Can the Komsomol influence the domestic and foreign policy of the Soviet Union?

Grigori Reznichenko ::: Young people in the USSR. Answers to questions

It certainly can and does. The USSR Constitution guarantees the Komsomol the right to take part in deciding political, economic, and social and cultur­al questions. And as said earlier, it also gives it the right to initiate legislation. That means the Komso­mol can submit to Parliament-the USSR Supreme Soviet-its proposals for amending existing laws and drafts of new laws. In that way it takes a practical part in shaping the country's domestic and foreign policy. One-third of the members of Parliament and local government bodies (700,000 out of a total of 2.2 million) are under the age of 30. In the USSR Supreme Soviet 279 members are under thirty.

The First Secretary of the Komsomol's Central Committee, Boris Pastukhov, has been elected to the USSR Supreme Soviet and to its Presidium.

The younger generation eagerly takes part in the discussions of the most important bills and docu­ments. When the draft of the new Constitution un­derwent a nationwide discussion, 46 million young people took part in it. They submitted more than five million suggestions, comments and amendments. It was thanks in no small part to their participation that in the final version of the Constitution, 118 of the 173 articles were amended and one new article was added.

As for the Komsomol's influence on foreign pol­icy, its members gave their full approval and sup­port to the Programme of Further Struggle for Peace and International Cooperation, and for the Freedom and Independence of the Peoples put forward by the 25th CPSU Congress. That programme became the guideline for the Komsomol's own international activ­ities. The Komsomol cooperates with all democratic youth organisations, works for detente, and backs young people in other countries in the struggle against reaction, and for democracy, national inde­pendence and social progress, as well as the struggle for rights of the young.