Americans in Sumatra by James W. Gould

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By James W. Gould

There is a standard trust that until eventually lately americans have most popular isolation to curiosity in distant components equivalent to Southeast Asia. This thesis could be demonstrated by means of studying the background of yankee kin with a spot at the contrary part of the globe from the U.S.. this type of land is Sumatra. it really is one of many biggest islands on the planet. Its I66,789 sq. mile sector exceeds that of the 3rd biggest American kingdom, California, and is bigger than Italy. mendacity midway all over the world from the U.S., its I050 mile size is sort of divided by way of the equator, which runs throughout it for 285 miles. Sumatra's strategic value is two-fold. to start with, it's the first island stepping stone from the Asiatic mainland into the Australasian archipelago. This used to be established in I942 while the USA stationed planes on Sumatra in an try to stem the japanese increase southward. Secondly, it lies athwart the shortest sea routes from japanese Asia to Europe and the japanese usa. Sumatra's southern tip varieties one part of the Straits of Sunda which guards the entry to the Java, China and Philippine Seas. on the island's northern tip is the doorway to the Straits of Malacca, the shortest sea lane be­ tween the close to and much East. the outlet of the Suez Canal in I869 shifted the shortest path among the some distance East and the Western global from the Sunda to the Malacca Straits.

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S. government. The largest postwar year was 1949 when 15,223 tons of tin worth $ 32,851,078 were shipped from Indonesia to the United States. Adding shipments of pigs of tin refined in Indonesia and the Netherlands, the total value of Indonesian tin imported into the United States in 1949 was nearly fifty million dollars. After a reduction in imports in 1950, the Korean War sent United States imports of tin from Indonesia and the Netherlands to over sixty million dollars and an all-time record of 62 million dollars in 1952.

August 6,1886; House Doc. 179,49 : 1, April I4. 1886. , 1940), p. 13. 30 AMERICANS IN SUMATRA contracts. Although the contracts also protected the Javanese laborer from abandonment miles from home, the major effect was to compel him to work for one employer, since he could not quit. In 1929 the champion of Indian independence, Sen. John J. Blaine (R. ), discovered the penal clause while studying tobacco production in Sumatra. 73 Deli planters sent two delegations to the United States to effect changes, and secured only this last concession.

The United States is dependent upon Sumatra as its largest supplier of six commodities: patchouli oil (85 percent), tin ore (77 percent), pepper (73 percent), cassia (66 percent), sago (62 percent), and crude rubber (26 percent). Sumatra is also the United States' second largest supplier of palm oil (4 percent), and the third largest supplier of crude tin (IS percent), damar (9 percent), wrapper leaf (6 percent), and fourth in crude oil (6 percent) and palm kernel oil (I percent). This is not a one way street, of course, for American purchases of these commodities, always at fairly traded openmarket prices, bring money to the pockets of Sumatrans, and foreign exchange to the government.

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