The Supreme Economic Council had been set up in December 1917, composed of representatives of the Government departments and trade unions together with technical experts in an advisory capacity, with the aim of bringing some co-ordinating element into the activities of the organs of workers’ control and of systematising the process of nationalisation. The local Gubsovnarhoz consisted of a small Presidium appointed by the local Soviet authority, as in England an economic council for the area of a county might be an ad hoc body appointed by the county council. The growing acuteness of the food shortage and the withholding of grain from the market by the peasants produced in the spring of 1918 the policy of grain requisitioning. In Russia in 1918 none of the essential conditions for the success of decentralisation were present, Russia was still a class society, even if the new government claimed to have dealt class monopoly a death-blow.