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128

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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128 RUSSIA AND PEACE
it does not yet amount to more than one-tenth of
the pre-war manufacture.
In spite of the urgent need of agricultural
implements and machines in the country in Russia,
yet a large quantity of these commodities are
actually still stored in the State warehouses for
lack of purchasers. The peasants are too poor
to buy, and the industrial trusts, which have hardly
any working capital, are not financially capable of
supplying these implements on credit. They have
not the necessary money to pay their workmen
and to procure the raw materials needed for carry
ing on the work of manufacture.
M. Lejava, President of the Commission for
Home Trade, has drawn my attention to the fact
that the difficulty experienced by the Russian
farmers in replacing their implements has made
them very economical. Whereas a peasant would
formerly buy a scythe every year, or every other
year, he now makes it last three or four years.
But it is obvious that this does not solve the
problem.
Capital alone [declared M. Lejava] will enable the factories
to resume production and to seil at a moderate profit. They
ought, moreover, to be so well founded financially that they
could allow buyers to pay for their goods by instalments
over a shorter or longer period. The terrible reduction of
the people’s purchasing power constitutes the main reason
for the difficulties which beset our industry.
On the other hand, it should be noted that the
light industry is further dependent on the heavy
industry, which is very precariously situated. I

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