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Bank Of England Notes

Volume 387: debated on Tuesday 23 March 1943

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the fact that orders have been issued to the staffs of railway companies not to accept any of the Bank of England promissory notes for £5 without endorsement of the name and address of the user; and whether, as this instruction is giving cause for alarm, he will arrange that all issues of such notes shall be stamped with the name of the issuing bank, thus taking precautions against counterfeits?

I understand that following upon the successful passing of a forged note at a booking office, one of the railway companies reintroduced the practice, which had fallen into abeyance, of requesting tenderers of £5 bank notes to endorse them with their name and address. This practice is not uncommon among the trading community and I see no objection to it, nor have I any reason to suppose that the instruction issued by the railway company has caused alarm. The precaution may sometimes be useful where it is required to trace the history of the ownership of a note which has been lost or stolen, and it protects the tenderer of a genuine note inasmuch as it cannot be afterwards alleged that the note which he tendered was forged. I am not prepared to adopt the suggestion in the last part of the Question; it would afford no additional protection to the public.