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EXCHANGE VALUE OF MONEY 221

If other nations should follow this example-though at first gradually-and the value of gold should meanwhile continue to fall, then there would be the inconvenience that we should possibly have a whole series of gold currencies in different countries whose value in relation to goods, and therefore their internal value, would depend on conditions quite other than their weight and fineness. This is more or less what happened to the silver currencies of various countries, such as the French 5-franc piece, the German thaler, the old Austrian silver gulden, the Russian silver rouble, the Indian rupee, and the Mexican dollar; they all had different values in relation to their silver content. Undoubtedly the simplest and best course would be for the abolition of free minting of gold-assuming sufficient reason for this measure existed-to occur simultaneously by agreement between the principal Great Powers, in which case the remaining countries would certainly follow suit. In such case there would seem to be no insurmountable obstacle to retaining all the advantages of the present system whilst avoiding its inconveniences, by combining, as it were, a constant value of money in space with that in time.