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THE   GERMAN  EXAMPLE            51

debt by some process of financial jugglery, and to
induce her tame and deluded creditors to believe
that they have been quite handsomely treated.

Here, however, in England, we have a financial
prestige wtfich is based upon financial leadership of
more than a century. We have also raised a large
part of the money we have used for the prosecution
of the war by borrowing abroad, and so we have to
be specially careful in husbanding that credit, which
is so strong a weapon on the side of liberty and
justice. And, further, we have a public which thinks
for itself, and will be highly sceptical, and is already
inclined to be sceptical, concerning the manner in
which the Government may treat the national
creditors. Its tendency to think for itself in matters
of finance is accompanied by very gross ignorance,
which very often induces it to think quite wrongly;
and when we find it necessary for the Chancellor of
the Exchequer to make it clear at a succession of
public meetings that those wlro subscribe to War
Loans need have no fear that their property in them
will be treated worse than any other kinds of property,
we see what evil results the process of too much
borrowing and too little taxation can have in a com-
munity which is acutely suspicious and distrustful of
its Government, and very liable to ignorant blunder-
ing on financial subjects.

What, then, might have been done if, at the
beginning of the war, a really courageous Govern-
ment, with some power of foreseeing the needs of
finance for several years ahead if the war lasted,
had made a right appeal to a people which was at