The Spectator

Food on the home front

If we artificially cut down prices here, we sterilise instead of stimulating the impulse to feed us from abroad

Food on the home front
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From ‘The food shortage and how to meet it’, The Spectator, 2 December 1916: A rise in prices, if properly understood and properly used, will be our salvation, not our injury. High prices help conservation, and, what is still more important, they help supply… If we artificially cut down prices here, we sterilise instead of stimulating the impulse to feed us from abroad. We are in effect saying to the world: ‘If you are such fools as to send us food, we warn you that you are not going to obtain inflated prices. You will get nothing more here than what we choose to tell you is a fair price. Our people, even if they want to do so, are not going to be allowed to pay you a penny more than we think suitable.’ Instead of this we must let high prices hoist to the whole world the cheery signal: ‘Here’s your chance.’