UPDATE! Journalist Jones exposed Stalin famine (to be honoured by Ukraine posthumously on November 22, 2008). Wales On-Line, Nov 10, 2008

To Orwell Today,


I am writing to you [January 2004] as you certainly seem to be in the academic ‘know’ on the writings and thoughts of George Orwell and are aware of my relative Gareth Jones (with whom you link to his Soviet articles from your website – www.colley.co.uk/garethjones ) – and therefore I would like to pose an ‘academic’ question, relating to my great uncle – who as a young independent journalist and former foreign affairs advisor to Lloyd George, internationally exposed (& much to Stalin’s embarrassment) the great Ukrainian famine-genocide of 1933.

Two years after Gareth Jones’ famine exposure in 1935, he was kidnapped by politically-controlled bandits close to the Soviet border in Manchukuo, from a vehicle now known to have belonged to a trading front of the OGPU (Soviet Secret Police).

My specific question to you is: Orwell would have known about my great uncle’s famine exposure in 1933 and subsequent mysterious murder (which was world news for two weeks in August 1935) – and as one knows that most characters in Animal Farm have a symbolic name, then why is farmer Jones, called ‘Farmer Jones’? He was obviously a parody of Tsar Nicholas, so why wasn’t his character, perhaps called either Farmer Nick or alternatively with an inference to his alcohol consumption, such as Farmer Guinness or Haig?

In my curiosity of this question, it has been put to me that Farmer Jones was chosen as a name in Animal Farm, simply due to its popularity as a British surname. And though I might well be chasing Don Quixote windmills on behalf of my relative, I would dearly like your opinion or those in the know to definitively dismiss/discover a symbolism of its origin.

Conversely, could you point me in the right direction as to whom I should approach.

Kind regards
Nigel Colley

Greetings Nigel,

When I discovered your great uncle Gareth Jones's writings last week (while looking up material on Muggeridge) I was thunderstruck by the magnitude of his contribution to Orwell's knowledge of life in the Soviet Union which was then so expertly woven into Animal Farm and 1984

I knew without a doubt that Orwell would have read the Soviet articles by Gareth Jones. I wondered for awhile why Orwell hadn't talked about or written about him. Nor is Jones's name mentioned in any of the Orwell biographies. But then I realized that Orwell had his reasons and I also know what those reasons probably would have been. But I was kind of sad that Gareth Jones didn't receive any credit.

Then in the middle of the night two nights ago - in between waking up and falling back asleep - I started thinking again about Orwell and Gareth Jones and then it struck me that Orwell HAD mentioned Gareth Jones after all in the character of Farmer Jones in Animal Farm!! Just like how the Communists had killed the Tsar and all his family, so too had the Communists just as ruthlessly and cruelly killed Gareth Jones. And so Orwell gave the Tsar character the name of Jones. It is so obvious!!

It was therefore very thrilling to get your email saying that you think the very same thing. Obviously we're 100% right on! Orwell will be chuckling that we've found that puzzle piece!

So you're not alone in chasing Don Quixote windmills, or should we say ANIMAL FARM windmills.

How honoured you must be to know that Orwell had your relative in his thoughts when he penned his two great masterpieces.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

EXPERIENCES IN RUSSIA, 1931, A DIARY, by H J "Jack" Heinz, II, heir to Heinz Company, 1869, American success story

...The first reliable report of the Russian famine was given to the world by an English journalist, a certain Gareth Jones, at one time secretary to Lloyd George. Jones had a conscientious streak in his make-up which took him on a secret journey into the Ukraine and a brief walking tour through its countryside. That same streak was to take him a few years later into the interior of China during political disturbances, and was to cost him his life at the hands of Chinese military bandits. An earnest and meticulous little man, Gareth Jones was the sort who carries a note-book and unasham­edly records your words as you talk. Patiently he went from one correspondent to the next, asking questions and writing down the answers.

On emerging from Russia, Jones made a statement which, startling though it sounded, was little more than a summary of what the correspondents and foreign diplomats had told him. To protect us, and perhaps with some idea of heightening the authenticity of his reports, he emphasized his Ukrainian foray rather than our conversation as the chief source of his information.

In any case, we all received urgent queries from our home offices on the subject. But the inquiries coincided with preparations under way for the trial of the British engineers. The need to re­main on friendly terms with the censors at least for the duration of the trial was for all of us a compelling professional necessity.

Throwing down Jones was as unpleasant a chore as fell to any of us in years of juggling facts to please dictatorial regimes—but throw him down we did, unanimously and in almost identical for­mulas of equivocation. Poor Gareth Jones must have been the most surprised human being alive when the facts he so painstakingly garnered from our mouths were snowed under by our denials. The scene in which the American press corps combined to repudiate Jones is fresh in my mind...

