It had been Gareth's life's ambition to visit the Soviet Union and in particular Ukraine and to see the town of Hughesovka {Donetz), about which has mother had spoken so often during his childhood. At last he was able to make the journey, for which he had studied the Russian language so earnestly at Cambridge University. In 1922, he had reached Vilna (Vilnius), the city of bones and wrote to his parents that he was 120 mile from the Russian border. His plans to visit the Soviet Union in 1927 were thwarted as diplomatic relations that summer had been suspended between Britain and the USSR.  Instead he signed as a stoker on a coal-carrying ship and made his way to Riga where he spent the summer learning Russian with a poor Russian émigré family. Relations were restored in 1929 and while in the employ of the Former Prime Minister in the Great War, David Lloyd George, Gareth carefully made his plans to undertake a pilgrimage to the town, now the city of Donetz, where his mother has spent three formative years of her youth.

In the summer of 1930, Gareth Jones made his first visit to the Soviet Union.   On August 17th 1930, he wrote a few carefully chosen words to his mother in Wales commencing his letter with “Hughesovka !!”

At last he had performed a pilgrimage to the steel town.  But the twenty-five year old did not stay long and left immediately for a small place in the Caucasian mountains, called Kislovodsk.

Before leaving the U.S.S.R., Gareth Jones was taken by car to see a State Farm, Gigant No.2.  The Communist regime had converted the desert Steppes into a vast farm covering a hundred thousand acres which was run by the most modern agricultural machinery at the time.  Everywhere there were new buildings and Gareth noted that industrially, Soviet Russia was proceeding at a rapid rate.  In the State farm he was also given excellent meals, in contrast to the starving peasants.

A week later on his arrival in Berlin on August 26th, the young man wrote a further letter to his parents:  

Hurray!  It is wonderful to be in Germany again, absolutely wonderful.  Russia is in a very bad state; rotten, no food, only bread; oppression, injustice, misery among the workers and 90% discontented.  I saw some very bad things, which made me mad to think that people like Bernard Shaw go there and come back, after having been led round by the nose and had enough to eat, and say that Russia is a paradise.  The winter is going to be one of great suffering there and there is starvation.  The government is the most brutal in the world.  The peasants hate the Communists.  This year thousands and thousands of the best men in Russia have been sent to Siberia and the prison island of Solovki.  In the Donetz Basin conditions are unbearable.  Thousands are leaving.  One reason  why I left Hughesovska so quickly was that all I could get to eat was a roll of bread – and that is all I had up to 7 o’clock.  Many Russians are too weak to work.  I am terribly sorry for them.

Never-the-less great strides have been made in many industries and there is a good chance that when the Five-Years Plan is over Russia may become prosperous.  But before that there will be great suffering, many riots and many deaths.

The Communists are doing excellent work in education, hygiene and against alcohol.  Butter is 16/- a pound in Moscow; prices are terrific and boots etc. cannot be had.  There is nothing in the shops.  The Communists were remarkably kind to me and gave me an excellent time.

B&W Soviet Postcard from Gareth's effects entitled: "Members of the Collective Farms".

On Gareth's return from the Soviet Union, he reported back to his employer at Lloyd George's country home of Churt, in Surrey. There he met Lord Lothian, who had accompanied Shaw to Moscow. Lord Lothian was summarily impressed by Gareth's account of the situation in the Soviet Union, to personally  introduce him to the editor of the London Times. Shortly thereafter, a few of Gareth's articles were accepted for publication in this prestigious newspaper. Later, a further series of articles was printed in the Welsh newspaper - The Western Mail.

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