Created: 1/1/1956

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fralitaUTe Aspects of Soviet Bloc Economic Assistance to ?roe World Underdeveloped Countries

Tho quality of Soviet Blocand construction projects generally ia satisfactory to tho undordarolopad countries, although there hare been scattered reports of awchanical difficulties. While much Soviet Blocespecially that produced by the tea chine tool industry, does not reflect ae advanced designs aa do Western manufacturea, it is nonetheless completely adequate for underdeveloped countries.

5n the earlier phase of the Soviet Bloc foreign aid program, acme of the products (particularly transportation items) sent to the underdeveloped countries were of inferior manufacture or warefor the use to which they were put. More recently, however, the Bloc countries have taken stepe to upgrade the quality of exports under their assistance program, with the result that complaints are now lose frequent and lees serious than formerly.

Host of the justifiable criticism of Soviet Bloc products in the past stemmed from the practice of exporting certain items exactly like those used in the Bloc, that is, not modified to take account of local operating conditions. Because the Bloc production approach ie to turn out relatively few types of products in each line, it is not always poseibis to supply types readily adaptable both to the domestic needs of the Bloc and to the needs of thecountries. For example, extra-Large tractors, designed to pull several Large pieces of equipment across the level field* of the Large USSR farms, bogged down when used on the email farms in the river valleys of Burma and India. Trucks which performed well under the climatic and road conditions in the Bloc broke downew thousand miles of use on the extremely rugged mountain roads of Northern Afghanistan.

A fair number of complaints about Bloc products have been traced to the poor upkeep received by inexpert operators. To overcome this problem the USSR and Czechoslovakia are providing training in the proper use and maintenance of their equipment exports and in addition have undertaken to establish repair and spare parts servicesumber of the underdeveloped countries.

So far as competent US observers have been able to determine, theplants constructed and under construction by the Bloc in the underdeveloped countries are technically well planned and contain high quality equipment and building materials. This observation applies to the steel mill being built by the USSR in India, as well ascore of other (and smaller) factories being built by the USSR and European Satellites in India and other underdeveloped countries.


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