20 JUNE 1931, Page 36


Now there are one or two plain facts which it may be well to recognize with regard to this general problem of War Debts and Reparation payments. In the first place, and regarding the matter from the ordinary stand- point of relations between debtor and crelitor, there can be no question with regard to the legality and correctness of the contracts. German Reparations are but a just acknowledgment of the -fearful damage inflicted by Germany in bringing about the Great War of 1914-18, while the various contracts between the Allies are correct according to ordinary business procedure, though the moral aspect of the matter, especially as regards America's claims, comes into another category.

At the same time, and in fairness to America, I think there has been insufficient- recognition of the fact that the Allies, and especially Great Britain, have been un- willing to pay the price demanded by the War in the shape of a temporary lowering of the standard of living and increased instead of lessened individual effort and work on the part of the community. As the years pass, however, the aspect of the problem becomes less clearly revealed as a new generation grows up which is called upon to bear a heavy burden arising out of circum- stances over which it had no kind of control.