No. 165.
Mr. Read to Mr. Fish.

No. 226.]

Sir: Referring to my Nos. 164 and 216, I have the honor to inclose a circular, with translation, of the minister of finance, issued on the 2d instant, which regulates the exchange of foreign silver coins at the public treasuries throughout Greece.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 226.—Translation.]

Circular No. 17.—Subject, on the exchange of foreign silver coins.

Kingdom of Greece.

The ministry of finance to the administrative authorities, the treasurers, the financial superintendents, and the directors of customs of the state.

There were submitted to the government complaints of the citizens, requesting that the state should undertake the exchange of foreign silver coins which they possess, and the reception of which into the public treasuries is prohibited by the royal decree of the 26th of March, (7th of April,) 1876.

The state has not any such obligation, because the decree has merely prescribed the monetary relations of the public treasuries with the citizens who now complain, although they were long ago informed that they ought to regulate their affairs so as not to retain possession of foreign silver coins.

But notwithstanding this, in order to do away with even unreasonable complaints, the government has resolved to agree with the request of the citizens. But it cannot assume without a law, as a charge of the state, the damage to be caused by the exchange. This damage is calculated to be five lepta for the zwanzigers and forty lepta for the thalers in general. In order, therefore, to execute this measure of the government, [Page 317] we request the treasurers of the state to make the exchange, by bank-notes or new silver coins, reducing at the rate above mentioned, of all old coins which would be fetched to them by the citizens, excepting the worn-out and holed, which they must not receive.

This exchange will only take place in the provincial treasuries, and only up to the 31st of this month,* (12th of August.) After that day the exchange is severely forbidden. It must be understood that to ask for an exchange one must fetch coins of at least the value of one hundred drachmas.

The exchange will be enacted at fixed hours of the day, in the presence of the subprefect or the financial superintendent, who will countersign, with the person presenting the coins and with the treasurer, the bill of delivery, on which the coins exchanged will be minutely described in their kind and amount.

For the difference arising out of the reduction the treasurers will issue a bill with the title “difference arising out of the exchange of foreign silver coins.” They will deliver it to the citizen who will present the Coins for exchange. Upon the above bills there will be an accurate and detailed description of the kind and amount of the exchanged foreign coins.

If it happens that some one of the treasurers has not moneys in hand to act the exchange at once, he can issue for the sum to be paid a monetary bill, to be paid, without any stamp-duty, at the same treasury when money has been collected there.

A law will regulate whether the difference kept by the state will be returned to the citizens, and whether the state will be compensated for the damage to be caused to the state from the exchange. Foreign coins concentrated in the treasuries from the exchange will be delivered to the banking establishments, to be exchanged in accordance with what is ordered in our circular of the 8th /20th of July, No. 9790.

  • The minister,
  1. July, old style.