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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 101 (July 1947)

Cotton plan for Germany,   pp. 2-3 PDF (1.2 MB)

Page 2

COTTON is as important to Ger-
many right now as it is to Sena-
tor John Bankhead of Alabama, or
any US political leader from the mag-
nolia and cotton-picking belt. For in
the rehabilitation of Germany cotton
products can play a vital and im-
portant part, and have a significance
undreamed of in the days when Ger-
many's economy was built on her
supremacy in heavy industry and
Military Government's occupation
policy in Germany is to make the
country, if possible, self sufficient
through industries which cannot be
converted to war production. Obvious-
ly the production of cotton textiles
fits the recipe. The present world
shortage of textiles and the fact that
the United States is a cotton-export-
ing nation adds to the desirability of
increasing the output of finished cot-
ton goods in the zones of occupation.
The German textile plants in the
British and US Zones were around 25
percent destroyed during the war. At
present there are about 1200 textile
plants in the American Zone. In 1939
there were 14 million spindles in Ger-
many. Today, there are a maximum of
4,200,000 in the combined zones, with
the chance that in the next six months
three-fourths of a million additional
spindles may be rehabilitated.
Last winter's severe cold shut down
textile production almost completely,
but it is hoped no such situation will
curtail output during the coming win-
ter. Coal is being stockpiled to keep
the plants workable. The textile plants
in the US Zone are predominantly run
by hydro-electric power, and if the
rivers freeze as they did during the
past winter planned production sched-
ules cannot be met. From the point of
view of fuel consumption cotton pro-
ducts are much more practical for
Germany than synthetics-it requires
14 tons of coal for every ton of rayon.
The hydro-electric-run plants used in
cotton textile production here use
only two tons of coal for one ton of
finished goods. If, as is often the case,
the mill owns and operates its own
individual power plant, about four
tons of coal are required per ton of
finished goods.
The Economics Division of OMGUS
sees manifold advantages for high
cqtton production. The German econ-
omy needs goods desperately-baby
outfits, clothing, uniforms for doctors
and nurses, tire cords, sewing thread,
fire hose, conveyor belts, waddings,
bandages, twine, and fishing nets
among others. The German economy
also needs dollar credits to pay for
food imports. The export of highly
finished cotton goods is a partial
answer to the country's most serious
FROM    the point of view of the
United States, it is highly desir-
able to establish US cotton in this
market. American cotton has certain
disadvantages on the world markets.
Russia, India, and Brazil ship net,
weight; the United States ships gross
weight, and its bales are considered
unwieldy and hard to handle; Our
cotton is not considered as rleanly
picked as cotton received from count-
ries where peasant labor is extremely
cheap. Cotton brokers in Breinen re-
port that Russian cotton, which they
received in rather small quantities be-
fore the war, was regarded as highly
desirable, because it was so clean.
Russia grows around three and a
half to four million bales of cotton a
year, mostly in the Soviet State of
Georgia. Almost all of it is used at
home, and grown by very crude
methods, but under the new five year
plan they expect to modernize and
greatly increase production.
BRAZIL produces two and a half to
Bthree million bales of cotton a
year, and Britain has brought some
Brazilian cotton into its zone.
American cotton brokers have long
fumed because cotton growers have
persisted in baling cotton in jute,
grown in India, instead of using cot-
ton itself. This may be changed as far
as cotton intended for the German
market is concerned. The suggestion
has been made that the textile indus-
try here manufacture cotton bagging
for wrapping. The drawback to such
a plan is the cost-burlap of the qual-
ity now used costs 16 cents per square
yard; cotton bagging which meets US
Department of Agriculture specific-
ations would cost 24 cents per square
yard in the US Zone. Textile mills
may by able to produce it more
The question of financing cotton im-
ported from the United States to the
British and American Zones has been
14 JULY 1947

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