27 JANUARY 1939, Page 36


It is good to see the bankers offering whole-hearted—and one hopes open-handed—support for Mr. Hudson's pro- posals for reviving the export trade. At the Westminster Bank meeting the Honourable Rupert Beckett showed him- self fully alive to the urgent need to forge new weapons to combat competition in this field. Our normal trading methods, he tells us, will have to be overhauled and it may well be that new and novel methods will have to be devised and practised. Nor, in his view, are the odds loaded too heavily against us. In some respects we enjoy a distinctly favourable position. Great Britain, this banker reminded us, has a decided pull in its large financial resources and its free exchange. " Neither those who sell to us nor those who buy from us need have any fear of becoming enmeshed in com- plicated exchange difficulties." Moreover, we are still the world's greatest buyers and have the additional advantage of not being tied to any particular supplier, our importers being free to operate in any market.

Mr. Beckett maintains, with ample reason, that it is as a seller that a totalitarian regime has its greatest trading advantage, and he would like to see a change-over to bulk selling here without adopting all the methods (one surely hopes not!) of our competitors. Is Mr. Beckett going rather further than he realises when he says that " our industries cannot hope to compete successfully in foreign markets unless each is organised to speak, to negotiate and to bar- gain as a unit "? Such a course, he maintains would afford great scope for economy through the elimination of redun- dant sales machinery, and at the same time the pooling of information nformation and market knowledge would enable a more efficient and progressive service to be established. (Continued on page iso)


(Continued from page 148) Here is the complete case for planning—I almost said ft,: nationalisation—of, the export trade and it comes from a joint stock banker!