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Capital Comment

July 7, 1935
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date


Before many more months roll around, Germany may be expected to bring up the old question of a trade agreement with the United States.

Washington observers are anticipating this move for two reasons. In the first place Germany has failed in repeated efforts to negotiate a trade pact with the United States. Because of her intense need for raw materials produced in the United States and the fact that she can not pay for these materials unless she sells more of her own goods here, Germany will not give up her angling for a trade agreement with this country. In the second place, Dr. Hans Luther, German Ambassador to the United States, is on a brief leave of absence in Berlin, where he is expected to take up German-American relations.

Ambassador Luther is expected to return to the United States in a few weeks in spite of reports coming from London that he may be replaced. These reports, by the way, have been cropping up ever since Hitler came into power. The reason for this is quite evident. Dr. Luther has been an adherent of the old Streseman regime. For some time, it has been thought possible that on account of his non-identification with the Hitler party organization, he might at any time be asked to make way for an ambassador of more pronounced Nazi affiliations.

Official quarters in Washington do not anticipate that Dr. Luther will be replaced. Although his Nazi affiliations are not pronounced, it is well known that he has been carrying out Hitler’s instructions to the letter.

Last Winter Ambassador Luther was one of the main negotiators for a barter agreement with the United States through which Germany would have been enabled to obtain much-needed American cotton in exchange for her own goods. Ambassador Luther and his friends would have succeeded in this piece of business had it not been for Secretary of State Hull who objected to the deal which the Germans were drawing up with George N. Peck, head of the Import-Export Bank. Secretary Hull’s objections were backed up by President Roosevelt and the whole plan fell flat.

Now that Ambassador Luther is in Germany, it is expected here that he will go into the details of Germany’s trade and financial si-Germany’s trade and financial situation. When Dr. Luther returns come with up-to-date instructions on German-American trade relationships. Armed with these new instructions, it is anticipated that Ambassador Luther will once again try to reach a trade accord with the United States on behalf of his country.

During the last year, Germany has been making a concerted effort to cut down its unfavorable trade balance. Some progress has been made in this direction, although at the expense of cutting down on imports of needed food-stuffs and raw materials.

For the first five months of this year, imports into Germany totaled 1,808,200,000 marks and exports 1,644,200,000 marks. This gave Germany an unfavorable balance of trade to the extent of 164,000,000 marks against one of 177,900,000 marks a year earlier.

Representative Martin Dies of Texas took another step in his drive against immigration and alliens in this country by introducing a new restrictive measure. This bill is designed to be more severe than any bill of a similar nature introduced by him during this session of Congress.

The new bill, H. R. 8731, represents the last word in the Texan’s anti-alien efforts. The bill is now in the hands of the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization. Representative Dies intends to push for early consideration of his new bill by the committee with the hope that it maybe taken up for action in the House before this session of Congress is over.

Official Washington has been reading with a great deal of interest the press reports from Mexico which indicate a relaxation of religious persecution in that country. The anti-religious attitude of the Mexican government has been under close observation of members of both House and Senate. Several resolutions have been introduced calling upon the Secretary of State to protest the religious intolerance of the Mexican government. Secretary Hull has advised against adoption of such a resolution.

In view of press reports members of Congress are now hopeful that the situation in Mexico is undergoing a change. Several House members already have given expression to their feeling. One of these was representative William M. Citron of Connecticut, who incidently points out that the United States must be watchful that the spirit of intolerance which has prevailed in Mexico does not spread its poisons into our country.

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