« PredošláPokračovať »
sible. Few realize what an entirely modern institution a national debt is.
In 1797, the year of Burke's death, the entire national debt of Europe was only £584,000,000. In 1912 the same countries owed more than ten times this sum, or £6,132,000,000.
The following figures show that the Napoleonic, the Crimean, and the Franco-Prussian Wars have each been concurrent with or followed by an enormous increase in the debt of the countries involved:
IN MILLIONS OF POUNDS STERLING
1797. 1816. 1848. 1870. 1889. 1912. Great Britain... 370 900 773 801 698 718 France.. 32 140 260 504 1,269 1,286 Germany.
47 Austria-Hungary 42
39 69 148 435 9821 145 90 342 756 910 99 125 340 580 750 25 36 333 460 541 20 117 113 285 260 363
All Europe...... 584 1,594 1,651 3,045 5,020 6,132 United States... 17 26 10 485 221 265
If it had not been for war, the European debt would probably have been almost stationary, or perhaps reduced. The ability to borrow such huge sums has made modern armaments possible, the possession of the armaments has made war inevitable, and the war has in turn made more borrowing and more armament necessary.
It is estimated that the present war is costing about £10,000,000 a day, at which rate, if it continues two years, as some now expect, it will add about £7,000,000,000 to the existing debt of Europe.
The burden thus imposed upon an impoverished and exhausted people would be more than double the present aggregate. That it can be sustained is almost unthinkable.
To those who are accustomed to think in terms of the financial era which ended with England's declaration of war, August 4, 1914, the complete bankruptcy of one or more of the nations of Continental Europe would appear to be inevitable, in which case the creation of an unlimited national debt would thereafter become difficult, if not impossible.
Of all the nations now at war, England is undoubtedly the best able to sustain an in
This is made up of 235 million Imperial and 747 million State debt.
crease in her debt. One-sixth of the world's territory and about one-fourth of its population are under the English flag, and the increased burden that she may have to assume can be so distributed that it would not be appreciably felt.
The strain of financing the expenditure which England must face will, however, be severe, and it is by way of preparing for it that she is now attempting to collect the enormous amounts due to her from all over the world. The indebtedness due by Germany and Austria she cannot collect, and repayment of the debt by Russia, France, Belgium, and Japan she may not, for political reasons, insist upon even if it could be collected. From her own colonies she cannot withdraw the support of her credit, and financial conditions in South America are such that it is hard to get money from it, although large sums are undoubtedly due to London from Brazil, the Argentine, and Chile.
The United States remains, therefore, almost the only nation from which Great Britain can hope to collect any substantial sum, and this fact explains the high price for foreign exchange which persists in New York and the reluctance of English bankers to accept American drafts against anything that cannot through immediate resale for consumption be converted into gold.
These same facts also explain the enormous and unprecedented accumulation of gold in the Bank of England, and the nominal ease of the discount market in London, which exists only because the world is foreclosed from borrowing there by the refusal of the banks to accept.
It may be necessary just here to explain for the benefit of American readers the way, and practically the only way, in which outsiders can avail themselves of English loans for the ordinary purposes of commerce.
The English usage does not permit of the sale of what is known in America as "singlenamed paper" except to a very moderate extent, and then only to the bank with which the borrower keeps his account. Larger amounts may be obtained only by securing from some one of the great banking houses or banks their acceptance of the borrower's draft at sixty or ninety days' sight, which draft, when so accepted, becomes immediately available for discount at the Bank of England or in the open market. If the acceptance cannot be obtained, the money cannot be had; for obligations that are not accepted by the
1914 PARIS IN WAR TIME: A LETTER FROM CHARLES WAGNER
concerns that are and have been for years the recognized monitors of credit will not be discounted. This will make it clear why it is practicable for the bankers to protect a nominally easy money market from speedy exhaustion by simply declining to accept. Apparently it is the intention of the English bankers to use this method to exclude foreign borrowers from the English market for some time to come, and at least until the accumulation of gold in London shall put that market in an invulnerable position.
Meantime we in America must rely upon the accumulation resulting from economy and the release of credit through the contraction of trade and the lower reserves which the Federal Reserve Law will permit (as soon as it is operative) to finance our unexported surplus until Europe may be able to buy.
The intrinsic value of the things we have hitherto sold abroad will not be affected by our failure to market them immediately if we do not meantime still further increase the surplus by the production of an additional quantity before the demand revives.
