The Economic Consequences of the Peace eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 239 pages of information about The Economic Consequences of the Peace.


[76] “With reservation that any future claims and demands of the Allies and the United States of America remain unaffected, the following financial conditions are required:  Reparation for damage done.  Whilst Armistice lasts, no public securities shall be removed by the enemy which can serve as a pledge to the Allies for recovery or reparation of war losses.  Immediate restitution of cash deposit in National Bank of Belgium, and, in general, immediate return of all documents, of specie, stock, shares, paper money, together with plant for issue thereof, touching public or private interests in invaded countries.  Restitution of Russian and Roumanian gold yielded to Germany or taken by that Power.  This gold to be delivered in trust to the Allies until signature of peace.”

[77] It is to be noticed, in passing, that they contain nothing which limits the damage to damage inflicted contrary to the recognized rules of warfare.  That is to say, it is permissible to include claims arising out of the legitimate capture of a merchantman at sea, as well as the costs of illegal submarine warfare.

[78] Mark-paper or mark-credits owned in ex-occupied territory by Allied nationals should be included, if at all, in the settlement of enemy debts, along with other sums owed to Allied nationals, and not in connection with reparation.

[79] A special claim on behalf of Belgium was actually included In the Peace Treaty, and was accepted by the German representatives without demur.

[80] To the British observer, one scene, however, stood out distinguished from the rest—­the field of Ypres.  In that desolate and ghostly spot, the natural color and humors of the landscape and the climate seemed designed to express to the traveler the memories of the ground.  A visitor to the salient early in November, 1918, when a few German bodies still added a touch of realism and human horror, and the great struggle was not yet certainly ended, could feel there, as nowhere else, the present outrage of war, and at the same time the tragic and sentimental purification which to the future will in some degree transform its harshness.

[81] These notes, estimated to amount to no less than six thousand million marks, are now a source of embarrassment and great potential loss to the Belgian Government, inasmuch as on their recovery of the country they took them over from their nationals in exchange for Belgian notes at the rate of Fr. 120 = Mk. 1.  This rate of exchange, being substantially in excess of the value of the mark-notes at the rate of exchange current at the time (and enormously in excess of the rate to which the mark notes have since fallen, the Belgian franc being now worth more than three marks), was the occasion of the smuggling of mark-notes into Belgium on an enormous scale, to take advantage of the profit obtainable.  The Belgian Government took this very imprudent step, partly because they

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The Economic Consequences of the Peace from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.