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Consequently the disease seemed almost to suggest its own remedy. The new shilling was a success at home. Why should it not prove as great a success in the colonies, and form a (silver) link between them and the mother country? And, apart from the interests of the colonies, the home Government had interests of its own to consult. The large payments to troops and officials in the colonies, . amounting to several millions sterling a year, were made the heavier by the continual shipments of specie, necessitated by the conflicting and unsound systems of colonial currency. If British silver could be substituted once for all as the circulatory medium of the colonies, it would not only save the expense of shipping specie, but also swell the imperial gain by seigniorage on sulsidary silver. On grounds, therefore, of policy and expediency, it seemed desirable to introduce British silver coins into circulation in the colonies. The real justification of the measures of 1825 was one which was only vaguely felt at the time, and which required the subsequent experience of hali a century to demonstrate and define. That justification is to be found in the fact that the Spanish dollar, the universal coin of three centuries, had lost its supremacy, and that its universal dominion was in process of disintegration into rival “s currency areas,” chief among which was destined to be the area dominated by the British sterling.
A beginning was made through the commissariat-the department through which the troops, etc., were paid abroad. As the pay of the troops was fixed in sterling, it was decided to pay then in sterling silver and copper coins, and so to introduce these coins into colonies. In order to keep the money in circulation, an ingenious arrangement was devised. The bills which the commissaries were in the habit of drawing upon the treasury at thirty days sight for raising funds, were to be issued (at £103 per £100 bill) to any person tendering British silver. In this way it was hoped to insure the general use of British tokens as a circulatory medium in the colonies. These proposals, which so far had primary reference, not to the colonial public, but to the imperial troops, etc., were embodied in the treasury minute of February 11, 1825, the substance of which was communicated to the several commissaries by circular letter of February 12. In order to give legal currency to the British coins in the colonies generally, an order in council was passed on March 23, 1825, which proved as mischievous as it was intended to be beneficial. Its fundamental errors, derived from the treasury minute, were (1) its rating of the Spanish dollar for concurrent circulation with British silver, and (2) its omission to rate foreign gold coins.
(1) The treasury minute stated that was the substitution of British silver and copper currency ior the Spanish dollar, even in the payments from the military chests to the troops, can only be gradually effected, and as it may, in many cases, still be expedient to employ that coin as a medium of payment at a lixed rate as compared with British currency, my lords are of the opinion that it should (when necessary) be issued at the rate of 4s. 4d. the dollar, being a fraction of a farthing only above its intrinsic value at the rate of 59. 2d. per ounce of standard silver.” But as this " mint price,” which dated back to 1601, and had reference to a bimetallie standard, was 2d. higher per ounce than the gold price of silver in the open market, the effect of its application to the Spanish dollar was to overrate that coin, as measured by the gold sovereign, to which the shilling was now subsidiary: Had this blunder been contined to the mere rate of issue of the Spanish dollar to the troops in lieu of sterling coins, the evil would not have amounted to more than an unintentional fraud on the troops, etc., but, when the obsolete mint price was made the basis for rating British silver for concurrent circulation with the dollar, the overvaluation of the later coin by 34 per cent was fatal to the imperial scheme. By a familiar law, the overrating of the dollar suficed to drive out the shilling.
(2) As has been shown above, the indirect effect of the proclamation and act of 1705 had been to establish a gold standard in the West Indies. Here, as in Spain itself, the gold doubloon (with the Portuguese johannes) had practically supplanted the silver dollar. Consequently, if British silver was undervalued 35 per cent, as compared with the dollar, it was still further underrated (by an additional 41 to 5 per cent), as compared with the colonial gold standard. In colonies where the doubloon (worth 6ts. sterling) passed, as in Spain, for 16 silver dollars, the undervaluation of the shilling by about 8 per cent rendered its circulation hopeless. In Gibraltar, for example, where the doubloon was supreme, the newly arrivel boxes of British silver were bought up at the price of 1 doubloon for 69s. td., and immediately shipped back to England "unopened and with seals intact.”'
