Hastings Russell, The 12th Duke of Bedford, 1888-1953

The Absurdity of The National Debt (1947)

The Absurdity of The National Debt (1947) by Hastings Russell, The 12th Duke of Bedford, 1888-1953

IT is a remarkable proof of the ignorance of politicians in regard to matters of finance and, in consequence, of their unfitness to play the important part which of necessity they do in the conduct of the nation's affairs, that neither the Conservatives, Labour nor Liberal Parties, not to mention the I.L.P., Communists and Common Wealth, have ever made any important statement of a policy in connection with the National Debt, nor shown the slightest indication that they realize that it is desirable to do anything about it.


The National Debt started in 1694, when the Government of the day unwisely arranged that a private syndicate, which later became known as the "Bank of England," should lend it £1,200,000 in gold, at 8% interest. With even greater stupidity, they then allowed the syndicate to issue bank notes to the value of £1,200,000 which it was able to lend into circulation, charging interest. Thus, although the Bank of England was not put to any expense beyond the cost of the paper and printing, it was allowed to
draw interest on two lots of money—its own gold and the new notes to the value of the gold! Later, the Bank of England managed to obtain still more gold which they also lent to the Government at interest, and, whenever they did so, they increased their issue of virtually costless paper money until they were getting interest on £16 millions in gold and £16 millions in paper notes. If the Government had done the obviously sensible thing and, instead of borrowing, had decided to issue its own paper money, it could likewise have done so at the mere cost of paper and printing; there would have been no need for interest to be paid to anybody; and the taxpayer would not have been burdened to provide interest.

Downloads and Links

About The Author

Increasingly associated with the anti-Semitism espoused by leading BPP figures, Russell stated that the figure of six million Jewish deaths in the Holocaust was "grossly exaggerated" and argued that a figure of 300,000 concentration camp deaths, drawn from all those interned rather than just Jews, was more likely. He also denied that any concentration camp had a gas chamber, claiming they were just showers. He also funded the publication of Failure at Nuremberg, a pamphlet authored by the "BPP Research Department" (effectively Beckett, A.K. Chesterton and former IFL member Harold Lockwood) which denounced the Nuremberg trials of leading Nazis as a series of show trials that started from the basis of presumed guilt on the part of the defendants. Unusually he also contributed articles on Social Credit and pacifism to anarchist Guy Aldred's journal, The Word, between 1940 and his death. Russell died in 1953, aged 64, as a result of a gunshot wound in the grounds of his Endsleigh estate in Devon. The coroner recorded his death as accidentally inflicted, but his elder son suggested it may have been deliberately self-inflicted.

Previous Post Next Post