Russia I: The Soviet State

March 18, 1932, 9:00 AM UTC
Fortune/Time Inc.

TO PROVIDE a site in Moscow for the Palace of the International Soviet (from which Soviet enthusiasts confidently expect some day to rule the world), liquid air cartridges were recently exploded in the marble walls of Moscow’s largest church, the Cathedral of Christ the Redeemer. It crumbled and crashed with profound factuality to the ground.

Bethlehem Steel Corp., New York City(manganese)
J. Bobson Co., Chicago(sausage casings)
Crosse & Blackwell, Inc., Baltimore(caviar)
A. C. Dutton Corp., Poughkeepsie, N. Y.(lumber)
Eitingon-Schild Co., Inc., New York City(furs)
International Paper Co., New York City(pulpwood)
R. H. Macy & Co., New York City(arts and handicrafts)
Marshall Field & Co., Chicago(arts and handicrafts)
Standard Oil Co. of N. Y., New York City(oil)
U. S. Steel Corp., New York City(manganese)
F. W. Von Stade, New York City(bristles)
John Wanamaker, Philadelphia(arts and handicrafts)
George E. Warren Corp., Boston(anthracite coal)

Lenin assumed—and Stalin assumes—that other nations will go Red one by one and join the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics until, as a Soviet song somewhat awkwardly puts it, “the International Soviet becomes the human race!”

In theory the Russian Communist Party is a subordinate unit of the World Communist Party. This is known as the Third International. Its headquarters are in Moscow. Its constitution describes it as “a union of communist parties of all countries into one proletarian party, which fights for the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, for the creation of a world Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, for the complete destruction of classes and the achievement of socialism—that first stage of the communist society.” In fact, the Russian Communist Party dominates the Third International and Russian money partly finances the fifty-eight communist parties of the world. One of these is the American Workers Party.

In Russia, the Communist Party is the only party permitted to exist. Joseph Stalin is the secretary, or leader, of the party, no more and no less. Unlike Signor Mussolini, the Duce or leader of the Fascist Party, Comrad Stalin elaborately professes to be the servant, not the master, of the Communist Party. He acts and speaks “in the name of the Party,” which enables him to blame his occasional mistakes on others. The caution of Stalin, who is quite as cautious as he is ruthless, was ludicrously shown when a correspondent was turned away from the Dictator’s door with this soft answer: “Comrad Stalin never grants an interview unless directed to do so by the Party.”

If in the U. S. the Republican Party were the only party, Congress would still be Congress. It would go through the motions. This is the parliamentary situation in Russia. Under the Soviet constitution supreme authority is vested in the All-Union Soviet Congress. The basis of representation is one delegate per 125,000 rural voters and one delegate per 25,000 urban voters, thus insuring the dictatorship of the proletariat or urban workers. But the delegates are by no means all communists.

There is always a communist majority, and other delegates are of no party, unorganized, docile. But this docility can be overemphasized and misinterpreted as fear. Most of the delegates, elected from every corner of the vast Soviet Union, are pleased and proud to have been sent to Moscow, and grateful in greater or less degree to the government for paying their railroad fare, and fêting them handsomely while they meet briefly, once every two years. The atmosphere of the All-Union Soviet Congress, as any Moscow correspondent will tell you, is that of an earnest picnic. The delegates, most of whom know more about the backside of a camel, polar bear, or cow than they do about government, are happy to do as they are told and elect a second picnic Congress, the Tsik or All-Union Central Executive Committee which meets briefly once or twice a year and is happy to elect:

—The Presidium of the Tsik

—The Council of People’s Commissars, or Soviet Cabinet

—The Council of Labor and Defense, or Sto

The extraordinary fact must now be remarked that legislative, executive, and administrative measures (as those terms are commonly understood) are undertaken not only by one of the above three Soviet organs of State but by all three, largely independent of one another. The Presidium of the Tsik promulgates “laws,” the Council of Commissars makes “decrees,” and the Sto issues “ordinances”; but these laws, decrees, and ordinances are not mutually exclusive. They tend to overlap and conflict. Inextricable confusion is avoided very simply. In practice, though not in theory, the Communist Party unifies and coördinates the organs of State. Laws, decrees, and ordinances are ratified in bulk and at long intervals by the picnic Congresses.

