The Economic Consequences of the Peace eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 207 pages of information about The Economic Consequences of the Peace.

[135] The sum to be paid by Austria for Reparation is left to the absolute discretion of the Reparation Commission, no determinate figure of any kind being mentioned in the text of the Treaty Austrian questions are to be handled by a special section of the Reparation Commission, but the section will have no powers except such as the main Commission may delegate.

[136] Bulgaria is to pay an indemnity of $450,000,000 by half-yearly instalments, beginning July 1, 1920.  These sums will be collected, on behalf of the Reparation Commission, by an Inter-Ally Commission of Control, with its seat at Sofia.  In some respects the Bulgarian Inter-Ally Commission appears to have powers and authority independent of the Reparation Commission, but it is to act, nevertheless, as the agent of the latter, and is authorized to tender advice to the Reparation Commission as to, for example, the reduction of the half-yearly instalments.

[137] Under the Treaty this is the function of any body appointed for the purpose by the principal Allied and Associated Governments, and not necessarily of the Reparation Commission.  But it may be presumed that no second body will be established for this special purpose.

[138] At the date of writing no treaties with these countries have been drafted.  It is possible that Turkey might be dealt with by a separate Commission.

[139] This appears to me to be in effect the position (if this paragraph means anything at all), in spite of the following disclaimer of such intentions in the Allies’ reply:—­“Nor does Paragraph 12(b) of Annex II. give the Commission powers to prescribe or enforce taxes or to dictate the character of the German budget.”

[140] Whatever that may mean.

[141] Assuming that the capital sum is discharged evenly over a period as short as thirty-three years, this has the effect of halving the burden as compared with the payments required on the basis of 5 per cent interest on the outstanding capital.

[142] I forbear to outline the further details of the German offer as the above are the essential points.

[143] For this reason it is not strictly comparable with my estimate of Germany’s capacity in an earlier section of this chapter, which estimate is on the basis of Germany’s condition as it will be when the rest of the Treaty has come into effect.

[144] Owing to delays on the part of the Allies in ratifying the Treaty, the Reparation Commission had not yet been formally constituted by the end of October, 1919.  So far as I am aware, therefore, nothing has been done to make the above offer effective.  But, perhaps in view of the circumstances, there has been an extension of the date.

CHAPTER VI

EUROPE AFTER THE TREATY

This chapter must be one of pessimism.  The Treaty includes no provisions for the economic rehabilitation of Europe,—­nothing to make the defeated Central Empires into good neighbors, nothing to stabilize the new States of Europe, nothing to reclaim Russia; nor does it promote in any way a compact of economic solidarity amongst the Allies themselves; no arrangement was reached at Paris for restoring the disordered finances of France and Italy, or to adjust the systems of the Old World and the New.

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