On 16 January 1920 the Allied Supreme Council, meeting in Paris, declared the blockade of Soviet Russia at an end. ‘The Allies now understand the impossibility of fighting the Bolsheviks in Russia’, Lord Riddell noted in his diary. ‘No nation is prepared to supply troops or money.’1 The Supreme Council went on to adopt a resolution providing for an ‘exchange of goods on the basis of reciprocity between the Russian people and Allied and neutral countries’. It was insisted that this did ‘not mean a change in the policy of the Allied governments towards the Soviet government’;2 but it was difficult, on the face of it, to regard the Allies’ decision as anything other than a complete reversal of the policy which they had previously pursued towards the Bolshevik authorities. A policy of peace and commerce, it appeared, was now to succeed the hostile confrontation of the immediate post-revolutionary years.3


Prime Minister Trading Relation British Government Peace Treaty Soviet Government 
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  1. 1.
    Lord Riddell, Intimate Diary of the Peace Conference and After (London 1923), p. 161.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    The best accounts of the preceding period are Richard H. Ullman, Intervention and the War (London 1961) and Britain and the Russian Civil War (London 1968).Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    L. B. Krasin, Vneshtorg i Vneshnyaya Ekonomicheskaya Politika Sovetskogo Pravitel’stva (Petrograd 1921), pp. 5–6.Google Scholar
  4. 12.
    L. B. Krasin, Voprosy Vneshnei Torgovli (Moscow 1928), pp. 249 and 250.Google Scholar
  5. 15.
    Conference of British Ministers with the Head of the Russian Trade Delegation, 10 Downing Street, 31 May 1920, DBFP vol. 8, no. 24, pp. 281 – 92. The records of the negotiations are included in this volume of the British Documents; a detailed narrative account is available in Richard H. Ullman, The Anglo-Soviet Accord (London 1972).Google Scholar
  6. 45.
    W. T. Goode, Bolshevism at Work (London 1920), pp. 121, 123, 139 and 140.Google Scholar
  7. 46.
    H. G. Wells, Russia in the Shadows (London 1920), p. 64; Curzon to Sir H. Dering (Bucharest), 21 October 1920, Curzon Papers F112/302.Google Scholar
  8. Other contemporary accounts include Col l’E. Malone, The Russian Republic (London 1920);Google Scholar
  9. Arthur Ransome, Six Weeks in Russia in 1919 (London 1919) ;Google Scholar
  10. and Sylvia Pankhurst, Soviet Russia as I Saw It (London 1921).Google Scholar
  11. Soviet archival source quoted in V. A. Shishkin, Sovetskoe Gosudarstvo i Strany Zapada v 1917–1923 gg. (Leningrad 1969), p. 186.Google Scholar
  12. 94.
    K. Radek, Vneshnyaya Politika Sovetskoi Rossii (Moscow 1923), pp. 77–8.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Stephen White 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen White
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GlasgowUK

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