Money is already becoming easier, and it seems not improbable that by the first of the year the banks of the United States will be able comfortably to take care of the business of a country that will, in a financial sense, be
more self-contained than ever before in its history.
Then perhaps we shall be able to buy back from Europe, if it must sell them, a larger portion of the American investments hitherto placed abroad.
In the last analysis, however, our investment capacity must depend upon the extent to which we can economize.
Mr. George E. Roberts, Director of the Mint, in a recent address in Chicago, said:
The annual savings or net gains of the United Kingdom are approximately $2,000,000,000, of Germany about $1,500,000,000, and of France about $1,000,000,000. The United States Census for 1904 showed a gain of $18,586,885,635 in four years, or about $4,650,000,000 per year.
If Mr. Roberts is right, the net annual gains of the United States exceed those of Germany, France, and Great Britain taken together. If we conserve them, they would in less than a year enable us to rebuy all of the $4,000,000,000 American investments which Europe is said to hold. For these we may pay partly in gold, but mainly through the sale of the wheat, corn, meat, and cotton which sooner or later Europe must have if she is to live. For us at least the outlook is not so desperate that we may not think of others, or so gloomy that the Thanksgiving season will be an anachronism.
PARIS IN WAR
WAR TIME: A LETTER FROM
Our readers will remember the visit to America just ten years ago of Charles Wagner, the Protestant pastor and social worker of Paris, whose books, such as "Youth" and "The Simple Life," have been one of the finest influences on social and moral life in this country as well as abroad. Now Pasteur Wagner sends The Outlook the following letter of greeting from Paris in war time; it is a brief but vivid account of the French capital in the trying situation when the enemy was almost at the gate, and a reflection of French courage, sympathy, and mutual helpfulness.-THE EDITORS.
things that are universally known, but rather those things which in my capacity of pastor and citizen I see and hear from day to day. Let me first of all speak of the profound impression made by the decision of the United States Ambassador, Mr. Herrick, of his successor, Mr. Sharp, and of his predecessor, Mr. Robert Bacon, to remain with us in Paris, even in Paris invaded, and after the departure of the Government for Bordeaux. Their presence is at once a comfort and a guarantee. The high moral position held by the United States is shown by the fact that its Ambassador is intrusted with the protection here of persons and property of German and Austrian subjects.
I returned to Paris on August 16, after having been en route with various members of my family for forty hours on the journey from Geneva to Paris. Immediately on my arrival I was informed that I had been named a member of the Relief Committee, in which all points of view are represented. Never has our country been so united as in this war that we did not want; and it is a real comfort to find this spirit of cohesion, of decision, of willingness at the end of the humiliating period of the Caillaux trial. We breathe now an entirely different moral atmosphere. In this National Relief Committee ministers, Academicians, and bankers fraternize with representatives of the Syndicated Workingmen. Monseigneur Odelin, Vicar-General of the Diocese of Paris, sits side by side with the Chief Rabbi and the Pastor Charles Wagner. The same spirit of good will is manifested by the people. I am a member of the Sub-Commission of Public Nutrition, whose mission it is to supervise the food intended for the women, the children, and the old men. You cannot realize how in the organization and preparation of the food for the people devotion is manifested. Much of the work-the preparation of vegetables, the maintaining of the halls, and table serviceis done by volunteers. Every one is anxious to make himself useful. And throughout the whole city the social life goes on in the same way. Every one is more amiable, more patient, and more kind than usual. As the number of efficient men has diminished greatly, the women follow various pursuits that are ordinarily conducted by men. The street railway and the Metropolitan [subway] have appointed women to collect the fares. The city is wide awake-animated. In the evening people sit outside their doors and
enjoy the coolness. Some German air-ships (taube) [i. e., doves] have been seen for several days endeavoring to drop bombs on Paris at the very time when our children were playing in the parks. This odious procedure seems to intimidate no one. Notwithstanding some accidents, the main feeling that appears to be aroused is curiosity. As soon as an air-ship appears an enormous crowd thrcngs the streets and follows its direction.
