“This is the first time that one of these bills has come onto the collectors’ market so we are into new territory here,” said Christopher Webb, head of the coins and banknotes department at Dix Noonan Webb. “We have sold one of just two surviving Treasury One Million Pound notes issued as part of the Marshall Aid plan after the Second World War but this is much more recent.”
The Treasury Bill’s issue date is 8 September 2003 and it is signed by Andrew Turnbull, who was Permanent Secretary to the Treasury and later became Head of the Civil Service. It states: “This Treasury Bill entitles ...........to Payment of One Million Pounds out of the Debt Management Account on 6 October 2003 on surrender of this Treasury Bill to the Bank of England”. The name of the payee has been left blank and a note at the bottom of the Bill says “if this blank is not filled in, the Bill will be paid to Bearer.” However the cancellation stamp means that anyone hoping to claim a million pounds would be disappointed.
These Bills are issued under the Treasury Bills Act of 1877 to raise money for the Government’s Debt Management Account. They are securities enabling the bearer to reclaim money loaned to the Government by the markets in return for interest. The Account is run by the Debt Management Office (DMO) which is responsible for day to day management of the UK Government’s debt. The DMO is an executive agency of The Treasury and has the job of minimising the Government’s long-term financing costs.
Normally such Bills would be cashed in by those who had taken them out. But in the case of the printer, who has now retired, the cancelled Bill was a present and so was not handed back to the Government. The Dix Noonan Webb auction provides collectors with a rare and possibly unique chance to acquire one of these instruments of high finance.
Dix Noonan Webb Ltd is one of the world’s leading specialist auctioneers and valuers of coins, tokens, medals, militaria and paper money of all types. Established in 1990, the company boasts over 250 years' combined experience in this field and stages regular auctions throughout the year.
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Telephone: 07770 694254
Dix Noonan Webb:
16 Bolton Street,
London W1J 8BQ
Telephone: 020 7016 1700