Dhe speech in which Reich Minister of Finance Dr. Hermes initiated the consultation of the supplementary budget in the budget committee of the Reichtag not only shows with great clarity the extraordinarily difficult financial situation in which we find ourselves, but also the causes of this phenomenon and the ways in which it could be counteracted. It is to be hoped that this speech and the figures that characterize it will not only be read seriously by serious people here in Germany, but will also be understood and appreciated in the outside world; In particular, it would be desirable that at the meetings of the Allied statesmen beginning today in London and at the decisions that may be taken there, the actual situation in which we find ourselves is taken into account with a little less prejudice than has been the case up to now part of the case. Because that Germany’s overall performance, which has been felt to be inadequate up to now, is not due to bad will, but to the inability resulting from war mutilation and paralysis, increased even further by the continued political pressure from outside, is now widely recognized outside of our country.
The statements of Dr. Hermès are so impressive because they not only give series of numbers of frighteningly imposing size, but because they show the connection between politics, finance and economics in sharp analysis. What every individual experiences personally, what the state and municipalities experience in their budgets, the Reich experiences to a very special degree in its financial management: everyone, even the most serious will to achieve sound financial management is the result of the devastating currency devaluation that we are suffering from have to suffer increasingly, doomed to failure. Calling on witnesses who are undoubtedly above the suspicion of being allies of German fulfillment sabotage, Herr Hermes once again countered the foolish assertion of our worst adversaries as if the German economy were systematically trying to ruin our Mark.
Tax reform from spring of this year
He pointed out very emphatically how little anyone who can be addressed as a representative of our economic life has an interest in the currency devaluation that has occurred, how much, on the contrary, all wishes and efforts are aimed at restoring solid foundations for our economic life in all gaining its parts must be aimed at stabilizing our currency. But on our own we cannot achieve this goal, which is not only in the interest of Germany, but just as much in the interest of the rest of the world and in particular of our reparation creditors.
The budget for 1921 ended more favorably than had been foreseen, both in the ordinary with a surplus of 7 billion marks and in the extraordinary with a reduction in the borrowing requirement from 30 to 25 billion. The financial effort that found expression in the tax reform of spring of this year gave reason to hope that the increased expenses that had become necessary in the 1922 budget would not only be covered by current funds, but that there would also be a surplus that would remain together with expected deposits on the compulsory loan, based on the status of the mark at that time, should result in the equivalent of 1 billion gold marks for reparation purposes.