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The realization of the economic interdependency of nations, a doctrine which has grown with enormous strides in the decade since the war, was consummated yesterday at Baden-Baden when final details as to the proposed World Bank were issued. If this institution, designed primarily to facilitate execution of the Young reparations plan, works out to its theoretical conclusion, it should stand among the greatest reforms of the twentieth century.
The efficiency of international finance has seemingly reached its maximum. The clearance principle, the economizer of money, has reached its broadest ramifications. Just as the city clearing house facilitates commercial transactions, so the World Bank expedites the use of credit in its reserve holdings.
Conceived in the real spirit of international cooperation, it introduces a new era in world relations. Harmonizing with the spirit of the League of Nations covenant, and consistent with the policy of open-handed diplomacy, this is only another, though perhaps the best, example of desire among nations to share equally the brunt of the world's problems.
The ultimate success of the experiment is dependent, not so much on the perfection of the machinery of the plan, but rather on the question as to whether the world is ripe for so comprehensive and so sweeping a sacrifice of national interests. The clause which provides that each nation may safeguard its national desires is reminiscent of the liberum veto and is attended with the same dangers. Although only the future can determine the success of the World Bank, it is certain that the plan is among the most progressive experiments of the New Age.
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