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Capital Comment

July 22, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Ballyhoo and excuses of governmental leaders are always poor substitutes with which hungry masses may fill their empty stomachs. Hungry people are a threat to the stability of any government. And when hunger is nation-wide, something is bound to happen.

On top of all of her current difficulties resulting mainly from the self-centered policies of the Nazi regime, a serious threat of a food shortage this winter is confronting Germany. New perils have fallen on the shoulders of the Hitler power.

Official reports received in Washington show that the situation in Germany is becoming more and more acute each day. For some time now, that country has been in the throes of financial, political and social difficulties. All of these are menacing Hitler’s hold on the German government. But now comes the most serious menace of all—a scarcity of food. When people are hungry, they become restive. No appeal from officials in power can be made strong enough to appease a wrath which has been brewing up to now and which will find expression under hunger pains.

What makes the situation more troublesome to the Hitler government is the fact that the threat of a food shortage is not confined to Germany alone. All of Central and Eastern Europe is suffering from a long and continuous drought which was broken at times only by a few scant rains.

Reports received here from D. F. Christy, assistant agricultural attache stationed at Berlin, indicate that crops of both bread-grains and feed-grains have been reduced in Germany, and unfavorable prospects, due to drought, are also reported in Poland, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Russia.

The United States Department of Agriculture, in reporting the European food situation, says, “The continued drought in these areas now threatens a bread and potato shortage in addition to the shortage of feed-grains.” Crops in Germany have been reduced by the drought from one-third to a half of last year’s production.

To a country that normally is on a food import basis and now operating on a highly self-centered nationalistic basis, the severe cut in agricultural production resulting from the drought is alarming. This becomes more striking when in the midst of such an unavoidable situation the country is in the center of a political and economic crisis.

Observers in Washington are of the opinion that the delirious enthusiasm which marked the first Nazi year is fast disappearing. Student revolts are indicative of rising discontent and disillusionment. The Hitler regime has been banking on support from German youth. Dislocated domestic and foreign trade, political troubles and vanishing food supplies are beginning to place the German masses in a questioning state of mind.

In the meantime, Nazi policies as they have reacted on the world at large are resulting in further distress to Germany. Her creditors, ###ding the United States, are ###nding immediate steps toward fulfillment of international obligations. Germany’s credit is extremely weak. Nazi policies have wrecked her export trade and brought on boycotts against German goods.

Also, there are those who feel that the day of reckoning for the recent wholesale slaughter must come sooner or later. While on the surface there appears no immediate peril to the Hitler rule, yet all cards in the German situation will be stacked against Hitler if stomachs become emptier and hearts more downcast.

Hitler’s recent radio talk proved disappointing to official Washington. The general feeling was that the Nazi leader just slopped over in his efforts to vindicate his bloody purging of Nazi forces. Washington had expected some hint of future policy in Hitler’s talk.

Representative Adolph J. Sabath of Illinois has a good hot-weather job cut out for himself. He is chairman of the House committee which is investigating the alleged real estate bond “racket.”

A questionnaire prepared by Representative Sabath’s committee is to be sent receivers of closed banks, bank trustees and offices of committees organized to accept deposit of so-called “gold bonds,” which ran into difficulties when the depression set in. The answers to these questionnaires are expected to throw light on the operations of the protective committees.

Complaints have been received by the investigating committee that protective committees have been squeezing investors by charging high fees, writing up employment and repair costs on the property back of the bonds. These and other wasteful practices have resulted in a good trimming for the bond owners. The investigation should result in the introduction of corrective legislation in the next session of Congress.

When the McCormack committee investigating subversive propaganda activities in the United States begins hearings on the Pacific coast, it will find two distinct propaganda movements. One concerns Nazi activities and the other those of Communists.

The Congressional committee recently completed Nazi hearings in New York and immediately launched into the affair of Communists.

An inquiry into Nazi and Communistic activities on the West Coast should reveal additional startling material. There is much talk about the San Francisco general strike having been instigated by Communists. The same area is known to be a Nazi propaganda center. With one State the hotbed for two movements, the investigating committee will have much into which to delve.

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