"A smart lawyer should collect his fees when his
client's tears were still hot on her cheeks." said
a Republican Senator of U.S.A., and Uncle Sam being
not only a smart lawyer but also a hard-headed businessman,
has now succeeded in effecting a 'Barter Agreement'
with India under which 31,500,000 dollars worth of American
farm surpluses will be supplied in return for certain
Those Congress bosses who were ridiculing the the 'Grow
More Food Campaign' undertaken by the alien government,
announced grandiose schemes of increased production
and self-sufficiency on the food-front, introduced 'Vana
Mahothsawas', but found to their dismay, that their
schemes have not been successful—and the food problem
has become acute, forcing them to import food grains,
thereby endangering the exchange front.
The tears were visible and hot, and U.S.A., not forgetting
the very 'Christian' advice of the Republican Senator,
has offered wheat and other farm products, in exchange
for strategic materials, "Manganese, Ferromanganese
and such other materials as may be agreed upon."
Mr. Donald Kennedy, a senior official of the Bureau
of South Asian affairs, states,
"It was the first barter agreement which the United
States had signed with India, although the question
of such deals had first been broached 10 years ago."
Mr. Kennedy has not favoured us, with any explanation
about these attempts at such deals, for, that would
most certainly turn the searchlight on that party which
has got what it wanted in an almost 'the pound of flesh'
It was exactly when discussing proposals for such a
deal, that the American Senator, not mincing matters,
put forward his proposal 'collect your fees while the
client is in tears'.
Eighty out of the hundred who happen to read about this
barter agreement, would say that, U.S.A. needs something
we possess and in return supplies us that thing without
which life itself would be in jeopardy.
That section which is charged with the task of boosting
up the Nehru regime, would certainly jump up to say,
"Because of the tremendous, almost magnetic influence
which Nehru exerts over the U.S.A., we are going to
get ship-loads of wheat—defeating the machination of
nature itself. There would be no shortage of food—no
famine—no starvation deaths— Nehru has asked for food,
and lo! U.S.A., has agreed to send us a colossal amount
of farm products, demanding in return not gold, but
agreeing to take materials that India could afford to
Congress propagandists, paid in cash or in promises,
would go about, hailing this barter agreement, and would
ejaculate, that by this stroke of success Pandit Nehru
has once again established his claim to be the saviour
of the Nation. But while the Congress propagandists
do their job, it is up to the astute section of the
public to find out the true state of affairs.
What is meant, first of all, by the term 'strategic
Writes an authority on this subject,
"Any given material becomes strategic, only if
we consider it in relation not merely to a given country,
but to that country's given adversary."
And, what is the given adversary as far as U.S.A. is
concerned? All known accounts go to show, that it is
Russia. And let us see, what has Russia got to do with
this material, manganese.
U.S.A. registered an annual production of 140.7 million
tons of steel in 1958—establishing a world record as
it were. It is an accepted fact, that the most important
factor in not merely industrial might, but military
might, is the steel-making capacity. And how much of
importance is attached to this steel-making capacity
can well be understood, if we take note of the fact,
that the United States Post Office issued a commemoration
stamp bearing the motto, 'America and Steel growing
But, while the U.S.A. has recorded its might in steel,
it is seriously deficient in some minerals which are
indispensable for steel-making, the most important being,
Manganese serves as a cleanser and purifier; it imports
toughness and strength to steel; it enters into armor-plates,
projectiles, car wheels, railway switches, safes, grinding
machinery, machine tools, structures, and bridge steels.
Without an adequate and abundant supply of manganese,
the steel-producing capacity of U.S.A. will be much
impaired. So manganese becomes essential—indispensable.
U.S.A. is deficient in such a material—its potentiality
in this can be gauged, if we take note of the fact,
that only some 3000 hands were employed in the manganese
But, U.S.A. was able to build up a mighty steel industry
by getting very liberal supplies of manganese from foreign
countries. And the most significant fact to be carefully
noted is this: before World War II, Soviet Russia was
the principal supplier of manganese to the U.S.A. During
the Presidency of Harry Truman, Soviet Russia announced
its plan of stopping the supply of manganese.
What an amount of potential danger, this stoppage of
supply of manganese denotes, cannot be exaggerated.
