§ MR. CLAUDE HAY (Shoreditch, Hoxton)
I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, by agreement with the India Office,, branch railways might be built usefully in East Africa and Uganda from the profit made on the coinage and circulation of rupees; and whether he has any official Reports showing that the circulation of this rupee currency in vast regions in Africa, where to-day barter only obtains, would be calculated to develop local trade and commerce.
§ MR. CHURCHILL
As the Governments of the African Protectorates do not share in the responsibility of the Government of India for maintaining the value of the rupee, the Secretary of State is not satisfied that the Government of India could properly be: asked to hand over to Protectorates in which the Indian 1353 rupee circulates any portion of the funds by which the maintenance of its value is secured. The position does not appear to be altered by the fact that it has been decided to devote a portion of the profits on coinage to railway construction in India instead of investing the whole in home securities as has been done up to now. With regard to the latter part of the hon. Member's Question I am not aware of any special Reports dealing with this subject, but I have no doubt that the substitution of a proper currency for a system of barter would be calculated to develop trade and commerce.