HC Deb 28 February 1896 vol 37 cc1390-1

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can give any information as to the tenour of the communications which have passed between Her Majesty's Government and that of Germany with reference to the re-opening of the Indian mints; and whether any change has taken place in the views of Her Majesty's Government since the date of those communications?


On November 8th Count Hatzfeldt inquired whether Her Majesty's Government were willing to discuss the Bi-metallic question in conference, in the event of the German Government deciding to do so. Lord Salisbury replied that he must consult his colleagues before expressing a definite opinion; but that he did not wish to exclude the idea of a conference if good grounds for holding it were shown. In a subsequent conversation, Count Hatzfeldt inquired whether the Indian Government proposed to re-open their mints, as the German Government considered this a necessary condition of any International arrangement. On December 6th he was informed that the re-opening of the Indian mints was not contemplated either by the Government of India or by Her Majesty's Secretary of State for India in Council. This being the case, the subject was not then pursued further. At a later date Count Count Hatzfeldt showed to Lord Salisbury the statement which the German Chancellor proposed to make in the Reichstag as to what had passed between them. Lord Salisbury made no objection to the statement, but with reference to observations made in the Reichstag he reminded Count Hatzfeldt that his reply had been confined to a statement of the facts as they then were, and had not been intended to imply any intention, one way or the other, for the future. The statement made by the First Lord on February 20th indicates the general views which Her Majesty's Government, after consideration, entertain upon the subject.

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