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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 10 (February 1, 1930)

Politics Faced by Hunger

Politics Faced by Hunger.

While persons imbued with the national spirit call for tariffs, and internationalists call for abolition of tariffs, the unemployment that both dread tends to increase. Financial-commercial depression now includes the United States. It is admitted that politicians have so far failed to deal radically with unemployment, and it is being more and more recognised that there must be closer co-operation between politicians and practical economists. A difficulty at present is that politicians are not always economic and that economists are not always politic. Yet co-operation is increasing. It manifested itself in the United States when President Hoover (a President has greater powers of initiative than a Prime Minister) called in the heads of private business in direct conference to devise means to avert or moderate the unemployment and distress likely to result from the New York Stock Exchange collapse, with its immense monetary losses, plus its bad moral effect. The British expression of the same movement is found in Prime Minister MacDonald's decision to appoint a National Economic Committee. Everywhere it is being recognised that politics and economics can no longer be kept in separate compartments. The MacDonald Government also hopes to find some relief for bad trade in an international agreement to reduce tariffs and trade barriers. It is noteworthy, however, that Geneva cabled on 19th December that Australia and South Africa had both advised the League of Nations of “their refusal to participate in the tariff truce conference.”

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