- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
20

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
20
banks are not beings with feelings and humani
tarian aims; they are reckoning-machines, even if
their working is not always perfect. I felt, therefore,
that the whole task would be greatly lightened if
specific guarantees could be given in the shape of
definite securities or charges to be so made over as
unconditionally to cover the loan whatever hap
pened, and which should be under the control of
the lenders. The simplest of all would have been
for the tract itself which was brought under cultiva
tion to be the security; but this was not possible,
since all the land belonged to the state, and so
could not be sold. Lukashin held that this plan
would undoubtedly find great difficulties, and
evidently could not see the need for it, nor that my
fears were justified, when such a manifold guarantee
was mutually given by the three governments, and
by the State Bank of the mighty Soviet Union as
well ; it might be looked on as savouring of mis
trust. I answered that of course there would be no
lack of good will and earnestness on our side for
bringing the business to a successful result, and
that I only hoped he were right; but I could not
hide from him that I foresaw great difficulties. 1
Wc parted from one another with the best mutual
wishes.
1 I am sorry to say my fears turned out only too well grounded ; it
was impossible to raise any loan for Armenia on the guarantees
offered and without definite cover or security. On behalf of the
banks the answer was made that my strong belief that the Armenian
and the Soviet Moscow governments would be punctual payers was
undoubtedly fully justified ; but I wanted a loan which was to be
paid back in fifteen years, and what could be guaranteed as to the
conditions in these lands in fifteen years’ time?

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