The number of sovereigns minted in the calendar year 1957 was 2,072,000; in 1958, 8,700,000; in 1959, 1,385,368. As to the policy for disposing of these sovereigns, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Arundel and Shoreham (Captain Kerby) on 11th March, 1958. Sales of sovereigns may now be made against payment in external sterling or any foreign currency.
§ Mr. Dodds
Is the Chancellor of the Exchequer aware of an advertisement in a national newspaper which states:1959, 1958 and 1957 gold sovereigns, mint condition, £4 each "?Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware of the "racket" that businessmen on the Continent are buying the sovereigns, bringing them to this country and selling them, using the profits to help pay for their business expenses in Britain? Does not this sort of business destroy the special objective of minting these sovereigns with a view to obtaining foreign currency?
I would be glad if the hon. Member would send me any information he possesses about the practice which he alleges. In the meantime, I should like to make it clear that anyone acquiring gold sovereigns in this country must, under law, hand them over to the authorities.