Military Review

RTO on the protection of Russian industry

RTO on the protection of Russian industry

The experience of import substitution in the XIX century

The middle of the XIX century was the time of the scientific-technical and industrial revolution, steam engines and steam locomotives were rapidly entering the life of mankind. Russia tried to prevent a significant lag from the most developed countries of Western Europe - in our country there was a massive construction of railways, factories and factories were equipped with machines driven by a steam engine.

And although Russian scientists were often ahead of their Western colleagues, Russian industry lagged behind European competitors. For a long time most of the steam engines and locomotives were purchased outside of Russia. Especially such imports grew by the middle of the XIX century. If in 1831 – 1840 was purchased abroad machines in the amount of 6,9 million rubles., then in the next decade - already on 16,6 million rubles. And in 1850 – 1860. - at 48 million rubles, while domestically and for the same decade steam engines and locomotives produced only 6,5 million rubles.

The now popular term “import substitution” did not exist yet, but Russia's best minds recognized the need to support domestic industry, which worked under severe pressure from foreign competition. The Imperial Russian Technical Society (IRTO), created in 1866, has come to the forefront of protecting our economy. It was for the first time that its members analyzed and raised the question of the need to introduce customs duties on foreign machines and mechanisms in order to support domestic engineering.

For the first time, this issue was studied at a serious scientific level at a meeting of the 2 Division of the Institute of Technical Information of 18 in March of 1867. He was called "the department of mechanics and mechanical technology," headed by Ivan Alekseevich Vyshnegradsky, then a professor of mechanics at the St. Petersburg Institute of Technology. In Russian history Vyshnegradsky will rightfully enter as the creator of the national scientific school of mechanical engineers.

The theme of the meeting of IRTO from 18 in March 1867 of the year was formulated as follows: “On measures to raise the engineering industry in Russia and to the development of our mechanical plants.” The keynote speaker was Ludwig Nobel, then a young 36-year-old engineer and entrepreneur. Born in Sweden, he grew up in Russia, owned a machine-building plant in St. Petersburg and was genuinely concerned about the pressure of Western competition on Russian industry.

Ludwig Nobel formulated his goals at this meeting of the IRTO as follows: “In Russia, where railways are being built and where the demand for railcars, locomotives and other machines is becoming more and more significant, their production could become one of the most important industries and increase the productivity of our metallurgical plants ”(“ Notes of the Russian Technical Society ”, 1867 year, issue II).

Excerpt from the “Notes of the Russian Technical Society” Excerpt from the “Notes of the Russian Technical Society”

Further, the founder of the famous Nobel dynasty analyzed the weaknesses of the Russian industry in comparison with European competitors, from a less developed division of labor to “more expensive than planting factory premises abroad, in Russia’s harsh climate requiring heating.” Nobel also cited examples of unfair competition of Western businessmen, telling how European shareholders deliberately closed the first locomotive factory in St. Petersburg.

“Foreigners who exploit Russia in this regard,” Nobel said, “if they can, then they are trying to destroy our factories that could represent the smallest rivalry in the production of cars.”

Indeed, at that time, imported cars significantly exceeded those produced in Russia. So, on 1867 year, the first in our country publicly available Tsarskoye Selo railway used 16 locomotives, of which only 2 were built in Russia, the rest in England, Belgium and Germany.

In order to protect Russian machine building, Ludwig Nobel suggested that the Institute of Technical and Technological Information be in favor of introducing protectionist customs tariffs, i.e. to levy duties on steam engines, machine tools and locomotives purchased in the West, whose analogues are also produced in Russia. "The introduction of such a tariff, which would allow the rivalry of Russian producers with foreign", - as Nobel said.

After a long discussion, Ivan Vyshnegradsky and all members of the Russian Technical Society supported the Nobel proposal. The chairman of the “Department of Mechanics and Mechanical Technology” of the Institute of Engineering Technology and Technology, summarized the outcome of the meeting: “Foreign machines are only cheap, which are made in large quantities using the same patterns ... The new machines, i.e. never before manufactured, costing almost the same price here and abroad ... The need for cars increases more and more every year, and their production in Russia can become a serious and solid industry when foreign competition is weakened. ”

The analysis carried out by the IRTO did not remain only a good wish. Already in the summer of 1867, a special Commission was established under the Ministry of Finance to review the European customs tariff. For the first time, not only officials, but also a representative of Russian industrialists and engineers were involved in the work of such a body.

