An immense bill for the reparation of damage done by the German armies in the invaded territory is now due and France is the creditor. Germany, her territory practically untouched by the war, is attempting to evade the penalty of her acts in characteristic fashion. Her economic condition, she claims, is not equal to the sum demanded; her debts are too large; she cannot pay: and because Germans are very clever at specious arguing many are won to the belief that the amount specified is really too large. A careful examination of the facts in the case, however, proves the German statements to be false. It has been shown by investigation that there are no accurate figures of the real financial status of Germany available. The German Government has carefully gone over the documents and arranged and falsified its financial statement in order to mislead the Allied commissioners. But by carefully checking up the German figures, it has been found that the Teutonic war debt is even less than that of the French. What debt there is, is largely owed to Germans, and therefore should be the last to be paid.
At the present time Premier Briand of France is almost unsupported in his just demands for proper reparation from the invaders. Great Britain has adopted an attitude of clemency, led on by the hopes of future trade and by sympathy aroused through the false financial statement of her former enemy; and what little moral support our own government is giving is lent to the British. France, left to fight for her rights alone, is helpless. She needs aid and looks for it from America, who has been her staunchest friend.
There is no reason why this country should support the British in this matter. The justice of the case is all on the side of the French.
Our government by backing the claims of France more strongly will enable Premier Briand to force from Germany the sum which she can well pay.