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Information bulletin
(May 1950)

McCloy, John J.
Germany in a united Europe,   pp. [37]-39 PDF (1.7 MB)


Page 39

merely the East-West split, but the deeper moral, political
and economic forces that surge in Europe today.
M ANY FACTORS CALL for prompt action. Today the
West has the opportunity to unite for its own de-
fense. Tomorrow may be too late. Today Germany is
still in a formative stage and, I believe, wants to join
in a united Europe. Tomorrow the situation in Germany
and in other European countries may have taken a turn
which will make action more difficult. Today the idea
of a European community has a strong hold on the minds
of the common people throughout the continent. Tomor-
row, if steps have not been taken to make this idea a
reality, those hopes may be dashed and support for the
program may be dissipated.
Today the United States is firmly committed to help
Europe and has shown in many ways its hope in the
development of a European community. Tomorrow that
interest may decline from its present high level unless
it is matched by the interest of others.
Finally, in the last 10 years, in war and peace, the
leaders and peoples of Europe have been learning to
work together on many joint projects. These skills and
attitudes can form the firm base for the next step toward
a real community.
At the same time every thoughtful person must re-
cognize the tremendous obstacles in the path of European
unity. No friend of Britain, aware of her problems, would
dare urge any step which might prejudice Britain's
existence or impair her position as a leader of nations.
The United States, too, will have to do its share. So it
is with full appreciation of the difficulties involved that
I say no permanent solution of the German problem
seems possible without an effective European union.
Experience between the two wars and since teaches
us that palliatives will not do. And there is good reason
to believe the problem can be solved. The courage and
energy so magnificently displayed in the war can be
enlisted in the creative task of building a strong European
community. The European tradition -is a- heritage which
the world cannot afford to lose. That heritage can best
be preserved by making Europe a vital outlet for the
energies of its young men and women.
T HIS CONCEPT of a new Western Europe is our best
hope for peace. It is a threat to no one. Its very
existence will reduce the danger of armed conflicts, its
rightful power will check the ruthless plans of ambitious
men; and its democratic nature will preclude any aggres-
sive action on its own part.
Three hundred years ago a member of Bradford's
Company:-' wrote back to England after the first harsh
winter in Plymouth Colony. He was able to weigh these
hardships against the spiritual goal of the Pilgrims. He
wrote:
"It is not with us as with other mef whom small things
can discourage, or small discontentments cause to wish
themselves at home again."
We too must measure our difficulties in the light of
our own purposes. If we carry in our hearts this spirit
of the Pilgrims, we may also count as small the ob-
stacles to our own high goals.              + END
*Plymouth (Mass.) Colony, of which William Bradford (1590-1657)
was an early governor.
Labor Unions a Strong Democratic Force
DESCRIBING THE GERMAN trade union movement as
"the strongest, most constructive and most demo-
cratic force in present-day Germany," Algot Joensson,
Swedish labor leader, in a report to the Office of Labor
Affairs, declared that German unions must form the core
of the new German democracy.
The Swedish labor expert and official of the Swedish
Trade Union Federation came to Germany last summer
at the invitation of the Manpower Division, OMGUS,
predecessor of the HICOG's Office of Labor Affairs. He
spent practically his entire time in Bavaria, where he dis-
cussed problems with trade union leaders and workmen.
Currency reform, ERP aid and the new constitution
guaranteeing basic human rights have created a sound
basis for the democratic development of Germany, Mr.
Joensson stated, but he pointed to the disparity between
wages and prices as "good soil for the dissatisfaction of
the working man."
"As far as I could find out," he said, "the purchasing
power of wage and salary earners is very low. Whatever
they earn is spent ifor food, rent utilities and social in-
surance. It is therefore very difficult to afford clothing
and furniture. And the need for these goods is very great
after the war and the destruction."
MAY 1950
THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT problems facing the
German government today, he said, are those of
housing construction, unemployment and the price-wage
relationship.
- "The next few years can be of decisive importance
for democracy in Germany," he said. "If the three afore-
mentioned problems can be brought to a reasonable solu-
tion, the external conditions for democratic development
will be quite favorable. If they are not solved, there is
the danger that developments may go. in a quite different
and undesirable direction. A strong and purposeful hold
on the problem of housing construction could further a
solution to the other two problems."
Mr. Joensson noted a special inclination on the part
of the German trade union movement for legislation. He
also noted that a large number of minor disputes which
should be settled through direct negotiation between
the employer and the trade union, are taken to labor
courts for settlement. He recommended that the training
of youth and educational leaders be extended; that Ger-
man trade unionists, including youth leaders, study demo-
cratic developments in Sweden, and that all possibilities
for conducting the broad work of enlightenment be exam-
ined, including support of correspondence school courses.
INFORMATION BULLETIN
39


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