Accorelingly, by order in council of September 7, 1838, the order in council of March 23, 1825, was revoked, so far as respected the colonies in America and the West Indies, and it was ordained that throughout the West India colonies, including British Guiana, the doubloon and dollar should circulate and be received in payment equally with sterling, as being, respectively, of the full value of Gis. and 4s. 21. Instructions were sent at the same date to the governors of the several colonies in the West Indies directing them to declare by local proclamation the currency" values of the doubloon, the dollar, and the shilling, according to the relative values assigned to these coins in the royal proclamation. The doubloon being the real standard in the West Indies, was to be taken as the basis of the currency ratings, with a consequent leveling up of the values of the dollar and shilling. The new currency ratings were in most cases inconvenient for the purposes of ordinary life. The Bahamas and Jamaica at once proceeded to dispense with “curreney” and adopted sterling denominations. And in this connection it is to be observed that the reign of the Spanish dollar being over, most of the West Indian colonies bail come to form part of the rapidly widening currency area” of Great Britain. Hence, even though in many cases the formal atloption of sterling denominations was postponed (hy Montserrat until 1861), sterling coins steadily worked their way into general circulation in the West Indies. The success of the legislation of 1838 in the West Indies led, in 1843–44, to its application to colonies elsewhere-to Mauritius, the west coast of Africa, St. Helena, Malta, Gibraltar, and Hongkong. In the firet two cases French and East Indian coins were also admitted to tender; in Malta the doubloon was not allowed to compete with sterling; and in Gibraltar (where only the Spanish doubloon passed current and where the silver dollar was in practice mere bullion), the rating of the dollar, as à denomination, at 4s. 2d. was allowed to be established side by side with the rating of the Spanish doubloon at $16, or 66s. Sd., instead of 61s.
EFFECT OF TIIE GOLD DISCOVERIES.
The great discoveries of gold in Australia in 1851, following as they did on those of California, profoundly affected the currency of the British colonies in common with the rest of the civilized world. A primary effect was to drive out the now appreciated silver dollar from circulation in places like the West Indies, where nothing but the hitherto steady gold price of silver had retained these coins in circulation side by side with the gold sovereign and its token representatives. Thus the second half of the century saw the banishment of the old silver dollar to the East. But the most notable effect of the Australian gold discoveries was the local demand for the establishment in Australia of branches of the royal mint, the first of which was opened at Sydney on May 14, 1857, whilst the second, at Melbourne, dates only from June 12, 1872.
A MEXICAN VIEW OF THE CAUSES OF THE POPULARITY OF THE MEXICAN DOLLAR IN THE ORIENT.
Señor Joaquin D. Casasus, in a series of articles published in El Economista Mexicano, in 1901, says: “It is very hard to say at what precise date money coined in Mexico was introduced in the markets of the extreme Orient, though it is quite well known that about the end of the seventeenth century New Spain and the Philippine Islands were maintaining very important commercial relations, since the royal ordinance of April 14, 1579, had authorized the exports of merchandise—the product of the Philippines—to New Spain and Peru."
The government of the Philippine Islands, moreover, maintained friendly relations with China and Japan, and during the seventeenth century the custom became quite general to send to the rulers of Japan, Cambodia, the Tidoro or Molucca Islands, and of China, gifts and presents to continue these friendly relations. There is no doubt that the Mexican pesos penetrated into these vast empires by way, primarily, of the Philippine Islands, because the government of New Spain had to send there each year from 270,000 to 280,000 pesos, the revenue of the insular treasury not being suflicient to meet all the expenditures. The government, then, at an earlier stage than commerce, was instrumental in introducing the Mexican pesos in the markets of the extreme Orient. Chalıners, in his valuable study entitled, A History of the Currency in the British Colony, says the following on this question: "The silver dullar, in the earliest Spanish form, had been familiar at such Chinese ports as Canton, Ningpo, and Amoy since 1571, in connection with Spanish commerce from the Philippines,” and in 1596 Linschoten, in his Itineraire Voyage, stated that at Goa "there are likewise rialles of eight which are brought from Portuigall, and are ‘paradawes de reales,' worth, at their first coming out, 436 reyes of Portuigall, and after are raised by exchange as they are sought for where men travelt for China” (p. 371).
There is good reason to say that, beginning with the seventeenth century, the Mexican peso was a very important civilizing agency and the chief exchange instrument in the international commerce of the peoples in the Orient. When European civilization came to knock at the doors of these great and populated empires, the peso became the tie of union between the Eastern and Western nations, and the only possible basis on which commercial peace might be reestablished.
