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June, 1918

An Inopportune Proposal—What is Currency ?—The Primitive
System of Barter—The Advantages possessed by the
Precious Metals—Gold as a Standard of Value—Its Failure
to remain Constant—Currency and Prices—The Complica-
tion of other Instruments of Credit—No Substitute for Gold
in Sight—Its Acceptability not shaken by the War—A
Fluctuating Standard not wholly Disadvantageous—An
International Currency fatal to the Task of Reconstruction
—Stability and Certainty the Great Needs.

As if mankind had not enough on its hands at the
present moment, a number of well-meaning people
seem to think that this is an opportune time for
raising obscure questions of currency, and trying to
make the public take an interest in schemes for
bettering man's lot by improving the arrangements
under which international payments are carried out.
Nobody caff deny that some improvement is possible
in this respect, but it may very well be doubted
whether, at the present moment, when very serious
problems of rebuilding have inevitably to be faced
and solved, it is advisable to complicate them by
introducing this difficult question which, whenever
it is raised, will require the most careful and earnest

Since, however, the question is in the air, it may