§ Mr. RUPERT GWYNNE
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India, if it is usual for the India Office to accept contracts for the purchase of silver for delivery in about two months' time, instead of on a specific date, as in the case of £70,000 bought of Messrs. Samuel Montagu and Company, in terms of their letter of 22nd March, 1912?
§ Mr. H. BAKER
The Secretary of State has ascertained that similar contracts are accepted on his behalf by the Bank of England when employed by him to buy silver.
§ Mr. R. GWYNNE
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India if he will give copies of the replies of Messrs. Samuel Montagu and Company to the letters written to them by the India Office on 3rd September and 11th September of this year, which have been omitted from the correspondence asked for on 22nd November?
§ Mr. BAKER
No reply was received from Messrs. Samuel Montagu and Company to the letter sent to them by this office on the 3rd September, but they informed the Chairman of the Finance Committee orally that the instructions contained in it would receive attention. I am circulating with the Votes a copy of the firm's reply to the letter of the 11th September, which was omitted by an oversight from the correspondence previously circulated.
Letter from Messrs. Samuel Montagu and Company to the India Office, dated 16th September, 1912.We beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter asking us to buy a fifth million pounds worth of silver, of which £700,000 have already been purchased. We beg to enclose a contract for a million Mexican dollars (about £100,000) at 28¼d. per ounce (equal to about 1292W 29 pence per ounce standard. We also enclose the copy of a letter we have sent to the Hong Kong Bank, instructing them to deliver £300,000 Sycee and £200,000 British dollars to Bombay. These amounts are on the steamer due to arrive in Bombay at the end of this month.
Letter from Messrs. Samuel Montagu and Company to the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, dated 16th September, 1912.Kindly take note that we wish all the Sycee and British dollars which were shipped on the 10th and the 14th inst., to the total value of £300,000, to be delivered in Bombay.
§ Mr. R. GWYNNE
asked at what date the following firms were placed on the India Office list of approved borrowers, namely, Messrs. A. Beiderman, Messrs. B. W. Blydenstein, Messrs. A. Keyser, and Messrs. Haarbleicher and Schumann?
§ Mr. R. GWYNNE
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India if he will give a statement showing the total cash transactions during each of the last four years, with each of the private firms of borrowers on the approved list, including transactions on account of the gold standard reserve, where such transactions exceeded £1,000,000?
§ Mr. BAKER
A statement giving particulars required is appended:—
Name. New Loans Repayments. 1908. £ £ Alexanders and Co. 950,000 1,100,000 Biedermann and Co. 650,000 600,000 Brightwen and Co. 1,350,000 1,100,000 Gillett Bros. and Co. 550,000 600,000 Hohler and Co. 1,200,000 1,100,000 Hopkins and Giles 850,000 850,000 Lazard Bros. and Co. 700,000 750,000 Reeves, Whitburn and Co. 1,000,000 950,000 Samuel Montagu and Co. 2,150,000 1,950,000 Sheppards and Co. 1,300,000 1,150,000 Smith, St. Aubyn and Co. 800,000 800,000 Wedd, Jefferson and Co. 1,900,000 1,600,000 1909. Alexanders and Co. 1,300,000 1,000,000 Brightwen and Co. 1,500,000 1,500,000 Bristowe and Head 650,000 500,000 Cunliffe H., Sons and Co. 850,000 750,000 Hohler and Co. 1,100,000 1,200,000
Name. New Loans. Repayments. £ £ Hopkins and Giles 1,550,000 1,200,000 Laurie, Milbank and Co. 650,000 500,000 Lazard Bros, and Co. 1,250,000 1,150,000 Mullens, Marshall and Co. 1,150,000 900,000 Reeves, Whitburn and Co. 850,000 800,000 Samuel Montagu and Co. 2,200,000 2,100,000 Sheppards and Co. 1,350,000 1,250,000 Smith, St. Aubyn and Co. 550,000 550,000 Wedd, Jefferson and Co. 1,550,000 1,400,000 1910. Alexanders and Co. 1,000,000 1,000,000 Brightwen and Co. 1,500,000 1,350,000 Bristowe and Head 550,000 550,000 Cunliffe, R., Sons and Co. 1,400,000 1,200,000 Hohler and Co. 1,550,000 1,450,000 Hopkins and Giles 1,100,000 1,200,000 King and Foa 700,000 600,000 Lazard Bros, and Co. 850,000 750,000 Mullens, Marshall and Co. 2,900,000 3,150,000 Reeves, Whitburn and Co. 1,400,000 1,200,000 Samuel Montagu and Co. 1,800,000 1,550,000 Sheppards and Co. 1,050,000 1,050,000 Smith, St. Aubyn and Co. 750,000 550,000 Wedd, Jefferson and Co. 1,850,000 2,000,000 1911. Alexanders and Co. 1,300,000 1,100,000 Brightwen and Co. 850,000 800,000 Bristowe and Head 750,000 800,000 Cunliffe, R., Sons and Co. 1,000,000 900,000 Hohler and Co. 1,200,000 850,000 Hopkins and Giles 1,400,000 1,300,000 Reeves, Whitburn and Co. 1,500,000 1,400,000 Samuel Montagu and Co. 1,900,000 1,950,000 Sheppards and Co. 900,000 750,000 Wedd, Jefferson and Co. 1,000,000 1,000,000
§ Mr. GWYNNE
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India if the Secretary of State has satisfied himself that, when the Government were buying silver from or through Messrs. Samuel Montagu and Co., 1294W instead of through the usual channels, in order to keep the fact that they were buying a secret, the bullion brokers did not actually report on several occasions that the Government were buying?
