HC Deb 26 April 1909 vol 4 cc28-9

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India what is the amount of the actual gold reserve at present at disposal of the Indian Government; how much of this gold is deposited in London, and how much in India; and whether the whole of the profits on coinage of rupees is being devoted to maintaining and increasing this gold reserve, in accordance with the recommendation of the Fowler Commission of 1898?


I understand that my hon. Friend's question relates to the gold standard reserve. This reserve is now held in British and Colonial Government securities, and in rupees to the following amounts:—

Securities: Nominal amount, £8,383,000.

Cost price, £7,946,000.

Rupees: 1,588 lakhs (£10,587,000).

It is hoped that a portion of the rupees may be remitted to England to be invested in sterling securities in 1909–10. As the Secretary of State informed the hon. Member for Hythe, in reply to his question on 9th July, 1907, it has been decided to apply half the future profits on coinage to supplement the funds available for capital expenditure on Indian railways.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that Sir Edward Law expressed a very strong opinion that the gold standard reserve should remain intact and should not be invested in securities?


Yes. I believe some such opinion as that was expressed at the time; however, the Government of India deemed fit to depart from the recommendations then made.


Does not that seem singular, having regard to the fluctuations of the exchange?

Mr. HOBHOUSE (was understood to say)

That is a matter of opinion.