§ SIR JOHN LENG (Dundee)
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the worn condition of the small silver coins of the late reign; and whether he will direct the minting of new coins to replace those now in circulation.
§ *THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. RITCHIE,) Croydon
Worn silver coin is withdrawn from circulation by the Bank of England, and latterly the rate of withdrawal has been increased. The Bank are always prepared to receive worn silver coin from bankers on the same terms as coin which is in good condition; the withdrawal, therefore, of larger quantities of worn coin depends in a great measure on them. As the Bank hold ready for issue small silver coin to the amount of £425,000, there is no necessity to direct special minting operations.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
Has the right hon. Gentleman observed the scarcity of shillings and sixpences, and the superabundance of two shilling pieces and half-crowns?
§ *MR. RITCHIE
Yes; that arises, I think, from considerations of convenience in giving change. People prefer to give it in large pieces. I should be delighted to issue as many sixpences and shillings as there may be any demand for.