HC Deb 03 December 1959 vol 614 cc1366-7
32. Mr. Braine

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the fact that many Commonwealth countries have adopted a decimal coinage or are now contemplating taking such a step, he will authorise an inquiry into the de sirability of such a reform in this country; and whether he will also arrange for an early exchange of views on the subject with our Commonwealth partners.

Mr. Barber

Not at present.

Mr. Braine

Is my hon. Friend aware that Australia is now contemplating a change-over and that other Commonwealth countries have either done so or are thinking about it? Recent correspondence in the Financial Times shows a substantial body of opinion in favour. Authoritative bodies, like the Federation of British Industries, have not closed their minds to the idea. Will my hon. Friend ask his right hon. Friend to look at this again, otherwise we shall be left at the end of a long queue isolated as the only non-decimal country in the world?

Mr. Barber

I realise the force of my hon. Friend's argument, but the reason I gave him the answer "Not at present" was that, as he may know, the British Association is at the moment considering various matters, of which this is one, and it is probably better to wait until we have its Report.