Courtesy Reuters

France Looks Abroad

CERTAIN great problems confront France and the United States in common. I shall try here to explain how they are viewed in France and suggest how they should be handled, to the mutual advantage of our two countries and for the general good.


Anyone who thinks that the French people are motivated by a desire for revenge on their neighbors beyond the Rhine is profoundly mistaken. All of us wish to see a democratic and peaceful Germany play her proper part in the community of European nations.

Last year in London the United States, the United Kingdom and France adopted certain principles which they would like to have incorporated in a German constitution. In consequence, a German Constituent Assembly has met at Bonn and is now engaged in drawing up a democratic constitution of a federal type which will guarantee the rights of the participating states against abuses by the central power. We believe it necessary, in the light of experience (and of our own mistakes in the past, for which we paid dearly), to prevent the rebirth of a strongly centralized Reich. This is not in our own interests only. A centralized state would be just as much a threat to German democrats as to France.

The economic problem of Germany is, of course, especially difficult. We must prevent her resources from being concentrated for future aggression; and yet we must make sure that after the losses of her victims in the war have been made good her industry can contribute to the well-being of all Western Europe. The administration of the Ruhr seems to us the heart of the problem. As Germany's boundaries are now drawn, 90 percent of her coal, 70 to 75 percent of her possible production of cast iron and steel, and 70 percent of her rolled steel products are located in the Ruhr. It is indeed a formidable industrial center, one of the most powerful in the world. After the Second World

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