Our growing debt to Foreigners

The vicar of Reading St Mary urged parishioners to save money and support the war effort.

The Vicar’s Notes
The War

For the hope of the speedy liberation of the oppressed Armenian people from the tyranny of the Turk.

For the hastening of the day of victory, and of peace.
For God’s Blessing upon our preparation for the National Mission of Repentance and Hope.
For the spirit of thrift amongst our people.

Three Reasons Why We Should Save now!

It is now the duty of every citizen to save as much as he possibly can, because of,

1. The huge cost of War.
The expenditure which has to be met from the public Exchequer which has to be met from the public Exchequer of the nations is estimated at nearly £5,000,000 a day, or £1,825,000,000 a year.
Except to the extent that we can borrow, or sell securities, abroad (which we cannot rely on doing beyond some 400 millions a year) we must find this sum in this country by saving it and handing it over to the government either in tax payments or in subscriptions to loans.

£1,400,000,000 at least must therefore be found this way. Before the War, we paid less than £200,000,000 a year in taxes, and we were estimated to be saving and investing about £400,000,000 a year. So that we have to make a great effort, everyone of us, if the remaining £800,000,000 is to be found.

2. The scarcity of labour.
It is not only a question of finding money. If that were all, the government could print notes and it would be done. It is goods and services that are needed for the War, directly or indirectly, and these can only be provided if we go without them. The nation’s power to produce them is limited, and every article and every service that we buy for our own use makes goods and services dearer and more difficult to get for the Government. When every worker is wanted to make things for the War or for export, so as to pay for things brought abroad. We have no right to ask people to work for us, except for supplying our barest needs for life and health.

3. Our growing debt to Foreigners.
Owing to our workshops being occupied on war tasks, we are buying much more, and selling much less, abroad than before and so we are piling up a debt to other peoples which is a danger to our financial position. By saving and going without things we help to correct this.

If we go without imported things we decrease this debt directly. If we go without things of British make we decrease it likewise, because we set free our labour that worked for us, to work for export, or to work for the war and so save imports. Everything that we can go without helps.

All Saint’s District.

Roll of Honour

The following additional names have been sent in for remembrance at the Altar.

John Childs, George Stanley Childs.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, May 1916 (D/P98/28A/13)

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