The Money System. To the Editor of The Times (5 Apr 1934)
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Part II SignedLettersand DocumentswithMultiple Authorship This page intentionally left blank [ 759 The Money System To the Editor of The Times The Times (5 Apr 1934) 6 Sir, – In view of the publication of the letter of Sir Geoffrey Clarke and others in your issue of to-day, we beg to submit without further delay the following statement which we have had in preparation independently.1 In consideration of the continued difficulty experienced by all countries, whatever their political system, in adjusting consumption to production, the undersigned believe that it would be of value to have a thorough and public examination of some scheme of national credit.2 It would appear that the possibilities of production throughout the world have enormously increased, so as to give every individual a certainty of adequate provision for the necessities of life. There appears to be lacking some machinery of distribution, by means of which the enormous values inherent in the national capacity to produce could be made available to every man and woman. One such scheme has been before the public for some years, and is attracting increasing attention; and, though it has been severely criticized, the scheme shows a surprising vitality. The criticisms, when they are free from prejudice, do not seem to amount to more than academic objections. What we feel to be essential is a thorough and impartial survey of any proposal which offers a solution of the most urgent problems of the day, without committing the nation to a political programme involving other issues on which there can be no general agreement.3 Yours faithfully, Lascelles Abercrombie. Bonamy Dobrée. T. S. Eliot. Aldous Huxley. Hewlett Johnson. Edwin Muir. Hamish Miles. Herbert Read. I. A. Richards. April 4. Signed Letters and Documents with Multiple Authorship 760 ] Notes 1. In their letter in the Times of 4 Apr, under the headings “Poverty in Plenty / Faults of Monetary System / Call for Parliamentary Enquiry,” Sir Geoffrey Clarke (d. 1950) and nine other signatories stated that “the present monetary system, the proper function of which is to facilitate the production of goods and their distribution to consumers as required, has broken down, both in its national and international aspects. . . . We appeal, through your columns, for an immediate investigation by Parliament of the fundamental principles which should govern our monetary system with a view to its reform in the interests of both producers and consumers” (8). 2. See TSE’s previous discussions of Major Douglas and Social Credit in “In Sincerity and Earnestness” (5.109) and in a letter to the editor of Social Credit (5.131). 3. TSE and Bonamy Dobrée were the primary authors and organizers of the letter. On 17 Mar, TSE sent “the letter as revised yesterday afternoon” to David Cecil, inviting him to become a signatory: “I hope you won’t feel that this commits you too much! I am myself a horse of no colour, being neither fascist nor communist (disliking both) and not being a Douglasite because I don’t understand it, and considering that ‘Conservative’ does not mean enough at the present time and is almost synonymous with whiggery anyway; and to me the point of this letter is that it should be signed by people in a position like mine.” When Cecil declined, he wrote to Dobrée on 23 Mar: “I am glad that Richards has come through. Huxley’s acceptance must be in your hand by now, so I think that will do nicely. . . . I don’t think Cecil cuts any ice, except possibly with the public which has never heard of any of the rest of us: I only asked him because I happened to be seeing him at the moment; and my retrospective impression now is that he is not an individual at all, only a member of a family.” Later that day he wrote to Pound in their Uncle Remus dialect that “a letter as been prepared this is a secret signed by self, Read, Dobrée, Richards, Huxley, Muir and others a few includin O Lord Abercrombie Lassells advocating consideration of Credit Reform does that sprise you or Not but in any case I misdoubt The Times won’t print it.” The letter in the Times was reprinted in the NEW of 12 Apr (606). ...