ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Revisiting the Exchange Standard, 1898-1913

II- Operations

Operations formed the core of the new standard. Curzon's unusual despatch of 1900 began it, permitting free sale of council bills, ostensibly for 'convenience of trade' (words the Chamberlain Commission wished to bury); really to get funds in London faster than accumulating coinage profits. We apprehend that with London's financial market recently internationalised, the India Office-Exchange Banks' tie-up gave them added power over disposition of India's exchange earnings. The Commission justified hurried transfer of large funds to London, for its 'present and prospective ends', using every possible means, some we reveal. All this impinged on a weak economy, precipitating ominous rise of prices, attracting notice of all, the viceroy included, and endangering the welfare of many millions, and perhaps storing up difficulties for the future. We shall turn to that in Part III.

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