London (Nov. 3)
There can no longer be any doubt that negotiations have taken place, and are still proceeding, between the Government and the National Socialist leaders, the “Daily Telegraph’s” Berlin Correspondent declared in to-day’s issue of his paper.
They are apparently being carried on not only by General von Schleicher, but also by Dr. Bruening himself, he claims. The Chancellor has kept in touch with some of his friends on the war front who now occupy prominent places in the Hitler movement, and act as a channel of communication between him and Herr Hitler, he says.
The nominal object of the negotiations is to reach a compromise which would make it possible for the Hitlerites to join the Government, he continues. Dr. Bruening would, it appears, welcome their participation, he writes, if it could be secured on the only terms he is prepared to grant – that is to say, acceptance of the fundamental principles of his policy and moderation in their demand for offices.
Herr Hitler is evidently very anxious to have his nominees and agents in the Ministry, and feels more inclined than his followers to accept reasonable conditions. In inside political circles, however, it is believed that he is still too much a prisoner of his past to follow his own inclinations in this direction, and that the negotiations will therefore not attain their original object.
It appears, the report goes on, that the Hitlerites, basing their claims on their numerical strength in the Reichstag, will insist on the Ministries of War and the Interior being entrusted to their men. This demand, it is firmly believed in the best-informed quarters, will never be conceded as long as Dr. Bruening is at the head of the Government. The leaders of the Hitlerites fear that, if they give way, they may lose influence among the rank and file of their following.
Meanwhile the negotiations are being utilised on the Cabinet side to nail the Hitlerites down more sternly than ever to “legality”, which their chief has professed ever since the Reichstag elections last year. That the possibility of a Hitlerite “march on Berlin” still enters into Governmental consideration is significant. So, too, is the decree just issued by the Prussian Minister of the Interior forbidding all open-air meetings until further notice.
But the danger is not regarded as urgent or serious. If the army and the Prussian police remain loyal to their oaths, any armed Hitlerite action would be speedily suppressed Besides, it is confidently assumed that President Hindenburg would never recognise a for cible overthrow of the Constitution.
No sign of an ebbing of the Hitlerite tide is shown by the elections for the ten county councils of Mecklenburg-Schwerin which took place yesterday. Though polling was very slack, the Hitlerites added between 20 and 100 per cent. to their last Reichstag votes in the same area, and the Communists between 10 and 25 per cent.
On the other hand, the Social Democrats lost in some districts as many as 40 per cent. of their Reichstag votes, and the non-Socialist parties up to 70 per cent.