From For a Lasting Peace, for a People’s Democracy!
No. 40 (100), October 6, 1950

Foreign Trade of Tito Clique – Instrument of Enslavement of Yugoslavia by U.S.-British Monopolies

Tedeuz Gede
Member, Central Committee,
Polish United Workers’ Party

The aid of the U.S.S.R. and co-operation with the People’s Democracies could have been the basis for the all-round development of Yugoslavia’s economic life, for the industrialisation of the country, the reorganisation of the countryside and steady improvement in the wellbeing of the population.

However, the treacherous Tito clique took Yugoslavia along another path.

The Tito clique was never interested in the industrialisation of Yugoslavia. In their memorandum to the UN Economic Council, the Titoites claim, in full keeping with the plans of the U.S.-British imperialists, that “Yugoslavia must develop as an agrarian-industrial country which will produce industrial and agricultural raw materials”. In other words, Yugoslavia must remain a backward country, a source of raw materials and market for the imperialists of the West.


This treacherous and reactionary character of the economic policy pursued by the Titoites is reflected also in the sphere of the country’s foreign trade.

In the years immediately after Yugoslavia’s liberation, the Titoites quickly concluded trade agreements with the capitalist States, while trade agreements with the People’s Democracies were signed after incredibly long drawn-out negotiations, protracted by the Yugoslav rulers and afterwards, as a rule, broken by the Tito clique.

Even before the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers’ Parties exposed the Tito clique, the Yugoslav Government took the line of sabotaging its undertakings to the U.S.S.R. and the People’s Democracies. In relation to Poland, this unscrupulous Tito policy took the form of disrupting delivery of the raw materials contracted for, and vital to, the rehabilitation of our country (copper, lead, iron ore, etc.) while, at the same time, speeding-up the export of goods of second-rate importance such as wines and fruits. Meanwhile, Poland loyally supplied the goods designated in the agreement and needed by Yugoslav economy.

This policy of sabotaging the economic agreements, concluded by the Titoites with the U.S.S.R. and People’s Democracies, led to the suspension of trade relations with Yugoslavia in the second half of 1949. This was one of the results of the passage of the Tito gang into the service of U.S.-British imperialism. In November 1949, the meeting of the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers’ Parties stated on the basis of numerous facts that “the Yugoslav Government is completely dependent on foreign imperialist circles and has become a weapon of their aggressive policy”.

The Titoites seek to deceive the peoples of Yugoslavia, claiming that they will receive vast quantities of machinery, technical equipment and raw materials from the Western States. But the imperialists are not interested in the industrialisation of the country. The equipment and machines which the capitalists are inclined to supply are designed, above all, for those branches of industry which are of particular importance to them. The import lists feature mainly equipment and machines for extending non-ferrous ore mining, in the exploitation of which the capitalist monopolies are keenly interested. Yugoslavia receives machines for expanding the lumber industry.

The capitalist monopolies, guided solely by their own interests, supply Yugoslavia with items such as powdered milk and include in Yugoslavia’s imports the expenditure connected with the construction of airfields and other military objects which are to serve as bases for the aggressive operations of the imperialists, contrary to the national interests of Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia’s imports include considerable radio equipment (valued at 600,000 dollars) for the radio stations which are being built, according to “The New York Herald Tribune”, for “radio propaganda against the Cominform”.

Together with such “goods”, the Tito clique also imports a host of “specialists” from the capitalist countries who direct Yugoslavia’s economy along channels that meet the interests of their masters and whose espionage activities are beyond doubt.


The considerable import of goods, often superfluous for Yugoslav economy, necessitated increased export which has been stretched to the utmost and now exceeds the country’s economic possibilities. Even the imperialist press states that Yugoslavia’s export plan is distended and impracticable.

An enumeration of Yugoslavia’s export obligations for the current year to eight countries alone (U.S.A., Britain, Western Germany, Sweden, France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland), shows that they are in excess of 240 million dollars. Taking into account exports to the other countries with whom Yugoslavia has trade relations, it should be noted that compared with pre-war, when Yugoslavia was economically much better off, her 1950 exports are more than double.

Even with the sops handed out to the Titoites in the forms of credits, Yugoslavia’s exports cannot cope with the tasks imposed by the excessive import, thus making doubtful the reality of Yugoslavia’s foreign trade and further worsening the country’s general economic position.

