Page images

Estimated Stock of Money in the Dominion of Canada.-Gold, $20,000,000; silver (limited tender), $6,500,000; uncovered notes, $40,000,000, being Dominion notes $22,000,000 plus bank notes $35,000,000-less metallic reserve $17,000,000.


The monetary system is the same as that of Great Britain.

Bank Notes. VICTORIA.-The basis of the present banking system is the Consolidated Banks and Currency Statute of 1864, the provisions of which were extended in 1887 so as to apply to banking firms and individual bankers. By the latter act (1887) the bank notes were made a first charge on all assets not already held under mortgage to another creditor. Before notes may be issued the banking institution must have a subscribed capital of £250,000, one-half of which must be bona fide paid up. During the first quarter of 1893 there were in Victoria 12 note-issuing banks with over 500 branches. Their notes in circulation amounted to about $6,000,000 (more than covered by coin held); their deposits at the same time being about $190,000,000.

QUEENSLAND.-There are eleven banks in Queensland, whose notes in circulation in 1893 amounted to $2,800,000, more than covered by coin held.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA has 10 banking institutions. Their average note circulation in 1892 was $2,000,000.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA had in 1893 five banks of issue, whose aggregate circulation was less than $150,000, and whose deposits amounted to $6,000,000.

NEW SOUTH WALES.-Amount of bank notes in circulation $7,000,000, more than covered by coin held by the banks.

NEW ZEALAND.-There were in 1892 six banks of issue doing business in New Zealand, three of which were wholly New Zealand institutions. The value of notes in circulation was $4,750,000.


The fundamental monetary law of British India bears date August 17, 1835. The standard of the country is silver monometallic, and the monetary unit the rupee, of the legal weight of 180 troy grains, fineness 0.916%, and contains 165 grains of pure silver; 9311⁄2 rupees being coined from 1 kilogram of pure silver.

Until 1893 the coinage of silver was unlimited, and the mint charge 214 per cent. The act of the Governor-General oi India in council of June 26, 1893, closed the Indian mints to the free coinage of silver from and after the date of its passage, but did not change the weight, fineness or legal tender power of the rupee. Silver may still be coined in India on Government account, and the Government holds itself ready to furnish new rupees to individuals in exchange for gold at the rate of the silver rupee for 16 pence in gold, or 15 rupees for £1 sterling.

Large payments are estimated in lacs of 100,000 rupees and in crores of 100 lacs. The rupee and half rupee are unlimited legal tender, provided the coins have not lost more than 2 per cent. in weight and have not suffered deterioration otherwise than by abrasion. The quarter rupee and eighth rupee are legal tender only to the amount of fractions of the rupee.

There is a coinage charge of 1 per cent. for gold. The ratio of gold to silver in coinage is 1 to 15. Gold is not legal tender.

The denominations, weight, fineness, etc., of the gold and silver coins of British India are shown in the following table:

[blocks in formation]

Currency Notes.-Previous to the law of July 13, 1861, providing for the issue of a paper currency through a Government department of public issue, there were three" chartered banks of India" (at Bengal, Bombay and Madras) authorized to issue bank notes to the amount of 52,000,000 rupees, a privilege of which that law deprived them, substituting a system of currency notes of the Government of India, payable to bearer on demand. Geographical circles of issue have since then been established from time to time, the notes made legal tender within the circle for which they were issued, and rendered payable at the place of issue as well as at the capital of the presidency.

At present there are eight circles of issue, which issue notes ranging from 5 to 10,000 rupees in value, in exchange for silver coin at par, and at Calcutta and in Bombay in exchange for gold coin or bullion at the rate of 1 rupee for 7.53344 grains of fine gold.

The whole amount of the coin and bullion thus received is retained as a reserve for payment of the notes issued, with the exception of a fixed amount which is invested in Government securities. The maximum limit of the amount so invested was originally fixed in 1882 at 60,000,000 rupees. The issues having largely expanded, the Government of India was empowered in 1890 to raise the limit to 80,000,000 rupees, which has been done.

The amount of currency notes in circulation on the 31st of March, 1893, was 264,013,200 rupees, of which all except the 80,000,000 rupees mentioned above was covered by coin and bullion.

Estimated Stock of Money in British India.-Silver (full legal tender), $950,000,000; Uncovered Currency Notes, $37,500,000.


