Publication: Gloucester Journal

Full Citation

  • Title Towards The New Germany
  • Publication Title Gloucester Journal
  • Collection Gloucester Journal
  • Date Saturday,  Oct. 26, 1946
  • Volume CCXXIV
  • Issue Number 11688
  • Page Number 6
  • Place of Publication Gloucester, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library British Library
Towards The New Germany rpwO heartening events about - 1 - Germany, biggest headache in the comity of nations, have marked the week. First the re- sult of the Berlin elections. There the complete defeat of the so- eaned Socialist Unity Party has meant a staggering setback for Communism, tor the S.U. Party owed its inception to moves in the Russian zone of the city. Then our Foreign Minister, Mr. Bevin, has given a straight- forward policy for the future economic working of Germany. He quite rightly blames the de- ficiencies of the Potsdam Agree- ment, which for long has worked very much to the benefit of the Soviet, and very badly for the interests of the occupying Powers. In the one sense the Berlin elections have marked a first step to rehabilitation, in another Mr. Bevin's declaration marks another equally, if not more important. Given a Ger- many politically sound — and Berlin has given a lead which should be followed when free elections are nation-wide—a re- vised economic system which makes the country self-support- ing must be hailed with relief. There will be no reason to fear the rise of the spirit there, for whatever is done to revive the heavy industries, there will be sufficient safeguards to make them impotent for the purposes of war. "Closed Shop" At least the Trades Union Congress, meeting this week, has done one thing which should allay a great deal of misgiving on the part of the public. Fears of what the "closed shop" meant have led to a great deal of specu- lation and in some quarters this went so far as to envisage totali- tarian methods in industry. All that the T.U.C. has done, how- ever, is to affirm its faith In the principle that -trade unionism, should be 100 per cent, in every industry and therefore in every place of employment. That is a principle about which there can be no cavil, so long as it leaves the individual worker the right to belong to what trades union he deemasuits him best. So long as the" unions maintain their proper functions—the safeguard- ing of the workers' interests in the matter of conditions of em- ployment, no constitutional issue can arise. But a development of the T.U.C. to have an undue weight in the councils of the nation, to form as it. were an inner government, will always be resisted because it is a legation of true democratic principles. Service Men and the Land We have previously commented on the comparative failure of the Government scheme to train men for the land. We believe the reason is that the present scheme does not show sufficient imagina- tion. It aims at training men for the land, but does not follow that up by settling them in their own holdings. That that has not been done is probably due to natural geographical limitations but in the Dominions such schemes are working well and are proving Extremely popu- lar with the returning ex- Service men. One such Austra-* lian plan, for example, comprises a 200-acre holding, fenced and cultivated, with a home, farm buildings and 30 head of cattle there, waiting for the new owner. For British ex-Service men re- turning with a desire to live on the land, such schemes can only set up bitterness. With the call for ever more home produced food, some such scheme, however great the difficulties, would have been a much more attractive proposition than the trailing scheme now in operation.