23 JANUARY 1926, Page 17

BRITISH TRADE .WITH AMERICA . [To the Editor of the

SPECTATOR.] SIR,—At first sight the slogan, " Buy British Goods," would appear to be a defensive movement against the inroads of American products in this country—and if this contention is trner there is Napoleon's maxim, " Attack is the best method, of defence 7 in support of the American business man's letter. There is, howeVer, the point of view expressed by " putting one's- houSe in order," Which has been necessary after the long period of depression following the late War. Is it unsound to utilize a period of reconstruction of home markets before launchhigont on the overseas markets ? Is.it safe to assume- 0.s we are only at the very beginning of a trade revival—that British concentration on its home markets is anything more than 'a ",try-out," preliminary to invading the U.S. A. ? The long dePression, also, has made caution a vital necessity in modern -business—a caution not to be thrown to the winds without very good economic reasons.

It might be more accurate to compare British activity in America to-day with American activity in Britain some two or three years ago, as the revival of trade in U.S. preceded ours over here.

. However, that sums up almost all that can be said on behalf of the British manufacturer, and I consider that the American's letter will prove thoroughly justified if some immediate move is not made on this side to capture the American market. His contention as to the opportunities in American markets for British goods do not admit of contradiction, and if his letter and the support of the Spectator can expedite the wholesale awaken- ing of British interest in foreign markets, it cannot fail to do good.—I am, Sir, &e., 5 chancery Lane, London, W.C. 2.