22 MAY 1926, Page 33



NOT the least interesting feature accompanying the conclusion of the strike was the great rise in the value of the British pound. For the first time since the War sterling last Saturday was for a short time actually above the level of the dollar. It was a circumstance which naturally fired the imagination. It may be well, however, to remember that to some extent the rise was connected with developments in other countries which really constitute one of the disquieting features of the situation. During the past fortnight there has been a further persistent fall in French, Belgian and Italian currencies which have touched the lowest points on record. In Belgium, as in France, the currency crisis is linked with political crises, , but, so far as may be judged, such is not the case in Italy. There may have been some misjudgment in giving official support to the lira at too high a level, but there is little doubt that the break in the Jima has been largely sympathetic with the slump in French and Belgian currencies. That slump has not only affected Italy's trade, but has probably prompted a good deal of speculative selling of the lira by various foreign centres. However that may be, there can be no question that in considering the general financial outlook the serious currency problems on the Continent of Europe must not be overlooked. They have already played their part in con- tributing to industrial depression in this and in some other - countries, and the complete solution of these European difficulties has still to be found.