Peace will be as great a shock as War. Hence the need of Preparedness to meet the inevitable conflict for Universal Trade. We—as a nation—are as unready for this emergency as we are to meet the clash of actual physical combat. Commercial Preparedness is as vital to the national well being as the Training for Arms.
Nor will Commerce be the only thing that we will have to reckon with. When you have heard the guns roar and watched horizons flame with fury and seen men go to their death smiling and unafraid; when the pitiless panorama of carnage has passed before you in terms of terror and tragedy, you realise that there is something human as well as economic in the relentless Thing called War.
It means that just as there was no compromise with dishonour in the approach to the Super-Struggle for which nations are pouring out their youth and fortune, so will there be no flinching in that coming contest for commercial mastery—the bloodless aftermath of History’s deadliest and costliest war.
We have reached a place in the World Trade Sun. Unless we are ready to hold it we will slip into the Shadow.
We must prepare.
I. F. M.
I. The coming war 15
II. England awake 40
III. American business in France 71
IV. The new France 98
V. Saving for victory 120
VI. The price of glory 164
VII. The man Lloyd George 210
VIII. FROM PEDLAR TO PREMIER 258
I—The Coming War
While the guns roar from the North Sea to the Mediterranean, and the greatest armed host that history has ever known is still locked in a life-and-death struggle on a dozen fronts, another war, more potent and permanent perhaps than the one which now engulfs Europe, lurks beyond the distant horizon of peace.
Its fighting line will be the boundaries of all human needs; its dynamic purpose a heroic rehabilitation after stupendous loss. It will be the far-flung struggle for the rich prize of International Trade, waiting at the end of the Crimson Lane that sooner or later will have a turning.
Embattled commercial groups will supplant embroiled nations; boycotts, discriminations and exclusions will succeed the strategies of line and trench; the animosities fought out to-day with shell and steel will have their heritage in ruthless rivalries.
How shall we fare in this tumult of tariff and treaty? Where shall we stand when the curtain of fire fades before a task of regeneration that will spell economic rebirth or disaster for millions? Will fiscal punishment be meted out to neutral and foe alike? Will reason rule or revenge dictate a costly reprisal in this war after the war?