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PRODUCERS WILL BEAR BURDEN OF EUROPE'S
WAR DEBT WHEN PEACE COMES
BY CHARLES EDWARD RUSSELL
(Copyright, 1915, by the Newspaper
Paris, France. Whojs to pay for
all this war dancing'
The bill is to be stupendous; that
is certain. So far the military opera
tions, ashore and afloat, have cost
about $13,000,000,000. If we are to
go into the value of property de
stroyed the total might be doubled or
more But take only the bills for
i the operations of war.
Who is to foot them?
We have every reason to believe
that the war will outlast the present
year. If it does worse than that, no
imagination can compass the results.
But say it lasts until Jan. 1 next
The total military bill then will be
$20,000,000,000; which is almost as
much as the total of the national
debts of all the belligerent nations
when the war began.
Great dancing! But how is the fid
dler to be paid?
Begin with Great Britain. When
the war broke, the British national
debt was $3,600,000,000. After eight
months of war the national debt was
nearly $6,000,000,000. By June it was
Suppose the war to last another
eight months and the national debt
will have increased nearly three fold.
On Aug. 1, 1914, it was $3,600,
000,000. On April 1, 1915, it was
$5,900,000,000. On Oct. 1, 1915, it
will be $8,500,000,000. On Jan. 1,
1916, it will be $10,000,000,000.
On Aug. 1, 1914, it was $79.50 for
each head of population in the united
kingdom. It is now $130.88. On Oct
1 it will be $189 02. On Jan. 1, 1916,
it will be $222.22.
The interest charges on this debt
will be about $320,000,000 a year.
Human ingenuity has so far de
vised but two feasible ways of meet
ing such a situation- One is to in
crease the taxation and meet the bills
with cash, and the other is to dump
the thing over to the future, say "af
ter us the deluge," and leave another
generation to get out the bog any
way it can. Another generation or
Mr. Llody George, financial man
ager for Great Britain, having an eye,
doubtless, to certain interests of his
party, has announced that his gov
ernment has chosen the good old
safetv policy of lump and dump. Pile
the thing on the backs of our suc
cessors. That at least, is the substance of
the policy he has chosen, although he
calls it by other names. He has a
sweet phrase about paying the bill
"out of the national savings," but he
does not explain what this may mean, '
if he thinks it means anything. The
London Daily Mail translated it as
meaning "to provide money in some
way or other." But of course "any
old way" means nothing in finance. It
is either gouge taxes and pay or bor
row money and pay, and the British
government has chosen to borrow,
for it could not risk the inflating of
We are not to understand from this
that taxation has not been increased.
It has been increased a lot and will be
increased something more.
The internal revenue duties on ale
(the national drink) were increased
last fall They have now been in
creased again so as to produce $160,
000,000, an increase of $6,730,000.
The duties on wines will yield $11,
750,000, an increase of $6,730,000.
Augmented import duties (tea and
sugar) will squeeze out an increase of
$215",000,000 to meet an increased ex
penditure to Oct 1 of this year of
$800,000,000, and let the devil take
It is interesting to learn from this
balance sheet that the famous Lloyd
George tax on land values, which was t
supposed to do such horrible things
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