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A  BANKER'S  SUGGESTION           265

allowed to issue notes themselves. This suggestion
involves, of course, a complete reversal of the prin-
ciples on which our monetary system has grown up,
since it has long been based on a note-issuing
monopoly in the hands of the Bank of England.
But these are topsy-turvy days, in which grey-
headed precedent is very justly at a heavy discount ;
and Mr Goodenough's suggestion very*'practically
gets over a big difficulty that stands in the way of
stopping the stream of Bradburys. This difficulty
lies in the fact that if the banks were pulled at by
their customers for currency and could not supply
them with Bradbury notes, they would be forced
to take notes from the Bank of England, with a bad
effect on the appearance of its reserve. If the
business of issuing notes were put into the hands
of the clearing banks, their power to do so would
be limited by the extent of their assets, or of such
of their assets as were thought fit to rank as backing
for their notes. In other words, the note-issuing
business would once more have to be regulated on
banking principles and controlled by the price askedL
for advances, instead of expressing the helplessness
and improvidence of an impecunious and invertebrate
Government. In this manner the new departure
might be a convenient halfway-house on the way
from chaos back to sanity. But probably it is too
revolutionary and goes too straight in the teeth of
the Bank of England's privilege to receive much
practical consideration; and there is the question
'whether the public would take the new paper readily
and whether it could be made legal tender.