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United States. Office of the US High Commissioner for Germany / Germany's parliament in action; the September 1949 debate on the government's statement of policy

Loritz, Alfred
Comment on the statement of policy of the German federal government delivered in the Bundestag on 22 September 1949 by Alfred Loritz of the Economic Reconstruction Party,   pp. 73-77

Page 73

Comment on the Statement of Policy of the German Federal Government
delivered in the Bundestag on 22 September 1949 by
Alfred Loritz of the Economic Reconstruction Party
(Wirtschaftliche Aufbauvereinigung - WAV)
Ladies and Gentlemen:
When listening to the Federal Chancellor's State-
ment of Governmental Policy the day before yester-
day, we heard a number of declarations that were
most thoughtfully balanced and very aptly formulat-
ed. The Federal Chancellor elaborated his platform,
telling us how he and his Cabinet visualized their
short-term. functions in a variety of fields, such as
the economy as a whole; the elimination of .un-
employment; housing; the welfare of disabled
veterans, expellees, and other strata of the popu-
Ladies and gentlemen, we of WAV would like to
make the following comments in this connection.
We do not care whether really all classes were
alluded to in these statements. We do not care
whether one class might have been alloted three
sentences more and another one sentence less in
the Governmental Statement of Policy. We ar, not
interested in the words that were chosen. We have
heard so many Statements of Policy these past few
years, and they are all as alike as two peas in -a
pod. Probably they are bound to resemble each
other a good deal. In view of the all-pervading
misery of our times it is deeds, not words, that
count. Therefore we shall apply the Biblical say-
ing that iby their fruits shall ye know them. We
shall judge this Government by its fruits, and by
its fruits alone, not by the degree of its skillful-
ness in turning a phrase. We do not propose to
scrutinize each comma in the Chancellor's address
with a magnifying glass. Far be it from us! We
shall see what this Government will accomplish.
We freely admit that the fruits will take some time
to ripen. But time is short. There is but one ad-
monition we have for the Government: Hurry,
hurry, for the distress of our people is dreadful.
I am almost tempted to say that each day we keep
the Government 'from tackling its tasks is a wasted
(Loud applause on the Right)
Ladies and gentlemen, wherever you look the
plight of our people is exceedingly great. On the
streets, in the refugee camps, among the disabled
veterans who frequently lack even the money to
buy an artificial leg, among the war widows and
war orphans, among the middle class that is being
improverished all over again today. After all, it is
precisely the small businessmen who are badly off,
while the big black-marketeers are doing very well.
What are -the assets of the small businessman? A
handful of bad debts he cannot collect. And how
is business in general? The outlook is rather bleak,
I would say.
We are unable to share the optimism that things
are improving splendidly. True, things are on the
upgrade in this country for hundreds of thousands
of bigshot black-market operators, but the broad
mass of thee population does not participate in this
boom. To our mind the payoff is whether the great
mass of our people can be raised to a living
standard which makes life worth living. This is
well within our possibilities. We got the stuff for
it, in more than one respect. Our people is as
dilligent and industrious as ever. There must be
other reasons why progress is not as great as
we would wish and as it would be possible at least
in those fields where there is no interference by
foreign powers.
We have a list of requests to submit to the
Federal Chancellor and his Cabinet. We shall not
waste any words on tearing the Federal Chancellor's
speech apart. By no means! We simply wish to
tell him on behalf of our constituents what we
expect the Government to do. It is too early to dis-
cuss in detail what steps the Government will take.
We shall see. I already madea it clear that we shall
judge the Government by its actions and by ab-
solutely no other yardstick. We shall scrutinize
the work of the Government with an open mind,
neither with. a jaundiced eye nor with advance
laurels. There is just one thing we should like to
ask the Government: get to work as soon as pos-
sible, the misery of our people cries to heaven.
It is imperative to tackle the expellee problem
properly. It disgraces our culture that millions of
expellees have to dwell in miserable wooden
(Interjection: "In air-raid shelters, too!")
Quite right, and even air-raid shelters. In fact, part
-of them live in the open air! I know of expellees
who cannot even call a wooden cabin their home,
or who prefer not to live in it during the summer
because these cabins, as is well known, are infested
with lice and are in so run-down a condition that
it is simply impossible to live in them. My friend
Goetzendorff, an expellee himself, will, at a later
date, take the liberty of discussing the expellee
problem in igreater detail.
There is one . thing I note with pleasure in the
Statement of Governmental Policy, namely the
Government's hard-hitting pronouncement about
the Oder-Neisse Line. Regardless of party al-
legiance none of us will ever acknowledge the
Oder-Neisse Line.
(Loud applause)
However, I found one thing lacking in the Gov-
ernment's Statement of Policy. We are no less con-
cerned with the fate of Germans in Bohemia and
Moravia than in Silesia and Pomerania, in East
Prussia and all these other Germ-an territories.
("Hear, hear!" on the Right)
German Bohemia belongs to us, to Germany, just
as much as Silesia., The Germans in Bohemia

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