7 JUNE 1935, Page 1

The Difficulties of Gold The problem of the gold standard

remains where it was. If a plebiscite were taken on devaluation, it might prob- ably show a majority in France for maintaining the franc at its existing parity. But while popular opinion wishes the end, it emphatically does not wish the means—neither increased taxation, nor cuts in pensions, nor retrenchments in the Government services. In these conditions it is hard to foresee permanence. Outside France the only two countries where the gold standard is maintained with- out devaluation and with a free currency market are Holland and Switzerland. But this week the Dutch Minister for Economic Affairs has resigned from Dr. Colijn's Government because he could not induce his chief to copy the successful devaluation recently carried out in Belgium. In Switzerland a referendum taken on an inflationist work-creating scheme put forward by the Socialists resulted in the defeat of the scheme by only about 4 to 3. And that was a larger margin than many expected. -