asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what would be the saving per annum if nickel coinage of convenient size, comparable with that used in Belgium and France, was issued in place of the present halfpenny, penny, and threepenny piece;
(2) whether, seeing that, by the reduction of the size of copper coinage by half, he would not only save a sum of roughly £40,000 per annum, but at the same time give the public a form of coinage more convenient to handle, he will reconsider the question?
The saving on the introduction of copper coins of smaller size or of nickel coins would depend in the first place on whether the existing coins were withdrawn (which would be expensive), and in the second place on the future demand for new subsidiary coin, of which it is impossible for form a reliable estimate at the present time. For the moment no new pennies or halfpennies are being coined at all. I am not aware of any general demand for a change such as suggested, and there would be considerable opposition from many quarters where a change would cause serious inconvenience, e.g., owners and users of penny in the slot machines.