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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

BUREAUCRATIC MANAGEMENT  173

small profits on each transaction. The experience
of the great insurance companies, and of great
catering companies, and of "enormous private organisa-
tions such as the Imperial Tobacco Company, has
shown the enormous advantage of providing cheap
facilities to the largest possible number of cus-
tomers ; so that fears of natural restriction of
banking facilities, through monopoly, if they cannot -
be set altogether aside, are not by any means a
certain consequence even of the establishment of
monopoly in private enterprise.

Still weaker is Mr Webb's assumption that if the
interests of the shareholders with " their perpetual
and insatiable desire for profit" were eliminated,
cheap and plentiful banking facilities would inevit-
ably result from bureaucratic management. The
contrary has been shown to be the case in the
examples of the Post Office, of the Telephone Service,
and the London Water Supply. In the case of the
telegraph and the telephones, the Government took
over prosperous businesses, and has managed them
at a loss. In the matter of the Post Office it is not
possible to compare the Government with individual
enterprise, but it will generally be admitted that the
Telephone Service has by no means been improved
since the Government took it over. Mr Webb points
out that nationalisation, whether of banks or of
other forms of enterprise, does not necessarily mean
government under a Minister by a branch of the
Civil Service. But it is impossible to ignore the fact
that as soon as nationalisation takes place those who
are responsible for the management of the enterprise