§ Sir G. de Freitas
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has yet decided on what date in 1971 the currency system provided for by the Decimal Currency Act, 1967 should be introduced; what progress has been made 420W in planning the timing and phasing of coinage changes, including designs for the decimal coinage; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Roy Jenkins:
Yes. I have accepted the Decimal Currency Board's recommendation that Decimal Day should be Monday, 15th February, 1971. A Treasury Order under Section 1(2) of the Decimal Currency Act, 1967 giving effect to the Board's recommendation has been made today. I also accept the Board's recommendation that banks should be closed for normal business on Thursday 11th, Friday 12th, Saturday 13th as well as on Sunday, 14th February, 1971.
The Decimal Currency Board has also made a number of recommendations on the timing and phasing of coinage changes. On the basis of these recommendations Her Majesty's Government propose to advise Her Majesty in due course to make Royal Proclamations under section 11 of the Coinage Act, 1870 demonetising all halfpennies from 1st August, 1969 and all halfcrowns from 1st January, 1970; and have advised Her Majesty to make a Royal Proclamation under Section 11 of the Coinage Act, 1870 and Section 2(4) of the Decimal Currency Act, 1967 authorising the issue from 1968 of 5 and 10 new penny pieces for use respectively as shillings and florins.
With the approval of Her Majesty The Queen designs for the new coinage will be published today and I have asked Mr. Speaker to accept a set of five trial coins of the denominations 10 new pence to the new halfpenny for exhibition in the Library of the House.