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HITLER MAY REPLY TO MR. EDEN’S APPEAL

The Advertiser Newspaper (Adelaide), Saturday 23 January 1937 page 23

No Change In Policy Expected

LIKELY GUARANTEE TO BELGIUM

Rearmament Nears Completion

From “The Advertiser” Special Representative LONDON, January 22.

While Hitler, in replying to Mr. Eden’s appeal, is expected to make a new “peace offer,” including a guarantee of Belgian neutrality, with the object of embarrassing France and still further detaching Flemish sentiment from her, he is not expected to give any real indications of a change of policy.

The Berlin correspondent of the “Daily Telegraph’ says it would be surprising if Hitler takes a single step towards collective security. To the contrary, he will probably take the opportunity of disagreeing with much of Mr. Eden’s speech.

According to the Berlin correspondent of “The Times,” Germany wishes it to be understood that the time will never be ripe for discussion of a European settlement in which she is expected to make political concessions for economic ones. Germany realises, with some resentment, that the British conception of a European settlement is stiffer than it was before Christmas.

Britain considers that the League, which Germany treats with ever-growing contempt, still plays an important, part in Europe.

The immediate value of Mr. Eden’s speech, following the swift action taken about Morocco, is that it has shown Germany the growing alertness of the Western Powers.

Awaiting Goering’s Return

The Berlin correspondent of “TheTimes” adds:—”Germany at last seems to realise that certain Nazi trends in respect of Spain and elsewhere can no longer be hidden in a mist of words. This does not mean that she will not pursue the trends to the logical end, but it does strengthen the arguments of those advising Hitler that present German policy in Spain is not worth the risks.

Hitler himself may be more cautious, but much depends on the mood in which the Air Minister (General Goering) returns from Italy.”

Reports from other sources suggest that while Germany would undoubtedly welcome tentative conversations at present regarding possible economic readjustments, she will not allow any interference with her military Four-Year plan.

She may even for that reason refuse Sir Henri Deterding’s offer to buy £1,000,000 worth of foodstuffs from Holland for Germany.

Germany’s leaders are now concentrating on politico-economic aspects of the Four Year Plan, and are preaching the dangers of the Czechoslovakian situation. Only 10 per cent, of Czechoslovakia’s population is Communist, while the big political parties vigorously oppose Communism. Admittedly, Czechoslovakia is a petite bourgeois State, but all Whitehall reports indicate that any idea of Czechoslovakia, suddenly becoming Bolshevik, or being dominated by Communists, is fantastic—that Czechoslovakia is about as likely to go Communist as Switzerland.

Official quarters here, consequently, are forced to conclude that Hitler, be ing unable to accuse any Western Power of wanting to attack Germany, is raisin the Czechoslovakian bogey to justify sacrifices under the Four Year Plan, which now includes the limiting of each person to four ounces of butter a week.

According to the Berlin newspaper “Volkischer Beobachter” Hitler intends personally to answer Mr. Eden’s refer ences to Germany, and to make definite proposals to the Reichstag, which will meet on January 30.

Meanwhile, it is reported from Rome that Mussolini is considering an invitation from Hitler to visit Germany.

Speedy Rearmament

It is understood that authoritative information is available in London that Germany’s rearmament is practically completed, including aeroplanes and all war material, together with a great industrial organisation for rapid repairs, while certain wastage has already been replaced. Aeroplane types dispatched to Spain which proved disappointing have-been scrapped for more efficient machines.

It is believed that Germany has expanded her army to 39 divisions, against 36 which, earlier, it was calculated would fulfil her requirements. It is likely that there will be a further increase.

The only deficiency in German manpower is the shortage of junior officers and non-commissioned officers, which has necessitated the recall of many war-time officers whose views, based on sound military training, have been inclined to clash with those of the younger officers trained according to Nazi doctrines.

The scale on which Germany is fortifying the left bank of the Rhine is shown by a report from Strasbourg, that 14 whole villages in the Baumholder and Meisenheim districts of the Palatinate are being evacuated, and the inhabitants settled in Mecklenberg, says the Paris correspondent of the “Morning Post.”

German fortifications apparently are not being built immediately on the frontier, like the French Maginot line, but in hilly and mountainous country well inside Germany.

While Belgium would not decline a neutrality guarantee, if it were offered, states a Brussels message, she recalls I that Germany gave her a similar guarantee in 1914. For that reason she will not slacken her defence programme.

SOURCE (Trove digitised newspapers)

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