17 OCTOBER 1931, Page 14


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]

Sin,—It is rather difficult to understand your financial editor's application of the terms " economic " to the conditions imposed by the " gold standard " and " artificial " to those regarded as reasonable by the trade unions.

For the so-called gold standard is a completely arbitrary convention and the price for gold is fixed, and changes in its value therefore cause the price level of other primary products to fluctuate in a highly artificial manner. On the other hand, the price for labour and goods determined on a cost basis is essentially economic.

It would seem that the only reason for using these terms so unsuitably is in order to suggest that the peculiar use of gold as a measure of account is natural, and that any refusal to acquiesce in its disastrous effects is unreasonable. Such an attitude is obscurantist, and apt to be imputed to a sinister

[Has our correspondent considered the varying rates of wages prevailing in Great Britain and in the European countries which are our customers and competitors ?—ED. Spectator.]