HC Deb 03 March 1915 vol 70 cc817-8W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what amount of the Treasury currency notes has been issued to banks and on what conditions; and what amount, if any, has been expended by the Treasury directly for account of naval, military, or other national expenditure; and (2) whether there is any limit to the issue of Treasury currency notes; if not, does he contemplate any further issue; and, if so, what limit will be fixed for such an issue of notes?


The conditions under which currency notes are issued in the United Kingdom and the limitations to the issue are specified in the Treasury Minutes of the 8th August and of the 20th August last. I am causing copies of these Minutes to be presented to Parliament. I do not at present contemplate any alterations in those conditions. The amount of currency notes issued, redeemed and outstanding from time to time is shown in the weekly statements published in the "London Gazette." Practically the whole of the issue has been made to banks either in the form of currency notes advances or upon payment of the face value. No currency notes have been issued by the Treasury directly for the purposes of naval, military or other national expenditure, but a portion of the sums received in payment for currency notes issued to banks (or in repayment of currency notes advances) has been invested in the purchase of Treasury Bills or other securities issued for Supply or for Ways and Means. The maximum amount so invested on behalf of the Currency Note Redemption Account was £16,923,546. This was in September last. It has now, as shown by the statement issued for the week ended 24th February, been reduced to £8,923,554 17s. 5d. It is, of course, important to bear in mind that these sums in no sense represent a forced issue but merely the investment of the proceeds of an issue made in response to an actual demand for currency, and that the notes covered by these investments are, like the rest of this issue, repayable in gold coin upon demand.