7 SEPTEMBER 1907, Page 3

Mr. Haldane is of course perfectly aware of these considera-

tions, and we have no doubt that he would not have placed the contract abroad if he had thought there was any risk of our depriving ourselves of a home supply. No doubt there will be a good deal of clamour and complaint amongst British firms, and a great deal will be said about the need for encouraging home produce. When they find, however, that this encouragement will only be given if the articles are made here as cheaply as in America, our manufacturers will in the end lay down new plant, copy American methods where they are superior, and in a year or two be able to produce horseshoes at a lower price than their American rivals. When that is done, the home supply will not be destroyed, but will be found to be greatly improved. What we want to do is to avail ourselves of the maximum of human ingenuity in the manufacture of all articles used, whether by the Government or the public. That, as a rule, is the real meaning of buying in the cheapest market. We want to encourage enterprise in our manu- facturers, not to discourage it, as we do when we say in effect : " However much you drop behind economically in the matter of production, we will go on buying your produce."