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The toiler. (Cleveland, Ohio) 1919-1922, December 18, 1920, Image 9

Image and text provided by Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, OH

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88078683/1920-12-18/ed-1/seq-9/

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SATURDAY, DEC. 18, 1920.
Your Job And The Russian Blockade
Do you realize that there is a relation bet
ween your job and Russian blockade 1 The other
day the Russian Jewish Relief finally got per
mission to buy and ship many hundred thou
sand dollars worth of medical supplies to disease-stricken
Russia. American workmen made
these supplies, American workmenn received
money for them. Russia needs EVERYTHING.
Russia would buy TOMORROW a quarter of ,
million bales of cotton. Russia is bare of every
thing that can be broken. You cannot buy a cup
and saucer in Russia. Russia is stripped of
everything that car. be worn out. There is
practically no cloth in Russia and no man
ufactured garments. The people in the cities
j starve because transportation has broken down.
Every sort of railway supply, from locomotives
and rails clown to parts, are needed in Russia.
Every sorf- of machinery is needed there. The
plumbing in the tjreat cities i3 broken. Every
kind of agricultural implement and machine is
The very babies have no change of clothing.
While Russia cries for all these things,
spindles are idle in the North and South. Am
erican clothing workers walk 'the streets of
cities in a vain search for jobs. Shops every
where close down. The machines slow up. Men
are laid off on all sides.
You all know that unemployment stares
you in the face this winter.
Is it sensible that American workers should
be UNEMPLOYED while Russian workers need
every sort of thing? The other day a cartoon
appeared in a paper entitled "ALL DRESSED
UP AND NOWHERE TO GO." It represented
Uncle Sam standing by the seashore surrounded
by bales of goods ho was unable to export.
We cannot sell our goods to the central
countries or to France or Italy because these
countries cannot afford to buy our goods. The
rate of oxchangc is to high. In normal times tho
Italian lira and the French franc were worth
nineteen and twenty cents. Today (they aro
worth three and five cents respectively. The
German mark has almost reached the vanishing
point. Russia is ready to pay DN GOLD for
American commodities. Russia has RAW
MATERIALS to exchange for AMERICAN
MANUFACTURED GOODS. It has hides, flax
and platinum for export. Russia is the chief
source of the world's lumber supply.
Why can we not trade with Russia, since
the State Department announced early in July
that the restrictions with trade communication
were removed? Why, for instance, cannot cloth
ing and machinery be shipped when American
clothing and textile) workers 'and men from
shops of every -kind are idle? In the first place
the Government will not allow the shipment of
goods which might be used for war purposes.
This includes locomotives and all railway sup
plies. In the days of our neutrality we supplied
Czarist Russia with munitions. We cannot send
locomotives to the workers of Russia. The second
reason we camiot trade is that no postal or
telegraphic communication is allowed. Without
correspondence trade is impossible. The State
Department says you may trade with Russia,
but you must not send any letters or cablegrams
to Russia nor receive any from Russia. You are
not permitted to send money for the purchase
of goods, nor to receive money for the goods
sold. The Federal Reserve Board has prohibited
the TRANSFER OF MONEY not only to Rus
sia BUT EVEN TO ESTONIA, now at peace
with Russia, which could be used as a medium
for sending DRAFTS TO RUSSIA. With these
restrictions the United States Government per
mits you to trade with Russia.
These are the restrictions between you and
your job.
Are you, going to ask that these restrictions
shall be removed? Or do you prefer walking the
streets? It may be your turn to be laid off next.
It may bo that your trade is a trade which could
be supplying the manifold wants of Russia,
stripped naked by blockade and war. Russian
gold cannot be landed hero for the reason that
Secretary Colby has announced that if any gold
from Russia should come here the Government
would scrutinize every coin in order to ascertain
whether it was the legitimate property of the
Russian Workers' Government or had been ob
tained by it through niertns objectionable to the
point of view of the State Department. Gold

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