The product of the Mexican silver mines, after being turned into coin, was distributed all over the world, taking two routes—that of the Orient, and that of the Occident. The commerce which New Spain maintained through the port of Acapulco, in southern Mexico, with the Philippine Islands never attained any real significance-although the merchandise of China passed through Mexico on its way to Europe-by reason of the prohibitory legislation of the kings of Spain in order to keep the commerce already established between the Philippine Islands, Guatemala, and Peru. Nor did the movement of precious metals ever attain any extraordinary importance.
The commerce with Spain was more important for the American colony, and the precious metals extracted from the mines were, as a rule, sent to Spain. Europe, however, did not keep all this gold and silver in circulation. International commerce transmitted part of it to Asia. The European precious metals flowed to the Asiatic continent by three principal routes—first, the commerce with the Levant, Egypt, and the Red Sea; second, the maritime commerce with the East Indies and China; third, the commerce of Russia with China and Tartary. The two trade currents of New Spain, by way of the East and the West, brought the silver and the coined peso pieces of Mexico to the great nations of the Orient. The East Indies and China are the countries which have absorbed the larger part of the silver extracted from the American mines. They are the bottomless pit into which the precious metals have been thrown forever, and the great receptacle of the production of the mines in the New World. China particularly has proved to be the chief consumer of Mexican silver. This country never had a monetary system in the proper ense of the term. As Savary says, in his Universal Dictionary of Commerce: “Gold and silver are not turned into coin in China, but are being used according to their weight for business and other purposes.” Almost the same expressions are used by Voltaire in his Essay on the Customs: "For many years gold has not been a common medium of exchange in China, nor has it been a commodity as in Holland; nor is silver money in the strict sense of the term, its weight and fineness determining its price.”
The peso thus found its way into China, not as money, but as simple commodity. Pesos were bought and sold in the market like any other product-for instance, tea and opium. The Diccionario de Commercio y de Navegacion, therefore, is quite right in saying: “The peoples of Asia and Africa take the coins, not according to the value affixed to them by the Government which puts them in circulation, but according to the amount of fine silver contained in them. These people regard them nierely as pieces of a fixed and constant weight and fineness, and do not cease to test constantly the weight and fineness.
CURRENCY AND BANKING SYSTEMS IN THE WORLD'S COLONIES.
The statements which follow show the currency and banking conditions in each of the colonies of the world wherever it is found practicable to state that information in concise terms. The banking system is so closely associated with the currency system that it has seemed proper to combine the two wherever possible in the statements presented. The statements are from the Colonial Office List, the Statesman's Year-Book, and other standard publications.
Queensland.—There were on December 31, 1889, 11 banks with 167 branches. The value of the coin and bullion is given as £1,886,258; the deposits, £12,754,708. The government savings bank returns the number of depositors as 78,009, the amount of deposits as £3,171,047.
South Australia.—The legal tender and usual currency is exclusively British sterling. Eight banking institutions carry on business within the Province, all of which have establishments in the principal seaports and inland townships, numbering altogether 133 branches and agencies. The total average liabilities of the 8 banks amount to (December 18, 1899) £6,283,735; average note circulation, £397,616, and the total average assets to £6,752,772. The savings bank is managed by a board of trustees appointed by the governor, and has 134 agencies. The number of depositors on December 31, 1899, was 106,122, and the total deposits amounted to £3,489,082; averaged credit of depositor £32 179. 6d.; rate interest paid to depositor, 3 per cent. One in 3.09 of the population is a depositor in savings banks.
Tasmania.—The legal tender and usual currency is British sterling. There are 4 banks established in the colony, viz: The Commercial Bank of Tasmania, the National Bank of Tasmania, the Union Bank of Australia, the Bank of Australasia, with, together, 39 branches. The total assets on December 31, 1898, amounted to £3,341,030; deposits, £3,105,562. The note circulation on same date amounted to £148,319. In addition to the above there are three savings-bank systems, one being located at Hobart, one at Launceston, and one having many branches throughout the colony, established by government in connection with the post-office department, total deposits at the time of last balancing, December 31, 1899, being £915,062.
