The Great War Part 198, June 1st 1918

HOW BRITAIN RAISED 6000000000 FOR THE WAR. By George A. Sutton Director o f Publicity to the National War Sayings Committee. Cost of the War up to July 1915— Mr. M cK ennas Supplementary Budget for 1915-16— Duty on Excess Profits— Mr. M cK enna’s Budget for 1916-17— Some Financial Milestones of the War— Mr. B onar Laws Appearance as Chancellor of the Exchequer— Treasury Bills Exchequer Bonds and War Expenditure Certificates as a Means of Raising Money— Success of the Five PerCent, and Four PerCent. War Loans in January 1917— Analysis of the National Debt of ^5500000000 in January 1918— Figures of Germ anys War Loans— The Problem Confronting the British Chancellor of the Exchequer— ANew Departure in National Finance Necessary— Origin and Constitution of the National War Savings Committee— -War Savings Committees and Associations —Report of the Committees Work to March 1917— Extension of the Committee's Activities in Publicity— National War Bonds— Tanks as Advertising and Collecting Mediums— Business Mens Week— Sum m ary of Work to the End of 1917. financial side of the Great War the getting and spending of those vast sums of money which Mr. Lloyd George who in the period then under consideration was Chancellor of the Exchequer called in his picturesque fashion ”“silver bullets was the subject of a previous chapter of The Great War (LX XIV .Vol. 4 page 197). Therein something was said about the extraordinary machinations of German financiers to embarrass Britain during those few full days which preceded the declaration of war on August 4th 1914, and about the panic on the worlds Stock Exchanges. And then followed an account of the policy of the British Government in financing the war down to the flotation of the great loan in July 1915. The loan “in question a great national appeal for a great national purpose,” produced apart from certain small subscrip­tions 570000000 but although “far and away beyond any amount ever subscribed in the ”world’s history it was inadequate to finance the war for more than a few months. A t that time Mr. Asquith stated on June 29th the war was costing the country 3000000 a day. The loan carried interest at 4^- percent with a possibility of more and was repayable at par between 1925 and 1945. It was ROYAL PRINTING OF NATIONAL WAR BONDS. King George accompanied by the Queen and Princess Mary at the Bank of England oa December 18th 1917. His Majesty was starting the machine for printing the first of anew issue of 5 National War Bonds. subscribed by 550000 persons or one in eighty-four of the population awhile further 547000 persons invested an additional 15000000 therein in small amounts through the Post Office. These totals were exclusive of stock issued for the purpose of converting Consols and other Government securities into the new 4J percent war loan. As far as this chapter is concerned the story may begin with Mr. Asquiths speech in Parliament on July 20th 1915. More money was wanted and he asked for a vote of credit for 150000000. It was the third in the current financial year and it brought the total amount voted for the cost of the war then not quite a year old to 1012000000. He esti­mated that it would carry the struggle on until the end of September. September came and with it an unpleasant surprise for sticklers for economy. The House of Commons met on the 14th and on the next day Mr. Asquith asked i fort a further vote of 250000000 the seventh since the outbreak of the war. In his speech he stated that from April 1st to June 30th the struggle had cost Britain 2700000 a day from July 1st to July 17th 3000000 a day and from July 18th to Septem­ bern t hover 3500000 a day. Advances to Allies were responsible for most of the increase the Army was spending more but the Navy a little less. L L 261
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