IF ANY FURTHER REDUCTION of war debts is to come out of the current revival of that question it is to be hoped that the United States will not again overlook the fact that our principal debtors possess territorial assets which are not indispensable to them, but would be of great value to us.
In this category should be especially mentioned the British islands of Bermuda and Trinidad in the Atlantic Ocean, and in the Pacific, the French Marquesas Islands and the British Solomon Islands. A part of the latter group was taken from Germany in the World War settlement.
None of these insular possessions are of any economic importance, except for the moderate oil resources of Trinidad. Their main value is strategic, since they are excellent points from which naval forces may be operated to attack or protect maritime commerce. Yet even as strategic points their value to the present owners is small, except as a threat to American commerce in some instances, because none of the owner’s main trade routes pass near by and they have other adjacent possessions available for use as substitutes.