Western Mail, Cardiff, April 3rd, 1933
GARETH JONES’ REVELATION
Britons Were Arrested
New Reign of Terror
impressed me most throughout my journey was the cry of the hundreds of
Russian peasants who said to me:
is no bread. We are starving.”
Gareth Jones, who returned during the week-end from his Russian tour,
makes this statement in the first of a series of articles he is writing,
exclusive to the “Western Mail & South Wales News,” on conditions
in the Soviet Union.
first article is a discussion on Russian famine conditions with Kerensky,
who was the last Prime Minister in Russia before the Bolshevik Revolution.
Kerensky states that the arrest of the British engineers arose from
Stalin’s decision to inaugurate a reign of terror, and was an effort to
explain the collapse of the Five Year Plan.
Gareth Jones himself narrowly escaped arrest.
TO “THE WESTERN MAIL AND SOUTH WALES NEWS.”
journey across Europe is over. From Moscow the train took me to the
Soviet frontier. I saw the Red frontier soldiers with the fixed
bayonets for the last time and before long we were in Latvia.
workers on the train, who had gone to Russia expecting a paradise but who
were now leaving, cursing the hunger and the slavery, breathed deeply with
relief. The European express crossed Lithuania, East Prussia, the
Polish Corridor, until Fascist, Jew-baiting Berlin was reached.
Eighteen hours after leaving Berlin I again saw London.
impressed me most throughout my European journey was the cry hundreds of
Russian peasants who said to me when I tramped through the villages:
“There is no bread. We are starving.”
Gareth Jones, who is now on the staff of the “Western Mail & South
Wales News,” reached Cardiff yesterday from Russia after a tour in
which, walking alone and without official guidance or surveillance by
the Soviet authorities, he was able to make a personal study of the
conditions in that country.
has brought back a story which will reveal to the British public the real
conditions of life in Russia, where he found famine on a vast and tragic
his articles for the Western Mail & South Wales News the truth about
Russia which is practically a closed country so far as a British newspaper
correspondents are concerned, will be told as he found it.
Gareth Jones, who has been foreign affairs adviser on Mr. Lloyd George’s
staff, has paid three visits to Russia since the war. He speaks Russian
fluently, and in his last tour he came into contact with peasants, and
workmen in the villages and industrial centre, with the leaders of art and
literature and with the men who are holding high Government positions in
the Soviet Republic.
the first revolution of March, 19l7, had swept the Tsarist régime away
these peasants had had three masters - Kerensky, Lenin, and Stalin.
I had seen the Russia of Stalin. What would Kerensky say of the
changes which had come over his country since he was overthrown by the
he is in exile his life-work is to follow the results of the policy of
rival, Stalin, and he has excellent sources of information.
Alexander Kerensky became Prime Minister of Russia in July 1917, and held
power until the Bolshevik Revolution. He was one of the most
dangerous enemies of the Tsarist Government and played a great part. in
the overthrow of the Monarchy in March, 1917.
views of the man who preceded Lenin are of historical interest today, when
the most decisive spring sowing in the annals of Russia begins.
said to me: “Before his death in 1924, Lenin in his famous political
testament wrote that certain features of Stalin's character were dangerous
to the Communist party. Lenin had in mind the stubbornness of Stalin
(Stalin’s will-power is stronger than his reason), and also the absence
in Stalin of the feeling of personal fear. When Stalin is convinced
of something or wishes to obtain something he pushes straight on
regardless of the consequences. These two characteristics combined,
stubbornness and absence of personal fear, have made Stalin into the
grave-digger of the Bolshevik dictatorship.
the lines of the New Economic Policy, when freedom of internal trade was
restored, Bolshevism could have reigned over Russia for decades. But
Stalin ended the New Economic Policy and within four years completely
wrecked Russian agriculture. The ruin of agriculture is the great
achievement of the dictatorship of Stalin."
my opinion, during all the existence of the Bolshevik dictatorship no one
has dealt so severe a blow to the Communist party as Stalin. Events
are now moving rapidly, for not only the ordinary people but also many
members of the Communist party and of the Young Communist League are
against the regime."
have just told me that you have seen with your own eyes the ruin of the
Russian countryside, and all the evidence I receive from Russia confirms
in Russia famine is gripping a vast area and is far greater than in 1921
The Ukraine, the Volga, West Siberia, North Caucasia, the provinces which
formerly supplied all Europe with grain, have no longer bread, meat,
butter nor enough potatoes. The stock of cattle has been reduced by
two-thirds. The peasant has hardly any agricultural implements, and
the tractors destined for the collective farms and State farms are mainly
broken and are at this present moment, when the spring sowing is
beginning, in the repair shops."
is mainly an agricultural country and the destruction of agriculture will
have as its inevitable logical conclusion the wrecking of industry, to
build which the Russian peasant was expropriated from his land. For
the sake of industry all Russia was condemned to famine, “The Five
Year-Plan is one of the greatest bluffs in history, and now the bill has
to be met”.
do you account for the arrest of the British engineers, M. Kerensky?”
explain it thus. Stalin and his assistants know the real situation in
Russia, and they want, by a terrible increase of terror, to frighten the
growing opposition within the party."
some explanation for the collapse must be given to the workers themselves
and to the Young Communists, and the scapegoats are Russian engineers and
foreigners, whom they accuse of having sent bad machinery into Russia and
of economic espionage and sabotage charges which are, of course,
great cause of the catastrophe is the mad attempt of Stalin to bring
serfdom back into Russia, not only in the villages, but also in the
ask me what is the way out of the chaos. There is only one way out.
Freedom should be given to work, and to make and to buy, and to sell.
The peasant should have his land back and his right to free labour.
Only thus will he able to make a proper living. In the towns freedom
for the Trade Unions should be given back to the worker, because now the
Russian is more exploited than the Negroes in the Colonies. Russia
should return to the foundation of civil law, which it received, from the
Tsarism economic conditions were undoubtedly better than to-day, but
Tsarism was doomed to destruction because the last Monarch hated political
freedom. If Tsarism had gone along the path of reform and had
brought in a Constitution it would be existing today."
the present regime has destroyed those few bases of democratic rule which
already existed, and has introduced a tyranny in which not only political,
but also civil rights have been destroyed. Thus the present regime
is doomed, like the Monarchy."
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