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Information bulletin
(January 1952)

McCloy, John J.
Test of democracy,   pp. 35-36 PDF (1.2 MB)


Page 35

Test of Democracy
Excerpt of Address
By JOHN J. McCLOY
US High Commissioner for Germany
WE ARE CLOSING OUT a great adventure that began
in the days when we literally set about helping the
Germans to bury their dead down to the present when we
see a rehabilitated economy and a rehabilitated political
system not only capable but eager to solve its own
problems.
To be sure, many Germans ascribe most of this recovery
to their own regenerative power and in this they are
quite right. But objective persons among them, and there
are many, realize - it only takes a glance at conditions
in the Eastern zone of Germany to see what might have
been the situation here -that without generous foreign
aid, without a spirit of helpfulness, without full op-
portunity given them to develop their own capacity's
rehabilitation, Germany would not be where it is today.
We shall soon abolish the High Commission and the
state commissions. The only functions we shall retain in
our new setup are 'those which enable us to maintain
some control of our own affairs, such as the security of
our troops. Philosophically and actually this is a great
change; but it is not one to be regretted - it is one rather
to be welcomed. It is a sign of our advance. One of our
objectives has been to create a free democratic com-
munity in Germany, able to progress under its own steam.
We are not going to make that objective more likely of
attainment by continued control. We must be prepared
to put our theories of democracy to the test.
T HERE ARE HEAVY RISKS in our policy. Democracy
itself is a great risk. It presumes a great deal of faith
and a confidence in our fellow men. Considering the dis-
sension and the political immaturity that was evidenced
in Germany after the close of the first world war, con-
sidering the spectacle of what followed after the break-
down of the Weimar Republic and considering the aber-
rations of the Nazi period, it makes one hesitate to give
guarantees for the future, particularly when some are
ostentatiously trying to revive the old Nazi propaganda.
Sometimes I don't wonder that Germany's friends get a
sudden sinking feeling. I must confess, I do.
We have come to the period, however, when we must
permit the Germans to take action themselves in the pro-
tection of their own freedom. Otherwise we run the risk
that the Germans will never develop
freedom. Against these risks there are
signs. The many good elements among
the Germans do react against these
excesses. The Federal Parliament and
the Federal Government have shown
great evidence, in my judgment, of
Political development. Forward-look-
ing people in the government see the
the instincts of
many promising
The following are
extemporaneous re
Cloy made before t
Officers' conference
furt Dec. 10.
future role of Europe quite clearly and they seek for Ger-
many a participating and a contributing partnership in it.
In spite of the most difficult problems and the necessity
for taking steps of enormous significance to the future of
Germany, they face their decisions with courage and
with dignity. When I consider that when I first came to
Germany that government still had to be erected, I gain
faith in the future of this country. I think we must realize
that some of the disturbing incidents that occur from
time to time are conspicuous because they do not re-
present the basic feeling of the people of Germany. We
must provide the opportunity for the average man and
woman of Germany to express themselves in regard to
these excesses and to show their own sober and de-
termined resistance to them.
T HE ECONOMY OF the country certainly justifies hope
in the future. We still have unemployment but the
general standard of living in this country is in some
respects higher than that in some of the victorious
countries. I also take great faith from the fact that so
many Germans recognize the interdependence of the
nations of Europe.
If a European community, which is a chief objective
of our policy, is to be successfully erected, Germany must
be a part of it. Germany cannot successfully be a party
to it nor could it be a successful democratic community
if it were only a second-class member.
And it is by association in such a community, in my
judgment, that we have the greatest guarantee, certainly
a greater guarantee than we could possibly have by
means of continued control.
So I feel that we should look upon our work as having
been constructive and capable of being tested We are
closing out this great adventure which has involved so
much American wealth and so much American engery.
In doing so, however, we do not abandon our principles.
We will continue to propagate them in every manner and
through every agency which is compatible with a free
German society. The embassy, when it comes, will con-
tinue through its influence to work toward the main'te-
nance of a democratic community. Our goals remain the
same; our methods have to be altered with the times.
You (the resident officers) heard something this morn-
ing of the plans we have by which these aims and princi-
ples can be continued. We all hope
that they will be effective. If the
3 excerpts from  energy and devotion which you have
marks Mr. Mc-    applied to the propagation of these
:he US Resident  principles is conveyed to the indivi-
held in Frank-  duals who will carry on American
policy in Germany, there is no doubt
INFORMATION BULLETIN
JANUARY 1952
L.
35


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