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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 1 (May 1, 1930)

How Barter Breaks Down

How Barter Breaks Down.

There has been an echo in the papers of Mr. J. H. Thomas's wheat-buying and coal-supplying mission some months ago to Canada. As Minister in special charge of the British coal back to Canada, giving employment problem, Mr. Thomas urged the Canadian wheat holders to sell, so that trans Atlantic wheat ships might carry British coal back to Canada, giving employment in the collieries, on the prairies, and in between. Some allusion by the Minister to the fact that holders who did not sell now would face a lower wheat market led to an admission by the wheat pool leaders that they spurned Mr. Thomas's grain marketing advice. Further than that, they “refused to comment.” There is food in Canada, there is coal in England, but there is the usual difference of opinion about terms of exchange. Likewise, there is wool in New Zealand and Australia, and all over the world there are people needing clothes, yet trade sticks somewhere. The Dominion wool-grower thinks he is contributing too much to deflation in the woollen industry. The Yorkshire employees, faced with a prospect of an 8 per cent. wage cut, think likewise. They and their employers may fight it out, and prayers have been offered in Yorkshire churches to avoid an industrial stop-page that would embitter human relations, and which, while enabling woollen stocks to be cleared, would give rival fibres and the competing woollen manufactures of other countries a fresh start. Even the churches cannot find a plan to divide the benefits of the golden fleece between employer and employee (here and oversea), spinner manufacturer, seller, and consumer, on a scale so satisfying that brotherly love shall continue.