HC Deb 15 December 1919 vol 123 cc45-6 My Lords read Section 2 of the Currency and Bank Notes Act, 1914, and the Treasury Minutes of the 6th and 20th August, 1914, and the 29th February, 1916. Under the[...]owers conferred upon them by that Section the Treasury gave directions embodied in those Minutes for the issue of currency notes to bankers, and, upon the application of the National Debt Commissioners, to the Postmaster-General for the purpose of providing cash for the Post Office Savings Bank Fund and to the order of the trustees of any trustee savings bank for such amount as might from time to time be necessary to provide funds for the payment of sums due to depositors (including depositors in special in investment departments), the notes so issued being treated as interest bearing advances by the Treasury. The arrangements then made were designed to meet the danger of a shortage of currency in the circumstances attendant on war conditions, and the Committee on Currency and Foreign Exchanges after the War in their Final Report recommend that they should now be discontinued.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer therefore recommends to the Board that the directions given by the Minute cited shall be revoked as from the 1st January, 1920, in so far as they provide for the issue of currency notes as advances to bankers and to the Postmaster-General and the Trustee Savings Banks, provided that any advance made under those powers and still outstanding upon that date shall be unaffected by such revocation and remain so unaffected until repayment.

My Lords concur.

Let copies of this Minute be transmitted to the Banks of England and Ireland, the National Debt Commissioners and the Bankers' Clearing House.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

Will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that it is not intended to issue any notes of a less denomination than 10s. each?


I hope there will be no necessity to issue notes lower than those now in circulation, but I cannot bind myself in anticipation of circumstances which I cannot foresee.


In view of the immense international importance of currency exchange, will the Leader of the House give facilities for us to debate the whole question of currency and exchange on the Report now detailed by the right hon. Gentleman?


The hon. Member will have an opportunity of raising the question, if he thinks fit, on the Appropriation Bill.


Will an opportunity be given to discuss this question in Ways and Means?


The opportunity afforded by the Second or Third Reading of the Appropriation Bill will be open to the hon. and gallant Gentleman.