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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

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OUR  FOREIGN DEBT             123

it was raised under a special Act, amounted to £si|
millions. It is also quite possible that fair amounts
of our Treasury bills, perhaps also of our Temporary
Advances and of our other war securities, have been
taken up by foreigners ; but quite apart from that
the two items already referred to now amount to
more than £1000 millions", though at the end of
March last their amount was only £988 millions. It
is also well known that we have during the course
of the war realised abroad the cream of our foreign
investments, American Railroad Bonds, Municipal
and Government holdings in Scandinavia, Argentina,
and elsewhere, to an amount concerning which no
accurate estimate can be made, except by those who
have access to the Arcana of the Treasury. It may,
however, be taken as roughly true that so far the
extent of our total borrowings and realisation of
securities abroad has been balanced by our loans to
our Allies and Dominions, which amounted at the
end of March last to £1526 millions. We have thus
entered into an enormous liability on foreign debts
and sold a batch of very excellent securities on
which we used to receive interest from abroad in
the shape of goods and services, against which we
now hold claims upon our Allies and Dominions, in
respect to the greater part of which it would be
absurd to pretend that we can rely on receiving
interest for some years after the war, in view of the
much greater economic strain imposed by the war
upon our Allies.

Germany, of course, has been doing these things
also.    Germany   has   parted   with   her   foreign