Commission for Finance 1944 – 1968
Commissions for Finance 1944 – 19681
The Commissions for Finance from 1944-1968 can be regarded as the direct predecessors of the Slovak Ministry of Finance.
The Slovak National Council as a representative of the Slovak nation has its origins in the middle of the 19th century. This century-long tradition was continued by the Slovak National Council formed in December 1943 on the basis of the Christmas Agreement2 . Until the outbreak of the Slovak National Uprising, the Slovak National Council worked underground.
On 1 September 1944, by order of the Slovak National Council, the Commission of the Slovak National Council for Finance was established. It was based in Banská Bystrica and its task was to ensure the financing of the Slovak National Uprising.
After the suppression of the uprising, the Commission resumed its activities in liberated Košice on the basis of Order of the Presidency of the Slovak National Council No. 1/1945 of 21 February 1945. In September 1945, it acquired the name Commission for Finance, which lasted until its abolition in 1960. The competence of the Commission for Finance included the financial guard, the budget and the national debt, direct taxes (e.g. house, hunting, pension, earnings, luxury taxes), land registry, indirect taxes and monopolies (e.g. all excise duties), customs matters, fees, banking (banks, savings banks and other monetary institutions, stock exchange), currency and monetary statistics, but also compensation for damage caused by the war, assistance in confiscating and distributing the property of Germans, Hungarians, traitors and collaborators, or the settlement of the property rights of persons affected by racial or political persecution. The Commission for Finance also provided assistance in the nationalisation of banks and industrial enterprises.
After 1949, the matters relating to cooperatives, national and municipal enterprises, foreign exchange tracking, export of donations and general treasury administration were added.
In 1952-3 there were changes in the structure of banking and financial administration. Act No. 84/1952 Coll. on the organisation of banking provided that the monetary and credit system consisted of the State Bank of Czechoslovakia, the Investment Bank and the State Savings Bank. The Commission for Finance was given the task of managing the financial departments of national committees, the regional institute of the State Bank of Czechoslovakia and the regional institute of the Investment Bank, the regional administration of state savings banks and the regional administration of the State Insurance Company.
In 1958, after the abolition of the Commission for Local Economy, part of its matters was transferred to the Commission for Finance. In addition to the Commission for Finance, there were also other commissions in Slovakia, such as those for agriculture, justice, communications, food industry, construction, education and culture, or health.
The Constitution of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic of 11 July 1960 abolished the Board of Commissioners and established a single legislative, governmental and executive body, the Slovak National Council. Subsequently, the Financial and Budgetary Commission of the Slovak National Council was established, headed by the Commissioner, but in practice its activities were carried out by the Department of the Slovak National Council for Financial Affairs. The Department was in charge of the financial plan and budget. In 1964, this Department was transformed into the Commission of the Slovak National Council for Finance, which was given additional competences concerning the financing of national committees and the property and foreign-exchange matters.
The basic problem of the Slovak national bodies - the Slovak National Council and commissions - was that they were established and operated only on the territory of Slovakia. National affairs were the responsibility of the National Assembly and the ministries based in Prague. The commissioners were in the position of “Slovak ministers”, but with much less power than the ministers in Prague. Together, the commissioners formed the Board of Commissioners, which was in the position of a “Slovak government”, but again with significantly reduced powers in comparison to those of the Prague government. On the territory of Bohemia, the same or similar bodies of legislative and executive power, such as the Slovak National Council and commissions, did not come into existence. The Commission for Finance was thus subordinated not only to the Slovak National Council but also to the Ministry of Finance based in Prague. This asymmetrical model of state organisation lasted from 1945 to 1968.
A fundamental change occurred with the adoption of Constitutional Act No. 143/1968 Coll. on the Czechoslovak Federation. On the basis of it, as of 1 January 1969, the competence of the Commission of the Slovak National Council (SNR) for Finance was transferred to the newly established Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Socialist Republic.
1. RÁKOŠ Elo – RUDOHRADSKÝ Štefan: Slovak national bodies 1943-1968, Slovak Archive Administration, Bratislava, 1973.
2. The Christmas Agreement is a document signed in Bratislava at Christmas 1943 by representatives of all groups of the domestic resistance - social democrats, communists, civic activists. The aim of the Agreement was to lead the resistance against the First Slovak Republic headed by J. Tiso, and also to restore the Czechoslovak Republic on the principle of equality of the Czech and Slovak nations.