12 September, 2012

12 September 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
12 September, 1945

Wilma, darling –

It’s about two years ago that you were back at Holyoke and were coming weekends or on the holidays and I was seeing you each and every opportunity I could. I hardly knew you then and I left not long afterwards. And that will never cease to be a source of wonder for me – that I knew you so little before I left and yet feel so much a part of you now. Our letters to each other really served to bring us together and hold us together. No doubt there’s a lot about each other that we don’t know – but I know enough of your qualities already to know why I love you and to realize that my love is strong and sincere. I do love you in a way I never realized was possible and it’s very very satisfying, darling.

Gee – I’ve just been trying to get Frank Morse on the phone. I spoke to a Captain instead who told me Frank had just gone to bed – after having played poker all night. It’s now 0930. I didn’t disturb him and I’ll call tomorrow. But I did find out that the hospital is no longer operational, that they move out of Chalms on the 20th of this month and have a so-called readiness date for overseas movement on 8 October. Dammit – everybody seems to be moving out except us. Of course – Frank won’t be able to be discharged. According to the latest – Majors must have 100 points – and Frank hasn’t got that. Captains need 85 – so I’m safe with 90. One thing – when I do get home – I ought to be discharged shortly afterwards. I never had a specialist’s rating and they can’t possibly find me essential now. We are now down to 100 in officer’s points and we expect to lose several very soon – but no one knows for sure.

No mail yesterday and another dull, rainy day. I spent part of it reading Louis Bromfield’s “Wild is the River” – quite interesting, but not as well written as some others of his – although I haven’t yet finished it. In the evening – I went along to a U.S.O. show – something I do rarely. Although I miss an occasionally good show – on the whole, I miss some terrible ones, and in case you don’t know, sweetheart – there is absolutely nothing in this world as terrible as a bad U.S. O. show. The one last night was good. It lasted only an hour, but was fast and clever. We had a coke and donuts at the Red Cross and then back to quarters. I read in bed until 2315 – another habit I hadn’t exercised for along time. There’s nothing much on the docket for today except to wait for mail. I may go to a French movie tonite – but I’m not sure. I am sure of one thing though – it won’t make any difference what I do once I get home – as long as I’m with you, dear. The thought alone is wonderful but I just have to continue to be patient – just a little while longer I hope.

Have to stop now, sweetheart. Hope to hear from you today. Love to the folks – and all my sincerest love and devotion is yours, dear –


about German Reparations to the Allies

The Guardian (UK) published an article called "Making Germany Pay" on 12 September 1945. Here is that article.
The United Nations are busy making out a bill to present to Germany for payment on account of reparations. Reparations may be put into two main categories - namely, those in kind and those in currency. After the last war reparations were fixed in terms of currency - that is to say, a certain sum of money was agreed upon as the amount Germany had to pay over a period of years.

This method of exacting compensation worked only for so long as other countries were prepared to lend money to Germany. It broke down for reasons which were as much concerned with the amount of the indemnity as with the methods of paying it. But ever since the idea of reparations in currency has been rather discredited. The Germans themselves, in their treatment of occupied countries during the war, have not been deterred by the so-called transfer difficulties with which their propaganda made much play after 1918.

There was a sweet simplicity about their solution. They took such assets - machinery and the people to work it - as they required from occupied countries and shipped them back to Germany. This is a method which is now in great favour among certain of the United Nations, but clearly if it is applied to the removal of capital assets it ensures that in the long run no other reparations can be paid.

The various United Nations approach the problem from different points of view according to the nature of their own economies. An interesting account of how the problem of reparations appears in a different guise to the Russians, the Americans, and ourselves is contained in the latest numbers of the Bulletin of "the Oxford Institute of Statistics".

The author, Mr. F. A. Barchardt points out that the production of goods and services by the paying country is a problem akin to the one which all countries had to face during the war. It consists essentially in producing a given quantity of goods and services which were not available for the current consumption of the population, but were expended in the war effort. After the war, in the guise of reparations, these goods and services - the consumption of the items being obviously changed - have to be transferred abroad. It is this problem of transfer, whether it be in kind or in currency, which is the crux of the matter.

Reparations as "Dumping"
If the receiving country is in a state of full employment the Government can sell the goods and use the proceeds for the public benefit - for example, the reduction of taxes or the provision of better social services. However, if the receiving country has resources which are unemployed then the reparations will be resented as being a substitute for goods which might be produced at home and thus create employment. The point made in the bulletin is that a country like Soviet Russia, which has a fully planned economy, may "easily plan t o order those goods and services on reparation account which fit in with the over-all plan of the economy ... The opposite would seem to be true for the United States."

If the American economy tends to become under-employed not only will export surpluses be regarded as an essential prop to domestic employment but also "reparation goods imported into the country will be felt as annoying competition by the industries having unemployed capacities and lead to agitation for protection again 'reparation dumping'".

The position of Britain is somewhat in between the other two. There is a greater likelihood of over-employment here than there is in the United States, while the degree of national planning, though likely to increase, will be less than that of Russia. It is nevertheless hard to imagine the sort of things which Britain can receive from Germany without certain sections of industry in this country regarding such receipts as a threat to themselves.

The difficulties in the way of designing a uniform economic policy in their treatment of Germany which will suit the three great Powers are obvious. But if present tendencies persist so that the capital equipment of Germany is reduced to a very low level the future chances of extracting reparations in kind or in currency are exceedingly remote.

No comments:

Post a Comment