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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 36, No 11 May 30th, 1973

Big Business

Big Business

The Paris conference also dealt with the economic as well as the police role of the U.S.A., and its satellites around the world. It became clear that the traditional aims of imperialist expansion — to "control raw materials" and "hold markets" —must be reviewed in the light of recent changes.

The raw materials problem has changed greatly. The progress of technology and the many synthetic products now available mean that for most materials no country has to rely on supplies from a single or a few sources.

On the other hand, a sure supply of certain products must be maintained from countries controlled politically. One example is crude oil, a field in which the Arab countries, Iran, Venezuela and in the future, Southeast Asia will play a big role. Another is a rare metal like columbium, essential for certain key industries, where the sole supplier is Brazil.

One problem is the probable attitude of large firms confronted by revolution in a country. Naturally they try to prevent it as long as possible — as did the U.S. oil companies in the Vietnam war. When the battle seems lost, they try to reach a compromise with the revolutionary government, as has happened in Algeria and Chile.