Full text: Borrowing and business in Australia

governmental systems have achieved such duplication and lack 
of co-ordination that effective application of public capital is 
often precluded. 
And it is to be feared that this lack of co-ordination in efficient 
direction of capital may be given a much wider application 
even than that due to competition between the States. The 
supply and demand functions of capital investment have, in 
the past, been conducted to far too great an extent within 
mutually exclusive departments. Borrowing and lending on 
the international scale has been too casual and disjointed a 
business. Experience goes to show that the people accumu- 
lating savings are not necessarily the most efficient persons to 
decide how that capital should be applied ; and the too-ready 
extension of loan facilities in the past has often, in the broad 
sense, resulted in a wastage of capital. But the situation has 
altered to an extraordinary extent in the last decade, and a 
much more scientific attitude towards the expenditure of savings 
is being forced upon both borrowers and lenders by the needs 
of a capital-starved world. The intense demand for the available 
supplies is compelling the utmost economy in the use of capital, 
and organization to prevent misapplication is gradually taking 
shape. What is needed is a closer partnership in the matter of 
capital application between the market with its generalized 
supply knowledge, and governments, industrial groups, and 
individual entrepreneurs with a specialized demand knowledge 
of the facts of the situation. 
Arising from these conditions is a further consideration 
affecting the organization of research into the economic effects 
of capital expenditure. Under present conditions individual 
research workers are attacking isolated phases of a problem that 
constitutes a scientific whole. The results of their investigations 
are brought together only through the medium of publication 
in the journals of learned societies or through their own pub- 
lished works. This detachment and independence in the business 
of inquiry may have important advantages, but it has corre- 
ponding drawbacks of a very marked kind. Too great an 
interval elapses between the successive advances into the field, 
and great wastage of effort occurs in the process of investigation. 
Whilst research foundations have done a great deal towards 
setting apart a selected body of trained investigators, little

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