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ounces being required), in exchange for such an amount of notes of the Bank as shall be equal to the value of the gold so required, at the rate of L.4, 1s. per ounce."

After the resolutions had been read from the chair, Mr Ellice rose, and after having made a number of observations, the tendency of which was to confirm the statements of the right honourable gentleman (Mr Peel,) announced his intention to propose an amendment. The three first resolutions met his views; but he differed from the recommendation of the fourth. Although he did not concur in the principle of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who in 1811 had procured the passing of a resolution, declaring that Banknotes had not depreciated, in the face of facts more glaring than those on which the opposite doctrine was now supported and acknowledged; yet he was averse to acknowledge, in a legislative enactment, that our currency had depreciated. The permission given to the Bank by the fourth resolution, of paying their notes in gold at the rate of L.4, 1s. per oz., while the Mint price was L.3:17:10, was a virtual acknowledgment of this depreciation. If it was absolutely necessary to attain the object of a return to cash payments, he would even concur in this resolution; but he thought the necessity might be avoided by the amendment he was about to propose. The first resolution he would propose as his amendment, was leaving out the words after "that" in the fourth resolution, to substitute the following: "it is expedient to order by law, that the sum of L.9,000,000 of the Bank advances to Government be repaid, by monthly instalments of L.500,000, beginning with the 10th of June, and that no intermission take place till the whole be repaid." Having thus explained the nature and object of his

first amendment, he would now proceed to state the other resolutions, which he proposed as amendments of the right honourable gentleman's resolutions. The next was,-"That, in the opinion of this House, the Bank ought not to advance any money to Government on Exchequer-bills, or Treasury-bills, beyond the present sum advanced by them, or beyond the sum that shall remain due to the Bank after the L.10,000,000 are reduced, without the authority of Parliament." The object of his next resolution was to put it in the option of the Bank to pay, in the legal coin, or in gold, at the Mint price: and it was, "That the Bank have it in its option to pay, after the 1st of May 1821, either in legal coin, or in gold, at L.3:17:10 per ounce." He had one other amendment to propose, which would prove his attachment to the ultimate object aimed at by the resolutions of the right honourable gentleman. Since by the preceding amendments more indulgence was given to the Bank, he thought it but fair that one year should be curtailed from the period proposed for the final and full resumption of cash payments. His amendment was, "That after the 1st of May 1822, the Bank pay its notes in the legal coin of the realm." With the last resolution moved by the right honourable gentleman no person could find fault; all were agreed as to the expediency of repealing the laws against the melting and exportation of coin. He was sure that the amendments he proposed, if agreed to, would prove as effectual as the resolutions of the right honourable gentleman, and at the same time get rid of the inconve nience which incumbered those resolutions.

Mr Brogden having read the fourth of the original resolutions, and the resolution proposed as an amend

ment, and put the question, Mr J. P. Grant rose, and in a long speech descanted on the principles which he conceived caused gold, coined and in bullion, to be exported from the country; and animadverted, with considerable severity, on the present Mint regulations, which he characterised as "an absurd and impolitic system," which has been found ineffectual towards the accomplishment of the end proposed. These remarks called up Mr W. Pole, who contended, that the honourable member was mistaken in every point, and, in support of his assertions, went into a length ened and minute detail, into which our limits prevent us from following him. At this stage of the debate, Mr Tierney presented himself to the House, and stated that he had heard, with the utmost satisfaction, the speech of the right honourable gentleman who had proposed to the House the resolutions which they were that evening called upon to discuss, and that if a compliment from so humble an individual as himself could give him any gratification, he would gladly offer it; but in truth he was afraid to do so, lest he should be thought to be paying a compliment to the principles which himself and many of the friends around him had been advocating for a long series of years. For his own part, he should not have risen, at least at this period of the debate, had he not been the only member of the committee who had expressed a difference of opinion as to the importance or utility of the plan now proposed. He (Mr Tierney) much lamented that he could not concur in the proposition that had been submitted to the House: no man was more anxious than himself for a speedy resumption of cash payments; no man had perhaps shown less lenity to the Bank Directors, but justice ought to be done to


