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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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which he pointed out that, when we had spent the 3 50,000,000
which is the amount that the Chancellor of the Exchequer
proposes to borrow next year, we should only have left,
out of the 800,000,000 which my right hon. Friend is
asking power to borrow, 250,000,000 to cover the last two
years of the quinquennium. It will be seen, therefore, that,
if we are going to spend 580,000,000 in a single year,
250,000,000 seems a meagre amount to cover the two years
that remain, unless the work of rearmament is going to be
reduced in a very drastic manner. The right hon. Gentleman
suggested that in all probability my right hon. Friend would
have to come to the House again and ask for a still further
increase in borrowing powers before the last two years had
elapsed. He may possibly be right, and, if he should be
right, then, if we have to go on borrowing still further after
the end of the five-year period, there would, of course, be
very little significance in the finding of the sinking fund
which was contemplated in the original proposal of the
Government. But I cannot help looking even further than
that, because, when this process of expansion of our defence
forces has been finally completed, we shall not only have to
look forward to the finding of the interest and sinking fund
upon the amount which we have borrowed, but we shall also
have to look forward to the annual cost of the maintenance
of those increased forces. It would, of course, be rash at
this time to venture upon a prophecy as to what figure the
annual cost of maintenance may reach, but when we remember
that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for the purposes of his
argument, took the amount which might be expected to be
received from revenue next year at 230,000,000, one cannot
help wondering whether the annual cost of maintenance of
this increased armament, together with the cost of interest
and sinking fund, may not be more than it is possible to extract
from the taxpayers of this country out of current revenue.
That is a serious prospect, to which no one, I think, can
look forward with a light heart.
" I am not now going to suggest what the solution of such
a problem may be, but I want to make two observations upon
it. The first is this: Does it not show up the terrible self-
delusion of those who argue that, if we now spend so freely,