§ Sir SAMUEL ROBERTS (by Private, Notice)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the fact that the price of silver in the London market yesterday was 66½d., and that the melting value of the silver in British subsidiary coinage is 66d., and what steps the Government propose to take in this matter?
This matter has been engaging my close attention. By Statutory Orders already in existence it is an offence—(a) to hoard current British silver coin as defined in Defence of the Realm Regulation 30EE. (b) to buy or sell, 888 or to offer to buy or sell, any current British silver coin at above its face value, as provided in the same Regulation.
By an Order in Council under the Defence of the Realm Act passed yesterday amending Regulation 30E it was made an offence to melt down current silver coin or to break it up or to use it otherwise than as currency. The export of British silver coin is already prohibited, and steps are being taken to renew the prohibition on export of silver bullion except under licence. The situation is being carefully watched, but I hope that it w ill prove unnecessary to take any further action.