30 JANUARY 1926, Page 34


Most valuable and practical was that part of the speech of the Chairman of the Midland Bank, in which he raised the pertinent question of the actual effect likely to be produced upon the industrial situation in the future by our return to gold. In doing so he described, in his own inimitable style, and in terms which the man in the street is able to understand, the precise effect likely to be pro-. duced upon conditions in the future when gold will once more become a controlling force in the expansion and contraction of credit. He showed that the purchase of gold can be of a twofold character, illustrating his remarks by the fact that the Central Banking Authorities, both here and in the United States, are compelled by law to purchase gold at a certain price, but whereas at the present moment our banking authorities here would probably be willing buyers, the United States might be reluctant buyers, their supplies being excessive, while in our own case we could do with some addition to our reserves. Therefore Mr. McKenna, taking a long view, showed that responsibilities would still attach both to our banking authorities here and also to the Treasury, in a careful regulation ot gold supplies if they should prove to be in excess of real demands. In view of that possibility Mr. McKenna made the pertinent suggestion that the Treasury authorities might do worse than antici- pate events by purchasing dollars far ahead in anticipation of our annual service of the debt to the States, thereby checking any excessive advance in sterling. Such con- ditions have, of course, by no means arisen, but, like a far-seeing statesman and banker, Mr. McKenna is looking ahead.