HC Deb 18 March 1920 vol 126 cc2366-7

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that silver coins of 500 fine are to be issued to the inhabitants of our West African Colonies, whereas silver coins of only 450 fine are being given to the inhabitants of our East African Colonies; and, in view of the fact that the British Government have never yet issued a coin for unlimited legal tender composed of more than half of base metal, he will give instructions that all sections of His Majesty's African Colonial subjects are placed on an equality as to the intrinsic value of their money?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Lieut.-Colonel Amery)

It has now been decided for the sake of uniformity to adopt 500 as the fineness of the coin which is to replace the Indian rupee in East Africa. To emphasise this point of uniformity still more clearly the new coin will be called a florin and the coin which is to replace the half-rupee a shilling.


While thanking the hon. Gentleman for his answer, may I ask whether in view of the heavy fall in the price of silver he will endeavour to obtain for the Colonies under his administration as good money as the Indian Government have secured in their country?

Lieut.-Colonel AMERY

The money will be equally good so long as it is procured at the same rate of exchange.


Are we to understand that the new coinage of British East Africa and the Tanganyika territory will be a florin divided into 100 cents or into 24 pence?

Lieut.-Coionel AMERY

Into 100 cents, and the 50 cent piece will be known as a shilling.


Does my hon. and gallant Friend think a native would think a coin 500 fine as good as a rupee 916 fine?

Lieut.-Colonel AMERY



Is it called a florin or a rupee?

Lieut.-Colonel AMERY

A florin.

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