The Ruhrkampf Reverberates as far as the United States

The Ruhrkampf and the tax resistance that formed part of the campaign had reverberations as far away as the United States, at least according to an article from The Scranton Republican published on :

Ruhr Occupation Diverts Orders

American Buyers Find Many Complications Arising From French Control

They Refuse to Pay Tax

Wholesalers and Retailers Will Not Stand for Revenue Imposed by France

Many orders from United States firms which have been held up because of numerous complications arising out of the Ruhr occupation have been duplicated and filled by wholesalers or manufacturers in unoccupied Germany, according to industrialists here. This applies chiefly to tools, cutlery, smaller machinery, spare parts, nuts and bolts, and a certain amount of dress goods materials.

Some good shipments from the Ruhr reached United States ports during the summer, but only a very small percentage of the orders which were on hand when the occupation began.

The chief obstacle of getting finished materials out of the district has been the refusal of the German wholesalers and manufacturers to pay the export tax imposed by the French and Belgians as part of their plan to collect reparations. The Germans refused to pay this tax on their goods, contending that, in the first place, any such cooperation with the occupation authorities had been prohibited by the Berlin government, and on this account it would have been a violation of the program of passive resistance.

The textile center of Crefeld had on hand a lot of special orders for dress goods which the American importers found impossible to have duplicated in other parts of Germany, because the necessary machinery was not available.

These goods were intended for use last spring and summer and have been reposing in warehouses all these months. Dealers say the goods will be just as serviceable and fully as fashionable next summer.

According to word received from the United States, shipments from the Ruhr to American ports, by irregular routes, perhaps, have been carried on more or less ever since the occupation began, by one way or another which no one here will take the responsibility of explaining.

These shipments have been in small lots, it has been suggested, this being deemed advisable because of the “difficulties” of getting the cargoes over the frontiers. Just how this game has been carried on, and by whom, has never been brought to light, but several smugglers’ agents are reported to have cleared small fortunes in the transactions.

French authorities assert that one of their principal sources of income from the occupation has been the seizure of goods at the frontiers where smugglers have been endeavoring to deceive them by avoiding the prescribed routes. In one instance, silk, valued at nearly a million dollars, and said to have been consigned to the United States, was seized in German automobiles at the frontier. Another shipment of a carload of penknives and scissors from Solingen was confiscated, this also being destined, it was said, for American wholesalers.


This account of an anti-Rebeccaite meeting comes from the Cambrian:

Important Meeting at Llanon.

The unreasonable and very dangerous excitement which has prevailed for some time in Carmarthenshire has now nearly subsided — every body seems to be heartily tired of the “Becca” farce, and ashamed that such unmanly proceedings should have been allowed to divert their attention so long. The country has assumed its wonted tranquility. A large, respectable, and important meeting was held on at llanon, nearly all the farmers of the parish, together with hundreds from the adjoining parishes of Llanelly, Llandei, Llanddarog, and Llangendeirne, being present. In the unavoidable absence of Wm. Chambers, jun., Esq., at the commencement of the meeting, Mr. D. Jones, of Bryncarnarvon, a respectable freeholder from the parish of Llanelly, was elected Chairman. Eloquent speeches were delivered by the Rev. Messrs. Prichard, Llwynhendy, Williams, Pontardulais, Davies, Bethania, Bowen, Lalanelly, and Rees, Llanelly, and by Messrs. Williams, Davies, and Stephen Evans. Resolutions were unanimously passed, disavowing every sympathy and connection with the desperate characters who threatened individuals, destroyed private property, and drenched their hands in blood, and expressive of the sorrow of those present, that they did not at the commencement set their faces more resolutely and publicly against the least deviation from law — of their full conviction, that redress from grievances must be sought only by moral means — and of their readiness to step forward to be sworn special constables, to protect property and preserve peace and tranquility, in any way the authorities might direct.

Capture of a Party of Rebeccaites.

Our Correspondent at Haverfordwest, whose letter is dated on , writes:– “It is reported here that one of the parties concerned in the destruction of the Fishguard toll-gate some weeks back, has laid information against about thirty of the persons engaged in that affair, and that the London police-officers stationed at Fishguard, assisted by a troop of dragoons, have effected the capture of the parties informed against, and that an examination of the evidence against them commenced before the Magistrates at Fishguard . Nothing certain is known here as to the result of the examinations; but it is said that a great many of the men have been held to bail to appear at the Assizes. — A company of marines started from this town for Fishguard, and are not yet returned.”