Excerpt: ...while at the same time it gives to the Reparation Commission a discretion, which the force of facts will compel them to exercise, to give back to Germany what is required for the maintenance of her economic existence. This discretionary power renders the demand for an immediate payment of $5,000,000,000 less injurious than it would ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...while at the same time it gives to the Reparation Commission a discretion, which the force of facts will compel them to exercise, to give back to Germany what is required for the maintenance of her economic existence. This discretionary power renders the demand for an immediate payment of $5,000,000,000 less injurious than it would otherwise be, but nevertheless it does not render it innocuous. In the first place, my conclusions in the next section of this chapter indicate that this sum cannot be found within the period indicated, even if a large proportion is in practice returned to Germany for the purpose of enabling her to pay for imports. In the second place, the Reparation Commission can only exercise its discretionary power effectively by taking charge of the entire foreign trade of Germany, together with the foreign exchange arising out of it, which will be quite beyond the capacity of any such body. If the Reparation Commission makes any serious attempt to administer the collection of this sum of $5,000,000,000 and to authorize the return to Germany of a part it, the trade of Central Europe will be strangled by bureaucratic regulation in its most inefficient form. 2. In addition to the early payment in cash or kind of a sum of $5,000,000,000, Germany is required to deliver bearer bonds to a further amount of $10,000,000,000, or, in the event of the payments in cash or kind before May 1, 1921, available for Reparation, falling short of $5,000,000,000 by reason of the permitted deductions, to such further amount as shall bring the total payments by Germany in cash, kind, and bearer bonds up to May 1, 1921, to a figure of $15,000,000,000 altogether. 112 These bearer bonds carry interest at 2-1/2 per cent per annum from 1921 to 1925, and at 5 per cent plus 1 per cent for amortization thereafter. Assuming, therefore, that Germany is not able to provide any appreciable surplus towards Reparation before 1921, she will have to find a sum of...Read Less
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