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New Bank Notes

Volume 65: debated on Friday 7 August 1914

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I should like to ask my right hon. Friend whether the Bank of England, for the sake of its own dignity, could not give us something better than the new £1 note? It looks very much like a lottery ticket, or a ticket for a cloak-room. I hope that the next issue will prove to be something larger—I do not mean in amount, but something which one can handle.

From the artistic point of view I cannot say that I am proud of this production, but it is the best we could do in the circumstances. In fact, we had to consider, first of all, what paper was available for that purpose, and there was no time to get a really artistic production. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that, as the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Chamberlain) knows very well, we are considering the turning out of something of which we can be proud.

May I ask the indulgence of the House to add, what I am sure did not occur to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the hon. Gentleman (Mr. J. M. Henderson) is mistaken in supposing that the Bank of England is responsible for these notes. He seemed to think that they were responsible, whereas these are Government notes. The Government have done their best to meet an emergency, and will do better when they have had time. The Bank of England is in no way responsible for the paper on which the note is printed or for the artistic appearance of the notes.

Question put, and agreed to.

Adjourned accordingly at Twenty-nine minutes before Seven of the clock, till tomorrow (Saturday), at Twelve noon.