28 MARCH 1931, Page 42


In considering the prospects of an industrial revival in this country, upon which depend not only the prospects of industrial securities to which I referred, but it might almost be said the very solvency of the nation, there are certain straight facts which have got to be faced. If we are to compete successfully with our foreign rivals in the export of manufactured goods— and we must do so if we are to pay for our imports of foodstuffs and raw materials—any shortcomings which prevent recovery must be dealt with, and those short- comings are not far to seek. They include wasteful expenditure by all three political parties, the penalizing of industry for expenditure for social services, Labour Union restrictions (backed by politics) preventing the maximum amount of efficiency and the maximum amount of output per man, and inefficient organization of some staple industries by the owners themselves. Until these evils—to which must be added the abuse of the dole—are dealt with in the interests not of one particular class but of the whole nation, it is useless to look for a return of confidence and prosperity. We have got to take the situation seriously and not as some mere passing cloud of depression behind which the sun of prosperity must shortly appear. Immediately it is perceived that these difficulties are being taken in hand, Home securities, which have fallen to a low level, will be well worth acquiring. Should there be even a prospect of a change of Government, it is possible that there would be a quick and important rally in many Home industrial securities. 'Whether it continued, however, would depend upon whether the new Government, no matter of what Party, was prepared to face the evils I have mentioned in a courageous and national spirit.