26 MARCH 1892, Page 1

The Russian correspondent of the Times sends terrible figures, derived

from official sources in the great Province of Nijni, whose centre is the ancient and wealthy commercial depot, Nijni-Novogorod. According to this account, the posi- tion of the peasantry has been growing worse from year to year, the land showing symptoms of permanent exhaustion. The revenue has sunk from 2320,000 to £160,000, the arrears of taxation amount to £249,000, and the cattle have decreased from 1,241,000 head in 1864, to 855,802 in 1891. Nevertheless, the population has increased, and one of the reasons of the prevailing poverty is the smaller subdivision of the culturable fields, the control and distribution of which rest with the "Mir," or Parish Council. The province is, in fact, slowly perishing as if it were in Persia, and all the while the collectors are endeavouring by wholesale floggings to levy the ancient revenue. There must be some exaggeration in this statement, but it is only one of a hundred pointing to something rotten in Russian agriculture, the exact nature of which it is impossible for outsiders to detect.