From For a Lasting Peace, for a People’s Democracy!
No. 22 (49), October 14, 1949
Enslavement of Yugoslavia by Anglo-American Capital
Member, Central Committee,
Communist Party of Czechoslovakia
In 1947, Tito pompously declared that the Yugoslavia Five Year Plan
would be completed in 1951. But none of the conditions necessary for
the fulfillment of the Plan had been created in the country. The Plan
contained unreal, astronomical figures and, in general, was framed in
such a way as to break economic relations with the Soviet Union and the
People’s Democracies, and to subordinate Yugoslavia to the capitalist
It is quite obvious that the main targets of the Yugoslav Five-Year
Plan are totally unreal. For example, by the end of the Plan,
industrial output is scheduled to surpass the 1939 level by 494 per
cent, and the output of means of production by 625 per cent. To do this
it envisages capital investment in industry to the value of 278,300
million dinars. To understand fully the unreality of this figure it is
sufficient to bear in mind that the value of industrial production for
1951 is planned at 126 billion dinars, in other words, capital
investments are twice this figure which in itself is unreal. In
Czechoslovakia, on the other hand, capital investments envisaged by the
Five-Year Plan amount to 336 billion crowns while the value of
industrial production in the last year of the Five Year Plan will reach
454 billion crowns.
A feature of Yugoslavia’s Plan is that it concentrates on developing
production of those goods which were supplied to Yugoslavia by the
People’s Democracies and the Soviet Union. It is on the production of
these goods that the efforts of the Tito fascist clique are
concentrated in the first phase of the Plan. For example, oil output,
which in pre-war Yugoslavia was insignificant, is to go up 450 times by
the end of the Plan; raw steel will rise 323 per cent; rolled metal,
311 per cent; coal, 272 per cent. The Titoites are doing everything to
develop production of industrial coke. Their attempts to produce about
700,000 tons of coke a year will cost Yugoslavia 22 to 25 billion
dinars. Yet, in the opinion of the specialists installing the necessary
equipment, the production of coke from Yugoslavia’s lignite is
practically impossible, and such an attempt will cost the country dear.
By concentrating on production of those goods which Yugoslavia could
receive on favourable terms from the People’s Democracies and the
Soviet Union, the treacherous Tito clique is exposing its own
long-planned aims and those of its American masters to abandon economic
cooperation with the camp of Socialism and make a complete break with
it. These plans have been posed on the “basis” of false slogans about
“Yugoslavia’s economic independence” and “building Socialism with our
If in 1947-48 the targets were fulfilled in certain branches of
industry, it was only because of the selflessness of the Yugoslav
working people and because of the very great help given to Yugoslavia
by the Soviet Union and the People’s Democracies. Apart from the
regular trade exchange through which Yugoslavia was supplied with
products essential for reconstruction and construction, (for example,
Czechoslovakia supplied coke, rolled steel, fireclay and so on), the
Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Poland signed special investment
agreements with Yugoslavia. According to these agreements, Yugoslavia
was to receive a total of approximately 30 billion dinars worth of
investments. The Soviet Union, Yugoslavia’s biggest supplier, granted
and extended credit. Other People’s Democracies also gave Yugoslavia
credits. Czechoslovakia, for example, refrained from demanding advance
payments for Yugoslav orders.
The Tito clique rejected this assistance. By systematically violating
agreements, and by a hostile policy toward the Soviet Union and the
People’s Democracies, the treacherous Titoites severed economic
relations with these countries. They deliberately deprived Yugoslavia
of support, aid and the guarantee of its national independence. The
country was placed at the mercy of the imperialist States.
The imperialist States, having earmarked Yugoslavia as an instrument in
the struggle against the U.S.S.R and the People’s Democracies, are
taking both open and secret measures to keep their hired Tito clique in
power, at any rate for the time being. While the attempts of the
People’s Democracies to establish economic relations on the basis of
mutual benefit meet with no support on the part of imperialist powers,
the Tito clique is given quite a different reception.
Here are some examples of this. Late in 1948, the Yugoslav Government
signed a commercial agreement with Britain covering trade to the value
of 200 million dollars. Recently a Yugoslav-Italian trade agreement was
signed to the value of approximately £ 7 million, although before
the war, when Italy was one of Yugoslav’s biggest trading partners, the
total value of trade between the two countries was never more than
£ 5 million. The United States is pursuing a policy of
discrimination against the Soviet Union and the People’s Democracies.
The U.S. also sanctioned the export of machinery and equipment for a
steel-works to Yugoslavia to the value of 3 million dollars. The
bourgeois press gleefully recalled that the repeated requests of
Czechoslovakia and Poland for supplies of similar machinery equipment
had been rejected.
At the beginning of September, the U.S. Export-Import Bank announced
that it would grant a 20 million dollars loan to Yugoslavia. The
American press made no attempt to conceal the political nature of this
loan. The Washington correspondent of the United Press pointed out that
the Bank had granted Yugoslavia the loan with unusual speed – less than
two weeks after the official request. The correspondent stressed that,
in his desire to help Tito, Acheson use pressure to get the loan
through. According to the United Press, at first Johnson, Minister of
Defense, opposed the loan because he considered the United States
should not do anything to strengthen the military potential of any of
the East European countries. However, continued the United Press,
Acheson managed to convince Johnson that a loan for Yugoslavia would
give the U.S. a valuable diplomatic advantage in the cold war.
