it was at last complete in all its magnificence, would prove a brilliant financial success and arouse a lively interest in my great expedition, thus giving me a strong hand with the wealthy industrial magnates in Chicago. But the increasing economic depression in the U. S. A. placed insuperable obstacles in my way.
During my stay in Chicago, however, I wrote a new popular book, » Erövringståg i Tibet » ( »A Conquest of Tibet »), in which I made a summary of all my Tibetan journeys of exploration.
The Citroen expedition
If we turn to the Chinese arena we find that on February 12th 1932 the CITROENHAARDT Trans-Asiatic Expedition had made its entry into Peking after a ten months' journey. I will here devote a few lines to this great French enterprise. Among the thirty members were our old friend Père TEILHARD DE CHARDIN and the director of the Musée Guimet in Paris, M. JOSEPH HACKIN.
It was characteristic of the political situation at this time that this motor convoy was said to have been taken, on approaching Peking, for advancing Japanese armoured cars.
This journey, the most gigantic of its kind, an enterprise that must have cost millions, was preceded for years by the most thorough preparations. So, for instance, small preliminary expeditions were sent to China and Sinkiang; and in September 1929 M. CITROEN sent two gentlemen to Stockholm to confer with me about the routes. I advised them to take a northerly course, through Russian Turkistan, and over Ili to Urumchi. I also emphasized the importance of passports and permission from CHIN SHU-JEN, the despotic Governor-General of Sinkiang.
The expedition was divided into two groups, the western section, that started from Beirut on the Mediterranean, and the eastern section, that set out from Tientsin on the Pacific coast. Under the leadership of M. GEORGES-MARIE HAARDT, the western group followed the road from the coast over Damascus, Bagdad and Teheran to Herat and on to Qabul, Srinagar and Gilgit. There, however, they had to leave the cars and continue over the Pamirs with caravan animals. That they did not choose the Russian route must have been due to political reasons — probably refusal of Soviet Russian permission.
With Lieutenant VICTOR PoINT at their head, the eastern group set out at the same time from Peking, proceeding over Kalgan and Beli-miao to the Edsen-gol, Suchow, Hami, Turfan and Urumchi. From the latter town Lieutenant PoINT went with a few cars over Korla to Aqsu, to meet M. HAARDT and the main group.