The Hong Kong Government Gazette/Old Series/No 1
Victoria, Hongkong; Saturday, September 24, 1853.
The Contract hitherto in force for the publication of Government Notifications having ceased on the 21st instant,—Notice is hereby given, that the Hong Kong Government Gazette, this day established, will be hereafter the only Official Organ of Proclamations, Notifications, and all Public Papers of this Government.
Victoria, Hongkong, 24th September, 1853.
Singapore, Penang, Point de Galle, Aden, Suez, Malta, Marseilles, and Southhampton;
Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta.
The Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company's Steam-ship Formorsa, Captain Christian, with Her Majesty's Mail, Passengers, Specie, and Cargo, will leave this for the above Places, on Tuesday, the 27th September, at 2 P. M.
Cargo will be received on board until 5 P. M. on the 24th, specie until Noon on the 26th, and parcels until 2 P. M. on the 26th.
For particulars regarding Freight and Passage, apply at the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company's Office, Hongkong.
Contents, and Value of Packages, are required.
A written declaration of Contents and Value of the Packages for the Overland Route is required by the Egyptian Government, and must be delivered by the Shipper to the Company's Agents with the Bills of Lading, or with Parcels; and the Company do not hold themselves responsible for any Detention or Prejudice which may happen from incorrectness in such declaration.
Robert S. Walker,
P. & O. S. N. Company's Office, Hongkong, 23d September, 1853.
D. B. Robertson, Esq., Her Majesty's Consul for Amoy, having been directed to assume his functions at the Port, His Excellency Her Majesty's Plenipotentiary, &c., &c., has been pleased to appoint H. S. Parkes, Esq., Interpreter to the Canton Consulate, to exercise for the present, and until further notice, Consular jurisdiction and authority in the Port of Canton.
W. H. Medhurst,
Officiating Secretary to H. M.'s Plenipotentiary, &c., &c.
Superintendency of Trade, Victoria, Hongkong, 16th September, 1853.
His Excellency Her Majesty's Plenipotentiary and Chief Superintendent of British Trade in China, &c., &c., is pleased to give publicity to the subjoined communication from His Excellency the Imperial Commissioner, Yĕ, in reply to Her Britannic Majesty's Consul at Canton, and to a Proclamation by the Local Authorities, relative to the introduction of Mexican Dollars as a currency on the same footing with Spanish Dollars.
W. H. Medhurst,
Officiating Secretary to H. M.'s Plenipotentiary, &c., &c.
Superintendency of Trade, Victoria, Hongkong, 19th September, 1853.
Yeh, Imperial Commissioner, Governor General of the Two Kwang, &c., &c., &c.
makes this declaration in reply.
On the 3d instant, I received your statement, which I have carefully considered. I remark in regard to this question of the employment of Foreign Money, that in consequence of the disappearance of old Dollars from the market, the Merchants and Traders desire, as a means of maintaining a circulating medium, that other kinds of Dollars should now be jointly used with the former, to which arrangement, moreover, no objections are raised on either side.
Although ready to admit the correctness of the views taken of this matter, both in the public representation of the English Merchants and in the letter of their Consul, I may observe on the other hand, that Dollars of the old pattern (Spanish) have hither to been in universal use at Canton, and that a long time has elapsed since they were first introduced. Now, however, old Dollars have become scarce and new ones plentiful: still as the Shroffs and Money-changers are not yet familiar with the latter, they feel some uncertainty as to their purity, which cannot be so easily determined by them, as the touch of old Dollars. But they aim at no exaction, or the deliberate committal of injustice.
In judging of this matter, which has been brought officially to my notice by the said Consul and other foreigners, it is only natural that I, the Great Minister, should be guided by the desire I entertain of affording accommodation to the Merchants, and this induces me to accede to the request they have preferred. I have accordingly directed the District Magistrates of Nanhae and Pwanyu, to make it publicly known to those who are engaged in the Trade, and others whom it may concern, that, as equity should be observed by them in all their transactions, it is permitted that the new Dollars shall in future be used according to their established purity or touch, by which means all parties will be protected from loss,—the market rates will be properly adjusted, and abuses of long continuance effectually corrected.
