• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 February, 1826
 March 1826
 Index to debates
 Index of names














Group Title: Parliamentary debates (1820-1829)
Title: The parliamentary debates
ALL VOLUMES CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073533/00014
 Material Information
Title: The parliamentary debates
Uniform Title: Parliamentary debates (1820-1829)
Physical Description: 20 v. : ; 25 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Great Britain -- Parliament
Hansard, T. C ( Thomas Curson ), 1776-1833
Publisher: Published under the superintendence of T.C. Hansard
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1820-1829
 Subjects
Subject: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Great Britain -- 1820-1830   ( lcsh )
 Notes
Dates or Sequential Designation: New ser., v. 1 (1820)-v. 20 (1829).
Numbering Peculiarities: Covers Mar. 1820-Feb./Mar. 1829.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073533
Volume ID: VID00014
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 07655703
lccn - sn 85062629
 Related Items
Preceded by: Parliamentary debates for the year 1803 to the present time
Succeeded by: Hansard's parliamentary debates

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
        Table of Contents 3
        Table of Contents 4
        Table of Contents 5
        Table of Contents 7
    February, 1826
        House of Lords - Thursday, February 2
            Page 1-2
            Page 3-4
            Page 5-6
            Page 7-8
            Page 9-10
            Page 11-12
            Page 13-14
            Page 15-16
            Page 17-18
            Page 19-20
            Page 21-22
        House of Commons - Thursday, February 2
            Page 23-24
            Page 25-26
            Page 27-28
            Page 29
            Page 31-32
            Page 33-34
            Page 35-36
            Page 37-38
            Page 39-40
            Page 21-22
            Page 41-42
            Page 43-44
            Page 45-46
            Page 47-48
            Page 49-50
            Page 51-52
            Page 53-54
            Page 55-56
            Page 57-58
            Page 59-60
            Page 61-62
            Page 63-64
            Page 65-66
            Page 67-68
            Page 69-70
            Page 71-72
            Page 73-74
            Page 75-76
            Page 77-78
            Page 79-80
            Page 81-82
            Page 83-84
            Page 85-86
            Page 87-88
            Page 89-90
        House of Commons - Friday, February 3
            Page 91-92
            Page 93-94
            Page 95-96
            Page 97-98
            Page 99-100
            Page 101-102
            Page 89-90
        House of Lords - Monday, February 6
            Page 103-104
            Page 101-102
        House of Commons - Monday, February 6
            Page 103-104
            Page 105-106
            Page 107-108
            Page 109-110
            Page 111-112
            Page 113-114
            Page 115-116
            Page 117-118
            Page 119-120
            Page 121-122
            Page 123-124
            Page 125-126
        House of Lords - Tuesday, February 7
            Page 125-126
        House of Commons - Tuesday, February 7
            Page 127-128
            Page 125-126
        House of Lords - Thursday, February 9
            Page 127-128
            Page 129-130
            Page 131-132
            Page 133-134
            Page 135-136
            Page 137-138
            Page 139-140
            Page 141-142
            Page 143-144
            Page 145-146
        House of Commons - Thursday, February 9
            Page 147-148
            Page 149-150
            Page 151-152
            Page 153-154
            Page 155-156
            Page 157-158
            Page 159-160
            Page 161-162
            Page 145-146
            Page 163-164
            Page 165-166
        House of Commons - Friday, February 10
            Page 167-168
            Page 169-170
            Page 171-172
            Page 173-174
            Page 175-176
            Page 177-178
            Page 179-180
            Page 181-182
            Page 183-184
            Page 165-166
            Page 185-186
            Page 187-188
            Page 189-190
            Page 191-192
            Page 193-194
            Page 195-196
            Page 197-198
            Page 199-200
            Page 201-202
            Page 203-204
            Page 205-206
            Page 207-208
            Page 209-210
            Page 211-212
            Page 213-214
            Page 215-216
            Page 217-218
            Page 219-220
            Page 221-222
            Page 223-224
            Page 225-226
            Page 227-228
            Page 229-230
            Page 231-232
            Page 233-234
            Page 235-236
            Page 237-238
            Page 239-240
            Page 241-242
            Page 243-244
            Page 245-246
        House of Commons - Monday, February 13
            Page 247-248
            Page 249-250
            Page 251-252
            Page 253-254
            Page 255-256
            Page 257-258
            Page 259-260
            Page 261-262
            Page 263-264
            Page 265-266
            Page 267-268
            Page 269-270
            Page 271-272
            Page 273-274
            Page 275-276
            Page 277-278
            Page 279-280
            Page 281-282
            Page 283-284
            Page 285-286
            Page 287-288
            Page 289-290
            Page 291-292
            Page 293-294
            Page 295-296
            Page 297-298
            Page 299-300
            Page 301-302
            Page 303-304
            Page 305-306
            Page 307-308
            Page 309-310
            Page 311-312
            Page 313-314
            Page 315-316
            Page 317-318
            Page 319-320
            Page 321-322
            Page 323-324
            Page 245-246
            Page 325-326
            Page 327-328
            Page 329-330
            Page 331-332
            Page 333-334
            Page 335-336
            Page 337-338
            Page 339-340
            Page 341-342
            Page 343-344
            Page 345-346
            Page 347-348
            Page 349-350
            Page 351-352
            Page 353-354
            Page 355-356
        House of Commons - Tuesday, February 14
            Page 357-358
            Page 359-360
            Page 361-362
            Page 363-364
            Page 365-366
            Page 367-368
            Page 369-370
            Page 371-372
            Page 373-374
            Page 375-376
            Page 377-378
            Page 379-380
            Page 381-382
            Page 383-384
            Page 385-386
            Page 387-388
            Page 389-390
            Page 391-392
            Page 393-394
            Page 395-396
            Page 397-398
            Page 399-400
            Page 401-402
            Page 403-404
            Page 405-406
            Page 407-408
            Page 355-356
        House of Lords - Wednesday, February 15
            Page 407-408
        House of Commons - Wednesday, February 15
            Page 409-410
            Page 411-412
            Page 413-414
            Page 415-416
            Page 417-418
            Page 419-420
            Page 421-422
            Page 423-424
        House of Commons - Thursday, February 16
            Page 425-426
            Page 427-428
            Page 429-430
            Page 431-432
            Page 433-434
            Page 435-436
            Page 423-424
            Page 437-438
            Page 439-440
            Page 441-442
            Page 443-444
            Page 445-446
            Page 447-448
            Page 449-450
        House of Lords - Friday, February 17
            Page 451-452
            Page 453-454
            Page 455-456
            Page 457-458
            Page 459-460
            Page 461-462
            Page 463-464
            Page 465-466
            Page 467-468
            Page 469-470
            Page 471-472
            Page 473-474
            Page 449-450
            Page 475-476
            Page 477-478
            Page 479-480
            Page 481-482
            Page 483-484
            Page 485-486
            Page 487-488
            Page 489-490
            Page 491-492
            Page 493-494
            Page 495-496
            Page 497-498
            Page 499-500
        House of Commons - Friday, February 17
            Page 501-502
            Page 503-504
            Page 505-506
            Page 507-508
            Page 509-510
            Page 511-512
            Page 513-514
            Page 515-516
            Page 517-518
            Page 519-520
            Page 521-522
            Page 523-524
            Page 525-526
            Page 527-528
            Page 529-530
            Page 531-532
            Page 533-534
            Page 535-536
            Page 537-538
            Page 539-540
            Page 541-542
            Page 543-544
            Page 545-546
            Page 547-548
            Page 499-500
            Page 549-550
            Page 551-552
            Page 553-554
            Page 555-556
        House of Lords - Monday, February 20
            Page 557-558
            Page 559-560
            Page 561-562
            Page 563-564
            Page 565-566
            Page 555-556
        House of Commons - Monday, February 20
            Page 567-568
            Page 569-570
            Page 571-572
            Page 573-574
            Page 565-566
            Page 575-576
            Page 577-578
            Page 579-580
            Page 581-582
            Page 583-584
            Page 585-586
            Page 587-588
            Page 589-590
            Page 591-592
            Page 593-594
            Page 595-596
            Page 597-598
            Page 599-600
            Page 601-602
            Page 603-604
            Page 605-606
            Page 607-608
            Page 609-610
            Page 611-612
            Page 613-614
            Page 615-616
            Page 617-618
            Page 619-620
            Page 621-622
            Page 623-624
            Page 625-626
            Page 627-628
            Page 629-630
            Page 631-632
            Page 633-634
            Page 635-636
            Page 637-638
            Page 639-640
            Page 641-642
        House of Commons - Tuesday, February 21
            Page 643-644
            Page 645-646
            Page 647-648
            Page 649-650
            Page 651-652
            Page 653-654
            Page 655-656
            Page 657-658
            Page 659-660
            Page 661-662
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            Page 665-666
            Page 667-668
            Page 669-670
            Page 671-672
            Page 673-674
            Page 675-676
            Page 677-678
            Page 679-680
            Page 681-682
            Page 683-684
            Page 685-686
            Page 687-688
            Page 689-690
            Page 641-642
        House of Commons - Wednesday, February 22
            Page 691-692
            Page 693-694
            Page 689-690
        House of Lords - Thursday, February 23
            Page 695-696
            Page 693-694
        House of Commons - Thursday, February 23
            Page 695-696
            Page 697-698
            Page 699-700
            Page 701-702
            Page 703-704
            Page 705-706
            Page 707-708
            Page 709-710
            Page 711-712
            Page 713-714
            Page 715-716
            Page 717-718
            Page 719-720
            Page 721-722
            Page 723-724
            Page 725-726
            Page 727-728
            Page 729-730
            Page 731-732
            Page 733-734
            Page 735-736
            Page 737-738
            Page 739-740
            Page 741-742
            Page 743-744
            Page 745-746
            Page 747-748
            Page 749-750
            Page 751-752
            Page 753-754
            Page 755-756
            Page 757-758
            Page 759-760
            Page 761-762
            Page 763-764
            Page 765-766
            Page 767-768
            Page 769-770
            Page 771-772
            Page 773-774
            Page 775-776
            Page 777-778
            Page 779-780
            Page 781-782
            Page 783-784
            Page 785-786
            Page 787-788
            Page 789-790
            Page 791-792
            Page 793-794
            Page 795-796
            Page 797-798
            Page 799-800
            Page 801-802
            Page 803-804
            Page 805-806
            Page 807-808
            Page 809-810
        House of Commons - Friday, February 24
            Page 811-812
            Page 813-814
            Page 815-816
            Page 817-818
            Page 819-820
            Page 821-822
            Page 823-824
            Page 825-826
            Page 827-828
            Page 829-830
            Page 831-832
            Page 833-834
            Page 835-836
            Page 837-838
            Page 839-840
            Page 841-842
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            Page 845-846
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            Page 849-850
            Page 851-852
            Page 853-854
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            Page 857-858
            Page 859-860
            Page 861-862
            Page 863-864
            Page 809-810
        House of Lords - Monday, February 27
            Page 865-866
            Page 867-868
            Page 869-870
            Page 871-872
            Page 873-874
            Page 875-876
            Page 877-878
            Page 863-864
        House of Commons - Monday, February 27
            Page 879-880
            Page 881-882
            Page 883-884
            Page 885-886
            Page 887-888
            Page 889-890
            Page 877-878
            Page 891-892
            Page 893-894
            Page 895-896
            Page 897-898
            Page 899-900
            Page 901-902
            Page 903-904
            Page 905-906
            Page 907-908
            Page 909-910
            Page 911-912
            Page 913-914
            Page 915-916
        House of Lords - Tuesday, February 28
            Page 917-918
            Page 915-916
        House of Commons - Tuesday, February 28
            Page 917-918
            Page 919-920
            Page 921-922
            Page 923-924
            Page 925-926
            Page 927-928
            Page 929-930
            Page 931-932
            Page 933-934
            Page 935-936
            Page 937-938
            Page 939-940
            Page 941-942
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            Page 945-946
            Page 947-948
            Page 949-950
            Page 951-952
            Page 953-954
            Page 955-956
            Page 957-958
            Page 959-960
            Page 961-962
            Page 963-964
            Page 965-966
            Page 967-968
    March 1826
        House of Commons - Wednesday, March 1
            Page 969-970
            Page 971-972
            Page 973-974
            Page 975-976
            Page 977-978
            Page 979-980
            Page 981-982
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            Page 987-988
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            Page 999-1000
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            Page 967-968
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            Page 1019-1020
            Page 1021-1022
            Page 1023-1024
            Page 1025-1026
            Page 1027-1028
            Page 1029-1030
            Page 1031-1032
            Page 1033-1034
            Page 1035-1036
            Page 1037-1038
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            Page 1057-1058
            Page 1059-1060
            Page 1061-1062
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            Page 1067-1068
            Page 1069-1070
            Page 1071-1072
            Page 1073-1074
            Page 1075-1076
        House of Lords - Friday, March 3
            Page 1075-1076
        House of Commons - Friday, March 3
            Page 1077-1078
            Page 1079-1080
            Page 1081-1082
            Page 1083-1084
            Page 1085-1086
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        House of Commons - Monday, March 6
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        House of Lords - Tuesday, March 7
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        House of Commons - Tuesday, March 7
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        House of Commons - Wednesday, March 8
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        House of Lords - Thursday, March 9
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        House of Commons - Thursday, March 9
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        House of Commons - Friday, March 10
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        House of Lords - Friday, March 17
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    Index to debates
        Index
    Index of names
        Index
        Index
        Index
Full Text



