Courtesy Reuters

Currency Stabilization: American and British Attitudes

LAST April the American and British Treasuries published two plans for monetary stabilization after the war, one the work of Harry D. White, Director of the Division of Monetary Research of the Treasury Department, the other of Lord Keynes, now serving as an adviser of the British Treasury. Since I commented on the two plans in these pages last summer [i] several events have occurred which might indicate that the present is not a good moment to continue the discussion. In July there appeared a Canadian plan which was in the nature of a compromise between the other two. In August a revised White plan was published. Then in the autumn Lord Keynes came to Washington for the first time since the plans were announced. Until the results of the conversations which then occurred become known there is much to be said for postponing further technical analysis.

For a discussion of the nature of the problem, however, as well as of the issues which may determine national attitudes towards it, we do not need to await the definitive work of the experts. There are reasons, indeed, to believe that this sort of discussion should not be delayed. Early comments on the plans in the press, both here and in Britain, were largely non-committal. But, as time went on, the opinions expressed took more definite shape. It can be said that from the time of the publication of the revised White plan in August the American press and American banking and foreign trade opinion have been almost uniformly unsympathetic to both plans. For example, on September 29 the New York Times rejected them both and quoted with approval a statement calling for the restoration of the gold standard at the earliest possible date after the war.

In England the comment has revealed a strong determination to avoid the gold standard and what is called the "straitjacket of 1925-31." This determination seems to be shared by all classes in the community. The opposition to the

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