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Information bulletin
No. 150 (December 1948)

Seven basic points listed for West German constitution,   p. 14 PDF (638.9 KB)

Page 14

under the title of "I Remember
Mama," with Kaethe Dorsch and
Carl Kuhlmann, both well known Ger-
man players, in the leading roles.
The Schloslspark Theater presented
"Drei Mann auf einem Pferd" (Three
Men on a Horse) with Walter Blum
and Gudrun Genest in the starring
roles.  A  special Schornsteinfegei
revue, entitled "We Bring Good
Luck", with original lyrics, music
and dances was presented last June
at Titania Palast before an audience
of more than 5,000. A book lottery
in a Berlin-Friedenau bookstore added
more marks to the club treasury.
Marks are used to purchase Ger-
man items which can aid the poor.
Dollars are used by the club to buy
food, clothing and other articles of
necessity from the United States.
Distribution of used clothing, how-
ever, is one of the main activities of
the club. Well over 35,000 items of
usable clothing have been distributed
through American and German accre-
dited welfare agencies. The clothing
is given to needy persons after care-
ful investigation by responsible in-
vestigators.  Many  items  of this
clothing have gone to German PW's
returning home in a destitute con-
dition from Soviet camps.
The Schornsteinfeger Club which
calls itself an "International Organi-
zation of Persons of Goodwill" lives
up to its name. With a membership
of more than 16.0000, it represents
persons all over the world including
Peru, Ausitralia, China, India, Sweden,
Brazil, Switzerland, England and Fin-
T HEIR FIRST year of organization
and growth past, the Schornstein-
feger!Club is now busywith 1948 Christ-
mas work. More than 40 large boxes
of German items including handmade
dolls, cigarette lighters and hand-
made wooden articles have been sent
to the United States and sold to
Americans whose money is being
converted into CARE packages and
clothing. New appeals for Decem-
ber contributions were sent to mem-
bers in July and at Thanksgiving
time and generous gifts of monfey
and chlothing are arriving.
For their part, German club mem-
bers in Berlin have indicated that
good will is not exclusive to Ameri-
can member's. By posters and money
collection points they are carrying
out their own plan: At Christmastime,
750 British and American pilots and
ground crew personnel on theBerlin
airlift are to be presented engraved
cigarette lighters as a token of ap-
preciation. +iEND
Seven Basic Points Listed for West Germany Constitution
M EMBERS of the constituent as-
sembly at Bonn have been
given by the three western powers
a seven-point resume of basic quali-
ties which should bae incorporated
into the new constitution now being
written for West Germany.
Limitation of executive powers,
safeguarding finance and other po-
wersi of individual states, and the im-
portance of an independent judiciary
are all emphasized. Specifically, the
new constitution will be reviewed for:
1. A bicameral legislative system
in which one of the houses must rep-
resent the individual states and have
sufficient power to safeguard the in-
terests of the states.
2. A limitation of powers of the
execttive to those functions which
are definitely prescribed by the con-
stitut on-with emergency powers,
if any, so limited as to require prompt
legislative or judicial review.
3. Limitation of powers of the
federal government to those expressly
enumerated in the constitution; ex-
clusion of federal jurisdiction in the
field of education, cultural and reli-
gious affairs, local government and
public health (except in this last case
to secure such coordination as is es-
sential to safeguard the health of the
people in the several states). Assur-
ance that powers of the federal gov-
ernment in the field of public welfare
are limited to those necessary for
coordination of social security meals-
ures; and in the police field, to
those agreed upon by the Military
Governors during the occupation.
4. Regarding the field of public
finance, limitation of powers of the
federal government to the disposed
of monies including thee raising of
revenues for purposes for which it is
responsible. The federal government
may set rates and legislate on gener-
al principles of assessment with re-
gard to other taxes for which unifor-
mity is essential, the collection and
uitlization of such taxes being left to
the individual states; and the federal
government may appropriate funds
only for purposes for which it is re-
sponsible under the constitution.
5. An independent judiciary to
review federal legislation, to review
the exercise of federal executive
power, to adjudicate conflict between
federal and state authorities as well
as between state authorities and to
protect the civil rights and freedom
of the individual.
6. Clear definition of the powers
of the federal government to establish
federal agencies for the execution
and administration of its responsibili-
ties - and limitation of these powers
to those fields in which it is clear
that state implementation is imprac-
7. Provision for a civil service on
principles of equal opportunity for all
qualified job-seekers without preju-
dice because of political background.
Members of the legislature should not
b'e allowed to retain civil service po-
S OME of the principles conveyed
to the constituent assembly al-
ready had been incorporated into the
draft of the provisional constitution.
Others-notably the composition of
the upper house and the allocation
of finance powers-are still under
discussion by the German delegates,
who represent nine political parties.
Their draft already carries detailed
provision for limiting the "emergency
powers" of the executive. To avoid
a repetition of Hitler's "dictatorship
by decree," the federal chancellor
according to the present draft could
issue emergency decrees only for four
weeks at a time, and even within
that period they could be blocked by
either house of the legislature.
DECEMBER 14, 1948

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