§ 10 and 11. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) what are the arrangements, if any, made to protect Egyptians from loss in view of the refusal of the National Bank of Egypt to issue gold and the depreciation of paper money so that a £5 note has to be paid for the value of £3; and (2) if he will state the price of Egyptian and of other foreign cotton, respectively, before the outbreak of War and now; by whom and by what means the price of Egyptian cotton has been prevented from increasing proportionately; and whether this restriction and the depreciation of paper money are the chief causes of the present distress in Egypt?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir E. Grey)
The market price on the Liverpool Exchange of fully good fair brown Egyptian cotton in the middle of July, 1914, was 9.10d. per lb., and the price on 18th October, 1915, was 9.95d. per lb. The price of middling American was 7.35d. in July, 1914, and 7.29d. on 18th October, 1915. Thus the price of American cotton, though rising, is still slightly lower than before the War. On the other hand, the price of Egyptian cotton has been higher than before the War for the last three or four weeks. The second part of the question does not therefore arise. As regards the financial parts of the question, I can only say that having regard to the fact that the exchange between this country and Egypt is in favour of Egypt I do not understand how there can be any difficulty in carrying on legitimate trade.
Mr. T. C. TAYLOR
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether it is not the case that the price of cotton would have been lower if free planting had been allowed by the Government, and that it has been kept up artificially by restrictions of planting?