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100 years ago....

Allies occupy Germany to collect debts

Mar 8, 1921

Germany's failure to give a satisfactory response to the Allies' demand for war reparations today led to British, French and Belgian troops crossing the Rhine and occupying Dusseldorf and other Ruhr towns.

Lloyd George told MPs of a plan to force the Germans to pay up. Every purchaser of German goods would be required to give a proportion, possibly 50 per cent, of the purchase money to the Treasury; the German exporter would then apply to his Government for reimbursement. The procedure would be adopted by all countries claiming reparations.

But some businessmen are sceptical. They fear that the Germans could get round the arrangement by trading through neutral third countries, such as Sweden, Holland or Denmark. The principle of reparations has been accepted by the Germans, but they say they can pay only a quarter of the 10 billion pounds demanded by the Allies.

Article from "Chronicle of the 20th Century" ISBN 1 872031 80 3

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