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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

24     LONDON'S FINANCIAL   POSITION

and well established as ours, with the possible
exception of France; and France, being exposed to
the ravages of a ruthless invader, was in a position
which put special obstacles in the way of the canons
of sound finance.

If, then, there are certain dangers that threaten
our financial position when the war is over, we must
remember, on the other hand, that the war has
already done a great deal to maintain our financial
prestige and raise it to a height at which it never
stood before.

When the war began we were expected to finance
the Allies, to keep the seas clear and put a small
Expeditionary Force to support the left flank of
the French Army, and to do these things during a
contest which was expected by the consensus of
expert opinion to last not more than a few months.
All these things we accomplished, and we were the
only Power at war which did actually accomplish
all that it was expected and asked to do. More
than that, we also undertook a great task which was
not in our programme; we created a great army
on a Continental scale, and, at the same time, con-
tinued to carry out the other tasks which had been
assigned to us.

All these things we did, and that we should have
done them was evidence of economic strength and
adaptability which have astonished the world. To
have financed the Allies and ourselves as long as we
did would have been comparatively easy if our
population could have been left at work to turn out
the stuff and services, the provision of which are