Page:The Economic Journal Volume 1.djvu/765

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CIRCULATION OF THE RUPEE

743

registered export to British, French, and Dutch Guiana, Trinidad, and Jamaica, the Windward and Leeward Islands, the French possessions of Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Croix, the colony of Natal and the Island of Fiji, to all of which places there is a greater or less flow of Indian labour that cannot be supposed to embark entirely devoid of silver money.

There is also probably a considerable loss through coin being paid away in London by lascars, by passengers at Gibraltar, Marseilles, Brindisi, Malta, Aden, and Port Said, and by export in various ways to China, the Straits, European Turkey, and other countries. A good deal, no doubt, returns, but some is lost, and some must find its way into mints, collectors' cabinets, the melting pot. or to countries like the East Coast of Africa where it is current. For all these movements outwards, I estimate five lakhs, and three lakhs for the quantity returning.

Export by Land.—I now come to the inland trade, of which the statistics are appended. The figures recorded at the registering stations on the frontier for the export and import of treasure, which have been omitted, are entirely unreliable, and it is natural that this should be so. In unsettled tracts, few care to admit the possession of valuables. The balance of trade can, however, be ascertained with a fair amount of accuracy, for the main articles of the trade are bulky and difficult of concealment. It will be noticed that the balance of trade is against India, and must, therefore, be defrayed in rupees. It is really more unfavourable than it appears, as there is a large unregistered trade in gems, gold dust, musk, and opium. On the western frontier, the balance is the other way; but owing to the immense military and public works expenditure in Afghanistan, it is impossible to draw any reliable conclusion regarding the movements of silver. Moreover, any favourable balance if it were due to trade would be in the main discharged not in rupees but in the currency of the debtor—namely, Russian roubles, Afghan rupees, Bokharan gold mohurs, and gold dust from Yarkund. I have, therefore, omitted all figures for this frontier.

The figures of commerce with Sikkim, Munnipur, and Hill Tippera, have not been included in the first two, because they are now practically British territory, and the last two, because being internal native States they are an integral part of India. In Table N, the figures shown here as excess of imports o exports have been taken conversely to represent exports and imports of rupees. Personally I have little doubt that the expor of rupees thus calculated is under-estimated. Besides the