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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 87 (April 1947)

Press and radio comments,   pp. 24-31 PDF (4.3 MB)


Page 28

generally prosperous year, they amounted- to
about 1,900,000,000 dollars out of a total of
about 2,700,000,000 dollars, both figures
converted into present prices. Under the
"Level of Industry" most of this 60 70 per-
cent is to: be abolished, and Germany must
pay for most of her imports from exports
of "light industry."
Germany must not alone import food and
animal feed, but also reduced amounts of
copper, lead, zinc, iron ore, leather, cotton,
wool, and other raw materials. Due to the
prohibitions, she must import all of her oil
and rubber, and considerable nitrogen for
fertilizers.
It is indeed a cynical fact that today we
are supplying Germany with oil and nitrogen
at the expense of the American and British
taxpayer, at a rate of 70,000,000 dollars per
annum, which, except for- the "Level of In-
dustry" and the Russian refusal of zonal co-
operation, Germany could have produced
herself.
Consequences upon light industry.
As I have said, the assumption is that eX-
ports from the German "light industry,"
from coal and native raw materials, such as
potash, can pay for her imports of food and
other necessities. There are two reasons for
believing this assumption to be completely
invalid.
Had there been no loss of "light industry"
plants by annexation, had there been no
destruction of them by war, had there been
no removals for reparations, they could not
have produced enough exports to pay the
food bill alone. And the situation is made
doubly impossible by the restrictions now
iposed on what "light industry" is left, as,
for instance, on textiles.
If Germany is to buy food and the neces-
sary imports of raw material for the "light
industry," she would require not only com-
plete restoration to pre-war level in "light
industry" but a much larger equipment than
she had even before the war.
Then Germany, with the expansion of
these industries, would be in a competitive
field of consumers' goods with all the rest
of the world Whose "light industries" havme
been little damaged by war.
Some economic illusions.
There are several illusions in all this
"war potential" attitude.
A. There is the illusion that the new
Germany left after the annexations can be
reduced to a "Pastoral State." It cannot be
done  unless  we   exterminate  or  move
25,000,000 people out of it. This would ap-
proximately reduce Germany to the density
of the population in France.
B. There is an illusion in "war potential."
Almost every industry on earth is a "war
potential" in modern war. No industry (ex-
cept direct arms manufacture) is a war
potential if the energies of a people are con-
fined to the paths of peace. If Germany be
disarmed in the way I have assumed above,
there must be a Control Commission to see
that they do not have any army or any navy.
And two score of intelligent men, as part of
that Commission, could see that there is no
arms production and that no industry -is
manufacturing or storing materials for evil
purposes. Moreover, industry is not likely
to waste its substance, either by storing or
manufacturing for war, when there is no
army or navy to use it.
The question here is not "Level of In-
dustry." The real question is whether the
Allied nations will stick to their abolition of
militarism itself in -Germany. If they do
that, there is little  danger from  "war
potential" in industry.
C. Another illusioi is that the "light in-
dustry" in Germany can be expanded to a
point where she will be able to pay for her
imports. In my view, it cannot be done for
years, and even then it is doubtful in the
face of competition with the "light in-
dustries" of other parts of the world.
D. The over-all illusion is that Germany
can ever become self-supporting under the
"Levels of Industry" plan within the borders
envisioned at present for new Germany.
E. A still further illusion is that Europe
as a whole can recover without the economic
recovery of Germany.
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