The Daily Telegraph
VERY LITTLE EFFECT ON DAILY LIFE AND WORK.
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. DUSSELDORF, Sunday Night. The position in the Ruhr is still uncertain so far as the achievements of the object of occupation are concerned. No coal is going into Germany, but neither is any proceeding to France or Belgium. There can be no question of transporting coal and coke along the military lines in the Ruhr until the situation on the left bank of the Rhine has been cleared up. Railway communication is improving there hourly, but the strike continues at Mayence. Several days must elapse before a start can be made in moving coal and coke trains, and during that period the French will perfect their transportation.
For the moment the position is this: France has her finger on the jugular vein of Germany. With her Belgian ally she has closed the Ruhr without interfering with industrial activities inside the basin, or effecting any serious accident in the daily life of the people. I had proof of this through a tour by motor of Düsseldorf and Dortmund. It is a busy hive of industry that one sees from Essen to Dortmund. The principal towns on the itinerary are Gelsenkirchen, Bochum, and Horde, but there are numbers of smoking chimneys all along the line, and a permanent impression one receives is that the factories are working uninterruptedly.
It is the truth to say that these populous districts are under an invisible occupation. You never see troops in the towns, but only on the outskirts. The miners do not notice them. With tin bottles filling their pockets, and bundles of clothes they wear in the mine under their arm, they proceed to work as though nothing unusual were astir. But how long will this state of things continue?
The French foresaw after entering the Ruhr that they would have to do an amount of feeding, as they have done on the left bank of the Rhine for the last four years. Their system of public soup kitchens has now been applied in the Ruhr. Children are given soup twice daily, and twice a week there is a distribution of potatoes. Woollen garments are also supplied.