- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
205

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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EXCURSIONS IN DAGHESTAN
205
Two courses seemed open: either to try to
raise a loan for Daghestan to be used for bringing
the land under cultivation, a loan which could
evidently be easily paid back from the profits on
this land; or else to grant foreigners concessions of
land for cultivation. Many of the commissars held
that a loan for Daghestan would entail difficulties,
since the republic was not financially independent
but part of the Socialist-Soviet Republic in Moscow.
It was held, therefore, that the simplest and easiest
thing would be to arrange concessions, if possible.
They had formerly had a German colony in the
north of this plain ; and the colonists had got on
well, and were liked by all. During the war,
unfortunately, they had been driven out, but the
commissariat would have very much liked to
have such settlers again, and would have been
grateful for anything that might be done in this
direction. They wished, too, to have help in the
fight against malaria, and in buying tractors. If
only they could find the means of bringing these
plains under cultivation, there would be no need
to bring in settlers; there were enough people up
in the mountains, where they were so badly off
for patches of soil.
In truth, there were plenty of openings here, and
good grounds for anyone giving valuable help, so
long as he had the power and the will. Wc have
only to think how in Western Europe there is
unemployment everywhere and a difficulty in
earning enough to keep life together; while here is
the land only waiting to be worked to yield a goodly

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