The specimens of Dollars forwarded for my inspection are returned herewith, viz:—
1. Mexican Dollar.
1. Bolivian Dollar.do.
1. Peruvian Dollar.do.
1. Old Spanish Dollar.do. clean.
1. Old Spanishdo. Dollar.do. chopped.
To D. B. Robertson, Esq., H. B. M.'s Consul, Canton.
Heen-fung, 3d year, 8th month, —th day, (—th September, 1853).
(Signed) Harry Parkes.
Hoo, Magistrate of the District of Pwanyu, &c., &c., &c., and
Le, Magistrate of the District of Nanhae, &c., &c., &c.
Decreeing that all Dollars, whether of old or new coinage, are to circulate among Merchants and Dealers, in one uniform mode, and in the same way as they (the old Dollars) have hitherto done, in order that an equitable adjustment of value may be maintained.
The Trade of Canton, once so noted for its prosperity, is now in a stagnant condition, and the Merchants and Dealers from different quarters are growing fewer in number. It behoves us, therefore, to promptly adopt such measures as shall ensure to those commodities that are now becoming unsaleable a freer circulation, and thus timely relieve the present depression.
We find that Dollars have hitherto formed the principal medium, through which the Trade has been conducted. Now however, we learn that of the various kinds of Dollars, those with flowery millings are gradually disappearing from circulation, and the Dollars now imported consist chiefly of mixed sorts, bearing a variety of impressions, such as eagles, horses, flowers, and plants, on which all the Merchants and Dealers demand a discount of five per cent. For a long time, the different parties interested have disputed this point with each other, and have never yet come to a definite understanding. They lose sight of the fact that coins of different nations cannot be identical with each other in respect to figure or device, and merely because the Merchants of the interior are partial to those they have been accustomed to use, they set a higher value of Dollars with flowery millings, and thus induce the opinion that none of the other kinds will pass current among the people. It is sufficient to cite the custom that prevails at Chaouchow, where all operations are conducted in Dollars with flowery millings, and where a prejudice obtains against other kinds, to shew that these objects rest merely on local usage or predilections of the day, and in no way affect the intrinsic value of the silver. On the other hand, as these high rates of discount have caused trade to be no longer what it formerly was,—have depreciated capital, and have led to a deficit in the Custom's receipts, they are open to most serious objections. The natural remedy is to allow those Dollars (which are subject to these charges) to circulate (as the old ones) have hitherto done, and by removing all monopolizing influences (on particular sorts) restore (them all) to an uniform standard.
Wherefore, it being necessary that the same should be authorized by public enactment, this Proclamation is to make known to all Merchants, Dealers, Linguists, and others, the following Decree:—
In your mercantile operations with the English merchants, take no regard of the devices of the Dollars that pass through your hands, whether they be those of eagles, or horses, of flowers, or of plants, for if the coins be not inferior in point of purity they are permitted to circulate at the same rate as the Dollars with flowery millings, therefore you should not, in consequence of any preconceived opinions, demand on them a discount, and thus occasion still further disputation on this head. But if you meet with any Dollars of inferior quality, the intrinsic value of which you cannot accurately determine, no objections can be made to your satisfying yourselves on this point, by melting one or two of the doubtful pieces, and comparing them with the broken or old Dollars. At present it is permitted to tender Dollars in payment of the patriotic contributions which continue to be unremittingly collected in this Province, but in future the Treasury will be guided in the receipt of Dollars solely by their purity, and without raising any question as to their form or pattern will receive those bearing devices of eagle, horses, flowers, or plants, at one and the same rate as those with flowery millings. By these means a circulating medium, available alike for either the upper or the lower classes, will be provided, and not only will those losses you have hitherto suffered, be saved you, but the increased prosperity which you will soon be observable will mark the general benefits accruing from the measure.
It is in pursuance of the orders of the High Authorities personally delivered to us, that we, the Magistrates, now make known this Decree; let there therefore be no distrust, delay, or hesitation, in giving effect to its provisions.
A Special Proclamation!
Heen-fung, 3d year, 8th month, 8th day, (10th September, 1853).
(Signed) Harry Parkes.
W. H. Medhurst.
- Department in which Namoa is situated.