THE


PARLIAMENTARY



DEBATES:


FORMING A CONTINUATION OF THE WORK ENTITLED

" THE PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY OF ENGLAND,

FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD TO THE YEAR 1803."


PUBLISHED UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF
T. C. HANSARD.




COMMENCING WITH TIE ACCESSION OF GEORGE IV.



VOL. XIV.

COMPRISING THE PERIOD
FROM
THE SECOND DAY OF FEBRUARY,
TO
THE SEVENTEENTH DAY OF MARCH, 1826.




LONDON:

iPrinteb bp X. EC. Pangarb at tbe pateurnotermiotew pre##,
FOR BALDWIN, CRADOCK, AND JOY; J. BOOKER; LONGMAN, REES, ORME, AND CO.;
J. M. RICHARDSON; KINCSBURY AND CO.; J. HATCHARD AND SON; J. RIDGWAY
AND SONS; E. JEFFERY AND SON; RODWELL AND MARTIN; R. H. EVANS;
BUDD AND CALKIN; J. BOOTH; AND T. C. HANSARD.

1826.














TABLE OF CONTENTS

TO

VOLUME XIV.

NEW SERIES.






I. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF IV. PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS.
LORDS. V. PETITIONS.
II. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF
COMMONS. VI. REPORTS.
COMMONS.
III. KING'S SPEECHES. VII. LISTS.




I. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS.

1826. Page
Feb. 2. The King's Speech on Opening the Session ........................ 1
6. Mr. Cowper-Clerk Assistant ....................................... 102
7. Mr. Cowper-Clerk Assistant .......................................... 125
9. State of Ireland .......................................................... 128
State of the Currency .................. ............................. 132
15. Poor Laws in Ireland ................................................... 407
17. Bank Charter Amendment Bill......................................... 450
20. Corn Laws .................................................................. 555
Bank Charter Amendment Bill......................................... 556
23. Corn Laws ......... ................................................. 694
27. Scotch Banking System ................................................ 864
Corn Laws ...................................... ........ ..... .. 865
Bank Charter Amendment Bill-Bank Advances on Goods...... 866
28. Corn Laws .................................................................. 915
M ar. 3. Corn Laws ..................................................... ........... 1075
7. Abolition of Slavery ..................................................... 1139
9. Roman Catholic Question ............................................... 1200
Corn Laws ................................................................. 1202
State of the Church Establishment in the South of Ireland ...... 1205
14. Abolition of Slavery ........................................... 1343


- -------~-






TABLE OF CONTENTS,
Page
Mar. 14. Corn Laws..................... .... ....................... 1345
Promissory Notes Bill ................................................ 1347
16. Usury Laws ...................................................... 1373
17. Scotch Banks-Small Note Currency of Scotland and Ireland... 1392



II. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.

Feb. 2. Address on the King's Speech at the Opening of the Session .. 22
3. Mr. Brogden-Chairman of Ways and Means ..................... 90
Address on the King's Speech at the Opening of the Session ... 91
7. Stamping of Small Country Notes ................................. 126
Election Laws in Ireland .............................................. 127
9. Country Banks that have become Bankrupts ....................... 145
Silk Trade ........ .......... ..... ....................................... 152
Corn Laws ................................................................ 157
Bank of England Balances, &c........................................ 15
Bank Charter and Promissory Notes Acts .......................... 165
13. Bank Charter and Promissory Notes Acts ......................... 245
14. Silk Trade ............................................................... 356
The Currency-Country Banker's Notes ............................ 35S
Navigation Act-Treaties with South America .................... 359
Conduct of Mr. Kenrick in the Case of Franks................... 364
Bank Charter and Promissory Notes Acts ......................... 368
15. Usury Laws Repeal Bill................................................... 409
Repeal of the Bubble Act.............................................. 416
Exchequer Bills ....................................................... 416
16. Church Rates in Ireland ................................................ 423
Tolls and Customs of Fairs and Markets in Ireland .............. 439
17. Conduct of Mr. Kenrick in the Case of Franks ................... 500
N avy Estimates ............................................................ 520
Promissory Notes Bill .............................................. 537
20. Petition of M r. Kenrick ............................................... 566
Liability of Members to serve on Juries ............................ 568
Promissory Notes Bill-Petition of William Cobbett.............. 570
Promissory Notes Bill ................................................. 572
21. Liability of Members to serve on Juries-Report from the Com-
mittee of Privileges .............................................. 642
Joint Stock Companies-Mexican Mining Company ............ 644
Bear-Baiting and Dog-Fighting Bill ............................... 647
Cattle Ill-Treatment Bill .............................................. 653
Conduct of Mr. Kenrick in the Case of Franks.................... 657
Navy Estimates ........................................................... 678
22. South American Treaties Bill ........................................ 689
23. Reduction of Duties on Tobacco and Snuff ....................... 695
Promissory Notes Bill-Petition of William Cobbett ........... 696
Commercial Distress-Petition of the Merchants of London for
Relief ........... ....... .......... ........ ................. 698







TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
Feb. 23. Mr. Ellice's Motion for a Select Committee on the State of the
Silk Manufacture .................................................... 733
24. Mr. Ellice's Motion for a Select Committee on the State of the
Silk Manufacture ................................................... 809
Promissory Notes Bill .............................................. 859
27. Debtor and Creditor Arrangement Bill ............................ 877
Promissory Notes Bill ................................................. 878
28. Abolition of Slavery ................................................... 918
Military Discipline-Tenth Hussars ............................... 919
Commercial Distress ...................................................... 920
Exchequer Bills for Public Works ................................. 928
Promissory Notes Bill .................................................. 963
Mar. 1. Abolition of Slavery ..................................................... 968
Corn Laws................................................. .......... 1000
2. Bribery and Corruption at Elections ................................ 1003
Jamaica Slaves' Trials .................................................. 1007
3. Slavery in the Colonies ................................................. 1076
Army Estimates ............................................................ 1082
6. Gold Coin in Exchange for Notes-Petition of William Martin.. 1112
Corn Laws .................................................................. 1113
Army Estimates............................................................ 1119
Ordnance Estimates ..................................................... 1131
7. Education in Ireland ................................................... 1175
Commitments for Contempts of Court............................... 1178
Promissory Notes Bill .................................................. 1184
Army Estimates..................................................... 1192
S. Deposits with the Bank Bill ......................... .......... ....... 1198
9. Scotch Representation .................................................. 1208
Corn Laws ................................................... ........... 1210
Consolidation of the Criminal Laws................................. 1214
Steam Vessels in Scotland..................... ......................... 1244!
Local Jurisdictions in Ireland ...................................... 1246
Non-Resident Burgesses in Ireland .................................. 1247
Episcopal Unions in Ireland..................... ............... 1253
Private Bills Committees ............................................... 1254
Bank Charter Amendment Bill.............................. ....... 1258
10. State of Exchequer Bills, and Transactions of Government with
the Bank of England........ .... ............................ ... 1259
Evacuation of Spain by the French............ ..... ......... 1283
Army Extraordinaries-Miscellaneous Estimates .................. 1284
Mutiny Bill-Punishment of Flogging in the Army ............... 1292
13. Financial Situation of the Country .................................. 1305
14. Banking System in Scotland............................................. 1358
Emigration ........................................... ................ 1359
Bribery at Elections Bill ................................... .... ..... 1365
Mutiny Bill-Punishment of Flogging in the Army .............. 1370
15. Commissioners of Bankrupts-Tavern Expenses .................. 1371
IS East India Company-Appointment of Writers.......... .......... 1374
Scotch Banking-Small-Note Currency in Scotland and Ireland 1379






TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
Mar. 16. Westminster Abbey ................................................. 1388
Cruel Treatment of Cattle Bill......................................... 1391
17. Miscellaneous Services-Civil Contingencies ....................... 1400



III. KING'S SPEECHES.

Feb. 2. KING'S SPEECH on Opening the Session...........................



IV. PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS.

Communications between the First Lord of the Treasury and the
Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Governor and Deputy
Governor of the Bank of England, relating to an Alteration
in the Exclusive Privileges enjoyed by the Bank of England.. 103
Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, between his Ma-
jesty and the State of Columbia. Signed at Bogota, April 18,
1825 ..................................... ............................. 111
Convention of Commerce between his Majesty and the Free
Hanseatic Republics of Lubeck, Bremen, and Hamburgh.
Signed at London, Sept. 29, 1825 ............................... 117
Convention of Commerce between his Majesty and the King of
France. Signed at London, Jan. 26, 1826........................ 120



V. PETITIONS.

Feb. 20. PETITION of William Cobbett against the Promissory Notes
Bill....................... ....... ................... 571
23. -- of William Cobbett against the Promissory Notes
Bill............................................................ 696



V1. REPORTS.

Feb. 21. REPORT of the Committee of the House of Commons, on the
Liability of Members to serve on Juries ............... 643


VII. LISTS.

Feb. 13. LIST of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Bar.
ing's Amendment to the Resolution moved by the Chan-
cellor of the Exchequer in the Committee on the Bank
Charter and Promissory Notes Acts ....................... 35
of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Hud-
son Gurney's Amendment to the Resolution moved by
the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the Committee on
the Bank Charter and Promissory Notes Acts ............ 356






TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
Feb. 20. Lisr of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Pro-
missory Notes Bill ......... .................................... 641
21. of the Minority, in the House of Commons,'on the Navy
E stim ates ......................................................... 688
24. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Ellice's
Motion for a Select Committee on the State of the Silk
M manufacture .................................... ............. 8.9
27. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Pro-
missory Notes Bill .............................................. 892
of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Pro-
missory Notes Bill...................... ....................... 908
Mar. 2. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Den-
man's Motion respecting the Jamaica Slaves Trials ...... 1074
3. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Army
Estimates ......................................................... 1107
6. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Army
Estimates .............. .. ................................ 1123
of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Army
Estimates ........................................................ 1127
7. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the third
reading of the Promissory Notes Bill ........................ 1187
of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Army
Estimates .................... .. .................... ...... 1198


VOL. XIV




















PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES.








THE


Parliamentary Debates


During the Seventh Session of the Seventh Parliament of
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
appointed to meet at Westminster, the Second Day of
February 1826, in the Seventh Year of the Reign of His
Majesty King GEORGE the Fourth.


HOUSE OF LORDS.
Thursday, February 2, 1826
THE KING'S SPEECH OX OPENING THE
SEssION.] This day the Session was
opened by Commission. The place of
Lord Chancellor Eldon was,in consequence
of indisposition, supplied by lord Gifford.
The other commissioners were the earls
of Westmorland, Harrowby, and Shaftes-
bury. The deputy usher of the black
rod having been ordered to require the
attendance of the House of Commons, he
withdrew. In a few minutes after, the
Speaker, accompanied by a considerable
number of members, having appeared at
the bar, lord Gifford opened the session,
with the following Speech to both
Houses :-
My Lords and Gentlemen,
We are commanded by his Majesty
to inform you, that his Majesty has seen
with regret the embarrassment which has
occurred in the pecuniary transactions of
the country, since the close of the last
session of parliament.
TIa embarrassment did not arise
from any political events, either at home
or abroad: it was not produced by any
unexpected demand upon the public re-
sources; nor by tie apprehension of any
interruption to the general tranquillity.
Some of the causes to which this evil
must be attributed, lie without the reach
of direct parliamentary interposition; nor
can security against the recurrence of
them be found, unless in the experience
VOL. XIV. s{ e, }


of the sufferings which they have oc-
casioned.
But, to a certain portion of this evil,
correctives at least, if not effectual re-
medies, may be applied ; and his Majesty
relies upon your wisdom to devise such
measures as may tend to protect both
private and public interests against the
like sudden and violent fluctuations, by
placing on a more firm foundation the
Currency and circulating Credit of the
country.
His Majesty continues to receive
from his Allies, and generally from all
Foreign princes and states, the strongest
assurances of their friendly disposition
towards his Majesty. His Majesty, on his
part, is constant and unwearied in his en-
deavours to reconcile conflicting interests,
and to recommend and cultivate peace
both in the Old world and in the New.
His Majesty commands us to inform
you, that, in pursuance of this policy, his
Majesty's mediation has been successfully
employed in the conclusion of a treaty
between the crowns of Portugal and
Brazil, by which the relations of friendly
intercourse, long interrupted between two
kindred nations, have been restored ; and
the independence of the Brazilian empire
has been formally acknowledged.
His Majesty loses no opportunity of
giving effect to the principles of trade and
navigation, which have received the sanc-
tion of Parliament, and of establishing
B






