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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

82          OUR BANKING MACHINERY

involved by the amalgamation process is to be sifted
by a committee to be appointed for this purpose.

Another apprehension has arisen in the minds of
those who view with critical vigilance the present
tendencies of business and the present development
of economic opinion among a great section of the
community. If, it is urged, the banks continue to
swallow one another up by the process of amalgama-
tion, how will this tendency end except in the creation
of one huge bank working a gigantic money mono-
poly which the Socialistic tendencies of the present
day will, with some reason, insist ought to be taken
over by the State for the profit of the taxpayer ?
This view is frankly put forward by those advocates of
a Socialistic organisation of society, who say that the
modern tendency of industry towards combinations,
rings and trusts is rapidly bringing the Socialistic
millennium within their reach without any effort on
the part of Socialistic preachers. They consider
that the trust movement is doing the work of
Socialism, much faster than Socialism could do it
for itself; that, in short, as has been argued above
in regard to banking, the tendency towards centrali-
sation and the elimination of competition can only
end in the assumption by the State of the functions
of industry and finance. If this should be so, the
future is dark for those of us who believe that
individual effort is the soul of industrial and financial
progress, and that industry carried on by Govern-
ment Departments, however efficient and economical
it might be, would be such a deadly dull and un-
enterprising business that all the adaptability and