Imágenes de página

possible doubt upon that subject. If, of twelve years, we should not take either therefore, these things were true, as most the probable price of the funds in time of unquestionably they were, had he not peace, nor of war, but a medium price. better reson than ever for saying that Now, that medium price between war and the Bank was not only as firm, but firmer peace he would take at 75; and, rememthan almost any person apprehended ? bering that we were bound to pay the Having no doubt upon that subject, he Bank the eleven millions at par at the exwould ask, whether he was not also jus- piration of their charter, we should find tified in making this agreement with the the calculations of the hon. gentleman Bank? The first question was, Whether it erroneous. The hon. gentleman said, that would produce gain or loss to the public? this cost the Bank nothing: very true, 2dly, whether the thing were creditable but if we did not give this to the Bank, or not? Now, upon the latter question, we should give it to some other body of it was certainly not creditable in general, men: in short, his opinion was, that this to sell a reversion upon usurious profits was a reasonable bargain between the to the purchaser; but if the terms were public and the Bank. But the hon. genfair, and the sum was given before it na- tleman said, this could never have taken turally became due, it was not discredit- place if the Bank had not been restricted able to the seller to make such a bargain. from making payments in cash, and that Then, as to the terms, if any one would this was owing to the great advances of look at the subject properly, he would see the Bank to government. The present that our policy was, to prevent the rapid advance of the Bank to government was accumulation of debt, or to check the about eight millions; and when this came progress of the interest of it. This was to be added, it would certainly amount done by the present measure; for here to eleven millions; and the hon. gentlewere to be three millions brought into the man considered this as an unprecedented public service without interest for a time. thing. Now it did so happen, that the The question, then, was, Whether this Bank was in advance to government sum should be taken now, or be left to a eleven or twelve millions at a period so future period ? Now, if we looked to a long ago as the time of sir Robert Walperiod of peace, certainly it was extremely pole ; therefore, there was nothing very difficult to say when we should arrive at extraordinary in this advance. As to that period ; yet he might say that we what had been said on the subject of the could hardly expect to be concerned in undue influence arising from the conany very extensive war six years hence; nection between government and the and then the 3 per cents being at par, the Bank, he could no: help regarding it as difference between making this bargain idle declamation. We were told, we now, and making it then, would be should wait for a period until there should 1,700,000l. This sum the public would be no connection between government lose by following the advice of the hon. and the Bank? What harm was there in gentleman. The profit to the Bank was this connection? What was the injury about 400,0001. and not 671,0001. as likely to be done to the public credit, by stated by the hon. gentleman. This the Bank advancing to government sums 400.000!. for 21 years was what the public for the security of which the Bank had granted to the Bank. Besides, if this the protection of parliament? Where was not granted to the Bank, it must have was the mischief that the Bank, deriving been granted to some other company, on its profits through a thousand channels the principle of the hon. gentleman him- connected with the growing commerce self. These points considered, he would of this country, should supply the great ask, was this an improvident bargain on machine of state which put the public the part of the public? There was another force in motion, to protect the inpoint not taken notice of by the hon. habitants of a great and flourishing nagentleman; which was, that if we let the tion in the enjoyment of all the blessings Bank charter expire, we must repay the they feel? Where was the harm that the Bank its eleven millions capital at par, Bank should employ part of its great for which at present we paid only 3 per capital to facilitate the circulation of excent. The hon. gentleman was sanguine chequer bills, and to make loans on easy 83 to the circumstances of the country, in terms ? Where was the harm that they which he had no disposition to quarrel should employ part of their wealth to aid with him; but if we looked at the period the transaction of all pubMc business?

per cent.


Where was the harm that the Bank should and contended that it should not be con. contribute to the more economical, as founded with the stoppage of any private well as the more easy management of bank; it was not looked upon in that public affairs, and to the real stability of view by the public, but on the contrary, government? In short, he saw nothing for on the very day the specie payments extraordinary in this connection between of the Bank had stopped, stocks rose 14 government and the Bank.

