Gareth Jones

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Sunday, November 29th 1931. 

Fascist Dictatorship for Germany Now Possibility, Development

Seems Inevitable in Spring.

By Gareth Jones
Specially written for the N. Y. American. A Paper ‘For People Who Think’

In Germany today we are witnessing the revolt of a great nation.  It is, in the eyes of Germany, a revolt against three betrayals - against the betrayal by German politicians, against the betrayal by Versailles and against the betrayal by capitalism. 

A great class has been annihilated, the German middle class.  Their savings swept away by the inflation, educated Germans have been reduced to proletarian conditions.

That is the situation which we must bear in mind in considering the Germany of today and the Germany of tomorrow.  That is the situation which led to the shock of the world when on September 14, 1930, the startling news was flashed around the globe that the National Socialist party of Hitler had gained a triumph of unforeseen magnitude. 

That day set the events moving which led to the present crisis, for the alarm caused capital to flow from Germany and spread mistrust of Germany’s future to London, New York and Paris.  You all will remember the events that followed: terror in France at the Austro-German customs scheme; failure of the Credit Anstalt, threatened collapse of Germany’s finances, just saved by Hoover’s moratorium; delay caused by the French; and that black day, July 13, when there was a run upon German banks; calamitous withdrawal of short-term credits from Germany; spreading of the disease to England and the crash of the pound. 

You will remember the standstill agreement by which short-term credits were to be maintained in Germany for a period of six months.  Germany’s capacity to pay has come to an end and rapid action must be taken to save her. 

Root of Trouble. 

What is at the root of the present trouble?  How far is Germany responsible? 

The roots of the trouble are foremost, the Reparations payments and, secondly, over-borrowing by Germany, without which these Reparation payments could never have been made. 

It is true that Germany borrowed too much - foreign investments exceeded four billion dollars in seven years; but that was a mistake made throughout the world.  Bank credit expanded in the United States so rapidly that it was made easy for everybody in the world to get into debt.  It is false to accuse Germany of financial bad faith, because the German Reichsbank and the German Treasury uttered solemn warnings that too much money was going to German states and municipalities. 

It is true that German towns were reckless in their social expenditures, but of the loans made, the great majority went to industries and public utilities.  To pay reparations the government has imposed upon the German people an almost intolerable burden of taxation and has had to cut down imports to such an extent as to lower still more the standard of living.  The suffering in Germany is no bluff. 

Two Creditors. 

Whoever may bear the responsibility, the fact remains that Germany is faced with two sets of creditors, on the one hand those who claim receipt of reparations amounting to $473,000,000 each year, and on the other, those who hold four billion dollars in private debts:  And the curtain is soon to go up to show this great fight, private debts versus reparations. 

There is only time to mention two things, firstly, that no government can exist in the Germany of the future which is willing to pay reparations. 

The moral is, “First Against Reparations and for the priority of private, debts!”  Secondly, if tariffs throughout the world shut out German goods, she will never be able to pay a part of the private debts. The moral is, “Scrap Tariffs.” 

Whatever happens, however, there is a danger that all is too late.  A Nazi dictatorship in the Spring seems inevitable.  Will this lead to civil war?  Will this lead in the long run to Bolshevism in Germany?  Those are problems we may soon have to face. 








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