14 NOVEMBER 1931, Page 9

In the first place, this Government was chosen to act,

but to act upon knowledge and not upon inspiration. The Prime Minister defined its problems as the problems of currency, credit, the balance of the Budget and the balance of trade. They are all inter-dependent and influenced by international factors. The work of the Government will largely be judged by whether it achieves its self-defined object of maintaining the internal purchasing power of sterling, and that, as experience has shown, may be affected by events in other countries. It may, for example, be seriously doubted whether the issue of existing negotiations between France, Germany, and the United States has not a more immediate bearing on the value of the pound than the balance of trade. In the second place, though the general effect of the depreciation of sterling as a stimulus to exports and of the prospect of tariffs as a stimulus to anticipatory imports is known, the details are quite uncertain ; and no Government could act before inquiry even if it wanted to. After all, the Prime Minister has promised the House to act without delay upon proof of need and to act, as Lord Hailsham explained in the House of Lords, by the rapid method of Order in Council.