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Economic Position and Outlook in Germany

Nature volume 140, page 541 (25 September 1937) | Download Citation



AN admirable review of the economic outlook of Germany, contributed by Alwyn Parker to Lloyds Bank, Ltd., Monthly Review of July, deserves attention not only for its sympathetic but dispassionate analysis of the present economic situation in Germany but also for its discerning attempt to understand and interpret the motives and aims of the German system. It is pointed out that the serious cleavage of outlook between the Anglo-Saxon and the German owing to the clash of strong and irre-conciliable historical traditions need not be incompatible with broad and real community of aim, sentiment and policy abroad. The author traces the factors which have rendered Germany a peculiarly receptive and fertile soil for the idea of self-sufficiency. Scientific workers will be interested in his critical review of the development of synthetic processes in Germany, notably his assessment of the petrol and synthetic rubber position, as well as in his discussion of the raw materials situation. In regard to rubber, he ventures the opinion that the large-scale substitution of a costly State-subsidized synthetic product for a cheap imported material must cause some abrasion of Germany's capital resources. The greatest interest of this survey lies not in its technical details but in its attempt to understand the German mind, its plea for fair-mindedness and its attempt to forecast the lines of understanding. The author indicates certain steps that the German Government could well take of itself, but while he obviously is unimpressed with Germany's legal or economic case for the return of her colonies, he emphasizes the value of some moderate colonial settlement and the opportunity for the best qualities of philosophic statesmanship and vision. This plea for impartial investigation and goodwill should not be overlooked by any who are concerned with re-establishing an international order in which Anglo-German friendship must find its place.

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