Mr. S. Thornton confessed, that the The bill was then read a third time. first overtures for the renewal of the Bank charter came from the governor East India Budget.] March 25. The and directors of the Bank, because they House having resolved itself into a comfelt that such a renewal at such a period wittee of the whole House, on the papers would prove of utility both to the Bank | relating to the affairs of the India Comand to the country at large. A question pany, had been set afloat about the establish- Mr. Secretary Dundas said, that he ment of another bank; meetings had would, as briefly as possible, submit to the been held for that purpose; pamphlets had consideration of the committee the state. been published in recommendation of ments which related to the affairs of the such a measure, and motions bad even East India Company. The accounts went been made in that House, respecting its


further back than he could have necessity. It was therefore high time to wished to have laid before the House, propose the present measure, and to owing to the circumstance of the accounts bring it to as early a decision as possible. from India last year not having arrived till He disclaimed, in his own name, and in some time subsequent to the end of the that of the directors, being influenced by session of parliament. He should there. any political hostilities or predilections, fore have wished for some further delay in and he was bold to assert, that there never this business, as he was of opinion that was a greater proportion of specie in the accounts would soon arrive which would Bank to their paper currency, than was considerably elucidate many of the artito be found in it at the present moinent. cles contained in the present statements : He thought it right that the Bank should the reason, however, which had determake advances to government as far as mined him to prefer the discharge of his their abilities would admit and prudence duty at the present moment to that of would justify, but he confessed that they following his inclination, was, that the acwould act a dishonourable part if they counts of the India Company were so very advanced a single pound note without accurate and clear, that it would not be being in possession of wherewith to make necessary for him to take up much of the it good.

time of the House. The purpose of his Mr. Manning expressed his indignation present course would be, to give merely that any expression like that of « flimsy the figures, with such casual explanations paper,” should be applied to the current as might strike bim as necessary in going notes of the Bank of England. The ad over the several articles. Mr. Dundas then vances of the Bank to government were went through the following Abstract of as great at other times as at the present. Statements relative to the Affairs of the As to the advantages supposed to be de- East India Company, 1799. rived from the situation of bank director, they were more than counterbalanced by

BENGAL. risks to which the Bank was exposed by Revenues, No. 1.-Average 1795-6 forgeries, wbich of late years had amounted

to 1797-8

......5,720,947 to considerable sums. The situation of bank director was therefore erroneously

Less than last year 51,730 stated to be a lucrative one; whoever undertook it with that view was unfit for | No. 3. Estimated for 1797-8 5,7-13,817 such a trust. Those who now charged

Actual amount

5,782,741 theinselves with that important duty could

More than estimate 38,894 be influenced by no other motive than their desire to labour for, and promote | Charges, No. 3.--Estimated for the public utility.


3,603,901 Mr. Simcon justified the stoppage of

Actual amount 4,051,600 the Bank upon reasons of sound policy,

[ocr errors]

More than estimate 137,669 | REVENUES, No. 9.- Estimated for

319,100 Deduct excess of revenue from ex

Actual amount 388,189 cess of charge, the nett revenue is less than estimated....... 98,775

More than estimate 19,089 And the nett revenue of 1797-8 is 1,751,081 | CHARGES, No. 9.-Estimated for


844,050 ESTIMATE, 1798-9.

Actual amount 939,921 REVENUES, No. 1......


More than estimate CHARGES, No. 2. 3,952,817

95,871 Deduct the excess of revenue from Nett revenue 2,306,753

the excess of charge, the nett Revenues estiniated more than ac

charge is more than estimated..

76,782 tual, 1797-8......


And nett charge of 1797-8 is 601,732 Charges ditto less than ditto.... 78,813

ESTIMATES 1798-9. Nelt rezenuc estimated for 1798-9


346,110 more than preceding ycar.... 555,672 CUARGES, No. 8.

996,699 MADRAS.

Nett charge

650,589 REVENUES, No.4.-Average 1795-6

Revenues estimated more than acto 1797-8, exclusive of Ceylon.• 1,824,753

tual, 1797-8......

7,921 Less than last year 21,321 Charges

ditto .. ditto 56,778 REVENUES, No. 6. Estimated for

Nett charge estimated for 1798-9, 1797-8....

more than preceding ycar

Actual amount 1,938,950
Less than estimate 395,725 BENCOOLEN AND OTHER SETTLEMENTS.

