(AV02179) Background Europe: Versailles to Yalta

In Russia, Lenin, and Stalin in the United States Wilson and Roosevelt and in England Chamberlain and Churchill these countries these men and their deeds cast historic shadows over our world today background Europe Versailles New York WOI TV presents a series of programs on modern Europe Now, the head of the department of history and government at Iowa State College Dr. Clarence H Madison. Today we are taking up bluntly could say that the effects of the depression upon international relations was the ending of the era of good feelings wasn’t of course felt at the time or at the same degree in various countries all over Europe the Depression hit some countries earlier vannacutt others but it was perfectly obvious that no country that was at all industrialized could escape completely unaffected from the effects of the depression that closed in over the world by 1931 it was felled especially and perhaps first as far as Europe was concerned in Germany and Austria where those two countries that have had their difficulties anyway in the whole of the nineteen twenties because of each anomic troubles sought to solve those troubles first by farming a terrorist Union that is in 1930 and 31 they came up with the proposal that one way to solve the problem of getting markets for their good was to form a tariff union abolishing the line of tariffs between off the in Germany and making good to go across their boundaries without having to pay any duties and furthermore that Germany and Austria would have the same tariffs against any other country even if the end of each year would divide up the profit so to speak from tariff rates on a pro-rated basis among themselves but this attempted on fluid as it was called it was blocked it was blocked by the financial and the diplomatic pressure of France the French saw in this merely the beginning of a possible political and truths later on and there an argument of opposition to any joining of Austria and the France or Austria and Germany may immense that they referred this thing first to the League of Nations and then to a World Court they insisted that this was a violation of all previous treaty arrangements by which all see a promise to keep her a sovereign and the result was that this untruth was thrown out and so they asked the intima Germans and failed in their attempt to lower a tariff barrier by the spring of 1931 however in Austria something even far graver was occurring at that time one of the largest banks of Central Europe the credit Anstalt Bank in Vienna reached the brink of failure and the failure of the credit on salt banks not only ruined many people in Vienna itself but because of the web of credit relations and so forth many banks in Central Europe went down with it banks especially in southern Germany that had relationships with the credit on stall and this failure meant that the whole financial structure of Central Europe was very seriously weakened and it looked as though there would be a sort of a chain reaction as one bank asked for another would fail as was beginning to happen of course in the United States well was at this juncture that mr. Herbert Hoover who was then president of the United States made his proposal of the famous Hoover more toriel which was merely a proposal at for one year the various governments of the world would not try to collect any death to many other governments now this meant immediately the question of war debts and the question of reparations is back on the board the Hoover moratorium proposal was accepted but it was accepted only and belatedly by the French who saw in this the possibility that’s the reparation that they were going to get from Germany would not be forthcoming and they somehow or other were always afraid the private debts would take precedence over more government debt and in the end of their first mortgage on Germany as they call their reparations would finally be passed it was finally accepted however after some delays by everybody even including the French and it was hoped during the year from June of 1931 to June of 1932 that somehow or other some

new solutions might be found to the serious financial problems that they faced and yet they hope to perhaps suggest the worst of the crisis might be over rapidly depression would solve itself but still during that year things went from bad to worse but during that year that England found it necessary to go off the gold standard and in the United States things were certainly still going downhill rather than getting better so but at the end of the year conditions worth anything worse and when the lien powers of Europe method lost on in June of mendel I of 1932 we consider what to do about it they did come up with a proposal and that they would write off a good chunk of the reparations in Germany was supposed to pay and instead Germany would deposit something over 700 million dollars worth of bonds at 5% interest with a bang of International Settlements in the Switzerland this bank would hold these bonds for three years and then try to sell it Germany would make good all of the bonds that were sold but at the end of 15 years all those that weren’t sold would just be written off when all the Joker’s in this loss on agreement was however that’s the other European countries besides Germany also came to what they call the gentlemen’s agreement which was that they would ratify this loss on arrangement only upon the satisfactory arrangement of their situation with their creditors well now these creditor of course was the United States and this was just a sort of a nice way of saying if the United States will scale down further our war debts by then we will be able to scale down Germany’s reparations in the United States there was no inclination to scale down more debt the American attitude toward that had been shown time and again and Cal Coolidge’s famous statement when asked about the war debt which was the question well they hired the money giving they reflected pretty much the American attitude toward the whole question of the writing off the war debt hence the loss on agreement never did mean very much and later on Hitler rejected or to d8 of any responsibility anyway for any bonds that Germany had issues all of this of course did serve to raise the war debt feelings so to speak in the United States it serves to increase tremendously