INTERNATIONAL: Pressure on Gold

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Meanwhile sources close to Chicago's Federal Reserve Bank rumored that on Nov. 7 forehanded Count Charles de Broqueville prepared for the crisis of last week by arranging with the U. S. Federal Reserve System to supply up to $25,000,000 of quick credit to resist pressure against the belga. From Washington the Treasury would neither affirm nor deny that a "foreign loan" had been made to Belgium, indicated that if it were so the Bank of Belgium would eventually have to ship gold to cover as much of the quick credit as was used.

Switzerland. A spectacular promotion stunt by Swiss hotelkeepers backfired last week, sending the Swiss franc down below its gold point for the first time in months. To attract British winter sportsmen, the stunting bonifaces advertised that in settlement of Swiss hotel bills the pound sterling will be accepted as worth 16 Swiss francs flat. Last week the pound was worth 15.31 Swiss francs on international exchange. In effect the Swiss hotelkeepers had merely cut their rates. But Paris seethed with angry talk: "The Swiss, like the Germans, are creating an unfair cut-rate currency. What is the difference between the 'tourist franc' in Geneva and the 'blocked mark' in Berlin?"

There is every difference, the Swiss Government pointed out: 1) No 'tourist franc' has been created; 2) the actual Swiss franc remains fully convertible into gold; 3) the Swiss Government deplores the conduct of its hotelkeepers but is naturally helpless to prevent them from talking about a price reduction as if it were an innovation in exchange.

Netherlands. If other money-masters were too nervous, Queen Wilhelmina's square-headed, imperturbable Finance Minister Pieter Jacobus Oud was decidedly too calm.

Last week was no time for a statesman in his position to make a speech in which the biggest word was IF, a speech calmly toying with the question of what Holland ought to do IF the dollar, pound, yen and other flexible moneys should one fine day be stabilized.

In that event, observed Dr. Oud at Amsterdam, Her Majesty's Government would certainly have to consider at what value Holland's guilder should be dovetailed into the world monetary stabilization pact. He implied that once the Dutch are sure that other countries have really stabilized they should bring their guilder in at about the average level of devaluation.

Ideas as complex as Dr. Oud's easily get mixed. Hardly had he uttered his careful IF, than Wall Street was reading that "HOLLAND MAY DEVALUE FLORIN, Dutch Finance Minister Sounds Warning."

When this was cabled back to The Hague, wrathful Finance Minister Oud declared: "Her Majesty's Government is more convinced than ever that the stability of the guilder is a necessity as long as world stabilization remains in the far future." In London the Oud incident was cited as tending to confirm Europe's suspicions that President Roosevelt is secretly sounding out foreign governments on the question of world monetary stabilization.

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