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182                FOREIGN  CAPITAL

cause during the difficult early years of the war.
Our rulers seem to be sitting very carefully on the
top of the fence, waiting to see which way the cat
Is going to jump. They have made brave state-
ments about abrogating all treaties involving the
most-favoured nation clause and about adopting the
principle of Imperial preference; but when their
eager followers press them to do something besides
talking about what they are going to do, they then
have a tendency to return to the domain of common-
sense and to point out that it is above all desirable
that our economic policy should be in unison with
that of the United States.

Whatever may happen in the realm, of trade and
commercial policy, it would seem to be self-evident
that with regard to capital it would be still more
difficult and undesirable to impose restrictions than
with regard to the entry of goods; and above all,
it seems to be obvious that at any rate the free entry
of capital into this country is a matter which should
be specially encouraged when the war is over. At
that difficult period we have to secure, if possible,
that British industry shall be entirely unhampered
in its endeavours to carry out the very puzzling
operations involved by transferring its energies
from war activities to peace production. However
well the thing may be managed, it will be an exceed-
ingly difficult and complicated operation. In certain
industries, especially in shipbuilding and engineering,
the building trade and all the allied enterprises,
those who are responsible for their efficient manage-
ment ought to be able to count upon a keen and