Stalin and Spanish Gold Reserves

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merdiolu
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Stalin and Spanish Gold Reserves

Post by merdiolu » 29 Nov 2010 19:58

Hello all....Lately I am confused about a subject on Spanish Civil War. I read from a few sources that Spanish socialists and republican goverment sent their vast national gold reserves to Soviet Union to get more support from Stalin...Unfortunately Stalin pulled his support in the later stages of war in spite of that and Republicans lost...Stalin even supposed to say that : "Spanish will never see their gold again"

Why Spanish Rebuplicans felt it was necessary to send their gold to Soviet Union ? I mean shouldn't Stalin have supported them with arms and equipment without Spanish gold reserves ? ( in name of solidarity agains Fascists and world socialism etc ) I know that Hitler send weapons , aircraft and volunteers to Franco free of charge....

Mark V
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Re: Stalin and Spanish Gold Reserves

Post by Mark V » 29 Nov 2010 21:00

Hi,

Here is something to read for starters:

http://www.gutenberg-e.org/kod01/kod16.html

During late 1930s, the country that was willing to SELL weapons to you at market price was your friend and by act of selling showed already "good will". That was the norm of the day. During those times it would had been almost unheard of to ask or offer something for free. Atleast credit-line would be established.

Soviet Union and its network of banks abroad was the only option to liquadate the gold to currency, to be used for purchases of weapons, from USSR, and elsewhere. Every other large operation (big banks in America or Switzerland for example) that could had handled such amount of gold would had been also under political control, and Spain was arms embargo area during war.

Hitler had his own agenda, and Franco did not always welcome German interference with war. Also, Spanish did pay back their help the only way Hitler appreciated - with blood.

Regards
Last edited by Mark V on 29 Nov 2010 21:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Ironmachine
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Re: Stalin and Spanish Gold Reserves

Post by Ironmachine » 29 Nov 2010 21:31

It is important to understand that Stalin began to help the republicans before the gold reserves were sent to the Soviet Union and, in fact, before any payment was agreed to.
Also, regarding
Unfortunately Stalin pulled his support in the later stages of war
certainly Stalin lost interest as the Republic was nearing its end, but still in 1939 he sent a great shipment of military equipment, though it was stopped at the French-Spanish frontier and did not reach Catalonia.
Why Spanish Republicans felt it was necessary to send their gold to Soviet Union?
That's the sixty-four thousand dollar question. :lol:
The standard answer seems to have been that it was necessary to prevent it falling into the hands of the rebels. But the question is somewhat more complex than that.
If you can read Spanish, these two links can give you some ideas about that matter:
http://antigua.asturiasliberal.org/node/1069
http://antigua.asturiasliberal.org/node/1070

mars
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Re: Stalin and Spanish Gold Reserves

Post by mars » 05 Dec 2010 02:50

I do not read Spanish, but from my knowledge, the reason to send the Spanish gold reserve to Soviet Union were:
1) prevent them from falling into the hands of the rebels
2) prevent them from falling into the hands of certain party inside the republic government, which the government had no control: the anarchist claimed them would sized the gold reserve and dumped them into the ocean, and the central government lost control the financial system in some local republican region
3) No other friendly country would agree to keep those gold reserve for them, there were about 20-25% gold were sent to France, and then under the pressure both from UK and internal right wing parties, French government informed the Spanish republican government that they would no longer accept their gold anymore

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Ironmachine
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Re: Stalin and Spanish Gold Reserves

Post by Ironmachine » 05 Dec 2010 08:51

But the problem is that it could be maintained in Spain out of reach of the rebels, unless the Republic was thinking that all of Spain was going to fall, in which case sending the money abroad was going to make little difference. The same goes for the second point; the gold was in Madrid, where the anarchists were not so powerful, and it could be sent to equally secure republican zones. In fact it was first sent to Cartagena, the farthest possible point from the war fronts and out of reach of both the rebels and the anarchists. Point 3) may have some weight, but AFAIK, this was not know by the republican government when they decided to send the gold to the Soviet Union. Do you have the date when the French government informed the Republic of their refusal to accept more gold?

