No. 152 NAI DFA 34/125

Extracts from a letter from Leo T. McCauley to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

Berlin, 7 November 1932

The provisional results of the general election held yesterday are now available. There has been no sensational change, and the position prevailing before the elections has not been substantially altered.

[matter omitted]

The following comments attempt to summarize the principal matters deserving of comment in connection with the results:-

1.) The new Reichstag will probably be unable to form a government. The strongest party is again the National Socialists (Hitler's party): and this may attempt to form a coalition with the Centre and Bavarian People's Party. Such a coalition would yield a total of 283 votes in the Reichstag, leaving 289 votes to the other parties. The coalition would, therefore, not have a majority unless it could induce some members of the smaller parties to join with it. In any case it seems impossible for this coalition to build up a working majority. No other coalition capable of forming anything like a working majority is in sight. It is highly probable, therefore, that Herr von Papen and his Government will again dissolve the Reichstag when it meets and thereby secure for itself a further period of virtual dictatorship.

2.) Herr von Papen would be supported in such a decision by the fact that the chief gainer in the elections has been the German National Party, which is the only party in the Reichstag that has given him its more or less unconditional support. This Party has increased the votes cast for it from 2,177,414 to 2,950,659, and has increased its number of seats from 37 to 50.

3.) The most striking feature in the elections has been the decline in the Nazi vote from 13,745,781 votes to 11,729,201 votes. This decline has resulted in a shrinkage of the seats held by the Nazis from 230 to 195. As the Nazis had previously made triumphant progress and yesterday's vote is the first set-back that they have experienced, it may be taken for granted that the tide has definitely turned against Hitler, and that his hopes of a clear majority enabling him to become the dictator of Germany are now at an end. It looks, therefore, as if his future will be the same as that of other party leaders, and that he will be compelled to make alliances with other parties and seek to secure office by bargaining.

4.) Very significant is the increase in the number of seats secured by the Communists from 89 to 100. It has always been said that the success of the Nazis attracted to Hitler's ranks many young men who would otherwise inevitably become communists. This assumption has been justified by the fact that the decline in the Nazi vote has been accompanied by a striking increase in the Communist vote.

[signed] Leo. T. McCauley

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