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OUR LONDON LETTER

[By W. L. George.]

A n i. i Tiber 13 The prmun- 1 ' topu < t <lis h-moii apart fiom the aittnl ami * pi.i i" tr* is iit»t now the an omit ot pui iui to k to thf m(li\h p„ I dt,umlauts oi men lalhn-* at t K 11out '"iui wit, no kgal pio. Ist « to th m -iv s bet ase in thsrJini'-\ i p mo i i u\ou r» tratcs of p t * p oah ita i ivud iil ibci oi yeas ot sl \tu *>o the \\a 0 lift a* tempted to >! c tiihi il \i t nportrv solution Iv pTwiu tin im 11 sss a vitek ip th 3 Inpe th i + '1 a \ ould fm 1 «omc VWk Oil <_ol It, AI hj 111 Tpll piOllt lift", most oi tit i did not i 5,t( it utnri her of trem hid to nppK tn th i bold mi's and I 'miln \«somtion tint u to saj tor dan \ id tl >e vis t s,itas deal jit ii-i_ni*t->n in Itl -e It "nas £tit abt ii 11 ih' tl it i lionm \hov wcii had bet t-d n b th <ontrv soon**? be msiil*- t v,iti til a that the> »\oii' ' J \o t> n?] t(i autj , besides, "tl e tKnc hoi 1 J 1 iWo "if Tie reflect tint tl i " it on nl'cHai 1 e lias 12s 6d 11 it n n tl i ii a s t U ue immcted to „ > i i l>\uu 1 \ i nun _ n ifV ■ttifo ou?a „ t 12s 6 'n l li d d lik» a hero she \ dd s \n 1 m •other c u\- 11 ud v, \t u \\ \s It v t that tbii m_,4 tl\ i \ i iu Ii i i for iemii + jn_, ni is not (ih i ii~ tied men tot e V-u O t ci s i t particulate i f i a \ trui are a g> at t . \<\ n„ t lim-, ■who supp-- t ti i n i*h i 1 ti th bulk ot th uist ot *he in a ! ntl > are the eld t< *■ +i nth i -< -.id dren M n mi hj t„ i i i tin papers the " t\ i pier t 'int it i t b t l indiKtd to noii. and a i e\\ pens „ tile \Tab jebtt h\ lil let t *T hj n nit In tin nd; \Ji hn r , b I i cA, 5 S Tfcr Sie i rst child i I 2 61 for ever} ev' dMupt> - i mi ii of fom, aid I m 2s <t \ t ' i tlnlt The depend not i i i i i i dt fl reis ti 1 itcti csi t i , ,<, \v i f,ir<ls <1 stbNl 'i ii t s n t i „ u;ll le IT 1 * 61 ? t \ ii It \ u uti IK disiVed aid 130 it t< t 'l\ eti i' 1 vitli 2s 6d allosirc tnin u< Mh« ante is al } m r' i j, *i di 1 irsn Xo.v il' K i i Et lU'inl ih id i s It i I in ub shown,' thv u ! nti (r i k i nl a noitdiH i 5 ni < t 1 mud chri/t is ' nn. I2"C:0C J mth tot 1 habihU ui i t c -is ■war and a iroiti ' i r 10 i n nut the aaiiL'l ,hj ,i i, i the toUl Inbhtv £_ 2L lf.o ( n tint on \erj ci-< 1d r 1 1 i is T h i i mill iiuselt iit 1 t 15 i In ii i d t ppit •> 1 6 nr n \ >i ' n1 I i t ibi n> £7OOCCO TOO I ii tJ , , tic e shoidd not i i s v \ mm hj Whether -re -id 710 C< J (TO oi JS9OO 0"0 COO n 1 j s i »t uniu \e -\ iii ! i - , i n i hi" t.tnt Bnta n 1»> sins nut not Bpr-L iu if \ c in d <• ini 1 11 main tun Mt-na' ct mt he i tate to <s-y ti "t tni=< is ! I I s i]a nn itrcju en us d, umuui \ (l ♦ue Bn ti hj Empi e P i r> it ti> t' t Git it Dnti " j-. b n jit i n im k ni tl is reap" ttfin li n ii (Ttti-in bit 'if I heir., piiuh h-s tlun lint m ->, to vet rain ->it l tl L\d W n "\\ 1 11 ti o e\d'iDle (>*■ P i i i in j i t ' e th lowest iu must i th hulu "i ] slit fin tho. otu'h l \ til i*nd u t shi til s tV cost tion. tU m pei po ' V torn ti / \ilwe tjt d mmi 1 ii ( i \cels £IOCOCOOOOO nc~d nnr ' ,i,i ot hi lii£j Kentiotis insteid if Inn, biul\ Foi a v,id<m ?l a 6d is irnb t iite arrl 2s 61 "e\hi' f , di Uel mm happe s to bj,va i ufc i m i i ult Lonelv \om\ mnavl w iipu i } -> Q m n he\e j it,' fall n In} ■> i - \ n7s 6d p veek n tmt- i n, uu'm ij , u disniisMEK +hn niln<- hj e Itt bit tivo aienn — < ->n ->n Itl r» stuffs It is a ph isint i't n »u o c ii - the widows (t t 5 -1 -> whin tl n siipeis are eveiv <la, < 'no =< Jd, not suggest c 1 ldu i of a°ad soldieis hotd 1 i 1 f nitel ! « to un timed on a «ra' , u ti *h mils Jail tvaj;es l i p+ t- Mu \s u t, . v U Wjjjd but i «•;-, t | nfc ~£, i on _, ~ s;or-, m m s13 (l s v-,f On »]d ©iperted to I\o oi '"s, hi n 15 t ■week m th-> lomdi »d £1 e\ iU liondon \nd tie i"o\an i sKuld not cotue from, tin r ' f fi nd ot >nj ehantable et% t, ih (l l r i ttmc fion th a State, i 1 n ( t i „ L but a right Tf en H-h i (-, v. n "Tliank von** oat, it sure'} n uld i <)' I a i,o , onnn orVhill T*ne 11 iiu , L" ,] 'on the b"»ttlpfiela Li+ tl ■• «f relief and rr n,« r- ~ air^r i -, , r ] t r dusraoefal men h j *Ud -n hj 1 sl t i tnupt nth .in il i. Una ah it to tnt Pro"* in ld-i h"t i'p ■( i lajr r) ,-, 1h only food foi toe cu Ti one ue it has even Iwi thr, It i i i d d' f C i a ■««ek for eve" il It' i ? 1 d t school, risa nr r p t\C g l{ , ?'<• Einpir* the iu,l[ in, t \ , ] 0 , , ,i 'ltctirc,' 6d Ar<i. ti u , mkLi ,'lom Hrce bc"->ti=se " i t>' 1 i .uni' mcf pel soup

