Decimal Currency

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th March 1965.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Patrick Jenkin Mr Patrick Jenkin , Wanstead and Woodford 12:00 am, 9th March 1965

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government with regard to the decimalisation of the currency; and whether he will introduce legislation to implement this reform.

Photo of Mr Peter Bessell Mr Peter Bessell , Bodmin

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will now make a statement regarding Her Majesty's Government's policy on the introduction of a decimal coinage system.

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

I regret that the Government are not yet in a position to make a statement on the possible introduction of a decimal currency.

Photo of Mr Patrick Jenkin Mr Patrick Jenkin , Wanstead and Woodford

Would the right hon. Gentleman not agree that this is an inevitable reform and that the sooner it is made the better?

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

I think that it is a desirable reform, but we have to weigh against it the cost of introduction and the time of the introduction. In addition, there was not complete agreement on the Halsbury Committee about the method which should be employed. Therefore, I think that we would do better to take a little longer to consider all these issues properly before we take any steps.

Photo of Mr Richard Sharples Mr Richard Sharples , Sutton and Cheam

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the difficulties caused to manufacturers of cash registers and business machines by the uncertainty of the position one way or the other?

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

I would be sorry if this were so, and it clearly means that the Government should make up their mind on the question. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] It does no lie in the mouth of anybody opposite who is saying "Hear, hear" to ask us to make up our mind yet.

Photo of Mr Robert Maxwell Mr Robert Maxwell , Buckingham

Is my right hon. Friend aware that any further delay in announcing our adoption of these changes is harmful to our export drive and that British industry generally is anxious to know where the Government stand? Is my right hon. Friend aware that I should be glad of an assurance that he will brook no delay on this matter?