HC Deb 02 April 1900 vol 81 cc944-5
MR. SAMUEL SMITH (Flintshire)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India if he can state what amount of gold in India and England respectively has the Indian Government acquired in connection with the proposed changes in its currency system; by what methods this gold has been drawn into the Indian Government's treasuries, here and in India; and to what extent, if any, has the issue and circulation of currency notes been increased as resulting from, or in dependence on, the gold in these treasuries; if he can inform the House at what date the Indian mints recommenced coining to replenish the active circulation of rupees, to what extent this increase in silver currency has proceeded up to date, and whether the mints or the currency department paid out gold to any appreciable extent in exchange for fifteen rupees or currency notes; and what the amount or rate of profit derived from the issue of new token rupees is, and whether such profit will be credited to the currency department or to the general revenues.


(1) The Government of India holds at present about £7,900,000 of gold in India, and £1,500,000 in England. (2) The methods by which it was attracted are as follows: In India Government offered to receive gold in exchange for currency notes or rupees at the rate of one sovereign for fifteen rupees; in England the Secretary of State in Council sold telegraphic orders for rupees on the treasuries in India at the rate of one rupee for 16 5/32d. (3) The receipts of gold in the treasuries began to assume large dimensions about February, 1899, at the end of which month the outstanding currency notes amounted to 264 lakhs, while at the end of March, 1899, they were 2,820 lakhs; by the last return they amounted at the end of February, 1900, to 2,727 lakhs. (4) The coinage of rupees was resumed on the 25th of January last. (5) The addition to the coinage so far is believed to have been about 140 lakhs of rupees. (6) Gold has been paid out to the amount of about £244,000. (7) The rate of profit in coining rupees from fresh silver when silver is at its present price is about fifty-two per cent. (8) The Government of India have not reported their views as to the mode of showing such profit in the accounts.