7. Sir J. D. REES
asked the Secretary of State for India whether he can give the House any information regarding the issue of nickel coinage; and whether the issue of such coins of values higher than eight annas is contemplated?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
In September, 1919, legislation was passed in India authorising the issue, in addition to the existing two anna and one anna nickel coins, of eight anna and four anna nickel pieces. These coins are legal tender for payments up to one rupee. The object of the measure was to conserve the available supplies of silver for the coinage of rupees 371 and consequently to reduce the demands of the Government of India on the silver market.
Up to the end of February the absorption of nickel coins exceeded in value 5 crores of rupees. Th coins, with the exception of the 8 anna piece, the mintage of which has been temporarily discontinued, were well received by the Indian public. The recent Indian Currency Committee pronounced against the issue of a nickel rupee, and I am not at present contemplating the coinage of nickel pieces of any new denomination.