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g6               THE COMPANIES ACTS

concerning the management of financial affairs, on
the subject of which their knowledge is necessarily
limited and their outlook is likely to be, to a certain
extent, prejudiced. A recent manifesto put forward
by the leaders of the new Labour Party includes in
its programme the acquisition by the nation of the
means of production—in other words, the expropria-
tion of private capitalists. The Labour people very
probably think that by this simple method they will
be able to save the labourer the cost of providing
capital and the interest which is paid for its use ;
and people who are actuated by this fallacy, which
implies that the rate paid to capital is thinly dis-
guised robbery, inevitably have warped views con-
cerning the machinery of finance and the earnings
of financiers. These views, expressed in practical
legislation, might have the most serious effects not
only upon England's financial supremacy but also
on the industrial activity which that financial supre-
macy does so much to maintain and foster.

What, after the war, will be the most important
need, from the material point of view, for the
inhabitants of this country ? However the war may
end, and whatever may happen between now and
the end of it, there can be only one answer to this
question, and that answer is greatly increased
production. The war has already diminished our
capital resources to the extent of the whole amount
that we have raised by borrowing abroad, that is
to say, by pledging the production of our existing
capital, and by selling to foreign countries the foreign
securities in which our capitalists had invested