"In the occupation of the Ruhr, France seeks to dominate Europe for the next 50 years," said Mr. Pierrepont Noyes, former American commissioner in the Rhineland, in an interview with a CRIMSON reporter.
"France is acting not only unwisely, but unjustly in her attempt to strangle Germany in an economic war, and the pursuance of this policy can only result in political consequences of a very serious nature. It is the evident purpose of France to dominate Europe, and the first political consequence of this effort will be the separation of the Ruhr and the Rhineland from Germany. This will in all probability not be added to the territory of France, but will be set up as a buffer state against Germany. Since the day of the Dr. Dorten rebellion in 1919 this has been my prediction.
Will Bring More Trouble
"Not only this, but the continued occupation of the Ruhr by France will in all probability precipitate trouble throughout the Balkans and eastern Europe, and will culminate with an army of France on top of the Balkan states. I say this with the full realization that I lay myself open to criticism as pro-German. I am not, I am pro-French, and for that reason I am urging this policy of withdrawing French troops from the Ruhr. The American people should push aside all sentimentality, and face the real facts. There is no question about the devastation and sacrifice of France in the war, but France should not be allowed to destroy herself after the war.
"America and England are bound to interfere, for this is no domestic problem of France; it is a world crisis. We are bound morally to interfere, because it is in direct violation of the Versailles treaty, for an act of occupation or invasion must be sponsored by the allied nations.
France Will Hurt Herself
"France will be hurt both politically and economically, for the expense of maintaining an army in Germany will amount to an annual sum of 250 million dollars.
"In Germany there is nothing but frank despair," said Commissioner Noyes, continuing his discussion from Germany's point of view. "Of course, there is one obvious thing, namely, that Germany does not want to pay. But there is a second fact, equally obvious--that France would not allow Germany to pay even if she could meet the reparations demanded, which are, even in their revised form, 43 per cent of the total wealth of Germany before the war. The ability to pay the reparations is necessarily concomitant with military strength. This France does not want Germany to regain. The position of Germany is simply this: France has said to them: 'You must pay a fine of $10,000 or go to jail'. But they only have $1000, and it would be useless to pay that, for lacking $9000, they will go to jail anyway."
U. S. Should Unite with England
In answer to the question what specific action the United States should take, Commissioner Noyes replied. "We should unite with England in the appointment of a commission of prominent citizens of both countries. This commission should have power to bring severe economic pressure to bear against France, which would result in the depreciation in the value of the franc. France must be brought to a realization of a mistake, which will harm her more than any other nation."