HC Deb 18 October 1946 vol 427 cc1244-6

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

Mr. C. Williams

There is just one point with which I have been asked to deal.

2.15 p.m.

Mr. George Thomas (Cardiff, Central)

May I ask the hon. Gentleman who asked him to deal with it?

Mr. Williams

I have been asked to make quite certain of one point. There is no rule under which I have to say who asked me but, if the hon. Gentleman had had the courtesy to wait for a minute, he would have understood why the point has been raised.

Mr. G. Thomas

I have waited for an hour.

Mr. Williams

I think I am right in assuming—but I wish to be quite certain on this point—that there is no necessity to put in anything about Northern

Crown 436.36363 28.27593 2.000 0.1296

The purpose of the Amendment is to make sure that the crown or five-shilling piece will be retained in our coinage. Such is the courtesy with which the hon Gentleman and the Chancellor, who is incidentally the Master of the Mint, have treated me, that I hope it may be accepted, and I will try to be as brief as possible. The five-shilling piece is a noble coin. It has had a most distinguished numismatic history. There have been 26 crowns issued altogether; I have them here if any hon. Member would like to see them. Some are most beautiful pieces. It is a most noble and magnificent coin and, if for historic reasons only, I think it should be preserved. However, I do not bring forward this point merely for historic and numismatic reasons. The crown is not just a curio. I believe the public would widely welcome it being put into a larger circulation than it has been in the past.

I think there is a trace of the Mint or the Treasury having rather a prejudice against this coin. At one time the Royal Society had to intervene to get the Government of the day to issue a George V Crown piece. I hope what is said in this Committee today will to some extent lead to that prejudice being broken down I would be more than delighted to show hon. Members the current coin as well as the previous issues. It is a coin of great joy to children and to all collectors, and the reason why we do not see these coins today is that they were all snapped up by the American troops as souvenirs. I had the greatest difficulty in getting a few

Ireland although it is very often customary to state at the end of a Bill that it does or does not relate to Northern Ireland. I raise this for the simple reason that some people would like to be certain on that point.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

Northern Ireland, not Eire?

Mr. Williams

Yes, Northern Ireland.

Mr. Glenvil Hall indicated assent.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.

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