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OUR LONDON LETTER, Issue 15649, 13 November 1914
OUR LONDON LETTER
[By W. G. Gtonr.i: ] September 26. Wo have no reason to lie dissatisfied .with tli- 1 progress of recruiting in this country. tji to the 20lh Augu.-l or so it was a littjo slack, but tho swift retreat from tho Belgian frontier almost to liegates of Parts seemed suddenly to inspire Great Britain with the feeling that tho business was gening serious, and recruiting, which was then about 6,000 or 7,0C0 a day, suddenly leapt up to 50,000, so that now, though in the chaos it is most difficult to obtain full figures, it is certain that wo have. 503,0C0 men in'training for active service, in addition to thTerritorial forces for home. d.Teno-, Efforts are. not being relaxed, and recruiting for the next 500,C00, which, have been authorised, is still procecdinc, but at a reduced rate. This is not because enthusiasm lias gone down, but because the War Office lias put. up the minimum height of the recruits from sft Sin to sft 6iu. In a way this is very injudicious, for I know from personal experience that, taking them all round, if they are broad, short men make better infantry than big ones; and it. has caused giviit. .-nicer in Wales, where the rare i» "small and
ccedingly sturdy. It i.s dirmed, | believe, against the London cleric, of whom I have seen a very large parade. They made a very miserable''show, and could not, 1 fed sure, stand .a. winter campaign. But the whole thing i.s verv incompetent : the height, limit means, nothing, and it should be left in the doctors' hands to pass or reject any man. whether he, was oft or 6ft-. The truth of tho matter is that recruiting suddenly became too successful, and that tho War Office Organisation, which has on the whole worked splendidly, found itself incapable of coping with the feeding. housing, and training of a number of men collected in six weeks double that of the ordinary regular army. This accounts for tho protests made by bir Ivor Herbert, quite rightly, against, the bail conditions which prevail in the camps. As it is, a number of recruits have not yet been embodied, and arc being kept at home with an allowance of os a d.av. In such circumstances. I doubt whether we will got our Million A.rmv, and I hardly cee that we shall want it. unless this war is going to last two or throe years. For it is all very well collecting men. but we are very short of cffi.vrs and non-coms, to train them, though practical!'- every old pensioned non-commissioned i ■flicer has rejoined as an instructor. Tho difficulty is, of course, the slaughter of officers in the field. The Lancashire?. I understand, loot every officer but one ; the Gordons were practically wiped out. This entails drifts upon the. depots, and makes it difficult to officer the home army. A great deal is being done by enlisting for the officers’ training camps voting men just down from the universities ; lint, again, to make an officer tnl-ms time. I .suspect that the Million Army is really a bluff, and that nil we need' in a. good 590,000 men well-trained and welboffi • cored. I should say that a half of lh-g" would lie ready by the sprin.g. Recniilbtr has limn rtimid,dm! .also bv improved pj c-vision for the relatives of men at. the front. A n-w scale of .alloc,nuces has be, n establish.-.,’, offering htwec.n 12s 64 for a wife and 22s for a wife and four children : 5s 6d a w.- k is added for those who reside in London. It i- hm very generous, considering that 5s 6,4 • deducted from the soldier’s pay, but then it has never been ‘ha practice of ativ Government to guarantee -i, v.-ll the loss of a soldier's life as the dividends of a joint stock bank. Nor are emplovers verv ere ■ dial ; a. good many are paying half wngr« to tho wives of enlisted employees (and T presume our gener-ns War Gflir,- nil] dock tho allowances by that amount) ; bat oilier-, especially among Hie big shops, iiav.- fli, mitred a number of their people owing Pthe decrease in tndc. One rannot blame them ex.utlv. but v lien 1 tel! von the some of these emplovers figure mi ! ; c of the I’rin.te of Wales fund f a- a l.irg-. fmbreript ion you will not, 1 I'ceC,;. r, si : M smiling a little bitrej-ly id the turns advertise their charity while cr.etipg tic ss. *-»*■* * * .v The finance of the war continue* to pe - eress quite successfully. So far current >■:: ponses have been met with Ticasury la repayable in fix months, and 1 1.• I;- ■--- chequer Bonds will short ly Ire b-stted. this is the prelude to a number of b'g pattiotic loans which mar he a little difficult to float Consols are to-day 69, whi- hj brings out tlm interest at 3.5 j< r cent. It would therefore be quite impossible, to float a patriotic loan at less I ban rl p--r cent, unless it were, issued at a heart discount. In a way it would !,•■■(P-r to issue it at a discount,, to make- u, f.,>■ in .dartre, a 5 per cent, loan it-sued at, 90. Im if that wore done it would be necessary t •> stop dealings in Consol® comp] tely, whe would bo rather hard on tho films wlr-. , have invested largely :n Cooso’.:, cud ■' ready money, « 111.