Obviously the power which rules the picnics and rules Russia is the Communist Party. Obviously (since its 2,400,000 members are only 1 ½ per cent of the nation) its power is based on the phenomenal agreement among its members to present an absolutely united front on what is called the “Party line.” Today, and for the past several years, they have all agreed to agree with Stalin. Thus when Stalin wants to get rid of a high official, Stalin does not “fire” him. Stalin writes a letter to the Pravda pointing out certain errors in interpretation of communist doctrine made by the official in a recent speech. The official then begins to apologize … then to resign … abjectly acknowledging Stalin as the man who is never wrong. Without ever claiming infallibility, Stalin becomes the Infallible Pope of the Party. At the same time, of course, he makes exceeding sure that the Army and Navy, the Gay-Pay-Oo (Secret Service), the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection, and all the principal powers of the State are completely loyal to the Party, of which he is the Pope. The pen is his scepter; but the political sword is never sheathed.

This, briefly, is the nature of the power by which the Party rules. What does it rule?

The geographer would say that the Party ruled from the Sea of Japan to the Baltic and Black seas, from blistering Samarkand to Siberia’s shores of everlasting ice. The zoölogist would say that the Party ruled one-third of the world’s camels, billions of snakes, more flies than a million men could count in a million years, and hundreds of thousands of nice Russian bears. The ethnologist would say that the Party rules Mongolian nomads, Siberian hunters, Eskimo chiefs, and desert sheiks, and all the Russians of All the Russias.

And Mother Hubbard would say that she has in her Russian cupboard four times as much wheat land as in the U. S. A.; billions of barrels of oil; vastly more lumber than grows in any other nation’s cupboard; and ten billion eggs laid every year by Russian hens. Under the Russian cupboard are buried chemical and metallurgical resources incalculable, more than enough coal, iron, and manganese to make Soviet Russia an industrial giant eventually; and even now she mines more than $60,000,000 worth of gold and platinum every year, whereas her total current indebtedness to foreigners does not exceed $500,000,000.

How does the Party rule? Who are the subordinates, the colleagues of Joseph Stalin, the lieutenant-generals or executive-vice-presidents or bishops of the communist hierarchy?

The Party which directs the State has, of course, a Foreign Minister, a Finance Minister, a Minister of Justice—though they are called “Commissars.” But our chief attention must focus on a quite different species of lieutenant-general-bishop, on the chairman of the State Planning Commission or Gosplan (which drafted the Five-Year Plan); on the Commissar for Heavy Industry and the Commissar for Light Industry; on the Commissar of Internal Trade and the Commissar of External Trade.

For be it noted: the Soviet State is the sole state today which is primarily a business. It is also the World’s Biggest Business, with primarily a business budget. Thus 70 per cent of the Soviet State’s expenditures go to put together and operate factories, farms, railways, office buildings; and less than one-half of 1 per cent to keep the State’s administrative wheels turning; and only 5 ½ per cent for the Red Army (largest in the world). To continue: 11 per cent for electrification; 5 ½ per cent for education; one-half of 1 per cent for health; one-half of 1 per cent for civil (not military) aviation.

The State’s revenues are derived 17 per cent from the profits of its enterprises, 48 per cent from taxes upon these enterprises, and 1 ½ per cent from taxes paid by the people, just as we pay taxes. Foreign trade is purely a State business, and 99 95/100 per cent of the State’s revenue from foreign trade is derived not from tariff dues (mere taxes) but from the sale of exports as a business.

Naturally the Word’s Biggest Business is not so efficient as that Big Business, the U. S. Steel Corp. In every Big Business, wangling and human adjustments of all sorts go on which partly nullify its efficiency. In Soviet Abkhasia (forty miles from the nearest railroad) there is a six-foot gorilla who is chairman of the local Soviet, secretary of the local Party Cell, chairman of the local State Tobacco Trust, individual owner of some 30 per cent of the tobacco lands in Abkhasia. He sells his own tobacco every year to himself as the chairman of the local State Tobacco Trust, at prices which he and himself think best.

Nor should it be supposed that the State even attempts to manage every business. But no Russian business can be operated without important dealings with the State. Thus the Soviet State, in addition to directly managing most Russian businesses, has become the more or less efficient board of directors of all the business of all the people.

So it is that the Soviet State cares (in varying degrees) about what every Russian man, woman, or child wants or thinks; but the State insists upon either employing every mother’s son of them or forcing them to work.

