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A Year of the Dawes Plan

Courtesy Reuters

THE new reparation plan proposed by the Dawes Committee on April 9, 1924, and accepted by the Allied and German Governments on August 30, 1924, has now been in operation for over a year. This period is sufficiently long to warrant an examination of how the new plan has worked. In undertaking this task, one must distinguish between its political, technical, and economic aspects.

Politically, the new plan has been a complete success. For fully three years, from the fall of 1921 to the fall of 1924, France's main grievance against Germany had been that Germany did not fulfil her reparation obligations. This reproach has now completely ceased. While there are still many Frenchmen who complain that Germany pays less than she might, there is not to be found a Frenchman who asserts that Germany pays less than she has to pay. In Germany, on the other hand, the feeling of restlessness which since the armistice had harassed even those who wished that Germany should pay France as much as possible, has given way to a feeling of security so far as foreign financial claims are concerned. Moreover, the wide-spread fear that the new reparation plan would interfere with the internal financial sovereignty of the German Government has largely been dispelled.

Technically, the new plan has likewise worked admirably. All payments due from Germany have been put punctually, or even prematurely, into the account opened with the Reichsbank by the Agent General for Reparation Payments. And the Agent General without difficulty or friction has withdrawn from this account the sums necessary to pay the German mine owners, chemical factories, etc. for the deliveries in kind destined for France and Belgium, to pay the German Railway Company for the cost of carrying those goods to the frontier, to pay the occupation armies and the interallied commissions for their cash expenses in Germany, to pay German citizens for what they furnished the foreign troops, to pay the interest on the Dawes loan, and so on. The fact that under

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