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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

THE BANK  RETURN              269

He might be able to insist on gold in immediate
payment of his deposit.    Still less convincing is the
Committee's argument that " the amalgamation of
the two departments would inevitably lead in the
end to State control of the creation of banking credit
generally/'   Their report might have explained why
this should be so, for to the ordinary mind the chain
of consequence is not apparent.    On the whole it
is hard to see much good or harm to be achieved
by changing the form of the Bank return.    It might
make the Bank's position look stronger, but it could
not make it really stronger.    Nor would it really
impair the strength of the note-holder's position as
against the depositor, because even now there is no
essential difference.    It would substitute a more
businesslike and simple statement for a form of
accounts which is cumbrous and stupid and Early
Victorian—a relic of an age which produced the
crinoline, the Crystal Palace and the Albert Memorial.
On the other hand, to alter a statistical record merely
for the sake of simplicity and symmetry is question-
able.   Unless we are getting more and truer infor-
mation, it is a pity to make comparisons between
one year and another difficult by changing the form
in which figures are given.

A more essential difference between the two
policies lies in Sir Edward's advocacy of a ratio—
three to one—between notes and gold, and the Com-
mittee's support of the old fixed line system. By
the latter, if gold comes in, notes to the same extent
can be created, and if gold goes out notes to the
amount of the export have to be cancelled. Under