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The New York Times. 20 June 1931

Trade Equilibrium is New Soviet Goal

Moscow seeks to Equalize Sales and Purchases in Dealings with Each Country




Project Provides That the Nations Would Receive Only Goods They Desire.



Volume of Exports Increases, but Value is Lower for First Half of Year than in 1930.

This is the fifth of a Series of articles on Russia today by The York Times Moscow correspondent, who is at present in Paris.


Special Cable to The New York Times.

PARIS June 19.—The Soviet for foreign trade policy is now undergoing an evolution which perhaps has escaped the notice of Americans in the uproar about ‘Soviet dumping’ and the “Red trade menace,” but, nevertheless, is of considerable importance.

The new guiding principle is that as far as possible the Soviet is trying to equalize the sales and purchases with each country. In the case of Italy the Soviet sells more than it buys. In dealings with case of Italy the Soviet sells more than it buys. In dealings with the United States the Soviet buys more than it sells. This new principle is being publicly established in negotiations now in progress with France, the success of which is not assured but seems like to reach a tangible result. If the principle could be put into effect in the whole foreign trade program, two valuable objects would be obtained the automatic balancing of the foreign trade budget and the silencing of charges of dumping because each nation would decide what it wanted from the Soviet Union in return for its own goods and would be glad to purchase as cheaply as possibly.

Hostility Likely to Remain.

That such a perfect equilibrium is to be reached seems improbable for the near future and hostile manifestations against Soviet exports doubtless will continue as long as world markets remain depressed. In Russian eyes such manifestations are wholly unjustified. It is argued the Soviet Union has the right to export at least a volume equivalent to that 1 the Czarist Empire, which it still is far from attaining.

From this standpoint and with the consciousness of its growing strength the Soviet is fully determined to face boycott by boycott and embargo by the transfer of Its bust- ness elsewhere. Its willingness to meet the rest of the world halt way, as it offered at the London wheat conference, and as it has done in oil and timber deals with British interest, in price stabilization schemes or quota limitations.

“It is clearly less to our interest, who have an avid, clamorous demand at home for everything we export, to soil goods abroad at bankrupt prices than - for the capitalist countries whose surplus stocks far exceed the capacity of home consumption” the Bolsheviki say. “What the capitalist countries soil abroad is a real surplus, whereas our sales inflict a hardship on our people and are a painful necessity in order to buy the equipment and technical knowledge we cannot yet produce at home.”

Here the world depression pinches the Soviet hard, not only because of the odium involved in the charge of dumping goods at almost any terms upon an already saturated market but from the material loss in the depreciated prices. Soviet exports during the first half of the current year, though considerably greater in volume than in the same period last year actually were lower in value, to the embarrassment of the foreign trade and treasury commissariats.

Soviet Regrets Its Exports.

Despite the assertions abroad to the contrary, this correspondent can state positively that the Russians derive no pleasure from tightening their own belts to pay for imports and they would be delighted to retain for home consumption much of what they are now exporting if a loan or long-term credits enabled them to buy without immediate payment. On the other hand, the world depression has been an important encouragement to the Soviet because it appears to demonstrate a grave flaw in the capitalist system.

The Kremlin has made the most of the political advantage thus given it, especially as far as the Soviet Union was concerned, and also in the programs and speeches of foreign Communist parties. The depression had the effect. too, of reinforcing the Kremlin’s self-confidence, which Is an important factor in view of the criticism within the Communist party against Stalinism and the five-year plan from the Left and the Right.

The world depression thus has played the role of informing and directing Soviet public opinion, which is not the least part of the Stalinism program, as will be described in a following article.

© The New York Times. 1931.  N.B. The executive editor of The New York Times, Bill Keller, told The Washington Post on October 23 2003, that the newspaper would have no objection if the Pulitzer Prize Board wanted to revoke Mr. Duranty's award. Mr. Keller called Mr. Duranty's work "pretty dreadful. ... It was a parroting of propaganda." It will be taken as read that no royalties are due on this un-authorised reproduction of this article  As such they are also perceived, as having no truthful value whatsoever, are only reproduced  for academic and educational purposes, not intended to defraud The New York Times of any morally legitimate royalty revenue and are published without financial gain. In any event, the copyright for the above may well only reside, 70 years after its publication with the heirs of Walter Duranty, and with whom we have no personal animosity whatsoever. Nevertheless, any contention of copyright violation may by taken up under the jurisdiction of English Law. My service address for any legal correspondence is: Nigel Linsan Colley, 1, Crown Street, Newark, Nottinghamshire, England, NG24 4UY. Any prosecution will, you can be assured, be defended in the public domain.


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