WEST GERMANY: When Flowers Are Cheaper

Nowhere (not even in the bureaucratic honeycombs of Washington, D.C.) is the balance between pay, position, privilege and office furniture so carefully monitored as it is in West Germany's orderly civil service. Last week, Adenauer's pfennig-pinching Minister of Finance Fritz Schaffer issued a directive to spell the whole thing out in precise. Teutonic detail. Herr Schaffer decreed a maximum expenditure of $60 to furnish a typist's office, $140 for "experts working in special fields," and about $285 for the office appointments of a department head.

Even within Herr Schaffer's limits, there are other rules and proscriptions. No civil servant below...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!