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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

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December, 1918

Currency Policy during the War—Its Disastrous Medievalism—
The Report of the Cunlifie Committee—A Blast of Common
Sense—The Condemnation of our War Finance—Inflation
and the Rise in Prices—The Figures of the Present Position
—The Break in the Old Relation between Legal Tender and
Gold—How to restore it—-Stop Borrowing and reduce the
Floating Debt—Return to the Old System—The Committee's
Sane Conservatism—A Sound Currency vital to National

AMONG the many features of the late war (how com-
fortable it is to talk about the " late war " !) that
seem likely to astonish the historian of the future,
perhaps the thing that will surprise him most is the
behaviour of the warring Governments in currency
matters. It is surely a most extraordinary thing
after all that has been thought, said and written
about monetary policy since money was invented
that as soon as a great economic effort was necessary
on the part of the leading civilised Powers, they
should all have fallen back on the old mediaeval dodge
of depreciating the currency, varied to suit modern
needs, in order to pay part of their war bill, and
should have continued this policy throughout the
course of the war, in spite of the obvious results that
it was producing in the shape of unrest, suspicion and