HC Deb 20 November 1940 vol 365 cc2031-2W
Mr. Craven-Ellis

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will give the total of the money available in the form of small token coinage, currency notes, and bank money, deposits, respectively; and state why bank money, deposits, is not legal tender, and explain how this money comes into existence?

Sir K. Wood

Coin in circulation in the United Kingdom in September last is estimated at £88,000,000. Currency notes were withdrawn from circulation in 1928, but the active circulation of Bank of England notes on the 13th November was £594,000,000. Complete statistics of bank money, in the sense of deposits (time and demand) are not available, but the cur- rent deposit and other accounts disclosed by the returns of the clearing banks for October were £2,660,000,000. It would be impracticable to give legal tender status to cheques and other instruments by which bank deposits are transferred. Their value depends on the resources of the drawer. In reply to the last part of the Question. I cannot adequately deal with so extensive a topic within the limits of a reply to a Parliamentary Question.