30 JULY 1921, Page 2

The reports of the famine in South-Eastern Russia grow daily

more appalling. The situation seems to have arisen as follows. The peasants, whose only part in the revolution had been to acquire the land, -and thus all become small capitalists, absolutely refused to sell corn at the low price fixed by the Soviet. Consequently this year- they only planted enough to satisfy their own needs. Now the drought has altimst completely ruined the comparatively small amount which they had sown, and they have absolutely no reserve to fall back upon. Far from having any to sell to the Government, they have not enough to give any hope of supporting life. The whole population of the Samara Province, the most fertile part of Russia, is on the move. The fugitives do not know where they are going, but only that they must die if they stay in the famine area. The famine seems to be the complete and final breakdown of civilization in the great area affected. How the wandering hordes of starved peasants will affect the unstable equilibrium of Eastern Europe remains to be seen.