- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
361

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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RUSSIA IN THE EAST
361
tion has often been very deficient, and the hospitals
have sometimes been overcrowded to such an extent
that 100, or even 150, patients have had to be tåken
in where there is computed to be space for twelve beds,
and three beds are said to have been placed one above
another.
When at last the settlers and their families have
come safely through all their difficulties and reached
their allotted lands, they must at once begin, worn out
and exhausted as they are after the long journey,
the hard work that is always involved in settlement :
building houses, clearing the land and adapting it for
the plough, thus creating the conditions of life. This
takes time, and meanwhile it may be difficult to find
means of livelihood. Most of those who come are prob
ably not precisely the most capable farmers of the
mother country ; they are often men who have had a
difficulty in making both ends meet, and their capacity
for work has not been improved by the toilsome journey.
It is thus easily intelligible that these settlers are placed
at a disadvantage from the start in their competition
with the yellow race, the Koreans and Chinese, who
are their superiors as agriculturists, as well as in industry
and hard work.
The difficulties attending this colonization are,
as I have said, many and great ; but the Russian
authorities have had their attention directed to them,
and in recent years have introduced many reforms
for facilitating and regulating colonization; as already
mentioned (see p. 285), the Government devotes increasing
sums every year to this end.
Yet another class of immigrants was given to these
territories through the annual transfer to them of
exiled convicts, or of convicts who after serving their
sentences settled there as free peasants. But this

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