chapter  6
4 Pages


WHEN Mr. Ellis Barker states that he who dominates the coal and iron industries dominates the world, we believe that he is stating what is only relatively true. It is surely as important for the existence and prosperity of a nation that it dominate the sources of food supply, whether within its own domains or abroad. Suppose, for example, that the British Isles contained more than half of the world’s total supply of coal and iron, what would that fact avail Great Britain in a contest with a foreign foe who should succeed in sinking her transports of food or in blockading her ports? Similarly, one of Germany’s greatest economic problems, both before the war and after, has been and is her food supply. And whatever we may think of her efforts to dominate the coal and iron industries, behind that lay the inexorable demands of her rapidly growing population for a sufficient food supply, which she is unable to supply out of her own soil. For even the United States, with an area nearly fifteen times as great as Germany and a population only little more than 50 per cent. greater, are rapidly approaching the time when they will have little, if any, food for export. The United States have no longer a huge regular surplus of cattle, beef and butter, and before long they may not produce sufficient meat for their domestic requirements. The same thing is true of all bread-stuffs, vegetables and fruit. From being the greatest granary in the world, the United States have become the greatest workshop, and according to the census of 1910 the production of the United States manufacturing industries was valued at approximately billion dollars, whereas the production of the farms came only to billion dollars, and in the interval the disproportion has grown even greater.