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International Socialism, Winter 1962


David Breen



From International Socialism, No.11, Winter 1962, pp.29-30.
Thanks to Ted Crawford & the late Will Fancy.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Prospects for Indian Development
Wilfred Malenbaum
George Allen and Unwin. 35s.

The Development of the Indian Economy
W.B. Reddaway
George Allen and Unwin. 30s.

Unhappy East Pakistan
Published by David Feldman, ‘Seaview’, Montdelamare, St Peter, Jersey, Isle de la Manche, 2s.

Notwithstanding its incredibly turgid style, Malenbaum’s is a useful book. It is about India’s Plans, their economic and social background and the degree to which they have been implemented this last decade. The treatment is factual and exhaustive; and particularly interesting when actual and planned performance are compared (most of Part III). Malenbaum shows that economic growth has been related more to good monsoons than to planning; that is has tended to occur in unexpected, hence unplanned-for, sectors; that the planned shift in investment patterns has scarcely taken place ... In short, that the pressures of an economic heritage deeply rooted in a half-a-million villages has thwarted the planners at every step.

While Malenbaum’s work is of general interest although written in the worst economese, Reddaway’s is an economists’ book by an economist who can write. Its main purpose is to present an input-output table for use by Indian planners and to argue a method which might be valid elsewhere.

The anonymous author of Unhappy East Pakistan has a political purpose in mind, viz. ‘to show the mechanisms through which the economic resources of East Pakistan are being transferred to West Pakistan’. (p.1) This he does by analyzing the pattern of foreign trade in the two halves of the country, the receipts and expenditure of the Central Government, the flaw of private capital from West to East Pakistan and the character of interzonal trade. The case is argued convincingly, if shrilly, and with reference to facts, but one is left with too much unsaid. Should East Pakistan strike out for full Independence? could it be economic, ally and politically viable as an independent country? is anti-West-Pakistan feeling widespread enough to sustain such a movement or is this an intellectuals’ ferment? Answers are demanded by the nature of the argument. They are not given.

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