§ MR. DILLWYN (Swansea, Town)
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, If it is true that the authorities at the Mint are issuing sots of the new coins complete, of which the current value is £9 5s. 3d., at the price of eleven guineas? Also, when the new 6d. coins were likely to be issued?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN) (St. George's, Hanover Square)
A large number of applications were received by the Deputy Master of the Mint for "proof" sets of the coins of the new designs; and it has been usual hitherto, in cases 1650 of new coinage, to prepare such "proof" coins and sell them to the public. The Treasury accordingly authorized the Mint to prepare such "proof" sets in the present case. Much additional labour was involved in the preparation of these coins, which had to be struck with great care in the medal presses (not the presses used for the ordinary Jubilee coins); and a charge of about 25 per cent above the nominal value of the coins had to be made to cover the cost of the manufacture of these "proof" sets. The ordinary coins are, as the hon. Member is aware, obtainable through bankers at the nominal price. As to the new 6d. coins, they are not being issued any further, on account of the objection raised to them that they may be made to resemble half-sovereigns if they are gilded. But there is a large stock still of old dd. pieces, and also of new 6d. pieces available. As to the gold pieces, the last intimation I had from the Mint and from the Bank of England was that there was a considerable stock of all the coins available. I am most anxious that the public should have access to the coins. There is some difficulty in finding the necessary machinery for supplying them; but I will give every facility I can.