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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 74 (January 1947)

Press and radio comments,   pp. 24-43 PDF (10.3 MB)

Page 31

1946-1947 TRADE AND COMMERCE (Continued from page 11)
to become effective 1 January 1947.
Secretary of State Byrnes and Foreign
Secretary Bevin described the agreement as
"a first step towards the economic unification
of Germany as a whole" which they hope
"will lead to discussions with the other occu-
pying powers for the extension of these or
similar arrangements to the other zones of
An immediate effect of the union of the
zones was the creation in Minden of a Ger-
man Executive Committee for Economics
which, acting through the Office for Econo-
mic Administration, will control the economic
development of the two zones under the
supervision of a Bipartite Economic Control
Group. A main department of the German
Office for Economic ' Administration will
handle foreign trade matters for the two
zones. With the complete elimination of
economic barriers between the zones and a
pooling of programs for export and import,
a greater flow of trade and a higher level of
production within the combined area should
be forthcoming in 1947. It is planned that
the German Main Department for Foreign
Trade will assume an increasingly large role
in the control of German exports and im-
ports, although contracts for exports and im-
ports will continue for some time to be made
in the name of Military Government.
Under the supervision of the Internal
Trade Section of OMGUS, trade within the
US Zone has flowed increasingly more freely
since January 1946. Rationing has become
more uniform and equitable; barter opera-
tions have diminished. Black market opera-
tions are no longer of great significance in
the US Zone. Travel and communication on
business matters have been practically free
for about six months; quadripartite semi-per-
manent interzonal passes have been adopted;
and individual troop purchases have been
brought under control so as to minimize any
undesirable impact on the German civilian
On the quadripartite level, Working Par-
ties on Rationing and on Interzonal Trade
have solved problems arising in these fields
among the four powers. The Party on Inter-
zonal Trade, in 1947, will consider: (1) a
plan for the exchange of basic information
among the four occupying powers concerning
the requirements of each zone from the indig-
enous resources of the German economy,
and a pian for integrating and coordinating
these requirements into interzonal trade pro-
grams; (2) the adoption of uniform inter-
zonal food coupons and fuel coupons for
interzonal travelers; (3) examination of the
present zone systems of releasing items into
interzonal trade, and agreement on a uni-
form system; and (4) continuous study of the
transport and travel problems.
In the field of price control, the existing
German price system with its regulations and
organizations has been utilized to a great
extent, varying in the indivudual zones with
each MG's intensity of direction. Measures
have been taken to assure the maintenance of
prices and rents at pre-occupation levels, and
to assure that any price increases are spe-
cifically authorized.
In considering how successful the price
control program has been in the US Zone,
one only needs to point out that the German
price agencies have continued to hold legal
prices under control, and that thus far the
German legal price level has remained in-
credibly stable.
Though other measures are involved, price
control and rationing are recognized as cen-
tral instruments in combating inflation. The
effort will be continued with a full realiza-
tion by MG authorities and German authori-
ties that inflation would jeopardize the plan
to allow Germany a minimum balanced eco-
nomy after carrying out disarmament and
reparations and would disrupt Allied hopes
for a democratic and peaceful Germany.

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