Capital Comment

Washington.

Reports that the Longs, the Coughlins and the Townsends of the nation are taking stock of their activities as a result of the spontaneous pilgrimage of the farmers to Washington last week, are reaching the ears of observers here. The effect of the visit of the more than 4,000 dirt farmers from twenty-five states who came to the nation’s capital to praise President Roosevelt’s farm recovery program, may be to turn the tide against the type of radicalism which seeks to pit class against class, religion against religion, and race against race in order to gain its ends.

Ever since the depression started, there has been a rapid growth in the United States of disgruntled elements. Appealing to prejudices and hatreds, the leaders of these groups never failed to interject names of prominent Jews in the affairs of government and finance. The game was to cast suspicion on Jewry as a whole. Thus, they tried to emulate the Hitleristic tricks of making the Jew the scapegoat. In their drive to build up opposition to democratic governmental policies, various panaceas were suggested. Most of these smacked of Fascism, Hitlerism and Communism. At the same time, self-centered business and industrial interests sang their own chorus of opposition which was directed against the New Deal policies. As long as there was condemnation without a murmur of praise coming from any segment of the American people, the undermining by the radicals could continue unabated. But now a new trend has made its appearance. The Roosevelt recovery program supporters have come to the fore. The trouble-makers are being driven to cover. Democracy still prevails.

Representative P. L. Cassaway, Oklahoma cowboy member of Congress, is carrying on a campaign of ridicule directed against Father Coughlin and Senator Huey Long. As a matter of fact, the Oklahoma cowboy is quite a lecturer and knows how to sling his words.

The other day he addressed the Brotherhood of the Temple Isaiah Israel in Chicago, and reports are that he made a real hit. Convinced that his verbal campaign is “killing Huey Long’s soul,” Representative Cassaway says that the Kingfish already “is a very sick boy.” He told the Brotherhood meeting in Chicago that “President Roosevelt is trying to help the country, but Father Coughlin and Huey are only promising to pray for it.” Warning against the promises, he said, “Don’t let any crackpot politician tell you the world owes you a living and you’ll get it if you howl long enough for it.”

The German government has inaugurated a new program which seeks to make the country as nearly as possible self-sufficient for all raw materials, particularly farm products. L. V. Steere, agricultural attache stationed in Berlin, reports to Washington that a decree has been issued by the government authorizing the German minister of finance to allocate several million dollars to facilitate production on German farms of food products and raw materials.

It is emphasized in the decree that the production of wool, flax and hemp has been neglected but that these industries should now be developed in line with the German government’s general policy directed toward self-sufficiency. The government, under this plan, will extend credits to farmers and subsidize them under terms which are to be announced in the near future.

It is pointed out by the United States Department of Agriculture that in subsidizing the wool, flax and hemp industries the German government is moved more by the desire to conserve foreign exchange by reducing imports than by conviction that greatly increased production is practical.

Germany has not land enough on which to graze sufficient number of sheep to make possible a great expansion of wool production. If much of the land now in grain and other crops were devoted to grazing, and to flax and hemp, it would be at the expense of food crops. This in turn would necessitate an increase in food imports, something which Germany does not care to do.

The Hitler government’s rearamament program has stimulated industrial activity in Germany and has brought a temporary impetus to the prices of steel and machinery stocks. Business conditions in general, however, have been retarded, according to reports to Washington from Acting Commercial Attache Douglas Miller, who is stationed in Berlin.

Export trade remains a matter of grave concern to the German government and plans are under consideration for an increase of the general sales tax in order to provide additional funds for export subsidies.

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