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• Ivan on his honour

15th October 1971
Page 46
Page 46, 15th October 1971 — • Ivan on his honour
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Believe it or not, there are Muscovites who would sell their consciences for a five-kopek piece! I have this on the authority of Novosti Information Services, Moscow, USSR, who quote the chief of the Soviet capital's Passenger Transport Administration, Mr Alexander Trofimov.

It seems that some time ago the practice of employing conductors on the city's buses, trolleys and trams was abandoned and Ivan was put on his honour to dib up. Asked if any losses had been sustained since the conductors were disbanded, mostly to other jobs in the administration, Mr Trofimov is reported to have replied: "I won't pretend that when the question of trust came up some people feared there would be many dodgers. But we felt it would have been wrong to question the honesty of millions because of a few hundred dishonest ones. And we have not been mistaken. There are some who would sell their conscience for a five-kopek piece, but very, very few. Our expectations have fully justified themselves."

Some 22 million roubles a year have been saved since the scheme was introduced. With 100 kopeks to a rouble (2.13 roubles to £1), it would seem that the going rate for a dissident comrade's conscience is equivalent to one stage on an LT bus — 21,p.


Locations: Moscow

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