Victoria.—The following banks had branches, numbering about 452 in all, throughout the colony during the last quarter of 1899: The Bank of Australasia, of New South Wales, of New Zealand, of Victoria, Colonial of Australasia, Commercial of Australia, English, Scottish, and Australia, London of Australia, National of Australasia, Royal of Australia, and the Union of Australia. The deposits at that period amounted to £3,050,429, and the value of the notes in circulation to £951,795. There are also more than 329 branches of the savings banks throughout the colony. The number of accounts open on June 30, 1900, was 375,070, and the amount in deposit was £9,110,818. The legal tender and usual currency is exclusively British sterling. A branch of the Imperial mint is established at Melbourne, where gold to the value of over £5,000,000 is coined annually.
lesern Australia.--The legal tender and usual currency is exclusively British sterling. The following banks have establishments in the colony: The Western Australian Bank, National Bank of Australasia, Union Bank of Australia, Limited, Bank of New South Wales, Commercial Bank, and the Bank of Australasia. The deposits in the banks during the year ended December 31, 1899, averaged £3,808,629.
A government post-office savings bank at Perth, with branch offices, was established in 1863. The deposits during the year ended June 30, 1896, amounted to £520,016; during the year ended June 30, 1897, to £1,068,322; during the year ended June 30, 1898, to €1,231,638; during the year ended June 30, 1899, to £1,057,023, and during the year ending June 30, 1900, to £1,112,250.
A branch of the royal mint has been erected at Perth.
Buhamas.--The legal tender currency is British sterling, United States current coin, silver of the Latin Union, and gold doubloons. Accounts are kept in sterling. There is no colonial currency. A local bank, called the Bank of Nassau, was established on June 1, 1889. It hal on December 31, 1899, a note issue of £6,500, and deposits amounting to £52,000. A post-oflice savings bank was established in January, 1886, and had on December 31, 1899, £13,060 deposited.
Barbarlos.-Accounts are kept in sterling, and British coin is legal tender and the chief medium of circulation. There is no limit to the legal tender of British silver, and there is but little gold in circulation. The only bank doing business in Barbados is the Colonial Bank, capital paid up £600,000. Total number of branches throughout West Indies 13, with deposits of £1,530,000, and a note circulation (35 notes) of £350,000. In Barbados the estimated circulation is £30,000. There is a Government savings bank which had on September 30, 1899, 13,313 depositors, and deposits amounting to £226,117.
Bermuda.-The coins in circulation are British currency, which are legal tender. There is no limit to the legal tender of British silver. The Bermuda Banking Company has recently established a bank at Hamilton. Vessrs. N. T. Butterfield & Son have also a banking establishment at Hamilton, and several of the leading merchants do a considerable amount of business as private bankers and agents. A Government savings bank was established in 1871, and there are branches at Hamilton, St. Georges, and Sandys Parish. The number of depositors at the end of 1899 was 1,333; total amount of deposits, £31,686.
British Guiana.- Accounts are kept in dollars and cents. British sterling and United States gold coin are current and legal tender as well as Spanish and Mexican gold. Spanish, Mexican, or Colombian dollars are no longer legal tender under Ordinance No. 1 of 1876. There are also remaining some old silver tokens from one-eighth to 3 guilders (1 guilder being equal to 1s. 4d.). The Colonial and British Guiana banks have establishments at Georgetown, with branches at New Amsterdam. The British Guiana Bank on March 31, 1900, had a note circulation of £57,532, and the Colonial Bank £62,152. The total note circulation in the colony is about £129,684. The first government savings banks were established at Georgetown and New Amsterdam in the year 1836. A branch bank was opened at Suddie, Essequebo, in 1879, at Belfield, on the East Coast, Demerara, in 1884, and another at Fellowship, West Coast, Demerara, in 1887.' The total deposits amounted on December 31, 1899, to £248,352 among 12,452 depositors. There are 27 post-oflice savings banks. At the end of that year these banks had 7,953 depositors, with £13,615 to their credit.
