CURRENT SUPPORT MEMORANDUM
soviet implementation of the drive for automation
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND REPORTS
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
Thb report represents the immediate views of the originating intelligence components of the Office of Research and Reports. Comments are solicited.
cia historical review program release as8
On6 the central Soviet press announced that by order of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, USSR, the Ministry of Machine and Instrument Building had been divided into an all-union Ministry of Instruments and Means of Automation, and an all-union Ministry of Machine Building. 1/ The new "Minister of Automation" is M. A.eputy minister of the original ministry and identified as late as3 as director of the Calculating and Analyzing Machine Plant in Moscow, 2/ In view of Lesechko's background, it seems likely thatministry will concentrate on general types of precision equipment and instruments whichide application in the automation of industrial processes.
Establishment of the new ministry is the most recent step in the current drive for technological improvement. The first step was the formation ontate Committee of the Council of Ministers for New Techniques (Gostekhnika). Under the direction of V. N. Malyshev,eputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers and former MinisTer of Medium Machinet has the function to promote automation.
The second stepirective, announced by Malyshev in5 establishing the post of deputy minister for newin each economic ministry. 4/ attern has been developedentral agency for the promotion of thepolicy at the top, officials with specific responsibility for its implementation at the ministerial level, and now a
special ministry to provide goods required to carry the '
A State Committee for Introduction of Advanced Techniques in the Nationalcalledbeenas early8 and had existed until1 when its responsibility for inventions and introduction ofImprovements was distributed among the various industrial ministries. 5/ The latter, however, have, again and again, been severely criticized for lack of initiative in this field and in recent years the conviction has been growing that the abolition of the old Gostekhnika hadistake. 6/ The new Gostekhnika, thus, was established to expedite technological Improvement by functioning as the badly needed central promoter and controller of technological progress in the whole industry. 7/
Accordingly, the new State Committee has broad responsibilities It is specifically charged with: 8/ (a) elaborating proposals
n the main directions in the development of sciencein all branches of the nationalb)the prospectusfuture work in the creation of new
machines, mechanisms, instruments, equipment, materials and(c) analyzing existing designs andproposals for theof production of outdated
types of machines and(d) working out plans for
the mechanization and automation of the most important
branches ofnd (e) developing measures to eliminate technical backwardness in various branches of the economy, as well as to secure the utilization of important inventions and discoveries. The committee also seems to have requisite
arch SUPPORT MEMORANDUM2
authority to ensure compliance with Its policies. Astated, for example, that itthe right tothe activities of ministries and departments in thein the national economy of advanced science,and most important inventions; also to inspectthese/ In addition, the committee hasJointly with the USSR Academy of Science and theto collect and disseminate systematicallydevelopments In domestic and foreign science and technology.
The recently established post of Deputy Ministor for Now Techniques within each ministry apparently will function as liaison between the State Committee and the respective ministries As such, the deputy ministers will be expected to accelerate and facilitate technological progress along the lines laid down by the committee.
The new Ministry of Instruments and Means of Automation has the duty to provide material requisites of the technological improvements planned by tho State Committee and ministries. Some degree of centralization, obviously, has been considered indispensable to overcome hitherto existing shortcomings. Inor example, Trapeznikov, director of the Automechanics and Tolomochanics Institute, warned that automation development was being hindered by lagging production of general automatic equipment for industry. He attributed this lag to the fact that more than thirty mlnTstrles and agencies were then engaged ln producing such equipment, and that production responsibility had not been concentratedingle ministry. He indicated that the Ministry of Machine and Instrument Building should have taken caro of this problem but that It had shown little initiative in this respect.
The establishment of the new ministry, apparently, is the first step toward concentrating the production of instruments and equipment for automationingle ministry. As yet, it appears to bave taken over merely tho production of certain types of equipment which formerly came under the responsibility of the Ministry of Machinery and Instrument Building. The Sixth Five Year Plan directives, however, envisage the construction of thirty now instrument producing enterprises for expanding tho production baso for apparatus for gonoral industrial purposes. Many, if not all, of the new plants will presumably be placed under the Ministry of Instruments and Means of Automation. The latter may, In time, also take over production of electronic and control equipment now coming undor the responsibility of other ministries
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