HC Deb 10 March 1881 vol 259 c715

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he can lay upon the Table of the House the terms of the invitation to the proposed International Monetary Conference, together with the reply of the Government thereto; and, whether, considering the very important bearing which the decisions of this Conference must have on Indian finance, and on all eastern commerce, Her Majesty's Government propose that the Government of India should be represented?


Sir, there can be no objection whatever to lay these Papers on the Table; but it is possible that it would be more convenient to Members not to present them until the answer is sent, and this cannot be done for a short time. I may say generally that a difficulty has arisen on the terms of the invitation. They are such as appear to involve us in a predetermined conclusion to introduce bimetallism, and to reduce the subject of discussion to the form and manner of introducing it. We are not prepared to lay down any such predetermined conclusion, nor to hold out any expectation, as far as the currency of this country is concerned, of our acceding to this measure. We shall be glad, however, to join the Conference if it be possible to do so without giving rise to any misapprehension as to our intentions. In regard to India my noble Friend the Secretary of State has communicated with the parties on the subject, and the House may rest assured that that part of the matter will not be overlooked.