This paper deals with one aspect of the drafting of the amendment, the choice of language, and more particularly the two expressions—special drawing rights and a supplement to existing reserve assets. It shows the contribution that language can make, if not to the reconciliation of opposing views, then at least to their accommodation. The paper highlights that the effort expended in the search for a suitable terminology was only part of the much larger effort required to reach agreement, but was considerable. The choice of terminology enabled the proponents of divergent views to insist that their opinions had prevailed.

International Monetary FUND Pamphlet Series

(All pamphlets have been published in English, French, and Spanish, unless otherwise stated)

*I. Introduction to the Fund, by J. Keith Horsefield. First edition, 1964. Second edition, 1965. Second edition also in German.

*2. The International Monetary Fund: Its Form and Functions, by J. Marcus Fleming. 1964. In English only.

3. The International Monetary Fund and Private Business Transactions: Some Legal Effects of the Articles of Agreement, by Joseph Gold. 1965.

4. The International Monetary Fund and International Law: An Introduction, by Joseph Gold. 1965.

*5. The Financial Structure of the Fund, by Rudolf Kroc. First edition, 1965. Second edition, 1967.

6. Maintenance of the Gold Value of the Fund’s Assets, by Joseph Gold. First edition, 1965. Second edition, 1971.

7. The Fund and Non-Member States: Some Legal Effects, by Joseph Gold. 1966.

8. The Cuban Insurance Cases and the Articles of the Fund, by Joseph Gold. 1966.

9. Balance of Payments: Its Meaning and Uses, by Poul H0st-Madsen. 1967.

*10. Balance of Payments Concepts and Definitions. First edition, 1968. Second edition, 1969.

11. Interpretation by the Fund, by Joseph Gold. 1968.

12. The Reform of the Fund, by Joseph Gold. 1969.

13. Special Drawing Rights, by Joseph Gold. First edition, 1969. Second edition, with subtitleCharacter and Use,1970.

14. The Fund’s Concepts of Convertibility, by Joseph Gold. 1971.

15. Special Drawing Rights: The Role of Language, by Joseph Gold. 1971.

16. Some Reflections on the Nature of Special Drawing Rights, by J.J. Polak. 1971.

17. Operations and Transactions in SDRs: The First Basic Period, by Walter Habermeier. 1973.

18. Valuation and Rate of Interest of the SDR, by J.J. Polak. 1974.

19. Floating Currencies, Gold, and SDRs: Some Recent Legal Developments, by Joseph Gold. 1976. Also in German.

20. Voting Majorities in the Fund: Effects of Second Amendment of the Articles, by Joseph Gold. 1977.

21. International Capital Movements Under the Law of the International Monetary Fund, by Joseph Gold. 1977.

22. Floating Currencies, SDRs, and Gold: Further Legal Developments, by Joseph Gold. 1977. Concluding section also in German.

23. Use, Conversion, and Exchange of Currency Under the Second Amendment of the Fund’s Articles, by Joseph Gold. 1978.

24. The Rise in Protectionism, by Trade and Payments Division. 1978.

25. The Second Amendment of the Fund’s Articles of Agreement, by Joseph Gold. 1978.

26. SDRs, Gold, and Currencies: Third Survey of New Legal Developments, by Joseph Gold. 1979. Concluding section also in German.

27. Financial Assistance by the International Monetary Fund: Law and Practice, by Joseph Gold. First edition, 1979. In English only. Second edition, 1980.

28. Thoughts on an International Monetary Fund Based Fully on the SDR, by J.J. Polak. 1979.

29. Macroeconomic Accounts: An Overview, by Poul H0st-Madsen. 1979.

30. Technical Assistance Services of the International Monetary Fund. 1979.

31. Conditionality, by Joseph Gold. 1979.

32. The Rule of Law in the International Monetary Fund, by Joseph Gold. 1980.

33. SDRs, Currencies, and Gold: Fourth Survey of New Legal Developments, by Joseph Gold. 1980.

34. Compensatory Financing Facility, by Louis M. Goreux. 1980.

35. The Legal Character of the Fund’s Stand-By Arrangements and Why It Matters, by Joseph Gold. 1980.

36. SDRs, Currencies, and Gold: Fifth Survey of New Legal Developments, by Joseph Gold. 1981.

37. The International Monetary Fund: Its Evolution, Organization, and Activities. First edition, 1981. Fourth edition, 1984.

38. Fund Conditionality: Evolution of Principles and Practices, by Manuel Guitiân. 1981.

39. Order in International Finance, the Promotion of IMF Stand-By Arrangements, and the Drafting of Private Loan Agreements, by Joseph Gold. 1982.

40. SDRs, Currencies, and Gold: Sixth Survey of New Legal Developments, by Joseph Gold. 1983. In English. French and Spanish in preparation.

41. The General Arrangements to Borrow, by Michael Ainley. 1984. In English. French and Spanish in preparation.

42. The International Monetary Fund: Its Financial Organization and Activities, by Anand G. Chandavarkar. 1984. In English. French and Spanish in preparation.