The Tito clique is forcing up exports in every way, regardless of the needs of the population, the crop and the economic interests of the country. Commenting on this policy of export “at all costs”, “The New York Herald Tribune” wrote on February 1, 1950: The Yugoslav Government summoned all directors of industrial enterprises, trade union leaders and publishers and told them to inform the Yugoslav people of the need to export, this year, everything that can be exported.

The structure of Yugoslav exports emphasises still more Tito’s servility to the imperialists and reveals the dependence of Yugoslavia on the capitalist monopolies.

The capitalist countries are interested in three main categories of exports from Yugoslavia: non-ferrous metals, timber and provisions. By the end of 1950, the intensified export of non-ferrous metals to capitalist countries will have exceeded the 1951 target by 10 per cent. Valuable strategic materials such as copper, lead, zinc and bauxite, which are not processed in Yugoslavia, are exported in large quantities to capitalist countries, thus enhancing their military potential. Unquestionably, the imperialists are interested in stepping-up the export of these valuable materials from Yugoslavia and are going to great lengths to hinder the development of the industry which could process these raw materials in Yugoslavia.

Yugoslavia’s forests are rapaciously exploited. This year, the quantity of timber felled will exceed the 1951 target by 75 per cent. A comparison between these figures and the catastrophically low targets in other branches of country’s economy shows the disastrous position to which the Titoites are reducing Yugoslavia’s economy.

The export of agricultural products and foodstuffs, articles of prime necessity, is beyond the economic possibilities of the country. In exporting foodstuffs, the Titoites are absolutely indifferent to the interests of the working class and of all the working people and aggravate still more their hopeless position, reducing them to poverty and hunger. Yugoslav deliveries designed for Western Germany include, according to “Der Kurier” of August 4, “100,000 tons of wheat, 300,000 tons of maize, 60,000 tons of oats, 50,000 tons of barley” and also store cattle, agricultural and industrial raw materials.

A comparison of these figures with the hunger rampant in Yugoslavia, the rising prices on staple articles, the prevailing disorganization in the rationing system, and the recent 10 per cent cut in the bread ration clearly reveals the abyss into which the fascist clique is leading the peoples of Yugoslavia.

Interesting in this respect is a report in the “Neue Zuricher Zeitung” of September 12, confirming the vicious circle of Yugoslavia’s dependence on the imperialists. While exporting food in large quantities, Yugoslavia, notes the paper, is at the same time “compelled to ask Brannan, American Secretary for Agriculture, for food supplies from America’s surplus stocks. This illustrates the threatening state of affairs with regard to supplies in an agricultural country such as Yugoslavia”.

The Tito clique is further aggravating this difficult position of the people by its policy of export prices. For instance, they sell maize to Western Germany at 4 dinars a kilogram while the price charged in Yugoslavia is 40 dinars; sugar is exported to Italy at 6.5 dinars a kilogram, whereas, in Yugoslavia, the people are forced to pay 500 dinars a kilogram.

Yugoslavia is still on rations. However, despite this, “The New York Herald Tribune” admitted in its issue of July 10 that food prices have doubled compared with 1949. In the same paper of August 10 we read that the already low standard of living of the Yugoslav people is falling catastrophically.

The political consequences of the aforementioned facts are just as grave for Yugoslavia as the economic consequences. The grain export ruins the poor and middle peasants, dooms the townspeople to hunger and, at the same time, creates a paradise for speculators and kulaks. In his election speech Tito was forced to admit that “many peasants are deprived of their last shirt….the peasants do not want to cultivate the fields”.

Unable to cope with the difficulties, the Titoites are seeking a way out of the situation by handing over the industrial enterprises to foreign capital. Thus, for instance, the “Anaconda Copper Company”, one of the biggest metallurgical concerns in the world, the “Mackenzie Engineering Company” and others have been granted concessions. Mixed companies are being formed in which half of the capital is foreign: for instance “Eastern Merchants Co.” in Great Britain.

The monopoly societies formed in the capitalist countries to trade with Yugoslavia are completely entangling Yugoslavia in the network of their agents.


An analysis of the geographic trend of trade and agreements concluded with capitalist countries also exposes the criminal trade policy of the Tito clique and its servility in relation to the capitalists.

Having broken off trade relations with the U.S.S.R. and the People’s Democracies, the Yugoslav Government is stepping-up exports to the capitalist countries and, above all, to the U.S.A. In the official UNO report for 1948 (“Economic Survey”, page 128) the Tito clique ranks alongside Western Germany as the only country which in 1948 increased exports to the U.S.A.

