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on the amount of the loans; and he amount of which he estimated at justified his own proceedings by the 760,000l. British money. The resoluauthority of that great man's prece- tions moved by him were all agreed to. dect. He likewise entered into a va
The last financial measure before riety of calculations, showing the effect the House of Commons this session of the system introduced in 1813, re- was the vote of credit, which it has specting the sinking fund, and proving been seen the Chancellor of the Exthat the progress of the redemption of chequer meant to propose as part of the national debt would be perfectly the ways and means for the year. On satisfactory, notwithstanding the relief 28th June, he moved, “ That a sum afforded to the public burthens. not exceeding six millions be granted
The different resolutions proposed to his majesty in Great Britain, and by the Chancellor of the Exchequer 28,0001. for Ireland, to enable his were then put, and agreed to. majesty to take such measures as the
On 16th June, the Irish budget was exigency of affairs may require, and laid before the House, by Mr Vesey that such sum of six millions be rai. Fitzgerald, the Chancellor of the Irish sed by exchequer bills in Great Bri. Exchequer. The substance of his tain, to be charged on the first aids to statement was as follows : The sup. be granted in the next session of
parplies consisted of the estimated quota liament.” of contribution of the year 1815, sta- Mr Whitbread said, “ he should ted at 10,574,2151., and of the inte- not oppose the motion, conceiving, rest and sinking fund on the debt, that, under the present circumstances, 6,098,1491., making the total supplies it was material that the crown should 16,672,3641. The ways and means be provided with powers capable of —
meeting any exigency that might arise
during the recess. He hoped, that Sarplus of the consolidated fund L.688,807 before the re.assembling of parliament, The produce of the revenue he
the blessings of peace would be resto
6,100,000 red to the country. Whatever differThe profits on lotteries, one half of what had been computed
ence of opinion might exist with re
125,000 spect to the original justice of the war Re-payment of sums advanced
(and no change whatever had taken by Ireland for naval and mili
place in his opinions on that subject,) tary services
there could be but one sentiment on 2-17ths of old naval stores, 1517ths having been taken cre
the splendour of our recent successes ; dit for by England
90,305 which, however, he trusted would not Loan raised in England for the
induce his majesty's government to go service of Ireland, 9,000,000l.
in pursuit of objects utterly foreign to 9,750,000
our true policy. It was impossible to Making a total ways and means of 16,854,112 foresee what events might speedily oc.
If the noble duke, who, with He stated the whole of the above in his glorious army, had achieved a triIrish currency, and the committee umph so memorable, should reach the would observe that there was an ex- metropolis of France, he trusted that cess of ways and means above the his protecting arm would avert the supply of 171,0001. The charge for horrors which might otherwise be prothe loan he stated at 727,3501.; to duced by that event. A vigorous ef. cover this charge, he stated certain fort had been made by his majesty's proposed additions to the taxes, the government to crush the resistance of
should estimate at
for Great Britain
the enemy. He congratulated them Spaniards who had escaped from the on their efforts having produced a re- yoke which it was attempted to imsult far exceeding the most sanguine pose in that country on all that was expectations. He hoped that they liberal and enlightened, that ministers would not now make a turn, and en. had assisted the government of Spain gage in the pursuit of objects, which, in their nefarious designs. He hoped in his opinion, would be calculated to and believed that this suspicion was protract the existing warfare. There unfounded, for he could conceive no was one part of Europe in which he appropriation of the public money so trusted no part of his vote of credit highly reprehensible." The resolution would be applied—he alluded to Spain. was then cordially agreed to. A great suspicion existed among those
Bank of England-Renewal of Restrictions on Cash-payments.- Proceedings
as to the Profits of the Bank on its Transactions with Government.--Bill for prating an end to the exclusive Privilege of the South-Sea Company.- Bill to make Freehold Estates liable for simple Contract Debts.--Bill to Amend the Laws respecting Insolvent Debtors.—Abolition of Gaol Fees.- Bill for Abolition of the Pillory.- Act for extending Jury Trial in Civil Causes to Scotland.
The affairs of the Bank of England, The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the relations between government said, that as the noble lord's arguand that great establishment, gave rise ments were founded on the supposito several important proceedings in tion, that the bank restrictions would parliament this session. The restric. be continued to an indefinite period, tions on payments in cash were to expire he thought it hardly necessary to enter on the 5th of April ; and it became ne- into a refutation of them, as it was cessary to consider whether or not expected that the restrictions would these restrictions were to be renewed. cease on the 5th of July 1816. He On the 2d of March Lord Archibald entered, however, into an examination Hamilton, in the House of Commons, of those arguments, in the course of moved for a committee to enquire into which he maintained, that no measure the affairs of the Bank of England, could be more calculated to defeat the and into the effects produced on the resumption of cash-payments than the currency and commercial relations of very enquiries which were wished to be the kingdom by the different restric. made ; for, if once the information tion acts
. His lordship took a view of , which these enquiries would give were the
great increase in the issues of pa." published, it would place the bank at per since the restrictions commenced; the mercy of every speculator in bul. and argued that, in consequence of lion in the country'; and he concluded these issues, not only did the proprie. by stating the grounds on which he tors of the bank derive exorbitant pro- conceived it more than probable that fits at the expence of the public, but cash-payments would be resumed in the value of our currency was exces. July, 1816.--- If," he said, “ the sively depreciated ; and, among other peace with America had been ratified evils attending this depreciation, he at the same time with that at Paris contended, that it was in part, at least, if the foreign expences had been cona cause of the late high prices of corn.* cluded—if the arrears which were due * For some observations on the Bullion Question, and its relation to the question as to the price of corn, see p. 60 of this volume.
