31 JANUARY 1941, Page 13


SIR,—Certainly we are all consumers, but we are also—nearly all of us—participators in the wink of producing goods and services; and it is not obvious why exclusive attention to our interests as consumers (which Dr. Temple advocates) should be any less dangerous than exclusive attention *o out interests as producers Dr. Temple does well to point out that the producer needs the consumer; and the converse is equally true. The fact is that the two functions of pro- duction and consumption are mutually dependent. Conflict arises more between producers of :ne group and producers of another group, and between consumers of one group and consumers of another group, than between producers in general and consumers in general; and the regulation of these matters is one ot the most oressing tasks of demo- cratic statesmanship.

It is to be hoped that reformers will soon discover the mistake of supposing that production fo profit i- contrary to the interests of consumers. Most people realise that you cannot expect a workman to give of Lis best if his hard work brings him no more pay than his mates get who are less industrious. Nor can you expect those who control the means of production to give of their best if their efforts to meet a public need efficiently are prevented from earning their legiti- mate reward in the form of profits. To produce for private profit is as innocent and as sensible as to consume tor private enjoyment or per-