HC Deb 15 December 1959 vol 615 cc130-1W
82. Mrs. Castle

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is now in a position to report on the outcome of the discussions between the Bank of England and the blind persons' organisations with regard to the design of bank notes.

1959. Mr. Amory

Following upon the recent discussions between the Bank of England and representatives of the blind persons' organisations, the Bank are reexamining the matter. They have undertaken to keep in touch with the organisations and to do their utmost to find a solution. They will make a further announcement as soon as a conclusion has been reached. I received yesterday a letter from the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England about this matter, which, in view of the general interest of the House in the subject. I am circulating below.

Bank of England.

14th December,

Dear Mr. Chancellor,

You may care to have an interim report on our recent discussions with representatives of St. Dunstan's and the Royal National Institute for the Blind, regarding the size of the proposed new Bank of England notes.

The size of the new£1 note to be issued next year will be about 72mm. by 151mm.: this compares with 85mm. by 151mm. for the existing£1 note and 78mm. by 140mm. for the existing 10s. note. Thus the new£1 note will be the same as the existing£1 note in one direction, but in the other substantially different from both the present notes. We are assured by the representatives that the new£1 note should not occasion any confusion with any existing notes in circulation in this country.

Difficulty is not expected to arise until the issue of the new 10s. note which we had proposed should be of the same size each way as the new£1 note. This is unlikely to occur for 18 months or more, although decisions regarding design and production are of course matters of immediate concern.

I need not go into the technical requirements of ease of handling in public use and of economical production, and the relation thereto of measures of standardisation. But following our talks with the representatives we are sympathetically re-examining the technical requirements: we have undertaken to keep in touch with the two organisations: and we shall make a further announcement as soon as we can.

Yours sincerely,


The Rt. Hon. D. Heathcoat Amory. M.P.