The Soviet Union happens to be the largest producer
of manganese, the 1955 production is stated to be 5,228,300
And when the U.S.A. was thus almost cornered, President
Truman constituted a committee to tackle the problem,
and it was then, in 1949, that India came forward to
help the U.S.A. in her predicament, by supplying manganese.
In fact in 1949, India replaced the Soviet Union as
the principal supplier of manganese to U.S.A.— 4,29,203
tons in 1949—6,30,147 tons in 1950—5,65,557 tons in
Of course, besides India, Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Belgian
Congo, Ghana, and the Union of South Africa also supplied
manganese to U.S.A.; but the largest amount of supply
was from India—it replaced Soviet Russia.
If, as is argued, the stoppage of the supply of manganese
by the Soviet Union was part of its 'cold war' programme,
it was with the aid from India, that the U.S.A. was
able to withstand it.
None would, we are sure, miss to note the significance
of the term, 'strategic material', after a perusal of
the analysis given.
And did those 'architects' in India, utilise that situation
for getting lasting benefit for this country? Events
do not prove such a claim.
In 1951, hard pressed on the food front, India applied
to America for a grain loan, and President Truman readily
But a strong group of American Senators and Congressmen,
stood up to demand 'the pound of flesh—and it was then
that the American Senator expressed the most ethical(!)
principle of getting the most when the tears were hot.
"We expect our negotiating authorities to bargain
hard-headedly and realistically to serve our vital interests
in obtaining these materials in exchange for the grain
which India needs so desperately".
The Senate had to accept an amendment to the effect,
that the terms of the loan to India should provide for
a continuous supply of strategic material to U.S.A.
Shylock-like, the Senators began demanding an assurance
from India, about the continuous supply of the strategic
materials and India, because of its haggard look, had
Had the rulers of this land enough statesmanship and
diplomacy, they could have got advantageous conditions
A beggar, they say, has no choice, more so, if he goes
begging for bread, and India had to allow itself to
be stripped of its advantages.
"Were it not for India, our steel industry would
be hard pressed to find all the manganese it needs for
its growing capacity"
—said Mr.Paul Hoffman, a former head of the European
Co-operation Administration. Mr.Chester Bowels pleaded
on behalf of India. But the U.S.A. supplied wheat to
India, only after getting the assurance, about the continued
supply of strategic materials.
Nearly ten years after this, there is the new deal,
the barter agreement—the U.S.A. is to get the strategic
materials in return for the wheat it supplies to India.
Had those at Delhi, succeeded in solving the food problem,
there would not have arisen the woeful necessity of
bartering away strategic materials in this way. We are
certain, that if the full facts and figures are placed
before the public, they would find out that, after all,
the American Senator has succeeded; Uncle Sam, "collects
rich fees while the client's tears are hot and profuse."
Times without number, the Congress leaders, when they
were in the wilderness, have condemned, any trade agreement
arrived at—and used to say that the safety and self-respect
of the country has been bartered away! Those who spoke
in very disparaging terms about the Ottawa Agreement,
are today adorning the citadels of power. And yet, they
have agreed to a barther agreement, which cannot be
termed advantageous to us, looked at from any angle,
political or economic!
May we not ask this pertinent question, "Is it
moral or ethical or even politic, to arrive at such
an agreement, involving 'strategic material', without
taking the public into their confidence—by discussing
it before the supreme legislative body in the land?"
Why should not the Parliament be allowed to discuss
about the necessity or otherwise of such agreements?
If such far-reaching decisions are taken without the
concurrence (after discussion) of the Parliament, is
Pandit Nehru safeguarding democracy?
Instances of imperial whims and fancies are often quoted—monarchs
selling away domains—but it needs more than a stout
heart to outbeat the imperialist by implementing agreements
of far-reaching importance, without discussing it in
the supreme legislative body in the democratic set up.
The Senate and the House of Representatives in the U.S.A..
were allowed to discuss the problem of 'aid to India'
and strong and varied opinions were expressed, before
the final decision was arrived at.
Why is it, that Delhi decides such important issues
without following the democratic ethics of consulting
Are there strings and stipulations in that agreement,
which they are ashamed to own? We do not know, but we
know this much, that the 'deal', with a ten years' history
behind it, cannot be to India's advantage, for, the
discussions at the Senate and the House of Representatives
in The U.S.A. are enough to show what the U.S.A. aimed
at, all along—'Collect the fees while the client's tears
are hot.' And that is what has happened.
(Editorial - 08-03-1959)