§ 18. Mr. RUPERT GWYNNE
asked how much silver was purchased by the India Office through Messrs. Samuel Montagu and Company between the early part of August when, as officially stated, it was well known in the market that they were buying for the Government, and 30th October, when the Bank of England was instructed to purchase silver on their behalf?
The Secretary of State cannot find that any such official statement as is alleged in the question has been 1272 made. The hon. Member is presumably referring to an answer which I gave to him on 27th November last, in which I said that there was, at the time of the first shipment on the 9th of August, a report that the Government had been buying. This Report, however, was based on conjecture as the hon. Member will see if he refers to Messrs. Mocatta and Goldsmid's bullion circular of 9th August. After the date mentioned £2,000,000 was ordered and purchased through Messrs. Samuel Montagu and Company.
§ Mr. RUPERT GWYNNE
I do not think the question to which the hon. Gentleman refers is the one which I asked, whether the other bullion brokers had not put in their report that the Government were buying. The hon. Gentleman answered me "Yes."
No, my reply was that the Secretary of State could not place any report until the date mentioned.
If the hon. Member will refer to the report he will find it is stated to be a rumour, and they do not know what the foundation for it is.
§ 19. Mr. RUPERT GWYNNE
asked if secrecy was the reason for purchasing silver through Messrs. Samuel Montagu and Company, why the purchases were not discontinued from this firm early in August, when it became well known in the market that they were buying on behalf of the Government, instead of waiting till 30th October to place the orders with the Bank of England, after the transactions with Messrs. Samuel Montagu and Company had been disclosed in this House?
Orders were given to the firm mentioned at various dates up to 11th September, because it was believed that they would be executed on advantageous terms, a belief which was justified by the fact that £2,000,000 was bought in" less than a month, mostly from outside the United Kingdom, with very little rise in price.