all parties. He would state plainly, and without reserve, his reasons for preferring the amendment of his honourable friend, and for recommending it to the House for adoption. All were agreed, at least he hoped that all or nearly all were agreed, that the sooner the ancient standard of value was restored the better. He was well convinced that there was no security for the empire but in a recurrence to a metallic currency. No man's property could be safe, or even have a value, until that wholesome state were restored; and the only dispute would be, whether the method of restoring it now proposed was such as ought to meet with the approbation of discreet men. The plan of the right honourable gentleman, or rather of the committee, lay in a narrow compass. was, that the Bank, in February next, should pay at the altered standard of L.4, 1s. all demands upon them to the extent of sixty ounces of gold; that in October they should pay them in gold at the rate of L.3: 19:6; and by the 1st of May 1820 revert to the old Mint standard of L.3: 17: 104: but it did not stop here: for the plan was to continue for two years from that date, during which the Bank was to pay its notes in bullion at the Mint price. The drift of the whole was, that in four years from the present date, that is, in the ninth year of peace, the country shall have a prospect, though a distant one, of enjoying once more the blessing of a metallic currency. The country was much indebted to his honourable friend (Mr Ricardo) for employing his mind, so well endowed upon all subjects, upon this; but he was by no means convinced that the plan he had suggested ought to be adopted. The House, however, would bear in mind that the project of the commit

tee was not his plan: it was a proposition of a totally different description, for it deferred all payments in bullion for two years, and did not at last give the country a specie currency until the lapse of two years more. It was true that some sort of stepping-stone to Mr Ricardo's plan (for it was idle to conceal the name) might be prudent; but he could not without alarm and abhorrence see an attempt thus made to introduce for no less a term than eighteen months, a standard of value unknown to the usages of the kingdom: it was in fact raising the price of gold because the price of paper was lowered: "if your gold," said the Minister, "will not come to my gold, my gold must come to your paper: if the mountain will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet must come to the mountain." Perhaps the most eloquent of the many eloquent passages of the speech of the right honourable gentleman related to this subject-to the danger that might arise from altering the ancient permanent standard of value; and it was this that produced in his mind the greatest degree of alarm: he feared that the principle of the ancient standard being once broken down, would never again be restored. The system was proposed on the other side as a security against possible dangers; but he would ask in his turn, if there were not in that very system a possible danger of establishing a precedent of most injurious consequences? Suppose (to put a case) every thing went on as well as could be desired from hence until October; that there was no complaints of a drain on the Bank, or of a want of currency for the supply of merchants; what answer might be made to the application to carry into further effect the plan of tonight? What security was there that the wishes of the country would

be complied with, or that an application would not be made by Ministers to Parliament, stating that the L.3:19:6 were not a sufficient price for gold, and that L.4, 1s. must be continued, or the kingdom would be exposed to imminent perils? Suppose, at the termination of four years, some unforeseen circumstances, like those of 1797, should occur, which induced Government to think it impolitic to perform their engagement; they might then say, the Mint price of gold is not enough, let us go back to L.3:19:6 per oz.; or, supported by precedent, they might even urge the necessity of returning to L.4, Is. the price allowed three years before. Surely this was a very possible danger against which there was no guard, and the country might be deprived of all hope of ever returning to cash payments at all: the Bank Restriction itself might be proposed at the very moment when people thought a wholesome currency was restored; and thus the wheel might turn round without cessation: first with delusive promises, that gold should be restored, and afterwards with an exposure of that delusion, by a continuance of the restriction. What then was to be gained by this much boasted discovery? Here he might make many observations upon the drain upon the Bank, and on the reduction of discounts; but he forbore, because he was persuaded that the House would hear them to much greater advantage from some of the directors or merchants whose interests were concerned. He meant to put the matter fairly, and he hoped he had done so. What then was the real ground of this proceeding? Neither more nor less than this, that the Bank was not to be trusted. As to the opinions of the Bank, he (Mr Tierney) was as hostile to them in general ag any man; but in justice to that es.

tablishment it was but right to say, that as yet the House (at least until the resolutions of the right honourable gentleman were agreed to) entertained the sentiments of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as detailed when he opposed the principles of Mr Horner in 1810, and which were recorded on the journals. Since that time light had certainly broken in upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and who should assert that light might not break in upon the Bank Directors? If a decided opinion of the majority of the country and of the House had made converts of Ministers, and had induced them to abandon a course they had undeviatingly pursued for the last ten or twelve years, was it unfair to suppose that the Bank Directors might be converted also? He did not contend that those gentlemen were at all warranted in entertaining the strange and wild notions they had promulgated; but practically how did the matter stand? The committee maintained as an abstract principle, and as statesmen and philosophers, that the issue of paper governed the price of gold; but the Directors, not pretending to be judges of political economy, merely replied, that there would be a run upon them, and they must call in their paper for the purpose of protecting themselves. The issue then was between statesmen and philosophers acting upon solid principles of political economy, and Bank Directors who considered only their own peculiar convenience and private interests. It had always struck him with astonishment that twenty-six such well-informed gentlemen could be found to maintain that the price of gold was in no way regulated by the issue of paper: that seemed a monstrous proposition, and the Directors were now in a manner bound

