The Economic Consequences of the Peace eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 239 pages of information about The Economic Consequences of the Peace.

For these reasons the true voice of the new generation has not yet spoken, and silent opinion is not yet formed.  To the formation of the general opinion of the future I dedicate this book.



[157] The figures for the United Kingdom are as follows: 

Net                  Excess of
Monthly         Imports     Exports     Imports
Average          $1,000      $1,000      $1,000
1913     274,650     218,850      55,800
1914     250,485     179,465      71,020
Jan.-Mar.  1919     547,890     245,610     302,280
April-June 1919     557,015     312,315     244,700
July-Sept. 1919     679,635     344,315     335,320

But this excess is by no means so serious as it looks; for with the present high freight earnings of the mercantile marine the various “invisible” exports of the United Kingdom are probably even higher than they were before the war, and may average at least $225,000,000 monthly.

[158] President Wilson was mistaken in suggesting that the supervision of Reparation payments has been entrusted to the League of Nations.  As I pointed out in Chapter V., whereas the League is invoked in regard to most of the continuing economic and territorial provisions of the Treaty, this is not the case as regards Reparation, over the problems and modifications of which the Reparation Commission is supreme without appeal of any kind to the League of Nations.

[159] These Articles, which provide safeguards against the outbreak of war between members of the League and also between members and non-members, are the solid achievement of the Covenant.  These Articles make substantially less probable a war between organized Great Powers such as that of 1914.  This alone should commend the League to all men.

[160] It would be expedient so to define a “protectionist tariff” as to permit (a) the total prohibition of certain imports; (b) the imposition of sumptuary or revenue customs duties on commodities not produced at home; (c) the imposition of customs duties which did not exceed by more than five per cent a countervailing excise on similar commodities produced at home; (d) export duties.  Further, special exceptions might be permitted by a majority vote of the countries entering the Union.  Duties which had existed for five years prior to a country’s entering the Union might be allowed to disappear gradually by equal instalments spread over the five years subsequent to joining the Union.

[161] The figures in this table are partly estimated, and are probably not completely accurate in detail; but they show the approximate figures with sufficient accuracy for the purposes of the present argument.  The British figures are taken from the White Paper of October 23, 1919 (Cmd. 377).  In any actual settlement, adjustments would be required in connection with certain loans of gold and also in other respects, and I am concerned in what follows with the broad principle only.  The total excludes loans raised by the United Kingdom on the market in the United States, and loans raised by France on the market in the United Kingdom or the United States, or from the Bank of England.

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The Economic Consequences of the Peace from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.