HC Deb 29 March 1904 vol 132 cc971-2
MR. LAWRENCE (Liverpool, Abercromby)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that there is, and for some years has been, a bank established in Nigeria (the Anglo-African Bank) with which almost the whole trade does business, and through which the Government collect a large portion of their duties (through the medium of cheques drawn on the bank), and that such bank has expressed its willingness to the Government to accept responsibility for the disposal of redundant silver coin; and if so, will he explain why facilities as to specie importation are granted to the Bank of British West Africa in other British Colonies and refused to the Anglo-African Bank in Nigeria, seeing that representations have repeatedly been made to the Government by the leading Nigerian merchants through their trade associations that trade is being seriously hampered by the want of such facilities.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Lyttelton.) I am aware of the existence and operations of the Anglo-African Bank and that it has expressed its willingness to accept responsibility for the disposal of redundant silver coin; but, in view of the fact that it is not independent of the limited number of large trading concerns which control the trade of Nigeria, it would not, in my opinion, be fair to other traders, or tend to promote competition and the development of trade, that the bank should be given special facilities for or control over the importation of specie.