HC Deb 04 July 1895 vol 35 cc187-8
*MR. JAMES C. STEVENSON (South Shields)

I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he is aware that it is very little known by the public of the United Kingdom that, by the Coinage Acts, the bronze coins issued from the Mint are required to be struck of the following weights, viz.: the penny, one-third of an avoirdupois ounce; the half-penny, one-fifth of an ounce; and the farthing, one-tenth of an ounce; whether, in order that the public may understand that they enjoy the advantage of carrying in their pockets these divisions of an ounce (five farthings, or a half-penny and a farthing together making half an ounce), he will in future issues of bronze coins consider the advantage of having the weight of each coin stamped on its face; and, if he will also consider whether the diameter of the half-penny, which is exactly one inch, might with advantage be marked on the face of each coin?


The weight of the bronze coins and the diameter of the half-penny are correctly stated, but the hon. Member's addition is a little at fault, as it is not the case that "five farthings, or a half-penny and a farthing together," make half an ounce. The words should be "five farthings, or two half-pennies and a farthing" together. I do not know whether the object of the hon. Member in making the suggestion is that the coins in question should be used by the public as measures of weight and length. I think there would be obvious difficulties in such a course, and as at the present advised, I do not think it would be desirable to make any additions to the inscriptions on our coinage.

*MR. C. J. DARLING (Deptford)

I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will at the same time consider the advisability of stamping upon the coins, in addition to their weight and diameter, where they come from, so that we may recognise whether they come into an empty pocket from a Peer or a Baronet. [Cries of "Order"]