HC Deb 17 November 1960 vol 630 cc536-7
20. Mr. Lipton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he proposes to abolish the halfpenny.

Mr. Barber

My right hon. and learned Friend has no such proposal at present in mind.

Mr. Lipton

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Government spokesman in another place said that perhaps we shall soon get rid of the halfpenny? What significance are we to attach to Government statements when they emanate from another place? Is it not becoming evident that there is no room for the humble halfpenny in our "affluent society"? If it is scrapped, will it not enable the Government to reduce the size of the penny, which is the largest copper coin in the world, and very cumbrous to boot? If the hon. Gentleman wishes, I should be glad to let him have a letter on the subject, suggesting a reduced size for the penny, that I have had from a correspondent from Pennycuick in Scotland.

Mr. Barber

I shall be delighted to receive a letter from the hon. Gentleman, but I think that if he will read what my noble Friend said in the context of the debate, he will find that he was referring to the remarks of an earlier speaker who had considered the situation if we no longer had the halfpenny. My noble Friend was making it clear that, even if the halfpenny were to be abolished, a minimum unit of currency as large as 2½d. would not be convenient. I would merely add that there are today more than 1,400 million halfpennies in circulation, and I should have thought that that was a fairly good indication of their convenience.

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