26 APRIL 1890, Page 3

Mr. S. Smith on Friday week moved his threatened resolu-

tion in favour of Bimetallism, in a speech which was instruc- tive, but much too gritty with facts. He wanted a Conference of the chief nations of the world, and raised a serious debate which it is quite impossible for us to condense. We must, however, mention that while Mr. S. Smith found only 87 fol- lowers and 183 opponents, the Government treated the question as an open one. the First Lord of the Treasury directly opposing the resolution, and the Secretary for Ireland making a resolute speech on the bimetallist side, while the Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted that he thought the cardinal con- dition of such a change—the fixing of a ratio between gold and silver by the combined action of the commercial Powers— was quite possible. Both Mr. Goschen and Mr. Balfour, however, deprecated action, even in the shape of a Conference, Mr. Goschen in particular seeing danger even in raising an expectation of one, and the debate may be considered more or less academic. We note, however, as a rather ominous symptom, that Mr. S. Smith appealed to the working classes, and was disposed to hint that there was a conspiracy of capitalists to keep Europe monometallic in order to raise the purchasing power of gold, and the consequent value of their stocks.