National Geographic : 1922 Jun
592 THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE ! blankets, where they had been hidden by his orderly. E The government is struggling pitifully o to maintain the schools and other civil ' functions provided for in the constitu . tion. Without resources, it is hard to w realize high ambitions. However, con siderable is done. One institution in Chita was a govern ment crdche located in part of a church. A dozen volunteer nurses cared for nearly a hundred babies and children from 9 to 5 o'clock daily, while their mothers worked. O PROPAGANDA IS THE GRIPPING FORCE Propaganda is the gripping force of ° the government. Every employee or sol o dier gets a free newspaper, and a Russian newspaper is always more enthusiastic 8 for its country and some particular local w party than it is for news. Gaudy but artistic lithographs appeal , m to the large illiterate population, their tone in recent months having changed z Z from appeals for soldiers to exhortations t to return to the shops and fields, the ad ~ vantages of schooling, and advice on fly , swatting or the extermination of wolves, S boll-weevil, and other pests. In each city is a reading-room, and the S demand for books on industry, electricity, mechanics, metallurgy, medicine, agricul ture, and other useful sciences largely S~a exceeds the limited number of well 19o thumbed copies. " Outside, a more systematic world-wide p1ropaganda is busy painting a clark pic ture of Siberia, in accord with the am bitions of other powerful interests. 0 Most of the fictitious stories of dis orders in Siberia, embellished with a Wealth of detail, originate with a men dacious publicity bureau, which is a part of the military expedition in Vladivostok. I was goaded to frenzied activity when - the American mission was in Chita last _ summer, long stories being printed in the ' subsidized newspapers of China and Japan and sent to Europe and America by press associations, of uprisings in a dozen cities, mutiny of the army, and the burning of Chita with most of the gov ernment officials on the pyre. Loafing in the shade or swimming was the most vigorous activity of Siberia at the time and Chita was as peaceful as any Ameri can village in midsummer.