Chapter 12
An Invitation to Bernard Baruch

SOME TIME AFTER THE DEAL WAS closed in Leningrad, Rykov called me for consultation on a matter of vital interest to the Soviet Government. It was the urgent need of revitalizing Lenin's policy on foreign concessions, which had fallen far short of its objective--the industrialization of primitive Russia.

The Premier recalled that one night, on our tour down the Volga, someone had broached this subject. We were dining on deck under a starlit sky. The night was warm and fragrant with the smell of freshly harvested wheat in the fields on either side of the river. In the distance gleamed the lights of Tsaritsin (now Stalingrad). It must have been the sight of the town, already marked as a future industrial center, that inspired one of the Premier's guests to raise the question of industrialization. He was one of a local committee that had come on board to greet the head of the government and escort him to his next stop.

"For years," he said, "we have been told that the Americans were coming over to build great industrial plants. Where are they?

"In America," said Rykov.

-142-

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