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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

AN EXAMPLE  OF  MODERATION     233

Committee's estimate, while, on the other hand, the
circulation of bank notes has risen by £27 millions
and the issue of currency notes has taken place to
the tune of ^259 millions (at the date of the Report ;
it is now nearly ^300 millions), making a net addition
to legal tender currency of over ^200 millions. When
we also remember that there has been a very heavy
coinage of silver and copper, that the Bank of
England's deposits have risen by over £100 millions
and the deposits of the other banks by nearly
^700 millions, and all this at a time when most of the
industrial activity of the country was going into the -
production of destructive weapons and the support
of those who were using them, the behaviour of
commodities of ordinary use in rising by nearly
loo per cent, seems to be an example of remarkable
moderation. With all this new buying power in the
hands of the community there is little wonder that
some people should think that we have enormously
increased our wealth during this most destructive
and costly war, and should then feel hurt and dis-
appointed when they find that this new buying
power is robbed of all its beauty by the fact that its
efficiency as buying power is seriously diminished
by its mere quantity.

Such being the state of affairs—a great mass of
new credit and currency based on securities—it is
clear that our currency has been deprived for the
time being of that direct relation with its gold basis
that used in former time to regulate its volume
according to world prices and our international trade
position, As the Committee says, " It is not possible