British Ilonduris.-Up to October 14, 1891, the coins in circulation were principally South and Central American silver dollars. There was no paper currency. The standard of value was the Guatemalan dollar, and Chilean and Peruvian silver coins were also current and legal tender as well as the colonial currency of 1-cent pieces at fixed ratings with the Guatemalan dollar. By Ordinance No. 31, of 1894, the currency has been established on a gold basis, the United States gold dollar being adopted as the standard coin. Gold coins of the United States mint are legal tender for the amounts of their respective denominations in silver dollars; also the British sovereign and half sovereign for the amounts of $1.867 and $2.433, respectively. There is a local subsidiary currency of 50-cent, 25-cent, 10-cent, and 5-cent silver pieces, and a Government note issue of the following denominations: $1, $2, $5, $10, $50, and $100; a bronze cent piece is also current. The limit of the legal tender in silver is $10, and in bronze at 50 cents. There are no private banks in the colony. The Government Savings Bank, established in 1846 at Belize (with branches at Corosal, Orange Walk, Stann Creek, Punta Gorda, and the Cayo), had on December 31, 1899, $31,320 deposited.
Dominion of Canada.-There is a uniform curreney throughout the Dominion, consisting of dollars, cents, and mills, the same as that of the United States, $1.863 being equal to £l. In addition to this Canadian coinage the gold coins of the United States are also legal tender.
There are Government savings banks in the maritime provinces and in Manitoba and British Columbia, having 49,320 depositors, with $15,470,110 on deposit. There are also post-office savings banks in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Janitoba, and Northwest Territories, and British Columbia, having 142,141 depositors, with $34,771,605.
The total amount of savings-bank deposits, including two operating under special charters, was $66,135,282, on June 30, 1899. The following banks are established in Canada:
Ontario (headquarters). -Bank of Toronto, Dominion Bank, Standard Bank, Imperial Bank, Bank of Ottawa, Ontario Bank, Canadian Bank of Commerce, Bank of Hamilton, Western Bank, Traders' Bank.
Quebec (headquarters).—Bank of Montreal, Molsons Bank, Banque National, Banque de St. Jean, Banque de Ste. Hyacinthe, Bank of British Vorth America, Banque Jacques Cartier, Banque d'Ilochelaga, Merchants’ Bank of Canada, Quebec Bank, Union Bank of Canada, Eastern Townships Bank.
Vora Scotia (headquarters).—Bank of Nova Scotia, People's Bank, Halifax Banking Co., Merchants’ Bank, Union Bank, Bank of Yarmouth, Commercial Bank of Windsor, Exchange Bank of Yarmouth.
Other prorinces (headquarters).---Bank of New Brunswick; People's Bank, New Brunswick; St. Stephen's Bank, New Brunswick; Bank of British Columbia; Summerside Bank of Prince Edward Island; Merchants’ Bank of Prince Edward Island.
These banks have in all 641 branches, distributed as follows: Ontario, 306; Quebec, 117; Nova Scotia, 69; New Brunswick, 30; British Columbia, 47; Prince Edward Island, 6; Manitoba, 46; Northwest Territories, 20.
Paid-up banking capital has nearly doubled since 1870. In June of that year it was $32,050,597, and in June, 1900, it was $61,733,145. The bank-note circulation on June 30, 1900, was $15,577,387. In 1887 they held $69,763,668 of deposits, and in June, 1900, they held $279,579,150. In addition to the notes issued by the charter banks the government issues notes of various denominations, and the average monthly circulation in 1890 amounted to $15,501,360, and in 1899, $25,041,650. The maximum government issue is fixed at $25,000,000, and the minimum reserve in specie and British Government securities is fixed at 25 per cent, but for all amounts over $20,000,000, gold must be held dollar for dollar. No notes are issued below $5 except by the government.
Cape of Good Ilope. - The legal-tender currency is British sterling, and this is also the money of account. Since the beginning of 1892 the tanks having their head offices outside the colony are only allowed to issue notes supplied to them by the government, which holds securities deposited by the institutions for the total supply of such notes given to the banks. The notes are legal tender and guaranteed by the government, the banks having to redeem the notes in gold on demand at their chief places of business. Banks having their head offices in the colony and having been registered on January 1, 1891, can continue to issue their own notes,
1 The branch banks at Belfield and Fellowship were closed on March 31, 1895. No.4-16
which are neither guaranteed nor legal tender. There are 6 banks, with 102 branches. The total amount of notes in circulation on June 30, 1900, was £1,313,905; legal tender, £1,306,820; other, £7,085.
Ceylon.—The weights and measures in common use are British.
