§ MR. MONTAGU (Tower Hamlets, Whitechapel)
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, If he is aware that the condition of the gold currency continues to deteriorate, and that at least one half of the gold in circulation has ceased to be legal tender; whether his attention has been called to the fact that silver now circulates at a premium of 42 per 469 cent above its intrinsic value, as against 10 per cent when the present Mint regulations were established; whether he is aware that the bronze money in circulation in the east of London is increased to the extent of 20 per cent by the admixture of French and other foreign coins, which can be imported into this country with a profit of 5 per cent; and, whether he intends to take any steps to improve the condition of the metallic circulation?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN) (St. George's, Hanover Square)
, in reply, said, he was aware of the gold coinage of the country being in a very unsatisfactory condition, and also of the other facts to which the hon. member called attention; though he was not prepared to admit their existence to the full extent implied in the Question. The question of currency was one which demanded the early attention of the House; but he hoped that the short time during which he had been in his present Office would be taken as an excuse for his not introducing, or promising to introduce, a measure at once. He could, however, assure the hon. Member that the subject should occupy his attention very seriously.