La Presse 29 septembre 1923


The United States faces the German capitulation
American financiers urge Mr. Coolidge to abandon the Isolation Policy

The second capitulation of Germany has produced considerable emotion in the United States which the American press of recent days, as far as we can know from agency dispatches, since the newspapers have not yet arrived, reflects very precisely.
But it is especially the business and financial circles that seem to have suddenly realized the importance of such an event. They now understand that American prosperity depends to a large extent on the restoration of stability in Europe, where the United States' best customers are located, while economists who worry about the signs of decline that can be perceived in the American markets, are increasingly convinced that the situation will not improve until peace is re-established in Europe on a solid basis.
This state of mind was marked very clearly by the vote cast during a conference of Bankers held three days ago in Atlantic City, a vote which condemned the current policy of the government because it sticks too closely to the distance from Europe, and risks endangering the prosperity of American business.
The adopted agenda is formal, it requests that the Debt Funding Commission enter into negotiations with Great Britain and France for the settlement of the reparations problem.
The question is what will be the attitude of the American government in the face of this change of opinion.
Until now, we have the impression that Mr. Coolidge does not want to depart from the line of conduct of the late President Harding, who preferred to keep a distance from European events and not compromise himself in the settlement of affairs across the ocean.
Mr. Coolidge had already clearly declared, the day after the death of his predecessor, that he intended to follow the same directives. It does not seem that the development of the Western situation has led him to change his method, and it is known, in authorized circles of the White House, that not only is the current president not willing to modify his policy of non-intervention in European affairs, but that even the recent complications that have arisen are not likely to make him change his point of view.
However, President Coolidge would be willing, like Mr. Harding, to appoint an American representative to an international commission intended to establish Germany's ability to pay reparations, but this on the sole condition that France and Great Britain Brittany would invite the United States to participate in this task.
In summary, the events of recent days will certainly have a direct impact on American politics.
The same financial circles are already seeing the possibility of a loan to be granted to Germany, a possibility that they still denied a few weeks ago. A dispatch from New York sent yesterday to the Chicago Tribune stated this in its own terms but added that the French should allow this operation to be guaranteed by a first mortgage on Germany's property, which would, in fact, amount to abandoning priority required for repairs.
There is no need to insist on the tendentious nature of such an operation, but even considering it as a simple trial balloon, it clearly establishes that in the eyes of American public opinion, the world situation has just changed. completely change.


André GUERNES