506R. R. Kelf-Cohen to Harrod, 1 January 1936 [a]

With regard to Harrod's prospected Copenhagen lecture, Cohen informs him on the difficulties with Denmark regarding the Valutakontor, [1] and the Danish view of it: being a vital instrument for promoting United Kingdom's trade with Denmark, it was necessary to prevent its abolition and to regulate its operation, for it was sometimes used against British interests. Cohen implicitly asks if Harrod, although mainly inclined to discuss of internal planning, could suggest that such planning would be impossible without control of foreign trade, for which some sort of Valutakontor is essential. Cohen also explains that devaluation would imply unhappy effects by starting a competition in depreciation with the Dominions, in particular with Australia and New Zealand. [2]

  1. 1. The Valutakontor was a department in the Danish National Bank in charge of the control of foreign exchange. After Britain's departure from gold in 1931, the Danish krone was also floating, and foreign currencies were rationed. The Valutakontor managed licences to buy such currencies, and was therefore in effect a method for controlling imports and exports; in particular, it restricted the use of German marks more than it did of sterling, thereby favouring imports from Britain.

    2. Harrod, "The Choice of a Currency Policy", lecture to be delivered on 10 January 1936 before the British Import Union, here as essay 16 . On depreciation see [jump to page] - [jump to page] . See note 1 to Harrod's lecture for further details on context, and letters 502 R and 504 R for the concerns of the Board of Trade and the British Council.

    1. a. From Board of Trade, London # , two pages TLS, in HP VII/G-1/9.


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