That women should work as well as men, that everyone should work (from adolescence until eligible for Soviet old-age pension) is iron communist dogma. Every day shalt thou labor and do all thy work—and thou shalt do it not for any private employer but for the State, of which thou art a part. This is fundamental. It is the very core of Soviet life today. Addressing the All-Union Soviet Congress in March, 1931, Premier Molotov said: “The Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic recognizes Labor as the duty of all Citizens of the Republic and proclaims the principle: No Citizen of the Republic may refrain from Labor!” Whereat there burst forth cheering and applause.

So completely has the capitalist been exterminated in Russia that there remain only what we are accustomed to call “the common people.” And they, having been reared in the full knowledge that they must and will work nearly all their lives, are angered by even a suggestion that a leisure class ever should reappear in Russia.

In the new aristocracy of the Russian common people there are three distinct classes: the heavy manual worker or Great Aristocrat; the light manual worker or Aristocrat; and the white-collar worker or Small Aristocrat (including the very greatest Soviet scientists, doctors, professors, writers, artists, musicians). Below these three classes are the 4,000,000 disenfranchised (priests, kulaks, merchants, traders, employers) who have no food cards. Let them sell their jewels and live idly until their death—which the Great Aristocrats hope will be soon.

Occasionally a Great Aristocrat clad only in trousers, black with soot, and swinging a heavy shovel, will pause to spit contemptuously in the general direction of a capitalist tourist. The hauteur of some of these new Aristocrats is worthy of a Czar—and must be seen to be believed.

Naturally the Great Aristocrat receives the largest food ration, the Aristocrat less, and the Small Aristocrat still less. Which means that three or four of Russia’s greatest scientists actually died of malnutrition some years ago when food in Russia was really scarce.

Naturally, the present rigid class system in Russia produces an equally rigid class justice. If there is one law for the rich and another for the poor outside Russia, certainly the disparity is even greater in Russia. Frank, crude, and often brutal class justice is meted out in the Soviet Union by persons whom we would not dream of placing on the bench. When the Soviet Supreme Court sits, two of the chief justices are usually common workmen—Great Aristocrats who come straight from the shovel or the lathe to do class justice.

Generally speaking, Soviet courts are lenient toward ordinary offenders who are Great Aristocrats, Aristocrats, or Small Aristocrats. But let even one of these be charged with an offense against the dictatorship of the proletariat or against the Five-Year Plan, and he is in hottest water. Even a member of the Communist Party and, indeed, especially a member of the Party, if convicted of such an offense, promptly receives the full or uttermost penalty—”the highest measure of social defense, death by shooting.”

Why death, merely for throwing a monkey wrench into a machine which cost the State 3,000 American dollars? Why death for willfully wrecking a part of the patriotically sacrosanct Five-Year Plan? Because men are plentiful and dollars scarce in the Soviet Union; and because the great patriotic purpose of the State is to make Russia industrially self-sufficient, strong enough to withstand either foreign attack or foreign boycott, a Great Power! Hence the fanatical concentration on questions of efficiency, the pep speeches and the factory “shock brigades,” the terrible tension and straining for success.

But this Business, the success of which is held so much more important than any human life—is it being conducted by methods that are weird and topsy-turvy and incomprehensible to sensible folk? No.

Money is a major premise for business. In Russia during the period of War communism, which ended March, 1921, money was abolished. You could ride on a Moscow tramcar free, and you could even ride naked (as some Comrads drunk with freedom did). Those days are gone forever.

The modern Soviet State employs for its communist ends such capitalist devices as money, payment on a piecework basis, budgetary accounting, the income tax, bonds paying a fixed rate of interest, and lottery tickets. To repeat the essential point: these capitalist devices are employed for communist ends. If there is anything unfair about piecework, if it exploits the worker, nevertheless he is exploited not by a capitalist, but by the State.

Export or import of Russian money is a crime (punished by confiscation in the case of tourists, by death in the case of Russian smugglers). And Russians may not leave Russia (except by permission, which the State grants only for urgent reasons of State). The Soviet Union therefore operates on what communists call “the closed economic system.” This applies not only to its so-called “worthless” paper money and its flesh and blood men, but to all Soviet exports and imports which are a State monopoly of the Commissariat of Trade, or Narcomtorg (represented in New York by Amtorg).