Accounts are kept in rupees, and the money in circulation is exclusively Indian and Ceylon rupee currency, which is alone legal tender. Ceylon cents take the place of the Indian annas and pice. The notes of the Chartered Mercantile Bank remained in circulation to some extent until 1888, when its charter expired, but since the failure of the Oriental Banking Corporation, in 1884, the government has instituted a note issue, of which the amount in circulation on December 31, 1897, was Rs. 10,008,700. These notes are legal tender, except at the Colombo issue office.
The exchange rates follow those of India, and have of late years somewhat improved. The exchange for remittances to England by a six months' bill was 1s. 4;d. during 1899, while the average rate for demand drafts was 1s. 4d.
The Ceylon government calculates the rupee at 1s. 10!d. for the purpose of the payment in the United Kingdom of half salary or pension in the case of officers appointed before February 19, 1897, and at 1s. 6d. in the case of officers appointed after that date.
The following banks have establishments in the colony: Mercantile Bank of India, Limited; Chartered Bank of India, Australia, and China; Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation; Bank of Madras; National Bank of India, Limited. None of these now issue notes in Ceylon. The Chartered Mercantile Bank had Rs. 4,355,600; the Madras Bank, Rs. 6,882,828; and the National Bank, Rs. 1,187,916 deposits in the island on December 31, 1890. The Hongkong and Shanghai Bank had Rs. 1,329,186 in deposit on December 31, 1898. The Ceylon Savings Bank was established in 1832, and post-office savings banks were opened in 1885, and the two together had on December 31, 1898, Rs. 4,473,382 deposited.
Cyprus.—Under an order in council which came into operation on January 1, 1901, the following coins are legal-tender currency: Gold, the sovereign; silver, 18, 9, 41, 3, piaster pieces. Limit of tender, 540 piasters (9 equal to 1s). Bronze, 1 piaster, half piaster, quarter piaster; limit of tender, 27 piasters. (40 paras equal 1 piaster.) The Imperial Ottoman Bank has a branch established at Larnaca, and an agency at Nicosia. There is as yet no government savings bank.
The Turkish weights and measures are in use. The oke equals 2.8 pounds avoirdupois, and the donum equals about one-fourth
A law relating to weights and measures was passed in 1890.
Falkland Islands.—The legal-tender currency is British sterling and local £5, £1, and 5s. notes. There are no private banks in the colony. On April 1, 1888, a government savings bank of the usual type was established, in which, on September 30, 1899, the deposits were £14,000, belonging to 360 depositors.
Fiji.—The legal-tender currency and the only coin in circulation is British sterling. The bank of New Zealand has two branches in Fiji-at Suva and Levuka. Provision is made by ordinance for the establishment of a government saving bank. There is no government note issue.
The Gambia.—The legal-tender and usual currency is that of Latin Union; there is no colonial coinage and no note issue. A government savings bank was established in 1886, and had on December 31, 1897, £2,562, deposited by 169 depositors; in 1898, £3,882, deposited by 192 depositors; and in 1899, £5,083, deposited by 203 depositors; but there are no private banks.
Gold Coast Colony.—The currency and legal tender is British sterling, with Spanish, American, and French gold coins, as fixed by Ordinance No. 2 of 1880. Gold dust was demonetized by Ordinance No. 9 of 1889, but still remains a medium of exchange in the districts of the interior. A number of United States silver half dollars are in circulation, but are not legal tender. German gold and silver coin circulates in the trans-Volta districts since the Customs Union. Copper coins are little used, owing to the dislike to them entertained by the natives in most places. Cowries are still in use, but only for the purchase of articles of little value. Accounts are kept in sterling. The bank of British Africa has establishments at Accra and Cape Coast.
Hongkong.—The currency of Hongkong consists of the following coins (vide order in council February 2, 1895): (1) The silver dollar of Mexico; (2) British dollar; (3) the Hongkong dollar, half collar, and 20-cent, 10-cent, and 5-cent pieces, issued from the Ilongkong mint (1866–1868); (4) half dollars, 20, 10, and 5 cent pieces imported from England and coined at the Royal mint and Birmingham mint; (5) copper coins representing one-hundredth part of the dollar (called 1 cent), and one-thousandth part of the dollar (mil or cash), imported from England.