Except as noted, their monetary systems are the same as that of Great Britain. THE BERMUDAS.-The legal tender is British currency. British silver is legal tender without limit.

TURK AND CAICOS ISLANDS.-Commercial accounts are usually kept in dollars and government accounts in sterling. The legal currency comprises British sterling, United States gold and silver, Spanish, Mexican and Columbian gold doubloons and Jamaica nickel tokens.

NEWFOUNDLAND.-The legal tender currency is British sterling, United States gold, and Colonial coins. Accounts are kept in dollars and cents.

Two banks of issue, the Union and the Com.nercial, had in circulation in 1893 about $500,000 each. Both these banks recently suspended payments.

BRITISH HONDURAS.- The standard of value is the Guatemalan dollar. The Venezuelan, Chilian, and Peruvian silver coins are also legal tender. Dollars are legal tender to any amount, and smaller silver coms to the amount of $50. There is no paper currency and no gold in circulation. Gold has been recently made the sole standard.

MAURITIUS, AFRICA.—Accounts are kept in rupees and cents and the currency is based on silver. There is a government note issue, with a circulation, at the close of 1892, of Rs. 2,856,250, in notes of five, ten and fifty rupees.

THE GAMBIA, AFRICA.-The legal tender is the currency of the Latin Union. There is no note currency.

SIERRA LEONE, AFRICA.-British gold doubloons are the coins of the Latin Union, all of which are legal tender. There is no note circulation.

GOLD COAST COLONY, AFRICA.-The currency and legal tender is the British sterling, with Spanish, American and French gold coins, and under a local ordinance gold dust at the rate of £3, 12 shillings per ounce. American dollars and other silver coins are currency, but are not legal tender.

GIBRALTAR. The legal currency is that of Spain and the depreciation of the silver currency in Spain affects Gibraltar.

CYPRUS. The legal tender currency consists of the following coins:

Gold: the English sovereign, half sovereign, the Turkish lira and the Turkish franc piece. Silver: the English florin, 6 pence and 3 penny pieces. Bronze: the legal piastre (9=1 shilling).

There is no note circulation.

BRITISH GUIANA.-British and American gold coin and British silver coin are legal tender. Bank notes by the Colonial and the British Guiana Bank amounted on March 31, 1893, to $145,547.

CEYLON.-The legal tender currency is the rupee of India and its silver subdivisions. There is no limit to the legal tender of silver. Ceylon copper coins, representing 5 cents, 1 cent, a half cent and a quarter cent, are also currency.

The Ceylon Government issues currency notes of Rs. 5, 10, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000. The amount in circulation at the end of 1893 was Rs. 8,183,000.

THE STRAITS SETTLEMENTS. silver-The legal tender currency consists of the silver dollar issued at Her Majesty's Mint at Hong Kong; the silver dollar of Spain, Mexico, Peru and Bolivia; the American trade dollar and the Japanese yen. Provided that no dollar shall be a legal tender unless it is of the same fineness

and intrinsic value as the Hong Kong dollar, and is of not less than 415 grains Troy weight. There are silver and copper coins representing fractional parts of the dollar.

Bank Notes.-The Mercantile Bank, the Chartered Bank and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank and Corporation enjoy the privilege of note issue, and they are bound to maintain specie to the amount of one-third of their issue. The total estimated bank note circulation on 31st December, 1892, was $6,353,091.

HONG KONG. Silver.-The currency consists of the silver dollar of Mexico and the Hong Kong dollar coined at the local Mint and of small silver and bronze


Bank Notes.-The Chartered Bank, the Mercantile Bank and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, issue notes. At the end of 1892 these amounted to $5,899,857. CAPE OF GOOD HOPE.-Coins in circulation are exclusively British, accounts being kept in pounds, shillings and pence. The bank-note circulation within the -colony Jan. 1, 1893, amounted to £589,853 ($2,870,000).


The fundamental laws of the present monetary system of Germany are those of December 4, 1871, and July 9, 1873. The former was concerned exclusively with the creation of the gold coins of the Empire, and provided for the retirement of the old gold coins. It dealt with silver only to authorize the retirement of the current coins of that metal. The law of July 9, 1873, was supplemental to it and organized the new monetary system.