isolationism in the United States and especially as in the next few years one country after another refused to pay on their war debts and that certainly engendered an agree more International ill-will another effect of the Depression was that the various countries of the world began turning to economic nationalism as a solution to their domestic economic problems the United States had already pointed the way in that direction as early as 1922 when we had passed the Ford anemic Humber Terrace thereby making it very difficult for European countries to sell goods to us at the same time trying to collect your debt from them and in 1931 we raised the tariff barriers even higher with the hawley-smoot tariff and Great Britain’s the free trade country par excellence of the world found herself abandoning free trade and raising a tariff barrier around Britain in 1931 and other countries were going in for the same kind of thing so that the result was another tendency not to try to team up together to solve your problem but to build further walls so to speak among the countries separating them all and then discouraging and choking up world trade rather than encouraging it the British went on in 1932 to follow Stanley Baldwin Dempsey the Imperial preference system by going to Ottawa and growing up in Canada the so called acaba agreements by which of course the British Empire in general was setting up a vast trade area in which they would give preference to each other and what is more or less space for the rest of the world United was on top of that the British did go in for making bilateral trade arrangements from one sort or another well now of course once one country does this the others follow suit in tariffs bilateral trade arrangements quota systems and campaigns to buy only home made in who made good appear in all the countries of Europe and indeed of the world all of these steps were of course in the direction of choking up trade rather than of making a trade easier as you carry on also it’s at this time that they go in for various attempts at devaluing their currencies in order to get an advantage over the other country in them in the world trade here it’s now that they go

in for flat restrictions and prohibitions on the goods of other countries and all sorts of political obstacles such as blocked currency and that kind of thing comes into the picture during the period from 1933 to 1939 except perhaps for the attempts of mr. secretary halt of the United States in his reciprocal trade program one could say that there weren’t any real efforts being made by important and responsible authorities in the world to lower the barriers to world trade so that once is saying that the overall result of the depression upon international relations was to divide people even further and to make them that shut them off one from another rather than to get them to work as a team with each other and solve their mutual problems and caris wars and economic nationalism certainly become added now to the list of things that one can list up as causes of World War number two besides this problem of reviving financial troubles and reviving the reparations debate and so forth in the 1930 another problem which had been developing ever since World War one was also coming to a head and this is a problem which had been disturbing the countries of Europe and including the United States ever since 1919 this was the problem of disarmament now disarmament was a question which certainly could be and looked at a temple mom supposedly and the United States took the lead in proposing a disarmament conference to be held in 1921 and in the first month of 1922 at the famous Washington arms conference now this came in some way surprisingly since the Treaty of Versailles had comets that there would be disarmament in order to get the powers of the world down to the level of Germany and it was quite true that public opinion in 1919 and 1920 was demanding that something be done he cut down especially the terrific cost of armies but it wasn’t the League of Nations it was the United States which amazingly has taken the first step now the Washington Conference of 1921 and 22 what’s called primarily the deal with questions in the Far East with China and Japan but it was also suggested that since there was so much demand for something to be done and cutting down the costs of armament that they could consider disarmament – so that was tacked on to the invitations that the United States sent out to countries to come to Washington in 1921 and discuss these things but immediately the conference in Washington found that it was going to be limited to talking only about naval matters the French flatly refused to consider any kind of a conference which might deal with land armies until at least they got some kind of a guarantee of security for themselves he takes the place of the anglo-american alliance maybe failed to get this conference at Washington coming in 1922 did show up right at the beginning of the period some of the problems that were involved in disarm that as you’ve shown that while it would seem to be quite simple to say that of course everybody wants to get rid of of armaments and so forth and especially does everybody want to get rid of offensive weapon the point on that what is an offensive weapon for one country may not be an offensive weapon for another geography makes the launch in the needs of one country different from those of another and right at the beginning of this whole period the differences especially between the British and the United States that were after all a two major a potentially major in naval power began to show up the British looking at from their geographic position as an island Kingdom near a large landmass wanted for instance to abolish submarines and aircraft carriers and large capital ships the British were in a different situation from a country such as the United States Great Britain had an extensive empire with locations all around the globe and while the British of course did have to have control of the sea lane so to speak in order to maintain that empire it also meant that misstatements of the to British probably did not have to fail more than eight hundred miles in sending a ship around the world to go from one fueling station to another meant that

