GREAT BRITAIN AFTEB THE WAR.
2. There will be a spasmodic increase of private orders at
The deterioration of all fixed capital, which grows progressively more considerable as the war drags on, needs to be
made good. Shipowners will want new ships, manufacturers
will want new plant, machinery of every description will need
cleaning, repairing, and replacing; everywhere people will be
requiring housing repairs, furniture, clothing, and various
luxuries that have been temporarily given up. The shopkeeper will give increased orders to the wholesale merchant,
who will at once set about replenishing his stocks by giving
orders to the manufacturer; in proportion to their spending
power, the several classes of the public will make innumerable
industries transiently busy. It may be that, in reaction from
the parsimony inflicted on us by the war, we shall all for a
time spend as freely as we can. (Note that in certain trades
manufacturers are accumulating scores, and even hundreds, of
big orders to be executed when hostilities cease. Owing to
this reason, it is said that " a peace boom in the iron and
steel and shipbuilding trades appears to be certain." What
other industries may expect a boom?)
3. There will be a temporary demand upon this country to
assist in the restoration of the wasted areas on the Continent.
Naturally, France, Belgium, etc., will give orders to their
own people as far as possible. But it looks as if for certain
goods these countries will be obliged more than usually to
look to England, at least, for a period. (What goods?) There
may well be orders from Russia, Turkey, Greece, Armenia,
Serbia, etc., for cement, builders' ironwork, woollens, etc.
4. To what extent will the world demand British goods after
the war? (See Chapter VII.)
C.—Our National Resources.
The effects of the war upon our economic resources depend
upon the length of time the war lasts. " The extent to
which we shall regain our position depends not on the result,
but on the duration, of the war." (Emil Davies.) Nevertheless, it seems safe to prophesy that this country, as Sir George
Paish and other experts have maintained, will come through
the war with its productive capacity substantially unimpaired.