Gold.—The standard is gold (monometallic), and the monetary unit the mark of 100 pfennige. (2,790 gold marks are manufactured from 1 kilogram of fine gold.) The gold coins are :

[blocks in formation]

As to gold, the law of 1873 made no change in the law of 1871, save to authorize the coinage of the 5-mark gold piece, and to allow the coinage of 20-mark gold pieces on private account when the mints were not occupied on account of the State.

Silver.-The coinage of silver is solely on coinage being limited to 10 marks per capita of Silver is legal tender to the amount of 20 marks. for gold at the public treasuries.

account of the State-the total the population of the Empire. All these coins are exchangeable

In effecting its monetary reform Germany called in all its old silver coins, with the exception of its thalers, which are still in circulation to the amount of about 400,000,000 marks, the thaler being reckoned as equivalent to 3 marks of the new system.

Up to the end of March, 1893, there had been sold by the German Empire 7,205,152 lbs. of fine silver, as the result of melting silver coins of the nominal value of 672,862,730 marks, producing an aggregate of 574,055,532 marks-the loss thus being 98,807,197 marks, 24,400,000 of which, however, must be charged to abrasion of the coins melted.

The denominations, weight and comparative values of the silver coins are as follows:

[blocks in formation]

Imperial Treasury Notes.-Legal tender. The amount of these notes issued is equal to the sum which the Empire has deposited in coined gold as a war fund, without interest. At the end of December, 1893, there were outstanding 20,000,000 marks in denominations of 5 marks, 30,000,000 in denominations of 20 marks and 70,000,000 marks in denominations of 50 marks; a total of 120,000,000 marks, or, roughly, $30,000,000.

Bank Notes.-The principal bank of issue in the Empire is the Imperial Bank (Reichsbank) of Germany, established by the law of March 14, 1875. It succeeded the Bank of Prussia, which was founded in 1765 and reorganized in 1846. It is not a State bank, its capital having been furnished by its shareholders, but on the expiration of its franchise, and ten years after any renewal of it, the State may, by giving one year's notice in advance of its intention, assume the exercise of the bank's franchise on its own account, either by liquidating it and acquiring its real property at the price at which it figures on the books of the bank, or by purchasing shares at their nominal value. In either case one-half of the reserve fund of the bank goes to the shareholders and the other half to the State. The capital of the bank is 120,000,000 marks, divided into 40,000 shares (of the nominal value of 3,000 marks each). Although not a State bank it is intimately connected with the State. The superintendence and direction of it belong to the Chancellor of the Empire, who acts through a council of curators, of which he is the president, and which is composed of four members, one appointed by the Emperor, and three by the Federal Council.

Employees are not allowed to hold any shares of the bank. The State shares in the profits of the bank to the average amount of about 2,000,000 marks a year.

In 1875 when the bank law was promulgated, there were, including the Imperial Bank, thirty-three banks of issue in Germany. Some twenty of those have now surrendered their right to issue bank notes, or have lost their franchise by its expiration.

The uncovered circulation of the Imperial Bank of Germany has no absolute limit, but the amount of such circulation in excess of 296,000,000 marks is subject to a tax of 5 per cent., while the total circulation may not exceed three times the metallic reserve.

Originally, the amount of uncovered notes not taxable was fixed at 385,000,000 marks, 250,000,000 of which might be issued by the Imperial Bank and 135,000,000 by the thirty-two other banks then in existence. The law, however, provided that when any of these latter surrendered or lost its right of emission, the amount of its untaxable notes should be added to those of the Imperial Bank. In this way the limit of the uncovered notes of the Imperial Bank which may be issued without being subject to the 5% tax has been extended to 296,000,000 marks. The issue of any notes of less denomination than 100 marks ($24) is prohibited.

The charter of the bank was to have expired on the first of January, 1891, but was renewed for ten years in December, 1889.

At the end of December, 1893, the total circulation amounted to 1,297,002,000 marks ($310,000,000) of which 369,212,000 marks ($88,000,000) are uncovered notes, the remainder being covered by specie, gold bullion, Treasury notes, and notes of other banks.

Estimated Stock of Money in the German Empire.—Gold, $625,000,000; silver (thalers), $105,000,000; silver (limited tender), $112,000,000; uncovered notes, $88,000,000, being, bank notes, $310,000,000; less metallic reserve, $222,000,000.


