3 MAY 1940, Page 3

The Nature of Economic Warfare

Mr. Ronald Cross made an admirablt statement at an American Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Tuesday about the nature of economic war and the way in which it must inevit- ably affect neutrals. Americans naturally feel that our inter- ference with their trade compels them to suffer from our war. And, of course, to some extent it does. Our blockade, affecting Germany's imports and exports, is an essential part of the war on which we depend for victory. Mr. Cross showed that it was the British intention to inflict as little damage as possible on neutral trade, but that it was a matter of life and death to restrict trade with Germany. Delays to neutral ships held for examination at such points as Gibraltar had been greatly reduced, and could be still further reduced by the increased use of navicerts. Great Britain has a legitimate grievance against the use that has been made of the Far Eastern port of Vladivostok for conveying key war materials to Germany from the United States, though it is gratefully recognised that the moral embargo on the export of ferro-alloys to countries guilty of bombing civilians has checked German importation through Siberia. In the matter of the restriction of our own purchases of American tobacco, clearly we have no choice, in view of the vast increase in our other American purchases.