to foreign states had been paid—if the period he had fixed, the bank would keeping up a large standing army on resume its payments in specie.” the continent had not been necessary- Mr Horner, in arguing for the moand if we had not had to transport a tion, was led to state his opinion as to large army across the Atlantic, the the effect of the bank restrictions on short period which had elapsed since the currency of the country. He said, the conclusion of the peace, he was that "the great principle on which he satisfied, would have so completely re- had always rested the question was, stored the affairs of the country to that so long as the standard currency their original situation, that the bank of a country remained unvaried, howwould, without delay, have been able ever that standard might be expressed, to resume their cash-payments. Any no change in its real value could affect gentleman who compared the progres- its relative value to other commodi. sive improvement of the rate of ex- ties. Whenever depreciation had once change since 1814, would at once be begun, then it was possible for comable to discover the truth of this pro- mercial or other circumstances to afposition. In January, 1814, the ex- fect the value of gold; but he had nechange with Hamburgh was at 28 ; ver supposed that when gold was at before October it was 32. In January, 5l. 11s., or, as it had once been, at 1814, the price of gold in doubloons, 51. 14s., that this rise was solely attriwas 5l. 10s. per oz. ; before the end butable to an excess of paper
circulaof the year it had fallen to 41. 9s. per tion, or that the apparent depreciation oz. The price of silver in the same pe. was the true measure of the excess in riod had fallen from 6s. 11d. per oz. the issues of the bank. What he conto 5s.6d. With these favourable pros. ceived to be the true solution of the pects, he thought he should not be difficulty was, that a depreciation hapresuming too much in anticipating ving taken place from excess, an opensuch a favourable change by July, ing had been made for the operation 1816, as would ensure a return to the of other causes, which were now in a old currency of the country. He held great measure removed. These causes an account in his hand which would
were the occupation of commercial shew the enormous expenditure of spe. countries by immense armies, the concie which within the last few years sequent distress and discredit, together had been made on the continent by with the greatly augmented remitthis country. In 1811, the foreign tances made from one part of Europe payments were 15,182,000l. ; in 1812, to another. The effect produced by 18,533,0001. ; in 1813, 22,931,0001.; the change of circumstances was to and in 1814, 31,284,000l. In the face bring back the price of gold to beof such an expenditure he thought it tween 41. 9s. and 4l. 11s.; precisely was not extraordinary that restrictions what it was in 1810. The exchanges should be placed on the cash-pay. now, though really in our favour, were ments of the bank ; but now that they nominally against us 8 or 9 per cent. ; might be considered as in a great mea- and here he begged to ask, could this sure stopped, if no new cause should appearance be explained, but in a deoccur to render their continuance ne. preciation in the value of our domestic cessary, it was but natural to suppose currency? The extraordinary circumthat these sums would revert to their stance adverted to, of the price of gold old channel; and if this should be the falling in the course of last year to 41. case, there was no doubt that, by the 48. he ascribed to the then situation
of the armies in the North, by which ments of cash by the Bank of Enggreat quantities of bullion were driven land should be continued to the 5th in the direction of this country. It of July, 1816. The motion was car. happened, too, at the same time, that ried. On the 7th March the report of many of the country banks failed, a the committee was brought up, when circumstance which necessarily opera- a short discussion took place, in the ted to induce the Bank to diminish course of which the Chancellor of the their issues. This was a measure that Exchequer, in answer to some obser. raised the real value of their paper in vations on the other side, said, that the same proportion. He believed, “ he thought it necessary to deny the also, that there had been a rise in the assertion, that the country had been real price of gold,—he meant as mea- twelve months at peace. For, in point sured by other commodities in some of fact, considering the state of our of the countries of Europe. This he relations with America, that a definipartly attributed to the effects of war tive treaty was not yet concluded, and destroying the settled habits of come that our foreign expenditure still conmercial credit, and partly to an inter. tinued, the country could not even ruption in the working of the mines now he said to be in a state of
peace. produced by the disturbances of South Our foreign expenditure had no doubt America. He had reason to believe that diminished, and was still diminishing. from Mexico the supplies were much Yet its extent must naturally be conless abundant than usual. His conclu ceived to operate against the reduce sion was, upon the whole review of this tion of the exchange ; and until the question, that our currency was in an expiration of the winter months, which artificial and depreciated state ; a state, impeded our commerce, the balance the evils of which were too manifest to of trade could not be expected to outbe denied, and were equally injurious weigh the influence of our foreign exto the public creditor, by diminishing penditure. The prospect, however,
the value of his dividend, and to the was favourable, the rate of exchange s! private creditor the value of his legal having been reduced no less than 25
claim. Its effects on public credit, and per cent. within less than 12 months ; on our financial situation, would lead but still he was not so sanguine in his him into too wide a field of discussion ; hopes as to speak confidently, that the bat it appeared to him to be incontro restriction upon the Bank could be terrible, that this evil, excited in con- conveniently removed at the time spesequence of an excessive issue of bank cified in the bill." The bill was
paper, is, that the government were passed. !
not duly vigilant over those issues, and The Bank of England derives conthat the renewal of the restriction siderable emolument, in consequence should not be granted without a de- of being employed to transact the buclaration that the parliament and the siness of the public. This emolument country expected that immediate mea- proceeds, in the first place, from the sures would be taken by the bank to large sums of public money deposited resume their cash-payments.”
in the hands of the bank. For these The question being put, the mo- deposits, which appear generally to tion was negatived by a great majo- amount from eight to ten millions, the nity. Immediately after the division, bank pays no interest ; and the interthe House went into a committee, est of this money, therefore, may be when the Chancellor of the Exchequer considered as profit made by the bank moved, that the restrictions on pay- from transacting the business of the