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By Morgan Philips-Price, Tania Rose

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Resolutions in favour of political reform began to be passed. In response to public opinion a number of the most reactionary ministers were dismissed. On 7 September a Progressive Bloc was formed consisting of the deputies of virtually all the parties except those on the extreme Right and the Social Democrats. It began to look as if something like a constitutional monarchy might be in the process of evolution. Inevitably there was a reaction. The ‘plot’ to which Price refers was probably a mixture of fact and rumour, but it was true enough that the Tsarina, whose theory of autocracy was even more extreme than that of her husband, began to meddle in government affairs.

13 Before the war in Siberia, when I was there, I remember observing great drunkenness. The state of affairs is absolutely different now. Then again the price of agricultural produce is very high and the peasants are making money at the expense of the taxpayers and the urban population. Their increased wealth they are partly hiding in coin and partly laying out in agricultural machinery, which helps them to get over the labour difficulty. So what with this and sobriety, one Russian peasant produces from the land very much more each year than he produced before the war.

In fact Price at that time was as unimpressed by the Bolsheviks as a party as he had been by Lenin as a man, and it was not until early in 1918 that he began to think of them as the only people capable of ruling Russia. Moreover Scott could hardly have been blamed if he had sent out another correspondent to supplement Price, considering that there was both a war and a revolution to cover, and he quite often had no idea where Price was. The two men came to an agreement about the division of the work.

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