Decimal Currency

Oral Answers to Questions — Technology – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th January 1967.

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Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire 12:00 am, 17th January 1967

asked the Minister of Technology what consultations he has had with the computer industry about the choice of unit for a decimal currency; and with what result.

Photo of Mr Edmund Dell Mr Edmund Dell , Birkenhead

None, Sir, but representatives of a number of computer manufacturers gave evidence or submitted memoranda to the Committee of Enquiry on Decimal Currency.

Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire

As a decision on the system has still to be made, will the Minister consider carefully the advantages of working with a pure decimal system rather than one involving a fraction?

Photo of Mr Edmund Dell Mr Edmund Dell , Birkenhead

This is not an important element in the decision, as the £ unit will make little practical difference to efficiency in commercial data processing. Indeed computers, being basically binary machines, are really good at multiplying or dividing by two.

Mr. Gresham Cooke:

In the technological age in which we are supposed to be living, is it not really ridiculous to keep the halfpenny going for another two generations as is planned?

Photo of Mr Edmund Dell Mr Edmund Dell , Birkenhead

That is a question for my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.