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Essential News

Nature volume 131, pages 614615 (29 April 1933) | Download Citation



FOR those persons who are interested in the world situation but have not the time or the opportunity to gather the necessary information and facts for themselves, Essential News, which is a weekly non-party bulletin, should serve a useful purpose. It is composed of quotations from various papers or periodicals and summaries of significant facts, to gether with constructive suggestions drawn from English and foreign sources. Thus, in a recent number special attention is devoted to economic reconstruction in Europe. There is a description of Delaisi's Five Year Plan for Europe, which advocates the planning of large schemes of work to reduce unemployment in Europe. The plan envisages the construction of great roads running north and south connecting the Baltic, Poland, the Danubian coun tries and the Mediterranean. This would open up an immense area in which some sixty million peasants are still living a primitive economic life. Another article in the same issue also bears on the construction of international roads; this is an extract from a pamphlet by Mr. J. E. Meade entitled “Public Works in their International Aspect”. According to Mr. Meade, roads are cheaper to build than railways. The nineteenth century provided capital for railways; could not, he asks, the twentieth provide it for special motor roads ? A European network of roads, roughly 9,000 miles in extent, financed by a European petrol tax of approximately one penny per gallon, built over a period of five years, would provide work for 188,000 workers in the first year, rising to three quarters of a million in the fifth year. The cost would be about 170 million pounds (gold). Some such roads already exist, in particular between Cologne and Bonn, between Milan and Turin, Como and Brescia, and one is being built between Rome and Naples.

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