Trade with Communist Countries

Trade with Communist Countries

Trade with Communist Countries

Trade with Communist Countries

Excerpt

It has been my privilege, during the last six years, to participate in much of the work that has been done in reconstituting commercial relations between the United Kingdom and the USSR, and because this is so it gives me very great pleasure to contribute a foreword to this book. The two authors who have joined together in this venture, both friends of mine, are well fitted to their task, Mr. Nove by his intimate knowledge of the Russian scene and the Russian people, and Mr. Donnelly by the wide acquaintance with political affairs which he has gained as a Member of Parliament and by the knowledge of the world he has acquired in the course of extensive travels.

I and others who have been engaged in trade with Communist countries have gained our knowledge the hard way, by experience: the experience sometimes of disappointment and frustration but often of encouragement and success. If such a book as this had existed ten years ago we should have been saved from some of the disappointments and helped immensely towards the successes. For, writing each from his own special knowledge, the two authors have compressed a great deal of information into a modest compass, and it is the information needed by the business man who contemplates trading with the Communist world.

But if this book had been written six years ago it would, of course, have been a different book. Russia, China and the East European countries have all experienced changes during that period, their institutions have been shaped and re-shaped, and, especially in Russia, the material standard of living has improved markedly, with manifold consequences upon the texture of society and the emphasis placed on different economic needs. But we in the West have also changed and are still changing. Revolutions need be neither sudden nor violent, and we are ourselves experiencing a silent revolution in our way of life and thought. Neither in the East nor the West is the pattern set for all time, nor can it ever be. The tragedy of the recent past is that in the course of world-wide change there has come to be . . .

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