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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

GERMAN  NARROWNESS             17

which it was conducted,  we can cite the same
witness as follows :—

" Insurance, again, represented by the well-known
organisation of Lloyds, which in form is something
between a stock exchange and a co-operative partnership,
is nowhere more elastic and adaptable than in London.
It must be said, to the credit of Lloyds, that anyone ask-
ing to be insured there was never hindered by bureau-
cratic restrictions, and always found his v/ishes met to the
furthest possible extent. The agencies of Lloyds abroad
are also so arranged that both the insured and the insurer
can have their claims settled quickly and equitably."

But one of the most remarkable tributes to a
quality with which Englishmen are seldom credited,
and one of the frankest confessions of a complete
absence of this quality in our German rivals, is con-
tained in the following passage :—

" A further bad habit, harmful to our economic deve-
lopment, is narrow-mindedness. This, too, is very pre-
valent in Germany—and elsewhere as well. And this is
not surprising. Even among the generation which is
active to-day, the older members grew up at 1 time when
possibilities of development were restricted and environ-
ment was narrow. With commendable foresight many
of these older men have freed themselves from this petty
spirit, and are second to none in enterprise and energy.
Germany can be as proud of its * captains of industry ' as
America itself. But many commercial circles in Ger-
many are still unable to free themselves from these
shackles. The relations between buyer and seller are
still often disturbed by petty quibbling. In those indus-
tries where cartels and syndicates have not yet been
formed, too great a rdle is played by dubious practices
of many kinds, by infringements of payment stipulations,
by unjustifiable deductions, etc., while, on the other
hand, the cartels are often too ruthless in their action.