The Outlook is familiar with the sentiments of the French nation and knows them to be peaceful. Notwithstanding our patriotism and the memory of our lost provinces, we have never desired war. Notwithstanding violent national antagonisms, the idea of international good fellowship prevailed. We maintained the hope that there might be a peaceful solution for all the grave questions that pressed upon us. In fact, a number of societies have been formed during recent years for the sole purpose of spreading the doctrine of peace with neighboring nations. I have always appreciated Germany; and during recent years I have increased the number of my trips to that country in order to do my share towards fostering good feeling between the peoples of the two countries which so many agencies tend to poison. I suffer cruelly in the face of the terrible conflagration consuming Europe to-day. But my heart, truly French, is at peace. My country did all possible to avoid the conflict. From the highest to the humblest citizen in the social scale, we all desired sincerely that this terrible menace should pass by. clear conscience is therefore our strength in the conflict. Another good result of these terrible days is that the nation has lifted itself above the stagnant moral atmosphere which prevailed during the Caillaux trial. Our better self has been called to life, and, in spite of the gravity of the time, this fact has filled us with joy.
You know how I feel towards the young; what joy I have always felt in the youth of France. The way in which our children are bearing themselves on the field of battle and meeting the assaults of the most formidable army in the world is a source of just pride to us all.
Every day I see firesides desolated by the departure of a husband or son. Several of our pupils have already lost their lives in the war. But how beautiful is their death! This baptism of fire will conserve our souls. The effect of this sanctified heroism makes itself
THE NEW BOOKS
felt among us. I have never seen Paris more beautiful than in the calm which has fallen upon her born of the feeling that our cause is just. To-morrow belongs to God. May he inspire and sustain us in order that
the lessons taught by this terrible struggle may not be forgotten; that the blood that is spilled so generously may enrich the soil for better times in the future!
THE NEW BOOKS
Ocean Traffic and Trade. By B. Olney Hough. The La Salle Extension University of Chicago. $3. This book is an elaborate compendium of information necessary to the intelligent conduct of export and import business. In view of the present discussion of the opportunities of the United States in the export trade, the book should be especially valuable to those who desire to increase their technical knowledge of the usages which control in the shipment of goods to foreign countries. It is most comprehensive and suggestive in the arrangement of the subjects with which it deals. The chapters upon "The Development of Export Trade," "The Way to Get Foreign Business," and "Foreign Credits and Collections" will be found especially helpful.
Live and Learn. By Washington Gladden. The Macmillan Company, New York. $1.
This small but sententious volume is a book of wisdom. It is packed with the sage suggestions of one who has learned to live the life worth living by learning to think, to speak, to see, to hear, to give, to serve, to win, and to wait. Its eight chapters on, these cardinal points of sound learning are printed as originally spoken to audiences of young men and women and others no longer young. They speak to the common sense of a healthy conscience. Pointed with many pertinent illustrations from actual life, they are eminently prac tical, and distinctively spiritual, with the divine ideal of life ever in view. Dr. Gladden may reasonably hope that this book "may be worth nearly as much to parents, and perhaps to teachers, and possibly to preachers, as to the young folks at whom it is chiefly aimed."
Lure of the Camera (The). By Charles S. Olcott. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. $3. The author has rambled far and wide with his camera; perhaps rambled is not just the word, for more often than not his journeys have had a specific object. Thus he has visited and described (more than once, we are pleased to remember, in The Outlook) the homes of famous English writers-Scott, George Eliot, Wordsworth, Mrs. Humphry Ward, and many others; and of American writers like Thoreau, Hawthorne, and John Burroughs.
This book tells us the fascination he felt in re
producing the scenes and homes related to books which are as household words. The illustrations amply justify his love for photography; many of them are extremely beautiful specimens of the art -and they are finely printed with special choice of ink-tints to bring out the varied individual qualities. Admirers of photography will find book and pictures full of suggestion and interest. The chapters are written with easy friendliness, in an agreeable mingling of information and discursive charm. All in all, the book is ' pleasing to eye and mind alike.
Panama. By Arthur Bullard (Albert Edwards). The Macmillan Company, New York. $2.
The appearance of a new edition of Mr. Bullard's readable book on " Panama " gives an opportunity of again calling attention to the quality of the book as a piece of literary work, and to its merit as a historical review, as a description of the Panama Canal founded on more than one visit to the Isthmus, and as a thoughtful discussion of questions suggested by the Canal. Mr. Bullard's sub-title," The Canal, the Country, and the People," exactly describes the work. In this edition chapters on "Finishing the Job" and "The Prophet" have been added; the latter especially is of interest in its forecasting of the Canal in operation. New illustration, also, has been added, and the book is presented in more attractive form than before. Its appearance in this improved form is timely because of the opening of the Canal to the world's commerce and the coming Panama Exposition, but the work has permanent interest and will continue to be of value for many years to come.
