§ MR. FIELD (Dublin, St. Patrick)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been 837 drawn to the fact that the Government of India coined, during the financial year, 1900–01, 150,000,000 rupees; will he give the profit per rupee that the Indian Government makes at the present price of silver, and the greatest number of rupees ever coined in a financial year during the ten years previous to the closing of the Indian mints in 1893; and will he take steps to prevent the inflation of the Indian currency if the Financial Member of the Viceroy's Council favours inflation, and, on the other hand, its contraction if that official favour that course.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Lord G. HAMILTON,) Middlesex, Ealing
1. The number of rupees coined during the financial year 1900–01, was 171,479,318, of which 135,970,779 were on account of the Government of India, and 35,508,539 for Native States; 2. In 1900–01, the net profit made on the coinage was about one-third of the outturn; the price of silver has fallen about 16 per cent. since that date; but there have been no recent purchases of the metal for coinage, so that the Government is making no profit at the present price of silver; 3. The largest number of rupees coined in any year from 1882–3 till 1893 was 129,016,730 in 1890–1; 4. Additions to the currency are not dependent merely on the opinion of the Financial Member of the Council of India. Coinage takes place only when the Government of India and the Secretary of State in Council are satisfied that there is a real demand by the trade for more rupees.