43. The Technical Assistance and Training Services of the International Monetary Fund. In English. French and Spanish in preparation.

*Out of print. Photographic or microfilm copies of all English editions, including numbers that are out of print, may be purchased direct from University Microfilms International, 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106, U.S.A., or, for those living outside the Western Hemisphere, from University Microfilms Limited, 30/32 Mortimer St., London, WIN 7RA, England.

Copies (unless out of print) may be requested from:

External Relations Department, Attention: Publications

International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C. 20431, U.S.A.

Telephone number: 202 623-7430

Cable address: Interfund


Of the ten members, eight participate directly, and two through their central banks, in the General Arrangements to Borrow (International Monetary Fund, Selected Decisions of the Executive Directors and Selected Documents (Fourth Issue, Washington, 1970; hereinafter cited as Selected Decisions), pp. 68-82). In the order of the size of their credit arrangements, they are the United States, Deutsche Bundesbank, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Sveriges Riksbank.


Cf. letter from Mr. Baumgartner, Minister of Finance, France, to Mr. Dillon, Secretary of the Treasury, United States, dated December 15, 1961 (Selected Decisions, p. 80).


International Monetary Fund, Annual Report of the Executive Directors for the Fiscal Year Ended April 30, 1964, pp. 25-39; 1965, pp. 9-19; 1966, pp. 9-20. (These reports are hereinafter cited as Annual Report, with the particular year intended.)


Report to Ministers and Governors by the Group of Deputies (The Hague, July 8, 1966; hereinafter cited as Deputies’ Report), pars. 51-55.


Ibid., par. 53. “… still/Doth the old instinct bring back the old names”—Coleridge, The Piccolomini, Act II, Scene IV (translated from the German of Schiller).


Article V, Section 3. (References to particular Articles are to provisions of the Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund.)


Selected Decisions, pp. 21-22 (footnote).


Ibid.; see also Annual Report, 1959, p. 22.


After the second decision on the compensatory financing of export fluctuations, the net use of the currencies of other members did not include purchases under that decision that were still outstanding, i.e., the gold tranche was calculated by assuming, in effect, that these purchases had not been made (Establishment of a Facility Based on Special Drawing Rights in the International Monetary Fund and Modifications in the Rules and Practices of the Fund: A Report by the Executive Directors to the Board of Governors Proposing Amendment of the Articles of Agreement (Washington, April 1968; hereinafter cited as Report on Amendment of the Articles), pp. 24-25; Selected Decisions, p. 50).


Article V, Section 3 (d); Article XIX (y); Joseph Gold, The Reform of the Fund, International Monetary Fund, Pamphlet Series No. 12 (Washington, 1969), pp. 7-26.


Annual Report, 1965, p. 18; 1966, p. 19.


Annual Report, 1968, pp. 14-15.


Selected Decisions, p. 23.


International Monetary Fund, The International Monetary Fund 1945-1965: Twenty Years of International Monetary Cooperation (Washington, 1969; hereinafter cited as History), Vol. I: Chronicle, pp. 67-77.


Article V, Section 3 (a) (i); Selected Decisions, pp. 19-20.


“… (Sociate) let there be/Betwixt us two no more Logomachie”—Herrick, To His Friend to Avoid Contention of Words.


Article XXI, Section 2. This has produced a certain awkwardness in references to amounts of special drawing rights, but nothing prevents a reference to a certain number of units of them.


International Monetary Fund, Summary Proceedings of the Twenty-Second Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors (Washington, 1967; hereinafter cited as Summary Proceedings, with the particular year intended), p. 45.


Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld, Fundamental Legal Conceptions as Applied in Judicial Reasoning (New Haven, 1964), p. 71. In an essay first published in 1913 (23 Yale Law Journal 16-59), Hohfeld arranged fundamental legal conceptions into “jural opposites” and “jural correlatives.” It is sufficient to state the correlatives, i.e., those conceptions that are related in the sense that if A has a particular benefit, B has a corresponding burden:

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Article XXV, Section 5 (a). On the use of special drawing rights generally, see Joseph Gold, Special Drawing Rights: Character and Use, International Monetary Fund, Pamphlet Series No. 13, 2nd ed. (Washington, 1970).


Article XXV, Section 4.


Article XXXII (b).


Article XXX and Schedule H.


Article XXXI and Schedule I.


Article XXV, Section 7 (b). The operations and transactions referred to do not exhaust the list of those in which special drawing rights can be used.


Hohfeld, Fundamental Legal Conceptions as Applied in Judicial Reasoning (cited fn. 19), pp. 58-59.


See Joseph Gold, “A Comparison of Special Drawing Rights and Gold as Reserve Assets,” Law and Policy in International Business, Vol. 2 (1970), pp. 326-51.


Article XXV, Section 5 (a). See also Gold, Special Drawing Rights (cited fn. 20), pp. 30-31 and 60-66.


