Full text: Borrowing and business in Australia

deferred. But this cannot be regarded as anything more than 
the postponement of the evil day when the liquidation of 
external debt must be accomplished; and it is probable that 
the ultimate remedy will be more oppressive in its effects the 
longer the obvious remedy is delayed. Every consideration 
forced upon the writer in the preparation of this essay upon the 
economics of borrowing compels a reluctant admission of the 
truth of Viner’s verdict concerning the Canadian situation, and 
its close application to the problem of the future liquidation of 
our own external indebtedness. 
But the time has now come to round off this survey of a 
century of Australia’s economic history by bringing the dis- 
cussion back to the point from which it started. The chief 
motive underlying the examination of the different factors in 
Australian business, and of the interrelation to be detected 
among the various tendencies, has been the desire to demon- 
strate the control exercised upon Australian prosperity by the 
rate at which capital has been injected into the economic 
organization. It cannot be pretended that anything more than 
a beginning has been made in dissecting the very complex situa- 
tion presented by the economic life of a modern state. No single 
investigator could be competent, or even physically able, to 
cope with the vast number of subsidiary issues raised by such 
a problem as this. Much more light will need to be thrown on 
the international movements of capital before many of them can 
pass from the realm of conjecture. But a few observations still 
remain to be made. 
It has been a matter for comment in the past by investigators 
of our business fluctuations that, contrary to current opinion 
on the matter, no close correlation was to be discovered be- 
tween business conditions and the volume of agricultural and 
pastoral production. Although relatively wide swings in pro- 
ductivity have occasionally produced violent fluctuations in 
business, excellent returns from the land have not invariably 
! Canada’s Balance of International Indebtedness, p. 308. ‘The further discovery 
and exploitation of rich natural resources, a generous increase in population, 
an increase in the intensity of the world demand for the important Canadian 
products, the adoption of a sounder and more far-sighted commercial policy, and 
of a more conservative policy of capital investment in questionable enterprises— 
these would substantially lessen the severity of the task of liquidating foreign 

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