HC Deb 15 May 1918 vol 106 cc371-2W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can state the quantity of silver imported into and exported from Ireland since 1st January, 1918; and whether arrangements are being made to supply a sufficiency of silver coins?


I have no information to suggest that any appreciable amount of silver has been exported from Ireland. The rumour recently circulated that 352 tons of silver had been exported from Cork to Liverpool was without any foundation; the consignments to which this report referred were consignments of nickel salved from a stranded vessel. Since 1st January, 1918, no less than £637,900 of silver coin has been sent to Ireland directly from the Royal Mint. This is more than the amount so sent in the whole year 1917 (£510,900) and over twice the amount sent in the year 1916 (£311,100). In addition, consignments, as to the amount of which I am not informed, have been made privately by banks, etc. There can be no doubt that the supply of silver coin in Ireland is abundantly sufficient to meet all currency requirements, and the shortage of silver coin in circulation can only be attributed to hoarding—a practice which I cannot too strongly deprecate as most prejudicial to all classes in Ireland.

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