Great Britain: Changing the Change

"I cannot doubt," said William Ewart Gladstone in 1845, "that a decimal system of coinage would be of universal advantage in monetary transactions." Nonetheless, Gladstone warned against "any decisive step" until "the subject has been thoroughly sifted and is well understood by the public." Last week Chancellor Selwyn Lloyd announced that the government is appointing a new committee (the sixth since 1824) to sift the practical problems of currency reform. If they do not prove overwhelming, promised Lloyd, the government will definitely adopt a decimalized currency—possibly by 1965.

Next to Yap. Though all change is abhorrent to the English, small...

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