Skip to main content

Full text of "War-time financial problems"


his drawing must finally mean a demand on us for
something—goods, securities or gold—and goods are
what people are in these times most anxious to take.
If we are going to leave all the financing to be done
by America and fear to import promises to pay lest
they should be followed by demands on our gold,
shall we riot be rather in the position of Barry
Lyndon, who was given a gold piece by his mother
when he went out into the world, with strict in-
junctions always to keep it in his pocket and never
to change it ? Regard for our gold standard is
most necessary, but the gold standard is not an
end in itself, but merely an important part of a
machine which only exists to serve our industry.
If we are so careful of the machine, which is a
mere subsidiary, that we check the industry which
it is there to serve, we shall be like the dandy who
got wet through because he had not the heart to
unfurl his beautifully rolled-up umbrella.

Again, it looks very sound and sensible to keep
capital for purposes that are essential, but, on the
other hand, it is so enormously important to set
industry going as fast as possible that almost any
one who will do anything in that direction is entitled
to be given a chance. In war-time, when labour
and materials were so scarce that they could not
turn out all the munitions that were necessary, such
a restriction was clearly inevitable. Now, when
labour and materials are becoming more plentiful,
and the scarce commodity is the pluck and enter-
prise that will take the risks involved by getting
to work on a peace basis, it may be argued that