By this time, excise local officials, at the direction of the Petersburg leader, initiated mass popular opposition to government sales. The imperial palace was besieged by crowds of walkers with "the lowest requests" to stop the sale of alcohol in their volosts and counties for all time! The press was replete with petitions and decisions of rural societies, urban thoughts about banning sales of vodka, wine and beer. The emperor was touched by the meetings with the national governors organized by the national delegations and the lively reports of Bark on the successful implementation of the January 1914 of the Supreme Rescript. And so it went almost until February of 1917 ...
But! At the same time, firstly, under current legislation, people were not forbidden to make beer, mead, bragu, other home-made drinks for their own consumption, without the right to have such alcohol in excessive quantities and selling to the side.
Secondly, we read again the text of the Explanatory Note by the Minister of Finance to the draft state list of income and expenditure on 1917. By that time, a lot of time had passed under the heading of the famous rescript. What does Mr. Bark state? “The right to sell state-owned drinks is currently granted only to first-class tavern industry establishments and buffets at meetings and clubs in areas where the sale of spirits is not prohibited by special regulations of public institutions or orders of the authorities. In view of the forthcoming extension of the prohibition on selling state-owned drinks to all, without exception, the places of sale of spirits, the release of state-run drinks to 1917 for state consumption was completely ignored. ”
Just a minute, but what about the Highest decree on the prohibition of "selling alcohol, wine and vodka for local consumption in the Empire ... until the end of wartime"? Why is the Law “On grape wine” of 24 April 1914 not repealed? How in a sober way of life could act without editorial changes Order of the Military Department No. 309 of May 22 of 1914 Day “On Measures Against Consumption of Alcohol in the Army”, supported by the Emperor? This regulatory act prescribed: "... 2) The appearance of an officer in a drunken state anywhere, and especially before the lower ranks, is considered a serious misconduct that does not correspond to the high rank of an officer." But at the same time it was clarified: “... 5) Officers' assemblies should not serve as a place for sprees; by virtue of this: a) the supply of alcoholic beverages is allowed only during breakfast, lunch and dinner, in the hours precisely set by the commander of the unit ... ”. In this connection, let us turn to the pages of the front-line diaries: “I always play cards, often drink vodka and champagne, and from time to time I visit sisters” (Stepun FA (Lugin N.). From the letters of ensign-gunner. - Tomsk: Aquarius, 2000. - C. 161). Or such an unsightly plot, when the officers of the lggs. Lithuanian regiment in the days of the regimental holiday went three miles from the trenches without weapons in reserve to celebrate the triumph. The soldiers were left without commanders. The Germans immediately rushed to the offensive and "all the officers, unarmed and half drunk, taken by surprise, went to the counterattack" in fists "." The result: "... almost complete extermination of the regiment and the loss of an important position." (Wrangel N.N. Days of Tribulation. - SPb: Neva, 2001. - C. 136).
When the sober commanders at the beginning of 1916 tried to introduce steady anti-alcohol rules: “Do not drink in the trenches!” Complaints in Petrograd began to fall down. From there, on all fronts, the Highest order from March 8 about the full “prohibition of the sale of alcohol, bread wine and vodka products and all other strong drinks with the permission to sell them only for medical purposes” was received from 1916. At the same time, "His Imperial Majesty was pleased to cancel all restrictions on the sale of light grape wines emanating from the military authorities ...". It turns out that only in the spring of XNUMX in the Russian Army officially stopped the consumption of strong alcohol with the transition to "light"?
In 1917, the excise taxes on food and revenues from the government-run wine operation were projected at 94 992 000 rubles, while in 1914 alcohol revenues were counted in 545 226 000 rubles. or 5,7 times.
However, contrary to the rapid decline in government revenues for these lines of painting, both the police and the public, journalists observed the terrible spread of brewing in villages and surrogates in cities. With this terrible phenomenon could not do anything! Shadowed, vile: “... there are still drunkards. Instead of vodka, they drink denatured alcohol, varnish and polish. They are tormented, ill severely, blind, dying, but still drinking. ”
I will not take time to transfer a string of prohibitions from the Medical Council, other state institutions for the introduction of prescription alcohol-containing drugs in pharmacies, toughening the rules for sales of poisonous alcohol surrogates, growth in the number of liquidated underground alcohol factories, a surge of "drunk crime", reanimation statistics of mortality and psychosis on the basis of drunkenness. This is written pretty. Let me just say that enthusiastic reviews like: “We had a lot of wine at the wedding party, - only for the hand at 2 buckets at the 16 p., And now bought at the 1 p. the bagels - and everyone was satisfied! ”- the swallowed press, were replaced by silent bitterness of the population.
And that was the hidden explosive charge of the reform, started by Bark, whether he understood that or not. Reform found herself skillfully constructed time bomb.
There was no “dry law” at all! It is therefore surprising to read in modern thick and heavy folios with beautiful bindings about the wine monopoly: “With the beginning of the Prim.v. 1914-1918 The 16.9.1914 government has banned the sale of alcoholic beverages. ” (New Russian Encyclopedia. T. III (2). - M .: Publishing House "Encyclopedia", publishing house "INFRA-M", 2007. - C. 466.). Here, not only is the date perverted, but the essence of real historical events is distorted. Similarly, in the Great Russian Encyclopedia, the successor of TSB, in volume 5 on p. 341-342, a superficial text about the wine monopoly is presented: “With the beginning of 1-th World War V.m. actually ceased to operate, since the sale of vodka was banned for the period of mobilization of troops, and then for the entire war. ” As they say, no comment.
It was not so. That's what really happened.