No. 10,-Revenues of Fort MarlCHARGES, No 6.-Estimated for

borough on average, 1795-6, to 1797-8


1797-8. Actual amount

5,177 2,515,774 Charges


ditto 101,707

Nett charge...
More than estimate

99,530 32,936

Supplies from Bengal to Marlbo-
Add excess of charge to deficiency
of revenue, the annual nett charge

rough, Pinang, &c. estimated for

85,840 is more than the estimate.. 428,661 | No. 18 and 19.-The actual amount

163,299 And the nett charge for 1797-8 is.. 576,823

Being more than estimated 77,459 Estimates, 1798-9. Revenues, No. 4.....

2,004,993 No. 11.-Supplies estimated for CHARGES, No. 5.


117,160 Nett charge


GENERAL VIEW. Revenues estimated more than ac

RESULT OF THE YEAR 1797-8, COLLECTIVELY. tual, 1797-8.....


REVENUES—Bengal ..5,782,741 Charges ditto .. ditto

Madras 341,745

• 1,938,950

Bombay.... 338,189 Net charge estimated for 1798-9,

8,059,880 more than preceding year...

CHARGES – Bengal 275,702

•4,031,660 Madras

2,515,774 BOMBAY.

Bombay.... 939,921

7,487,355 REVENUES, No. 7.-Average 17956, to 1797-8

310,574 Nett revenue of the three Presiden-

More than last year
8,569 Deduct supplies to Bencoolen, &c. 163,299

Remainder 409,226

[ocr errors]




INTEREST PAID ON THE Debts. Deduct-Charges included in the

home assets arrived in India, so Bengal 408,810

as to form a part of the stock Madras 147,458


279,653 Bombay.... 47,858 603,926

Nett improvement 1,108,527 Nett deficiency of the territorial re

The results arising from the investiga194,700

tion of the accounts, naturally suggest Deducted from amount on sales of imports per No. 15


the propriety of further remarks.

the origin of the establishment of the The remainder 388,133 ' present system of control over the affairs is the amount applicable to purchase of in- of the East-India company, but particuvestments, payment of commercial charges. larly since the arrangement in 1793 (the &c.

commencement of the present charter), GENERAL VIEW.

my earnest endeavours have been exerted, RESULT OF ESTIMATES 1798-9, COLLECTIVELY, that the end designed should be fully acREVENUES—Bengal

complished. Every variation from the 6,259,600 Madras · 2,004,993

estimate then formed, which was consiBombay.. 346,110

dered the basis of the financial calculations, 8,610,703

has been distinctly attended to; the subCHARGES Bengal 3,952,847

sequent estimates, framed agreeably to Madras 2,857,519

the circumstances of the times, have been Bombay.. 996,699

minutely examined, and their out-turn, 7,807,065 either as it respected revenue or charge,

closely investigated, and stated to the Nett estimated revenue of the three

committee. Upon the present occasion, Presidencies Deduct, supplies to Bencoolen, &c. 117,160 it has been deemed requisite to go into

more extensive explanations in the detail Remainder 686,478

of the examination, because it is the first Deduct further, No. 16.-Interest

in which a deficit has appeared in the on the debts

758,135 resources of India to answer the demands,

and because the result in the home conDeficiency of territorial revenues.. 71,657

cern has been so much more favourable Deducted from No.15.-Estimated amount sales of imports and cer

than any expectation which could have

been entertained. These explanations tificates


might, perhaps, be sufficient to account The remainder 559,118 for the differences between the estimates is the amount estimated to be applicable in and the actual accounts of the year in 1798-9, to the purchase of investments, pay- question; but it appears needful that the ments of commercial charges, &c.

attention of the committee should be

directed to a more general view of the GENERAL COMPARISON OF DEBTS

subject, lest any alarm should arise in ASSETS.

consequence of the deficiency abroad, and Increase of debts in India...... 1,738,106 lest the confidence in the stability of the Decrease of debts at home

180,932 resources there (which may be justly en

tertained) should be shaken. Iocrease of debts 1,557,174

The estimate of 1793, now adverted to, Decrease of assets in India'.

was framed on the most accurate calcu

608,242 Increase of assets at

lations prescribed by the experience of home 3,908,258

past years. That the prospects might

not be over-rated, the resources, though 3,300,016

evidently in a state of improvement, Deduct,-Balance at

taken on a moderate scale. This is proved China worse........ 354,662

by the issue. Their produce has more Nett increase of assets...... 2,945,354 although fluctuations on so immense nå

than justified the expectations; and The increase of assets, or the improvement of the Company's

revenue must naturally be expected, the affairs in general, is in this view

estimate has been exceeded in no less & proved to amount in the present

sum than a million sterling on the average : year to...

