MR. SINCLAIR&c.) (Falkirk,
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will re-consider the instructions given to the artists who have been asked to send in designs for the proposed new coinage, so far as to make it imperative that such designs must have the value (in words or figures) expressed on either the obverse or reverse of all coins, and not on the florin alone?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN,) St. George's, Hanover Square
The instructions to the artists who have been asked to send in designs for the proposed new coinage were not given by me, but by the Committee, which, as my hon. Friend knows, was appointed in order to assist the authorities of the Mint with their advice, both as regards the design and the general character of coins. On that Committee there sit the Member for the University of London, who is thoroughly familiar with the views of London bankers, Mr. Wade, the Director of the National Provincial Bank, which has innumerable branches in various parts of the country, and the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. They have left it to the artists to send in designs with or without the expression of the value. What the result may be I am unable to say as yet, but I am not prepared to take any steps in the matter pending the Report which may be made by the Committee.
§ MR. SINCLAIR
Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will remember that in reply to a Memorial signed by Members 153 of this House he undertook, as far as possible, to meet the wishes of the memorialists as regarded silver coins. Will he endeavour to influence the Committee so as to carry out that undertaking as far as possible, so that the value of silver coins shall be expressed one side or the other.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
The Committee is composed of gentlemen well acquainted with the requirements of the case. I cannot interfere now, but when their Report is received I will consider whether it is necessary that further steps shall be taken.
§ MR. H. H. FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)
May I ask whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer has delegated his functions in this matter to a Committee consisting in the main of artistic persons—as to whether the denomination of the new coinage shall be inscribed upon it?
§ MR. GOSCHEN
I have not delegated any such functions to the Committee. I have asked the Committee to report to me, and the Committee have invited certain artists to send in designs. When the Committee send in their Report it will be for me to consider it.