6 NOVEMBER 1942, Page 13


Sm,---The correspondence in your columns concerning the profit-motive deals with the fact of profit, but not sufficiently with the people who take those profits ; if an individual engages in either distribution or manufac- ture, or any of the many ways in which profits are earned, he or she depend for their success on the service they can render to the consumer ; they are subject to the keenest competition from all others similarly engaged, and only their ability enables them to survive and earn profits ; they take many risks of loss and there can be no question that the service they render justifies their gains ; but with the company where the finance is found by the shareholder, who in many cases has not the slightest interest in how the profits are earned, but is content to invest where the return for his investment is highest, in fact who is content to gamble, there the situation changes. The individual trades himself—guides, works and manages ; in the company only the paid staff are responsible for the actual production, sales, distribution, &c., and they in turn hold their iobs only so long as they produce sufficient profits ; it is a case of work-v.-investment.

Is it not time that the State made it a condition of company profits that the workers, managers, in fact, all those who produce the profits should have preferential dividend from the year's profits befo.: the mere

investor has his rake-off? In those circumstances I venture to suggest that the profit-motive would assume a much more social character than it has at present.—Yours obediently, F. A. GREET. Long Acres, 123 Andover Road, Newbury.