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John G. Wright

Stalin’s Policy Brings USSR
Little Outside Aid

C.P. Press Silent on Lag in Allied Aid;
USSR Isolated Before Nazi Spring Drive

(4 April 1942)

From The Militant, Vol. 6 No. 14, 4 April 1942, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

With the advent of Spring the USSR confronts once again the full might of the Nazi murder machine which has been stalled since last December. What has Stalin’s foreign policy accomplished in the way of providing aid to the heroic Soviet soldiers, workers and peasants in their life-and-death struggle against German imperialism: it can now be established beyond dispute that Stalin’s “allies” have tailed even to provide the quantity of materials and supplies they had originally promised.

According to a recent statement by Shinwell in the House of Commons, which has remained unchallenged, not even a thousand tanks, planes or guns have been sent to Russia by Churchill.

“This paltry trickle of aid – less than 170 of each of these vital instruments of war per month – is on par with the much lauded ‘aid’ rendered by the RAF wing in Russia which succeeded in bringing down 15 German planes in six months! In the Battle for Britain 172 planes were brought down in a single day” (Socialist Appeal, English Trotskyist organ, Feb. 1942).

“Bad Lag”

On March 2, the American News-weekly Time reported a “bad lag in the actual movement of U.S. war material to Russia.” This lag, according to Time, has been caused by a conflict among the ruling tops in Washington. “The President, seeing the Lend-Lease clearance papers, takes it for granted that the goods have been shipped, does not know that they have been sidetracked by the U.S. Army and Navy for other uses.” In short, the brass hats in Washington have been countermanding even those shipments that might actually have been made.

This report was corroborated on March 26 by Roosevelt himself in an official letter directing “high officials of the government, including the Secretaries of War and Navy ... to remove all barriers to the shipment of supplies, to Russia” (New York Times, March 27, 1942). The Washington correspondent of the Times goes on. to add that “officials evidently had to be prodded by the White House to make them release the equipment that is so urgently required by the Russians.”

Yet the Daily Worker has not dared to complain openly about this state of affairs. Why? Because the Kremlin itself prefers to resort to devious methods of bringing pressure to bear on London and Washington.

Daily Worker’s Silence

“There have been news stories lately, originating in Berne, Switzerland as well as here in Washington, pointing up our failure to deliver promised quantities of Lease-Lend goods to Russia, in accordance with the provisions of the protocol arranged at the time of the Harrison-Batt mission” (Common Sense, April 1942).

The Washington correspondents of Common Sense add caustically: “There is some evidence that these stories were inspired by the Soviets themselves.” There has been no refutation from Moscow of the stories emanating from Switzerland and Washington.

It is not hard to understand why Stalin prefers not to broach the issue openly even in the pages of the Daily Worker. This would embarrass and compromise not only London and Washington whose favor the Stalinists are currying, but also Stalin himself. The Kremlin’s official silence is an annihilating commentary On the bankruptcy of Stalin’s “realistic” policy. It is with such aid that the Soviet Union has to meet the full brunt of ‘the impending Nazi offensive. Stalin’s policies of relying on the “democracies” have resulted only in isolating the Soviet masses from their real allies, the revolutionary workers of Europe. It is still not too late to mobilize those real allies – in Germany, in the occupied countries – to give powerful aid to the USSR by attacking Hitler from the rear. To achieve this, however, the reactionary policies of Stalinism must be abandoned and replaced by the policies pursued by the Bolsheviks under Lenin and Trotsky,


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