- Project Runeberg -  Finland : its public and private economy /
190

(1902) [MARC] Author: Niels Christian Frederiksen
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obvious that Finland had better have a smaller unit
than the rouble, without losing the connection with
the rouble unit. One advantage gained was that the
new unit, the mark, became identical with the French
silver franc. A Mint was established in Helsingfors in
1861 for coining silver money, one and two mark pieces,
as well as pennis for small change. For the time it
was obligatory to accept the paper money, but several
measures were decided on for the purpose of forcing
silver coins into circulation. A certain amount of
energy was employed, but hardly enough. The Diet
in 1863 sanctioned the proposition of a government
guarantee for a foreign loan of 30 million marks, which
the recently established “Finlands Hypotheksförening”
(an association of mortgagers of landed property)
desired to obtain. A condition was made that 8 million
marks of the loan should be deposited in the Bank of
Finland. When this had been done, the negotiations
with St. Petersburg were continued, and the consent
of the Russian Minister of Finance to the desired
currency reform was obtained. The Emperor
Alexander II., who had followed the question with great
attention, signed finally in November 1865 a decree
that only coins should be legal tender in Finland;
and that the Bank of Finland notes should only
provisionally, until 13th March 1866, be legal tender
when offered in payment together with silver coins,
of which there was not yet a sufficient quantity in
circulation. This “mynt-realisation,” as it was called,
was not made without difficulty, and it resulted in
considerable loss to many persons because it was not
enacted more rapidly. The notes decreased in value
in Finland as well as in Russia. For a time the
difference between the value of the notes and the
silver increased to 40 per cent., and it was as high as

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