The monetary system established in Austria-Hungary by the Imperial patents of September 19, 1857, April 27, 1858, the laws of December 24, 1867, March 9, 1870 and May 21, 1887, was the silver monometallic with the florin of 100 kreutzers as the monetary unit. The coinage of silver on private account was suspended in January, 1879.

But while Austria-Hungary has been legally a country with a single silver standard, practically it has had no metallic money in circulation. For nearly half a century it has, with the exception of about eight months, had nothing but an irredeemable paper currency issued by the Austro-Hungarian Bank in denominations of 10, 100 and 1,000 florins, and by the treasury of 1, 5 and 50 florins. For a long series of years there was a premium on silver, but since the end of 1878, silver and paper have been at par. The value of the silver florin, owing to the limitation of the coinage of silver, is considerably greater than that of the pure metal it contains.

The provisions of the recent Austro-Hungarian currency reform are embodied in six laws, the two most important of which are those on the new currency system and on monetary treaty of Austria with Hungary. The other four are merely auxiliary to those two which contain the text of the new fundamental monetary law of the two countries. They are intended to fix the relative value of the gold florin to the new gold coins; to determine the changes which have become necessary in the bank act; to authorize the Government to raise a gold loan, and to provide for the conversion of certain 5 per cent. bonds free of tax.

The new monetary system is gold monometallic, and the gold crown of 100 hellers (farthings) the monetary unit. The new currency is to consist of gola, silver, nickel and bronze coins.

Gold. The denominations, weight, etc., of the gold coins of the Austro. Hungarian Empire, are as follows:

[blocks in formation]

The coinage charge is 4 crowns for 1 kilogram of gold for the bank and 6 on private account.

[blocks in formation]

The ratio of gold to silver in the new system is 1 to 13.69. Silver is coined only on account of the State. Silver coins are unlimited legal tender at their nominal value to the State; to private parties to the amount of 50 crowns.

The Levantine or Maria Theresa silver thalers continue to be stamped as trade coins with the old weight and fineness.

The monetary agreement between Austria and Hungary provides that there shall be coined in all by the two countries 200,000,000 crowns in silver coins, of which Austria's share is 140,000,000 crowns. The agreement is to remain in force until the end of 1910. Arrangements are to be made at the proper time for the regulation of the fiduciary circulation and the resumption of specie payments.

Austrian paper money is to remain in circulation provisionally. The paper florin is, like the silver florin, to be worth two crowns.

The introduction of the coins of the new system will be made by degrees, in the course of several years, during which time the coins of the old silver standard, as well as the State notes, will remain current. The coins of the new system, multiplied by two, are to be of the same value as the pieces of the old silver and paper currency-1 silver or paper florin, for instance, being equal to 2 crowns and 1 kreutzer to 2 hellers. The value of the new crown is $0.2026 against $0.482, the value of the gold florin.

State Treasury Notes, issued under a mutual guaranty of all divisions of the Empire without previous deposit of special metallic equivalent. This particular form of Austrian paper currency dates from 1866. The maximum issue is made to depend in a curious manner upon the amount of so-called Salt Works Notesinterest-bearing treasury bills, running for short periods. The latter cannot exceed 100,000,000 florins; while both together must not exceed 412,000,000 florins. Until quite recently these notes were depreciated below parity with gold; but since 1878 have been on a par with silver. The amount in circulation at the close of 1892 was 344,000,000 florins, in denominations of 1, 5 and 50 florins. They are legal tender.

Bank Notes.-The Austro-Hungarian Empire has only one bank of issue-the Bank of Austria-Hungary. It does not belong to the State, nor does the Government have any direct share in its administration. The State has no part in the annual profits of the bank, but has received from it a credit of 80,000,000 florins, for which it is required to pay an annual sum of only 1,000,000 at most, provided that amount is necessary to make up a dividend of 7 per cent., or cause the dividend of the bank to approximate to that maximum rate. The bank, however, pays several taxes, aggregating from 12 to 13 per cent. of its profits of late years. The permanent debt of the State to the bank is 80,000,000 florins.

The issue of notes over and above 200,000,000 florins must be covered by a corresponding amount in legal coin or in bullion. Moreover, the amount of notes of a value exceeding that of the metallic reserve must be guaranteed by discounted paper or by other safe security as well as by the bank itself. The notes of the Bank of Austria-Hungary are legal tender. The smallest denomination permitted. is 10 florins.

Its charter, which expired in 1888, was renewed for ten years.

« PreviousContinue »