12 JANUARY 1940, Page 2

Goering as Economic Dictator

In assuming a new office as supreme controller of the whole war economy of the Reich, Field-Marshal Goering extends and rounds off the sphere of authority which he already held as Director of the Four-Year Plan. The power with which he is now invested is that of co-ordinating the work of all departments in the State concerned with war economy. It is a logical culmination of the totalitarian system, which requires that all trading, industrial and financial activi- ties should directly serve the interests of the State at war, and that the Government, symbolically unified on its economic side under a single person, should be able to control the allocation of imports and exports, the operations of industry and transport, the use of currency and, if necessary, the distribution to the people of the food they are to eat and the clothes they are to wear. It would be foolish to ignore the importance or the value to Germany of the unifica- tion of control which has been ordained, or to under-estimate the organising power which will make it effective so far as Germany's resources and access to markets permit. The adoption in Great Britain, too, of a system which would enable a member of the War Cabinet to co-ordinate our too separatist economic activities has been urged by economists with the best claim to be heard. That advice was not accepted. In war one should never be toc proud to learn from the enemy.