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Port of Hamburg: Pre-War Prosperity Returning (1922)

At the present time the mark is the prime factor upon which trade revival in Europe is concentrated. The countries of Europe are financially inter dependent and there has never in history been a more striking demonstration of the artificial value of money than that presented by the position of Germany in Europe today.

The majority of other European countries are suffering from trade slumps, with their accompaniment of unemployment and dead markets, while Germany is working in a crescendo towards her pre-war prosperity, only hindered by her inability to purchase raw materials.

A visit to such a port as Hamburg is illuminating. In Hamburg, there are no working classes. All classes are at work, the directors usually harder than anyone else. The continental editor of the Liverpool Journal of Commerce, who has recently been visiting some of the leading shipyards, was frequently invited to meet the management at 8:30 a. m. Their working day continues till 7 p. m.

To talk with them is to find them informed not only of the minutest detail of their own works, or their own industry, but in the industrial development of Germany as a whole.

The spirit of combine is far more marked than in England and America, where combine usually refers to trade union organization. Though trade unions exist in Germany, as elsewhere, there is far less feeling of restriction of output because one class has not the idea of being exploited at another’s pleasure.

Hugo Stinnes’ recent expression on this subject was to the effect that labor had the right to obtain from any industry all that that industry could afford. It is surely proof that the work people are satisfied that they are getting this treatment, when one considers the way men like Stinnes moved about unprotected and unmolested during the Revolution of 1918.

The masters do not spare themselves and the men not spare themselves. If the mark recovers Germany will be able to buy raw material to carry on her great industrial Her output being high will help her to keep prices of production low. She has gained a great market through her 1ow prices due to the exchange.

Source: Shipping: Marine Transportation, Construction, Equipment and Supplies, New York: Shipping Publishing Co, Volume 15, No. 2, January 25, 1922 p46

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