papalagi (papalagi) wrote,
papalagi
papalagi

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (1874 - 1965) The world crisis - The aftermath (1929)

To all who hope

CHAPTER II

DEMOS

Methods of Payment.

...

Now the amount of goods which the Germans could make in a year exceeded the amount that could physically be carried out of the country by any vehicles then in existence, and this reduced amount again far exceeded what other countries, including the creditor countries, wished to receive.

For instance, the Germans could and would readily have set to work to rebuild all the ships their submarines had sunk — but what was to happen to British shipbuilding if they did ? They could no doubt make every form of manufactured article ; but surely we had not fought the war in order to have all our native industries ruined by state-fostered dumping on a gigantic scale !

Something might be done in all of these directions, but it was evident to anyone with the slightest comprehension of economic facts that the limits would very soon be reached and could not possibly be exceeded. They were limits not removable by ignorance and passion.

In olden times a conquering army carried off in its own way all movable property in the territory which it ravaged, and in antiquity the conquerors drove along with them in a state of slavery all the men and women who were likely to be of use. Sometimes also a tribute was exacted for many years or in perpetuity. But what was now expected was on a scale utterly beyond these comparatively simple procedures. The payment of even the most moderate indemnity on a modem scale required the revival and maintenance of a superlative state of scientific production in Germany, and of the highest commercial activity. Yet those who clamoured for enormous figures were also the foremost in proposing every method by which German trade and industry could be crippled.

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