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65

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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RUSSIA’S TRANSPORT SERVICES 65
in raising from the dreadful condition of chaos
into which they had sunk, were really an organism
in splendid condition and development, going,
indeed, at ** reduced speed," but only because
Russia’s economic life has not grown equally
rapidly and has not been able to contribute the
quantity of goods required in order to set them
going at full speed.
In reality the Russian transport system still
works rather slowly and rather badly.
I have not received any personal impression
of this, as the Russian Government, with the most
perfect Russian hospitality, placed the finest saloon
cars at my disposal on my journeys in 1921, 1922
and 1923.
I cannot even say that our delegates in the
famine relief work have suffered overmuch under
the transport difficulties, except in the spring of
1922 when, inter alia, they went from Samara to
Moscow by a tram which was three weeks late.
They have, moreover, enjoyed facilities and
diplomatic privileges secured by the agreement
that I concluded with Tchitcherin before the relief
work began. Similarly our goods transports have
always enjoyed special privileges : gratis carriage,
priority, protection of the sealed wagons by soldiers
of the Red Anny, etc
It is from the reports themselves, sent to me
by the various organs of the Soviet Government,
that I have convinced myself that if the develop
ment of the Russian transport system is delayed
by the insufficiency of production, the development
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