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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

282   TIGHTENING  FETTERS  OF  FINANCE

to make out a good case for working through licence
and penalty rather than through the banning, of
the securities effected, from sanction for dealings.
By thus being used as an official weapon the Stock
Exchange penalised itself and its members. By
saying " no security not sanctioned by the Treasury
shall be dealt in here/' its Committee restricted
business in the House and drove it outside. This
grievance was obvious and was plentifully com-
mented on during the war. If the Committee had
pressed the point vigorously it could probably have
forced the Government long ago to abolish the
grievance by making all dealings in new issues that
appeared without Treasury sanction illegal and liable
to penalty. A patriotic readiness to fall in with the
Government's desires was probably the reason why
the. Stock Exchange refrained from embarrassing
it, during the war, by too 'active protests against a
grievance that was then more or less real; though
it should be noted, that even if the grievance had
been amended, the Stock Exchange would not
necessarily have got any more business, but would
only have succeeded in stopping a very moderate
amount of business that was being done by out-
siders. But when all is said that can be said for the
justice of the case that can be made by the Stock
Exchange, the question still arises whether it was
advisable, at a time when relaxation of restrictions
was desirable in the interests of the revival of
Industry, to draw tighter bonds which had been
found tight enough to do their work. That the
Stock Exchange should suffer from limitations from