19 FEBRUARY 1937, Page 22


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.] SIR,—During the last eight or nine months of the War I was a prisoner of war at Maintz, and therefore had a good opportunity of seeing the condition of the Rhinelanders at that time.

The children certainly looked thin and pinched, and we used to feed them from Block A in the citadel, that is, the section of the citadel which overlooked the street. In my opinion the Germans were starved during the War, but not by England. The blockade of Germany was conducted as an act of war by the Allies jointly, and our effort to reduce the amount of food entering Germany at that time was similar in intent to the submarine warfare conducted against the Allies.

Secondly, as regards the position after the War; I spent some weeks in Germany, visiting the Rhineland, Berlin and elsewhere in 1921 on behalf of my firm, and I obtained orders from various importing agencies for canned goods to the extent of some hundred thousand pounds. The actual importers were anxious and eager to obtain the goods and willing and able to pay for them. I spent many days in Berlin endeavouring to obtain importation licences for the goods which I had sold, but all in vain—the reason being that there was no foreign exchange available to pay for the goods in

question.—Your obedient servant, ERNEST H. TAYLOR.

The Model Factory, Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham.