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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

HOW MUCH  TRUTH?               19

suffered, Her insular inviolability has been put in ques-
tion. The ravages of war have undermined the achieve-
ments of many generations. Her free gold market has
broken down. The flow of capital towards London will
fall off, for those who cannot borrow there will no longer
send deposits. The surplus shown in her balance-sheet
will contract. Foreign trade will also decrease. Hand
in hand with this fall, free trade, that mighty agent in
the development of England's supremacy, will, in all
probability, give place to protection. Stock Exchange
business will grow less. Rates of interest will be
permanently higher."

How much truth is there in all this ? Has our
reputation for honest dealing and for trustworthy
administration suffered ? Surely not in the eyes of
any reasonable and unprejudiced observer. In the-
course of the greatest war in history, fought by Ger-
many with weapons which have involved the viola-
tion of the most sacred laws of humanity and
civilisation, England has acted with a respect for the
interests of neutrals which has been severely criticised
by impatient observers at home. As for our "insular
inviolability " having been put in question, it cer-
tainly has not, so far, suffered any serious damage.
Our Fleet has defended us from invasion with com-
plete success, and the damage done by marine and
aerial raiders to our property on shore is negligible.
Our free gold market is said to have broken down.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Germany,
when the war began, immediately relieved the Reichs-
bank from any obligation of meeting its notes in gold,
and frankly went on to a paper basis. England has
already shipped well over 200 millions in gold to