1,338,180 and it is satisfactory to observe, that not



withstanding some disappointments have already derived; more may be expected. occasionally happened in the realization The major part of the expense incurred of the company's own immediate resources, can only be esteemed a temporary sacrinothing has occurred to raise any doubt fice to obtain a substantial and permanent of their general stability and permanence. benefit. My opinions to this effect have The subsidies from the princes in alliance formerly been given ; and I am mucli grawith the company, for the military assist- tified, that in whatever way the subject ance rendered them, have received a con- is considered, they appear to be fully siderable addition; and it is expected that warranted in the result. the receipts on that account will, in the The view of the political situation of year 1798-9, exceed the sum first stated the company, presents a source of the in no less an amount than 560,0001. highest satisfaction. The necessity of From what has been now observed, it the most vigorous and decisive measures must be concluded, that the immense is completely self-evident; and if the predifference has entirely arisen from the servation of the British possessions, entire increase of the charges. It nevertheless and undiminished, had been alone accomappears, that the estimate, in this respect plished, a truly valuable end would have was framed with an equal degree of cau been answered; but when the most santion. The increase has been occasioned guine expectations have been exceeded, by circumstances which could not pos- and the power and influence of this counsibly be foreseen : it has been progressive; try in the East have been carried to an and the various additions have been annu- extent, and established on a footing, flatally explained to the committee as they tering to its pride, and conducive to its arose

. On the review it will be found, general interests, every regret at the imthat a part may be looked upon to be mense expenses incurred will vanish, and permanent; as that occasioned by the the attention will only be directed to the regulations for the administration of jus- ample remuneration which will hereafter tice

, that incurred by the military regu- be found. The pursuit and attainment lations in 1796, with the increased pay to of these great objects naturally affected the Europeans, in conformity with the the whole financial system abroad, in a same measure in England; also the addi- degree apparently injurious to the comtion to the army, in consequence of the mercial interests.

A very considerable subsidiary treaties; but a very material part part of the sum usually appropriated to of the increased expense may be stated to the purposes of commerce became abbe temporary and contingent, and to have sorbed; so that the continuance of the arisen from the necessity of various expe. investments at their accustomed amount, ditions

, and of warlike preparations, of and much more the extension, might cerwhich it will not be practicable to ascer- tainly be considered a question rather tain the whole charge incurred till accounts problematical, from the difficulty of proof a later date shall be received. It is viding funds increasing with the addithen intended more fully to illustrate the tional amount required, and specially as policy of the measures adopted from time those funds could only be raised on loans, to time; likewise the important and bene- at expensive rates of interest, or on bills

consequences which may be ulti- at an unfavourable exchange. The effect mately expected from the successful issue of the former has been shown in the inof the late military operations.-A part creased debt abroad, and the inconve

of the additional disbursement may be nience is felt in the great demand for ina tributed to the commerce; the debts terest: but at the periods in question, no

having been increased from the measure inconvenience of this description could be of carrying the investments to the

utmost put in competition with the far greater extent possible, from which the annual evils which must have arisen from the Interest was much greater. The remarks interruption of the manufactures on the

* ofered arise from the general view of one hand, or with the advantages which, the role concern, and lead to the most on every commercial principle might be satisfactory inferences. The expenses reckoned upon, on the other. In both are certainly been immense ; but, under respects, the end has been fully answered: tery circumstance of the war, the reve- the industry of the natives has had full posts have increased, and the trade has scope, and the produce of it has met a na adranced, to an amount before un- ready and profitable market. The treaGreat advantages have been sury at home has been replenished, and


[ocr errors]


« AnteriorContinuar »