Franklin D. Roosevelt

Joint Statement with Prime Minister MacDonald.

April 26, 1933

As stated yesterday, our discussions on the questions facing the World Conference were not designed to result in definitive agreements, which must be left to the Conference itself. But they showed that our two Governments were looking with a like purpose and a close similarity of method at the main objectives of the Conference, and were impressed by the vital necessity of assuring international agreements for their realization in the interests of the peoples of all countries. The practical measures which are required for their realization were analyzed and explored. The necessity for an increase in the general level of commodity prices was recognized as primary and fundamental. To this end simultaneous action needs to be taken both in the economic and in the monetary field. Commercial polices have to be set to a new orientation. There should be a constructive effort to moderate the network of restrictions of all sorts by which commerce is at present hampered, such as excessive tariffs, quotas, exchange restrictions, etc. Central banks should by concerted action provide an adequate expansion of credit and every means should be used to get the credit thus created into circulation. Enterprise must be stimulated by creating conditions favorable to business recovery and Governments can contribute by the development of appropriate programs of capital expenditure. The ultimate reestablishment of equilibrium in the international exchanges should also be contemplated. We must, when circumstances permit, reestablish an international monetary standard which will operate successfully without depressing prices and avoid the repetition of the mistakes which have produced such disastrous results in the past. In this connection the question of silver, which is of such importance in trade with the Orient, was discussed and proposals were tentatively suggested for the improvement of its status.

These questions are all inter-related and cannot be settled by any individual country acting by itself. The achievement of sound and lasting world recovery depends on coordinating domestic remedies and supplementing them by concurrent and simultaneous action in the international field. The proposals examined will be discussed with the representatives of the other nations who have been invited to Washington with a view to securing the fullest possible measure of common understanding before the Conference meets. It is the hope of both Governments that it may be possible to convene the Conference for June.

We have in these talks found a reassurance of unity of purpose and method. They have given a fresh impetus to the solution of the problems that weigh so heavily upon the most stable, industrious and deserving men and women of the world—the human foundation of our civilization whose hard lot it is our common object to alleviate.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joint Statement with Prime Minister MacDonald. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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