How regretful it is that it took the run on the £, eventual devaluation, and, indeed, the Gold Crisis, for this Government to have that brought home to them.
We saw just how great this danger is during the Gold Crisis last week.
The Recent Gold Crisis showed that no matter how sound our own basic balance of payments situation, if there is a panic rush out of currencies into gold we go with it.
But in its edition of Saturday and Sunday, 16th and 17th March, the Herald-Tribune, which is an authentic voice of American opinion, had this to say about the Gold Crisis:As for the gold crisis, it was the Vietnam struggle, with its drain on American resources and the domestic unrest it helped engender, that both awakened doubts as to the stability of the dollar and hampered the President in his efforts to get a stabilising program through Congress.
The weekend before last, in the midst of the Gold Crisis, we had the spectacle of the Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition defining their - [Interruption.
There is no question but that during the Gold Crisis the heavy sales of sterling against the dollar arose, in part, from sales by members of the sterling area in an effort on their part to change their pounds for dollars and then to change their dollars into gold.
This debate is being held against the international background of last week, which itself was the result of, in the beginning, the sterling devaluation, the Gold Crisis and then the sterling crisis of last July and the Basle settlement.
The first of them arose out of our troubles, but the last two - the Gold Crisis and the present crisis - most emphatically did not, and I very much regret the right hon. Gentleman's attempt to suggest that they did.
During the period in which the right hon. Member for Guildford (Mr. Howell) was flirting with Keynes - to borrow his picturesque language - I was the lowly parliamentary private secretary to the Leader of the House, Richard Crossman, who was sent some 30-odd years ago to find George Brown on the night of the Gold Crisis.