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GOLD STILL WANTED             143

the power that they exercise by their being in pos-
session of commodities which the Entente desires.
They have shown a tendency to say that they would
not part with these commodities unless the Entente
allowed them to have a larger proportion of things
needed for subsistence than the Entente thought
necessary for them, and it was as part of this battle
for larger imports of necessaries that gold has been
to some extent looked upon askance as means of
payment, the preference being given to things to eat
and wear rather than to the metal. These wholly
abnormal circumstances, however, do not seem to
me to be any proof that gold will after the war be
any less acceptable as a means of payment than
before. The Germans are usually credited with
considerable sagacity in money matters, with rather
more, in fact, I am inclined to think, than they
actually possess; they, at any rate, show a very
eager desire to collect together and hold on to the
largest possible store of gold, obviously with a view
to making use of it when the war is over in payment
for raw materials, and other commodities of which
they are likely to find themselves extremely short.
America also has shown a strong tendency to main-
tain as far as possible within its borders the enormous
amount of gold which the early years of the war
poured into its hands. While such is the conduct
of the chief foreign nations, it is also interesting to
note that one comes across a good many people who,
in spite of all the admonitions of the Government to
all good citizens to pay their gold into the banks,
still hold on to a small store of sovereigns in the