15 FEBRUARY 1930, Page 2

* * Empire Trade Following upon the illuminating Report on

the tendencies of world trade published last week' by the League of Nations, the thirteenth Report of the Imperial Economic Committee is of at least equal importance. It sets forth clearly the substantial increase in the share of the world's trade which has fallen to the British Empire. It will be interesting to see what the Pro- tectionists make of this proof that Free Trade has served us so well. At present they seem to be amazed by it, yet a study of the yearly figures might have saved them most of their surprise. Between 1913 -and 1927 the trade of the Empire increased at a more rapid rate than the trade of the rest of the world ; it now stands at some £2,000,000,000 as compared with £1,800,000,000 of the United States. It is remarkable, too, that the value of merchandise passing between the Empire and foreign countries was about three times as much as that between different parts of the Empire. Such currents of trade are a living denial of the wisdom of Lord Beaverbrook's scheme. At the same time, these statistics make it clear that the importance of the British overseas countries to the United Kingdom is continually growing,' both as a source of supply -and as a market.