HC Deb 13 January 1916 vol 77 cc1763-4

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the reserve of gold coinage in the possession of the Bank of England and in that of the German Imperial Exchequer, respectively, on 31st December, 1915; whether it is still obligatory on the Bank of England to deliver gold to all who ask for it in exchange for notes; and if he can state approximately how much of the gold coinage of this country was melted down during the year 1915 by the manufacturers of jewellery?


As shown by the Bank of England Return for 29th December, 1915 (the last of the year), the amount of gold and silver coin then held by the banking department was £137,977, and the amount of gold coin and bullion held by the issue department was £51,338,430, or together £51,476,407. No information has been published since the outbreak of war as to the state of the German Imperial Exchequer. If by "Imperial Exchequer" the hon. and learned Member means to refer to the German Imperial Bank, the amount of gold held by the Imperial Bank on 31st December, 1915, was, according to the official German return, £122,259,250. The answer to the second part of the question is in the affirmative and to the third part in the negative.