Renewed Controversy Over Gold Policy
President Johnson's proposal to remove the remaining gold backing of United States currency1 has underlined the historic importance of gold as the primary medium for settling international accounts. It also has intensified the long-standing debate on the merits of gold as a monetary reserve. The traditional view, as often expressed in recent years by French President de Gaulle, is that gold is, “at all times, the immutable and fiduciary value par excellence.” On the other hand, William MeChesney Martin Jr., chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, regards gold as a “barbarous metal.” France, whose monetary gold reserves have been growing, seeks a return to the gold standard and a substantial increase in the price of the metal. The United States, ...