Communist Party members here at the "Start" Textile plant in Moscow...and throughout the Soviet Union,?
Exterior plant, old building. Workers at plant, nil scenes, signs, posters, Sings of party influence.
Exterior, modern party building. People waiting in lobby Go in for interviews..in presence of two party officials..
Larger group files in to get new cards.. lectured by MALE party-sec..
Hager standup, in front of card passing-out, as it cont's..
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Communist Party members here at the "Start" Textile plant in Moscow...and throughout the Soviet Union, have ben preparing for months to exchange their old party cards for new ones.. It's the first general card turnover in 19 years.. and it was ordered by Sec. Brezhnev to--as he said-- "cleanse the party our passive.. or indifferent members, and keep it pure."
At this plant and elsewhere in Russia, around 6 percent of the people are communists--but they probably hold 90 percent of the power.
Special plant committees have been set up, to examine the workers' "everyday behaviour..and their ideological and political standards."
This culminates in a summons to precinct party headquarters.. There, workers of the "Start" plant wait our individual interview with party officials.
It's difficult for an outsider to tell of many are actually denied a new card. Functionaries here claimed most offenders are simply reprimanded.. But Pravada has warned that those who "fail to live up to the lofty i???als of communism" will be expelled.
New cards are issued several days after the interviews... Actually, the documents are little booklets---with space for a record of party dues-paying... The Precinct Party secretary told this group that those who get new cards can consider themselves the "finest---worthiest preventatives of the Soviet people."
Under Joseph Stalin, card changing meant a bloody purge of membership... Millions lost their cards.. and, their lives. Today's card changing is nothing like that... But it IS designed increase party discipline and to show Russians, that IF their leaders are willing to compromise in their dealings with capitalism, abroad,... they are NOT willing to bend..on any communist principals at home...
IN V-0: Last sentence re-dine at end to say "...they are not willing to relax on communist VIGILANCE at home."
Robert Hager, NBC News, Moscow