HL Deb 27 January 1986 vol 470 cc435-6

2.50 p.m.

Lord Gainford

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many pound coins have been minted and how many of this total are Scottish and Welsh.

Lord Brabazon of Tara

My Lords, at 15th January 1986, 725 million £1 coins had been issued. Of these, 110 million featured a Scottish design and 178 million a Welsh design.

Lord Gainford

My Lords,I thank my noble friend for that Answer. As regards the nationalistic element in British currency, will the same number of £2 coins be issued, which it is rumoured will be circulated soon? Is there any truth in the rumour that such a coin will be circulated?

Lord Brabazon of Tara

My Lords, there is to be issued in commemoration of the Commonwealth Games to be held in Edinburgh this year a £2 coin which will be a commemorative piece. The Government have no intention of issuing a £2 coin for general circulation.

Lord Strabolgi

My Lords, is the noble Lord aware that many members of the public are finding it difficult to distinguish between the £1 coin and the 5p coin? Are the Government asking the relevant committee to consider redesigning the 5p coin? Are all these coins considered in relation to each other, or are they considered separately?

Lord Brabazon of Tara

My Lords, I think all coins are considered together when changes are made. So far as I know, there is no consideration to redesign the 5p coin at the moment. It should not be that easy to confuse it with the £1 coin because the £1 coin is probably nearly twice as thick as the 5p coin. Also, of course, it is of a different colour.

Lord Williams of Elvel

My Lords, can the noble Lord tell us whether there has been any change in the velocity of circulation as a result of the issuance of the new coins as opposed to the old £1 note, and whether any such change has had an effect on the Government's favourite monetary variable, Mo?

Lord Brabazon of Tara

My Lords, I am afraid I do not have an answer to the noble Lord's question. Whether or not such a figure is in fact kept I shall endeavour to find out, and perhaps, if I may, I will write to the noble Lord.

Lord Rodney

My Lords, is any consideration being given to the issuing of a £2 note?

Lord Brabazon of Tara

Not so far as I know at the moment, my Lords.

Baroness Faithfull

My Lords, is my noble friend aware that a number of voluntary organisations have lost money because people with a small income will put a £1 note in an envelope, or a £2 note, but they cannot put in coins? This is having, not a huge effect on voluntary subscriptions but quite a sizeable one.

Lord Brabazon of Tara

My Lords, I am aware that this could have caused a problem, but on the other side of the coin, if I may so put it, as far as street collections for charity are concerned, I think people are more likely to put a £1 coin into the box than they would have been to have put a £1 note in.