DToday’s negotiations have brought about clarification insofar as it can now be expected that Privy Councilor Cuno, the general director of the Hamburg-Amerika Line, will receive the formal mandate to form a cabinet. After the meeting with the Reich President, Mr. Cuno held conferences with the leaders of the parties, first with Hermann Miiller, then with the President of the Senate, Marx, with Mr. Stresemann, and finally with the Democrats. With the latter he will find not only no resistance, but trust and sympathy. He should also have the other factions for himself. He is close to the Center without belonging to the party, as a devout Catholic who has belonged to Catholic student associations. Privy Councilor Cuno was actually a member of the People’s Party, but left in 1920 because he did not agree with the attitude of the Hamburg local group towards the Kapp Putsch. This display of constitutionalism has brought him some rapprochement with the Democrats, or at least with their right wing.
short, dr Wilhelm Cuno, who is 47 years old today, represents the bourgeois working community in his person as well as is possible for a single man. But that doesn’t have to mean that the Social Democrats will announce a feud to him. The party will first decide on its position, but so far we do not have the impression that a conflict with the new government is being aimed at. Given the general languor and the desire, arising from the feeling of responsibility, to have an effective government as quickly as possible, it is easy to understand that there is no excessive belligerence.
Since Mr. Cuno is little known among the parties, the President’s invitation to him aroused surprise. The President’s initiative is very prominent. Herr Ebert has long been acquainted with the head of the Hamburg-America Line and is in political correspondence with him, just as he wished to join the cabinet under Wirth. If the Reich President’s verdict certainly speaks for Mr. Cuno’s political talent, one must ask oneself how the latter will master the parliamentary situation. Until he joined the management of the big shipping company five years ago, he had a career as a Prussian civil servant, was a lecturer in the Ministry of Finance, then head of the Reich Grain Department. He has not yet faced the people’s representative body in a leading position. That need not make him unsuitable for the post of Reich Chancellor, but it does mean a certain weakness. Nowadays you can meet people everywhere who assure you that the party economy is something miserable, that the people long for a strong government and that the Reichstag, with a ministry of personalities, always goes along with it.
Some things are right about that, but it shows that the party’s misery is least harmful when the factions are in a clear relationship to each other. If we are not mistaken, that will not be the case under the Cuno Ministry. It is the ministry that Dr. Wirth would have liked to lead, if he could have reorganized his earlier cabinet, which does not bear the name of the grand coalition on its forehead, but would like to be the expression of the unity between employers and workers. If we succeed in not talking about the factual differences for as long as possible, then the “Ministry of Concentration and Work”, as the inventors of beautiful names have already christened the Cuno combination, will find its task much easier. No mention has yet been made of the other ministers. Some of the previous cabinet members are likely to remain in office. Privy Councilor Cuno is traveling back to Hamburg tonight after the talks with the party leaders have ended. It is assumed that he will be back in Berlin tomorrow afternoon.