3S HOUSE OF LORDS, The King's Speech on Opening the Session. [4


them as far as possible, by engagements
with foreign powers.
lis iMaijsty ihas l.rccted to be laid
before, you, a copy of a Convention,
fi'rimed on these priicip 's, which has
recently been concluded between hisa
r;iaj.sty and the i;:ing of France; and of
a sinhilar Conventio., with the free Hani-
seatic cities of Lubec, Bremen, and Ham-
burgh.
His Majesty has likewise directed to
be laid before you a copy of a Treaty of
Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, con-
cluded between his MWajestyand theRepuLb-
l'c of Colombia, the ratifications of which
have been exchanged since the close of
the last Session. For the carrying into
effect some of tbe stipulations of this
trel cy, hi MiIje:,-ty will have need of your
assistance.
lis Majesty regrets that he has not
to announce to you the termination of
hostilities in India: but the operations of
the last campaign, through the bravery of
the forces of his Majesty, and of the East
India Company, and the skill and per-
severance of their commanders, have been
attended with uniform success, and his
Majesty trusts that a continuance of the
same exertions may lead, at no distant
period, to an honourable and satisfactory
pacification.
His Majesty's attention has been
directed to the consideration of several
measures,recommended in the last Session
of Parliament, for improving the condition
of Ireland.
The industry of that part of the
United Kingdom, his Majesty has the
satisfaction of acquainting you, is in a
course of gradual and general advance-
ment-an advancement mainly to be at-
tributed to that state of tranquillity which
now happily prevails throughout all the
provinces of Ireland.
"Gentlemen of the House of Commons.
His Majesty has directed the esti-
mates for the year to be prepared and
laid before you.
They have been f;rcl.rd wit! an
an-iGus -esire to avcid ev':try Expenditure


beyond what the necessary demands of
the public service may require.
His Miaje;ity Ihas the satisfaction of
informing you, that the produce of the
Revenue, in the last year, has fully justi-
fied the expectations entertained at the
commenceamntt ofi.
?iy Lords and Gentlemen,
His Majesty deeply laments the in-
jurious effects whichh the late pecuniary
crisis must have entailed upon many
branches of the commerce and manufac-
tures of the United Kingdom.
"hBut his Majesty confidently believes
That the temporary check which com-
merce and manufactures may at this mo-
ment experience, will, under the blessing
of Divine Providence, neither iimp ir the
great sources of our 'weCath, nor impede
the growth of national prosperity."
The Commons then withdrew. After
which, the Speech being again read by
lord Gifford, and also by the Cler" at the
table,
The Earl of Verudal. rose, to move
an address to his Majesty, in reply to his
most gracious Speech. 'The noble earl
observed, that the Speech firo:n the throne
explained to their lordships the political
situation of the country, and that it was
usual for those who rose for the purpose
of proposing to their lordships an address
in reply to the royal Speech, to notice the
principal topics ndl;ich it embraced. He
did not intend, however, to go into minute
details. On all material points, the state
of the nation affbrded sufficient grounds
for congratulation. Whatever unthvour-
able circumstances he had to notice, were
of a temporary nature. He had no series
of national calamities to deplore, no pro-
tracted war to lament. In general, he
had only to call their lordships' attention
to the fortunate situation of the country:
but it was not to be expected that there
would be no disagreeable feature in the
picture. Man is born to trouble as the
sparks fly upwards ;" and their lordships
were aware that every state of things was
liable to uncertainty and change. Ac-
cordingly, the first topic of the Speech
related to the late extraordinary and un-
expected panic, which had occurred in
the pecuniary transactions of the country.
It was the more unexpected, because
it had occurred at a moment when the







t?] De K'ing's Speech on Openinag the &Sesion.


prosperity of the country appeared at its in which his Majesty informed parlia-
height, and when money abounded to an ment, that he continued t3 receive from
uncommon extent. This singular em- his allies, and generally from all foreign
barrassment had not, as was observed in powers, assurances of a friendly dispo-
the King's Speech, its origin in any po- sition. The noole earl coiciuled by
litical events. It seemed easy to obtain calling their lordsiips' attention to the
money for any purpose, and the most last p:rraph cf his '.jesy's Speech,
extravagant speculations vw-re entered which, he said, stated his own sentillenis
into. He believed it was the difficulty with respect to the late embarrassments,
which capitalists experienced in obtaining in the conviction it expressed, that the
an adequate interest for their money, temporary check which our commerce
which had led to the wild speculations and manufactures might at this moment
which had taken place-speculations so experience would, under the blessing of
wild, that it seemed as if the persons en- Divine Providence, neither impair the
gaged in them were indifferent whether great sources of our wealth, nor impede
they should sink or swim. This over- the growth of national prosperity. He
speculation was the main c;-uoe of the then moved an Address, which was, as
distress which had been felt in the corn- usual, an echo of the Speech from the
mercial world; but it wa< o0n, which throne.
would cure itself, and which therefore, Lord.' in rising to second the
ought not to be the object of parliament- Address, said it wao not necessary for
ary interposition. For the consideration him to trespass on their lordships' indul-
of other circumstances connected with gence at any great length, after the able
the late pecuniary eb;::rra.sments, op- manner in which his noble friend had
portunities would arise, anil he was con- brought forward the motion. He must,
fident the evils were not irrcmediAble. however, b.g leSave to make a few obser-
His Majesty stated, that he rdlied upon vntions. It appeared to him, that the late
parliament for the adoption of measures pecuniary distress had arisen out of the
calculated to protect the public against peace and pro.-puri of the country,
sudden and violent fluctuations; and he which, by creating a g'et accumuiatiou
hoped their lordships would soon proceed of capital, induiccd persons to speculate
to tie consideration of the important t to excess. The d(i:ress, however, was
subject. T'l'e %way in which the panic by no means ger.ral, and he congratu-
had been met by merchants, banker's, and lated e their lohips ith;.t in ali the m inu-
individulds of property, was a circum- featuring districts i t'e spirit of conmbina-
stance of great congratulation, and must tion among the working classes lihad en-
induce their lordships to turn their atten- tirely disappeared, and they had now
tion to the great object recommended by returned to their usual habits of peaceful
his Majesty; namely, the placing theI industry. He also congratulated their
credit of the country on a more firm lordlsip that th agricultural interest
foundation. It was to be hoipel that had met with no mateIrial check by the
adventurers and speculators ,'ouidl take recent difficulties. iAmong the topics
warring from the past, and in future be co.'ained in the Speech there were m.ny
guided by wisdom c',d ma ni rat ion in on v. which le might congratulate their
their schemes. Their lord-hii:s wotid lord'dshipi in common with his n.ble
perceive from his Majesty's Speech that fried. It was highly gratifying to find
the termination of hostilities in India thi t Colombia had finally established her
could not be announced. The war in independence, and that we had entered
that quarter of the world had been un- into friendly relations with that state, as
dertaken to maintain the national cha- well as with other in the same hemis-
racter. The military operations had here. As to the war in India, it was
hitherto been attended with success. well known that the principles on which
The war had not for its object any it was carried on were sanctioned by the
extension of our empire in India; its highest authorities in this country. With
only purpose was to obtain a secure respect to that part of the Speech which
and honourable peace. Their lordships adverted to the inpro-ed siate of Irel'nd,
would readily concur with him in con- he rejoiced to find that the measures in-
gratulating his Majesty on another part produced last session had been found
of his Speech, which related to fo- effectnal in iren!'e:ce to the administra-
reign affairs. He alluded to that part tion of justice, education, and general


FEB. 2, 18V(3.






7] HOUSE OF LORDS, 'The King's Speech on Opening the Session. [8


improvement. The best proof of the
efficacy of those measures was to be found
in the tranquillity that now prevailed
throughout every part of Ireland. Having
thus briefly expressed his sentiments, he
should sit down in the confident hope
that their lordslips would not hesitate to
ngree to the Addre.ss.
Lord Kin, said, that the noble mover
and seconder of the Address had both
mentioned the present embarrassments,
but he did not find that either of them
had said a word on the causes which led to
the:m. He would endeavour to supply the
omission. The causes were, in some de-
gree, to be attributed to the government;
in a greater degree, to the country banks ;
and in a still greater degree to the Bank
of En land monopoly. He would tell
their lordships how the government caused
this mischief. It had prolonged the ex-
istence of the one and two pound notes.
it had passed a law to allow of country
banks issuing them. The measure per-
mitting this was the measure of ministers.
As far as the present evil arose from the
bankers issuing such notes, to this degree
it had been caused by his Majesty's
government. There was also a strong
tendency in the measures of ministers to
reduce the rate of interest ; and for this
purpose, the one and two pound note bill
had been passed. They had reduced the
rate of interest on Exchequer bills, in
order to promote a great future reduction
of interest. Their conductreminded him
of the memorable speech of a memorable
ex-chancellor of the Exchequer, in which
that noble lord had stated, that it would
be no benefit, if every individual, when
he awoke in the morning, found a guinea
in his pocket; but it would be a great
benefit if he found the rate of interest
reduced when he awoke. Such was the
sentiment of the accredited organ of
government, and ministers now seemed to
think that it was no benefit that wealth
should be spread abroad amongst all the
people, but a great benefit that it should
be collected into heaps. The ex-chan-
cellor would be a proper organ for the
projectors of last year, who removed tlhe
useless guinea out of the people's pocket,
and supplied its place by receipts for
stock or scrip fbr loans. He would
recommend the people, as the proper use
of such paper, to subscribe it to build a
monument to this ex-chancellor of the
Exchequer. He had said, that the Bank
of England had contributed to the dis-


