HC Deb 20 January 1953 vol 510 cc26-7
43. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how far the cost of labour and materials used in the minting of farthings is recovered by the sale of these coins.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Sixty per cent. of the cost of labour and materials is met by the issue of farthings at face value.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Does not that answer mean that it costs about a halfpenny to produce a farthing? In those circumstances, when will the Chancellor abandon this singularly unprofitable enterprise?

Mr. Butler

The hon. and gallant Member should look at the issue of coinage as a whole. The issue of coins at their face value pays, and farthings must not be looked at in isolation.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

There is no money in it.

Mr. Lee

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that if the issue of coins pays, he would pay himself well and assist my constituents by issuing a lot more shilling pieces in the Newton-le-Willows district of Lancashire, where we are very short?

Mr. Butler

There was a Question on the Paper, which was not asked, about shillings. We are taking steps to see that there is a store of shillings available, and, in particular, available in the districts where there has been proved to be a shortage.

Mr. Colegate

In considering coinage will my right hon. Friend also consider whether the time has not come to have a coin of the value of 1½d., which would be widely welcomed?