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Re: Stalin and Spanish Gold Reserves

Post by mars » 05 Dec 2010 22:44

Ironmachine wrote:But the problem is that it could be maintained in Spain out of reach of the rebels, unless the Republic was thinking that all of Spain was going to fall, in which case sending the money abroad was going to make little difference. The same goes for the second point; the gold was in Madrid, where the anarchists were not so powerful, and it could be sent to equally secure republican zones. In fact it was first sent to Cartagena, the farthest possible point from the war fronts and out of reach of both the rebels and the anarchists. Point 3) may have some weight, but AFAIK, this was not know by the republican government when they decided to send the gold to the Soviet Union. Do you have the date when the French government informed the Republic of their refusal to accept more gold?
Ironmachine, the problem was that the republican government lost control of the country after the rising in July, the country was either controlled by rebel or various left wing "revolutionary" organization, among which the anarchist were indeed very powerful, the government could not trust neither the few military remained loyal to the government nor those militias, the Spanish gold reserve were indeed in the danger if they were kept in the country, so shortly after the rising, in end of the July and the early August, the republican government delivered sent to France 470,000,000 pesetas worth($155 million) gold to add to the 257,000,000 pesetas worth ($85 million) already there, then French government informed them they would no longer accept anymore gold, the gold delivered to Soviet started on Oct 25, in a time the republican still faced immediately danger, eventually 1,581,642,000 gold pesetas worth ($500 million) were sent to Soviet,

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Ironmachine
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Re: Stalin and Spanish Gold Reserves

Post by Ironmachine » 05 Dec 2010 23:29

The government may have lost control of the country, but certainly did not lose control of the gold. :lol:
What you are forgetting is that the gold was so sure that no one touched it and the goverment could trust enought troops to carry the gold to Cartagena so surely those same troops could guard the gold where it was. The anarchists were very powerful in some places, certainly not in Madrid where the gold originally was.
The gold was not sent to France neccesarily because it was not sure in Spain; it was sent to be sold, with the money so obtained being used to buy weapons.
So the government may have thought that the gold was in danger, but that was not true.
The first gold sent to the Soviet Union left Spain on 25 October 1936, but the first decree that authorized the government to send the gold whenever it was neccesary to wherever it was safer was signed on 13 September, and the delivery to the Soviet Union was approbed on 10 October. I don't have the exact date on which the French informed of their refusal to accept more gold. Do you have it?

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Re: Stalin and Spanish Gold Reserves

Post by mars » 05 Dec 2010 23:59

Mid-August, after French government decided to ban all war material sent to Spain via French frontier

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Re: Stalin and Spanish Gold Reserves

Post by Mark V » 06 Dec 2010 02:25

Good points in previous posts.

I just want to emphasize that the gold was pretty much worthless UNTIL it was in vaults of company abroad that could safekeep it and liquadate when ordered. Gold resizing in Spanish soil would had been poor quarantee for loans, or guarantee for other monetary instruments, if its eventual posession was in even slightest doubt, today or years in the future.

Regards

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Ironmachine
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Re: Stalin and Spanish Gold Reserves

Post by Ironmachine » 06 Dec 2010 09:02

mars wrote:Mid-August, after French government decided to ban all war material sent to Spain via French frontier
Then, I wonder how it was possible for the Republic to send gold to France by aircraft that arrived there on 10, 12, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 31 August and 2, 4, 7 and 8 September. Or that even more gold was sent to France during the winter of 1936-1937, till March 1937...
Mark V wrote:I just want to emphasize that the gold was pretty much worthless UNTIL it was in vaults of company abroad that could safekeep it and liquadate when ordered.
That may be true, and may be a reason to send the gold to another country, but NEVER to send it all at once. By sending all the gold to the same place at almost the same time, and much more so when sending it in that way to the Soviet Union, the republic in fact lost all control over it, and depended on the "good will" of Stalin to obtain what was needed.

