HC Deb 14 May 1860 vol 158 cc1207-8

said, he would beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, when the new Bronze Penny will be ready for issue; and, if the distribution is to be made in England and Ireland by the National Banks of those Kingdoms, by what machinery the distribution will be made in Scotland?


said, all the arrangements which depended upon the Mint with respect to the new coinage were in a very forward state; but there had been some delay with respect to that portion of the operation which was in the domain of art strictly so called, and they were not yet in possession of the dies. It was expected by the Master of the Mint that in a few weeks the dies would be forthcoming, and then the issue would commence immediately. The issue, however, was a somewhat serious operation, and the entire distribution of the coinage would take a very considerable time. In the first place, they would begin by issuing the coins from the Mint only, until the demand was so far established, and the public at large so far familiar with the progress of the operation, as to require a larger issue. They would then resort to the presses which were in the possession of the contractors, as well as the presses of the Mint itself. When the Mint itself became inadequate to supply as much as the public were disposed to call for, arrangements would then be made with the Bank of England, with all its country branches, the Bank of Ireland, and the principal banks in Edinburgh and Glasgow; and to those the new coin would be forwarded by the Mint, and they would become separate centres of distribution. The collection of the old coin, which would, in the main, I form the material of the new coin, would go forward simultaneously with the distribution of the new coin, and for the collection of the old coin it was thought that the best plan would be not to arrange any expensive public machinery, but rather to trust to persons for bringing in the old coin, allured as they would be by some allowance in the nature of premium, by way of compensation for any charge and trouble they might be put to in collecting it. That was the whole of the arrangements that had been made.

In answer to sir STAFFORD NORTHCOTE,


said, that a small sum would be taken in the Estimates towards the expenses, but that was taken merely as an account, because, in point of fact, the issue as soon as it began would balance the account in favour of the public.