§ MR. KING (Hull, Central)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether, in view of the fact that since March last, when the official rate of exchange between the Indian and Imperial Governments was fixed at 1s. 5d. to the rupee, the rupee has risen in value to over 1s. 7d., whereas the Indian Government is, to its great profit, now paying its servants their family remittances, furlough, and pensions at 1s. 5d., the Secretary of State will now arrange, since it is practically certain that the rupee will not fall in value 499 during the current financial year, to give the benefit of the rise in exchange to its servants by settling with them at the current rate?
§ SIR ROPER LETHBRIDGE (Kensington, N.)
Before the right hon. Gentleman replies to the question, I wish to ask a further question on the same subject, of which I have given him private notice. I wish to know whether he is aware that more than one-half of the Indian Uncovenanted Civil servants pensioned in England receive pensions of less than £200 a year; and is he aware that a nominal pension of £200 a year is reduced by the loss of the exchange to about £135, although the Government get about £160 for the same sum at the current rate?
§ * THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE TOR INDIA (Sir J. GORST,) Chatham
In reply to the question of the hon. Member for Hull (Mr. King), I have to say that the Secretary of State cannot alter the official rate of exchange after it has been once fixed. It is applied to very large transactions, amounting nearly to £1,000,000. In reply to the hon. Member for North Kensington (Sir Roper Lethbridge), I have no doubt that the figures he gives are correct, but such considerations cannot affect the current rate.
§ * SIR J. GORST
I am sorry to state that the Secretary has no information of what passes in the United States.
MR. MAC NEILL (Donegal, S.)
If I put a Motion on the Paper for a Return of the amount of profit which the Government make under this head, will the right hon. Gentleman oppose it?