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the direction of young students, had always existed. But these were few, and could by no means account for the large spread of the strike. The socialists themselves vowed that they were taken by surprise, and they bitterly upbraided themselves for not having been better prepared to take advantage of the opportunity. The demands formulated by the strikers were of a strictly professional—i.e., economic —character. They were so moderate and sensible that immediately after the strike became known the Ministry of Finance ordered the owners of the manufactures to remedy the most crying abuses. The methods employed by the strikers were quite peaceful; no violence was resorted to, and the chief means of protest were simply staying at home.”* The movement produced a great impression on both the Government and the revolutionaries. But the Government stupidly resisted the idea of granting the workers the right to strike and to form their own organisations : it was afraid that the Russian workers might come into touch with the international labour movement, which would be “hardly useful to Russia. Attention must be paid,” according to a Government document, “not to the creation of purely labour organisations and the isolation of the workers from the rest of the popu-lation,” but to their subordination to Government control. Even Count S. Witte, the Minister of Finance, whose “liberalism” was causing alarm in the Ministry of the Interior, did not propose any more drastic remedy than a law that would “guarantee order.” And such a law was brought in on June 10th, 1903, when the workers were granted the right to elect candidates for the position of starosta, though the final selection was left to the

Professor Ozerov organised an investigation into the conditions of work and life of the Moscow workers, which revealed appalling factory conditions. “The narratives of workers at our meetings,” says Professor Ozerov, “have shown us a very depressing picture of the workers’ lives. Everything depends on the master. He must be given a bribe if one wants a job; he can dismiss all who fail to greet him. Fines for being even five minutes late are very heavy. But what is even more disgusting is the practice of searching the person. A worker is searched every time he leaves the factory: sometimes he is asked at the gate to unfasten his suit or to take off his boots, even in cold and frosty weather. ‘We are searched because we are suspected,’ wrote a worker, ‘but when some of the members of the administration are suspected, or when they have appropriated a large sum of money, it is attributed to kleptomania.’