HC Deb 03 March 1921 vol 138 cc2013-4
61. Sir C. OMAN

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the press of work at the Mint, which he declares to be the cause of the defective execution of the new silver coinage, is caused by an attempt to produce that coinage in haste; and whether there is any economic necessity for that haste since the fall in the value of silver to its present low figure?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)

The press of work at the Mint arises from the demand for copper coin and for War medals, as well as from the recoinage of silver. Additional difficulty arises from the fact that steel of the quality required for dies seems to be less easy to procure. I think it is very desirable that the re-coinage, which will in any case take several years, should proceed expeditiously.


Does the absence of good steel for the dies—which in many cases have cracked, and give an impression on only part of the new coins—have any effect on the other fault of this new coinage, which is owing to the want od skill in the gentleman who compose the base alloy? The surface flakes off in large patches. I have in my hand at the present moment a half-crown—


The hon. Member had better exhibit that in the Lobby.