The Tito clique ships to the U.S.A. mainly non-ferrous metals and strategic raw materials – copper, bauxite, zinc, lead, timber. As was pointed out by the newspaper “Monde”, Yugoslavia exports practically all its copper to the U.S.A. Hence, it is not surprising that Yugoslav exports to the U.S.A., which is 1938 amounted to only four million dollars, reached 18 million dollars in 1949, i.e., increased more than fourfold, and that in 1950 the figure is expected to reach 30-35 million dollars, i.e., eight times more than pre-war.

At the close of 1949, Yugoslavia signed a five-year agreement with Britain, envisaging mutual trade to the amount of sixty million dollars annually, i.e., a six-fold increase compared with pre-war. The agreement provides for a steady increase of exports to Britain in the period from 1950 to 1954 of non-ferrous metals, lead, zinc, chrome and agricultural produce.

Since March 1948, Western Germany has become Yugoslavia’s serious counter-agent. In conformity with the agreement of April 18 this year, the Yugoslav Government is pledged to deliver goods to the amount of 65.7 million dollars to Western Germany; import from Western Germany is envisaged to the amount of 61.2 million dollars.

A part of Yugoslavia’s export which has not been seized by the U.S.A. and Britain goes to countries subordinate to American imperialism. She exports to France timber, ores, metals and agricultural produce to the value of six billion francs a year. Yugoslavia undertook to supply Italy with timber, bauxite, iron-ore, metals, etc. to the amount of 16 billion lira. But this trade has already increased to 54 billion lira in accordance with the treaty signed in August 1949.

Yugoslavia has similar agreements with other countries. As a result of the agreement with Austria, for example, meat consigned from Yugoslavia is plentiful in Vienna. Meanwhile, there is a food shortage in Belgrade and people queue for hours for 250 grams of meat.


The newspapers in most capitalist countries abound in reports of loans granted to Tito. What, in the final count, did the Titoites receive? Fifty-five million dollars from the U.S.A. (Export-Import Bank) and 2.7 million dollars for rapacious felling of timber, nine million dollars from the currency fund and eight million sterling from Britain.

The U.S. journal “News and World Report” wrote that Tito would finally receive dollar aid, but the U.S.A. would require Yugoslavia to abandon her industrialisation plans and, possibly, political or military concessions. The important fact, said this journal, is that Tito needs dollars and he will have to pay for them.

It follows that the people of Yugoslavia are paying. It is common knowledge that the international banks only grant credit on condition that they have the decisive say where, when and for what purpose the money will be used. The “New York Herald Tribune” writes that three-quarters of the new loan will be used for the purchase of American raw materials, machinery, lubricating oils, chemicals and so forth. The remainder is designated for the purchase of basic equipment and materials essential for increasing productivity in the mines of Yugoslavia.

But the Titoites did not receive at once even these paltry sops granted on the most enslaving conditions. For before the negotiations began, Tito had to curry favour with his masters, undertaking to pay huge sums in compensation for nationalisation and the debts incurred by the Royal government.

Tito undertook to pay 17 million dollars compensation for nationalisation to the U.S.A., apart from the 38.5 million dollars of pre-war loans received by the royal government. By its agreement with Britain, Yugoslavia undertook to pay 18 million dollars compensation for nationalisation but even this did not satisfy the capitalist sharks. The Tito Government also recognised Britain’s right to a part of the produce and consequently to a part of the profits of those State enterprises of Yugoslavia where, before the war, British capital was a shareholder.

France received 1.6 million dollars compensation money, Switzerland, 75 million Swiss francs, Belgium, 365 million Belgian francs and Sweden, 41 million kroner.

The imports needed by Yugoslavia cannot be obtained and depend solely on the will and interests of the imperialist States and the capitalist monopolies. Export from Yugoslavia, as envisaged in the agreements, is rapacious and ruinous for the country. Both import and export fully reflect the adventurous and mercenary character of the Tito clique which is bringing the peoples of Yugoslavia into semi-colonial dependence on international capital.

If we compare the situation in Yugoslavia, which the imperialist agents – the Tito clique – are thrusting into the depths of backwardness and poverty, with the new economic successes of the People’s Democracies, with the victorious fulfillment of their rehabilitation plans, and the building of Socialism, we shall see clearly that without U.S.S.R. aid and mutual cooperation with the People’s Democracies, without utilizing the experience of the country where Socialism has triumphed – the experience of the C.P.S.U. (B), tested in battles and in labour – without applying the brilliant teaching of Lenin-Stalin, there can be no question of building a new social system, of building Socialism.

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