The Russia which preceded the Revolution of 1917, and which Soviet economists and planners received as their legacy, despite its great natural riches, showed a remarkably low level of economic development, by contrast with the countries of Western Europe, and for the mass of her people a remarkably low standard of life. A fairly high level of development was reached in the main industrial centres of the West (the Petersburg and Moscow districts and the Donetz and Dnieper districts of the Ukraine). Here there were a number of large-scale and up-to-date industrial plants, which were centres of a strong and class-conscious factory-proletariat; but these remained mere islands in a predominantly backward agricultural country. Although it is, surprisingly, true that the number of workers employed in factories with more than 1,000 employees was nearly as great as in U.S.A., and that nearly a half of all factory workers were attached to enterprises of this size, the total number of factory workers amounted to little more than 2 million, and nearly double this number of workers earned their livelihood in domestic handicraft. No more than 15 per cent. of the population lived in towns, and less than 10 per cent. were engaged in industry. Four-fifths or more of her population were peasants who scratched the soil with primitive instruments and from their toil won an income on the average that has been estimated at no more than the equivalent of between £13 and £20 per peasant family per year. 1 The national income per head of the 6whole country has been estimated as being less than a quarter that of Great Britain. 1 What is in some ways even more striking is that the national income per head had probably increased by no more than one-fifth in the half-century prior to 1914, and that industrial production in 1913 constituted little more than one-fifth of the total national income. 2 Russia’s railway development (whether measured in proportion to area or inhabitants) remained lower than almost anywhere else in Europe; and the extent to which the disorganisation of her railways contributed to her defeat in the last war is a familiar story. The industry that existed in industrial centres of the West relied very largely on foreign technical personnel as well as foreign capital; and Russia was in most years an importer of capital to the tune of some 200 million roubles per year. She was essentially a debtor nation; and her industry to a large extent was filial to capitalism in the West. Estimates suggest that nearly half the capital in the Donetz coal area, and between 80 and 90 per cent. of the capital in iron and steel and in the oil industry was foreign-owned; the total foreign capital invested in Russia (including investments in Government loans) approaching a figure of 8 milliard roubles.