17 OCTOBER 1931, Page 34


• Instead of perceiving that the growth in unproductive expenditure ' and .the consequent increase in taxation constituted in themselves one of the chief causes of depression, the Socialist Administration went gaily aad with its expenditure programme, and only the re- straining action. of the Upper Chamber prevented the final deficit which had to be dealt with a few weeks ago by Mr. Snowden being even greater than it was. Warn- ings at home and abroad were alike unheeded, and When at last, in a kind of semi-panic, the Prime Minister and some of his followers in the late Socialist Administra- tion saw that the time had come to call a halt to the orgy of expenditure, it was found that repentance had come too late to save the situation. The Bank of England gallantly did its best by arranging large foreign credits, hut by that time distrust in the situation here and abroad had become so profound that gold withdrawals proceeded On a scale which 'made it imposSible for Great Britain-to remain on the gold standard, and the collapse of the late: Socialist Administration coincided with the 'worst financial and industrial depression which this country has probably ever experienced.