§ 32. Mr. Rankin
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received from the National Union of Bank Employees with regard to the issue of the new left-handed bank notes; and what reply he has made.
§ Mr. Rankin
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the position of the serial number in the left-hand corner of the bank note is slowing down the work of the banks, particularly in separating the old and new notes? Will not he suggest to the Bank of England that it should 225 consult the National Union of Bank Employees about the proposed issue of the new £5 and £10 notes?
Mr. H. Wilson
Is it not a fact that every time the Bank of England has issued new notes in the past there have been widespread complaints from both sides of the House and in the country? Will the Chancellor look into this question to see what consultations the Bank of England has before it issues them? In particular, will the right hon. Gentleman say whether it consults him?
§ Sir J. Duncan
Has my right hon. Friend received any other representations about the appalling design of these new notes? Before printing these notes, does the Bank of England consult any sort of artistic body which gives approval? I have never seen such miserable bits of paper as these new notes.
33. Mr. Gresham Cooke
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will advise the re-issue of £1 and 10s. notes in which the numbers are on the top right-hand corner and the representation of the Sovereign's head is smaller and more in proportion with the size of the notes.
Mr. Gresham Cooke
Will not my right hon. Friend agree that these notes are difficult to count with the right hand and that it is difficult to keep a check on the numbers with the right hand? Will he tell the Governor of the Bank of England that we are still a right-handed nation and that we are too old a nation to start counting notes with the left hand? A great many people think that the balance of pictorial repre- 226 sentation on this note is not right and that it should be put right.
Mr. H. Wilson
Will the right hon. Gentleman now answer my question about who are consulted by the Bank of England and whether the right hon. Gentleman himself is consulted? Will he bear in mind the very widespread feeling on, I am sure, both sides of the House, that this new £1 note looks like the sort of thing that advertising agents are putting through letter boxes to enable people to get a threepenny reduction on a packet of detergent?
My approval was neither required nor sought in this matter. I do not know with whom the Bank of England consulted, but that is a matter entirely within the Bank of England's responsibility.
§ Mr. Chetwynd
Is the Chancellor aware that most people do not mind what is the shape, size or design of the £1 note as long as they have plenty of them?
I hope that people will save as high a proportion of those which they acquire as they can.
§ Sir G. Nicholson
If my right hon. Friend is desirous of popularising these notes, will he consider leaving a few more of them to fructify in the pockets of the people?