Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/34

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

fruition. But alas! they are not. We heard many empty words, when war broke out, of the war on Germany's trade, but I am very much afraid—and my view is shared by many business acquaintances—that the early enthusiasm of "what we will do" has vanished, and that when the time for decisive action comes we shall be found still relying upon the traditional but fatal policy of "muddling through" which has for so long been typical of British business as well as official methods.

We shall still, I fear, be found clinging to the antiquated and worn-out business principles and stiff conventionalities which, during the past few years, have enabled the German to oust us from markets which for centuries we have been in the habit of regarding as our own peculiar preserves. That, in view of the enormous importance of the commercial warfare of to-day, I believe to be a very real peril.

King George's famous "Wake up, England!" is a cry as necessary to-day as ever. I do not believe Germany will ever be able to pay adequate indemnity for the appalling monetary losses she has brought upon us, and if those losses are to be regained it can only be by the capture of her overseas markets, and the diversion of her overseas profits into British pockets. Shall we seize the opportunity or shall we "muddle through"?

This is not a political book, for I am no politician, and, further, to-day we have no politics—at least of the Radical and Conservative type. "Britain for the Briton" should be our battle-cry. There is one subject, however, which, even though it may appear to touch upon politics, cannot be omitted from our consideration. If the war has taught us many lessons, perhaps the greatest is its splendid