HC Deb 06 August 1919 vol 119 cc331-2

asked the Secretary of State for India whether the amount of silver obtainable from abroad by the Indian. Government at the present time is sufficient for her requirements and, if not, will he cause inquiry to be made with a view to ascertaining whether the old rights of the natives to exchange their ornaments against rupees, weight for weight, can in any way be restored so that the Indian Government, in the event of a good export season, may be placed in a position to avail of the large reserves of silver at present on the spot in India in the shape of native ornaments, as was formerly the case?


India could do with more silver. The question of an offer by the Government of India to receive salver from private persons will, I understand, be submitted to the Indian Currency Committee.


asked the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been called to the fact that a higher price in sterling is now obtainable in America for sales of gold than is obtain able in this country; whether India is contemplating putting up the price she is prepared to pay for imported gold, and, if so, by how much; and whether the pre sent Currency Committee can be empowered to extend its inquiries to consider the problem of currency as a whole, in stead of approaching the question from a purely local point of view?


I am not fully in-formed as to sales of gold for sterling in America. The second part of the question asks for a statement on a matter on which action, if taken at all, would necessarily be taken without previous announcement. The Chairman of the Indian Currency Committee informs me that, in his opinion and that of his colleagues, so far as it is possible to see at present, the terms of reference as they stand give all the scope necessary for conducting the inquiry and. for making recommendations.


Will the evidence put before the Committee be published in the ordinary course as a Parliamentary Paper?


Perhaps my hon. Friend will give me notice. I think so, but I would rather confirm that by reference.