But if these abstract considerations are strong, even stronger are
those which arise the moment we begin to think out the practical steps which France must take in order effectively to exact pledges from Germany. To begin with, the French army must be mobilized. But who could say that mobilization at such a moment would be popular in France ? Not only would it be a terrible strain upon the morale of the nation, but an even worse strain upon the national purse. The expense would be so great, that there would be no means of getting money except by some form of inflation. This means that the value of the franc must immensely depreciate, and with it the value of French savings. To raise even an extra hundred millions in France, with all the stock exchanges of the world hostile to her, would probably send the value of the franc down to a figure which we do not like even to suggest.