This is an extract from the Regulations as to City Soviets of October 24, 1925, published by the Communist Academy, Moscow, 1927, quoted from Sidney and Beatrice Webb’s “Soviet Communism: a New Civilisation”.
45. IN order to attract all members of the Soviet, and also wide masses of workers to the practical work of the city Soviets and its organs, the city Soviets are divided up into sections according to separate branches of municipal economy and administration. The sections assist in the work of the city soviet in general, and also supervise the work of the executive organs of the Soviet.
46. The number of sections and the functions of each are determined by the Soviet.
47. The following sections are compulsory for each city soviet:
(a) Communal economy, (b) finance and budget, (c) education, (d) public health, (e) cooperative trading. Other sections (administrative, legal, housing, labour, industry, social insurance, military, workers’ inspection, etc.) are created by Resolution of the Soviet as required.
48. Members join any section from choice, but every member of the Soviet must work in one section.
49. In addition to “members of the Soviet, membership of a section may include representatives of trade unions, of factory-works and local committees, of delegate meetings of women workers, of the Red Army and separate social organisations, as well as individual workers whose collaboration in the work of the section appears desirable.
Note. The person in charge of the corresponding organ (the head of the department or of the sub-department) must necessarily be included in the membership of the section.
50. The Soviet, or its presidium, may temporarily relieve individual deputies from work in the sections.
51. All members of the section have a casting vote in its work.
Note. Persons invited to attend separate meetings of the section such as experts, specialists and others, have a consultative vote.
52. A section:
(a) Considers the plans of work in its branch of economy and administration.
(b) Hears the reports of the corresponding organs and gives their conclusions upon them to the plenum or presidium.
(c) Considers the fundamental problems of the current work of the executive organs and gives its conclusions upon them.
(d) Studies the work in institutions, undertakings, etc., in the corresponding branch of economy and administration.
(e) Attaches members of the section to undertakings and institutions, who serve the city in their branch of work, in order to supervise and assist their work.
(f) Hears the report of the bureau as to the carrying out of the plan and of the resolutions of the section.
(g) Appoints standing commissions (sub-sections) to ensure closer contact with separate branches of the executive apparatus in the corresponding department of administration and economy.
(h) Appoints temporary commissions to work on separate problems.
(i) Considers the proposals, resolutions, etc., brought up by individual members of the section on their own initiative, and relating to the given branch of work.
(j) Considers similar projects and resolutions brought forward by various institutions, organisations and individuals in the corresponding branch of work.
(k) Takes part in the working-out of plans and projects relating to the fundamental problems of the work of corresponding executive organs in meetings and conferences, etc., called by them.
53. The resolutions of the sections are confirmed and executed by the presidium of the city soviet.
54. In cases where the section does not agree with the decision of the presidium of the city soviet it may put the matter before the plenum of the Soviet for their discussion.
55. Problems which require preliminary working-on arc forwarded by the presidium of the city soviet to the corresponding sections.
56. The section meets at times fixed by the plenum or presidium of the Soviet and by the bureau of the section.
57. The section elects a bureau from among its members for the period during which it holds office ; the person in charge of the*corresponding branch of work in the city must be included in this.
58. The bureau elects a chairman and also a deputy-chairman and a secretary of the section.
Note. The person in charge of the corresponding executive organ must not hold office as chairman of the section.
59. The bureau is the executive and administrative organ of the section, and is responsible to the section for the preparation of matters to be laid before the plenum of the section; it collects and systematises material, keeps the registers of members of the section and of its commissions, keeps registers of attendances at meetings, makes reports as to the activities of the section, forwards the resolutions of the sections to the proper quarters, sees that they are executed, and takes part in the meetings of the presidium of the city soviet through its delegates, who have a consultative vote in it.
60. The general direction of the work of the section is in the hands of the plenum and of the presidium of the city soviet.
61. For the consideration of general questions which affect two or more sections, the presidium of the city soviet may call joint meetings of the bureaus or plenums of these sections.