A million rubles will not buy a Rolls-Royce (all prominent Moscow officials ride in them). Yet a million rubles is very real money in Russia. Due to the Soviet closed economic system, it will hire 10,000 skilled Soviet workmen for about three weeks. During that time they will produce goods which the State can sell abroad for enough “good money” to buy several Rolls-Royces or several dozen Fordson tractors. Due also to the State’s closed economic system, the Soviet worker is absolutely protected against foreign competition. If as a class he is lazy, stupid, inefficient, and if what he makes does not please the Russian purchaser to whom it is offered, the purchaser cannot import a better or cheaper article from abroad.

Eminent communists believe that without its iron control of foreign trade the Soviet State could not control the Soviet Union either economically or politically, and could not “build socialism.” In all history there has never been such a monopoly as that of the Biggest Business, which is the Soviet State.

What does the Party and the State mean by “building socialism”? You know of course that neither socialism nor communism is the system existing in Russia today. Listen for a moment to Joseph Stalin, as he speaks ex cathedra these awful words: “Wherein is the economic basis and economic substance of socialism? Is it to establish a ‘paradise on earth’ and general satisfaction? No, it is not in this. That is a conception of the substance of socialism that belongs to the man in the street, to the petty bourgeois. To create an economic basis for socialism means to unite agriculture with socialist industry in one integral economic system, to subordinate agriculture to the guidance of socialist industry … to create in the end such conditions of production and distribution as will lead directly to the annihilation of classes.”

But of course it will not be supposed that these cosmic purposes, these titanic emotions swell daily in every Russian breast. Life goes on. It goes on even for that 40 per cent of the populace who only hear, because they cannot read, the communist slogans.

The manner of Soviet life is still so new—and changing—that there is lots to talk about. Look at all these newfangled ideas about hygiene! Windows, we hear, must be pried up; pregnant women must be protected; toothbrushes arrive. And then all these new games—working girls rowing on the river; soccer; handball. And the little boys! Not only do they go off to school but they join (8,000,000 of them, this morning’s paper says) the Communist Youth groups; they come back and tell us that we ought to drink less vodka or that we should persuade our hens to lay more eggs. Can you imagine!

Meanwhile it is as important as ever to look out for ourselves: to see if we can get an extra room now that Aunt Nina is coming to live with us; to see if we can collect enough cakes and nuts and just a bottle or two of vodka for brother’s birthday, since we haven’t had a real feast since sister got married …

Life goes on. The birth rate goes up. The death rate goes down.

The State, above all, proceeds with its implacable purposes. The State is advised by a nationwide network of inspectors, called the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection, how everything is going everywhere—how its purposes are being carried out. Grave discontent in any part of the Soviet Union is thus usually first reported by the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection. If it proves impracticable or impossible to ease that particular pinch, the Gay-Pay-Oo special troops equipped with armored cars, poison gas, and machine guns descend upon the discontented but helpless regions and “liquidate” the obstreperous but unarmed objectors. Proletarians and peasants who remember how the Czar’s Cossacks liquidated objectors before the Revolution accept the activities of the Gay-Pay-Oo with an equanimity which to the foreigner is astonishing and scandalous. Espionage is not only accepted; it is a part of daily life.

The State believes that its implacable purposes are hindered by religion (see page 83); helped and hindered by vodka (for the State both sells vodka and campaigns against drunkenness); and are greatly helped by the Youth and Sport movements and by the new independence of married people, who are independent of each other because husband and wife both work.

Elsewhere are reported in detail the Russian peasant (page 70), the Five-Year Plan (page 76), phases of proletarian life (page 83). Broadly, let us here set down what are the results of not quite fifteen years of communist rule over 160,000,000 Eurasians occupying one-sixth of the land area of the globe.

I. Capitalism in the sense of profit accruing to a capitalist has been stamped out of the Soviet Union, there being a few exceptions to this as to all communist rules. Thus a certain Mr. Hammer waxes rich making pencils and has a fine house in Moscow; S. K. F. exploit a ball-bearing concession to their capitalist enrichment; and in all $10,000,000 of foreign capital is earning its keep in Russia. But the large concessions, such as Lena Goldfields and Harriman manganese, have all been “liquidated.”

II. The Russian land has passed irrevocably into the hands of the peasants. They took what they wanted during the Revolution and were won to grudging support of the Soviet State primarily because it sanctioned and confirmed their theft. Today collectivization of the Russian peasant (congenitally a small-scale capitalist) is expected to annihilate him as such and transform him into a proletarian worker of the soil. In the last two years, collectivization has proceeded at such a pace that more than half the peasant homesteads of Soviet Russia have now merged into collective farms.

