Reconstruction of the Full List of the Fleet According to the Form of Statistical Report No. 7-River (annual) on the Example of the Udmurt Administration of Small Rivers (1958–1962)
Authors: Nicholas W. Mitiukov
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Statistical reports are a valuable historical source on water transport. Since in the Soviet Union the fleets had many enterprises of various subordination, with the most diverse and bizarre reporting systems. In fact, only using statistical reports submitted according to forms unified by the Central Statistical Department made it possible to “reduce to a common denominator” all this information.
The specialized form of the statistical report No. 7-river (annual) has a much higher information content compared to the form “26-vod”. It contains many additional fields to fill in, which are absent in the “26-vod” form, because of this the compilers were forced to approach the submitted figures more conscientiously. So, using the example of 1956, it can be seen that the Udmurt administration simply omitted the information about its traveling and messenger fleet. All this significantly increases the probability of a successful reconstruction of the list of vessels in the form No. 7-river (annual), in comparison with the “26-vod”.
Despite the many possible options for reconstructing the composition of the fleet according to the form No. 7-river (annual), due to the stringent requirements for the figures submitted, corresponding to the power of the vessels, the nominal composition of the fleet is restored quite accurately. At the same time, for a number of engines, the power is indicated quite arbitrarily. This may be due to the existence of some instructions for filling, where, for example, the power of a 3D6 diesel engine should in any case be indicated as 150 hp. It can be assumed that the power varies for engines not listed in this manual.
A very useful supporting material for the reconstruction can be the lists of ships for some existing year (for the Udmurt Administration ‒ this is a deed of transfer upon its liquidation in 1962), which, in the presence of explanatory notes to the statistical report, where indicated the cost of ships that went to increase (accepted) and reduction (written off) of the company's balance sheet. To control the correctness of the reconstruction, the documentation on the personnel of the Office, which includes the names of the ships available at that time, turned out to be very valuable.
In general, form No. 7-river (annual) should be recognized as a very valuable source on the history of water transport.