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

    Net   Excess of
Monthly   Imports Exports Imports

  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.

[162] This allows nothing for interest on the debt since the Bolshevik Revolution.

[163] No interest has been charged on the advances made to these countries.

[164] The actual total of loans by the United States up to date is very nearly $10,000,000,000, but I have not got the latest details.

[165] The financial history of the six months from the end of the summer of 1916 up to the entry of the United States into the war in April, 1917, remains to be written. Very few persons, outside the half-dozen officials of the British Treasury who lived in daily contact with the immense anxieties and impossible financial requirements of those days, can fully realize what steadfastness and courage were needed, and how entirely hopeless the task would soon have become without the assistance of the United States Treasury. The financial problems from April, 1917, onwards were of an entirely different order from those of the preceding months.

[166] Mr. Hoover was the only man who emerged from the ordeal of Paris with an enhanced reputation. This complex personality, with his habitual air of weary Titan (or, as others might put it, of exhausted prize-fighter), his eyes steadily fixed on the true and essential facts of the European situation, imported into the Councils of Paris, when he took part in them, precisely that atmosphere of reality, knowledge, magnanimity, and disinterestedness which, if they had been found in other quarters also, would have given us the Good Peace.

[167] Even after the United States came into the war the bulk of Russian expenditure in the United States, as well as the whole of that Government's other foreign expenditure, had to be paid for by the British Treasury.

[168] It is reported that the United States Treasury has agreed to fund (i.e. to add to the principal sum) the interest owing them on their loans to the Allied Governments during the next three years. I presume that the British Treasury is likely to follow suit. If the debts are to be paid ultimately, this piling up of the obligations at compound interest makes the position progressively worse. But the arrangement wisely offered by the United States Treasury provides a due interval for the calm consideration of the whole problem in the light of the after-war position as it will soon disclose itself.

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