THE AGREEMENT makes the subscription of members to the International Monetary Fund (III-3), their buying rights (V-3), and their voting powers (XII-5) dependent on their quotas. Despite this threefold function of the quotas, however, the Agreement says nothing about the formula according to which the quotas are determined. We hear that each member "shall be assigned a quota" and we find the quotas of the "original members" in Schedule A of the Agreement. We are also informed that the quotas of other members "shall be determined by the Fund" (III-1), that "the Fund shall at intervals of five years review, and if it deems it appropriate propose an adjustment of, the quotas of the members" (III-2), and that it shall consider the adjustment of any particular quota at any time at the request of a member. But "a four-fifths majority of the total voting power shall be required for any change in quotas and no quota shall be changed without the consent of the member concerned" (III-2).
These are important technical provisions and decisions, but they do not satisfy our curiosity. How were the quotas of the original members arrived at? Even though we know that the quotas of Schedule A are the result of political concessions, we may assume that the quotas, as originally proposed, resulted from the application of a formula similar to the one suggested in the White and Canadian plans. This formula "gives due weight to the important relevant factors, e.g., a country's holdings of gold and free foreign exchange, the magnitude and the