I"qu may look utvn ihcto as violent wind*, but rbiT -\ill 1»- echoed in Parba/rent to-morrow n!i?'i the pension s< de is rlfcciifi.-se'l. for tVr> i- aliinad a feline "f i""liiriui-'on. Groat Britain hag Kojic into haul* uith - hb- >lroi>„, intea*ior>s. and there- is a shoiu' party readv io fee t» i„ iba* ;he circs tiie decent thing |t home. *******

I Meanwhile. other mrasurn ri relief are be ins taken, anil some of them are verv intelligent. Th be=t U the push hi g oh ; t i M been inleudxl to execute a- little lat. r. Tor tnMniieo, I Jfor eevoral yea: 3 we have been •"the idea of an ilectric generating Mat ion " z±a supply the whole of "London. There 'has been a good deal of dissension about p it, because a larLje section of t'oe London * County Council are inclined to give the monopoly over to a public <-ompany paying b. rant, or to an independent board such : -"%s the Port of London or the Water •jßosrcL The Liberal section <n the council "have objected vigorously, because they demand public control of all imdtitakings of «H.*-th& claai. "Cnder the p'-ct==ure ot war it new looks as if 'tgie*n>-->nt \icie going to -be effected, and it is possible, that "the £3,000.000 -worth of -work which may be '• Acquired -will he nut in hand \<ry eaily ! - aext year. Thf General Post Office is also •< preparing to spend. £1.1C9.C00 to tun a post office tube underground to'cany parsets and letters from th- euM to the voA oi London. This, by the way. is going to improve very greatly our postal iVili- ' ties, for you realise the inconvenience of trying to drive mail vans thiou_;h the avetjgf> London trafiie. Nottingham Corporahon have aLo decided to deepen their rker at a cost of £150.000, so as to make ft an inland port. All these ate pood expenditures, and must not be confounded with relief -works, for they ate are. all of thera, of permanent value, and -will increase the earning powers of trie commnsitv. It -would do no harm to London, by the way. it the State were to pall it down almost "entirely and rebuild it; vie. should be lid then 'of slums where six_ people sleep in one loom and Heed epidemics, . -and alao of stieels wheie two carts ennnot ■; cross. I am. afraid, howei, er, that, that , lis rather too large an idea. 1 ##***** I I Wa have been very greatly interested II 'fax the- appearance of the New Zealand r'p Ircops -which figured in the Loul Major's VfiWov. I saw a small troop rompelled to J 1 atop in th" Stiand, as i> uw mobbed by )i »o eathiwi.i~-.uc ciowd of \,umeu. I am 11'' »fmd thes-e must have bien moved by jl something more than patriotism, for the 'V 'talk everywhere is of the splendid appearI*" ' ance cf "the Dominion troops. I regret ii to have to confess, that they seem to me on an average 3m taller than the recruits [ we are getting in England, while there is ■ s> bronze of hesith upon their faces which 1 1, makes us look remarkablj* pale. This -war 'iis very good for the health of the Empire, mi"*!* teems, for much amusement was cieated Kla that particular crowd by tuo members llbtrt.ilbo London Scottish, who found in the jli'is% Zealand ranks several comrades whose HSPmS<& avoeat was very much more massive BB(ihatt"taeir own: but I am told that broad Hl~'fenUtiL Ja-ipiite common in Dunedin streets. Wrß] ******* ■SL A carious document has been issued by a ■W, aemhw* pi the German Social Demq-j