-h they camg i g, t a. present owing to the aim ,i;t. Moh tho Slock Exchange is e;o.--i d. .nd no *«• m. ings in Consols may take p:a"‘ u:-A< r i present figure, s., tbint. iu- are a.v-ured m least of one thing : that th« hem will have to be issued at more 1 iia n y,.l i i cent. This is very comforting when cot eider that. to-day k ranee c.iiifot bori'-.v a halfpenny at Jess than 4; j r and Russia at less tin 51 pm " ■ ■ ,|lfl would b" much more int-em . .eg athe conditions in Germany, In ime e i :in,• even the I’rnssinn loa..is we: k . a an an 5] per cent. ; 111 by it M very- MS likclv that Germany can borrow money a; b s> "than 5 or 6 pen- cent., a.-.-nnnng < there is money to lend. There is every ira.-on to U-lUv mat verv little money is available in Germany, eo far ns we can judge from trie ID" a.nd Danish newspapers which have iva- m i us. Trade and industry are still act tv- m Groat Britain and in Russia, ami they a, managing to stagger along in France, hcause'" the command of the seas mi.-ilm s thorn to bo carriod on. As Germany is absolutely hemmed in, and mud dnem.d ' upon the verv few neutral cam!nes th-‘. 1 have access ‘to her—Holland. 1P me.; k si,,. 1.-t, Nurwav, and Italv 1 :. imd that her factories must be in a tern'.;-.' ; .stale. lam watching this a; closely , possible, but it is very difficult, to gm I nnv information even from_ the few tier- | man papers that have come into my hands, I because their tiews, and especially tneir finance articles, are being severely m:list,ted : but I gathered the impression a few days ago from a list of hankrujrtt .--s in the ‘ Frankfurter Zeitung,’ which k-okx to mo verv much longer than usual, that there is some very serious economic trouble inside tho German Empire. All this ifl to the good, and I think 1 have always dwe.it enough, perhaps more than enough, upon the financial eij,b- o: war. Unfortunately the Germans have splendid supplies of iron, copper, zinc, bad, and coal within their »rentiers, but I believe that the wool industry is badiv rut, while, of course, cotton is oompl-tely paraRe.ed ; as for foodstuffs, wo know very little, but it would be surprising if tlv* reserve was very largo, because the Pros sian policy has for years been to orev'-ut the import of meat and conn. Germany had a good harvest this year; but with a pipulation of 70,000.000 it would not v-.ui ilv meet any extraordinary demand. Of course, conditions in Germany hav--been eased by a moratorium, hut that ;< only a U-mponu-v measure, and we are, beginning t r * wonder In v - Jio.v v.e shall r ; gel rid ol lhis old u..-im of a v.ii. tn
we have wit astride our weeks. In the j present state of things most of the banks j
.ire liehaving well, and pay out quite reasonable sums where legitimate business is proved, but .still this must have an end. Now the difficulty 9 1 lint, its soon net wc suppress tin- tnor.-fo-.i-.nii everylrrdy entitl'd to recover .i debt wdi make a rush for it : ill thi.-- e.,.- the would feel a Ve; i .‘-erh’i!.- pi ... •:11 ■. G.’inhered nu ae tbev arc with love.-tmonte, ih.y might be 1.i.-’uJ’t -Igm'i -.'j; v; 1 v In the mine way as the penny bank, '.vi'ch if now in v-emitur.' lirnii ia’u. No I;mire a“ • t- > that. doe,. Olra je. njlv 11, -Mi li e, ff'ccodl.ms A ■ Il.venaiimi. it .f -ii.-i tin.;, now ..r mu r the tur 1.-r I' ~ GC. :.!I;«’1,L to Like n\ I;■ a bank of Ly i!:h yi avig]:gi>. r-'. . i 11; h.i'-v r.rlcL *«v ■•ttiß'lv in vh-.- ' hj: * V ti not art wrongly in >c!,em. -n‘it bar. btneeiiie ik-cc ,-..-:iiy to mttl-' dim in- -ra'..mium nuc-i ion As seme co f !;«■ moratorium i ! - taken off nude will I; shod:; y. lie,,, i ' gr.o’.M'iiiv ; ii!<> I’- --1 m >.;• :. way nmr ;im bu.im t b ■ i Iglff ie|ut-e. t!. -ra fee a tvumib to m Id. m.\. 25 per cent. mi the di.-i M.-a! of 1 1 .■ A-pofitois : ■*fit'i this, and ::t om-.tb. r iiwiiil,. 55 pur cent. : ai.d mi - ~ m,i9 . m,.l ; ;i,ms mv again | roiieah Tie- .-mm; Ticasuiy m-m- '. whi* li i man b...- G ,-., , g , J< :• >. ,j -ry. A ! new m-ta ;s i .omg p: ■•■ par. 4 . m imprev.-d pr;iKv. ( Miii.l ioi. ; i;,.-; i,:iiy Uvau.-c it. is infiniT-my nm- M'-no-n.- tiuin app-: ars at first ; eight. '! oe v- hj• ■!'■ ntacliinery of Britic-li ; credit is man- f--:>r:i upon these note.-, ard you uili tii.dcr -tan-l vital a .shock it was t > in ■ public ".hen it rcdifcd that tinnotes aeie ea'-y to forge. Had prompt I steps tint !»:a-n lake,, m, m ;i k,. , t new note, the old oec.s would leave been refused every u here, and v.c should have had a, great go! I rush, a panic equalled only by that wbe.-h took iliac,, in the first three days of war. A-, it is, the public attitude to paper money is suspicious, and it i.s almost impomdbe- u. exr.hangc- a French note, while a Belgian or Russian one merely (••turn s ;i i.ui.k to smijo
OUR LONDON LETTER, Issue 15649, 13 November 1914
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