12 DECEMBER 1931, Page 2

Dr. Briining's Last Shot But while the Basle Committee discusses

Germany plunges into crisis. Of the decree issued on Tuesday by President Hindenburg on Dr. Bruning's insistence all that can be said is that nothing is left after this but the deluge. The Chancellor has fired the last shot in his locker and if any more thunderbolts arc needed it will be left to Herr Hitler to launch them. Meanwhile the week-end challenge of the Nazi leader is taken up. Neither his following nor anyone else is allowed to wear political uniforms or political badges and there is to be a search throughout Germany for concealed arms. In another sphere burdens of unprecedented severity are to be laid on the German people in an attempt to balance the Budget. Interest rates on fixed-interest-bearing securities (other than loans contracted abroad) arc to be reduced, the pay of public officials is to be cut, hut, on the other hand, the public is to be relieved by reductions, compulsory where necessary, in postal rates, railway freight rates, gas, water and electricity charges, and in rents and commodity prices. Wage-cuts arc decreed in spite of the Social Democrats, and will apparently be tolerated after all. Martial law in ease of need is threatened. The danger in all this is that the average German may conclude that nothing worse than this could come from Hitler and something better might. He is wrong, but he may not discover that in time.

* * * *