158 LABOUR AND INDUSTRIALISATION of the steel industry, with, as a consequence, heavy industry generally—which itself was the origin of the chemical industry and all the others. The main problem to-day is a problem of labour. Then comes the problem of the basic raw materials: ooal and iron. With men, coal and iron one can solve the transport problem. At this stage, all the conditions are fulfilled for the functioning of a gigantic economy. How can we manage to increase the production of coal and ores? If we employ Russian labour, that will allow us to use our nationals for other tasks. It's better worth while to take the trouble of knocking the Russians into shape than to fetch Italians from the South, who will say good-bye after six weeks ! A Russian is not so stupid, after all, that he can't work in a mine. In any case, we're completely geared for standardisation. What's more, we'll do less and less turning. Presses will henceforward take the place of lathes. With the help of this colossal human material—I estimate the employable Russian labour at two and a half millions—we'll succeed in producing the machine-tools we need. We can give up the notion of building new factories if we progressively introduce the double-shift system. The fact that the night-shift doesn't turn out as much as the day-shift is not an insuperable inconvenience. The compensation is that we economise on the materials needed for the construction of new factories. One must take long views. 83 3Oth December 1941, midday SPECIAL GUEST: HIMMLER Damaged ships—A British example—Sabotage. The English are very quick about restoring to seaworthiness those of their ships that have been damaged in the course of operations. This makes one think that they know how to restrict themselves to the indispensable repairs, whilst we insist on finicking about—which loses us precious time. In many fields we remain faithful to the old habit of always and everywhere achieving the best. I ask you, what good does
FAR EASTERN Al-FAIRS 159 it do us if a ship we need at one particular moment is made of a steel that outlasts the centuries? Besides, what finally matters, in war or peace, is that a thing should do the job asked of it, at the moment when one needs it. Very often people cling to the old rules because they're afraid to take a responsibility. And everybody thanks God: there's a regulation that removes the opportunity to take the initiative ! That's a sort of passive resistance induced by indolence and laziness of the mind. I think there are cases in which faithfulness to the letter of a regulation is a sort of sabotage. 84 Night of 3ist December 1941-1st January 1942 The white races and the Far East—-Japan has no social problem—Holland and Japan—The imminent fall of Singapore. It would have been possible to hold the Far East if the great countries of the white race had joined in a coalition for the purpose. If things had been thus arranged, Japan would never have been able to make her claims prevail. The Japanese have no need of a National-Socialist revolution. If they rid themselves of certain superfluous contributions from the West, they'll avoid the necessity of the social question arising amongst them. Whether a Japanese factory belongs to the State or to an individual is purely a formal question. Japan has no great landed class, only small proprietors. The middle class is the backbone of the population. The social question could arise in Japan only if the country acquired enormous wealth. Oshima reckons that we are lucky because the Russian spaces we are conquering have a wild, rough climate. He observes that, on the other hand, the archipelagoes on which his compatriots are establishing themselves have a softening climate. If the Dutch were linked with Japan by a commercial agreement, that would have been a clever calculation on their part. Under English pressure, they've done exactly the opposite during the last few years. It's possible the Dutch may decide on such an agreement as soon as Singapore has fallen. Thanks to the Germans whom the Japanese will employ in the archipelago, we'll have excellent outlets in those regions.