HC Deb 20 May 1947 vol 437 cc2173-4
52. Mr. Eccles

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what extent the shortage of stamped cheques is due to labour difficulties at the stamping office; and whether he will consider authorising the printers to impress the stamp in their own works under Treasury supervision.

Mr. Dalton

These difficulties have now been settled, and arrears are being overtaken. I do not, therefore, think that the hon. Member's suggestion need be considered at present.

Mr. Eccles

Would not the Chancellor like to save a little of the labour which is involved in the present procedure whereby cheques are printed in one place, sent in parcels to a stamping office where they are stamped, sent back in parcels to the printers and then sent out in other parcels to the banks?

Mr. Dalton

I would like to save unnecessary labour everywhere, but I am advised that the hon. Member's suggestion would not have that effect. I have gone into the question, but the impressing of the cheque stamp is like the creation of money. It has to be subject to rather careful control against fraud, and I do rot think it would be practicable for the Revenue to provide controlling staff in all these various contractors' printing works to see that nothing went wrong. I have already looked at the matter from the point of view of the hon. Member's suggestion.