History, Vol. I: Chronicle, pp. 18 and 38; History, Vol. Ill: Documents, pp. 21-22, 30, and 87-88.


Article XXI, Section 1.


Article XXIV, Section 1 (a).


”… I don’t have to write more than I have to, … each word resonates as much as it can” (Robert Creeley in an interview, The Guardian, July 21,1970).


William Empson, Seven Types of Ambiguity (London, 1963), p. 102.


“asset. The great popularity that this word now enjoys as a saver of trouble to those who have not time to choose between possession, gain, advantage, resource, and other synonyms is modern, and an effort should be made to keep it within bounds. Most of those who use it are probably unaware that, though now treated as plural, assets was once (cf. riches) a singular. The s is not a plural termination, French assez (enough) being its source; and the original sense of the word is what suffices or should suffice to meet liabilities. The false singular originates in uses like The chances of a dividend depend upon the realization of two assets, one a large debt, and the other…. It is now firmly established, and not without value if reasonably used….” (H. W. Fowler, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, 2nd ed., rev. by Sir Ernest Gowers (Oxford, 1965), pp. 39-40). See also Joseph Gold, “Les définitions des réserves d’un pays dans le droit du Fonds Monétaire International,” Bulletin d’sInformation et de Documentation, Banque Nationale de Belgique, XLVme année, Vol. II, n° 5 (Novembre 1970), pp. 625-39.


Annual Report, 1964, pp. 38-39.


Annual Report, 1965, pp. 15-19.


Selected Decisions, pp. 138—42.


Report of the Study Group on the Creation of Reserve Assets: Report to the Deputies of the Group of Ten, May 31, 1965, printed from copy provided by the Bank of Italy Press (Washington, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1965; hereinafter cited as Ossola Report), pars. 7 and 25-103. See also Deputies’ Report, par. 7 (b).


Annual Report, 1966, p. 17.


Ibid., p. 18.


Deputies’ Report, par. 96.


See, e.g., pars. 51-54. Both “units” and “drawing rights” were considered potential new assets.


Communiqué of the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Ten (The Hague, July 25 and 26, 1966), par. 4.


European Economic Community, Communiqué of the Finance Ministers (Munich, April 18, 1967), par. 2.


Summary Proceedings, 1966, pp. 42 and 45.


Summary Proceedings, 1967, pp. 272-73.


Ibid., p. 82.


Ibid., p. 58.


Ibid., p. 67.


Ibid., p. 169.


Par. V, 4 (b) (ii); Report on Amendment of the Articles, p. 79; Summary Proceedings, 1967, p. 277.


Schedule G, paragraph 1 (b).


Article XXV, Section 3 (a).


For example, Article XXIII, Section 3; Article XXV, Sections 2 (b), 3 (a), and 5 (a) and (b).


Article XIX (a)–(h).


Article XXV, Section 7 (a).


Article V, Section 7 (b).


The word “transfers” appears once in the Outline (par. V, 4 (b) (i); Report on Amendment of the Articles, p. 78; Summary Proceedings, 1967, p. 277).


Article XXV, Section 2 (c).


Cf. Ossola Report, pars. 42 and 142.


Article XXV, Section 2 (a).


Cf. Article V, Section 3 (a).


Cf. Article V, Section 3 (a) (i).


Summary Proceedings, 1969, p. 58; see also Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, “L’Avenir du Système Monétaire International,” L’Economie, 26° année, 24 Octobre 1970, pp. 24-25.


Summary Proceedings, 1967, pp. 145-46; see also p. 109.


Ibid., p. 83.


Ibid., p. 169.


Deputies’ Report, par. 79; see also pars. 60 and 61.


Ibid., par. 80.


See, for example, Summary Proceedings, 1967, pp. 156 and 169.


Ibid., pp. 58, 83, 109, and 146.


See Gold, “A Comparison of Special Drawing Rights and Gold as Reserve Assets” (cited fn. 27), pp. 326-51.


Article XXIV, Section 1 (a).


Article XXIV, Section 1 (b).


A Report to the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund Containing the Managing Director’s Proposal on the Allocation of Special Drawing Rights for the First Basic Period (Washington, 1969), pp. 3 and 12-13.


See U.S. Congress, Subcommittee on International Exchange and Payments of the Joint Economic Committee, Next Steps in International Monetary Reform, Hearing, 90th Congress, 2nd Session, September 9,1968 (Washington, 1968), pp. 8-13 and 108-110; idem, The Proposed IMF Quota Increase and Its Implications for the Two-Tier Gold Market, Hearings, 91st Congress, 1st Session, November 13 and 14, 1969 (Washington, 1970), pp. 39-50.


Deputies’ Report, par. 30; see also par. 7(e) and (f).


Article XXIV, Section 1 (b).


Summary Proceedings, 1968, pp. 25-26. See also Summary Proceedings, 1966, p. 63; 1967, p. 58.


Deputies’ Report, par. 20.


Article XXIV, Section 2 (b).


Article XXV, Section 2 (a).


Article XXV, Section 3 (a).

The Role of Language