12 DECEMBER 1931, Page 38


Before considering the position of our investments in countries further afield, it may be well to point out the importance of these holdings to our national balance of payments. Great Britain, of course, has for many years had an " adverse " balance of payments on trade account. In other words, she has consumed more of the world's goods than she actually has produced. On the other hand, her shipping, insurance and other services, together with income from investments in foreign countries, has more than made up the difference, so that, until quite recently at least, there has been a balance available for new overseas lending. The most important item in the creation of this balance has been our income' from overseas investment, and it can hardly be doubted that the decline of this source of revenue has been a material factor in the maladjustment between foreign receipts and payments which finally drove this country off the gold standard and brought about the present depreciated value of sterling.

(Continued on pc& 834 )