As early as 1951 the Hungarian government had been forced to concede that agriculture was "beginning to become a brake on our entire socialist development" (Rakosi, For a Lasting Peace, March 2, 1951:3). By 1953 there was general agreement that agriculture was in a crisis situation. There was less consensus about possible remedies. Lack of unity among the Party leadership was reflected in the twists and turns of agrarian policy in the next three years. Membership on collective farms declined from 300,370 in June 1953 to 190,970 on the same date the following year and then rose to 294,536 by June 1956 (Donath, 1980:247). Only a few months later massive decollectivization would occur in conjunction with the national revolution.