Siberia, apparently, is an inhospitable region as far as Communist Party members are concerned. According to T. H. Rigby, both in 1939 and in 1961, a significantly smaller proportion of the CPSU membership was to be found in the Urals and Western and Eastern Siberian regions of the RSFSR than of the general Soviet population. This is surprising, he points out, in view of the area's “relatively small rural population” and its key industries being mining and metallurgy. Beyond the suggestion “that the general comfort and pleasantness of an area is an independent factor in its party membership levels,” one is immediately intrigued by the implications this may have for the political recruitment opportunities of ethnic minorities in these regions. Does it mean that native, non-European minorities have better chances to become party members because Europeans are reluctant to move there? Or, conversely, does it mean that Europeans, because of their higher levels of education, tend therefore to displace the non-Europeans? Is there evidence of any sort of “affirmative action” on behalf of ethnic minorities in Siberia insofar as recruitment into the party, and concurrently access to the better jobs, is concerned?