Tonight (Thursday, May 6), the Chief Spokesman of the West German Government, Herr Conrad Ahlers, said in Bonn that West Germany would not revalue the Mark.
Tonight (Thursday, May 6), the Chief Spokesman of the West German Government, Herr Conrad Ahlers, said in Bonn that West Germany would not revalue the Mark. But, he added, the possibility of floating the Mark - that is to release it to find its own dollar parity on the foreign exchange market - was not out of the question. The announcement followed a meeting between Chancellor Willi Brandt and his top economic advisers, after his return from London.
Earlier in the day, however, speculation was still rife. Our coverage incorporates scenes in three major cities involved in the Deutschmark crisis: West Berlin, where United States Army personnel and other Americans desieged the American Express Bank to exchange dollars for marks; France, where the Paris Stock Exchange operated in both the American and the German currencies - the only European country to continue to do so normally since the crisis broke on Wednesday, May 5; and London, where Chancellor Willi Brandt told a television reporter that the crisis would be over soon.
The Paris coverage was shot by VISNEWS Cameraman Pierre Rihouet, the West Berlin coverage was from the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and the London interview was filmed by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
Chancellor Brandt was interviewed just after meeting with Leader of the Opposition Harold Wilson, but before his final round of talks with Prime Minister Edward Heath:
SYNOPSIS: The Paris Stock Exchange on Thursday - where, following the crisis which had broken the previous day between the U.S. dollar and the German Deutschmark, had found itself the only European market operating normally in the two currencies. Although the dollar kept above its floor level, there was some unease and confusion as the price of gold showed a slight decline. But, in the end their faith was justified. A West German spokesman late on Thursday evening announced that the Mark would not be revalued - although there was still a possibility that it would be allowed to float, that is to find its own dollar parity on the foreign exchange market.
In West Berlin, however, Thursday afternoon was more chaotic, as United States Army personnel, businessmen and tourists, besieged private banks such as this one of the American Express, to exchange dollars for marks. Several times the bank had to send out for more local currency to keep up with the demand. But still the crowds came - fearful that a revaluation of the mark would devalue their dollars. Added speculation was caused by the closure of big dollar trading by the German Central Bank.
In London on the last day of his visit, West German Chancellor Willi Brandt was more optimistic as he was interviewed just after a meeting with Opposition Leader Harold Wilson.
After his meeting with Prime Minister Edward Heath - Here greeting him at number ten Downing Street - Chancellor Brandt flew home to Bonn, where, after a meeting with his top advisers, came the announcement on the non-revaluation of the mark.