THE industrial life of the modern world rests on a basis which has come to be more or less taken for granted, that is, on an abundant and cheap supply of coal. Nations which have been able to produce large supplies of coal easily have become economically great and politically powerful. On the other hand, nations with little or no coal at their command have remained economically dependent and have failed to obtain very high political rank. Thus for decades the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany have been more and more the dominant figures in world industry and

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