HC Deb 16 June 1890 vol 345 cc1007-8
MR. HERMON-HODGE (Lancashire, Accrington)

I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the increasing difficulty of getting small silver change, such as sixpences, in London; and whether he is aware that, owing to their bulk, and the difficulty of distinguishing between them, the new 4s. and 5s. pieces are most unpopular, so much so that in some clubs the cashiers rapidly accumulate sums of from £20 to £25 in these coins, of which they cannot get rid?


I am glad that my hon. Friend has asked this question. Yes, Sir, I have heard of the alleged in creasing difficulty of getting small silver change, such as sixpences, in London; but I have repeatedly stated in this House that the Government have no means of increasing the amount in circulation. There are at this moment in the Bank of England 3,760,000 shillings and 3,000,000 sixpences ready for circulation. Any bank can obtain them. Clubs, shopkeepers, or individuals have only co ask their bankers to supply them, and they, in their turn, can set them into circulation. With regard to the second question, namely, the crowns and double florins, I am not aware that they are most unpopular, except, possibly, in clubs. On the contrary, large demands continue to be made for them; £70,000 worth were asked for lately within a very few days. If it is said that the cashiers of the clubs cannot get rid of these pieces, but accumulate them to the amount of £20 to £25, I presume that if they keep a good balance at their bankers, and send them these coins, asking the bank to give them shillings and sixpences in exchange, the banks would not be unwilling to oblige such valuable customers.