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Saturday, June 21, 2008

1933 Big Four Wheat Talks Fail

Winnipeg Free Press
Friday, September 29, 1933

Russia Insists on Exporting
About Double Amount Allotted to It
(Associated Press Cable)
London, Sept. 29 — Another meeting between wheat representatives of the "big four" exporting nations and the Russian delegate, at Canada House, held Thursday in an effort to solve the problem arising from the Soviet government's demand for the right to export about double the amount allotted to it, broke up with an official statement that "no definite conclusions have been reached."
The Russian, Abraham Gourevitch, told the press that his government had not changed its position. "Why should we?" he asked.
The official statement said that "further negotiations will be carried on between the governments."
The Soviet delegate, who left the meeting before its conclusion, said that the representatives of the big powers might meet again early in November.
Under the international wheat agreement drawn up at the World Economic Conference, Russia would be permitted to export 37,000,000 bushels.
At Thursday's meeting, Russia turned down a conditional offer from Canada and the United States to increase the Soviet Union's allotment for the coming year by 22 per cent.
A reservation was made in this offer that there was to be no increase unless world demand justified extending the 560,000,000 bushels limit for world exports tentatively adopted at the recent wheat conference.
This would have meant a direct sacrifice by Canada and the United States, it was said, as the original agreement was that these two countries were to share any possible extension in the world quota.
The Russian delegate insisted that his nation must have twice the present tentative allotment of 37,000,000 bushels to satisfy her needs.
Although a brief communique at the close of the session said the "chief exporting nations" were represented, it was learned later the Argentine and Australian delegates did not attend. It was explained that this was because only Canada and the United States were concerned, as any concession would be at their expense.
The conditional increase offered to Russia was 8,000,000 bushels, which would place her practically on an equal basis with the United States, whose allotment is 47,000,000.
Thursday's action by Soviet union (sic) will probably end efforts here to bring Russia into the world wheat agreement at least until November.
The Russian delegate said when he left Thursday's meeting that he had not been in communication with Mos­cow before he conferred with the other delegates. Previously, however, it had been understood by other dele­gates the meeting had been called to hear Moscow's response to the in­crease offer.
All of the delegates have been consulting their home governments at length, it was said.
OCR-ed in Kyiv, June 2008

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