HC Deb 11 April 1872 vol 210 cc1085-6

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether his attention has been called to the following statements contained in the First Annual Report of the Deputy Master of the Mint:— The Colonial Coinages executed at the Mint during the past year (1869) have been unusually numerous, and the value of the Canadian Silver Coinage, £156,250, far exceeds that of former Coinages required by that Colony. It should also be mentioned that the Mint has been authorized to make an uniform charge for the execution of Colonial Coinages sufficient to defray the expenses connected with them; and, how, under these circumstances, did it arise that the recent Silver Coinage for Canada was executed by a firm at Birmingham without the knowledge and the authority of the Government?


said, in reply, that the recent silver coinage for Canada was executed with the knowledge and without the authority of the Home Government, for the reason that it was a matter of contract between the Canadian Government and Messrs. Heaton, of Birmingham. The case was extremely plain. The practice of the Mint ordinarily was to execute coinage for the colonies. In 1869 the Mint was not fully employed, and it executed a silver coinage for Canada. In 1871 the Mint was fully employed in coining for the use of the United Kingdom. Therefore, it left the colony to enter into a contract with a private firm to execute its coinage. The hon. Member seemed to think there was some discrepancy between these two cases; he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) failed to see that any such discrepancy existed.