they didn’t have to have the large types of ships with a long closing radio and in general what the British wanted was to have a large number of smaller tight ship the smaller types of cruisers for instance or the destroyers well now the United States wasn’t in that same kind of a situation the United States needed bigger ships we didn’t have bases from throughout the Pacific although we had commitment in the Pacific and that we had to commit ourselves to defending the Philippines for instance but we didn’t have bases every eight hundred miles therefore our naval needs were more those of large ships that had a large cruising radius and that could be away from home and from bases longer periods of time the United States also regarded the submarine in the aircraft carrier as Adi country weapons are naval thinking at the time involve the idea that’s what submarines we had would be used only off our own Coast and they would be used purely to repel an invading force and airplanes at that stage of the game anyway hadn’t acquired much in the way of a cruising radius and the United States furthermore didn’t to have many of the cruiser tight ship so we were in favor of abolishing cruisers but we were in favor of keeping submarines and airplane well now the British refused flatly to accept the idea that the submarine was a purely defensive weapon to them it was an offensive weapon the submarine had after all in World War one become in the hands of the Germans a very potent force against England the Germans had in the spring in the summer of 1917 almost starving without by the use of their submarines and so it was a pretty hard job to convince any English but the submarine was a purely defensive weapon when I was a Japanese we’re in a different situation they happen to have several large submarines on the way being built and they didn’t want to scrap them well they favor keeping submarines they also favored keeping the smaller type ship seafood because they had devised ways of making their crews live and even smaller and tighter corners and on other ships and they could get more fighting equipment so to speak on a ship than other countries could the French came in with a suggestion that why not limit the whole thing by money just say each country could spend so much and then let me spend it the way they wanted well that sounded reasonable until you realized that building costs in France were less than they were in England or the United States and under such an arrangement probably the French would come out much better the Italian came to the Washington conference with only one thing in my and that was the idea of parity in there maybe with French and the French who polish this I’m the very obvious point that France did have to protect not only the Mediterranean but also on the Atlantic coast which included the day of this day in the English Channel and if they had a total Navy equal only to that of Italy it would mean that in any situation they would not be able probably to have their total Navy against Italy and therefore they wouldn’t be able to in a sense be equal to Italy that was a comparable situation to the United States and the Japanese demanded parity with us well all of this ended up finally with an agreement only on capital ships or the large type of ship one of the things of course was that in the war of the year just before World War one and it become exceedingly expensive to build ships the new type of ships which had been developed had become a very expensive thing and furthermore there was the point to that in the World War one with all of the big capital ships that had been built and all of the money that had been spent on them still and they had been an action against each other only a matter of four hours in four years on the afternoon of the Battle of Jutland in 1916 and even in these battles which had been fought it also had been shown that means the design of these ships was such that they were not much better than death trap when the receivers would call him most of the actual naval fighting in World War one had been done by the cruiser class of ships it had been the British cruisers that had run down the Germans and had run them off of the sea and and they result was that those were the ones that seemed most important furthermore there was a great uncertainty as to what’s the effect was going to be marine and the aeroplane upon the surface class ship after all these were two new inventions that you’re coming out of World War one and it wasn’t at all clear as to what they had done to the surface ship as a fighting instrument the aeroplane had been used of course in World War one

it had been used in combat on land but I’m seeing it had been used largely for observation and there didn’t no real test that’s what the aeroplane had done to the surface ship but the popular demand that something be done did bring it about the capital ships were limited and aircraft carriers were limited it was agreed that there would be a ten year building holiday on building new capital ships no new ships were to be build except as replacements for ships which were already listed and replacements could not be made for a ship that was younger than 20 years furthermore in order to make sure that nobody started building battleships and Carlton cruisers it was specified that any ship of more than ten thousand tons or carrying larger than 8-inch guns would be called a battleship and the replacement ratios were fixed so that the United States and Great Britain could replace to a total of five hundred and twenty-five thousand tons the Japanese at 315 and the French communitarian for the hundred and seventy five now this was the basis of the famous five five three ratio England and the United States were equal or had parity Japan should have a 60 percent Navy and France and Italy had parity that is somewhat left hot the French were willing to grant parity to Italy here as much as anything because they were quite convinced the Italians when their limited resources would never build up to it anyway have they forced me missing philony they might have thought differently but it was also provided here that no ship could be built over 35,000 tons which was considered large for that day and no aircraft carrier more than 20 and nothing was done here about cruisers or destroyers or submarines five years later on a conference at Geneva they attempted to come to some agreement on the question of cruisers and of submarines but this