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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

HOW  FAR  PRACTICABLE?            59

done in practice. Perhaps not, though it Is by no
means certain, when we look back on the very
different temper that ruled in the country in the
early months of the war. If anything of the kind
could have teen done it would certainly have been
a practical proof of determination for the war which
would have shown more clearly than anything else
that " no price was too high when Honour was at
stake/' It would also have been^an extraordinary
demonstration to the working classes of the sacri-
fices that property owners were ready to make, the
result of which might have been that the fine spirit
shown at the beginning of the war might have been
maintained until the end, instead of degenerating
into a series of demands for higher wages, each one
of which, as conceded to one set of workmen, only
stimulates another to demand the same. But even
if we grant that it is only theoretically possible to
have performed such a feat as is outlined above,
there is surely no question that much more might
have been done than has been done in the matter
of paying for the war by taxation. If we are re-
minded once more that our ancestors paid nearly
half the cost of the Napoleonic war out of revenue,
while we are paying about a fifth of the cost of the
present war from the same source, it is easy to see
that a much greater effort might have been made
in view oi the very much greater wealth of the
country at the present time. I was going to have
added, in view also of its greater economic en-
lightenment, but I feel that after the experience
of the present war, and its financing by currency