German Reparations, October 22, 1919


Aus “The Morning Post” vom 22. [October] 1919.

German Reparations.

British Appeal to Peace Conference.

A party of eight representative English women now in Paris have presented to Sir John Bradbury, the British representative on the Reparations Commission, two Memorials relating to the cession of [milk] cows by Germany and Austria under the Peace Treaty, and urging that the reparation in question shall be carried out on such lines as may not entail a vastly increased mortality among children. Mrs. Creighton (widow of the late Bishop of London and ex-President of the International Council of Women) presented a memorial signed by Lord Robert Cecil, Lords Crewe, Morley, Selborne, and Lansdowne, Adeline Duchess of Bedford, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Cardinal Bourne, Dr. Clifford, the Chief Rabbi, several eminent doctors and business men, Mr. Arthur Henderson (Secretary of the Labour Party), Sir Horace Plunkett, and other notable men and women.

The Memorial quotes from the British White Paper (Cmd. 280) on Food Conditions in Germany to show that the deficiency in the milk supply in that country is already causing terrible suffering among children, and will [become] more serious still in the winter. In this official report Professor Starling stated that for every [liter] of milk per day lost, a baby will die; while Mr. A. P. McDougall, Chief Live Stock Commissioner for Scotland says: "It is difficult to see how Germany can avoid a milk famine which will endanger the lives of children and mothers to an extent one hardly dare contemplate.” In combatting “the white plague,” the memorial proceeds, milk is a prime necessity. In the interests of Europe and of the world, we feel that the German people should not be further hampered in their [page 2] attempt to limit its ravages. It must be the universal desire of the [civilized] world to prevent any unnecessary extension of the infant death-roll, which has already resulted from the war.

The Memorial presses upon the attention of the Reparations Commission the alternative to the cession of cows, which Mr. McDougall suggests and Professor Starling supports, that Germany should be allowed to pay for cows to be imported from abroad into France and Belgium and points out that some 60,000 [milk] cows are at present being imported into France from America.

The second Memorial, presented by Mrs. C. R. Buxton, had originated with the Famine Council, and was signed by one hundred men and women well known in political, literary, and religious life. In the large towns of Austria, the Memorial says, there is the risk that practically the whole child population may perish, Miss Edith Pye (Friends’ Emergency and War Victims Relief Committee), who has been awarded the Legion of Honour in recognition of her work for mothers and children in the devastated areas of France, spoke with feeling of the conditions which had prevailed in Lille and other parts, and said, that we were faced now with a wide extension of similar conditions throughout Central Europe.

The opinion of English working women was voiced by Mrs. Hood, the delegate of the Women’s Co-operative Guild and other women’s industrial [organizations] with a membership of half a million. It was their desire, she said, that reparation should be exacted from Germany without the punishment falling on the children. The working women of England did not want the children of any nation to starve. Miss [Catherine] Marshall spoke of her experiences during a recent stay of two months in Germany, [which] went to show that a concession at this moment on the part of the Allies would strengthen the most hopeful and truly progressive elements in German political life, who were very hard-pressed by the extremists on both sides.