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(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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right-hand man is at the same time the right-hand man of
the director of the State Bank.
These two banks give the Co-operatives credit for the goods
that are exported or ready for export.
Centrosojus has actually in its export stores reserve goods
valued at 800,000 pounds sterling.
The connection between Centrosojus and the foreign Co
operatives is now quite normal, as it has been included in the
International Co-operative Alliance.
M . Khintchuk expressly drew my attention to jthe
fact that among the managers of the Co-operatives
were not only Communists, but also people
" without party."
The former president of Centrosojus is one of
the chairmen of the new Co-operative Bank, as is
also M. Arsarkhissov, the former president of the
People’s Bank in Moscow. M. Khintchuk has been
in Centrosojus since 1906, and M. Schvetsov, his
right-hand man, since 1910.
Centrosojus plays a part of immense importance
in Russia, but its petty commercial methods and
its bureaucratic organisation have been sometimes
subjected to criticism.
I believe that the Co-operatives are, perhaps,
one of the healthiest elements in Russia’s economic
organisation ; but membership of them, which was
made cornpulsory at the time of nationalisation,
certainly ought once more to be left to personal
choice. The enterprise of the local Co-operatives
is greatly paralysed by the deadweight of indifferent
numbers who have to belong. I feel sure that it
would be all to the good if the Co-operatives
recovered their former character of voluntary

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