No. 429.
Mr. Hoffman to Mr. Evarts.

No. 115.]

Sir: Referring to your No. 56, in reference to certain statistics upon gold and silver and paper currency in Russia, requested by the honororable Secretary of the Treasury, I have the honor to inform you that I applied to Mr. de Giers for this information on the 9th instant. In the mean time I have endeavored to collect such data as the Russian Government permits to be published. I find, however, that the statistics are not looked upon by business men as altogether reliable, especially those relating to the paper currency.

In partial reply to Mr. Sherman’s first and second questions, I have the honor to state that on the 12th of this month there was in the bank,

Roubles, in gold 144,423,246
Roubles, in silver 3,398,480
Roubles, in metallic values (funds publics metalliques) 25,229,693

In this connection it may be well to state that the bank for many months past has been steadily reducing its stock of silver, and increasing [Page 924] its gold. In January last it had more than nine millions of silver and only 138½ millions of gold.

In answer to the third question, the authorized paper currency in circulation amounted, in January last, to 720,265,125 roubles 5 but in addition to this, the branches of the Bank of Russia had emitted 455,550,000 roubles; total paper circulation, 1,175,815,125 roubles. The rouble is to-day worth $0.47.

In answer to the fourth and fifth questions, there was produced from the mines in 1877 (the latest published statistics), gold, 2,515 poods; silver, 1,202 poods. A pood is 36.08 pounds avoirdupois.

I have been unable to obtain any information as regards the quantity of gold and silver used in the arts and manufactures, and I doubt if any have been published. Judging, however, from the number of sacred pictures in Russia, in the manufacture of which silver is the principal ingredient, I should say that the quantity of this metal used in the arts and manufactures is large, while gold is very little used.

I have, &c.,