26 MARCH 1932, Page 30


Unfortunately, too, it is impossible to confine one's view on the outlook merely to local conditions at home. Possibly because for so many years we were the world's bankers there is a keener realiiation 'here than there appears to be at some of the foreign centres of the inter- dependence of nations in the matter of well-sustained prosperity, and it is impossible to glance at the state of affairs in Europe- and in some other foreign countries without feeling the gravest anxiety with regard to develop- ments in the very near future.

The situation in Germany has been critical for some time past, and while a permanent settlement of the Reparations problem on lines favourable to Germany would, no doubt, be a helpful factor, Germany, like other countries, is dependent upon a world revival in trade if she is to make both ends meet, quite apart from her liabilities in the shape of Reparations. In other parts of Central Europe, including Austria, Hungary and Greece, the situation is also a serious one and in those directions again it is a case of a desperate need for a rise in commodity prices and a revival in trade. In some of the South American countries, too, where loans are in default, the only chance of improvement lies in the direction of higher prices for exportable commodities and a trade revival. In the Far East there are certainly some signs of improvement in the political outlook, but conditions are still chaotic, and in contrast with the revival of confidence in local conditions in Great Britain is the continued lack of international confidence at a moment when international co-operation was never more urgently needed.