УДК [37 : 33 : 93/94] : 655



Holubka М. М.,

Lviv Cooperative College of Economics and Law Lviv, Ukraine


The article lists the main economic and educational activities of the cooperative "National Trade" and its impact on the development of economic education in Western Ukraine during the second half of XIX - early XX century.

Keywords: "National Trade", the cooperative movement, a wholesale warehouse, Regional trade union.


Problem definition and its relationship with important scientific and practical tasks. The relevance of the research is considered to be in search of priorities of basic economic and educational activities of the cooperative "National Trade" in Western Ukraine in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Analysis of the recent research and publications in which a solution of this problem is established and the author relies upon.Solution of the development problem of major economic and educational activities directions of the cooperative "National Trade" in Western Ukraine in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were reflected in the writings of domestic scientists, in particular V. Visyn, S. Helei, N. Lubkovych, B. Motsyuk, I. Potapiuk, L. Potapiuk, B. Stuparyk, O. Himiak, Ghokan K. P., Z.V. Hipters, I.E.Soshynska, T.M. Zavora and others.

Highlighting the unsolved aspects of the problem, which the article is devoted to. The relevance of the chosen research topic is to explore the contribution and achievements of the first Ukrainian cooperative "National Trade" and the events which, in our opinion, had mostly influenced the further successful development of economic education in Western Ukraine during this period.

Formulation of purposes of an article (setting task). The purpose of the study is the consideration of educational achievements as a result of the activities of the first Ukrainian cooperative "National Trade" and its contribution to the development of economic education in Western Ukraine in the second half of XIX - early XX centuries.

The main presentation of the studies' materials with full justification of scientific results. Economic opinion in Western Ukraine of the researched period was influenced by social, economic and political trends of the ruling empires. After the abolition of serfdom in Western Ukraine, a cooperation appears, which is a manifestation of self-defence of the economically and socially weak segment of a population. This form of economic activity of the population intended to create an internal market for the development of national commodity production.

The growth of small producers devastation prompted the government of Austria-Hungary in 1873 to adopt the Law "On earning and business fellowships". Since 80-ies of XIX century, the issue of coordination and integration of national forces in order to establish social and economic work was actively violated by the national council of Lviv and the national political council of all the region.

Exemption of Ukrainian peasantry' farms of banking and usurious debts by creating cooperative credit associations was supported in a speech by the engineer-architect Vladimir Nagirnyi during the second National Veche of Rusyns (17 June 1883), and the author of the text was I. Franko.

The first organizational and coordinating economic union of the population of Western Ukraine became Ukrainian cooperative "National Trade", which was established in 1883 at the initiative of Nagirnyi and A. Nychai and the means of caring wealthy Ukrainian peasants and townspeople.

Due to the program of the report of the first general meeting of the cooperative in 1885 "National Trade" had to "grow into a magnificent tree that will embrace whole Galician Rus, in the shade of which the poor people will rest breathing freely" [3, p. 47]. Thus, the primary goal of the organization was the wholesale supply of goods for consumer stores, organized by Ukrainian community, individuals, church, "Prosvita" fellowship and the Company named by Michael Kachkovskyi [8, p. 149].

"National trade" in its activities conducted cooperation with 831 retail stores in Galicia. In 1914 the structure of the cooperative included 19 stores and wholesale stores, 93 cooperatives with the membership of 1,244 individuals. Despite the significant amount of socio-economic and political obstacles, in 1907 the cooperative transformed from an association, which actually functioned to support the private trade, to Regional trade union, designed to reorganize public stores in cooperatives due to «rochdale».

In 1913 a cooperative "National Trade" joined the International Cooperative Alliance, which members were such famous figures like Ivan Franko, O. Barvinsky, F. Kolessa, K. Levitskyi, M. Pavlyk, K. Ustyianovych and others. In 1926 "National trade" became a "professional central of consumer cooperation", which specialized in the export of Ukrainian private and cooperative production, import of goods from abroad.

Formation of Cooperative' "National trade" economic opinion, its rather rapid development, increasing the volume and diversification of its activities was due to the persistent and hard work of prominent figures of the cooperative movement of that time: V. Nagirnyi, A. Nychai, M. Zayachkivskyi, M. Lazorko, F. Selskyi, I. Petrushevych, A. Baryliak, I. Pavlykovskyi.

