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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

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THE EARLY FEELING              37

had been more boldly and wisely used. It is not a
good thing to indulge in high-falutin' on this subject.
It is absurd to suppose that the war suddenly turned
us all into plaster saints at the beginning, and that
we might tiave continued so to the end if the State
had dealt with our money in a proper way. But
without setting up any such idealistic arguments as
these, looking back on those early days of the war,
one can still remember the thrill of earnestness and
of eagerness for self-sacrifice which has since then
given way lamentably to war profiteering, war
strikes, and a general struggle among many classes
of the community to make as much as possible out
of the war, merely because our financial leaders have
never really put the country's financial problem
properly before the country.

We were not plaster saints, but we were either
idealistic and perhaps foolish people who attached
great importance to the freedom and security of
small nations and all those items in the programme
of idealistic Radicalism, or else we were good, red-
hot, true-blue Jingoes with a hearty hatred for
Germany, and enjoyed the thought that the big
fight which we had long foreseen between the two
countries was at last going to be fought out. Or,
again, we were just commonplace people who did
not much believe in idealistic Radicalism or anti-
German bitterness, but saw^that the whole future
of our country was at stake, and were prepared to
do anything for it. A fine example was set us in
those days by the Trade Union leaders. The
industrial world was seething with discontent. The