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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

20     LONDON'S FINANCIAL POSITION

America to finance her purchases there and those of
her Allies.

It'''may be true that capital will not flow to
London if London is not in a position to lend, but we
see no reason why London should not be able to
resume her position as an international money lender,
not perhaps immediately on the declaration of peace,
but as soon as the aftermath of war has been cleared
away and the first few months of difficulty and danger
have been passed. The prophecy that foreign trade
will decrease may also be true for a time owing to the
destruction of merchant shipping that the war is
causing. This possibility, however, may be remedied
between now and the end of the war if the great pro-
grammes of merchant shipbuilding which have been
undertaken by the British and American Govern-
ments are duly carried out. In any case, even if
foreign trade decreases, there is no reason whatever
to expect that England's will decrease faster than
that of other nations.

In all these problems we have to look for the
relative answer and to consider not whether England
has suffered by the war, for it is most obvious that
she has, but whether she will have been found to
have suffered more than any competitor who may
threaten her after-war position.

" Free trade/* says our German Jeremiah, " that
mighty agent in the development of England's
supremacy, will, in all probability, give place to pro-
tection/' We venture to think that it will be recog-
nised that the Free Trade policy of the past gave us
a well-distributed wealth which was an invaluable