‘Entente Commerciale’

  • Stephen White


Curzon’s uncompromising attitude towards the Soviet government during the latter part of 1922 and the early part of 1923 found a generally favourable response in business and financial circles. The Manchester Guardian Commercial, in a survey of business opinion conducted in May 1923, found only a small (though none the less distinct) body of opinion in favour of the retention of the trade agreement. Businessmen were more inclined to the view that the loss of Russian orders at their existing level would ‘make little difference and would certainly not affect employment in this country’. Opinion (the journal added the following month) was ‘for the most part, unfavourable to the Anglo-Russian Trade Agreement’.1 The financial world was no more enthusiastic. The Association of British Creditors of Russia wrote to the Foreign Office that an attempt to secure a modus vivendi with the Soviet government was ‘quite futile’, and urging that the British mission in Moscow be withdrawn forthwith. Its representations were supported by the London Chamber of Commerce.2 A meeting convened by the Association, at which a representative of the Federation of British Industries was present, was ‘unanimous in denouncing the existing agreement with Russia as an agreement which legalized the robbery of British nationals, which action has helped to finance the Bolshevik government since the signing of the agreement’.3


Foreign Trade Trade Agreement Business Opinion Diplomatic Relation Russian Market 
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Copyright information

© Stephen White 1979

Authors and Affiliations

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

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