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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

286   TIGHTENING  FETTERS   OF  FINANCE

any one who will take those risks, whatever be the
stuff or services that he proposes to produce, should
be encouraged rather than checked* It is again a
question of the balance of advantage. If we are
going to be so careful in seeing that capital is not
put to a wrong use that we take all the heart out of
those who want to make use of it, we shall do more
harm than good. If by leaving capital free to go
into any enterprise that it fancies we can give a
start to industry and promote a spirit of courage
and enterprise among its captains, it will be well
worth while to do so at the expense of seeing a certain
amount of capital going into the production of
articles that the community might, if it made a
more reasonable use of its purchasing power, very
well do without. The same question arises when
we consider the desire of the Government, not ex-
pressed in the above statement, but very free!}"
admitted by Mr Bonar Law, in discussing it in the;
House of Commons, to keep capital to be lent to
it rather than expended in, perhaps unnecessary,
industry. Here, again, it is clearly in the interest
of the taxpayer that Government loans should be
raised on the most favourable terms possible*, But
if, in order to do so, we starve industry of capital
that it needs, and so check the production on which
all of us, Government and citizens alike, ultimately
have to live, we shall be scoring an immediate
advantage at the expense of future progress-
spoiling a possibly brilliant break by putting down
the white ball for a couple of points,

There is thus a good deal to be said for setting