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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 10, No. 12. August 20, 1947



What is to be done? Above all, we must co-ordinate our industries, and use them to the greatest advantage. Traditional economic incentives are not sufficient to ensure that we get first things first. Only comprehensive and realistic planning of production can do this. We need at present, for example, large quantities of mining machinery, electric generators and railway trucks, just as during the-war we needed tanks, guns and aircraft. These goods can, and should, be made by such organisations as the Royal Ordinance Factories, whose vast, modern, excellently equipped machine shops are working short time, or by Rolls Royce, whose skilled workers are wasted on luxury goods destined chiefly for the Home market. It will be necessary to redistribute labour, by means of wage incentives, or for example, denying paper to football pools to release thousands of women for the cotton industry. It will be necessary, perhaps, to allow payment by results in the building industry, to increase the production rate.

Above all, it will be necessary to make drastic cuts in the armed forces and military expenditure. Britain is a debtor nation, and her show of military might is an extravagant bluff. We cannot defend this island, let alone the Middle and Near East, Let Americans and Russians play the war game. We have nothing to gain and everything is being lost. Only the most naive arguments or national prestige can justify our losing the productive power of a million of our best workers.