Yourself and the Neighbors. By Seumas MacManus. Devin-Adair Company, New York. $1.25. This is an unpretentious book, largely descriptive in its character, but with a narrative element running through it. Its most notable quality is its intimacy with Irish life and the informal and perfectly frank way in which it lets that life present itself. This veracity gives the book its charm and its value. Mr. MacManus knows his people and is not afraid to let them show themselves as they are; and, whatever their faults may be, all the world agrees that no people have more engaging qualities than the Irish.
There will be plenty of Christmas toys this year in spite of the war, a leading toy dealer thinks, because big stocks of toys have already been received from Germany and Austria. Next year, however, if the war continues, things may be different, though if Holland remains neutral importations may still be made. Ail good children, and possibly some others, will pray that little Holland may remain outside the zone of war.
Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, one of the leading candidates for the Pontificate at the late papal election, has been made Papal Secretary by Pope Benedict.
"He ordered the wills to be destroyed. They were torn into pieces, but the pieces were preserved and have now fallen into the hands of the nephews and nieces." So reads the story of a lawsuit over a will. If instead of the ambiguous term "destroy," the will-maker had said, according to the old formula, "Burn those papers and scatter the ashes," the litigation might have been prevented.
Two new tunnels that are to connect Brooklyn with New York have been started. They will take three and a half years to construct and will cost $12,000,000-a pretty big contract even for New York City.
Fifty-nine leading British hunts, "Rider and Driver" states, have contributed 7,774 hunters to the War Office for cavalry purposes. The value of these horses as hunters, says the same authority, was probably not less than $1,500 to $2,000 each.
September was the biggest month in the history of both New Orleans and Galveston so far as grain exportations are concerned. New Orleans shipped 5,283,178 bushels of wheat, while the Texas port sent out cargoes amounting to 6,751,318 bushels. Most of this grain went to the warring armies of Europe.
"That king of the feast, the turkey, no longer needs constantly to be basted-to the ruination of complexions-because he can be browned properly in a pan scientifically made for this purpose." So states a household magazine, which further says that the pan is made of aluminum; this heats quickly and extracts less juice from the article cooked than was the case with the old-fashioned utensil. The new pan, however, costs between four and five dollars. Pan and bird together, in the good old days, could have been bought for that sum and left something over for the housewife's pin money.
In spite of the great advances in the making of weapons, the bayonet and the lance are in
use in the present war; and a contemporary calls attention to the fact that bows and arrows were used by European armies up to the last century-in the armies of the Allies in their contest with Napoleon, when Bokharan, Turkoman, and Tatar bowmen fought side by side with Prussians against the French, and, according to the famous military writer Jomini, gave a good account of themselves.
The restriction "No children " in apartment house advertising is matched by this advertisement in a New York City daily: "Wanted, two or three rooms, furnished for light housekeeping, for a gentleman and wife and well-behaved dog."
The term "Belgian blocks," as used in paving, dates from the time of Napoleon, who is said to have used this kind of pavement on the roads and streets in Belgium to facilitate the moving of his heavy artillery to Germany. The Germans seem to have shown that artillery can be moved with equal facility in the other direction over these good roads.
Sir William Maxwell's temper, as illustrated in this anecdote, was quick, but it was matched by his wit. Visiting Lord Galloway, a high official, he was courteously invited to call again on the latter's day for receiving friends. Sir William realized that he had made a mistake in calling on the wrong day. His blood rose with the thought of being tacitly rebuked for his blunder. "A day of your ain!" he exclaimed. "I know but ae Lord who has a day of his ain. Deil tak' me if I'll keep yours!"
A wide-awake Southern railway conductor suggests that the Buy-a-Bale movement for the relief of cotton-growers be supplemented by an order from the railways for the use of cotton (khaki) uniforms for all employees. This would use up some of the cotton instead of merely storing it.
Here are some rules by which, according to a contemporary, any one can learn to speak in public: (1) Get it out of your head that oratory is to be desired; it is strictly out of fashion. (2) Think out what you want to say. (3) State your facts and then sit down. (4) Do not tell jokes or anecdotes unless they illustrate the point taken. (5) Don't bother about gestures or intonations. (6) Practice distinct enunciation. (7) Avoid a heavy meal before speaking; instead, take a cup of tea or a half-hour's nap. (8) Having once made a good speech, don't think you are a Demosthenes, but keep on trying to improve.