Clause 4. — (Standard trial plates.)

Orders of the Day — Coinage Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th October 1946.

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Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

There seemed some doubt, on this question of standard plates and breaking up of the old plates, about obtaining new standard plates. The Government have stressed that they are not yet able to get the standard plates and the right dies for stamping. I should like to ask whether there will be any change under this Clause. Having a Clause of this kind enables the Government to make trial plates. Why is there such difficulty in getting trial plates? Subsection (3) states: Plates shall be made as aforesaid from time to time when necessary, and the provisions of section sixteen of the principal Act as to the custody and keeping of standard trial plates, and of books, documents and things used in connection therewith, and as to duties in relation thereto shall apply to plates made under this section. What provision is there in the Clause for the breaking up of the plates? I do not want the Government to have to present a new Bill shortly in connection with this matter. The breaking up of these plates and dies is a serious matter. Proper provision should be made to see that they do not get into the hands of naughty people.

Photo of Mr George Hall Mr George Hall , Merthyr Tydfil Aberdare

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that when the plates cease to be useful for the purpose they are made to serve, every care is taken that they do not get into the wrong hands. I can assure him that the wording of the Clause is in common form and is in line with Section 16 of the Act of 1870, which relates to trial plates, the care of documents and all the rest of it.

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his explanation. Has there been no improvement since 1870, to enable the Government to get the plates? The plans of this Government always seem to date back to the Victorian age. The Government never seem to have a new idea of any sort, even in such a matter as this industry, in which there has been produced so much machinery.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 5 ordered to stand part of the Bill.