PAPER AND JUNK
A trillion by New Years" is the high ambition of the German paper industry. At the end of November there were 754,000,000,000 marks in circulation, and by inaugurating night shifts in the paper mills, 110,300,000,000 more marks were added in six days to the general total. It appears, from all indications that the German people will have a lot of spending money for Christmas if the paper trade continues to make its mark.
The more paper money-there is in circulation, the less probable will be Germany's success in paying the reparations. Accordingly, in the minds of Stinnes and his brother junkers, the lower the mark, the better for us, ta-ta-ta. Though the value of the mark is infinitesimally insignificant, it is no cause of sleepless nights to the German war profiteers. Industry can go on as well as ever, though the German poor suffer considerable inconvenience and the French continue in their present state of non-plus. There is no financial loss to Germany, which makes the junkers happy, and no gain to France, which makes them hilarious.
Encouraged by the staunch support of the junkers, the collapse of the mark, and the attitude of England, the German cabinet has thus far been able to keep up a boldly obstinate front. It evades the hope, possibly, that Doomsday will soon arrive. When France threatened to occupy the Ruhr, it seemed that their hope would be granted, but England withdrew its offer to cancel the French war debt, and France withdrew its threat.
Now America is planning to step in and referee the matter. A loan of a billion and a half dollars to help the struggling mark get on sol'd land is being contemplated. But France pooh-poohs our offers of assistance; she knows that Germany doesn't need it. Only a general German reversal of attitude will clear the skies. Premier Cuno, an honorable man apparently, has foresworn the policy of his predecessors. Said he a week ago: "There is no central force within economic circles strong enough to take the leadership out of the hands of the government under any circumstances. Only an active policy of constructive cooperation can bring us any profit". Herr Stinnes, the leader of the "central force" is said to have smiled at the allusion to him and his brethren. If Cuno can over-come the junkers' obstruction, the reparation question should be solved, with or without the aid of England and the American loan. But if he fails, neither England nor the projected American loan can put off much longer military action by promise-weary France.