Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

Scoll, Sir William, 304, 316, 359, 1395, 1414, 718, 727, 744, 767, 768, 802, 805, 931,
1549.

1509, 1525, 1555, 1559.
Secretary at War, see Windham ; sec also Tooke, John Horne, 956, 998, 1005, 1035,
Yorke.

1290, 1326, 1380, 1999, 1405, 1107, 1413,
Sheffield, Lord, 200.

1417, 1522.
Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, 81, 212, 325,

Townshend, Marquis, 181, 1241.
364, 393, 424, 457, 461, 468, 531, 539, 394, Trench, Richard, 1031.
595, 650, 720, 735, 797, 933, 951, 953, Turner, Sir Gregory Page, 324.
968, 1008, 1224, 1288, 1339, 1404, 1412,

1527, 1528, 1531, 1552.
Simeon, John, 11, 199, 200, 744, 1332, 1390, Walpole, General, 122, 1454.

Wallace, Thomas, 597.
1554.

Warwick, Earl of, 833, 831, 837, 1268.
Sligo, Marquis of, 1260.
Smith, John, 224.

Western, Charles Collis, 405, 963.

Westenra, W. W. 1041.
Smith, William, 339, 411, 647, 1526.
Solicitor General, see Grant; see also Per-

Westmorland, [John Fane), Earl of, 181, 192,
ceval.

276, 1186, 1259, 1295, 1538, 1547.
Somerset, (Edward Adolphus Seymour), Duke Whitbread, Samuel, 803, 963, 1030, 1045,
of, 497.

1455, 1529, 1550.
Speaker, The, see Right Hon. Henry Adding-

Wilberforce, William, 116, 125, 320, 410,

794, 797, 800, 803, 804, 305, 863, 943,
ton; see also, Sir John Mitford.
Spencer, [George John Spencer] Earl, 876, Williams, Sir Robert, 339.

1005, 1454.
946, 1203.
Slurt, Charles, 978.

Winchester, Bishop of,[Dr. Brownlow North],
Suffolk, (John Howard), Earl of, 508, 874, Windham, Right Hon. William, 120, 203,

Jus

385.
1188, 1259, 1264, 1535.

223, 302, 315, 315, 346, 392, 413, 593, 668,
Taylor, Michael Angelo, 313, 957, 1035, 1036,

696, 937, 1411, 1438, 1518, 1554.
P1050, 1978, 1410.

Wood, Mark, 150, 1455.
Temple, Earl, (afterwards Marquis of Buck- Wrottesley, Sir, John, 510.

ingham), 1106, 1323, 1949, 1402, 1403. Wynn, Sir W. W.887.
Thornton, S. 11, 638.

Wynn, Charles Williams, 1400.
Thornton, Henry, 719.
Thurlow, Lord, 1429, 1539, 1541.

Yorke, Charles, 595, 768, 860, (Secretary at
Tierney, George, 1, 82, 151, 222, 329, 427, War], 1445.

436, 455, 456, 470, 481, 485, 595, 601, Young, Sir William, 117, 396, 1107.

Parliamentary History.

40 GEORGE THE THIRD, A. D. 1800.

OF THE

OF

FOURTH SESSION

nisters should apply for money to these men, and that body, whom only their own

fostering care had, three years ago, saved EIGHTEENTH PARLIAMENT from ruin? There were yet twelve years

of the present charter to run, and at this

distance, it was proposed to renew this GREAT BRITAIN.

charter for twenty-one years more, and

thus to invest the very men, who had al[Continued from Vol. XXXIV.]