V. Nagirnyi hinted back in 1881 when published his article "On the need of crafts heyday in Galicia" in the magazine "Dilo" with the assistance of chief editor V. Barvinskyi that it is important to create a cooperative wholesale company with a wide network of retail stores [5]. While 11 years of studying in Zurich (Switzerland) in the construction department, V. Nagirnyi was simultaneously gaining experience in a building of Western European cooperation and urged people to stop waiting for alms from the leadership of the Austrian Empire. His views on the key principles for building cooperation V. Nagirnyi outlined in the work "As people in need profit" (1882), which focused on the description of the Swiss cooperation experience and known methods of work organization modeled on the world's first cooperative society alike "Rochdale" - "Society of fair Pioneers". V. Nagirnyi wrote the charter of the fellowship due to the models of charters on the Swiss consumer cooperatives, by joining to this process "the candidate of the Advocacy" L. Pavenetskyi in order to adapt the document to the Austrian legislation [6, p. 61].

Major works by Nagirnyi contain detailed instructions for trading activities of shops such as "Advisor to the shops" (1887) and "Tips for commercial establishments" (1897 p.).

Besides V. Nagirnyi, an outstanding figure of the cooperative "National Trade" was Russophile A. Nychai, who was attached to the work in an organization by lawyer-populists K. Levitskyi, because of the lack of the practical experts in "store work" [2, p. 19]. In August 1883 A. Nychai in his biweekly "Host and industrialist" publishes an article about the "National Trade", where he offered the charter and the background of the organization, calls to fellow countrymen to join the community and bring in their savings. The activity on the reformation of the principles of trade in the territory of Western Ukraine A. Nychai begins since 1870s., meaning long before the establishment of the fellowship "National Trade". First of all, it is about author's essay "The development of the Russ' shops in Stanislav", published by the publishing house "Host and industrialist" (1879) [3, p. 57]. In his work Nychai justified the priority of meeting the interests of the founders of social shopping and demand for consumer goods, trade preference to domestic goods with the use of quality control practices without speculation of prices. Also in the second release of his weekly magazine in 1881 author justifies the need to include Lviv warehouse to the economic society of M. Kachkovskyi (from which the cooperative "National Trade" originated), which would allow cost-effective investment of funds of each investor interested in the activities of the organization.

A year after the publication V. Nagirnyi publishes his draft called "As people in need profit" in the magazine "Dilo", which in some respects follows the ideas of A. Nychai. However, in his paper, Nagirnyi focuses more on the independence of the store cooperative movement and the need for the organization of the whole system of Ukrainian shops with a central steering department.

In the process of establishing of the cooperative "National trade" activists-supporters of the idea faced with significant obstacles. Conservative attitudes of the public on new ideas on the activation of the cooperative and stores movement that significantly interfered in the process of funds collection of the company, which at the beginning consisted only of 648,59 ZR [6, p. 63]. Another part of the raised funds was borrowed, repayment of which created additional financial problems: a constant struggle of the founding members of the society who belonged to different political camps. Thus, among 11 founders of the cooperative "National Trade," the narodovtsi were only Ustyianovych K. and V. Nagirnyi, others were Russophiles. It should be noted that the company co-founder M. Dymet advised other interested parties not to trust funds to the cooperative because of his distrust in its potential economic success.

The other two co-founders of the cooperative Kostecki and M. Korol tried to cashier Nagirnyi from the presidency of the "National trade" because they were afraid of losing control in the future and benefit from the community business because of the lack of "good and professionally trained staff" [6, p. 64]. Executive positions in warehouses were mainly occupied by Kryloshansk bank employees who actually had no knowledge and business experience.

Due to lack of economic knowledge and experience county warehouses were creating extra competition to "National Trade" and, as a result, they themselves suffered from it. Guide to cooperative activities on the needs of the more affluent urban population in the formation of nomenclature and range (acquisition of expensive imported goods, fabrics, cognac, wine, coffee, tea, citrus fruits), which was justified by the limited purchasing power of the rural population and significantly reduced the interest of rural stores to services of "National Trade". The weak system of incentives and encourage to become a member of the organization. At that time the "National Trade" could only offer a discount to other shops of 2%. Great difficulties arose in credits for customers both money and commodity. Rural popularity mostly received income not regularly, and without the possibility of timely payments, they used the services of Jewish tradesmen and Poles who offered to take goods on credit with an additional mark-up. Due to the fact that "National Trade" provided trade credit only to the proven customers, thus, community stores with low profitability were not able to purchase goods in warehouses of the fellowship.