tress; and he did not know any period of
distress for the last thirty or fifty years,
in which the conduct of thitt establish-
ment had not been injurious. Let their
lordships look back, and they would find,
that the conduct of the Bank of England
had, in every case, aggravated the distress
by its conduct. It was a most faulty
machine. It was impossible that a Bank
so incorporated could do good. If their
lordships were to set about erecting an
establishment to do mischief, they would
erect it on the very principles which
governed that corporation ; they would
give it a monopoly, remove fi'om it all
fear of rivalry, and they would connect
it with the government. The directors
had no interest in the profit or loss of the
concern; they had neither hopes nor
fears for the result of their conduct; they
had no interest in managing it well, but
they had a strong interest in mismanaging
it. The machine was altogether too vast
to be well conducted; and this appeared
to him one of the strongest reasons which
could be urged for putting an end to the
monopoly. The Bank, it might be sup-
posed, had not produced the late crisis;
but he contended that it was art and part
in the whole. It had increased the issues
of Bank notes at the beginning of last
year. He did not say this on his own
authority, but on the authority of the
Sbest-informed merchants in the city of
London. Mr. Tooke had stated, in a book
which well deserved their lordships' at-
tention, that the issues of the Bank of
England amounted, in April, 1823, to
17,750,4731.; in April, 1824, 19,011,5751.;
and in April, 1825, to 20,S81,1231. This
was a very considerable increase, amount-
ing, as stated by Mr. Tooke, in the
year 1825, to an increase, in the Bank
circulation, of three millions, as com-
pared with the issue of 1823. He
could not better express the effect this
had had on the country than in the words
of the author--" Speculative operations,
embracing so many commodities of great
importance, in point of amount, neces-
sarily created a large mass of paper, and
of transactions on mere credit, thus
adding to a circulation already swelled
by the increase of country bank notes.
Such were the circumstances under which
the Bank of England issued, and for some
months maintained in circulation, an
increased amount of its notes. Although
this increased issue by the Bank did not
alone cause the great additional excite-







9] The King's Speech on Opening the
ment of the spirit of speculation which
followed it, yet it gave a fresh and pow-
erful stimulant to that spirit, and assisted
in converting incipient delusion into ab-
solute insanity." 'Thie noble earl opposite
was willing, he believed, to control the
conduct of the Bank, but he had found
the Bank too strong for him. The noble
earl also had been willing to prevent the
issue of the one and two pound Bank
notes, but he had found the country
bankers and the country gentlemen too
strong for him. They wanted these notes
to keep up prices and encourage specu-
lation. The noble earl was not strong
enough for these gentlemen ; and he was
afraid he would not be strong enough to
carry the measure whicli he had talked of
last session for revising the Corn laws.
The noble earl had then stated distinctly,
that he meant, this session, to revise the
Corn laws; and he should like to know if
he really meant to do any thing on the
subject of those laws? [The earl of Liver-
pool stated, across the table, that he
would answer that question by and by].
He was afraid, from the looks of the
noble earl, that nothing was to be done
this session with the Corn laws. The
noble earl was probably afraid of again
meeting with such a signal defeat as he
had met with last year on the Canada
Corn bill. That defeat was a disgrace
which could never be wiped out. The
measure was a measure of government;
it had passed the Commons, and was
brought up to their lordships. Then
came down a noble earl to oppose it.
The noble earl opposite had implored him
to allow it to pass for a year and a half.
No; it could not be. For a year, then;
and a year was granted to the govern-
ment. This was the most disgraceful
proceeding he had ever witnessed. Let
their lordships only suppose a lord A, or
a lord B, opposing a ministerial measure
brought up fiom the other House, under
the ministry of Mr. Pitt or lord Grenville;
-the thing was impossible. It reminded
him of Charles 2nd complaining to the
Dutch ambassador, that his government
was not treated with the same respect by
the Dutch as that of Cromwell:--" Your
majesty must recollect," replied the am-
bassador, that Cromwell was a very
different sort of a man." So, if the mi-
nisters were to remind noble lords of the
way in which they conducted themselves
towards Mr. Pitt or lord Grenville, the
reply might be, but you are very dif-


Session. FEB. 2, 1826. [10
ferent sort of men." He feared the
country could have no hopes of seeing
any alteration in the Corn laws this ses-
sion. If that were so, lie was persuaded
that nothing but discussion, repeated dis-
cussion, could produce any good; and
he was resolved on every occasion to
express his opinion on this most detesta-
ble law. It was the most gigantic job
ever practised. It was difficult to say
which was greatest, the unfeeling avarice
which suggested it, or the bold impu-
dence which stated that it was for the
public good. It was the most enormous
job ever heard of in the whole history of
misrule. The West India job only made
us pay more for our sugar. The East
India job, when Leadenhall-street was in
the fulness of its power, and monopolized
all the trade beyond the Cape of Good
Hope, without a rival, was in comparison
nothing to the job of the Corn laws.
Many references had of late been made
to that branch of the legitimate house of
Bourbon which ruled in Spain, and
which had been held up as the most
foolish of all God's vicegerents on
earth ; but what had they done equal in
folly to our Corn laws ? They had given
to one man the monopoly of the trade of
Buenos Ayres; they might have given to
one city the monopoly of all the trade of
Mexico and Peru, but the Spanish mo-
narchs, who were held up as a sort of
scare-crows to bad governments, and
were of more use dead than living, had
granted no monopoly half so monstrous
or half so mischievous as the monopoly
of food. This was a job of the landed
interest; and he would repeat, that it
was the most gigantic job to be found in
the whole history of misrule. It was not
possible the Corn laws should be con-
tinued. Both justice and policy required
their repeal. He believed that to be the
only assembly on the face of the earth
in which it was necessary to prove the
advantages of cheap food. Their lord-
ships were sharp-sighted enough on some
occasions, and had speedily perceived the
necessity of a law to punish those who
broke machines. But why were the
breakers of machines to be put down?
because machines saved labour. All our
wealth, all our productive power, de-
pended on the employment of machines;
and if they were valuable, how was it
that cheap food was an injury? If food
was cheap, labour was cheap. But the
Corn laws compelled us to have recourse






11] HOUSE OF LORDS, The King's Speech on Opening the Session. [ !2


to more labour to produce food. This
must be the case while we were obliged
to cultivaite bad soils, when we might
obtain food from good soils; and the
Corn laws ought to be put down like
machine breakers. It was, stated by some
that the difference of prices was so great
upon the continent, as compared with
this country, that ruin must be tlie con-
sequence of allowing an unrestricted im-
portation to take place. But he would
deny the fact. If they could show him
that there was a considerable difference
in the prices, which lie did not believe,
then he would say, that in proportion as
the landholder gained, the consumer lost,
and that by persisting in restrictive mea-
sures, in order to keep up the price, they
proclaimed their own avarice and injus-
tice. Their lordships were all aware,
that that celebrated voyager, Mr. Lemuel
Gulliver, on giving an account of that
august assembly to the king of Brogdig-
nag, had told him that they were always
occupied for the good of the cou'-ry.
Now if, instead of such an account he
had informed him that they were always
occupied in contriving to keep up the
price of corn, then indeed his majestv's
answer would have been a just one, when
he observed, that we were the most con-
temptible race of little reptiles, and our
rulers the most selish and unjust. As
to the prosperity of the country, he be-
lieved the one thing needful with respect
to it was a revision of the Corn laws.
Indeed, he felt the conviction of its ne-
cessity so strongly, that he felt himself
bound to move an amendment, expres-
sive of an opinion to that cfject. His
lordship, accordingly, concluded with an
Amendment, pledging the House to take
into consideration, at an early period,
the propriety of revising the Corn laws,
as the best means of securing the pros-
perity of the country.
Earl Grosvenor said, that althouc-h the
subject was one of the utmost importance,
still he was not at present prepared to go
so far as his noble friend who spoke last,
However desirable it might be to agitate
the question at some future period, he
could not at present support the amend-
ment. His object in rising was, to say a
few words in reference to the Speech
from the throrie. He must, however,
premise, that he felt much regret that
his Majesty was not able to attend in
person, for the purpose of opening the
session. le feared the circumstance


arose from indisposition ; if so, he should
greatly regret it. It could not, however,
have been very agreeable to his \Majesty,
to deliver a Speech, which necessarily
made allusion to a state of things, not
the most agreeabl. It certainly wac
very different from those which they had
been of late years in t!ie habit of hearing,
Enough, however, was held out to
encourage hope, and there were some
points touched upon with an expression
of satisfaction. Indeed, there was gene-
rally upon such occasions too great a dis-
position to introduce topics of congratu-
lation, in place of pointing out the real
state of the country. Such a speech as
that which their lordships had just heard
from the throne, was much more credit-
able to ministers, than one of empty con-
gratulation. There were some points in
it to which he was desirous to advert. In
the first place, his Majesty recommended
that the circulating currency of thie
country should be placed on a more firm
foundation. Now, 1ie could not see hovr
it could be put on a more firm foundatio:
than that on wi:ich, by law, it stood at
present. They were thus led to believe,
that some legislative measure was to be
introduced on the subjcet, or something
done towards relieving the present dis-
tresses. It would be highly satisfactory
if they were made acquainted with the
Nature of the measures which ministers
had in contemplation. There was ano-
ther p'int to which lie must advert. His
Majesty informed thei, that the revenue
fiily justified the expectations that were
formed of it last session. This, as it ap-
peared to him, reouiircd some explana-
tion. All they knew at present was, that
there was an actual deficiency of revenue
Sin the present year, as compared with the
last. iiow, then, was the passage in his
Majesty's Speech to be explained ? Per-
haps ministers did not anticipate a larger
revenue than that actually received, and
would account for the deficiency by the
duties that had been taken off last session;
or perhaps, having foreseen the difficulties
that had arisen in the money market,
they, in consequence, calculated upon
some deficiency in the revenue. He saw
no other means in which the passage .a
the Speech could be explained. The
impression on his mind, produced by ail
that had lately taken place, was, that to
relieve the country from its difficulties,
they must have recourse to that econo-
mical system which lie had for so many






