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The British race will scarcely suffice to fill up the vacant lands of the Empire. The Dominions will become keen competitors with the United States for desirable immigrants. Hitherto the bulk of European emigrants have gone to the United States, but the British Empire may be able to divert the stream. For decades men have gone to the United States not only because it was easy to make money in that country, but also because the United States were considered a home of freedom, the champion of liberty. America's prestige as a defender of freedom and liberty has probably suffered owing to her attitude during the first two years of the War. Men wishing for liberty may henceforth rather go to the British Empire than to the United States. The planful development of the Imperial domain by the building of railways and the cheapening of transport will bring hundreds of thousands of desirable emigrants to the British Empire.
The tariff policy of Great Britain and the Dominions will have the most far-reaching influence upon the economic development of the Empire. A common-sense tariff policy will further the settlement and exploitation of the Imperial estate, while a doctrinaire, a vote-catching, or sectional policy will condemn the Empire to stagnation and decline. The development of the United States has been helped immensely by the fact that they form a single market. The British Empire, like the United States, is so vast that there need be no jealousy among the component States. British industry, like the industry of Pennsylvania or Illinois, cannot provide all the manufactured goods wanted by the Empire. There is room for manufacturing centres in all parts of the Empire. A narrow spirit of monopoly and exclusion or a cosmopolitan fiscal policy advocated by doctrinaires would greatly, and perhaps fatally, hamper the Empire's development in population and wealth.
The War, as has been shown at the beginning of this chapter, may cost about £7,500,000,000. That is a colossal burden, and the British Empire should endeavour to pay off the debt with reasonable speed. The War was waged not merely for the benefit of the United Kingdom, but for that of the British Empire as a whole. It seems therefore only fair that the British Dominions should assume their full share of the cost of the War, especially as the assumption of their part of the burden should prove highly beneficial to them.
A large increase in taxation throughout the Dominions would most powerfully stimulate production. Hitherto the development of the Empire has been hindered very seriously by the fact that too many emigrants have endeavoured to make a living not by production, but by trade and speculation. Nearly 40 per cent. of the inhabitants of Australia live in the five capital towns, while the vast expanses of the country remain empty. Nearly 50 per cent. of the inhabitants of New South Wales and Victoria live in Sydney and Melbourne. Several years ago, when I was in the West of Canada, I found that the principal industry consisted in gambling in real estate. The Dominions have developed so slowly very largely because money was too cheap, taxes were too low, and life was too easy. Men could make a good living by little work. If Great Britain should, by the unwillingness of the Dominions, be forced to take over an unduly large share of the war debt, it may be ruinous not only to the Mother Country, but to the Empire as a whole, especially if the Dominions should practise at the same time an exclusive policy towards British manufactures. Happily this seems unlikely.
The War has been waged not only for the present generation, but for future generations as well. It seems therefore only fair that part of the cost should be borne by future generations. It might be thrown in part on the latent and undeveloped resources of the Empire, which might be pooled for the purpose of repaying the war debt. The other part of the cost, to be paid by the present generation, might be allocated to the various States of the Empire according to the number of the people and their wealth per head, so that the burden should be borne fairly and equally by all. Periodically the allocation might be revised and a redistribution effected in accordance with changing circumstances.
The latent resources of the Empire are boundless. There is every reason to believe that the British Empire, if wisely governed and administered, will exceed the United States in white population and in wealth in a few decades. The War will apparently devour a sum equal to about one-half of Great Britain's national wealth, but that fact need not disturb us. The Civil War cost the United States a sum which was equal to about two-thirds their national wealth at the time. During the fifty years which have elapsed since its conclusion, the wealth of the United States has grown at so rapid a rate, largely in consequence of that war, that to the present generation the gigantic war cost seems almost trifling. The sum of £7,500,000,000, though equal to onehalf of Great Britain's national wealth, comes only to about one-fourth of the Empire's national wealth. In a few decades the cost of the World War may appear as small to the citizens of the British Empire as that of the Civil War appears now to most Americans and that of the Napoleonic War to most Englishmen of the present. The war with Napoleon created England's economic supremacy. The Civil War created the industrial supremacy of the United States. The present War should give the industrial supremacy of the world to the British Empire.
DEMOCRACY AND THE IRON BROOM OF WAR
AN ANALYSIS AND SOME PROPOSALS 2
Gold is tested by fire and nations by war. The World War has glaringly revealed the improvidence, the inefficiency, and the wastefulness of the democratically governed States. France, though utterly defeated by Germany in 1870–71, and frequently threatened by her with war since then, especially in 1905 and in 1911, when a German attack seemed almost inevitable, was quite unprepared for her ordeal. A fortnight before the fatal ultimatum was launched upon Serbia, at a moment when the tension was very great, and when Germany was possibly hesitating whether she should strike or not, Senator Humbert revealed to the world in an official report which created an enormous sensation throughout Europe, that the French fortresses were unable to resist efficiently a modern siege, that the French Army lacked heavy guns, ammunition, rifles, and uniforms, that France had in stock per soldier only a single boot, thirty years old. Belgium separates France from Germany. The numerous purely strategical railways which Germany had constructed towards the Belgian frontier had clearly revealed her hostile intentions towards her small neighbour. Belgium, having a population of 8,000,000, might easily have raised an army of 500,000 or 1,000,000 men. Such an army, supported by modern fortresses, would certainly have caused Germany to respect Belgium's neutrality. The test of war found the Belgian fortresses and army totally inadequate. Except for her Fleet, Great Britain was equally unprepared for the War. She has since then raised a huge army, but disappointment and failure have been the result of her diplomatic action in Turkey and Bulgaria, and of her military efforts at the Dardanelles, on the Vardar, in Mesopotamia, and elsewhere. Poor and backward Russia, on the other hand, surprised the world by her preparedness, and invaded Eastern Prussia and Galicia soon after the opening of hostilities.
1 The Nineteenth Century and After, February, 1916.
* Most of the proposals' contained in the following pages were carried out by Mr. Lloyd George on his taking over the premiership, eleven months after their publication in The Nineteenth Century review. This was probably due purely to coincidence, for the reforms introduced in the national organisa. tion were logical and necessary.
Comparison of the improvidence, inefficiency, and waste fulness displayed by democratic France, Belgium, and Great Britain with the war-readiness and efficiency of the autocratically governed States, and especially of Germany, has clearly revealed the inferiority of democracy in warfare and in national organisation. It is easy to make sweeping generalisations. Many people have proclaimed that democracy has proved a failure, that the doom of democracy is at hand, that the iron broom of war will sweep it into the limbo of forgotten things. England has invented modern representative and democratic government. The national organisation of most civilised States is modelled upon that of this country. Let us then inquire whether democracy is indeed a failure, or whether, like every institution in this world, it has merely certain failings which can be remedied. If it possesses grave but remediable defects, let us try to find a cure. England, who has evolved representative Government, should be the first to deal with its faults and to introduce the necessary changes.
In the fourth century before Christ Aristotle wrote in his book ‘Politics': 'It is not for what is ancient, but for what is useful, that men of sense ought to contend ; and whatever is distinguished by the former quality cannot