Thanks to the work of the Russian Technical Society in the new Customs Charter 1868 of the year, approved by the decree of Tsar Alexander II, an article 175-I appeared, for the first time introducing into the tax and customs practice of our country the concept of "machines and devices": "Locomotives ... Locomobiles and steam engines ... Parts and supplies of all kinds of machines and devices brought for factory use ".

From now on, imported steam locomotives were lined up with 75 dimes of kopecks per pound, steam engines and spare parts for them were 30 kopecks per pound. Thus, the introduced duty for an imported steam locomotive of those years, with a standard mass of about 20 – 30 tons, was over a thousand rubles for each unit - a very substantial amount for those times!

Government measures to protect domestic producers quickly gave a noticeable result. For example, if before 1868, in Russia, for a quarter of a century, all 227 locomotives were built, over the next 12 years - 1980 locomotives, more than 8 times larger.
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  1. Vend
    Vend 25 November 2015 10: 47
    Well, it has not been accepted since Soviet times to talk about the achievements of Russia under tsarism. But much has been done efficiently, for the exaltation of the state.
    1. Mareman Vasilich
      Mareman Vasilich 25 November 2015 11: 01
      Effective, yes, but only. But it’s not customary to speak for the reason that the USSR did for the people, for Russia, over the 30 years more than the entire Romanov dynasty over the 300.
      1. Vend
        Vend 25 November 2015 11: 36
        Quote: Mareman Vasilich
        Effective, yes, but only. But it’s not customary to speak for the reason that the USSR did for the people, for Russia, over the 30 years more than the entire Romanov dynasty over the 300.

        Talk nonsense. It was under tsarism, for example, that the territory of Russia that the USSR inherited was collected. It was under Tsarism that Russia was encircled by a network of railways. Do not blindly rest on the achievements of the USSR, belittling the dignity of the early period of Russian history. At the Vagankovsky cemetery, there is a grave, a granite slab 1,5 meter high, 1 meter wide and 2 meter bottom. In this grave, a Vologda peasant is buried. Many in Soviet times could afford this? Even in the Soviet history textbook, such a case is described. An injured factory worker asks for help from the factory owner. In response, in the corner at the petition with a pencil it is written to give out 8 rubles. The worker later died, as a result of which the owner ordered to issue another 25 rubles. What is the ruble in tsarist Russia, you know? These are not Soviet 6 rubles, although a lot could be bought for Soviet ones. And the royal even more. In both periods there are pros and cons. To turn a blind eye to the truth, for the sake of one of the periods of history, is an artificial limitation of oneself in the knowledge of the history of the Motherland.
        1. Sergey S.
          Sergey S. 27 November 2015 18: 22
          Quote: Wend
          It was under tsarism, for example, that the territory of Russia that the USSR inherited was collected.

          Nobody argues with this.
          And tsarism, thanks to Peter I, became an empire.

          But how then to understand the desire for about 2000 years of nations to become republics?
          Or at least sharply limit the rights of monarchs ...

          And the fact that the monarchies in the 20th century lost everywhere, but the republics and democracies won everywhere?

          The level of Russia in 1913 is well represented. I already wrote a lot about this and there is no desire to repeat myself.

          The bottom line.
          If you start from the beginning of the century, then in 1913 we really had high rates of development ...
          But taking into account the level of development of England, France, Germany, the USA, and Austria-Hungary, in absolute terms Russia lagged behind these countries in industrial growth.

          It is for this reason that we were technically naked in World War I. And they remained so until the Communists did industrialization - that is, until the end of the 1930s.

          If you want people to have a conciliatory attitude towards tsarism, do not deny the achievements of those who, having stooped over tsarism, jumped above their heads so that the Motherland would not be enslaved.

