Courtesy Reuters

On Our Economic Relations with Britain

THE perplexities of international economic relations do not favor simple prescriptions or encourage bold ones. The facts that must be taken into account are intricate and the circumstances are variable. To attempt even a preliminary sorting out is something like trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle of thousands of pieces in the midst of heavy bombardment. But I believe one clue to the discovery of the pattern is clear -- if the Anglo-American part of the puzzle can be fitted together, much of the rest will fall into place; while if it cannot, the pieces will long remain a jumble. This is so for several reasons.

First. The commercial and financial activity of the United States and of the countries of the British Commonwealth and Empire have been and will be a great part of the total of world activity. The policies they pursue will greatly affect the policies and fortunes of all countries.

Second. The hopes of a large part of the world for securing capital and consumer goods to meet pressing deficits in the immediate postwar period will be largely centered on them.

Third. Their territories contain a large part of the raw material resources of the world, and their citizens also share in the ownership or direction of many resources situated outside their own territories.

Fourth. They both are certain to engage vigorously in undertakings that by their nature are world-wide in compass -- particularly shipping, civil aviation, telephonic and radio communication and the production and distribution of petroleum. In these fields the interests and activities of the two countries will come into direct confrontation at many points.

For these reasons, if the United States and the British nations can satisfactorily adjust their relations, and if they can work together to create and support international economic organizations, an orderly basis will be provided for economic transactions throughout much of the world. If they cannot do so, international economic relations will remain uncertain and turbulent; if they quarrel, others

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