Decimal Currency

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Education – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd February 1961.

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Photo of Mr George Proudfoot Mr George Proudfoot , Cleveland 12:00 am, 23rd February 1961

asked the Minister of Education what estimate he has made of the reduction in the time needed to teach mathematics which would follow from the adoption of decimal currency in the United Kingdom, now being considered by Her Majesty's Government.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

The available evidence suggests that decimal money sums may well be quicker to teach than sums using our present currency but I can give no useful estimate of how much quicker.

Photo of Mr George Proudfoot Mr George Proudfoot , Cleveland

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the report of the British Chambers of Commerce and the Association for the Advancement of Science which suggests that a saving of time of between 10 and 20 per cent. in the age group between 7 and 11 years would be achieved? Would not this help him in regard to the size of classes and the shortage of teachers?

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

My hon. Friend is on a very good point. As a matter of fact, the evidence differs and the Australian Government were unable to make any estimate. I cannot help thinking that it would be easier to work in decimal figures.