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sacrifice to the Bank of England never be payable on demand, nor in a the favoured Bank of England. He salutary state, while our coinage reasked how it could be said, that the mained on this footing. state of the circulation did not call for The Earl of Liverpool entirely inquiry, when the Bank, having an- agreed with the noble Earl in consinounced their determination to pay in dering it desirable that this country cash all the small notes issued prior to should have a paper circulation, mea1st January 1817, those notes were sured by the precious metals as its now at a premium of 2 per cent, and standard, and convertible into cash at the two millions and a half issued in the pleasure of the holder. There was paying them had vanished from circu. not a man in the kingdom more anxious lation, and, doubtless, out of the coun- than he was to see a return to cashtry. What was the nature of the paper payments as speedily as possible ; and circulation, which it was intended that if he had come to the conclusion, that we should have? It was intended that it would be detrimental to the interests we should have four descriptions of of the country that the restrictions on paper. A Bank of England paper, the Bank should be immediately refor which the Directors of the Bank moved, he could assure the Lordships had made themselves liable to pay cash that he had adopted that conclusion on demand. A Bank of England pa. after the most mature deliberation, per, not liable to be paid on demand. from a review of the particular circumA paper circulating on the security of stances that characterized the present deposits of stock and exchequer bills; times, and with the deepest regret. and a paper circulating without any With regard to making gold the standsecurity. Such a circulation as this ard of metallic currency, this did not was reserved for the noble Lord and originate with ministers. Gold had his colleagues to invent. His Lord- become, in fact, and in practice, the ship censured the having two me- standard metal before it was declared tals as a standard, and the preference so in law. It had risen into this state given to gold above silver. This had imperceptibly, before an act of the le. been attempted to be justified on the gislature had sanctioned the practice, ground of the magnitude of the trans- and made it the only legal tender for actions of this country. But the rea- all sums above 251. In addition to the soning of the noble Lord was not less inference in favour of that metal drawn absurd, than if he had said, that be- from general consent and practice, it cause we were the greatest manufactu- might be stated that the expediency of ring country in Europe, it was neces. making it the legal standard measure sary that we should have a yard ex. of value for other metals was supporttended beyond that of other nations, ed by the circumstance, that it was in proportion to the quantity of our less liable to fluctuation. With regard manufactures. It might be proper to to the regulation of country banks, he consider what was the situation of our considered some security indispensametallic currency. We had a gold ble ; and even among those who obcoin entirely without a seigniorage- jected most strongly to the present a silver coin, for the first time for

cen- plan, he never met with any who did turies, with a seigniorage.-We had, not think some check was necessary. till the 5th July, a silver currency at At present, country banks might issue 63. 8d. the ounce; and we had in Ire. ll. or 21. notes to any amount, or on land a silver currency at 78. 3d. an any security ; but when the restriction

Our paper circulation could expired, they would be authorized to issue none under 51., unless some spe. would afford to the holders of the five cial regulation were made. It seemed pound notes a balance for the payment universally agreed that this limitation of the latter. But, without laying to 5l. and upwards would be now in. much stress on this argument, he would expedient. Were we then to repeal say that the holders of large notes the act, and allow issues of one and would not be in a worse situation than two pound notes on any security, or they were before small nutes were al. without security at all? Let the House lowed to be issued at all ; and as they consider the history of the currency of they then took on credit, for their country banks for the last three years, own convenience, large notes in prefeand the calamities that had arisen from rence to gold, there was no reason bank speculations. Out of 700 coun- why they should not afterwards, for try banks that existed in 1814, 200 the same convenience, take them in hud now been swept away, and had preference to small notes. Why did disappeared, to the ruin of individuals people take notes at all, when they and whole districts, and to the general might have guineas or sovereigns, but injury of the agricultural and commer. because the former, when great sums cial interests. It was to be observed, were concerned, were more easily carthat while the great crash to which he ried, and had other conveniencies. He alluded was experienced in England, repeated, that the proposed continunot one, he believed, or perhaps only ance of the restriction arose from noone bankruptcy had taken place among thing either in the internal state of the the country banks in Scotland. This country or its foreign relations, but formed an important consideration. from circumstances arising out of the Perhaps it was to be partially attribu- pecuniary transactions of other counted to that clause in the charter of the tries. He knew, too, and he could national Bank, which provided that no assure the House, that the Bank had number beyond six should join in a made most ample preparations to recountry Bank. To Scotland, therefore, sume cash payments, and that they the act was not meant to extend. To were ready to do so. The noble lord the plan proposed he had heard only doubted this fact, and had given as a one important objection, and that ap- reason of their inability, the advances peared to him to admit of an easy they had made to the government. answer. The objection was this, that He both denied the fact and the cause. if notes of one or two pounds only The Bank might have returned to cash were issued on security, the credit of payments last year, when all the adnotes of a higher denomination would vances they had made to government be injured, as they did not possess the remained unpaid. If, however, any same security. In opposition to this thing had happened after this to disprediction, he would say, that so far turb public credit, the Bank would from the deposit of securities for small have said, we must draw in our adnotes being injurious to the credit of

