No. 181 NAI DFA 34/125

Extract from a memorandum from Leo T. McCauley to
Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

Berlin, 27 March 1933

The1 political atmosphere in Germany has now cleared and the new Government has gone from strength to strength. The solemn opening meeting of the Reichstag took place on Tuesday last at Potsdam, and the Reichstag met on the two following days in Berlin. On the second day it committed political suicide by passing an Enabling Bill more or less completely suspending the Constitution and giving the Chancellor full power to legislate by decree.

In a speech delivered in the Reichstag the Chancellor made his first definite statement of policy. The chief objects of the new Government were stated to be as follows:-

  1. The co-ordination of the functions of the Reich with those of the States, without interference with the identity of the latter.
  2. Joint elections for the Reich and the States.
  3. The elimination of Communism from public life, the prosecution of its leaders and the winning over of the rank and file to sound national ideals.
  4. The restoration of the monarchy cannot now be considered; the Reich will not allow the individual States to decide this question individually as being a breach of unity.
  5. The educational system, theatres, films, literature, art and radio, all to be used for the purpose of ridding the body politic of political heresy.
  6. Good relations between the State and the Churches, as well as with the Vatican itself.
  7. Preservation of private initiative in business and the right of private property.
  8. No experiments in currency.
  9. The restoration of solvency and prosperity to agriculture.
  10. Support for international disarmament.
  11. Unity of whole German race including Austria.
  12. Good relations with Soviet Union.

The Chancellor also stated that the powers conferred by the Enabling Bill would be used with restraint and only for the purpose of effecting essential reforms. He promised that the Reichstag would be summoned and consulted from time to time.

I naturally scrutinised the speech with a view to ascertaining whether there was anything in the government's programme likely to affect trade with Ireland. The only item of this kind appeared to be the Chancellor's promise (see 9 above) in regard to the attitude of the Government towards German agriculture. This promise partly refers to the Government's measures to prevent distraint being made on farmers and landowners who have got into debt; but it also indicates further protective measures on behalf of agriculture.

[matter omitted]

[signed] Leo T. McCauley

1 Marginal note: 'Seen by Ass Secy, S.G.M. 30/3/33.'.

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