§ MR. MONK
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether he is aware of the serious extent to which the silver coin of the Realm is defaced by wear and tear, and of the inconvenience arising therefrom to large employers and their workmen; and, whether the Government will take stops to withdraw such worn coin from circulation?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
Sir, the Bank of England undertakes to receive in London and at its branches worn and defaced silver coin which may be brought to it, and, if required, exchange it for new coin. No banker, therefore, need re-issue worn coin, and large amounts are withdrawn from circulation every year at the expense of the State. The average annual amount withdrawn in the United Kingdom during the five years ending 1877–8 was nearly £200,000; but during the present financial year, owing to the contraction of trade, the amount presented for withdrawal will be little short of £500,000. To meet the excessive charge which will thus be imposed on the Mint a Supplementary Vote of £30,000 was taken last Session. The particulars will be found in the Report of the Master of the Mint.