§ DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it is a fact that by Order of the Tongan Government only English coin is accepted in Tonga in payment of Customs and similar dues; whether this leaves the Chilian dollar available for all other purposes a legal tender at 3s.; whether, in consequence of the fact that this is more than the Chilian dollar can buy, the effect of the Tongan Order is to throw upon importers the whole cost of introducing the English coin required by the Tongan Government; whether it is true that this hardship falls exclusively on English merchants in consequence of Treasury Bonds, the only other legal tender for Customs, &c., being sold exclusively to Germans; and, whether a remonstrance will be addressed to the Tongan Government on this subject?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JAMES FERGUSSON) (Manchester, N.E.)
The latest intelligence showed that, on account of the inconvenience caused by the circulation at equal rates of two currencies of different standards of value, and I believe as an experimental measure, the Government of Tonga have declared that money paid in taxes will be received if in sterling coin at $8 for 32s., and if in Chilian dollars at $9 for 36s. As regards paragraph 2, the Premier is reported not to lave given a final decision. As to three, its statement would be correct if hose in the two former were so. Four, I am unable to answer. Five, we have no recent information; and, without good ground for such action, Her 887 Majesty's Government cannot undertake to offer decided advice in the matter.