HARCOURT, William Vernon. 13620



A lengthy Autograph Letter Signed, to Bertram Currie, the banker, about currency reform and banking reserves in England, Goschen’s plans, the purpose of gold reserves, the effect of speculation, and other matters, asking for Currie’s opinion. 12 pp. 8 x 5 inches, occasional foxing, otherwise good. Marked Confidential. Malwood, Lyndhurst, 17 December 1891. Sir William George Granville Venables Vernon Harcourt (1827 –1904), lawyer, journalist and Liberal statesman. He served as Member of Parliament for various constituencies and held the offices of Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer under Gladstone before becoming Leader of the Opposition. He was recognised as one of the ablest and most effective leaders of the Liberal party and when, after a brief interval in 1885, Gladstone returned to office in 1886, Harcourt was made Chancellor of the Exchequer, an office which he again filled from 1892 to 1895. Between 1880 and 1892 Harcourt acted as Gladstone’s political deputy. Bertram Wodehouse Currie (1827-1896), banker, financial member of the Council of India, was often consulted by Treasury officials, and advised Gladstone on financial matters. “The Banks will I should imagine keep such reserves as they think adequate for their business – neither more nor less – whatever may be the stock of gold in the issue dep. and this stock of Gold will be no more available for their purposes than it was before. If it had any effect at all I should imagine that it would only have the result of encouraging the banks and other people to trade up to the margin, if possible more than ever, relying upon the idea that there was a Pandora’s box saved up for them which would get them out of any scrape into which over speculation might plunge them.”