ready so grossly mismanaged it, with the

control and superintendance of the whole DEBATE in the Commons on the Bank money concerns of the country for no less Charler Renewal Bill.] March 21, 1800. a period than 33 years. In this point of The order of the day being read, for the view, the measure appeared to him danthird reading of the bill “ for establishing gerous and unwise. But the bargain was an Agreement with the Governor and to be considered in itself, as it regarded Company of the Bank of England, for the Bank, and as it regarded the country. advancing the sum of Three Millions, to- The terms proposed were, that the Bank wards the Supply for the service of the should lend to government three millions year 1800,"

for six years. The value of this loan was Mr. Tierney said, that this was a ques- easily computed. Any person could tell tion which involved the dearest interests what the value was of an annuity of of the country. He was anxious to know 150,000l. for six years; but this bargain with whom the desire for the renewal of was not like the usual ones formed by the charter had originated. He would government: it was connected with some put it to the House, if it would not have refined speculations upon the value and appeared strange, that any bank director, the rise of stocks. These three millions, before half the time for which the present by the terms of the agreement, could be charter was granted had expired, should claimed by the Bank whenever the price propose a renewal of this charter, more of the 3 per cents was above 80, and the especially when it was remembered, that country were to lose the annuity of 150,0001. through the gross mismanagement of these as soon as this claim was made, which very directors, the affairs of the Bank had might be expected very soon: for in case been thrown into sych disorder, that it of a peace, there could be no doubt that was indebted for its existence, at this stocks would almost immediately rise to moment, solely to the forbearance of the 80, and then the only advantage that public. On the other hand, would it not would remain to the country would be appear equally surprising, that ministers that of buying three millions of stock at should propose the renewal of a charter par, that was to say, at 60, and selling it to a set of men whom they had found it at 80. [Mr. Pitt here said, that the necessary, in consequence of their mis- Bank, indeed, could claim the three milmanagement, to subject to restraint, and lions which they advanced to governwhom they had only preserved from ment when the 3 per cents rose above 80; bankruptcy by parliamentary assistance but they continued to pay interest at 5 Would it not appear surprising, that mi- per cent on the said three millions during [VOL. XXXV.)

[B]

the whole uf the six years; and, in this desirable, when the most busily employed case, he would leave any gentleman to mercantile men in the city were so eager judge how far it was probable that they to attain it. There was no office under would claim this money till the expiration government, no honour, more anxiously of six years.) Mr. Tierney said, that al- desired, or more keenly canvassed for. lowing this circumstance its full weight, The salary was 150l. per annum. It the real value of the loan granted to go- could not be supposed that men, who were vernment could not be estimated at more accustomed to deal in millions, could be than 750,0001. He had no means of as- tempted by the paltry sum of 150l. But certaining what was the ability of the there must be some ground to account for Bank to pay this sum; but, if ali circum. the circumstances just mentioned. What stances were taken into account, he did these were could only be guessed at. not think it would be found that, in point This, however, was clear, that they of fact, they paid any thing. Allowing, had the power of controlling the whole however, that they paid 750,0001. it re- city of London in money concerns; for mained to be inquired, whether this was if they refused to discount for one an adequate value for what was granted merchant, and discounted for another, to them? In the first place, there was a who would say that these men stood on dividend of 3 per cent on the eleven mil- an equal footing, and that he against whom lions which they were in advance to go they were prejudiced would not fall under vernment; but from the exclusive privi- the effects of their declining to negociate lege which the Bank enjoyed on the whole with him? If these things were taken into of these eleven millions, which might be consideration, the inference must be considered as a capital, the directors di-drawn, that there was something in the vided at least 7 per cent. This 4 per Bank which would not bear a name, but cent, which made the difference between which yet required to be attended to by the 3 and the 7, was what the country this House, when any proposal was made had to sell, and it amounted in value to relative to the renewal of the Bank char161,0001. Lord North, during his admi- ter on its present footing. So long as nistration, estimated the advantage which the country owed the Bank eleven milthe Bank drew from this source at 350,0001. lions, it had been said that the Bank had a and it was easy, from various circum- security from the country for its contistances, to account for the rise to 464,0001. nuance as an exclusive corporation. At But let the Bank profits be fairly esti- one time, indeed, it would have been a mated. The charges of management of great burthen on the country to have rethie public debt, estimated at 41. 10s. per deemed this debt; but at present it could million, will amount to 212,000l. per an- be no argument for granting the Bank a num. Assuming the annual advances to renewal of its charter. We must have government to be ten millions, the profit peace long before its present charter was arising from this source would amount expired ; and in the case of peace, from to 500,0001. the profits on discount to the effects of the sinking fund, and of the 250,0001., making a total of 962,0001. union with it of the tax upon income, From this must be deducted the expenses there could be no doubt that this debt might of the management of the Bank; for be paid off with the greatest facility before which he thought 100,0001. was an ample the expiration of the present charter. allowance. This, however, was an esti- | After this debt had been redeemed, when mate founded upon calculations in time of an annuity of 671,0001. was to be disposed war; in time of peace, there would be of, as might be the case were the charter some deductions; but the profits upon a not to be renewed till near the expiration fair average, allowing six years of war in of the present term, much more advantathe 21 years for which the charter was geous terms for the country might be proproposed to be renewed, might be justly cured than those now proposed. "The estimated, deducting the 100,000l. for effects of competition might be tried ; or expenses of management, at 671,0001. if it was said, what! would you establish Was, then, the 750,0001., which was the two banks ? at least other directors might value of the loan granted by the Bank, an be employed: for surely the Bank could adequate compensation for the profits not possibly be under worse direction which the Bank would derive? Certainly than that which had almost reduced it to not. There surely must be something in bankruptcy.- From these statements it the character of a bank director highly would appear clear, that 750,0001. was by no means an adequate coinpensation for in the evidence of Mr. H. Thornton, the advantages conferred. It might be though it could not be carried into effect said, that the time at which this money in London, might be adopted with advanwas given increased its value; and that it tage in the country. In Yorkshire, Lanwas more now than double the sum would cashire, and other places, a new world of be at another period: and it would no commerce had arised, where such a plan doubt be stated, that government, by might be attended with immense advan. borrowing three millions at 60, and selling tages. The wish which was strongest in at 80, would be a gainer of 900,0001. my mind, was, that government and the which, added to the 750,0001. made a Bank might be less connected, that they gross sum of 1,650,0001. Allowing the might be more independent of each other, truth of all this, still the compensation and that they should act with that indewas not adequate to the sacrifice which pendence. The independence of the Bank the country made, nor even to the profits on government, would be one of the best which it gave. But, laying aside the pe

