Page 6, 11th November 1938

11th November 1938
Page 6
Page 6, 11th November 1938 — Butter as well as Guns
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Organisations: British Government
People: Douglas Jerrold

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Butter as well as Guns

SIR,--The article by Mr. Douglas Jerrold in your issue of October 28 gives, in my opinion, a false impression as to our real productive capacity and resources. I am not here concerned with the desirability or otherwise of more guns, but I wish to show that we could have a great deal more of guns and butter if we so desired without reducing the standard of living of our people.

As regards butter, we have large resources of idle land which could be considered as raw material for the rearing of cattle, etc., and there are, both at home and abroad, large resources under the control of the British Government of raw materials suitable for gun making: the proper utilisation of both the above could do no harm to this country.

There is a difficulty at the moment with regard to skilled man-power for both types of work, but this is largely due to the bad economics of the past. We could consider as man-power for these purposes, today and tomorrow's army of unemployed and the enormous numbers of young and fit men literally wasting their time in the already redundant " sales " and " distributive " businesses.

No one would deny that too many men who are already employed are employed on useless work. Unfortunately many young men have been driven into these walks of life owing to the insecurity and low rates of pay which have hitherto been connected with agriculture and many skilled, useful and artistic occupations; not realising at the time that they were going out of the frying pan in many cases into the fire.

With regard to currency, I agree, only fools would suggest mysterious manipulation, but certainty wise management of currency is an essential part of any National plan. There are many other things that we could have in addition to guns and butter if we want them and I do not think anyone would mind if as a result there were less rows of shops, less salesmen (few in either case making a living), and less unemployed.

D. W. O'BRIEN.

" Kincora," Park Road, Timperley, Cheshire.




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