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79

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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TRADE 79
not be forgotten that the advance made in less
than two years is enormous. Trade had ceased to
exist, and now it has developed in three forms:
State trade, Co-operative trade, and private trade.
Life itself, competition, the serious efforts to secure
a better technical organisation, will lead, I think,
to a kind of modus vivendi being established
between these three forms.
Whereas foreign trade was an absolute State
monopoly in 1921, a number of Russian trade
organisations have now received the right to trade
abroad. It is true that the number of State insti
tutions with this right has recently been reduced
again, but several foreign companies have simul
taneously been given the right to import and export
certain goods. The Commissariat for Foreign
Trade (Vnesjtorg) gets a good deal of the profit,
but that does not prevent the private companies
from organising their foreign trade in quite a prac
tical way, at any rate to some extent. The State
chiefly exercises control and takes part of the
profits.
No doubt it is true that if private trading,—e.g.,
in corn—with foreign countries was released, the
prices on the home market would rise considerably.
The State Bank could then no longer buy corn at
a price of six to eight dollars a ton and seil it
again in Finland at forty-two dollars, thus in
creasing its stock of gold to cover the issue of
tchervonets in sufficient numbers (Cf. the next
chapter). But the reduced purchasing power of
the country population which results from these

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