§ Mr. GWYNNE
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India if he will lay upon the Table of the House a copy of the agreement between the India Office and the Bank of England entered into in 1906 regarding the future purchases of silver?
§ Mr. BAKER
The agreement is contained in the following correspondence:—
"Sir James Mackay to Governor of Bank of England, dated 29th Hatch, 1906.
"The Secretary of State accepts the arrangement which we came to yesterday regarding commission and brokerage on the purchase of silver. As it is usual in making arrangements of this kind to settle them for a definite term, he would propose that the period be made five or seven years, whichever of the two is more agreeable to you. I enclose a copy of the note agreed between us yesterday. It is understood that you are free to make your own arrangements with the brokers so far as their remuneration is concerned, provided the total charge paid by the Secretary of State does not exceed the quarter or eighth per cent. as the case may be."
"The inclusive charge for brokerage, commission, etc, in respect of silver purchased for the India Office to be as follows:—One-quarter per cent. on the first two millions purchased in any financial year (1st April to 31st March); one-eighth per cent. oil any further amount purchased. The payment made under this agreement to be divided between the Bank of England and the bullion brokers as may be arranged by them without the intervention of the India Office."
"Governor of Bank of England to Sir James Mackay, dated 2nd April, 1906.
"I am much obliged for your note of the 29th ultimo, from which I was glad to learn that the Secretary of State had approved of the arrangement regarding the commission and brokerage for the purchase of silver for India at which you and I had arrived. I assume that you do not suggest that any change be made as regards the commission so far as the two orders not yet finally settled and the order now in course of completion are concerned, and I would therefore propose that the wording of the 'Note' should run as follows:—'One-quarter per cent. on the first two millions ordered to be purchased in any financial year (1st April to 31st March); one-eighth per cent. on any further I amount purchased.'"
"India Office to Governor of Bank of England, dated 12th April, 1906.
"I am directed to inform you that your correspondence with Sir James Mackay regarding the charge for brokerage and for the remuneration of the Bank of England in connection with the purchase of silver has been laid before the Secretary of State for India in Council, and he agrees to the following arrangement 1295W for five* years from the 1st April, 1906. The inclusive charge for brokerage, commission, etc., in respect of silver purchased for the India Office to be as follows:—One-quarter per cent. on the first two millions ordered to be purchased in any financial year (1st April to 31st March); one-eighth per cent. on any further amount. The payment made under this agreement to be divided between the Bank of England and the bullion brokers as may be arranged by them without the intervention of the India Office."
*Altered to seven years by letter to Bank of England of 5th May, 1906.
"Bank of England to India Office, deted 17th April, 1906.
"I am directed to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 12th instant, addressed to the Governor, with regard to the charge for brokerage and the remuneration to be received by the bank in connection with the purchase of silver on behalf of the Government of India. In reply I am to say that, while the Governor had understood thaf the arrangement was to last for a period of seven years, he is nevertheless quite willing to agree to the shorter term of five years if that condition is more acceptable to the Secretary of State."
"India Office to Bank of England, dated 5tll May, 1906.
"With reference to Mr Harvey's letter of the 17th April, I am directed to inform you that the Secretary of State for India in Council readily accepts the suggestion that the arrangement recently made as to the remuneration to be received by the Bank of England in connection with the purchase of silver for the Government of India, shall hold good for seven years, instead of five years, from the 1st April, 1906."