16 AUGUST 1930, Page 19


[To the Editor of The SPECTATOR.]

Sia,—As an old-time Liberal and one who has long worked for the cause, I find no hope in Lord Grey's " Call for Economy" given in the Times of July 31st. Alluding to the means of maintaining the surplus of our huge population, he is reported as saying that they " can only live by our selling goods to foreign countries." He thence deduces the thesis that any check on free imports must, on balance, react in making it more difficult for us to sell abroad. He does not seem to see that a substantial depression in foreign wages, or increase in our own, might logically result in throwing practically our whole industrial population out of work. He is content to quote the shibboleths of Victorian days when foreign countries clamoured to take our manufactures which they now refuse, preferring to send us their own surplu's produce and manufactures into our free markets.

He is probably right in claiming that tariff arrangements with the Dominions can do but little for us, but fails to see, or point out, the great •possibilities in the revival of home trade which has languished during the long years of the worship of foreign trade, which is rapidly shrinking owing to foreign tariffs, the boycott of our goods in India, &e. Lord Grey overlooks that we also largely live by the income of our still large but overtaxed investments here and abroad, and the profits of our dwindling sea-transport trade, which alone are delaying our collapse to second-rate Power status, the natural sequel to our unhappy national improvidence.— I am, Sir, &c.,