and were govern. cuniary bargain altogether, the renewal of ment independent of the Bank, it would the charter should not at present take not be, as it was now, the slave of the place. It was conferring, for a great monicd interests of this kingdom. It might length of time, immense privileges and be recollected, at the end of lord Northi's powers on a corporate body; and it had administration, when lord John Cavendish been proved, that the granting of great became chancellor of the exchequer, what privileges to one body was often attended difficulty he felt in negociating a loan, in with much inconvenience to the country. consequence of the opposition of the Bank The evidence delivered before the Commit- direction to government. This opposition tee of Secrecy of the House of Commons, had such an effect, that the subscribers to proved this point incontestibly. From that the loan were losers to the amount of beevidence it appeared, that at that time the tween 10 and 12 per cent. This was, Bank, in consequence of making too great surely, too much power to bc vested in advances to government had become bank- any corporate body, when it could thus rupt. The examination of Mr. Herry frustrate the plans of government. The Thornton proved, that, in consequence of answer to all his arguments and statements this, there had been an association of would be, that the right hon.gentleman was bankers to establish a new circulating in want of three millions, and was afraid of medium, and that in the use of this, they coming on the country, at this moment, were to become responsible for each other. for such a sum, and of adding it to the This plan, wise and beneficial as it might funded debt. As to the ability of the have proved, could not be carried into Bank to advance this money, some refleceffect, because it interfered with the pri- tions would naturally arise. From the vileges of the Bank, At the same period beginning of the war, the Bank had been the establishment of another bank was making growing advances to government ; proposed by an hon. baronet; and he at last, in July 1796, they found it necessupported his proposition by the argu- sary to complain seriously that they could ment that the Bank had forfeited its char- not carry on business with safety to themter. The proposition, it was argued, could selves, except there was prompt payment not then be discussed, because the exclu- made of some of these sums. At tbat sive charter of the Bank was still in force, time, they bad advanced 9,829,000l. On and bad not been forfeited: but it was the 21st of January last, the advances of allowed, that the proposition deserved the Bank to government amounted to mature deliberation, and that it would eight millions: and now they had adcome under review with greater propriety vanced other three millions for six years, when the renewal of the Bank charter which made the total of their present adcame to be discussed. Why, then, by vances eleven millions; a sum much exsuch a precipitate measure as the present ceeding that of which they had complained were we to be precluded from considering as disabling them from carrying on busiwhether the establishment of another bank ness with safety. It was impossible that would be expedient, or whether, though the Bank could make such a proposal as this might not be thought proper, it might the present, unless they knew that they not be expedient to abridge in some mica. were deriving a profit from their scheme, sure the privileges wbich the Bank en and that they would never be called on to joyed. Such a proposal as that mentioned pay their notes in cash. Nor could it be

checks

upon

its power ;

the country.