III. In industry Russia surpassed her pre-War volume of production as early as 1928. Thus any gains under the Five-Year Plan, which was launched in that year, may be considered velvet. But on the industrial side of the Five-Year Plan, sharp distinction must be made between quantitative and qualitative results. In the U. S. a pair of trousers with one leg larger than the other or a coffee pot that leaks is not a pair of trousers or a coffee pot at all for commercial purposes. It is not salable. It is not production but scrap. Such is not the case in Russia.

Quantitatively, Soviet industrial production has increased each year of the Five-Year Plan by some 24 per cent, an official figure accepted by such competent authorities as the Russian Research Department of the University of Birmingham, England. There was some let down during 1931 in Russia’s really stupendous rate of progress, but there is no question that the Five-Year Plan has been quantitatively a success. As would naturally be the case during any such period of expansion, Russia today has no unemployment problem.

IV. The wage of the Soviet workman, paid, of course, in rubles, has been slowly but steadily increased by his astute employer the State. But as to “real wages,” see page 82. Russian currency in circulation has increased under the Five-Year Plan from less than two billion to more than four billion paper rubles. This inflation, while great, has not been catastrophic. Soviet economists argue that “there can be no inflation under a socialist economy,” since the State controls retail prices and has not permitted them to rise as fast as wages. There can, however, be a shortage or complete absence of what one wants to buy. This form of “inflation,” if we may call it so, is chronic in Russia.

V. It cannot be too strongly emphasized that the immediate goal of the Soviet State is to provide not “the good life” of romantic German and British socialism (and that of our own Norman Thomas) but Spartan comfort and much work.

ALMOST everyone works hard, eats enough to keep alive, reads the most skillful and stimulating propaganda in the world, and grumbles. Russia is, Russia has always been, a nation of grumblers. The chorus of complaint; the ribald jest at even Comrad Stalin and the Five-Year Plan; the columns of space devoted by the government press to “self-criticism”; the cartoons about drunken engineers, about the food shortage, about the housing squash, and seemingly about everything are apt to bewilder a Russian-reading and Russian-speaking visitor to Russia. Is this a land on the brink of revolution? A land of merry madmen? Or what?

ONE subject is not mocked: the Party and its members as such. The iron core or framework of the Party unites all the Russians in a vertical, horizontal, economic, and political trust.

The 2,400,000 members of the Party are not all officials; they are not “the feudal lords of the New Russia,” as a New York statistical bureau recently called them. Some are vaudeville actors, many work in factories or on farms, and not even as foremen in many cases. They are everywhere—the busy missionaries, the zealous spies, and the boosters for the State. Nothing is more amazing than the success of Party men in boosting for the State and making its authority real even in the remotest, wildest, most nomadic parts of Asia. The gospel of the Party is communism, which is a hot gospel. There is but one Lenin, and Stalin is his prophet. The State is a jealous State.

The fanaticism of thousands of leading communists distinctly resembles religious fanaticism, Lenin said: “Religion is opium for the people.” He sincerely believed that religion was a narcotic, dulling pains imposed by capitalism and Czardom upon the masses, distracting their minds from present and eradicable evils by the promise of a heavenly reward.

We have seen that the conditions of labor offered to the Russian proletariat by the State are similar to those offered by capitalist employers. The standard of living is certainly not higher in Russia than in Europe or America, even in the case of the favored Russian proletarian, much less so in the case of the Russian peasant. Russians suffer, work, loaf, play, endure. Some find in communism, with its fiery and exciting gospel, much consolation. As an Orthodox priest remarked: “We can say with so much more reason, ‘Communism is opium for the people.'”

THE reader knows that religion is not primarily or even secondarily an opiate and neither is communism. It was the boast of Nikolai Lenin’s admirers that he thought constructively—not in men but in millions; not in terms of the Russian people but in terms of the Russian peoples; and that his intuition was attuned not to the masses whom he could address with tongue or pen, but to human units not smaller than THE PROLETARIAT and THE PEASANTRY.

The mere fact that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics exists as ONE nation today, and not as several dozen nations is positively astounding.