cratic party, signed, notably, by Rosa Luxemburg and Liebknechfc, pointing out that the Social Democrats were not unanimous in supporting the war, and that 14 members voted against the war ciedits. That is all very well, but the fact remains k that even if lA numbers did vote against k the war credits, tho other 90 cither ab--1 stained or backed the German Govern--1 ment. Therefore, the Social Democratic * party have' cither abdicated all power and 3 all advocacy for peace, or they have been I split into two sections. In either caso I they have ceased to bo a civilising force, " and it will for ever be impossible to take them in earnest or with : them. This, by the way, may equally > be said of the." French Socialist party, 1 who seem to have backed the war with enthueiasm. Such men as Mr Herve (who 1 has been imprisoned for anti-militarist 1 propaganda) a id "Mr Anatole Fiance (the ' a outran wtitei who once had a reputa- ' twn as a knei of reace) ha\e> actually en- ; 1 -ixd I )wne never been a Socialist, but 1 lino tiktn Souihsm senouoly, as mcann/ something and embodjmg some con- . \u wni Appnentry 1 was wrong. Thej \ mid, it jo jet too young to be [ moved b\- ecoromic" ideas, because ecoj ' -mi ihis dimnd a fair development J(. iho huMiu bia n fo da} the human , 11 mi i uiuot ettrnd up lone; against human pa r>i— 'h-'t ih to sav agunst human lhi i A —f n 'on- In- no. oi proved a very ) s f n nj iirtm v Via it wa<; necessary to get I I *< moching doi» toim of -Socialism j ui'l d I'ihHe *. out d ■% c\ohe from thci i -. uhnh ii 1! cnihsation, but there' i i 1-mc: pol tc il path to be trodden first, 1 (i 1 ' ft 1 thit iih n the war is over i t more e mn. f Souili'-t 5 . will have to I turn +h it ton aids something ii i inn p ( att, p-eiumablv an internat mil ttt., illiLin mo\ement Only when ,tl it* l - th niches ne organised in a | |t k'* t! londitim. ot the people who j ' m \ tli n them I ******* j The financial and commercial condition I of. Great Britain is of course engaging J vorv gr.-atlv the. attention of the Ex--1.. h.-au-r and of the Home Office. It is I thoroughly satisfactory at present, for measure.* of commendable energy have l-eeii taken to prevent panic. In my next letter 1 shall be able to. state a little r.ioro dearlv how tho war is to be | iim-nced. for "Mr Lloyd George will make i a lengthy statement "on Monday or Tues- ! day next. Meanwhile, important steps have been taken. As you are aware, gold lias almost disappeared from circulation, and we i-ave therefore substituted some £1 notes and 10.-. notes. Now, this kind of currency has a limit. This particular ■■ rrreney i< practically a little bond to heaier. redeemable by the State when it choose?. When you 'take a £1 note you are lra-e'.ieally agreeing to lend the Exchequer :i. sovereign. It is obvious, tnere.ft.re, thai you n.i.st trust the capacity of the State, to pay in clue course, and for itis re.'son it wcido be impossible to issue an unlimited amount of paper money with out some gold guarantee. We will not lend indefinitely to a debtor who I«s j:e securities. The_ Government, be l ..-;/ alive to this, have collected altogether £B.bCO,XG in gold, 'which is quite extinct, from the bank reserve. This money, which is available at any moment, represents one-quarter of the note issue. The elfect has been so good that these notes eve now hardly ever presented to the Bank of England fcr conversion into livers and thence into gold. They are becoming the common currency, and afford some satisfaction to tho young blood, who can now. imitating the heroes of novels of the eighteenth "century, "fling down a bank note with a negligent air."' * * * * * * * The big'.'cr problem of the traders who cannot collvct debts due to them in Germany, .Austria. France. Kussia, and a goc.l many neutral countries lias also been tackled. 'lt is a big problem, for our overseas trade is very large, and as regards our .Allies thei'e is a. feeling that it would not be decent to press for payment and to drive into bankruptcy the families of men who are in the firing line. The Government have met this by agreeing to make advances to traders of repute v.-he. can show that- they have not been able to recover these debts for legitimate realms. The advance takes the form of a State guarantee given to a six months' l-ill. whu'h can then, of course, be discounted by any bank. I do not quite , know what the traders arc supposed to do if the war lasts longer than six montiy. ' but. it wc-uld be very surprising if these ' bilk, were not Tenewed for the whole ' length of the war. There is, by the I way, another side to the question, which ■ we are just beginning to discuss. Our ] traders have large sums to recover.abroad, ' but there aro a- great many others who ; owe equally large sums to foreign merchants. ' Tt is being suggested that the Govern- . ment will lie quite entitled to compel them to pay into the Exchequer the money they L . owe to Germany, Austria, and Turkey. Ultimately the Government would pay the, j debts themselves alter the declaration of peace, but meanwhile it would be a verygood thing for the State to have the use •' of the money. T have mentioned this to i a few commercial men. and have been re- ' ceived by indignant outbursts, which, mi- ji fortunately, did not contain any arguments. "Still, commerce cannot have it * both ways: it cannot claim that the J British Government must help it when it l cannot recover debts, and, on the other j hand, refuse to pay what it itself owes. * Some measures ot this kind will probably c he taken, and I presume I am expecting 1 too much of the merchants when think- S ing that they ought to see this as just. # s- * -x- * # *

