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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Click here to return to the index of archival material.