Russia straddles two continents. She is larger in Europe alone than any European country. She is larger in Asia alone than any Asiatic country, 2,000,000 square miles larger than China, and more than twice as large as India. She, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, to give her her full name, is divided not like all Gaul into three parts but into seven constituent republics.

Four of these seven we may forget after hearing (for once at least) their names: White Russia, Tadzhikistan, Turkomanistan, and Uzbekistan.

Of the remaining three republics, we may dismiss Transcaucasia with the remark that it is a small, extremely hot, and oily federation of still smaller republics of which Georgia, where Joseph Stalin was born, is one—and how big, therefore, is tiny Georgia! How many Georgians, pure Asiatics, sit in Soviet seats of power!

Of our two remaining republics, Ukrainia indeed is big, containing one-fifth of the entire Soviet population and being a pleasant, fruitful land adjoining Poland. Kiev in the Ukraine was to All the Russias what Athens was to Imperial Rome.

And now only one of our seven republics is left, only one! But it comprises 93 per cent of the Soviet land area and 70 per cent of the Soviet population. Name: the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic or R. S. F. S. R., whereas the Soviet whole is the U. S. S. R.

To begin all over again with this part which is almost the whole, the R. S. F. S. R. is, of course, a federation, divided into fourteen “regions,” into eleven so-called “autonomous republics,” and into fourteen so-called “autonomous areas.”

One of the fourteen “regions” is Moscow region and the peasant land thereabouts is pretty poor, the scenery wearisome. One of the fourteen “areas” is Siberia—oh, awful name and mighty vastitude! An “autonomous” republic is the Yakutsk, where a mere 300,000 wild Yakuts roam over 4,000,000 square miles, speaking a language which is almost Turkish, and enduring the widest swings of temperature in the world—from 90° below zero Fahrenheit to 93° above. We shall not even name the other thirteen autonomous areas. Adygeisk, for example, we could not pronounce.

Only by devoting an industrious lifetime to the subject, and perhaps not even then, could a man of great intellect fully realize how infinitely large and infinitely various Russia is. But anyone can remember that the U. S. S. R. is the largest country in the world and that China is the most populous.

WHAT a succession of great rulers there must indeed have been to assemble and hold together, even now, one-sixth of the earth under one flag. Let us call five great names from the long roll.

RURIK THE NORSEMAN, who responded 1,070 years ago to the men of Russia’s legendary but significant appeal: “Our land is rich and fruitful but there is no order in it; come and reign and rule over us.”

IVAN IV, called “THE TERRIBLE,” who most certainly RULED, was first to assume the title “Czar of ALL the Russias,” and began the conquest of Siberia in 1581.

PETER I, called “THE GREAT,” who turned Russia’s face from East to West, created St. Petersburg on a marsh in the image of the Dutch cities where he had learned to whittle a navy, and assumed in 1721 the outlandish and mystifying title EMPEROR. (Thereafter not Czar but Emperor was the proper and official No. I title of Romanov Emperors, the number of whose titles ran into three figures.)

CATHERINE II, called “THE GREAT”—and after her no more greatness? To Great Catherine, the first, second, and third partitions of Poland were but dicing up an apple. She died in 1796. And the Romanov strain petered very, very slowly out until we write not puny Nicholas II but, naturally,

NIKOLAI LENIN. The surpassing marvel today is not that Joseph Stalin, the successor of Nikolai Lenin, somehow contrives to be the great ruler of All the Russias—for they have historically demanded to be ruled by one man. It is, on the contrary, that Comrad Stalin sets himself resolutely against becoming a second Peter the Great and strives (against the Russian historical tradition) to evoke from the Russian people not a man but a State ruthlessly strong enough to rule them satisfactorily.01

Appendix: Russia

Russian-American Trade: Who Sells What to the Soviet

BUYERS: Last year the U.S.A. bought $18,595,000 worth of goods from the U.S.S.R., sold $51,232,000 worth of goods and services to the U.S.S.R. Thus Russian-American trade is decidedly unbalanced. Since the Soviet shut down on foreign concessions, only a few U.S. companies have bought any considerable amount of Russian products. Notable are:


SELLERS: To list companies on the selling end of Russian-American trade is no simple matter. Last year, partly because of a pinch in Soviet finance, partly because Germany and other nations gave the Soviet better credit terms, American companies saw their Russian business fall off drastically. But in 1930 thirty or forty American concerns sold to the Soviet goods or services amounting, in each case, to $1,000,000 or more. Notable were:

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