said that other circumstances were now all the

privileges now given to the Bank. more favourable than they were in 1796. We could do no such thing; for the Bank Subsidies were still draining the country was a chartered body corporate, actually of its cash, and expeditions, more exten- empowered to take the care of the funds sive than any projected at that period, which arose to individuals out of the nawere now carrying on, which threatened tional debt, and should subsist until that the same effect. He had heard much talk of debt was paid. Now, upon the amount French finance; but he now saw no differ- of the national debt, the hon. gentleman ence between the French system and that had made many observations; but he really adopted in this country. The right hon. believed he had stated that part of the gentleman was, in fact, dealing in assig- subject differently from the fact. The nats. He might smile at the expression ; real question was, what the public ought but he had never used the expression to have for the renewal of the charter of “ flimsy paper" at any period, nor de- the Bank? And, in considering this, we claimed against the use of paper currency. ought to consider also, if the Bank really Yet now, when such measures of finance offered too little, what would be the were adopted, he really thought that the hazards of any new plan upon a subject country was dealing in assignats, in flimsy of such national importance, especially paper, and that a mean plan of state jug- with the experience we had of its effects gling was carried on between government in other quarters ; this should make us and the Bank; ministers courting the cautious, at least, how we entered upon Bank, and the Bank courting ministers. any new plan upon the subject of a national He called on the House to pause before bank. He maintained, that it was adthey agreed to a measure which was such viseable to enter into this agreement with an infringement on the dearest rights of the Bank, rather than divide it with others.

He maintained also, that it was adviseable Mr. l'iti said, that the hon. gentleman to do it at a period of war, rather than bad concluded his speech with the sin- to wait for a time of peace: and he would gular request, that a measure, confessedly assign his reasons for thinking so. He of great importance, and now in its last had stated, when he opened this subject stage, should now be stopped on the to the House, that from certain circumsudden, although there was no circumstances the Bank had been under the nestance of surprise to be stated. The true cessity, in the course of the present war, way of considering the present measure of stopping payment in cash ; but such was this: to consider the value of what an event was so far from affording any we, that was, the public, were to give, argument against the present measure, and that which we were to receive that it furnished a very strong one in its Nothing could be more fallacious than favour. When that measure took place, the mode taken by the hon. gentleman, almost every man dreaded it, and it was to consider the profits of the Bank; for a subject which distressed speculative pohe included, in his estimate of such profits, liticians to look at. We had, however, all that they made by discounts, which seen the effect, and we had seen that it they made, not as a chartered body, but had only proclaimed to the world the merely as a mercantile company by the confidence of the public, and the solid operation of their capital, and which foundation of the Bank. Nothing was to they would possess whether they had a be inferred from it, but that the credit of charter or not. To charge the Bank, the Bank was increasing, as well as the therefore, any thing for the renewal of credit of the nation; and it appeared, that its charter, on account of the profits the prosperity of the country had admade by discount, was the same thing as vanced in a period of war more rapidly going into the banking house of any in- than at any former period of the same dividual banker, and to say, “ You have length of peace; that in this new world been allowed to discount; you have pro- of commerce, in this war, four millions fited by that practice to a given sum; and more of exports had taken place in one if you choose to continue that profitable year than in any former year of peace. practice, you must give us a

sum of This was the result of that which no man money, or else your right to do so shall hardly could look upon without fear and not be renewed.” But the hon. gentle trembling, but which, he could now say, man said, we might offer a charter to any had proved to the world at large the soliother body of men, and give to that body dity of the Bank, and had removed all

« AnteriorContinuar »