In the autumn of 1932, when Canada had massive agricultural surpluses and hunger was afflicting millions of Soviet citizens, a proposal to trade Canadian cattle for Soviet fuels attracted considerable public support. Negotiated by a syndicate of Canadian businessmen, the cattle-oil barter deal was initially stalled because Conservative prime minister R.B. Bennett was ideologically opposed to it. Soviet documents suggest that this was not the end of the story. Revisiting the cattle-oil barter in light of these documents complicates current accounts of Canadian-Soviet relations in this period and raises questions about the Bennett government's attitude to international trade and sensitivity to the kind of public pressure exerted by the proposal's many Canadian supporters. In spite of major obstacles, the potential mutual benefit of the project nearly overcame ingrained mutual distrust.

Additional Metadata
Keywords 1930s, Barter, Canada, Canadian-Soviet relations, Cattle, Farmers, G.G. Serkau, Newspapers, Oil, Politics, R.B. Bennett, Trade, USSR
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020702016666014
Journal International Journal
Citation
Niergarth, K. (Kirk), & Black, J.L. (2016). Revisiting the Canadian-Soviet barter proposal of 1932-1933: The Soviet perspective. International Journal (Vol. 71, pp. 409–432). doi:10.1177/0020702016666014