The Ambassador in Germany (Dodd) to the Secretary of State

No. 889

Sir: I have the honor to report that according to official statements, the number of unemployed throughout the Reich decreased during the month of April to the extent of 190,000 persons. The total number of unemployed at the end of the month is given as 2,609,000. At the same time it is announced that 640,000 more persons found employment. The apparent discrepancy is accounted for by the influx of school graduates into industrial occupations as well as of numerous individuals who had been previously unoccupied but had not been obliged to seek assistance from the Government. The latter fact would tend to indicate that the official unemployment figures do not correctly represent the actual amount of unemployment in Germany.

The increase in employment, however, has not been evenly distributed, the country districts showing a much more satisfactory situation [Page 261] in this respect than the cities. In order to stop the flight of labor from the country districts to the towns, the Federal Government, at the suggestion of Dr. Syrup, the President of the Federal Office for Employment and Unemployment Insurance, has enacted a law authorizing this official to forbid persons who are engaged in agricultural pursuits, or who have been so engaged during the previous three years, to obtain industrial occupation without his consent, and to prohibit persons who are not permanent residents of communities with a high percentage of unemployment to seek the occupation of laborer in such a community. Apparently business and professional men are exempt from the foregoing.

A plan called the “Göring Plan” has been made public, to which the chief officials of the provinces bordering on the capital have given their assent. The outstanding purposes of this measure are to prevent the entry into Berlin of workmen seeking employment, to place married men in positions hitherto occupied by women and for which the latter were unsuited, and to give young persons work on the farms and in households.

It is understood that the Federal Government has already forbidden the entry into Germany of seasonal farm labor from Poland. This measure, together with the subsequent steps described in this despatch, should tend to stabilize the country population and relieve the large cities of some of the existing unemployment. On the other hand, it appears evident that an additional burden will be placed upon the rural employer.

Respectfully yours,

William E. Dodd