Mercifully, we do not use aluminium, nickel, beryllium, and other metals as currency. We use gold, because for centuries it has acquired many of the characteristics of currency, and has built up for itself a reputation, or, to use my hon. and learned Friend's own words, an intrinsic value, which has served the world well, but which is increasingly ceasing to do so on its own, and what we are seeking to do here is to supplement it.
I invite hon. Members to read the statement at the annual general meeting of the Chamber of Mines of South Africa by the President, Mr. Tom Reekie, which was published as a full page advertisement in the Financial Times. He made a sophisticated and well argued attempt to debunk the whole concept of S.D.R.s and called instead for a revaluation of gold. I shall forbear from the temptation to read his speech, but he persists in fostering the illusion that S.D.R.s are no more than a form of credit. It is important to recognise that this is not just credit. These are created assets of a new kind, and to refer to them as credit is to misunderstand them.
Russia makes no secret of her desire that gold should be revalued. The Guardian the other day reported:
Mr. Vinogradov … today blamed the United States for holding down the price of gold and made it clear that Russia wanted a price increase. He told the Economic Commission for Europe that retention of the present price played a major rôle in aggravating the international monetary crisis.
If Russia was a country which placed faith in a market economy, one might give more weight to that, but one can only regard it as a mixture of mischief-making and self-interest.