17 OCTOBER 1931, Page 34


Imagine, then, what would be the position if the public were now told that all these reforms =were a mere pretence, that expenditure was to rise still farther, that the Dole system, with all its abuses, was to remain un- checked, and that a still further increase was to be made in the overwhelming burden of direct taxation. Yet, if the Manifesto of the Socialist Party is perused, it will be seen:that this is exactly what would be the prospect if the Socialists-were to achieve victory-at the General Election. Of _course—and I. write the words carefully and ad- visedly—the consequence would be national bank- ruptcy. Is it surprising, therefore, that with these plain issues confronting us the City for the moment should refuse to give attention to the controversies about Free Trade and Protection, however important those issues may be ? The City believes that, in the first place, the solvency of the country must _be Secured, and it also believes that the greater heed that is given to the task of Economy and the prevention of the abuse of the Dole the less need there should be for the imposition of protec- tive tariffs, but the City also believei that the situation is one where a strong Government should be endowed with exceptional powers. And I think that the City is right.