The government was ready notes of a greater amount, the very to pay up what it owed them, and, deposit of such securities for the form- therefore, the advances made to goer would give the latter additional cre- vernment could no longer be an obdit. This opinion would be confirm- stacle to the resumptions of cash payed, if it were considered that double ments. the nominal amount in stocks must be The Marquis of Lansdowne spoke deposited for the small notes, which, in support of Lord Lauderdale’s moat the usual price of the public funds, tion, and was answered by the Earl of Harrowby and Lord Sidmouth; by the country; and was the country Lord Lauderdale then, after a short now to be told that its whole commer. reply, allowed his motion to be nega- cial system was to remain in an injutired without a division.

vances.

rious and unnatural state, because the On the 1st May, Mr Tierney re. Bank would not relinquish the smalldeemed his pledge, by proposing in est portion of their profits? With the House of Commons a committee a view to persuade the House of of inquiry on the Bank Restriction. the expediency of inquiry, he would In the long and able speech which he urge the little probability, if they made on this subject, he necessarily agreed without any inquiry to pass went over many of his former argu- the right honourable gentleman's bill, ments. He insisted now that if the that the Bank would ever resume cash loan to France was really to be paid payments. If the restriction were not in gold, it was the Bank that ought at once rendered permanent, it would to furnish it. Unless there was some- at least be continued from year to thing in the air of this country repul. year. sive of that metal, if gold went out One of the principal evils of the pregold would come back. This was sent system was, that there was nothing therefore an additional ground for the secure and solid in it. No man knew resumption of cash payments by the what was to come next. He was conBank of England. Let the Bank of vinced that the fluctuation of the funds England send out large quantities of during the last eight or nine months gold from their coffers; that would arose chiefly from the uncertainty whealter the rate of exchange. The Bank ther or not the Bank restriction would would have no difficulty in purchasing be continued. It would be much betgold to replenish their coffers, though ter to say at once that the restriction certainly at some loss. But the ques. should be permanent, than to go on tion for the House to determine was, year after year extending it ; because, which was bestthat Great Britain whenever it was extended for a year, should lose the character for good after the first six months of that year, faith which she had hitherto maintain- a variety of rumours got abroad as to ed, or that the Bank should be com- the probability or improbability of the pelled to disgorge a part of the enor. resumption's being insisted on at the mous profits which it had made from end of the year, and numerous opporthe country at large? Was it more tunities were thus afforded for gamdesirable that the public credit should bling and speculating. Among the be preserved, or that the Bank, having chief speculators he must say, although accumulated millions upon millions, he by no means wished to say it offenwithout having contributed in the sively, he could not help ranking the smallest degree to the national expen- right honourable the Chancellor of the diture, should be enabled to persevere Exchequer. The speculation of the in that system? Supposing that the right honourable gentleman was, wheBank had ten millions of gold in their ther or not he could keep the existing coffers; if it were all to go, and if circulating medium of the country up they were to repurchase it at a sacri. to that point to which it had attained fice probably of five per cent, that by the continuance of the restriction would be on the whole a loss of half on the payment of cash by the Bank A million. And what of that? The of England. For that the right hoBank had made twenty-one millions nourable gentleman lived; he dreamt of nothing else ; for on so keeping up thought he could silence an opponen the circulation depended the whole of by shaking it, the other when he des his financial arrangements.

