Ste.—The point about the experts mentioned by Mr. Benvenisti is not so much that they are orthodox economists as false philosophers. They are out to produce the maximum amount of goods consistent with a certain degree of leisure, and nothing will restrain them but the law of diminishing returns. The last thing they think about is human dignity.
I have, for instance, a great regard for Mr. G. D. H. Cole as an economist; but his remedy involves socialism, a price we are surely not willing to pay. Furthermore, I defy Mr. Cole or Mr. Benvenisti, or anyone else to solve the economic problem without a considerable diminution of international trade. This, of course, is economically wasteful, just as small businesses are wasteful But the fact to be recognised it this, that there is a limit to the amount of goods that the world can produce, and it is not a problem of production but of distribution. Everybody knows that international trade and large businesses are economic; the only trouble is that under these conditions all the factors of production cannot be employed. This problem the professional economists are still trying to solve; but I suggest that they have had their opportunity and it is time we tried something else.
The only alternative is a simpler life with less dependency on markets. both nation ally and internationally. After all, there has never been any real poverty in this country ; it has always been artificial. Throughout the dark days of the nineteenth century the English people were kept so horribly poor through producing for the foreign market ; creating what the economists call a " favourable balance of trade," but what everybody else recognises as an " unfavourable balance of trade."
The sponsors of this programme arm in relation to the general body of professional economists, heretical: they believe in going backward ; they are, if you like, reactionary. Captain Curd is quite right therefore to suspect the professional economists, although I do not see why any competent economist who is prepared to accept the (Continued at foot of next column).
general principles of the programme should not work on a sub-committee. An excellent choice would be Mr. Christopher Hollis. J. A. RILEY. 6, South Avenue, Hooten Gardens, Leigh, Lancs.