The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on November 17, 1968 · Page 44
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 44

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 17, 1968
Page 44
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Page 44 article text (OCR)

(tan D2Palm Beach Post-Times, Sunday, Nov. 17, 19B8 British Devaluation Wasn't So Painful cally the group that complained about devaluation a year ago. People with property have profited from the rush by people with savings to buy anything, so long as it represented something more if Ok ' By LAWRENCE MALKN. LONDON (AP) Just one year ago the British fell offof tneir economic tightrope and devalued the pound. They've been picking themselves up since then and discovering that the butnp from S2.80 down to $2.40 per pound didn't hurt half as much as they had feared. Another drop would certainly hurt, especially in terms of national .stability and self-confidence, but so far It doesn't seem likely. Ask an Englishman what do- AriVKI'.Tl.-KMKM Looking JOIN ATLANTIC NATIONAL (5 or a j ...A Belter Job? valuation has meant to him and you get a shrug. It's all but forgotten. He doesn't meet this financial abstraction face to face unless he goes abroad for his two-week vacation. But many Britons go to Spain for their summer sunshine, and Spain devalued its currency along with Britain. At home the government has been forced to cut spending in its drive to reduce home demand tor goods that must be exported. Thelirst slashes hit tr.e welfare state, and the labor government teared wails of criticism. Public opinion polls show that many Britons were ahead of their leaders. Tnoy favored fewer state welfare benelits, and more money to spend as they liked. In fact, they've almost cot it. If devaluation works by booming British export sales, they will. Statistical indicators show that prices have gone up about 5 or ti percent in the last year, a shade less than predicted. Karnings of workers are going up only slightly less, virtually canceling nut price rises and relaxing the squeeze on most people's pocketbooks. Unemployment is steady at 2Y2 per cent. Devaluation has made little difference to the housewife. A year ago, tiie Sunday Observer sent out a woman reporter with five pounds to fill a shopping basket. She's been making monthly trips to the supermarket, and the latest one shows that the same basket of staples cost hi cents more, not much different from price rises in recent years. What's more, most of It came from higher beef due to last winter's foot and mouth outbreak. Some prices even went down. If anyone has reaped an immediate benelit, it's the prop, ertied middle classes ironi- BANK'S aueked in by the buying boom while exporters try to earn the foreign currency to pay for them. Exports are up 17 per cent in one year, more than enough to cancel out the 14 per cent drop in the value of Britain's economy. Leading the way is the auto industry, which set a record high of $1.44 billion worth of exports. "There is hardly a country In the world which does not want our cars," a spokesman for the Society of Motor Manufacturers boasted. He attributed part of the success to devaluation, and the rest to sometning the British have rarely done since the war "We had a chance to get out and sell, and our men went out and did the job." Shipbuilding, machine tools, electrical products and other industries that once made Britain the worKsliop of the world are telling similar stones. Tiie problem now is to avert strikes, keep the production machine working, and deliver the goods. Whether Britain's outworn but reviving industrial plant can do the job is a question. A survey by the Confederation of British Industry showed businessmen found meeting delivery dates tne biggest obstacle to exports. If tilings seem to be going so well alter devaluation, why did Britain fight so hard against it'.' In retrospect, the fight seems to have been largely self-generated. Prime Minister Harold Wilson made preservation of tiie pound the prime object of his government's policy. He paid for failure in devalued public stature, lie plummeted in the public opinion pnlls and only began to recover this fall. For almost a year, the prime minister did not appear on nationwide television, except news programs. Devaluation accelerated a growing sense of disillusionment with political leaders and institutions. Britain is an investing and trading nation,-and money occupies a high plane on the national scale of values. Devaluing the currency, after firm pledges not to, meant throwing those values into doubt. But devaluation helped Britain face reality as a medium-sized nation that could no longer afford imperial pretensions. "We can't be a world policeman if we have a hole in our shoe," Jenkin often says nowadays. sold than paper money. House prices have jumped and even the man who held on counted a paper profit. Prices, of tine art and antiques have skyrocketed. The stock market is at historic highs. The index of every one of the Financial Times' 47 stock classifications is ud, some by whopping margins. The paper's industrial ordinary index, Britain's equivalent of the Dow-Jones, started just above 100 a year ago and now is wavering just below 5oo. Putting an economy into balance means working out a del-icate i.