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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

IX

COMPARATIVE   WAR   FINANCE
May, 1918

The New Budget—Our own and Germany's Balance-sheets—
The Enemy's Difficulties-—Mr Bonar Law's Optimism—
Special Advantages which Peace will bring to Germany—
A Comparison with American Finance—How much have
we raised from Revenue ?—The Value of the Pound To-day
—The 1918 Budget an Improvement on its Predecessors—-
But Direct Taxation still too Low—Deductions from the
Chancellor's Estimates.

ONE of the most interesting passages in a Budget
speech of unusual interest was that in which the
Chancellor of the Exchequer compared the financial
methods of Germany and of this country, as shown
by their systems of war finance. He began by
admitting that it is difficult to make any accurate
calculation on this subject, owing to the very thick
mist of obscurity which envelops Germany's actual
performance in "the matter of finance since the war
began. As the Chancellor says, our figures through-
out have been presented with the object of showing
quite clearly what is our financial position. Most of
the people who are obliged to study the figures of
Government finance would feel inclined to reply that,
if this is really so, the Chancellor and the Treasury
seem to have curiously narrow limitations in their
capacity for clearness. Very few accountants, I