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associations thereof shall be incorporated, at their request and after consideration of their form of organization and peculiarities, into the system of collectivism.

Art. 157. Labor is under the special protection of the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth will adopt a uniform labor law.

Art. 158. Intellectual labor, the rights of the author, the inventor and the artist enjoy the protection and care of the Commonwealth.

The products of German scholarship, art, and technical science shall also be recognized and protected abroad through international agreement.

Art. 159. The right of combination for the protection and promotion of labor and economic conditions is guaranteed to everybody and to all professions. All agreements and measures which attempt to limit or restrain this liberty are unlawful.

Art. 160. Any one employed on a salary or as a wage earner has the right to the leave necessary for the exercise of his civil rights and, so far as the business is not substantially injured thereby, for performing the duties of public honorary offices conferred upon him. To what extent his right to compensation shall continue will be determined by law.

Art. 161. For the purpose of conserving health and the ability to work, of protecting motherhood, and of guarding against the economic effects of age, invalidity and the vicissitudes of life, the Commonwealth will adopt a comprehensive system of insurance, in the management of which the insured shall predominate.

Art. 162. The Commonwealth commits itself to an international regulation of the legal status of the workers, which shall strive for a standard minimum of social rights for the whole working class of the world.

Art. 163. Every German has, without prejudice to his personal liberty, the moral duty so to use his intellectual and physical powers as is demanded by the welfare of the community.

Every German shall have the opportunity to earn his living by economic labor. So long as suitable employment can not be procured for him, his maintenance will be provided for. Details will be regulated by special national laws.

Art. 164. The independent agricultural, industrial, and commercial middle class shall be fostered by legislation and administration, and shall be protected against oppression and exploitation.

Art. 165. Wage-earners and salaried employees are qualified to coöperate on equal terms with the employers in the regulation of wages and working conditions, as well as in the entire economic development of the productive forces. The organizations on both sides and the agreements between them will be recognized.

The wage-earners and salaried employees are entitled to be represented in local workers' councils, organized for each establishment in the locality, as well as in district workers' councils, organized for each economic area, and in a National Workers' Council, for the purpose of looking after their social and economic interests.

The district workers' councils and the National Workers' Council meet together with the representatives of the employers and with other interested classes of people in district economic councils and in a National Economic Council for the purpose of performing joint economic tasks and coöperating in the execution of the laws of socialization. The district economic councils and the National Economic Council shall be so constituted that all substantial vocational groups are represented therein according to their economic and social importance.

Drafts of laws of fundamental importance relating to social and economic policy before introduction into the National Assembly] shall be submitted by the National Cabinet to the National Economic Council for consideration. The National Economic Council has the right itself to propose such measures for enactment into law. If the National Cabinet does not approve them, it shall, nevertheless, introduce them into the National Assembly together with a statement of its own position. The National Economic Council may have its bill presented by one of its own members before the National Assembly.

Supervisory and administrative functions may be delegated to the workers' councils and to the economic councils within their respective areas.

The regulation of the organization and duties of the workers' councils and of the economic councils, as well as their relation to other social bodies endowed with administrative autonomy, is exclusively a function of the Commonwealth.

Transitional and Final Provisions

Art. 166. Until the establishment of the National Administrative Court, the National Judicial Court takes its place in the organization of the Electoral Commission.

Art. 167. The provisions of Article 18, Paragraphs 3 to 6, become effective two years after the promulgation of the national Constitution.

Art. 168. Until the adoption of the State law as provided in Article 63, but at the most for only one year, all the Prussian votes in the National Council may be cast by members of the State Cabinet.

Art. 169. The National Cabinet will determine when the provisions of Article 83, Paragraph 1, shall become effective.

Temporarily, for a reasonable period, the collection and administration of customs-duties and taxes on articles of consumption may be left to the States at their discretion.

Art. 170. The Postal and Telegraphic Administrations of Bavaria and Wurtemberg will be taken over by the Commonwealth not later than April 1, 1921.

If no understanding has been reached over the terms thereof by October 1, 1920, the matter will be decided by the Supreme Judicial Court.

The rights and duties of Bavaria and Wurtemberg remain in force as heretofore until possession is transferred to the Commonwealth. Nevertheless, the postal and telegraphic relations with neighboring foreign countries will be regulated exclusively by the Commonwealth.

Art. 171. The state railroads, canals and aids to navigation will be taken over by the Commonwealth not later than April 1, 1921.

If no understanding has been reached over the terms thereof by October 1, 1920, the matter will be decided by the Supreme Judicial Court.

Art. 172. Until the national law regarding the Supreme Judicial Court becomes effective its powers will be exercised by a Senate of seven members, four of whom are to be elected by the National Assembly and three by the National Judicial Court, each choosing among its own members. The Senate will regulate its own procedure.

Art. 173. Until the adoption of a national law according to Article 138, the existing state contributions to the religious societies, whether authorized by law, contract or special grant, will be continued.

Art. 174. Until the adoption of the national law provided for in Article 146, Paragraph 2, the existing legal situation will continue. The law shall give special consideration to parts of the Commonwealth where provision for separate schools of different religious faiths is not now made by law.

Art. 175. The provisions of Article 109 do not apply to orders and decorations conferred for services in the war-years 1914-1919.

Art. 176. All public officers and members of the armed forces shall be sworn upon this Constitution. Details will be regulated by order of the National President.

Art. 177. Wherever by existing laws it is provided that the oath be taken in the form of a religious ceremony, the oath may be lawfully taken in the form of a simple affirmation by the person to be sworn: “I swear.” Otherwise the content of the oath provided for in the laws remains unaltered.

ART. 178. The Constitution of the German Empire of April 16, 1871, and the law of February 10, 1919, relating to the provisional government of the Commonwealth, are repealed.

The other laws and regulations of the Empire remain in force, in so far as they do not conflict with this Constitution. The provisions of the Treaty of Peace signed on June 28, 1919, at Versailles, are not affected by the Constitution.

Official regulations, legally issued on the authority of laws heretofore in effect, retain their validity until superseded by other regulations or legislation.

ART. 179. In so far as reference is made in laws or executive orders to provisions and institutions which are abolished by this Constitution, their places are taken by the corresponding provisions and institutions of this Constitution. In particular, the National Assembly takes the place of the National Convention, the National Council that of the Committee of the States, and the National President elected by authority of this Constitution that of the National President elected by authority of the law relating to the provisional government.

The power to issue executive orders, conferred upon the Commit

tee of the States in accordance with the provisions heretofore in effect, is transferred to the National Cabinet; in order to issue executive orders it requires the consent of the National Council in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

Art. 180. Until the convening of the first National Assembly, the National Convention will function as the National Assembly. Until the inauguration of the first National President the office will be filled by the National President elected by authority of the law relating to the provisional government.

Art. 181. The German People have ordained and established this Constitution by their National Convention. It goes into effect upon the day of its promulgation.

SCHWARZBURG, August 11, 1919


The National President




The National Cabinet




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