13] The King's Speech on Opening the Session. FEB. 2, 1826. [14
years been ineffectually recommending. unnecessary. How was it possible, while
Whether the present embarrassments the great bulk of the population were
arose from over-trading, an over-issue of kept in their present state of exclusion,
paper, or any other cause, he knew not; that there could be tranquillity or con-
but of this there was no doubt, that the tent? IIe rejoiced, however, at the
revenue had decreased. The same causes prospect of any measures that might tend
might recur again, and the same conse- to better the condition of that country.
quence follow. The only way of guard- But, nothing could be permanently ad-
ing against such an inconvenience was by vantageous, until the Catholics partici-
a system of retrenchment and economy. pated in all the constitutional privileges
By no other means could the country of their fellow-subjects. This being once
ever hope to see an efficient sinking fund. done, they might safely draw off the
Had they commenced upon a principle of immense standing army which they now
retrenchment ten years back, and acted found it necessary to maintain for the
upon it steadily, how different would the purpose of overawing the people. Though
state of the country now be! Instead of not prepared to support the amendment
a sinking fund of 5,000,0001., it might of his noble friend, he had felt it his duty
have been eight, ten, or even twelve to throw out these few observations.
millions ; and thus wculd not only a great Lord Teynham said, he should oppose
part of the interest of the public debt the amendment. With respect to the
have been got rid of, but a considerable Corn laws, it should be recollected that
part of the principal. There was not a the country was at present in an artificial
single branch of their expenditure in state ; that we were subject to an enor-
which retrenchment should not have been mous taxation; and that while such was
introduced long ago; but the largest re- the case, it was not to be expected that
ductions should have been made in the the grower of corn here could compete
standing army. There was no reason on with the foreign grower upon any thing
earth, why the army should not have like equal terms. The agricultural in-
been greatly re:luced, as had been the terest had been always anxious to lighten
case o.1 the termination of all former the distresses of the other classes of the
wars. This ws also mnos~ ifinortant in a comnunaity. The difficulties of the pre-
constitutional point of view. What was I sent time did not arise from the corn laws,
this large army wanted for? At one time, but were mainly to be attributed to that
the cause assigned was the existence of a spirit of ruinous speculation which had
party called the radicals. But, did their unfortunately taken possession of the
lordships not recollect the events that country. He did not see how the present
took place at Manchester? There a military establishment could be reduced,
more numerous body than had, perhaps, consistently with the best interests of the
ever assembled upon any former occasion, country. He trusted that, in conformity
met together. They created considerable with the suggestion thrown out in the
alarm; but, formidable as they appeared, Speech from the throne, such measures
they were dispersed by a handful of would be adopted as would prevent the
yeomanry. Was not this a sufficient proof recurrence of the difficulties which had
that the peace of the country might be I lately been experienced in the money-
preserved without such a large and un- market.
constitutional army as the country was The Marquis of Lansdown said, he did
called upon to support? Had we hus- not rise for the purpose of at present dis-
banded our resources, how much better cussing the unfortunate topicwhich formed
able should we now be to meet the ex- so prominent a part of the Speech from the
penses of the disastrous war in India. throne, for it would be impossible for the
He did not know to whose counsels that House to enter upon that topic, without
war was to be attributed, but this he having received any information respecting
would say, that they had much to answer the nature of the views and intentions of
for, unless they could shew clearly, that his Majesty's government. It was a sub-
it was founded on necessity and justice. ject upon which he could not say any
Then, with regard to Ireland. Those had thing, without saying a great deal; he
much to answer for who refused to concur would not, therefore, now attempt to in-
in a measure which would have effectually quire how far that measure would be ob-
secured the peace of that unhappy coun- liged to receive re-consideration, which
try, and rendered a large military force authorized the issuing of 11. and 21. notes;





15] HOUSE OF LORDS, The King's Speech on Opening the Session. [ 6
how far the present embarrassments were as to the general nature of the measures
owing to that measure, to the other laws Iwhich it might be the disposition of go-
relating to banks, and to the monopoly of vernment to propose. He would therefore
the Bank of England ; or how far any of trouble their lordships with a very short
these causes had produced the evil now statement. In the first place, however, he
admitted to exist. All he meant to do at would call their attention to this circum-
present was, to claim a complete reserve stance, that the convulsions in the pecu-
on the part of himself and of the House, niary transactions of the country were not
as to their opinion respecting the possi- unexpected by him or by other members
ability of the application of any corrective, of his majesty's government. Their lord-
or of that in particular which seemed to ships might recollect that in March last,
becontemplated by the king's government. ihe would not say he took, he created al-
He did not even wish to call on the noble most, an occasion of stating to their lord-
earl opposite to state more particularly at ships what, sooner or later, would be the
present the nature of his proposed cor- effect of the rash spirit of speculation
rective, because he did not think that the which then existed in the country, and of
address pledged the House to any thing giving notice, in a few words, to their
upon that subject. The case was lie lordships and the country, that if the con-
same with respect to the Corn laws. Not sequences which he predicted did arise,
that he did not think it would be incum- the relief which had been applied on former
bent on their lordships, and the members occasions would not again be applied to
of the other House of parliament, to ex- meet the new evil. He had given that
press their distinct opinion upon these warning, in anticipation of what was to
subjects ; but that they were not called on come. He had told those persons who,
to do so in the absence of that information by rash speculation, might become in-
which he believed his majesty's govern- evolved in distress and ruin, that they must
ment had been endeavouring to procure. abide by the consequences of their own
The same observation applied to the state acts, and that they would have no right to
of the currency, as well as of prices in this expect from government and parliament
country, because lie believed it would be that relief which had been afforded on
impossible to separate these questions some former occasions. A noble baron
from each other, and also from the ques- had adverted to what he conceived to be
tion of free trade. Having said this, he the causes of the recent events. When
trusted lie had said enough to preclude the proper opportunity arrived, he would
himself, and he hoped others, from en- not be disposed to avoid discussion on that
tering upon the discussion of these topics point. There was one cause, however, so
at present, leaving it to the noble earl, if prominent and so great in magnitude, that
so disposed, but not at all pressing him, even if he were disposed to allow that
to state more particularly the nature of other circumstances might have acted in
his intentions upon the subject; and also the way of aggravation, yet this cause was
whether lie had any measure in view re- so complete in itself; that it was sufficient
specting the state of Ireland. to account for all that had happened.
The Earl of Liverpool said, that he did Their lordships knew the general spirit of
not feel himself warranted in intruding on mad speculation which had prevailed in
the attention of the House for the purpose the country during the last two years, and
of entering into a discussion upon the they would at the same time recollect his
several very important topics which na- having stated, on the occasion to which
turally grew out of the Speech from the he had before referred, that that spirit was
throne, and which undoubtedly involved not confined to the metropolis alone, but
questions of the greatest political interest, was extending itself all over the country
After the statement made by the noble through the medium of the country banks.
marquis, he certainly did not conceive It must be evident that, from the peculiar
himself called upon to enter upon the con- nature of the circulation of country bank
sideration of those important points on the notes, it was extremely difficult to state
present occasion. At the same time he precisely what was the amount of that cir-
considered it necessary, with respect to a culation at any particular period. But
question of so much political interest, that there was a document which showed the
he should use no reserve-not as to de- progressive state of the country banks'
tails, for it would be impossible to treat circulation with sufficient accuracyto serve
of them with effect at that moment-but the purposes of general reasoning. All







17] The King's Speech on Opening the Session. FEB. 2, 1826.


country bank notes required tobestamped;
and therefore parliament had it in its power
to call for a return of the number stamped
for each banker. Now, it appeared from
a return, which would be laid on their
lordships' table, that in the years 1821,
1822, and 1823, the average number of
notes stamped in each year was four mil-
lions and one or two hundred thousand.
He spoke of their value, not of their nu-
merical amount. The difference between
particular years within that period, never
amounted to more than one or two hun-
dred thousand pounds-a difference which
might easily be accounted for by incidental
circumstances. In 1824, wlen the spirit
of mad speculation to which lie had re-
ferred first began to prevail, the amount
of country bank notes increased to about
6,000,0001.; and, in 1825, it increased to
more than 8,000,0001., being double what it
was in 1821, 1822, and 1823. Was it not
sufficient to state that fact to their lord.
ships, to account completely for all the evil
effects of over-trading and rash specula-
tion upon the general interests of the
country ? He did not deny that, during
the same period, there had been some in-
crease of the Bank of England paper;
but it bore no proportion whatever to the
increase in the general circulation of the
country banks. The noble lord who com-
menced the debate had accused ministers
of having participated in causing the ex.
isting embarrassments, by endeavouring
to lower the rate of interest. If ministers
had introduced any forced measures which
could operate to lower the rate of interest,
such conduct would have been highly
blameable; but he denied that ministers
had done any thing of the kind. What
were the facts? There was a rise in the
price of public securities, and a lower rate
of interest, the consequences of continued
peace and the prosperous state of the
country. Government would have been
highly reproachable, if they had not taken
advantage of those favourable circum-
stances, in order to reduce the burthens
of the people. By the measures which
they adopted, they had been able to take
off 1,800,0001. of taxes, and to reduce the
interest of the national debt, in the first
instance to the extent of 1,400,0001. and
subsequently of 150,0001. a year.-He
had very shortly stated these points, be-
cause he might have occasion hereafter to
go more into detail, when it would be his
duty to endeavour, in some degree, to
point out a remedy for the present state
VOL. XIV.


