HC Deb 10 February 1881 vol 258 cc490-1

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether he can state the reason why the Bank of England refuses to receive worn fourpenny pieces at their full value in the same manner as other worn silver is received; and, whether, considering the great inconvenience which bankers experience from the similarity of threepenny and fourpenny pieces, the Government will take steps to call in the fourpenny pieces now in circulation?


My hon. Friend asks me the reason why the Bank of England refuses to receive worn four-penny pieces in the same manner as ether worn silver is received. I believe my hon. Friend has been misinformed. I am assured that the Bank does receive fourpenny pieces in that manner. In 1878, £2,200 worth of these pieces were withdrawn from circulation; in 1879, £2,110 worth; and in 1880, £3,910 worth. Altogether, £1,500 worth are now in the Bank ready to be sent to the Mint. No new fourpenny pieces have been issued since 1856, and the number now in circulation is exceedingly small. Only 5 per cent are fit to re-issue, and none are re-issued by the Bank unless specially applied for. The coin is dying out, and it is best to let it die out in peace.