4 FEBRUARY 1938, Page 2

The van Zeeland Report M. van Zeeland's long-awaited report has

not disappointed the expectations raised by his mission ; it is as skilful a dia- gnosis of the world's economic ills, and as good a prescription for their cure, as could be presented in so confined a space. The most important of M. van Zeeland's proposals are, as had been predicted, those for establishing a system of export and import credits through the Bank of International Settle- ments; for, as he recognises, the morass of currency restric- tions in which the dictatorships are involved is by far the greatest of existing obstructions to a recovery of international trade. M. van Zeeland's proposals, which presume a pi-di- zninary adjustment and consolidation of external debts, and guarantees that credits should not be used to assist rearma- ment, provide a way out of the bog. M. van Zeeland envisages a fresh start to be made in a world in which, gradually, currency stability has been restored by an extension of the Tripartite Monetary Agreement, excessive tariffs have been reduced and no new or increased tariffs established, duties on exports of raw materials have been abolished, industrial quotas suppressed and agricultural quotas modified, and bilateral commercial agreements negotiated. He proposes that the most important commercial powers, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and Italy should constitute an international bureau to enquire into economic grievances and draw up a constructive programme for putting his proposals into practice.

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