- Yg. 1927, No. 5 -
In the obituary of a deceased member, I remember as a special praise the remark that he had been an "excellent expert on the budget". And from Matthias Erzberger I have been told once that he had made himself a name for himself as the youngest and not personally dazzling member of his group merely by devoting himself to studying the budget with great zeal, and that he was soon better dressed than most of his colleagues Colleagues inside and outside the party; so that he very quickly became the "parliamentary speaker" of the group and one of the most well-known and most dreaded members of parliament.
I've never really understood that before. What was it for a deputy to know the budget? Was not that obvious? First, duty, and second, the simplest thing in the world, for which neither ingenuity nor human knowledge, but only the art of reading was required, which is very widespread in Germany with its advanced education system?
Today I know what it means to know the budget. Because the numbers in the newspapers did not match, I got it to me in the original, namely the "Draft Law on Determining the National Budget for the 1927 Financial Year". Anyone can buy the printed matter (and also the stenographic reports) of the Reichstag; you can even subscribe to it like a newspaper.
The budget for 1927 I've got is a folio brochure with some 1500 pages. It has twice the cubic capacity of a family Bible and, at 3,2 kilogram, about the weight of a newborn child. One should not let them come under cash on delivery, because the price amounts to 34 Mark. So if there were only a hundred people in Germany like me, then the item "Ingestion from the Sale of Reichstag Printed Papers: 1 Mark" used in the ordinary budget of the Reichstag, ingestion, Chapter 4, title 3500, would have to increase noticeably.
Anyone who has this six and a half pound of paper on his desk and volunteers to read the tome from A to Z may almost indulge in sacrifice with an Indian penitent. How many of the 493 members of the Reichstag, who are required to do so by their office, will probably make such an assumption and even be physically able to carry it out? Good heavens, I'll bet that half of them have not even looked at it at all, and that not a single one comes to even half the book. The Budget Committee of the Reichstag is already deliberately advising on the 29 for three weeks. December and has already done a good deal of the stuff. Until 1. April will be the consultation on the budget in committee and plenary finished.
One can imagine what kind of parliamentary control that comes out of it. And how the Privy Councilors in the ministries silently make fun of the Reichstag, to whom they perform their magic every year, with little more than a chance chance that someone finds out. Just remember the story of the rifles that used 200 Mark on a per-piece basis last year, even though they only cost 154 Mark (and of course that was too much!); or to the Reichswehr cabinets, which would have cost 150 Mark per piece, if not Gerhart Seger, so no member of the Reichstag, in "Other Germany" on this humbug would have timely pointed.
The whole budget advice and acceptance in the Reichstag, as it is handled in practice today, is humbug. A budget like this one is only immune to critical fluoroscopy by its thickness, as long as it is not 1. come out a quarter earlier so that MEPs can not see through it, not just during the consultation, and as long as 2. the Reichstag fractions do not oblige at least two deputies to thoroughly study for each major section.
The "parliamentarism" as we have it, in which not the "people" but the secret councils govern, is a caricature of itself. But only because he is not conscientiously carried out by his appointed representatives, not taken seriously.
1927, 5 Sch.