With the submission of the Minister of Finance, the under-received multimillion-dollar revenues from the state-run monopoly began to be intensively compensated for by increasing the tax burden on matches, salt, firewood, medicines, etc. For example, tobacco income in 1914 reached 92,8 million, and in 1917 mln. Over the same period, sugar income increased from 252,8 mln. to 139,5 mln. rub. Invented a tea tax with a budget receipt in 231,5 mln. Rub. Duty from passengers and cargo increased from 23 mln. Rub. to 31,4 mln. rub. And so - for all the lines of the painting. Is it permissible in the alarming time, in the rear, to raise prices so quickly, spur inflation, provoke public discontent? Is it possible in a society soldered by the state for centuries, suddenly, just on the eve of the war, it would be possible to get rid of this illness on the orders from above on an urgent basis? This is pure madness!
An even greater provocation occurred with food products, for which the government and the governors set price caps all over the country; to raise them was strictly forbidden. For example, in August 1914 in the Arkhangelsk province for one Russian pound (490,51241 g) the price of I grade beef was determined in 20 kopecks. (For comparison: in Petrograd - 27 cop., In Novgorod - 20 cop., In Cherepovetsky district of the Vologda province - 13 cop.). Chicken eggs for a dozen - 22 cop. Butter - 45 cop. Granulated sugar - 13 cop. Cod - 8 cop. I suppose that there would have been no disruption in the supply of products if the agrarian sector, in order to rebuild the peasants with the tsar of credit support from the Bark, had begun the modernization. The same emergency as the elimination of the state-owned wine monopoly.
The Minister of Finance ignored this Highest Installation. At times, the Russian village, in terms of mechanization and labor productivity, lagged behind the agrarian economy of its main opponents.
While in Germany, the grain yield per hectare (in terms of Russian tithing) was mined in 20-24, or even higher in the Russian Empire, it reached 8-9, at best - 12 c from ha. Without peasant plowmen, massively drafted to the front, the production of food for the domestic market began to decline sharply, which caused a shortage of bread, meat, butter, eggs, fruits and vegetables, flour and cereals, and other products. So there was a total food speculation, which barely managed to recover only in the years of the NEP.
The government tried to attract prisoners of war for agricultural work. Alas. As follows from the documents of the Ministry of Agriculture of 1916, the case progressed, but with great difficulty. Even 400 thousand prisoners of war with the lack and obsolescence of agricultural equipment, the absence of tractors, automatic mowers, etc., mechanization, was still not enough. Plus, the peasant farms categorically refused prisoners from Austria-Hungary and Germany, agreed only on the Slavs mobilized by the Tripartite Union for a war against the Russians - the brothers in blood. They tried to connect the “yellow race” to the works — the Chinese and Koreans, urban women and even young children, refugees — little favor. It is sad to read: “The most grain-growing provinces of southern Russia were in a particularly difficult situation: Kherson, Bessarabian, Podolsk, Kiev, Poltava, Chernihiv ...”.
We tried to mobilize about 500 thousand "loyal subjects to the Emperor" Muslims "on the construction of defensive structures and military communications in the region of the active army, as well as for any other work necessary for state defense." In response, an uprising in the Turkestan region, incited by enemy agents. The troops, which are so necessary there, are responding from the front, during June 1916 - January 1917. suppress the riot. And there would be money from the wine monopoly, the government would have promised to pay for mobilization labor, you see, and a million dehkans volunteers stood up under shovels, only pay! How would these finances be useful in all difficult rear situations! An, no, the Minister of Finance decided otherwise.
Why did Nicholas II, the Council of Ministers, the State Council, treat him so trustingly, sluggishly control his activities? Only the State Duma tried to resent ...
And one more fact. In order to replenish lost wine profitability, the Minister of Finance in 1915-1916. consistently, the amount of paper money increased four times (emission), which led to a drop in the purchasing power of the ruble by 1917 by one third as compared to 1914. , France. The guarantees for the return of foreign loans were the transfer of part of the Russian gold reserves - "physical gold" - in particular, to the UK.
By 1914, the empire had accumulated over 1533 tons of gold reserves, of which a third was in circulation with coins among the population, and by 1917 in the Bank of England in three calls, our country transferred 498 tons of precious metal.
Of these, 58 t were sold, and 440 t "lay in the vaults of the Bank of England as security" loans received. In addition, the population of Russia stopped putting gold coins into circulation, left the precious metal on a rainy day, which deprived the treasury of more than 300 tons. "- these tons are the costs of the February and October revolutions. Imperial gold from Misty Albion, as well as from all other allied states, has never returned to the Russian Empire-USSR-Russia, "although most of it (1917% - B.К.) was not used to finance military purchases". .. The unprofitable gold policy, opened by the Minister of Finance Bark in 147, we emphasize again, in order to replenish the stifled wine incomes, by the 75, the Bolsheviks completed the shock. They removed from the gold reserve and distributed to the non-proletarian world only almost all 1915 tons of gold by the end of 1922 ...
Bark passed away from the subjects of the British Crown: he was treated kindly, awarded the Order of Honor, elevated to knighthood, received the title of Baronet ...
It is claimed that he was in the Masonic Lodge. God is with him, whoever he is, the results of his state activities are important. And they were disastrous for the state. Wine reform modeled on the Bark deprived society and the state of enormous financial resources in the fateful years.
In conclusion, I cite the historical covenant of the largest imperial specialist in government wine monopoly, economist and politician prof. M.I. Friedman, the covenant he suffered in 1916, and through the century addressed to us in the 21st century: “Either no sale and no vodka consumption (and this is, of course, the most desirable), or a government sale. Private vodka trade in Russia is never allowed. ”
The myth of the "dry law"
- Boris Kalachev
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