...conversation continues at GARETH JONES PROOF DISCUSSION (about Mr Jones in Animal Farm). Feb 12, 2004

Journalist Jones exposed Stalin famine (to be honoured by Ukraine posthumously). WalesOnLine, Nov 10, 2008
A PIONEERING Welsh journalist who alerted the world to widespread famine in Stalin’s Soviet Union is to receive a posthumous award from the Ukrainian government. Gareth Jones, who wrote for the Western Mail, exposed the 1932-33 Ukrainian famine. Millions died, but the Soviet authorities – and many western journalists – denied the catastrophe had even happened. Jones and fellow reporter Malcolm Muggeridge are now revered in Ukraine, and both are to be posthumously given the country’s Order of Freedom. The award will be bestowed at a ceremony in Westminster on November 22. Discussion of the famine, in which as many as 10 million people died, was strictly suppressed, and Ukrainians themselves have only become fully aware of the events since the fall of communism. When Jones announced at a press conference in Berlin on March 29, 1933, that millions were starving in Ukraine as a result of Stalin’s five-year-plan, several foreign correspondents rushed to rubbish the story. The most vocal was Walter Duranty of the New York Times, who had won a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his own reports on Stalin’s Russia. He dismissed Jones’ eye-witness account as “a big scare story” and insisted there was “no actual starvation”. In May 1932 the New York Times printed Mr Jones’ response to the controversy. In a furious attack on the coterie of foreign correspondents, Mr Jones congratulated “the Soviet Foreign Office on its skill in concealing the true situation in the USSR”. Gareth Jones, who was born in Barry in 1905, was regarded as one of the most talented journalists of his generation. He wrote for The Western Mail, The Times and The Manchester Guardian as well as the Berliner Tageblatt and American newspapers. In the 1930s he travelled through Russia and Ukraine – where his mother had lived – and was shocked at the famine conditions he encountered. An estimated five to 10 million people died between 1932 and 1933, an event Ukrainians call the Holodomor. His career survived the controversy over the Ukrainian reports but his life was tragically cut short when he was murdered in 1935 while travelling in Inner Mongolia. He was just 29 years old. Mr Jones’ niece Dr Siriol Colley has written a book about her campaigning uncle’s life, A Manchukuo Incident, and has long sought for his work to be recognised. She said: “The Ukrainian people have taken him to their hearts – they call him the unsung hero. “He reported on Ukraine but also on the rise of Hitler and the US depression. He did so much in his short life, and it is such a shame that all that knowledge died with him at such a young age.” Fedir Kurlak, chief executive of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, said: “I think for people to have lived for so long, for 70 years, without being able to properly tell others that their little brother, their mother or father died, or half the school died – for them to live with that for 70 years, indicates the terror that existed in that part of the world. “Look at how Gareth Jones went about the task of reporting in those kind of circumstances, under a ruthless totalitarian regime that was liquidating the population by the hundreds of thousands. “I’m sure Gareth would have known if he had been caught reporting on the famine that he would have faced certain death.” He added: “As far as the Ukrainian community is concerned, anyone who has heard of Gareth’s exploits will quite simply take his hat off to him, and regard him as an exemplary journalist.”

Documentaing Stalin's genocide by starvation. RhodeIslandNews, Nov 9, 2008
WARWICK — A history professor at the Community College of Rhode Island, who has been honored for helping to document the extent of the Ukrainian genocide and to make it known to Western audiences, will be a principal speaker at the opening of a month-long commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the “unknown genocide.” Prof. Cheryl Madden said people in the West know so little about the starvation of an estimated 10 million Ukrainians under the rule of former Soviet leader Josef Stalin that it shows how effective he was in terrorizing the populace and manipulating the flow of information to keep it from the outside world. “Even today, I find older Ukrainians who are afraid to talk about it,” says Madden. “Under Stalin, if you even used the word Holodomor — which means murder by starvation — a person could be shot and often was.”....The policy of mass starvation came about, Madden says, because Stalin was desperate for grain that he could trade on the open markets, since most banks would not recognize the ruble. To answer that need, according to historians, Stalin set out on a policy of confiscating all the available grain in Ukraine and withholding it from the local population. “There was a deliberate campaign of starvation,” says Madden. “Anyone over the age of 12 could be shot for the appropriation of Soviet property. Property, as they defined it, could include any food at all, even a dead horse. I read a letter that said, ‘We are killing the cat today, because there is nothing else.’” Knowing that the people were desperate, she says, the Soviets set up a special store where the populace could “purchase” a loaf of bread in exchange for a painting or a wedding ring. Yet, the most catastrophic aspect of the policy was the sealing of the borders around the region of Ukraine to ensure that no one could get out, and then wait for everyone to starve, says Madden. She says that while some journalists attempted to report what was happening, Stalin was able to discredit their reports with the help of New York Times reporter Walter Duranty, the paper’s Moscow correspondent. Duranty had won a Pulitzer Prize for his reports from the Soviet Union, including an interview with the Soviet dictator, who told the world there was no famine....

WAS WINSTON SMITH GERALD SMITH? (Gerald L. K. Smith, close friend and associate of HUEY LONG who launched the SHARE OUR WEALTH SOCIETY in 1932)


PUBLIC PRIVATE LAND GRABS (US/UK pay Big Business to seize land-water-utilities-mines-schools-health-services). Guardian, Jan 6, 2004. Go to 9.Keeping Masses Down & BURMESE DAYS & RUSSIAN SEIZURE OF LAND, by Gareth Jones and Zimbabwe's cattle on verge of extinction (whole gene pool being wiped out). Scotsman, Jan 6, 2004

NO ESCAPE FOR GULAG PRISONERS (treated like slaves w/o wages in mines, factories & laying track). Telegraph, Jan 4, 2004 & COMMUNISM'S TRUE BELIEVERS (broke all records for mass slaughter). National Post, Jan 4, 2004. Go to 42.Party Tells 'Why' & COMMUNISTS COINED 'MCCARTHYISM'


Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

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