-.ternational equation by c.tielui tridi and not too much error. Per .lacnhssmi, tiie International Monetary fund's director until his death in 1 ' t , once said: "You can no more define equilibrium in International trade than you can define a pretty girl, but you can recognize one when you See one." By this subjective test, many economists and busi-. nessmcn agree with Chancellor of the Exchequer Roy Jenkins' recent claim that Britain's drive to get out of the red "shows every sign on working out." You rarely hear experts talking seriously now of another devaluation unless it is toiceu on Britain by events beyond its control. One often mentioned is the fear of an American recession, throwing world trade into a slump. Britain seems to be putting its own house in order. The consumer buying boom, which followed a serious miscalculation by Jenkins and his economic forecasters of the underlying strength of consumer demand, is finally tapering off. The chancellor gave it the coup de grace last month with a new, pre-Chrlstmas clamp on installment buying. The buying boom has resulted in the most stubborn figure in the devaluation equation a persistently high level of imports. According to the1 theory of devaluation, higher import prices up 11 per cent on averageshould cut the demand for foreign goods. But everything from Italian cars to American pnpcom has been CHRISTMAS th CLUB N0V.18 STARTING Men and women, apes 18 anil over, are wanted to prepare lor U.S. Civil Service job openings during the next 12 months. Government positions pay high starting salaries. They provide much greater security than private employment and excellent opportunity for advancement. Many positions require little or no specialized education or experience. But to j:ct one of lliec jobs, you must pass a test. The competition is keen and in sonic eases only one out of five pass. Lincoln Service has helped thousands prepare for lhe-e tests every year since 1'JUi. Jt is one of the largest and oldest privately owned schools of its kind and is not connected villi the Government. To acquaint the'. readers of this newspaper with the splendid opportunities in Government positions full details have been printed in a new booklet: "V. S. ! Civil Service Positions and Salaries" which will he mailed free to anyone who , requests it. !S"o obligation. Simply send your request to Lincoln Service, Inc., 2211 Broadway, Dept. .'Ul-B, Pekin, Illinois. A postcard will do. And enjoy a "PAW UP" CHRISTMAS Free of bills next year . . . it's easy, save 50 $1,00, h2.00, $5.00 or $10.00 a week and next November you will receive a check from $25.00 to $500.00 Slop Up I'atrols DKNVER, Colo. (AP) Security patrols are being stepped up at Stapleton International Airport to prevent teenagers from "playing chicken" with airplanes on runways. Officials said youngsters bad been lound at night on the runw.iys, daring each other to stand in the paths of approaching planes. ' During a snowstorm Saturday night, several jetliners were forced to delay landings because workers in the control tower saw activity on the ATLANTIC NATIONAL BANK of WKST P.WM UVACM J uvyiJco Start with the exciting Thanksgiving Specials and football games then enjoy all of the color fall shows and Holiday programs b $36950 59850 Beautiful Mobile TV-will delight you dnd your family with vivid, natural color pictures 180 sq. in. screen. Model 6250, shown on optional cart ! also ideal for shelves and tables. Charming Early American space-saving console model 6954; with today's Biggest color picture 295 sq. in. rectangular screen. 49950 r $650 Convenient 295 sq. in. Swivel Console-lets you enjoy today's biggest color pictures from any angle I Model 6800 Magnificent Mediterranean fine furniture on concealed swivel casters. Instant Automatic Color model 6976 of HOM ENTERTAINMENT CENTER (S3 1 09 o Main Entrance Palm Beach Mall Open Nightly Except Sunday 801 South Dixie Sales and Service Department 832-5531 r

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