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> i- '? ?" THE WAR. WE have now had seventeen months of this World War,during which time it has grown in gravity, in the area covered, and in the numbers of men fighting almost everywhere. The full year 1915, has been passed in these abnormal conditions. But, after the first shock of August, 1914, our Finance, Commerce, and Business settled down to see it out; and they have done, and are doing, this with remarkable courage, resource, and success. The Moratorium broke the first wild waves of the sudden storm, then the Courts (Emergency) Powers Act saved many from inevitable distress and disaster. In financial matters we have with- drawn our gold from circulation, and established a paper currency notes, always exchangeable and redeemable in gold at the Bank, which will, before long, reach the i tremendous total of One Hundred Millions Sterling. Not withstand- ing the vast loans floated so easily for the War, our Credit stands still unshaken throughout the World our Stock Exchange is open; our enormous monetary dealings continue. Owing to our command of all the oceans and seas, even our Export trade, though reduced at the beginning, is now growing, month by month, in spite of all our difficulties. We are now living in times the like of which we bad not exper- ienced for a hundred years, and then only in a much smaller way. Yet, even apart from the War trades, which, of coarse, are flourishing exceedingly, business has been brisker and more steady than anyone would have imagined possible seventeen months ago. We still carry on," and though by no means as usual," yet with a good heart, and a sure feeling that we shall yet pull through every commercial crisis. It is difficult to draw any deductions or learn any lessons from the official figures of failures we have here recorded. There can be no useful comparison between the Statistics for 1915 and those of 1914, because the latter year was made up of two parts, in one of which we had seven months of peaceful prosperity, while, in the other, there were five months When trade suffered from the shattering shock of the outbreak of War. Still, taking the United Kingdom, we find, Bankruptcies have again largely decreased, the tOltal for last year being 2,678, as against 3,165 for L9!4, which gives a falling-off of 487. In Deeds of Arrangement, also, there has been a similarly heavy decline, the number of 2,345 for 1814 coming down to 2,185 for 1915, thus showing a decrease of 159 cases.