HC Deb 17 May 1915 vol 71 cc1972-3

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that there is a steady export trade in English sovereigns being done by German agents through Holland and that this trade is helped by the fact that the Bank of England gives out to Belgian refugees some 10,000 sovereigns weekly in exchange for their notes; and will he explain why it is not possible to issue new notes to them instead of gold?


I am afraid there is no doubt that the facilities given to refugees for the change of Belgian notes have been abused in the manner suggested. The import of these notes, however, has now been prohibited, and more stringent precautions are being taken with regard to the exchange of notes already in the country. As currency notes are payable in gold at the Bank of England, I do not think there would be much advantage in compelling refugees to accept such notes instead of gold, since any notes so accepted could immediately be exchanged for gold at another counter.