HC Deb 31 March 1881 vol 260 c352

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether in our West Indian Colonies creditors are by law compelled to accept British token silver, shillings, sixpences, &c., without limit, not at their intrinsic value, but at their nominal value as parts of the pound sterling; whether in consequence West Indian currency consists mainly of such coins, with notes partly based on them, and for want of gold intercolonial and international remittances are unduly expensive; and, whether the present Secretary of State adopts the language held by his predecessor, in a Circular addressed to these Colonies, that so long as they unwisely place no limit upon the tender of token silver, "they in fact suspend cash payments;" and, if so, whether further steps might not now be taken towards the amendment of "an unsound currency," by limiting the legal tender of silver, as at home, to forty shillings?


Sir, in reply to my. hon. Friend's first Question, I have to say that his statement is perfectly correct. In reply to his second Question I have to say the same. In reply to his third Question I have to say yes; but the prevalence of erroneous ideas on the subject of currency in some parts of the West Indies makes it extremely difficult to move in the matter as quickly as we could wish.