Full Citation

  • Title West German Republic Launched; Parliament Chooses Top Officers
  • Author Cook, Don Special to the Herald Tribune
  • Publication Title New York Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Collection New York Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Date Thursday,  Sept. 8, 1949
  • Issue Number 20721
  • Page Number [1]
  • Place of Publication Paris, France
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library The New York Times Company
West German Republic Launched; Parliament Chooses Top Officers , Arnold to Preside Over Bundesrat Koehler Is Elected by Bundestag; P resident Will Be Named Monday By Don Cook Special to the Herat# Tribune Copyright New York Herald Tribune Inc BONN, Germany, Sept. 7.—With a democratic mixture of dignity and confusion, of politics and high purpose, the Federal Republic of Western Germany was launched here today at formal sessions of the two Parliamentary houses of the new government. At the end of a day of ceremony which remained impressive even with its shortcomings, presiding officers had been elected by the forty-two appointed members of the Bundesrat (upper house) and the 402 members of the Bundestag (lower house). Three Parliamen¬ tary motions had been proposed by the Social Democratic party (SPD) as the first acts of self-government in Germany since the Nazis seized power in 1933. These called for the moving of the capital to Frankfurt; the in¬ clusion of Berlin as a member state of the new republic, which had been vetoed previously by the Western Allied Military Governors; and for the new government to ask the Western Allies for suspension, of the dismantling program pend¬ ing a further review of the dis¬ mantling policy. Sour Political Note The discords of the day began at the 11 a.m. meeting of the Bund¬ esrat, when it suddenly developed that a last-minute switch on the agreed candidate for the presidency had been arranged, putting a sour political note into the proceedings. The afternoon session of the Bundestag was enlivened by the anticipated Communist interrup¬ tions and one or two others as well. There was a behind the scenes argument over the playing of “Deutschland Ueber Ailes,” and the usual muddle over admission tickets and parking arrangements. Heavy rain had turned the unsurfaced paths around the unfinished capi¬ tol building into a quagmire. The few speakers at the two ses¬ sions brought dignity and a sense of purpose and history to the meet¬ ings. In the Bundestag it was Paul Loebe, last President of the Reichs¬ tag before Adolf Hitler came to power, who assumed the dais as the oldest member present until the election of the Chamber’s President. Dr. Erich Koehler. Dr. Koehler, too, struck a note of dignity of man, and of Germany’s new Parliamentary institutions. In the Bundesraf, it was Dr. Karl Arnold, the leader of the Left-wing Christian Trade Union faction of the Christian Democrats (CDU), who gained the presidency in a last-minute political switch which left Dr. Hans Ehard, of Bavaria, out of the running and so indig¬ nant that he refused to vote. First Objectives Are Unity Mr. Loebe spoke of the unity of Germany and Germany’s unity with a united world as being the first objectives of the new govern¬ ment. This was the theme of Dr. Koehler and Dr. Arnold, who added that he hoped he would not be mis¬ understood if he referred to Ger¬ many as now once more being a “power factor” in Europe, but not in the old sense of national power as the highest existence for a nation. The Western Allied High Com¬ missioners—John J. McCloy, of the United States; André François- Poncet, of France, and Sir Brian H. Robertson, of Great Britain— were present with their chief staff officers at each of the sessions. Tomorrow, a “committee of elders,” or steering committee, of the Bundestag is to meet to prepare the agenda for the next Bundestag session in about a week’s time. Oil Monday, the President of the Republic is to be elected by a body known as the Federal Convention, consisting of the 402 members of the Bundestag and another 402 ap¬ pointed delegates from the various states comprising western Ger¬ many. In another week’s time Dr. Kon¬ rad Adenauer, leader of the CDU, which holds 139 seats1 in the Parlia- ment, should have completed his coalition with the Free Democratic party (FPD), holding fifty-two seats, and the German party (DP), holding twenty seats. The Social Democrats, with 131 seats, will lead the opposition.