conference got nowhere as a matter of fact they ended up in bitter disagreements so that the United States and Great Britain were further apart than they had been for years especially when the United States had discovered that it rather liked the 10,000 ton cruiser class and it was well adapted to our needs and we refused any proposals to limit the size of cruisers and also it came out that Great Britain and France had come to an understanding before the conference that they would support each other fundamentally here it was still a question the United States wanted a small number of large cruisers and the British wanted a large number of small cruisers at a naval conference in London in 1930 when it became time to do something about the ten-year holiday which had been begun in 1922 the powers met once more and this time they extended the holiday for five years they also agreed on total tonnage is four cruisers here and they established a ratio for destroyers that was agreed that there would be parity in submarines but that’s the London conference the Italians and the French refused to go along and the result was that they thought into the naval agreement the so called escalators pause which was the understanding that if for instance the Italians started to build on big Navy and threatening the British position in the Mediterranean then Great Britain could build to but that meant that Japan and the United States would also build the whole ratio system would just go on up and the Italians and the French remained out of any kind of limitation after it but it’s right at about this point that the Germans once more begin to enter the naval building picture the Germans restricted by the Treaty of Versailles where we fitted the ships of 10,000 tons and they developed through their technicians and their engineering the so called pocket battleships now the pocket battleships was a ship that in tonnage remained the same size as the cruisers but the Germans had managed to put a tremendous amount of firepower and also a tremendous amount of speed onto the pocket battleship so that while they had stayed within the limitations of the Treaty of Versailles they had developed a fighting instrument which were certainly something of a surprise to the rest of the world in 1934 the Japanese announced that when this five-year period was over our naval building holidays that they were going to demand terror in 1936 that is that they would be no longer be satisfied with the five five three ratio that hereafter it was going to have to be the five five five races well the United States things and the United Arab rate Britain wouldn’t have anything to do with this the result was that no Navy conference was held in 1936 and a naval

building race was on and from 1936 on the Navy building race is wide open and land even less was accomplished in the way of disarmament between the war that French insistence upon security and the refusal of the United States to commit themselves to a treaty supporting France did mean that the French would not go along with any proposed who cut down their standing army of 500,000 men now it looks like true that the League of Nations was committed of course here to sponsor disarmament and that was in the beaver side treaty but it took the League of Nations a half a dozen years to get around to doing anything about it as much as anything because France continually blocked proposals but finally in 1926 the league did form what we call the preparatory commission to consider what they might do if they had a disarmament country and of course since it would be fully to have a conference of this kind without the United States and Russia the United States and Russia were invited to come along well almost immediately here they came under these difficult questions one of them was what are effective in fighting now the French and others that had this conscription insisted that people in the reserves were not to be considered effective fighting men whereas Great Britain in the United States and Germany said that a man who just had four or five years of military training it’s certainly a very important fighting man and so they couldn’t come to an agreement over that kind of a thing who isn’t effective and who is not 1928 mr. ladino of Russia came in with a proposal that all countries simply disarmed completely over a four-year period that they take a 50% of their armaments and destroy them in the first years and the other 50 in the next three years this was rejected by the British if a communist plot to disarm the capitalist world while a communist spotted a world revolution in the meanwhile the Germans were demanding more than ever and Hitler was making much of it that the Allies should do something about disarmament and Hitler was pointing out that the Allies themselves were not living up to the Treaty of Versailles that they were forcing upon Germany well finally after much negotiation snickering the actual disarmament conference got together in January of 1931 but it bogged down on the French demand for security and when mr. Hoover proposed a one-third reduction of armaments around the world across the board that’s reject that proposal was rejected – and by 1932 and thirty-three after many adjournment and recesses it became apparent that the disarmament conference wasn’t going to be up any plainer and when Hitler came to power in 1933 in Germany obviously France wasn’t going to disarm by that time – Japan had moved into Manchuria and the situation in the Far East and become critical it was on this question that Hitler would rule Germany from the lead and the failure so to speak of disarmament was another one of the major failures that the League of Nations and companies and deaths meant that the lead no longer was looked at as an important weapon in international affairs Monday afternoon our lecture deals with the Alliance system and the Rome Berlin active on background Europe with dr. Lawrence H Madison head of the department of history and government at Iowa State College and co-author of a book on Europe development of European civilization Monday Wednesday and Friday afternoon at 2:30 by woi TV and the fund for adult education has established by the Ford Foundation production by Neil mailer John Clark Fred Mullin and Harry he technical director Charles Holly this is Roger lead bed bidding your fuzzies with afternoon until month