§ SIR R. TEMPLE
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the reports current to the effect that Lord Herschell's Commission have recommended the Government of India to close the Mints against the coinage of silver on private accounts; and, if so, whether he can give the House any information on that important subject?
§ SIR W. HARCOURT
I am not aware what reports may be current upon a document which is secret and confidential, and ought to be known to 906 no one except the persons to whom it is confided. I have already several times stated in the House that until the Government of India have expressed their opinion upon that Report the Government do not feel it right to make any statement or to publish that Report.
§ MR. CHAPLIN
As the right hon. Gentleman has not felt it consistent with his duty to contradict that statement, I would ask him whether he is aware that the present Financial Secretary to the Government of India, Sir David Barbour, stated in evidence before the Gold and Silver Commission the quantity of uncoined silver in possession of the natives of India was estimated at something like £130,000,000 sterling—