There were issued from the Hongkong mint 2,108,054 dollars and 58,587 half dollars; and 20, 10, and 5 cent pieces to the nominal value of $102,671. There have been obtained from England and put into circulation up to December 31, 1898, subsidiary coins (which now include half dollars) to the nominal value of $21,778,125.
The coins issued from the Hongkong mint are never met with in the colony now, and of the coins imported from England it is estimated that not more than 10 per cent remain in the colony.
There are six principal banks (Chartered Bank of India, Australia, and China; Mercantile Bank of India, Limited; China, Hongkong, and Shanghai Bank; National Bank of China; the Bank of China, Japan, and the Straits; and the Yokohama Specie Bank), having a note circulation of $10,121,597 on December 31, 1898. There is no savings bank under government control, but one conducted by the Ilongkong and Shanghai Bank.
Jamaicu.—British currency, United States gold, and gold doubloons are legal tender. Accounts are kept in sterling, and the coin in circulation is almost exclusively British silver and Jamaica nickel pence. Total estimated coin, £300,000. The Colonial Bank and the Bank of Nova Scotia are the only private banking establishments in the colony. The Colonial Bank has one branch and four agencies; it has a note circulation estimated at £150,000. British silver coins above 6d. are legal tender to any extent; coins of 6d. and lese amount to the extent of 405. in any one payment.
Government savings banks were instituted in all the principal towns in 1871, the rate of interest allowed being at first 4 per cent, but this was reduced in 1881 to 3 per cent, and in 1897 to 24 per cent. The total deposits on March 31, 1900, were £468,616 78. 4d.
Lagos.-By Ordinance No. 2 of 1880 the legal-tender currency and that generally in use is British sterling, with gold dust and nuggets, and some Spanish, American, and French gold coin; but by Ordinance No. 7 of 1894 gold dust and nuggets were demonetized. Cowries (1,000 equal 30.) are still occasionally employed for small transactions. Accounts are usually kept in sterling, but occasionally still in gallons of palm oil, or in cowries, by the smaller native traders. A government sayings bank was established on January 1, 1887, under the management of the colonial treasurer, and on December 31, 1897, held deposits amounting to £16,553 13s. 13d.
Leeward Islands.—The usual currency is British silver, a few British and United States gold coins being occasionally met with. In addition to these the gold doubloons are legal tender. The Colonial Bank has a branch in Antigua, one in St. Kitts, and one in Dominica.
In the Virgin Islands, Montserrat, and Nevis there are no banks. The notes of the Colonial Bank circulate in Antigua ( £3,500) and St.
There is no limit to silver as the legal tender.
Malta.—The legal-tender currency is, under order in council of September 24, 1886, exclusively British. There are two local banks (Banco di Malta and Anglo-Maltese Bank) and a branch of the Anglo-Egyptian Bank. The first two banks have a small note circulation, reported to amount to about £20,000, and the deposits in the three banks are estimated at about £200,000. The Government Savings Bank, established in 1833, had on December 31, 1899, £522,148 deposits.
Mauritius.—The Mauritius Commercial Bank has establishments in the colony. The total amount of deposits was Rs. 3,895,578.46. The Bank of Mauritius (limited) was established in October, 1894, with paid-up capital of £125,500, and opened in Mauritius in December, 1894. Total deposits up to the end of 1899, Rs. 1,673,791. A government savings bank was established in 1865. The total deposits on December 31, 1899, amounted to Rs. 2,885,942.
All accounts are now kept in rupees and cents of a rupee, which is the currency of the island. There are about Rs. 9,000,000 (in coin) in circulation. A government note issue was reestablished in 1876, the notes being legal tender, except at the office of issue. The circulation on December 31, 1899, was Rs. 3,606,000.
Natal.—The currency is exclusively British sterling. The Natal Bank, the standard bank of South Africa, the Bank of Africa, the African Banking Corporation, and the National Bank of the South African Republic have together 15 establishments, with £3,511,091 deposits. A government savings bank was established in 1868, and had in 1899 (December 31) £301,348 deposits.
Newfoundland.—Branch banks of the Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, and Merchants' Bank of Halifax have been opened in St. Johns, and a branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia in Harbor Grace.
The legal tender currency is British sterling, United States gold, and colonial coins. Much of the trade is carried on by barter. Accounts are kept in dollars and cents. Exchange, $4.863 to the pound sterling.
