The Bactra Review   Globalizing Capital
The current account balance could be increased by expanding exports or by shrinking imports. Restrictions on imports would work, but they are incompatible with free trade, which was generally embraced by the gold standard countries. Exports could be increased by making lowering the production costs (or increasing the quality) of goods for export, but that is a long-term measure. Exports could also be increased by lowering the value of the currency --- essentially as in Hume's scenario --- but the whole point of the gold standard system was to not change exchange rates. Thus, central banks couldn't manipulate the current account balance quickly enough to matter.