§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he would state to the House what is the amount of the light gold coinage still estimated to be outstanding; what is the amount of gold coinage which is estimated now to fall light annually by ordinary wastage; what is at present the annual rate of light gold sent into the Mint for re-coinage; and, whether it is practicable to take any measures in order to accelerate the sending in of light gold by the bankers, so as to clear off the arrears, as well as to repair the annual waste?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir MICHAEL HICKS BEACH) Bristol, W
The amount of light gold coin outstanding on June 30 last was 922 estimated at:—Sovereigns, £4,700,000 half-sovereigns, £2,900,000; total. £7,600,000. The amount falling light during the current calendar year by ordinary wear is estimated to be:—Sovereigns, £950,000: half-sovereigns, £750,000; total, £1,700,000. The withdrawals during the current calendar year are estimated at:-Sovereigns £1,360,886; half-sovereigns, £825,170; total, £2,186,056. I had an opportunity a few weeks ago of addressing a large meeting of bankers connected with all parts of the United Kingdom, and I impressed on them strongly the desirability of aiding the Government by sending in the light gold, especially from Scotland and Ireland, where a considerable amount must still be in circulation. I believe the bankers are quite prepared to render assistance in this matter, and I think it probable that I may also take steps for the issue of a circular on the subject.