OUR RED RIVALS
Russia: Growing Challenge To World Industry
Waiting on the street, you talk with a man
about jet transports and things. “Are you pleas
ed with Russia’s progress in industry and
science?” you ask.
“Because it makes more work.”
By the swan pool in Gorky park you ask a
keen-looking lad what field he wants to enter
when he grows up.
“Why? Because of the high pay? Fame?”
He wrinkles his forehead. “Because it is use
ful,” he says.
ON THE DECK of a Sunday afternoon boat up
the Moscow River you slide onto the bench be
side a man in work clothes, taking a bundle of
berry bushes home to plant. He is a skilled me
chanic in a nearby factory. You talk with him
about his work. “Do you get paid more every
year?” you ask.
“Not necessarily. We get paid more when we
do more and better work.'”
“Do you think this is a good system?”
A big, brightly-colored factory poster shows
a vigorous youth pointing to a minute on the
clock. “Watch the working minute!” he cau
tions. “Time is the people’s wealth.” A chart
shows how much steel, coal, sugar, housing is
produced “in our country” per working minute.
“In our country, everyone works,” the people
tell you with pride.
Then they ask about your country. “Is it true
there are four million unemployed?”
You explain: “At present the prices on some
things have gone rather high and people are not
buying as they did. Wages and prices are high.
But the state pays those who are out of work.”
“How much does a skilled worker make in
America?” asks his Russian counterpart, who
earns 1,200 rubles a month—or 60 cents an hour,
figured at ten rubles to the dollar. (Tourists are
given ten rubles to the dollar. Official exchange
is four to the dollar, but based on prices, ten to
one seems nearer correct.)
"IN AMERICA he gets $2.50 to $3 per hour;
maybe more,” you say.
He is thoughtful, possibly incredulous.
You are thoughtful. You begin to see the prob
lem in an unwelcome light.
Khrushchev spoke of the communist economy
“proving itself” and “transforming itself into a
world economy through peaceful competition.”
This competition, obviously, is to be in the world
market. On one side is America, with its highly
priced man-hour. Up to now it has made good
that high cost, by machinery and tooling and
mass production. But here you find Russia set
ting up with deliberate care the same mass-pro-
duction technique, with low-cost man-hours. You
quickly decide America will not relinquish its
high pay, because it makes purchasing power.
You see a challenge of immense proportions
looming before United States industry; How to
match a coming giant rival whose ideal is out
put, not pay.
Before your eyes, you can see the seeds of the
great contest being planted. Hotel lobbies and
dining rooms are teeming with foreign guests—
Asians, Africans, a South American talking busi
ness with a Russian host across champagne and
caviar. Seeds of peaceful competition.
A STRANGE THOUGHT crosses your mind;
a future Russia emerging from the iron curtain
and America withdrawing behind the dollar cur
tain, priced out of the market, left trading with
itself. “Could it be?” you ask yourself.
You meet a young man from West Africa, jet
black, intelligent of speech, a student. He has just
visited China, watched the great anti-American
Second in a series of four articles by
Harold Mansfield, author of Vision and The
Challenge (United Kingdom). Director of
public relations of Boeing Airplane Com
pany. Mr. Mansfield recently visited the
Soviet Union with a delegation sponsored
by the Iniernational Council of Industrial
Editors. In preparation for the trip, he
learned the Russian language, that he
might make a first-hand evaluation of
Soviet efforts to surpass America indus
Copyright: Harold Mansfield.
rally in Peking. He is touring Russia and west
ern Europe. “I’d like to see America,” he says,
“but it costs too much.”
“A round trip flight from London to New York
is down to $450 now, economy fare,” you tell
“But it’s the hotel, the meals, the living costs,”
he says. “I cah’t afford it.”
You consider an out. Soviet state-owned indus
try may fail to prove itself; may never be able
to produce an equal product for less money.
American ingenuity is too much for them. Or is
It’s time to go into some Soviet plants, talk to
the directors, the engineers, the trade unions. See
for yourself how they’re doing. You set out.
THE SPIRIT of the Russian industrial worker
does not have the airy exhilaration of freedom,
but it has the determination of grim reality;
“There’s a job to do, and it’s up to us to do it.”
It is a spirit that has had a frightful past: First
the czarist’s “Work, you devils, work.” Then the
revolutionist dictator’s “Work with us, or Si
beria!” Now the march words, “Together work
ers, work.” It is the song of a new Volga boat
man, with the boatmen owning the boat.