to admit, when they found all the rest of the world differing from them, that they must be in the wrong. The argument on the other side amounted to this, and to nothing else, that the Bank of England was no longer to be trusted, because it is evident, from some expressions used by the Directors, that they will not take the proper and necessary measures for paying their own notes. Undoubtedly the Bank seemed to be acting very foolishly, even with a view to their own interest; for in a pecuniary point of view, the plan was most favourable to them. At least, therefore, the Bank were acting upon a disinterested principle in opposing it, unless it were to be supposed that they did not understand what was or was not for their own benefit. Was it not, however, extraordinary that so much pains should be taken to obtain a security from the Bank, and that the House should take it for granted that Government would do what was right? The evidence was directly in the teeth of this; for it showed that the Bank had uniformly endeavoured to do what was right, and that Government had as uniformly resisted it. The course of things had been this:-in 1816, Parliament passed a bill, declaring that cash payments should be resumed in 1818: the Bank took steps to effect it, by advertising that they would pay a certain portion of their notes in specie: in the year following, 1817, they went further, and agreed to pay all notes dated before January of that year, amounting to many millions. But what did the Chancellor of the Exchequer do? He stated in the House with the utmost triumph, that the Bank were paying gold, and that a specie currency was actually commenced. This was the same Chancellor of the Exchequer who now declared, that the Bank was not

to be trusted. It was contended by the friends of the ancient standard of value, that the Bank ought then to have reduced its issues; but it now turned out in the evidence, that it had not been done, and that if stupidity were not the right word as applied to the Directors, guilt was undoubtedly the right word as applied to the Ministers. The evidence of Mr Harman was decisive: he stated that the Bank did not decrease its issues, for it had no control over them, as the whole management was taken out of its hands by Government. He could not figure to himself any thing more mischievous than for the Government to hold up the Bank as unworthy of public confidence. As long as there was a Bank, it was our interest to maintain its character: upon that depended the estimation in which the public would hold the currency; and a more extraordinary recipe for Government was never heard of than this, that because some new light had broken in upon those hitherto " in middle and utter darkness," the strictest securities were to be demanded, and the utmost rigour displayed. Did he (Mr Tierney) then wish for securities? He did; and as the most effectual, he required that the Bank should be paid the advances it had made to the full extent demanded. If they wanted L. 10,000,000, let them be paid, and then let the House pass some strong resolutions, that at the time appointed a specie currency should certainly be restored. His firm conviction was, that after what had passed, if the L.10,000,000 were paid, the Bank would be ready in two years or sooner to resume cash payments. He was one of those who believed that the ordinary current of the Bank, unless checked by war, a deficient harvest, or some other cause of equal power, would necessarily

bring the exchanges right, and that in healthy times it would be found much more difficult to get the gold out of the country, than to entice it into it. It was said, however, that circumstances might arise to produce an

alteration; but if in the course of four years such calamity might be expected, was it any thing less than madness not to have made arrangements sooner? Though he (Mr Tierney) was far from concurring in the wild doctrines of some, he must be pardoned for saying, when he found all classes of men uniting in opinion against the plan, that there must be something in their aversion. It would be asserted, no doubt, that such men did not understand what they were talking about; that they argued against the principles of such and such approved writers: this might be a very pleasant answer for Ministers, but it would not satisfy those who would be severe losers by the scheme. Next, it would be urged, that such doctrines encouraged panic; but it was one of the chief beauties of the amendment, that it put an end to all causes of alarm. It was a necessary part of the plan, that Bank notes should be made a legal tender, but that could not be effected without gross injustice. The distinction between a person with L.240, and another who had only L.10 in Bank notes, was most iniquitous: the one might amass his ingot, while the other could only trust to his paper; the one, if he were alarmed, might obtain gold, while the other could obtain nothing; so that a panic was allowed to a man of large means, while a person of a small fortune had no right whatever to indulge apprehensions. It had been said that no evidence had been called before the Committee as to the merits of this project; and it was an extraordinary truth, that from the

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