We have arranged that the companies who supply the machines now sell models which print the postage in pence only instead of shillings and pence. They have also begun a programme to convert or exchange the 74,000 machines already in use to the pence only system before February, 1971. This early start will minimise conversion difficulties and reduce the actual change required at decimalisation to one of accounting only.
Would my hon. Friend accept that the users will greatly welcome these early steps to minimise difficulties? Can he give us an estimate of the total cost of these conversions?
I am grateful for my hon. Friend's remarks about the early steps that have been taken. The cost is a matter for the suppliers and users of the machines, and it will vary according to the type of machine. So far as I am aware, no estimate of the total cost is available at this stage.