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LONDON AND BERLIN

THE CITIES AND Till-; WAR. Lloyd (JKOimr: extolled. A gentleman in a position of control of one o; the largest .Aitstrala-dan financial institutions gave to the Wellington 'Post in an interview some interesting facts that bad come under his notice in London, whence he has just returned to Xew Zealand. One of the first things that impressed him was the stupendous monetary resources of tho British nation. " It is situ ply amar.ine." he said. " u here the money conies from.'' His peculiar position in the world of linaiico gave him ncre-s to circles and brought him into personal < ontaet with 'men and things not acce-'ible to the man in the street. He remarked in connection with the financial strength of Great Britain that a week before the war broke out the deposits in the Bank' of England were roucjhlv £00.000.000. and within a foitmfcht or "three weeks of the war brenj.;. inj; out they were. £150,000.000. ~ There is, too, the striking fact that whenever the Government asked for money more is always offered than is asked for; the issues are always over-subscribed, and, mind you, at a. price that is but a shade above the normal. •" We know but little or nothing of Berlin, but this wo do know : that the value of the German mark at the very outset o? the vi i had depreciated 30 to 40 per cent. The equivalent of a .sovereign L. say, 20 marks : well, it means that" for his sovereign, the German was only able to obtain 16s. Xow. take London.' Gold was always obtainable for paper at the Bank oi England ; even the 10s and £1 notes issued by the other banks at legal tender could lie and always have been exchangeable or convertible into gold at the Bank of Eng land if "old was demanded. After the lir.st 10 days, when people realised that this was so—that they could obtain imuch gold as they wanted at the Bank of Kn. gland in exchange for notes —they did not bother any more about it. They rested content with the knowledge that they could get the gold if they wanted it. • —A Changed City.— i " Before the war the city was most ! strenuously opposed to the Government. [ Te-day it' docs not hesitate to say that tka Chancellor of the Exchequer in particular, and th.e Government generally, arc beyond all praise for the ability and courage displayed in the crisis. * Mr Lloyd George, in facing the great and serious I problem he so bravely undertook at that , time, wa.s enabled to act as ho did by ■ taking into his counsel men of pre-emin-I ence. in banking, finance, commerce, and trade, and. above, all, his political opponents. Messrs Bouar Law and Austin Chumicrlaiu. The emergency note issue and the moratorium were not new things. They h "ifl been done, before: but the new things that required courage, that had never been clone before, were the discounting of pre-inorntorinm acceptances (amounting to hundreds of millions of pounds), and the assumption of marine war insurance risks. Tho moratorium was all very well for the man who owed the money, but what about the man who held the bill? He could not pay if he were not paid. I'ntil this bold step was taken by the Chancellor of the Exchequer things were at a deadlock. The 'result of this master stroke was the resumption of the whole system of exchange. And then th.e next brave step—-the institution of State marine war insurance. The normal rate up to July 31 for cargo at sea was 5s per cent. | By August 6 the war risk rate had rifien to £2O per cent, at Lloyd's, and many underwriters would not take up business J at any price. But the Government started I out at £4 per cent., and the rate, is now ; down to £1 5s per cent. This made, it t possible to resume foreign exchange and | the movement of foreign produce from the ! Oversea Dominions, and again business . | was carried on as usual.'' | j It was learned that tho unison which all_men of all parties worked together in Britain was one of the greatest" wonders of the a,;e. Politics disappeared in the broad, stteng light of patVioti.