Existing problems of the birth of trade cooperation prompted partnership "National Trade" to take decisive actions in finding a common strategy for comprehensive development and defining priority actions in order to achieve the global goal - to meet the needs of the Ukrainian people on their own. With this in mind, the main objectives of the cooperative "National trade" were:

- Active ideological propaganda of Western European cooperation by supporting Ukrainian production, combating "foreign" intermediary and usury [4];

- Organization of sirloin wholesale storerooms for provision of Ukrainian urban and rural, small cities stores, both public and private with consumer goods (with preference to trading on a "first-hand", without intermediary, which boosted the profitability of stores);

- central leadership, organization, and control of trade cooperatives;

- training of qualified personnel for their own needs, by spreading the financial and economic knowledge, arranging lectures and courses, where local and itinerant teachers, cooperation instructors taught;

- research funding in the field of consumer cooperatives, cooperative trade, and maintenance of schools, libraries, reading rooms and museums;

- providing scholarships and other financial support for students and working people (also abroad);

- publishing as printing and distribution of periodicals and literature of economic content (including commercial, financial, merchandising).

The educational activities of society "National trade" was in training commercial specialty staff of different skill levels: executives, cashiers, assistants, students, interns. The first training course for public, cooperative, church shops clerks on the basis of «rochdale» type was held in the Ternopil (1905) and involved the study of such subjects as trade accounting, commercial law, geography and history of commerce, trade correspondence, commodity. The second course was held in the Colomyia and was equipped with modern technique, appropriate literature - samples of study commodity and lectures due to the "Rochdale" system in the form of slides.

Unable to provide full-time education, "National Trade" in 1924 organized "Distance written educational course" by A. Baryliak for junior staff in trade [1, p. 18]. Overall, this course of study was passed by 115 cadets, with different levels of school-year preparatory training and practice. Education included the above-mentioned subjects, with additional studies of internal documents and the charter of the cooperative. In 1930 the courses stopped because of the establishment

of three-year trade schools for workers without general education (Decree of the Ministry of labor and social care of Warsaw).

As the organizers of the "National Trade" were confident that "the future of the institution depends on intelligent and ambitious workers who are imbued with the idea of the well-being of the institution", theoretical and professional training of the administrative staff of the company did not stop [3, p. 83].

In 1934 a course for administrative staff of the organization was established. Methods of teaching were to make a five-minute speech with the answer on every ten questions received the day before the exam by the worker himself. This new psychological approach to the selection and training included: checking whether candidates have necessary volume of financial and economic knowledge; their ability to select relevant information; ability to negotiate with clients and subordinates; preparation for public speaking and other.

The economic model of cooperative trade, proposed and implemented by founders of "National Trade" was quite successful. This is due to the fact that the public stores of that time actually did not have a strong legal and economic framework, fixed document owner, who would take over not only the benefits but also the responsibility for the further development of the organization. Accordingly, the equity of the shops was owned by territorial communities, not declared association of parishioners, community organizations, where none of the parties could proportionally dispose a part of the property.

The low level of economic knowledge about the potential benefits of cooperation made it impossible for the population of Galicia at that time to assess prospects of improving the trade business. Typically, financial independence of shopkeeper on the outcome of shops, limited the interest of potential investors, excluded the possibility of charges made on funds (increasing of the investment), forming of payments for the purchase and restoration of the main fund assets. The lack of control and current administration from the owners’ side gave rise to cases of abuse of staff, poor service and, as a result, the low turnover of the shop.

The findings of this study and further research prospect in this direction.Thus, the "National Trade" has built close links with warehouses of German and English consumer cooperatives, with American, Dutch, Italian organizations supplying goods directly from abroad. The transformation of the cooperative to the central warehouse and organizational center for shops of Western Ukraine contributed to the emergence of practical opportunities on the spread of economic knowledge about the principles of the cooperative movement in the population of Galicia, allowed us to prepare financially literate professionals in the sphere of trade affairs.



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