HC Deb 05 March 1957 vol 566 c157
7. Captain Pilkington

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will abolish halfpennies.

30. Mr. Lipton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will abolish farthings.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Coins are minted in response to demand and I do not consider that there is any case for abolishing either halfpennies or farthings at present. For some months no farthings have been asked for and none have therefore been minted. Demand is, however, steady for halfpennies which are being minted at the rate of £12,500 per quarter.

Captain Pilkington

Will my right hon. Friend agree that today a halfpenny is worth less than a farthing used to be worth, primarily due to the effects of two wars and, to some extent, to the post-war mismanagement? Does he not think that it would immensely simplify accountancy and therefore contribute to the more efficient and streamlined economy which the Government are trying to get in this country, if my suggestion were adopted?

Mr. Thorneycroft

Coins are minted according to public demand and so long as there is public demand for halfpennies they will be minted.

Mr. Lipton

Is the Chancellor not aware that it costs a halfpenny to make each useless farthing, which is apparently no longer wanted anyhow? Why is he so determined to be devoid of pounds, shillings and sense?