§ Mr. RUPERT GWYNNE
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India if he will furnish a statement showing the rate of interest per annum which it cost the Indian Government to carry forward contracts for the purchase of silver by Messrs. Samuel Montagu and Company at a loss, in some cases, of ⅛d. per ounce plus ⅛ per cent. brokerage, and in other cases of 3–16d. per ounce plus ⅛ per cent. brokerage, with the respective amounts so carried forward in each case?
§ Mr. H. BAKER
The postponements were arranged so as to preserve secrecy and to keep down the market price. In this respect they had a financial effect not shown by the figures asked for in the question and given below. The figures are as follows:—
Amount Paid by India Office in first instance for Silver afterwards Sold with a view to Postponement of Delivery (approximate). Period of Postponement. Gross Cost of Postponement including additional Brokerage (approximate). £ 1912. £ 101,000 1st May to 1st July … … 595 76,000 Early May to early July … … 626 15,000 7th May to 7th July … … 89 10,000 About 4th May to about 4th July … … 58 20,000 4th May to about 4th July … … 163 47,000 8th May to 8th July … … 389 15,000 About 20th May to about 20th July … … 89 35,000 11th May to about 11th July … … 289 15,000 26th May to about 26th July … … 124 20,000 14th May to 14th July … … 600 53,000 14th May to about 31st July … … 6,000 16th May to about 18th July … … 798 10,000 17th May to about 18th July 35,000 18th May to about 18th July 46,000 20th May to about 18th July 11,000 18th May to about 18th July … … 254 5,000 27th May to about 27th July … … 15,000 28th May to about 27th July 70,000 22nd May to about 22nd July … … 574 15,000 29th May to about 29th July … … 124 41,000 14th August to about 14th October … … 142 Total, £661,000 Average period of postponement, about 2 months £4,914
From the gross immediate cost of £4,914 must, of course, be deducted the interest obtained by the India Office on the additional money temporarily held in its balances as a result of the postponement of purchases. This interest, as stated in reply to the hon. Member's question of1018W
29th November last, may be estimated at about £3,030. The net immediate cost was thus about £1,884, representing about 1.68 per cent. per annum.
§ Mr. FIELD
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether, taking all the facts since 1888 into consideration, including those in connection with the silver corner in 1912, and considering that international gambling operations in silver, etc., have increased a hundredfold during the past ten years in India and in Lundon, he will, in the interests of the Indian and British Empires, co-operate with the Board of Trade and the Indian Government with the view of bringing about joint legislation in those two countries for the suppression of the bear and bull option and future gambling operations in fictitious silver as well as in finance in general?
§ Mr. H. BAKER
If the Board of Trade wish to take action in the matter, the Secretary of State in Council will carefully consider whether he can co-operate. Similarly, if the Government of India, to whom the hon. Member's question of 10th December has been sent, submit any proposals for legislation in India, they will receive the careful consideration of the Secretary of State in Council.