          And say thank you to the communists also for building the cruiser Moskva and many other complex technical objects, which still ply the oceans, protect the sky, and give energy ...
        2. Mareman Vasilich
          Mareman Vasilich 30 November 2015 14: 04
          I expressed this not to belittle. What you listed is taken into account. Learn how the Russian peasantry lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. How competent they were, and why the overwhelming mass began to support the Bolsheviks. If everything was as good as you described, then why did the revolution nevertheless happen. For me, the Motherland is one, at least tsarist, at least Soviet, but the fact that now our government is rushing with the monarchy like a chicken with an egg was at first puzzling. Only in the Soviet era did people cease to be serfs, became free and equal. Now the bewilderment has passed, the government wants to return what was under tsarism. Serfs and gentlemen. The bondage.
  2. boris-1230
    boris-1230 25 November 2015 11: 24
    Recently, historical material of the 19th century merchant about the history of our town was read. So when Pugachev, called the villain, came, he went into the villages and asked the people how they were doing, whether the landowners and priests offended. True answers had grave consequences for the latter, they were hanged. Although the merchants ’turnover is surprising and even patrons were located, people lived poorly. Did not receive more than necessary to maintain physical survival. I'm not talking about other human needs. Will the country be rich or poor ordinary people under capitalism will live very modestly, especially in Russia.
  3. nrex
    nrex 25 November 2015 11: 31
    Quote: Mareman Vasilich
    longer than the entire Romanov dynasty for 300.

    Yes, the USSR destroyed its own people more than in the entire history of tsarism in Russia.
    1. Sergey S.
      Sergey S. 25 November 2015 11: 46
      Quote: nrex
      Yes, the USSR destroyed its own people more than in the entire history of tsarism in Russia.

      You did not live under tsarism.
      Or maybe your ancestors were counts or princes?

      The pendulum of "historical truth" has fallen to the white side ...
      But the brains must be turned on!

      If the communists had done at least 10% of what the "democrats", "liberals" and other agents of imperialism hung on them, then in 1991 much more blood would have been shed than in 1917 ...

      You still remember the gold of the CPSU.
      Some "historians" have been looking for it for 25 years.
  4. evge-malyshev
    evge-malyshev 25 November 2015 11: 32
    I agree with Mareman Vasilich,
    Quote: Mareman Vasilich
    what the USSR did for the people, for Russia in 30 years more than the entire Romanov dynasty for 300.
  5. nrex
    nrex 25 November 2015 11: 37
    Quote: evge-malyshev
    I agree with Mareman Vasilich,
    Quote: Mareman Vasilich
    what the USSR did for the people, for Russia in 30 years more than the entire Romanov dynasty for 300.

    The survivors do not understand the suffering of the dead. It's your right.
  6. Sergey S.
    Sergey S. 25 November 2015 12: 05
    The title of the article is good.
    But ...
    The meaning is that the RTO was used by the "Russian" Nobel for personal purposes.

    Personally, I am for full import substitution.
    And in the history of Russian industry there are worthy people who have done a lot in this field.
    These are metallurgists Amosov, Obukhov, Chernov, who provided the production of domestic armor and artillery.
    These are shipbuilders Bubnov, Beklemishev and many other our engineers.

    That's just Nobels here look by no means, not perfect.
    In Krymskaya they climbed to the production of sea mines of "advanced" design in iron hulls, but which quickly lost their tightness and lost their combat effectiveness.
    Then there was a period of relative prosperity of the plants, but since 1998 the production of diesel engines begins ...

    The start was good, but with a forgery ... On the oil-loading schooner "Vandal", which was presented everywhere as the world's first motor ship, created by Russian shipbuilders, the motors of the Swedish plant of the Nobile family were installed ...

    Then it came to World War I ... and it took diesel engines more powerful than 500 hp.
    Then there were entirely problems, non-fulfillment of contracts ...
    petitions for extension of contracts ...
    The explanation is that the strikers are to blame for ... strikers.

    In fact, the plant broke off about the design and production problems of the engine for the Bars-class submarines.

    As a result, on most boats, including the legendary "Panther", instead of 1320 hp engines. there were 250 hp engines.

    And this was done by the "patriot" of Russia.
    Comments are superfluous.
  7. Mountain shooter
    Mountain shooter 26 November 2015 03: 38
    Restrictive duties are sometimes a boon to mechanical engineering. But you also need to quickly develop your own production development. Fees do not have to be eternal. Competition is also important, it is necessary to reduce costs and work on labor productivity.
  8. AID.S
    AID.S 26 November 2015 19: 34
    Quote: Wend
    At the Vagankovskoye cemetery, there is a grave, a granite slab 1,5 meters high, 1 meter wide and 2 meters bottom. A Vologda peasant is buried in this grave.

    And what, in tsarist Russia, all the peasants were buried like that? The same can be said about "25 tsarist rubles" for the funeral of a worker. If the population of Russia under the tsars rolled like cheese in butter, we would still be singing "God Save the Tsar."