-m. Ire- | land showed from one em! to the other. } riste'-mni and Xationalist. their loyalty I to the King ai..t the British Empire.' Mr i Redmond was rightly regarded as a, hero. i The defection of Mr Keir Hardie arid Mr Kam-s-u- Mac.Donald mattered but little, but the one man who is thoroughly dis-iiediu-d is Sir Edward Carson." ft was not asked whether the. gentleman interviewed had leanings towards Home Pule or not. The assumption is that he had not : but his coixiemnathm <'? Sir fc>lv.ard Carson and tho serious damage he hao dono lis cause in the eyes of"both Chiionists and Home Rulers. "Nationalists and I'lstermeti, was common talk in the City. He had missed the great chance of Ins lifetime of standing shoulder to shoiider with Mr Redmond at a time when fh" latter -.ave unquestionable, unoiuilified proof of Ids fealtv and that of his party and the Irish party bo the King and to the Flag. —Kitchener's Perfect Machine.— Lord Kitchener had been given credit for the perfecting of the. great machinery that was set instantly in motion on the declaration of war. The credit belonged i ' ko>d Haldane an ,{ the Committee of National Defence. Lord Kitchener, bv foi-tmtov..s circumstances, was in London at die time. He was undoubtedly the best lean for tho work; but into his'hands was put a perfect machine, and he was, perhaps, the one most capable of operating ''• .■"■!'i c" 1911 Britain had rocognis"d the German menace, bad discovered and remedied, too. Hie defects and want of coiie.sien in J lP r defensive and offensive system. The attitude of Germany over the Mon.c. an crisis, had wrought the change. Britain became alive to the danger, and ai tod airnrdingly. She. wad not caufght. napping at the time Germany violated Belgian neutrality; she was not. unprepared. Lord Kitchener had the machine ready to work when the time came, hutit had leeit perfected beforehand, and everyone in authority, even in the remotest part of the British Dominions, knew what to do and how to act on the instant when the word came! The instructions wcro contained i/i the War Book, which was not unsealed until the word came. — A Long or Short War.— Would the war he long or short? ft seemed that it- would be both long and exhausting. The feelinpj in the City was that it would last long after the Germans were driven well into East Prussia, long after they were driven back to the Plane. It would be. as had been aptly said, a. war of attrition. There were, however, two important factors that would operate one way or the other. Tho people of Germany must sooner or later learn the real truth of tho matter, and how frhamelesely they had been lieu to by the German Government through the Press. They could not know the truth, or perhaps they were only now beginning to realise it. They entered tho war unafraid. They wero really self-sacrtftciug, genuinely patriotic, according to their lights. The German Government- have denied that 25 per cent, of the savings bank deposits have been taken for war purposes; but it is admitted that tho depositors were encouraged to tnko tip the war paper, and it is not difficult to suppc.so that Gjennain persuasion may mean com pulsion. Still, tho people of Germany as a, whole have had it- firmly planted in their minds that they are destined to be ill® paramount rulers of -the world. They cannot understand that the British ideal is to let everyone think and act and speak as he likes, having due regard, of course, for others. They believe, that the high destiny of the German people must- b« attained through war. It is Britain's duty to undo tn.it terrible teaching, and show them that thero is another way—the British way, of liberty and freedom by constitutional moans. —Economic Pressure.—■ Tho other factor that must contribute to th-5 ending of the war, how soon or how long no one could say, was an economic one. It is not known how long Germany may be able to feed herself — probably for a very long time, perhaps qtiite f. yesr: but her industries must b& at a standstill for want of raw material, thanks to th-e vigilance, of tho British Xavy. Thar.kd to the Navy, too, British tratio overseas continues with practically no interruption. Tho desperate efforts German, nwuiuiact-urer* to trft%&

through Switzerland and other neutral countries show plainly enough bow German trade and industry are faring. .Most eloquent of all wcr-3 the tricks and devices (invariably detected) to obtain money from London "through Swiss houses and bank?. 'J'ho economic pressure, in Germany must be heavy by now. ,-md it would increase. Its influence upon the \var would be to end it nine speedily, perhaps, than the ii-swcs of battles' on sea and land.

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LONDON AND BERLIN, Evening Star, Issue 15692, 5 January 1915

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LONDON AND BERLIN Evening Star, Issue 15692, 5 January 1915

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