paired of being able to carry a favour With regard to the bill respecting ite measure. Mr Tierney finally told the country bank paper, it had excited the House, if they voted as the Chan a just alarm in the mind of every man cellor of the Exchequer wished them in the kingdom. The effect of it, had to vote, there would be an end, and it been adopted, would have been to there ought to be an end, to the cha drive a great many of the country racter of the country. It was that bankers out of their business. For his which was at stake. All principle part, he believed the country bank pa- would be set at nought by such an ac per, generally speaking, to be a sound quiescence, which would merely shew and useful currency. Nothing could the disposition of the House to bow be more objectionable than the pur- to ministers, and to accede to any pose of the bill to which he alluded, proposition without inquiry, howeve namely, to prevent a man from using pregnant with unfair and dishonour his own credit in his own way. A se- able consequences. curity was required which there ex- The Chancellor of the Excheque isted no right to require. Parliament did not see the necessity of an inquiry had a right to prohibit the bankers to enable the House to decide a ques from issuing one and two pound notes, tion, which turned chiefly on simpk if it was thought that their circulation and obvious facts, of which the Hous was detrimental to the general inte- was as completely in possession a rest ; but Parliament had no right to the committee could be. The righ exact any security for the payment of honourable gentleman had stated, tha such notes. The number of failures the committee would have to consider among country banks had been exag- not the internal situation of the Bank gerated, and last year there was rather but whether any internal inconvenienc à diminution. A number of licences would be produced by the resumptioi had been given up, merely from the of cash payments. But he (the Chan Jarge Banks withdrawing some of their cellor of the Exchequer) thought subordinate branches. He suspected committee ought to take the counter that bankers in London, during the part of this proposition, and ask whai same period, had failed for as large a internal inconvenience could result fron sum as all the country bankers put the continuation of the restrictions foi together. Mr Tierney then charged another year. As to determining the the Chancellor of the Exchequer with proper time for resuming cash pay a plan to issue government paper, from ments, the House, after the report of which, indeed, these notes, on govern- the committee, might not be a bit the ment security, and with the govern- wiser on the subject. The right honour. ment stamp, appeared to him little to able gentleman had bestowed a good differ. It was natural enough for go- deal of attention in his speech on a subvernment to say, “ As we can circulateject not strictly before the House, and the paper of other people, why not into the consideration of which he did circulate our own? why can we not do not mean to enter--he meant the bill this as well as the Bank of England ?" for regulating the issues of country The right honourable gentleman shook Banks, which

was not to be proceeded his head; but then the right honour. with this session. But the right hoable gentleman had two ways of sha- nourable gentleman had laid down king his head one was when he some propositions so different from what he (the Chancellor of the Ex- How far the character of the country chequer) considered true, legal, and had suffered from its paper currency, constitutional principles, that he could he would leave those gentlemen who not help noticing them. The right were acquainted with the continent to honourable gentleman had said, that determine. Had any of them found it was not legal or constitutional to that the character of this country had exact security from bankers for the decreased there? The constant increase notes they might issue. (Here Mr of paper circulation in England had Tierney intimated across the table, been known for many years. Was it that he had said it was bad policy.] not by the aid of this paper currency If the right honourable gentleman re- that we had been able to subsidize all tracted his words, he ought to do so Europe, that we had marched triumphexplicitly; but he had unquestionably ant armies over the continent, that we called in question the right of demand. had stood so high at the congress of ing security from bankers for the notes Vienna, and that we had been enabled which they might have in circulation. to conclude a peace the most honourIt appeared to him, that the legisla. able to this country of any that we ture had not only a general right to had ever obtained? And now, after regulate all the transactions of the three years of peace, there was no country, but that it had a peculiar country, in Europe of which the firight to call for security from those nances had improved so much-there who issued a currency to represent the was no other country in which any metallic currency of the country-a thing had yet been done towards repower, in effect, no less than that of deeming any part of its debt. The coining, which had always been held grounds on which he proposed to conto belong particularly to the sovereign. tinue the Bank Restriction for another As to the plan of issuing government year were simply these--the extraorpaper in the shape of stock debentures, dinary situation of foreign countries, he would repeat what he had formerly and the extraordinary relations of this said, that he had never entertained country towards them, which were such an idea for a moment. The pro- such, that no man of experience on position had been made to him, but the subject could deem it prudent or he declared it wholly inexpedient. safe to resume payments in specie at Whether, under any circumstances, the present moment. stock debentures might or not be ad. A debate of considerable length en visable, was a question into which sued, in which Lord Althorpe, Mr it was not then necessary to enter. He J. P. Grant, Lord Folkestone, Mr had thought such a measure wholly Frankland Lewis, and Mr Grenfell, inexpedient at present, because the supported the motion of Mr Tierney, amount of Aoating government paper which was opposed by Mr C. Grant, was already as much as it was desira. Mr Huskisson, Mr J. Thornton, and ble to have at the present moment. As Lord Castlereagh. On a division, it to the advances of the Bank to go- was negatived by 164 to 99. vernment ample provision was made On the 18th May, the report of the for reducing them to any amount that committee on the Bank Restriction might be deemed necessary. The fund. Bill was brought before the House. ing of sixteen millions of Exchequer The opponents of the measure no longbills had already much diminished er attempted to demand the resumpthem, to a greater extent indeed than tion of cash payments, which must the Bank had thought fit to require. then have taken place in litýle more

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