HC Deb 03 August 1876 vol 231 cc420-1

asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether a map has been prepared and laid upon the Table of the House, showing that the site of the present Mint comprised in the gross 203,624 superficial feet, or a little more than four acres of ground, of which 13,775 superficial feet, are now let on an unexpired term of six and a quarter years, and that the ground required for the Mint which it was proposed in 1871 to build on the Thames Embankment was only 123,174 superficial feet, thus showing that a new Mint could be erected on the present site, and leave 66,675 superficial feet, or about one and a-half acres to spare, and which could be sold in part payment of the cost of a new Mint on the present site?

MR. W. H. SMITH, in reply,

said, that the figures which the hon. Member had given were accurately quoted from the map in the Library. The frontage of the Mint was very narrow, and a new Mint could not be erected on a part of the present site without pulling down the main building and incurring enormous expense. There was only one Mint in this country, and the coinage could not be carried on during the reconstruction of the building, nor could it be suspended. Owing to the shape of the existing site the back part of the premises could not be sold with advantage, as there would be great difficulty in obtaining access to it. It would be much cheaper, even if it were not absolutely necessary, to sell the present unwieldly site and place a new Mint, properly arranged and concentrated, on a new and more convenient one.