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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

WHO  WILL   DECIDE?              301

every month, with all the interests that would be
affected by the consequent rise or fall in prices,
lobbying, speech-making, and pulling strings to
work the oracle to suit their pockets. And, accord-
ing to Mr Kitson's view, that the volume of trade
is limited by the supply of currency, this volume
would then depend on the whims of the House of
Commons, half the members of which would
probably be innocent of a glimmering of under-
standing of the enormously important question
that they were deciding. The gold standard, which
makes the course of prices depend, more or less,
on the chances of digging up a capricious metal
from the bowels of the earth, has its obvious draw-
backs ; but it is a clean and sensible business
compared with making them depend on the caprices
of Parliament, complicated by the political cor-
ruption that would be only too likely to follow the
putting of such a question into the hands of our
elected and hereditary representatives and rulers.

Such, however, seems to be the Promised Land
to which Mr Kitson wants to lead us. Thus he
propounds his remedy. " The remedy is surely
obvious. Divorce our legal tender from its alliance
with gold entirely, so that the supply of money and
credit for our home trade is no longer dependent
upon our foreign trade rivals. Base our currency
upon the national credit . . . treat gold as a com-
modity only, for the settlement of foreign trade
balances/1

This passage in his article in the September
Supplement tells us what to do. Keep gold, out of