In no country has the problem of providing and maintaining suitable road communications been found particularly easy of solution. The history of the development in our own country shows that centuries of chaotic legislation and inefficient service preceded the evolution of a satisfactory system. 1 In Russia the problem presented very special difficulties. The enormous extent of the country, and its sparse population over large areas, rendered the task much more formidable than it would have been in a smaller and more thickly populated country. In many parts of the country there was no stone, and very little gravel, consequently material for road-building and repairing was difficult to obtain, and expensive when available. In one way the climate facilitated communication. In winter, after the snow had fallen to a thickness of perhaps several feet, and had become frozen over, a natural road was formed, over which sleighs could pass with the utmost rapidity and smoothness. This was the so-called “winter road.” But in autumn, before the frosts had finally set in, and in spring when the thaws began, these same roads were converted into morasses of mud, quite often impassable, even for wheeled traffic.