On September 23, a correspondent of the French weekly “La Tribune des
Nations” reported: “The agreement to grant the 20 million dollar loan
through the Export-Import Bank was signed on conditions which are
gradually becoming clearer. It has become known that one of these
conditions stipulated big zinc and lead mining concessions in Slovenia.
Apart from this, the U.S. Ambassador in Belgrade is now negotiating for
mining concessions in Kamnik for the ‘Anaconda Copper Mining Company’ ”.
In the light of the exposure of the Rajk espionage gang, Acheson’s
concern that Tito should receive a loan is quite clear: for a long time
the U.S. imperialists have wanted to entrench themselves in Yugoslavia,
and with the assistance of their hirelings, the Tito clique, they are
trying to turn the country into a base for the struggle against the
Soviet Union and People’s Democracies.
As already pointed out, the most essential imports for Yugoslavia are
raw materials and machinery necessary to develop a normal level of
production. Formerly, Yugoslavia partly balanced its imports from the
countries with planned economies by exporting non-ferrous metals and
large quantities of wines, fruits, low-grade timber and so on.
Today Yugoslavia can find no market for these goods in the capitalist
countries. Yugoslav wines, for example, cannot complete with Italian
and French wines, and the same holds true for other products. Thus,
Yugoslavia is now compelled to pay the capitalist countries for all its
orders in the goods and raw materials that are most essential for
herself. This is evident from trade agreement with Italy according to
which Yugoslavia will export only non-ferrous metals, certain minerals,
timber and grain.
Yugoslavia also supplies the U.S., Britain and Holland with non-ferrous
metals. Two shipments of tin (5,000 tons and 3,000 tons) were sent
recently to the United States. It is interesting to note that the
Yugoslav satraps of the imperialists sell non-ferrous metals to their
masters at much lower prices than they did to the People’s Democracies.
Here are some figures: Czechoslovakia was charged 19 crowns per kilo
for tin, Britain 12.60 crowns, the U.S. (at the beginning of July) 15
crowns, and Italy (at present) 16 crowns. It should be noted that
during the past few weeks prices of tin have noticeably increased on
the world market.
The predatory felling and export of timber is further proof of the
Yugoslav traitors’ dependence on, and servility to, their
Anglo-American masters. The country’s timber resources are being
expended at an unprecedented rate. For example, the 1951 target for
timber exports has already been reached. The value of timber felled in
excess of plan and earmarked for export has reached the enormous annual
sum of 11,800 million dinars. And now the Tito clique is finding it
necessary to export a considerable amount of basic foodstuffs which
will add still more to the hardships of the Yugoslav people.
Despite the plundering of Yugoslavia’s natural resources and the
drastic measures that are forcing the living standards still lower, the
Tito clique cannot make good the enormous loss caused by severing
economic relations with the people’s democracies and the Soviet Union.
Yugoslavia is now in a position where she has not enough goods with
which to buy the necessary products abroad. In 1949 her trade balance
had a deficit of 30-40 per cent. The situation is aggravated by the
fact that Tito and Company have already exhausted the credits granted
by the capitalist countries within the framework of the present trade
agreements. By the end of 1948, the dollar reserves acquired when the
U.S. returned the Yugoslav people’s gold blocked during the war, were
similarly exhausted. The capitalists will only grant new credits
against sure guarantees. Such guarantees can only be full foreign
monopoly control over Yugoslav economy and the restoration of
capitalism in Yugoslavia.
Yugoslavia’s economy is already under the control of various “agents”
and “representatives” of the imperialist countries, who, according to
the Western press, are carrying on negotiations concerning the internal
structure of Yugoslav economy, such as the level of production in
various industries, and so on.
The number of those people in Yugoslavia grows from day to day.
Recently it was reported that the London firm, the Mackenzie
Engineering Company, was planning to build an iron and steel plant in
Yugoslavia and was therefore sending many “experts” to the country.
Capitalist monopolies also control Yugoslav export. The Tito Government
willingly sets up so-called joint societies to organize exports to
various capitalist countries. Such societies have already been
established in Britain and Belgium.
These are nothing but capitalist companies which, though pretending to
serve Yugoslav interests, are, in reality, the means by which
capitalist firms control Yugoslav exports and economy in general.
The oil monopolies are particularly interested in Yugoslav’s oil. The
U.S. State Department has sanctioned the export of drilling equipment
to Yugoslavia on a scale denied even to the Marshall countries. It is
also known that an agreement exists for building a large-scale oil
refinery in Yugoslavia with American assistance. This will most
probably be supplied with oil from the Near East.
Anyone with an understanding of the methods of imperialist monopolies
will not have the slightest doubt that all these concessions will be
paid for at the expense of unrestricted exploitation of the Yugoslav
As regards the construction of an oil refinery, there is talk that the
compensation may be military bases. Tito will probably try to conceal
this is some way, perhaps by establishing a “transport centre” to buy
the arms for the Yugoslav Army from the capitalist countries.
Thus, as a result of the Tito clique’s deliberate treachery,
Yugoslavia, whose people won the sympathy of all progressive mankind by
their struggle for national freedom, has lost its economic and
political independence and is now being ruthlessly plundered and
enslaved by the capitalist monopolies.
However, the real friends of the Yugoslav people in the democratic camp
have no doubt that, led by the vanguard of the Yugoslav working class,
the working people of Yugoslavia will not let the monstrous treachery
of Tito and his hirelings deliver Yugoslavia into the hands of the
imperialist bandits forever.
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