23 February 1921: German indemnity, random stats

First the random facts and short pieces of news:

  • Chemung county, N.Y., has 6,259 automobiles in use.
  • Five hundred U.S. ships are laid up and 20,000 seamen are idle.
  • The Lehigh Railroad has laid off 300 men from its shops at Sayre.
  • The typhus increase causes alarm. There have been more than 30 cases among immigrants in New York and several deaths from the disease.
  • At Altoona the Pennsylvania Railroad has laid off 875 men from the shops. At Jumata the force has shrunk about 2,000 men since November.
  • New York city reports the heaviest snowfall on Sunday in twenty years. Traffic was impeded and railroads handicapped by a 12 1/2-inch blanket. The storm cost the lives of five persons.
  • Chauncey M. Depew, at the age of 87, is still a joker. He said one day last week, “I’m looked after; Senator Harding has offered me and I have already accepted a post in his Cabinet. I am to be Secretary of the Exterior.”
  • Only about one-third the mines infesting the North and Baltic seas have been swept out. Germany engaged to do this work under the terms of the treaty, but she claims that it will require two more years because she is short of coal to work the shipping engaged in this work.
  • Five bandits held up a government mail truck on the platform of the Toledo postoffice, on Thursday, overpowered three men on the truck and got away with nine sacks of valuable mail. The robbers threw the sacks into a waiting automobile and escaped in broad daylight. The value of the registered mail stolen is estimated at from half to one million dollars. The police are baffled in obtaining any clues.
  • In an interview with the former Kaiser William, taken by Henrich Petermeyer, of Holland, the Kaiser is quoted as saying, “We would never have lost the war if my people had remained true to themselves. I always assert with Martin Luther that, if the world were full of devils who would swallow us up, we still would succeed if we did not fear for ourselves. We had already overcome hunger and need — despite the fact that America had joined hands with our eternal enemy, Britain. The betrayal of Germany signified her death sentence. And notice how God scourges the whole world — all evil revenges itself here on earth.”

Followed by a bit on German war repayments:


Germany holds that it cannot possibly pay the amount of the indemnity fixed by the recent council of the Allies. The German Ministry of Finance has concluded that the utmost it can pay is $35,730,000,000, which is considerably short of the sum demanded by the Allies, which was $53,833,300,000. The threat is made that Germany will hold the treaty void if force is used to collect the indemnity.
This reparation, Germany insists, must include all the cash and value of the goods she has so far returned to the Allies. And she proposes that she must have thirty years in which to make the settlement. There is an utter repudiation of the export tax proposal, and in case there can be no agreement reached, the United States is proposed as an arbitrator of the matter. This the United States government will probably refuse, and more likely will give its aid to the Allies to collect what is due from Germany. That is probably the sentiment of the majority of the American people.
It is expected that the London conference will be held about the middle of March, at which Germany hopes to have her counter proposal considered. It is possible that the Allies may modify their terms somewhat, but by no means will they accept the amount of scaling down suggested by Germany. It should not be forgotten what heavy terms Germany imposed on France in 1871, going to the limit of burdens and insisting on them at the point of a gun.

Published in: on February 28, 2011 at 5:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

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