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6th October, 1937
Let there be no misunderstanding -- I am neither a Fascist nor a Nazi, but a firm and convinced believer in constitutional monarchy broadly based on democracy.
There is no question here of either praising or abusing the political doctrines under which the immense public works in Germany have been carried out, but I do sincerely praise the public workers of themselves.
I have not the least reason to doubt that democracy could, were its eyes open as to the importance of utility of up-to-date communications, carry out equally important and useful publi works as those Germany posseses today and will possess to far greater extent when full programme is complete.
On my visit, to Germany, I was nearer Socialism of the constructive and practical kind than I have even been in my live. We are repeatedly told that Germany is Fascist; yet I found that they practice the Socialism which others are content to preach. It would be an excellent thing for a better understanding between the two nations if the greatest possible number of British people -- politicians, industrial leaders and all those interested in social questions -- could visit Germany and see for themselves just as I went to see for myself.
I went to Germany as a private individual, as a student. No one regarded
me as the new president of the League of Nations Assembly. They accepted
me and welcomed me merely as a student.
When Herr Hitler invited my wife and myself to tea at Berchtesgaden, his Bavarian home, we did not discuss politics in any shape or form. I came away with the firm impression that Herr Hitler is a very great man. No one can deny that. And my stay in Germany convinced me that the Government and nations are anxious for peace. All their present work of economic and social reform is bound up with peace. They need peace for their immense plans for the future.
I pray for the day when Germany will return to the League of Nations. There have been regrettable withdrawals from the League, but the door is still open to those countries which have withdrawn. I take comfort in the fact that in the five years during which I have had the honour to lead the Indian delegation at Geneva, no fewer than six nations, among them Soviet Russia have been admitted to the League.
May I live to see the time when the League will mean universality and will be the unchallenged Empire of peace throughout the world.
But whether Germany is inside or outside the League, she is a pillar of peace. Why? Because peace is an essential of all Hitler's plans for rebuilding the nation. I heard a great deal about these plans. The housing question is to be tackled with new vigour. What has already been accomplished in this field is amazing. The slums have gone; superb houses and blocks of flats have taken their place. But Germany is not satisfied. In Berlin, houses which seem to be of a reasonable standard are to be pulled down wholesale so that a perfect city may be created. Similar changes are planned for Munich, Hamburg -- in fact, every city and town. The plans also include road development. Germany has now the finest road in Europe. There is nothing to compare with them in Britain. These splendid roads are to be extended to 12 times their present number. And the Germans mean to use these roads. they are out to make a 50£ car for which two years of useful service will be guaranteed.
There are also important plans for industrial development, so that the economic security of the nation will be assured. I was amazed at the amount of research which is being carried out for synthetic products to take the place of nature's supplies which are lacking -- artificial rubber, a new type of low-grade iron, oil from coal.
The enthusiasm for these plans is enormous. Everyone is working hard, from Herr Hitler down- words and from what people told me his capacity for work is tremendous.
What interested me most on my visit was the new social and economic system. Germany is the only country in the world that has practical Socialism. Everything is being organised for the great happiness of the greatest number. The whole principle is that in time there will be a classless society. Neither aristocrats nor the capitalists run the country. While class distinctions have gone, the foolish idea of complete equality has not taken their place. If some people prove themselves more intelligent and industrious than others they are rewarded accordingly. But the extent of the rewards is limited.
No one, for instance, is allowed to have a thousand times the income of the ordinary man as is the case in capitalist democracies. Such a thing is inconceivable in Germany now. I know the head of the great industry in Prussia employing 50,000 workers. His emoluments are far from being fabulous. At the most he will receive no more than 100 times the wage of his lowest-paid workman. No company is allowed to hand over its profits directly in dividends to its shareholders. True, the shareholders get what is considered to be a reasonable dividend. But the bulk of the profits go back into the industry in the shape of new plant and buildings facilities for research and the improvement of conditions for employees.
There is no such thing as the dole. If a man is capable of earning his living, work is found for him on all kinds of State schemes-road-building, he reclamation of land, drainage and so forth.
I was also interested in the German system of education. Everyone in the nation is being given the same form of education more or less. Up to 21 the rich man's son and the poor man's son are treated alike. And the labour camps brings all classes together. I feel that it is a very valuable movement.
One often hears it said that Germany is suffering hard times. I did
not see an underfed man there. The people with whom I talked had no complaints
about lack of food. What I saw and heard in Germany has assured me that
the German Government earnestly desired friendship with Britain and that
they want peace.