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The Silver Bill.

Th,e effect of the passing of the Silver Bill, whicli is to come into operation m the United States m September, is already apparent throughout the civilised world m the increased price of that metal. For some years previous to the inauguration of this vast monetary experiment m the United States, the fall m the value of silver m relation to gold had been enormous. The ' proportion had remained steady at about 12 and 10 to 1 from Anglo Saxon times to the discovery of America. The new supply obtained from the countries Avhose vast metallic wealth was rifled by the Spanish conquerors, disturbed the ratio somewhat. But down to 1874, the increased output of silver

had only resulted m bringing the proportions to 15 to 1. At that time, however, the unlimited coinage, of silver by France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, and Greece, which had tended to maintain a comparatively steady ratio, was discontinued. In most countries silver was reduced to the position of token money, with limited coinage, and gold was made the only legal tender. The result was' the rapid depreciation of silver, until last year the proportional value of silver to gold was 22 to 1. Under these circumstances the man who accepted twenty shillings m silver m exchange for a sovereign did not get anything like an equivalent. If we take the Indian rupee as an illustration of the value of silver m relation to gold, it will enible us to understand the matter without an appeal to arithmetic. The nominal value of the rupee is 2s. Many years ago when silver was more valuable it had an exchange value of 2s 2d. Last year it was worth Is 2d. The actual metallic value of an English shilling at the same date, therefore, was 6d or 7d,. taking a gold basis for computation of its price. Whether the holders of shillings appreciate the fact that the Silver Law m America is enhancing the market value of their coins or not, it is nevertheless a fact. A recent cablegram says that the rupee is already quoted at Is Bd. There are great economic problems involved m the operation of the Silver Law, and advocates and opponents of bimetallism will watch the results with interest.—" Rangitikei Advocate."

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Bibliographic details

The Silver Bill., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2502, 27 August 1890

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The Silver Bill. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2502, 27 August 1890

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