In Defense of France


(The Crimson invites all men in the University to submit signed communications of timely interest. It assumes no responsibility, however, for sentiments expressed under this head and reserves the right to exclude any whose publication would be palpably inappropriate.)

To the Editor of the CRIMSON:

Is the program of France suicidal, as Professor Young states it, because, instead of accepting a plan which gives the opportunity of raising the maximum reparations payments after a long period of time, she prefers another by which she hopes to collect something immediately if it works well?

Of course it may not succeed, but who can be sure that the other one would necessarily work well?

Indeed, why should the Germans in 1927, as the English plan provides for, consider themselves bound to pay France some twelve billions of dollars? Did they consider themselves bound to respect the neutrality of Belgium in 1914?

Then France can only be sure of getting what she collects herself. She hopes by the isolation of the Ruhr, that the German industrialists who depend upon the supplies of that district will force their government to accept her conditions. The seizure of coal is considered a means of enforcing the control over the finances of Germany, this control over the finances of Germany, this control being necessary against a nation which, as Professor Young admits, "has done less and has paid less than could reasonably be expected of her" and has shown "inexcusable laxity in her management of her own financial and monetary problems".

It is for similar reasons that the European Powers established their control over the finances of Turkey.

If France accepted the English program, the most probable issue would be that, in 1927, the Germans would say that they had no obligation to pay any reparations, their consent having been obtained only by force, and the damages having been caused by the French, English and American armies as well as by the Germans.

And if they were willing to pay at that time of their own accord, the money would come from their surplus earnings only. Now a surplus of twelve billions of dollars would mean so huge a gross amount that nothing could prevent them from entangling France in their economic system and likewise from threatening the very existence of English and American industries.

So it is my opinion that Germany must be forced to pay and that the present policy of France has been adopted as a direct result of the lessons of experience, while the British plan is likely to be suicidal rather for the Anglo-Saxon nations than for France. A. DN CUGNAC 1G.   February 21, 1923.