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130

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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RUSSIA AND PEACE
130
of such expensive importation as long as it is not
counterbalanced by exports.
That the production of coal, like so much else
in Russian industry, cannot be made to pay, is a
grave difficulty. The workmen have been badly
paid right up to the present time, and still the
working expenses were very high. In June, 1922,
for instance, it cost 62,000 roubles of 1923 to
win one pood (361b.) of coal, while the manage
ment had to deliver the coal to the commissariat
of transport for 28,000 roubles a pood.
A commission was sent to Donetz in September
last to study the cost of production of fueL It
came to the conclusion that this was on an average
1 6* 9 kopeks in gold per pood, but that it reached
39* 6 1 kopeks in August at the time when the
output was lowest, The amortisation of plant
amounted on an average to a third of the produc
tion price, which proves that a proportionate reduc
tion of the working expenses will not be possible
unless the output is considerably increased, But
for that, capital is necessary, \
But it is the metal industry that causes the
Supreme Council of National Economy most
anxiety, The production of east iron, for instance,
was in 1921 to 1922 only 3*9 per cent. of what
it was before the war, and the production of steel
in Martin smelting furnaces was only 7 per cent*
It is true that the situation is improving slightly.
During the last three months of 1922, for instance,
the production of east iron increased 2>7 per cent.
on what it was in the corresponding period of

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