New Zealand.—The following banks have branches in the colony: Bank of New Zealand, National Bank of New Zealand (limited), Union Bank of Australia (limited), Bank of New South Wales, and Bank of Australasia. The total amount of their deposits in New Zealand on December 31, 1899, was £14,433,638, and of their note circulation £1,195,562. There is also a post-office savings bank established in the colony, having now 427 branches; the amount deposited therein on December 31, 1899, was £5,320,370. The private savings banks number 6, and the total amount to credit of depositors at the end of 1899 was £807,927. The currency and legal tender is exclusively British sterling.
Sierra Leone.—Besides British currency, gold doubloons, eagles, and the coins of the Latin Union are current and legal tender. There is no colonial coinage and no note circulation. The British Bank of West Africa has a branch in the colony. A government savings bank was established in 1882 and had, in 1899, £39,529 deposited by 3,324 depositors.
Basutoland.—There are no banks in the territory, but a government post-office savings bank has been established. The currency is exclusively British, but exchange, and even the payment of taxes, is still largely conducted by barter.
Straits Settlements. The standard coin of the colony, by an order of the Queen in Council, dated February 2, 1895, is the silver Mexican dollar, but the British dollar and the old Hongkong dollar are also legal tender.
Local silver and copper coins, representing fractional parts of a dollar, are legal tender up to $1 and $2, respectively.
The following banks have establishments in the colony: The Chartered Bank of India, Australia, and China; the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, the Mercantile Bank of India (limited), the Bank of China and Japan, and the Netherland Trading Society.
The average bank-note issue during 1899 amounted to $8,082,209. Government currency notes were issued for the first time in 1899, the amount in circulation on December 31 being $2,173,601.
There is a government savings bank at each settlement. On December 31, 1899, the deposits amounted to $131,263.
Trinidad and Tobago.—The coins in general circulation are British gold, silver, and bronze, United States gold currency, and gold doubloons. These are all legal tender, as is also British gold, which is not often met with. Accounts are kept in sterling by the government, but in dollars by the people. The notes of the Colonial Bank circulate to the extent of £100,000, estimated. There is no colonial coinage or note issue. There is no limit to silver as legal tender.
Turks and Caicos islands.—The coins in circulation, all of them being legal tender under Bahama acts 2 Vict. cap. 4, and 8 Vict. cap. 49, also Jamaica law 10 of 1880, consist of British sterling, United States gold and silver, Spanish, Mexican, and Colombian gold doubloons, and Jamaican nickel tokens. There is no limit to the legal tender of silver. There is no paper currency. Commercial accounts are usually kept in dollars and government accounts in sterling. A government savings bank was established on January 1, 1890, and had on December 31, 1899, 186 depositors with £994 deposited.
Windward Islands, Grenada.—The legal-tender currency is British sterling, doubloons, and the gold coin of the United States. There is no government note issue, but the Colonial Bank, which has branches in the larger islands, issues $5 notes. Public accounts are kept in sterling, but banking and private accounts generally in dollars. There is no limit to the legal tender of silver.
Vorth Borneo.—The company which controls the territory and administers government under a charter has a copper coinage of one hali and 1 cent pieces, and it issues notes expressed in dollars to the extent of $180,000. American, Mexican, Straits Settlements, Hongkong, and British dollars are treated as currency. There are agencies of the Chartered Bank of India, Australia, and China, and the company itself does banking business when required.
Money orders on North Borneo are issued in England, India, the Straits Settlements, Ceylon, Hongkong, and elsewhere, and vice
Algeria.-The Bank of Algeria, whose privilege has been extended to the end of 1912 or of 1920, at the will of the government, is a bank of issue, but its note circulation must not in any case exceed 150,000,000 francs. It has undertaken to pay annually to the government, from 1900 to 1905, the sum of 200,000 francs; from 1906 to 1912, 250,000 francs; from 1912 to 1920 (if then in existence), 300,000 francs.
Madagascar.—The Comptoir National d'Escompte de Paris has agencies at Antananarivo and Tamatave.
The only legal coin is the silver 5-franc piece, with its silver subdivisions, as well as copper coins of 5 and 10 centimes, but the Italian 5-lire piece and Belgian, Greek, and other coins of equal value are also in circulation. For smaller sums the coin used to be cut up into