At a machinery plant in Moscow, you enter a
dark hallway, emerge to a factory area, dirt-
floored in part, but orderly. You quickly learn
that collective discipline is the system, though
each man tends his own machine in modern plant
There is a chart on the wall. On it are listed
the names of men and women in the shop. After
each is a number—the man’s “social obligation”
in units of work. Squares are filled to show his
work performance, with a percentage over his
“When they go over the quota, we reward them
with extra pay,” the manager explains.
“And if they fall behind?’' You find there is
more to the system.
ANOTHER CHART with the same layout
shows the weekly quota, called the “plan,” for the
shop itself. Chalked in adjoining columns are the
shop’s actual performance and percentage-over
plan. The shop’s record is compared with other
shops. Elsewhere, the record of whole depart
ments is chartered, and that of the plant itself,
compared with a national plan. It is one huge,
systematic, production competition, man against
man, shop against shop, department against de
partment, plant against plant. Bonus money is
provided for the individuals, shops and depart
ments making the best record. At the end of the
year the plant itself gets a bonus to distribute
if it exceeds its plan.
Back to the worker who is not fulfilling his
“social obligation,” you find that his shop-mates,
his department, and his whole plant take an in
terest in bringing him into line. He is holding up
their own chances for a bonus, their own record
for exceeding the plan.
The star worker, on the other hand, is as
popular as the star on a football team. The team
doesn’t want to lose him.
20 On June Service Roster
Twenty persons received
lapel pins during June, in
commemoration of service
milestones ranging from 5 to
15 years. Addition of 8 names
brought to 620 the total num
ber in the 15-year category.
No 20-year records were list
ed for last month. In May,
the number stood at 321.
The service roster for June
Perlie Anderson, Carding; Roy
B. Bagwell, Spinning; J. C.
Crisp, Twisting (synthetics);
Marshall Reid High, Weaving
(synthetics); Ruth H. Veitch,
Weaving (cotton); Bonnie L.
Moses, Cloth Room; Silas A.
Buchanan, Shop; Exie Irene
Quinn, Quality Control.
Bill Passmore holds the first
two models he assembled; The
USS Missouri, now retired; and
a B66 aircraft. Among models of
missiles and launching apparatus
is The Corporal, manufactured
by Firestone at Los Angeles.
Bill Passmore Makes Models:
Historic Ships To Missiles
Models of airplanes, seagoing
vessels and ballistic missiles be
gan spilling off the top of the
chest of drawers. Robert Pass-
more built a wall rack for some
Fay Rhea Helms, Twisting
(synthetics); Harry L. F o y.
Twisting (cotton); Lucille B.
Burr, Hazel M. Splawn, Weav
ing (synthetics); Wade Ledwell,
Earl England, Shop.
Lucille G. Fowler, Twisting
(synthetics); Henry J. Moore,
Weaving (synthetics); Ray W.
England, Shop; Dorothy Long
Perry, Mable L. Mantooth, Eliza
beth R. Harris, Winding.
Bobby Joe Greene
Serves As Gunner
Aboard USS Dash
Bobby Joe Greene, son of Mr.
and Mrs. James Greene of Gas
tonia, is serving a six-months
assignment off the shore of
Greece. The sailor, whose
mother is a respooler in Twist
ing here, is a gunner aboard the
He recently visited his parents
before going on the cruise to
Greece. The graduate of Ashley
High School has served two
years of a three-year enlistment.
His address is: Bobby Joe
Greene GMSN, USS Dash MSO-
428, c/o FPO, New York, N. Y.
of the display representing the
handiwork of his son Bill.
The hobbyist will be a ninth-
grader at Wray Junior High be
ginning next school term. His
father—a boiler tender here, and
his mother, a splicer in Weaving
(SYC)—have long encouraged
the son’s interests, knowing that
hobbies often are stepping
stones to life’s greatest dreams.
Young Passmore has been as
sembling models since as far
back as he can remember. Now,
he does not bother to count the
number of pieces in the col
MODELS, bought in kit form
at local suppliers, kindle his in
terest in history. For example,
one of his older ones—a Corsair
—is a freighter recalling defeat
of the Spanish fleet at Manila
Bay in the War of 1898. Another,
the Graf Spee, belongs to World
War II, while a replica of the
USS Buckley is a member of the
present-day family of Navy de
Likewise, one of his older air
plane models harks back to an
early day of powered flight,
while several replicas of guided
missiles represent the atomic
During the time he has been
adding to his models collection
of air and sea craft and nuclear
projectiles. Bill has cultivated an
interest in photography — the
field in which he plans to stake
his profession. With two cameras
—one a 35mm—he has built fat
albums of pictures, ranging in
subject matter from tabletop
closeups to landscapes. Although
he now farms out his developing
and printing work. Bill hopes
to have his own photo lab before
long. That will be the next step
toward the goal of his ambition.