National Geographic : 1934 Jul
COUNTRY-HOUSE LIFE IN SWEDEN Photograph from Amelie Posse-BrAzdova KING GUSTAF V (LEFT) OFF FOR A SHOOT AT SKABERSJO, SKANE Third from the left is Count Stig Thott, whose family have been masters of the castle since 1600. Baron Carl Gotthard Bonde, of Eriksberg Castle, a friend of the King and brother-in-law of the Count, walks at the extreme right (see text, page 44, and illustration, page 15). fortune, or the prudence, not to invest their fortunes in the securities which had later been affected by the crisis and the Kreuger crash. Others had all their land leased on old and profitable contracts, so long as the tenants could keep up their payments. But these were comparatively few and privileged exceptions. FARM PROBLEM ACUTE IN SWEDEN If the situation is serious for nearly every one nowadays, it is often catastrophic for the great landowners and territorial mag nates. Not a month passes but some of them have to leave home and property. And where they stick to their old estates despite all their difficulties, they often do so less for their own sake, but more in order not to abandon their retainers to unem ployment. In the case of entailed estates there are of course no bankruptcies and forced sales, but it is not much more pleas ant to be placed under the management of banks and creditors. For Swedish agriculture can no longer pay its way. There is the same conflict between agriculture and industry as in most other countries; and it looks as if the former were getting the worst of it. A series of relief schemes has been started to try to aid agriculture in Sweden, as else where. But there has been no visible result thus far. An intensive educational cam paign has been set on foot; state advisers and controllers have been provided for every branch of forestry and agriculture. There are such things as the milk dues, which are intended to make up the differ ence in price of the butter which is sold at home and that which is exported at unduly cheap rates. It is hoped by such measures to keep the price of the former somewhat above production costs. Such is also the aim of the new milling laws, according to which no mill may grind foreign grain with out mixing with it a high percentage of native grain. An active agitation is carried on for "buying Swedish" and for burning Swedish wood in the heating apparatus of public in stitutions to reduce the importation of coal. To me the Castle of Laicki, on an island in Lake Vanern, is the essence of Sweden's ancient grandeur (see pages 6-9).