Louis Aragon


From The Bells of Basel (1934)
Translated by Haakon Chevalier

“I have only indirect interests in the matter,” said Wisner…”And then business in Paris is paralyzed. It’s disastrous for the oil interests, for instance. The City loses enormous sums on taxes every day. You may say that it does not appreciably affect the world market insofar as actual oil sales are concerned. But this comes just at a time when a battle that may be decisive is going on! You know that Rockefeller, who is a great friend of France, is fighting the German oil interests. The whole issue at stake is whether the German market, which our American friends, and consequently we, used to control, is going to get away from us or not. If the German Government decides to maintain the State monopoly which the Reichstag voted last year, the game is lost. It means the triumph of the Deutsche Bank group over the Rockefeller group. Of course what we are counting on is that the necessity for armaments will make it impossible for German capital to invest in the oil industry. And we consider it an incalculable advantage that France is in the hands of a firm, energetic ministry which by developing our country’s armaments, makes it impossible for Wilhelm II to give way to all his imperial dreams…”



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