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economic weapon against their enemies after the
war. That such a question should even be mooted
as an end to a war undertaken with these objects,
shows what a number of queer cross-currents are at
work in the minds of many of us to-day. But some
people go much further than that, and are advocating
policies by which we should even restrict <our com-
mercial and economic intercourse with our brothers-
in-arms. If the clamour for Imperial preference is
to have any practical result, it can only tend to culti-
vate trade within the British Empire, protected by
an economic ring-fence at the expense of the trade
which, before the war, we carried on with our present
Allies. And a large number of people who, under
the cover of Imperial preference, are agitating also
for Protection for this country, would endeavour to
make the British Isles as far as possible self-sufficient
at the expense of their trade, not only with all their
present Allies, but even with their brethren overseas.
It is fortunately probable that the very muddle-
headed reasoning which is producing such curious
results as these, at a time when the world is preparing
to enter on a period of closer co-operation and im-
proved and extended relations between one country
and another, is confined, in fact, to a few noisy
people who possess in a high degree the faculty of
successful self-advertisement. I do not believe that
the country as a whole is prepared to relinquish the
economic policy which gave it such an enormous
increase in material resources during the past
century, and has enabled it to stand forward as the
industrial and financial champion of the Allied