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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.

The same influences are likely to be seen, though on a lesser scale, in the event of the transference of Upper Silesia to Poland.  While Upper Silesia contains but little iron, the presence of coal has led to the establishment of numerous blast furnaces.  What is to be the fate of these?  If Germany is cut off from her supplies of ore on the west, will she export beyond her frontiers on the east any part of the little which remains to her?  The efficiency and output of the industry seem certain to diminish.

Thus the Treaty strikes at organization, and by the destruction of organization impairs yet further the reduced wealth of the whole community.  The economic frontiers which are to be established between the coal and the iron, upon which modern industrialism is founded, will not only diminish the production of useful commodities, but may possibly occupy an immense quantity of human labor in dragging iron or coal, as the case may he, over many useless miles to satisfy the dictates of a political treaty or because obstructions have been established to the proper localization of industry.

III

There remain those Treaty provisions which relate to the transport and the tariff systems of Germany.  These parts of the Treaty have not nearly the importance and the significance of those discussed hitherto.  They are pin-pricks, interferences and vexations, not so much objectionable for their solid consequences, as dishonorable to the Allies in the light of their professions.  Let the reader consider what follows in the light of the assurances already quoted, in reliance on which Germany laid down her arms.

(i.) The miscellaneous Economic Clauses commence with a number of provisions which would be in accordance with the spirit of the third of the Fourteen Points,—­if they were reciprocal.  Both for imports and exports, and as regards tariffs, regulations, and prohibitions, Germany binds herself for five years to accord most-favored-nation treatment to the Allied and Associated States.[55] But she is not entitled herself to receive such treatment.

For five years Alsace-Lorraine shall be free to export into Germany, without payment of customs duty, up to the average amount sent annually into Germany from 1911 to 1913.[56] But there is no similar provision for German exports into Alsace-Lorraine.

For three years Polish exports to Germany, and for five years Luxemburg’s exports to Germany, are to have a similar privilege,[57]—­ but not German exports to Poland or to Luxemburg.  Luxemburg also, which for many years has enjoyed the benefits of inclusion within the German Customs Union, is permanently excluded from it henceforward.[58]

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