26 MARCH 1932, Page 30


Moreover, the general international situation and out- look is further complicated by the fact that in the case of the two countries which have enjoyed until quite recently the greatest prosperity—a prosperity accompanied by huge gold accumulations—namely, the United States and France, conditions at the present time arc far from satisfactory. In the United States we have record figures of unemployment, a record prospective deficit in the Budget, and a great decline in the export trade. In France, notwithstanding the gold accumulations, there is a general lack of confidence even in local conditions, with the result that, apart from a few possible loans arranged by the French Government in certain directions for poli- tical purposes, the purse strings of the French investor are still tightly, drawn. So that at a moment when increased confidence is essential for a revival in world trade, and at a moment also when new capital resources are -required in many countries, the centres which should be in the best position to meet those demands, namely, the . United States and France, are quite unready to render the assistance required. In the case of the United States, in fact, we have had almost gratuitous outbursts from Congress with regard to the determination of America to have nothing to do with any revision of the problem of International War Debts, although it is well known that this country, and possibly other European creditors of Germany, would be ready either to cancel or at all events make a material reduction in Reparation demands on. Germany if some similar concession were forthcoming from the United States.