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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

38 WAR FINANCE AS IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN

Suffragettes in London and the Carsonites in Ireland
had shown us how much could be done by appeals
to physical force in a lazy-minded community; and
hints of industrial revolution, with great organised
strikes, which were going to tie up the* transport
industry of the country were in the air. And then,
when the war came, the Labour leaders said, " No
strikesuntil thewar is over. Our country comes first/'

This was the lead given to the country by those
down at the bottom, who had the least to lose, and
whose patriotism during the course of the war has
frequently been questioned. At the top the financial
and property-owning classes, having been saved by
Mr Lloyd George's able adroitness from a bad crisis
in the City, were entirely/tame, and would have
suffered anything in the way of taxation or financial
conscription if the need for it had been properly put
before them.

It is almost amusing to remember now that
in those early days of the war the shareholders in
Home Railway companies were thought lucky. The
Government were taking the railways over, and were
guaranteeing that their proprietors should receive
the same dividends as they had had before the war.
Such was the view in financial and property-owning
circles of results of war that, so far from any expec-
tation of the huge profits which war has put into
the pockets of certain classes, they were only too
thankful if they could be assured that their gross
incomes were not going to be reduced.

Such was the spirit with which the Government
of that day had to deal A spirit in all classes