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