HC Deb 05 May 1898 vol 57 cc403-4
MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether the words "internal trade," used in the letter of appointment of the Indian Currency Committee, are intended to exclude from the inquiry the export trade of that country, and whether he will consider the desirability of adding some further words to make it clear that the Committee should examine the effects the present and proposed currency regulations may have upon Indian exports; whether, in view of the importance of the industry, he is willing to add to the Committee one of the large London importers and growers of Indian and Ceylon tea; and whether any opportunity of discussing the reference will be given to the House?


The dispatch from the Government of India, which is the principal subject of reference to the Committee, deals with the measures necessary for securing "the stability of exchange," which necessitates an inquiry into their effect on the export trade. The reference to the internal trade was inserted to show that, in the opinion of the Government, the effect on that trade would also form an important part of the inquiry of the Committee. One of the members of the Committee is, I believe, interested in the Indian and Ceylon tea trade. The Committee is now finally constituted, and is making arrangements to begin its deliberations forthwith, under the letter of reference, which cannot now be modified. I do not propose to take any measures with the view of bringing the matter before the House in its present stage.


Does not the noble Lord think, as the words "internal trade" are used, and there is no reference to the export trade in the letter, some amendment is almost necessary?


No. I think it is the other way; and that, unless reference had been made to internal trade, the Committee might not have given special attention to that.