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Monetary

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MONETARY Latin Union is founded upon a convention adhered to by France, Belgium, Greece, Italy, and Switzerland, the object being the establishment of a mutual and uniform monetary policy and the maintenance of a uniform and interchangeable coinage of gold and silver based on the French franc. This object is attained mainly by each country of the union regulating, in harmony with the other countries, the fineness, weight, denomination and currency of its gold and silver coin. Other countries, such as Austria-Hungary and Spain, though not constituents of the Latin Union, have also regulated their coinage, or a considerable part of it, with a view to its uniformity and interchangeability with that of the countries of the Latin Union. The Scandinavian Union, comprising Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, is founded with a similar object to that of the Latin Union. These two unions do not, however, represent the whole of international sentiment on the subject of uniformity and interchangeability of coinage. It may be said that all the commercial powers are anxious to bring about some arrangement which will constitute an improvement upon the present multiplicity and irregularity of standards and denominations. And as witnesses to this anxiety the various international monetary con ferences may be referred to, at one of which, held in Brussels in 1892, as many as twenty different countries were officially represented. Many and important have been the plans and suggestions laid before these conferences, but so far it would seem that the differences between the advocates of the single and double standard have absolutely prevented any definite step being taken by the nations concerned towards the realisation of their common ideal. In England the House of Commons has emphatically impressed upon the government the advisability of doing everything possible " to secure by international agreement a stable monetary par of exchange between gold and silver," but the Latin and Scandinavian unions yet remain in their isolation. The bimetallic controversy stands in the way of even some temporary and merely palliative international action.

MONEY of the most important columns in the daily newspaper, yet perhaps the one least read by the general public, is that known as the Money or City article. The reason for this lack of general appreciation is probably that only dry facts are there recorded, and that the writer has no scope wherein to exercise his imagination. These facts, too, are always essentially financial or incidental to finance ; they are not those of the wider and more human life. And yet sometimes they would appeal most strongly to the general reader. Had he, for instance, been a reader of one money article in particular he would have known much earlier than did the general newspaper reader of the happening of the Jameson Raid. But nevertheless it must be admitted that general news must be sought elsewhere than in the money article, for there, described in a technical terminology, are recorded only the movements of money and securities for money ; men ay3 general property have a place merely incidental to those movements.

The money article appears daily in some form or other in every morning newspaper of any importance, and its form in each paper never really varies. It usually commences with money itself, British Government securities, and so on, by a comparatively descending scale through the various classes of stocks and shares, to the miscellaneous class at the end. The great London dailies and those of the chief provincial towns make their money article a leading feature ; so also do a few of the evening papers. Some daily papers--the financial ones—are each practically one complete money article and nothing else. The latter class of papers as we now know them are of comparatively recent origin, though they had at least one precursor so far back as two hundred years ago. The money article in the general newspaper had its birth about seventy-five years ago, since when it has maintained an existence of high importance, and developed perhaps, as by indicating in some few brilliant instances the name of its writer. He, as a rule, is known as his paper's City Editor.

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