- Project Runeberg -  Armenia and the Near East /
22

(1928) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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would be particularly valuable as an occupation for many of
the women, who formed a large majority of the refugees.
But Mr. Howland thought that the future of this industry
was doubtful; the people engaged in it made too little
profit, and gave it up as soon as they could get better-paid
work.

Mr. Howland was further of the opinion that the view we
had urged so strongly when trying to negotiate the Greek
loan would prove correct—namely, that the alarming influx
of refugees would ultimately, if their skill and labour were
properly utilized, contribute greatly to the prosperity of the
whole country and inaugurate a new era. Already new
enterprise had been evoked, large areas of new land had been
cultivated, marshy land was being drained, and the whole
population was showing a different and more vigorous spirit.
But it has been an enormous undertaking. A nation of
rather over four and a half million people has had to provide
subsistence, housing, and work for a million and a half
immigrants—one for every third individual. It has meant a
national migration on a vast scale. Imagine transporting
half the population of Norway at one blow to another
country!

Within a brief space of time we have witnessed two truly
gigantic undertakings: here the removal and settling of a
whole nation of refugees, and in Anatolia the Turkish destruction
of the Armenian nation and extermination of a million
people. It gives one a vivid picture of the many migrations
and vast upheavals that have taken place in these regions in
past ages; but hardly ever on such a big scale.

Together with the refugees of Greek origin and speaking
the Greek tongue were many Armenians who had fled from
the Turkish massacres. As they had no fellow-countrymen
with whom to take refuge, and no one to befriend them, the
Greek Government decided to admit them within the
country’s frontiers, making no difference between them and
the Greeks. But when it came to the question of settling
them, the Government naturally felt that their first duty was
to look after those who were of Greek origin; while it seemed
best that the Armenians should leave the country, where there

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