The war on German trade has taken another step—namely, the prohibition of the import of sugar from Germany and Austria, which was in August still coming to vi* in great quantities through Holland. We had no exact means of identifying this sugar, for it wa-: being sold to a Dutch merchant. a f i • which the Dutch merchant soul it to us, packing it in his own material. Evidently sugar cannot be marked "made in Germany." and all we could see was that Holland was selling r,~ every week about ten times more beetroot sugar than she produced herself. For a Song time, in spite of commercial protests corning from the merchants who tried to import cane sugar from the West Indies, no notice was taken by the Government. Th<» Germans went on realising profits on the London market whiis they were at war with this countrj-. Then, quite, suddenlv. the Home Office

/.topped ilie importation of sugar, and it came upon ms a surprise that quite quietlv tiie State had invested £18,000,000 in the purchase of sugar, and that it had very cleverly allowed the flow of German sugar to keep down world prices while tbej- were buyi.nj,' up their own -stock. 1 never thought a Government could have been so .intelligent. The result is that sugar has been kept at a?,d, and is likely to come down, while the best source of German foreign trade is completely closed up. I do not suppo.-e that all sources are closed up, for Holland and Sweden are still doing with her an unusuallv large trade, wtikh cannot be entirely Dutch or Swedish, but the continual raids of .German submarines into the Channel or on the east coast will, I believe, in a few days be the_ cause of a stoppage in this trade, for it may be necessary to complete t'ae mining* of the North Sea. Already nothing but a few channels are open, but as the use of the Government pilo'tsi has evidently been abused bv neutral shipping, the whole cf the North Sea will probably have to be closed. The Admiralty has tried to avoid this as' long as possible, as they do not want to injure neutral countries, and also wish to keep our markets as open as pcssible, so that the price of iood may not rise, but as it k becoming almost certain that captains, either Dutch, Danish, Swedish, or Norwegian, must have sold to the German Admiralty the secret of the" channels that are free from mines, it may become necessary to dose the North Sea between Scotland, Belgium, and Norway. There will be protests, but noutralc must suffer in a world war. and thej' are very fortunate after all in being able" to keep out of it. Whether they are wise to do so is, of-coursej a large question, into which I had better not enter, especialbr as this is a state _of things that ma\' very soon alter as nation after nation is dragged in by oovetQiisness, intrigue, or fear.

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Bibliographic details

OUR LONDON LETTER, Evening Star, Issue 15690, 2 January 1915

Word Count
3,305

OUR LONDON LETTER Evening Star, Issue 15690, 2 January 1915

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