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Information bulletin
No. 133 (April 20, 1948)

Editorial opinion in German press,   pp. 9-13 PDF (2.9 MB)

Page 12

(Continued from page 5)
Protest Demonstration
ment took a much more conciliatory
attitude toward the union's food
proposals. Bavaria's Minister Presi-
dent, Dr. Hans Ehard, announced
publicly that "the general situation
will be discussed in the Food Com-
mittee of the state legislature in the
coming weeks. A program containing
practical measures will be prepared
jointly by the Ministry of Food and
Agriculture, the Farmers' League, and
the Trade Unions, and this program
will be executed with the full support
of the government."
HE SPARK which set off the dem-
1onstration was the much pub-
licized "corn and chicken food" speech
of Dr. Johannes Semler (CSU), then
the director of the German Bizonal
Department for Economics. He spoke
at a conference of the State Executive
Committee of the Christian Social
Union at Erlangen, Bavaria, on Jan-
uary 4.
Semler, who was deposed by the US
and British Military Governors after
an investigation of his remarks, said
in part:
".... What has been done for us? Im-
ports which we could have obtained
we unfortunately were not allowed to
buy. We are given corn and chicken
feed for which we will have to pay
high prices. It will not be a gift. We
will pay in dollars with German labor
and German exports, and in addition
we are asked to say 'thank you.' It
is high time that German politicians
refrain from giving thanks for these
supplementary food imports."
Semler's speech met with a tumul-
tuous ovation. No member of the
Bavarian cabinet in the audience rais-
ed an objection. On newspaper publi-
cation the speech had a profound
effect on the poeple. Efforts to publi-
cize the fact that German authorities
failed to force the farmers to disgorge
meat, fats, and potatoes only added
to the people's general bewilderment.
In this connection, Murray D. Van
Wagoner, MG Director for Bavaria,
said on Jan. 6 in a letter to the
minister president that 1,440,000 pigs
had disappeared in Bavaria during
1947, with a loss to the legal market
of 36,000 tons of pork which would
to black marketeers.
have sufficed to give every normal
consumer in the state two pounds
monthly for one year. Another MG
spokesman announced that two-thirds
of all pigs slaughtered in Bavaria
during 1947 had been killed illegally
and sold on the black market. In a
subsequent letter to the Bavarieu
government, Van Wagoner affirmed
that 235,0000 head of cattle, or 19 per-
cent of those legally accounted for in
the state in 1947, had "disappeared."
The first public protest against
Semlers speech came from George
Reuter (SPD), Secretary General of
the Bavarian Trade Union Federation,
and a member of the Bizonal Eco-
nomic Council and the Executive
Committee of the Bavarian SPD. Reu-
ter, in a public statement, said: "He
(Dr. Semler) who speaks so irrespon-
sibly about the help that citizens of
the United States have given us for-
feits the right to represent the eco-
nomic administration of the combined
The chairman of the Bavarian SPD,
Waldemar von Knoeringen, declared
that Dr. Semler's charges were "ir-
Dr. Joseph Baumgartner. former
Bavarian Minister of Food and Agri-
culture, said Dr. Semler's speech con-
tained many errors of fact in regard
to agricultural policy. The food supply
__ __ - .                        ---~~(igalCopsphto
(Signal Corps photo)
would have collapsed 18 months age
without food imports from the Unitei
States, he stated.
A meeting of works councils chair
men was held in Munich at whicl
Reuter explained his stand to the
1,200 men present. He characterizes
Semler's speech as election prop
aganda. (The CSU of which Semle
is a member, is Bavaria's agriculture
party.) The meeting approved Reuter'
The SPD sought in the Bavariai
legislature on Jan. 16 to establisi
whether the CSU government approv
ed Dr. Semler's speech, and if thi
cabinet accepted Dr. Semler's asser
tions as reflecting its own views. Di
Ehard replied that the governmen
had no authority over Dr. Semler
hence was not in a position to express
an opinion.
EANWHILE, confusion over thi
M food situation increased. Thl
new year had begun with rumors tha
the supplements to the normal con
sumer's rations, issued to five cats
gories of manual workers, would bi
reduced by approximately 15 percenf
in the 110th ration period beginnril
January 5.  Such a reduction hal
actually been ordered by the Bizonli
Food and Agriculture Executive Coi
mittee, but was rescinded December29
Military Government and GermaA
officials agree that the reversal of thl
APRIL 20, I9

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