§ MR. HENNIKER HEATON (Canterbury)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that there has been great scarcity and inconvenience in Hong Kong and Singapore through short supplies of the Mexican dollar, which is the principal currency here; and whether he will comply with the wishes of the leading bankers and commercial men of the East by giving instructions for the coinage of a British dollar at the Indian or Sydney Mints at the present favourable opportunity?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. S. BUXTON, Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
It is true that there was some scarcity of Mexican dollars in the month of July and during the first week of August last. This was, however, owing to exceptional causes, and there is now an ample supply. The idea of a British dollar does not appear to have found much favour in the Straits Settlements; and at Hong Kong it has been abandoned. In the latter Colony it is now proposed to legalise the Japanese yen—a coin of equal weight and fineness with the Mexican dollar. This proposal 1505 is at present under the consideration of Lord Herschell's Committee as reconstituted for the consideration of colonial currency questions. The yen, I may observe, is already legal tender in the Straits Settlements.