Book Review: ‘Sterling Decimal Coinage’

Dismal Coinage

‘STERLING DECIMAL COINAGE’. By Walter L. Craig. London: Effingham Wilson, Threadneedle Street. 2/6.

This little volume, published by Effingham Wilson, Threadneedle Street, is an exhaustive enquiry into the matter of the adoption of a deci-coinage for the British Empire. The author’s reasoning is very cogent, and he incidentally shows how vested interests and official muddle-headedness and red tape stand in the way even of the capitalists doing the best for themselves.

Not that we are concerned about a decimal system of coinage. Its obvious efficiency as a labour-saver may be admitted, but is hardly likely to appeal to the unemployed clerk in post war days. Also, we are expecting to establish Socialism before Mr. Craig gets even a good start with his scheme to revolutionise the coinage, and under Socialism, in spite of Karl Kautsky, we shall have no use for either mils or £ s. d. There will be neither giving nor receiving of change, nor weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth over the, too late, discovery of a bad ‘un. And if, as Mr. Craig says, the ha’penny has killed the farthing—poor mite! —Socialism will kill the damned lot.

The only advantage we can see for the working class is that, since any change is some change, a change to decimal coinage might provide a momentary interest, as the Daylight Slaving Bill did—and that is something.

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