Please allow me to address the questions posed by Charles Buchan Ritchie (Letters, 3 July). I trust the Scottish Government to oversee the Scottish economy, regardless of the currency in use, rather more than I trust anyone presently in power or aspiring to power at Westminster, as the Scottish economy will always be central to a Scottish Government's decision making rather than being a minor peripheral factor as it is for anyone at Westminster.
Were Scotland to establish its own currency with its own banknotes and coins these could be produced by a security printer and a mint outwith Scotland in exactly the same fashion as they are for very many countries around the world that do not rely on their own facilities.
I’m sure there are companies that would be glad of the business.
I note, though, that Charles Buchan Ritchie simply ignores the fact that Scotland cannot be prevented from using sterling, just as a number of countries use the US dollar, and I think his vision of Mr Salmond begging is more than a little fanciful.
And of course there is no reason why the coin design should include a face at all; I can think of a variety of attractive alternatives.
I have no doubt that Charles Buchan Ritchie will vote No as he says, but I am left wondering what reasons he will actually give for doing so.
Seemingly the practical question of “minting a Scottish currency” exercises the thinking of Charles Buchan Ritchie. While not in any way detracting from his concern, there is a problem of economic and political importance.
The white paper, Scotland's Future, says that in constitutional matters Scotland is following in the footsteps of America.
Quite clearly the US constitution states the power is given to Congress “to coin money and regulate the value thereof”.
As the question and answer section in part 5 of the white paper makes clear, pound sterling “will continue to be the currency of an independent Scotland”.
How can this be compatible with following in the footsteps of the USA for the making of the constitution?
Noticeably, “to coin money and regulate the value thereof” was of fundamental economic and political importance for the framers of the US constitution.
Arguably it is this the Scottish Government has given up and with it the “control of money” as the primary lever of economic power.
Old Chapel Walk
Charles Buchan Ritchie, discussing Scottish currency, does not mention the Treaty/Acts of Union provision [Article XVI] that “a Mint shall be continued in Scotland”.
This was one of many disregarded undertakings made in that treaty. Indeed, when the UK needed a new mint it put it in Wales, possibly to underline that promises, real or implied, made in 1707 no longer apply.