HC Deb 04 November 1909 vol 12 cc1994-5
Lord BALCARRES (for Mr. Joynson-Hicks)

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the value of the copper coinage in China has depreciated by no less than 63 per cent. in the last four years; whether in September. 1905, one tael was worth 1,100 cash and fell until September, 1909, to 1,778 cash; whether such depreciation is receiving the serious attention and consideration of the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce; whether it is already beginning to affect the export trade of Lancashire; whether, under the provisions of the Mackay Treaty in 1902, the Chinese Government undertook to place their currency upon a proper basis; whether anything has been done to that end; and whether His Majesty's Government will take any steps in the matter?


His Majesty's Government are aware that there has lately been a great depreciation in Chinese copper coinage, and they have made repeated attempts to induce the Chinese Government to take steps to improve the currency, which they undertook to do under the provisions of the Mackay Treaty of 1902. Until recently these efforts had not been successful, but I am glad to say that the Chinese Government have now begun to move in the matter, and have lately framed regulations for the control of the issue of bank notes. I am not in a position to answer the third or fourth paragraphs of the question.


Will the right hon. Gentleman use his best endeavours to expedite these regulations being put in force?


Yes, certainly, we shall use our best endeavours. Our predecessors were constantly using their best endeavours to get this question settled. We have been continuing those efforts, and we shall continue them.