HC Deb 17 November 1960 vol 630 cc526-7
8. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will introduce legislation to make Scottish bank notes legal tender in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Barber

No, Sir.

Mr. Dempsey

Does not the hon. Gentleman think that it is rather incongruous that goods and services should be exchanged in this country for a note that is not legal tender, and does not he realise that the very existence of that note is questioned in this part of the country? In the circumstances, will he have another look at this request?

Mr. Barber

There is a difficulty in that there are, I think, seven types of English bank notes and more than twenty types of Scottish bank notes. To make those legal tender in England would certainly cause unnecessary inconvenience.

Miss Herbison

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the fact that he will not agree to the request made by my hon. Friend the Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mr. Dempsey) creates great difficulties for Scottish people? May I tell him that only yesterday I had a constituent from Scotland come to see me who, in the morning, had made purchases and had presented a £5 Scottish note which was refused? She had to go to the trouble of finding a bank in England to have the note changed into English notes. Is not that something disgraceful for what is just as good currency as English currency?

Mr. Barber

I am sure that the hon. Lady would appreciate the inconvenience that would be caused if Scottish notes were to be made legal tender in this country. The only alternative would be to abolish English notes and make Scottish notes legal tender throughout the country, but I very much doubt whether that would command universal support.

Mr. Mitchison

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that anyhow Scottish bank notes are nice to look at and current English notes are disgusting?