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Xavier
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Re: Stalin and Spanish Gold Reserves

Post by Xavier » 06 Dec 2010 18:29

please read this thread for most answers regarding the spanish gold
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... =+reserves
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Ironmachine
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Re: Stalin and Spanish Gold Reserves

Post by Ironmachine » 06 Dec 2010 19:05

And in that thread there is the following post:
I don't know why, but I still don't know what to do when I read about the "theft" of the Spanish gold. Laugh? Cry?
The gold was used by the Republican government to pay the weapons and the supplies sent by the USSR during the civil war. Otherwise, why the hell should Stalin send weapons? For free? Uncle Josif wasn't a noble soul, we have to admit...
Perhaps I'm wrong, I dunno, but I think that this idea of the "theft" is just one of the silly myths that the right-wind parties invented to justify that Russia was guilty and should be destroyed. It's funny that someone still believes this fairy tale...

that should be answered:
It was a theft. Not by Stalin, but by the Republican government. Because the gold was neither property of the government, nor of Spain. As my first link states:
Tal decisión vulneraba la legalidad porque las mencionadas reservas oro no eran propiedad del Gobierno de la República -del Tesoro Público- sino del Banco de España, una sociedad anónima por acciones cuyo capital, de 177 millones de pesetas, se hallaba distribuido en 354.000 acciones nominativas de 500 pesetas cada una, y la Ley que regía las relaciones entre el Banco y el Gobierno (Ley de Ordenación Bancaria de 29 de diciembre de 1921, refundida en 24 de enero de 1927 y modificada por Ley de 26 de noviembre de 1931) no autorizaba a este último a disponer de las reservas oro -que garantizaban la circulación de 6.000 millones de pesetas papel- si no era para "ejercer una acción interventora en el cambio internacional y en la regularidad del mercado monetario", en cuyo caso el Banco de España participaría en dicha acción con una cantidad igual a la arbitrada por el Tesoro Público (Base 7ª del Artículo 1º de la citada Ley de Ordenación Bancaria), siendo precisamente esta excepción la utilizada por el Gobierno Giral -y, posteriormente, por el de Largo Caballero- para solicitar del Banco las reservas metálicas que, en principio, fueron enviadas al Banco de Francia para transformarlas en divisas con que pagar las compras de armamento (3), algo obviamente muy alejado de las operaciones para estabilizar el cambio de la peseta previstas por la Ley. El Banco entregaba un cincuenta por ciento de la cantidad con su carácter original de "reserva" en depósito y el cincuenta por ciento restante en concepto de préstamo al Estado para que pudiera ejercer la acción interventora en la proporción que la Ley exigía (4). Con esta fórmula se pretendía dar a las órdenes de entrega del oro una apariencia de legalidad que los miembros del Consejo del Banco residentes en la zona republicana acataban en aras de su "deseo de cooperar a cuanto afecte al interés nacional"; aunque tal deseo y tal legalidad no aparecen tan claros cuando, poco más tarde, al filo de la salida del oro de Madrid, se producía entre los mismos y los altos funcionarios del Banco una serie de dimisiones, asilos en representaciones diplomáticas, detenciones e, incluso, un suicidio.
Regarding Russia and Stalin, the problem is whether or not the help provided was worth the gold sold.

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Re: Stalin and Spanish Gold Reserves

Post by mars » 06 Dec 2010 20:37

About Stalin's "good will" and Spanish Gold Reserves, though I do not believe Stalin had any good will toward Spanish Republican whatsoever, but theoretically the Soviet aid to the Spanish republican government was paid by Spanish gold sent to Soviet

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Ironmachine
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Re: Stalin and Spanish Gold Reserves

Post by Ironmachine » 06 Dec 2010 21:40

The key word being "theoretically". The problem, as I said earlier, is whether the aid provided was worth the amount of gold expended, and also the extent to which the Spanish authorities could decide what they wanted to buy and what not...

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Re: Stalin and Spanish Gold Reserves

Post by mars » 07 Dec 2010 01:01

Ironmachine wrote:The key word being "theoretically". The problem, as I said earlier, is whether the aid provided was worth the amount of gold expended, and also the extent to which the Spanish authorities could decide what they wanted to buy and what not...
To be fair:
1) It is very possible that Stalin did kept part of the Spanish gold and refused to returned them after the war
2) In the civil war, Soviet was the only major power send large amount of military aid to the republican government and these aid were badly needed.

I don't think it is right to deny either of these 2 points.

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