of things. He agreed with that part of
his Majesty's Speech which stated, that
for the effects of over-trading, and rash
speculation growing out of the prosperity
of the country, no cure could be found in
legislation, and that it was only to be found
in individuals having a due sense of the
danger and inconvenience to which they
exposed themselves by such acts. But,
he likewise concurred with the declaration
in the royal Speech, that correctives and
palliatives might and ought to be applied
for the present distress. It was no fault
of his noble friend near him (lord Bexley)
nor of himself, that the measures which it
was the intention of ministers to bring
under the consideration of parliament had
not been before adopted. He would give
their lordships a short description of them.
The measures which would be brought
forward were not new. They had, on
former occasions, been brought under
consideration. From what causes they
had failed, was a question which it was
not necessary to discuss. It was sufficient
for him to show, that they were not new
ideas, drawn out for the first time by pre-
sent circumstances. The putting of some
check, in one way or other, on the issue
of small notes, was a plan suggested by
his noble friend. So likewise was n ar-
rangement with the Bank of England,
having for its object to alter the situation
in which that establishment stood with the
public. He had no difficulty in stating
what it was intended to propose on the
present occasion. Indeed, he thought it
better that no uncertainty should prevail
on the subject; for it frequently did
more mischief than a full knowledge of
the general purport of the measures
which government meant to adopt. lHe
had therefore no difficulty in stating, that
one of the measures which government
intended to submit for the consideration
of parliament, was a regulation, by which
one and two pound Bank-notes wouil
be gradually withdrawn from circula-
tion, and a metallic currency substi-
tuted for them. Another measure which
government would propose had become of
essential importance to the interests of the
country. He did not mean to join in the
reflection which the noble baron had cast
upon the Bank of England; but he was
perfectly satisfied-and he had entertained
the conviction for years-that the country
had grown too large, that its concerns had
become too extensive, to allow of the ex-
clusive privilege of the Bank of England.
C






19] HOUSE OF LORDS, The King's Speech on Opening the Session. [SO


The privilege ofthe Bank might have been
highly useful in the early period of our
commercial transactions; but the country
was now too large for any one such ex-
clu'ive establishment. The Bank of Eng-
land's privilege operated in a most extra-
ordinary and, he thought, a most unfortu-
nate manner for the country. Any small
tradesman, a cheesemonger, a butcher, or
a shoemaker, might open a country bank ;
but a set of persons with a fortune suffi-
cient to carry on the concern with secu-
rity were not permitted to do so. He was
old enough to remember the time when
there was scarcely such an institution as
a country bank, except in great conm-
mercial towns, and when the transactions
of the country were carried on in Bank
of England notes, and money obtained
from London. But now, when such a
mode of conducting the transactions of
the country was no longer practicable, it
ought to be the policy of parliament to
place all country banks on a solid founda-
tion, and to amend a state of law which he
would not say allowed of the establish-
ment only of banks which were not solid,
because lie believed the greater propor-
tion of the country banks were substan-
tial, but which certainly prevented the
establishment of those which, from the
nature of their constitution, must be most
solid. It was, however, necessary to deal
with the existing charter of the Bank of
England, which would not expire till 1833.
But, if the Bank could be induced to give
up so much of their exclusive privilege as
related to country banks, and if they
would accompany that surrender with a
measure which would be desirable for their
own sakes ; namely, the establishment, in
some parts of the country, of branches of
their own institution-the effect on the
general circulation of the country would,
lie thought, be most beneficial. Such was
the general nature of the measure which
government would feel it necessary to
propose at the present moment. He had
considered it better to make this general
statement, than to leave the intentions of
government involved in obscurity or
doubt. He did not mean to say that
there were no difficulties to be contended
with. The whole question must be the
subject of discussion hereafter. To enter
upon that discussion at the present
moment would be improper. With re-
spect to the question put to him by the
noble baron, on the subject of the Corn
laws, he had no difficulty in repeating what


le had stated last session; namely, that
his opinion was, that sooner or later it
would be highly desirable to revise the
general system of the Corn laws. There
were, however, a variety of circumstances
to be taken into consideration. He had no
difficulty in stating, that it was not his in-
tention, nor that of any member of his
majesty's government, to bring forward
any proposition with regard to the general
question during the present session. He
saw no circumstances connected with the
present situation of the country, which
rendered it the imperative duty of govern-
ment to bring that question under the im-
mediate consideration of parliament. He
had spoken particularly of the general
question ; because, a detached measure
with respect to Canada corn, which was
passed last year, and would expire in 1827,
it might be necessary to re-consider in the
course of the present or of the next ses-
sion. Upon the point, whether it would
be expedient to review that particular
measure during the present session,
he would reserve himself; but he wished
it to be distinctly understood, that go-
vernment did not consider it necessary
to bring forward the general question
during the present session. A noble lord
had alluded to the absence of his Majesty.
He was at a loss to imagine what could
be the noble lord's object in introducing
such a topic. He had, however, no ob-
jection to state, that his Majesty's absence
was owing to indisposition alone.
The Earl of Carnarvon doubted whe-
ther the gradual withdrawal of the 11. and
21. Bank notes would have all the beneficial
effect which the noble earl anticipated
from the measure. He greatly feared
that the prosperity of the country, during
the last two or three years, had rested
upon a fallacious foundation. He appre-
hended that the apparent prosperity had
partly arisen from the measure which
authorised the circulation of small notes.
That measure had produced good in the
first instance, and evil afterwards. He
had never concurred with the opinion
which many had entertained of the diffi-
culties of the country having terminated
with the resumption of cash payments. It
was impossible to pay in gold a debt con-
tracted in paper. He hoped that parlia-
ment would take the whole of the question
into its consideration, and not confine its
attention to particular branches. He sup-
posed it was intended to place country
banks generally on the same footing with







Address on the King's Speech.


those in the northern part of the island. sent state of the country, then, be matter
Previous to thelast war, the greatest portion of surprise, when a demand was made on
of the currency of those banks was paper. its labour and capital to the amount of
Under that currency Scotlandhadflourish- seventeen millions ? The noble earl had
ed, and had not experienced those convul- read a statement of the increased issues of
sions which this part of the county had country bank-notes for the last year or
felt under the restrictive system. It was two; but if he wished to account for the
therefore highly desirable that parliament embarrassments of the country, he had
should consider the question in all its better analyse the number and qualities of
parts, and establish a permanent system the Steam and Mining, and other joint-
instead of constantly changing its mea- stock companies which had recently been
sures. The Speech from the throne held formed, and the quantity of capital which
forth the prospect of years of continued had been sunk in these speculations. At
peace. He hoped that those years would all events, if it was intended to restrict the
be occupied in establishing the internal circulation of one and two pound notes, he
condition of tlie country on a permanent hoped that such a restriction would not
foundation. If any alteration vwas to be be extended to Scotland.
made in the currency, it had better be The Amendment was negatived, and
effected at once, than gradually. A the Address agreed to without a division.
graduated system was proposed in 1819,
and their lordships knew that it had been HOUSE OF COMMONS.
productive of no benefit. The temporiz-
ing measures adopted with respect to the Thursday, February 2.
silk-manufacture, had greatly aggravated, ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH AT
if not entirely caused, the distress under THE OPENING OF THE SESSION.] The
which that trade was at present suffering. Speaker having reported the Speech of
The introduction of foreign siiks was post- the Lords Commissioners, and read it to
poned for two years; and the consequence the House,
was, that the manufacturers entered into Mr. John Stuart WVortley (member for
extensive speculations, and ov-r-stocked Bossiney) rose, for the purpose of moving
the market during the period allowed for an Address to his Majesty, in answer to
the continuance of their monopoly. If the Speech which had just been read. In
they had been allowed only a few months doing so, he was, he said, aware of tle
to dispose of their stock on hand, the ex- difficulty of the task which he had under-
isting distress would not have prevailed, taken, from the circumstance of his being
The Earl of Laudeidale said, that from a young member, and this being the first
the time he had first thought upon the time he had had the honour to address
subject, he had always been of opinion that assembly. It had been the duty of
that a paper currency, convertible into his predecessors, in the task which was
gold on demand, was that which was best now assigned him, to congratulate the
adapted for the transaction of the business country upon its flourishing condition.
of a country. A currency of that de- In the Speech which had been just read,
cription at present existed in this country. he also found motive for congratulation;
He challenged any of their lordships to although the year which had passed over
state an instance, since tli resumption of them had not been marked by some so
cash payments, in which gold had not pre-eminent advantages as former years
been given in exchange for paper when had been. In adverting to the royal
demanded. In his opinion it was not to Speech, the first subject that arrested his
the currency that it was necessary to look attention was the formidable shock which
for the origin of the existing embarrass- the commercial credit had recently sus-
ments. In the course of the last year tained. This was the topic that most
there had been a demand on the capital strongly challenged the attention of the
and labour of the country, to the extent House; and they should come to the
of 17,000,000/. Let any man consider consideration of it boldly and manfully,
whether the country was capable of an- with a view of removing it, or at least,
swering that demand. The distress which checking its increase. And here due
was caused at the commencement of the credit must be given to ministers for
late war, by the raising of a loan of only having introduced this important subject
four millions, was nearly as great as that to the notice of parliament. They stated
which at present existed. Could the pre- it with candour, and admitted it without


FEu. 2, 1826.







23] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


evasion or reserve. For his own part, he the subject, that which related to the cur-
saw no reason why they should act other- rency, from whatever cause the present
wise; for, in his conscience, lie believed state of the currency arose, it required
that the distress was temporary, and that some alteration, and strongly called for
the worst had passed over. Similar com. the interposition of parliament. In those
inercial distress had prevailed in 1793 and periods of commercial distress to which
1798; and there were some features of re- he had before alluded, parliament did in-
semblance bctveten those periods and the terfere, and interfered with effect: and,
present. There were then, as now, nu- what parliament had done before so much
merous failures : there were then, as now, to the public advantage, it might again
difficulties in discounting bills, and a va- do. A principal part of the distress had
riety of commercial embarrassments. At been owing to the apprehension of a de-
the former of those periods, the country ficiency of gold to meet the demand for
was on the eve of a tremendous war, it. This apprehension arose from a belief
through which no person could clearly that gold was exported out of the country
see his way. Again, in 1798, when a to meet those demands occasioned by
still greatercommercial calamity prevailed, those foreign loans and speculations to
the country was surrounded by accumu- which ie had alluded; and, the conse-
lated difficulties, the natural consequence quence was, that the country was deluged
of its continuance. An al:rm of invasion with a morbid paper circulation. The
also prevailed, and the difficulties which manner in which some of the country
this alarm excited, were increased by em- bankers issued their notes loudly called
barrassmints occasioned by large loans to for the attention of the House. It was,
contineiital powers which were about that in his opinion, little else than a fraud to
period entered into. The causes in which issue notes without having a security equal
the ditress then originated were very I to the amount of the notes issued. It
difFerent from those out of which the re- was not right that a business, on which
cent difficulties h-id arisen. Those of the the welfare of the country so greatly de-
former period nii.ht in some degree be ended, should be undertaken by persons
charged on the government, who had en- who had not the means of giving security
tcred into the war; but now, those in ito meet the demands for which they be-
which they originated, were such as go- came responsible. The subject was one
vernment could not control. The present which was surrounded with great difficul-
distress might be considered temporary ties, and therefore demanded the nicest
and transient. The former could not be attention. Something had already been
so regarded, as it arose out of a war, of done with effect. What further ought to
which it was impossible to calculate either be done he would not undertake to say,
the period of its termination or the amount but would leave it to his majesty's minis-
of its cost. Now, there was no war-no ters to suggest what alterations, in the
alarm from foreign enemies-no apprehen- present state of our currency, it would be
sion from domestic insurrection. The advisable to adopt. He could not refrain
causes were altogether different. At the from expressing on this occasion, the
commencement of the last year, there was great gratitude which the country owed to
a redundancy of capital, which ir lucd the Bank of England, for the manner in
the employment of it in speculative loans, which they had come forward on the late
and in extravagant schemes of remote and crisis. By their conduct they had raised
uncertain proiit. This was the great and their already high reputation, and deserved
leading cause of the recent commercial to be raised in lie confidence of the coun-
embarrassment. Another cause was try. That he was correct in stating, that
found in the circumstance of several of the present distress mainly originated in
the foreign exchanges turning against this the spirit of extravagant speculation that
country. To these causes was to be added lately raged, he would refer to a report of
another, and a proximate one; namely, the committee of the House in 1811, which
the failure of several of the country banks, stated, among other causes of the distress
All these were temporary causes, and a that prevailed at that time, that it was
corrective might be found for them, in a result of the too great commerce which
the abandonment of those wild and extra- had been indulged in since the commence-
vagant speculations in which they origi- ment of our intercourse with the new
nated, and in otherwise counteracting South American States."-In reviewing
them. With respect to the other part of the causes in which the distress originated,


Address on~ the King~'s SpeeL-li







25] ai the Opening of the Sessio
he should not omit to notice the effect of
the repeal of the Combination laws. The
combination among the workmen which
had reached so alarming an extent, had
now happily subsided. In Bradford, their
conduct had, for weeks, assumed a formid-
able appearance; but he was happy to
learn that a better spirit now prevailed
amongst them, and that these differences,
throughout the country, had nearly all
terminated in an amicable reconciliation.
But, because these excesses, consequent
on the change of our commercial policy,
and of the repeal of the Combination laws
had taken place, did he mean to condemn
that policy, or to desire that the Combi-
nation laws should be repealed ? By no
means. The removal of restraints on un-
educated minds was calculated to lead to
violence: but, as the principles on which
these restraints were removed were sound
and good, the evil would be only tempo-
rary, whilst the advantages would be per-
manent. The commercial regulations
which had been formed with foreign
nations were most creditable to this
country, and likely to confer great and
general blessings. The treaty with France
was calculated to give effect to those prin-
ciples of trade and navigation which par-
liament had previously sanctioned. That
convention, as well as the treaty of amity,
between this country and Colombia, was
equally creditable and beneficial; not so
much for the stipulations it contained, as
for the enlarged principles of policy in
which it was conceived and executed. In
the amicable relations subsisting between
this country and the other free provinces
of South America, no blame can be at-
tached to England for the part she had
acted in promoting these arrangements.
It was now fifteen years since the first
effort was made in South America, to
throw off the authority of Spain. During
all that period, Spain had an opportunity
of entering into an amicable reconciliation
with her colonies. She could not, there-
fore, now censure us for having preceded
her in a recognition, from which such im-
portant benefits were to flow. Another
topic of congratulation was, the successful
mediation of a treaty between the crowns
of Portugal and Brazil. With regard to
the war in the Burmese empire, how-
ever its protracted duration might have
disappointed the expectations of those
who had not the means of judging as to
the probability of speedy success, there
was every reason to hope that it was


n. FEB. 2, 1826. [26
drawing to a close. It was highly grati-
fying to find, in respect to the state of the
public revenue, that although the last
quarter had fallen short, the result of the
whole year was highly satisfactory. He
would now refer to a subject which never
failed to excite the liveliest feelings in
the House. He alluded to the state of
Ireland. From every report received from
that country, it was evident that she was
disengaging herself from the evils under
which she had laboured. Industry was
diffusing itself throughout her provinces;
and he need not state, that industry was
the never-failing precursor of tranquillity.
Reviewing, therefore, the general state of
the empire, he did not hesitate to call
upon the House for an address to the
throne. He did not ask it in the spirit of
servility ; le claimed it, on the contrary,
in a spirit of pure loyalty, and with refer-
ence to the satisfactory state of the
country. The hon. member then moved,
That an humble Address be present-
ed to his Majesty, to return to his Ma-
jesty the thanks of this House for his
Majesty's most gracious Speech, delivered
this day by the Lords Commissioners:
,' To assure his Majesty, that while we
participate with his Majesty in the regret
with which his Majesty has seen the em-
barrassment which has occurred in the
pecuniary transactions of the country
since the close of the last session of par-
liament, we derive some consolation from
the reflection that this embarrassment
has not arisen from any political events,
either at home or abroad; from any
sudden pressure on the public resources;
or from the apprehension of any inter-
ruption to the general tranquillity:
That, aware that the direct interpo-
sition of parliament cannot reach all the
causes of this evil, against the recurrence
of some of which security can only be
found in the experience of the sufferings
which they have occasioned, we shall
proceed without delay to turn our atten-
tion to that portion of the evil which may
be susceptible, of correctives at least, if
not of effectual remedies, and to consider
of such measures as may tend to protect
both private and public interests against
the like sudden and violent fluctuations,
by placing on a more firm foundation
the currency and circulating credit of the
country:
To express to his Majesty the satis-
faction with which we learn that his Ma-
jesty continues to receive from his allies,






27] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Address on the King's Speech [28
and generally from all foreign princes tion with which we learn from his Ma-
and states,'"the strongest assurances of jesty that the industry of that part of
their friendly disposition towards his Ma- the United Kingdom is in a course of
jesty; and our just and grateful acknow- gradual and general advancement, an ad-
ledgment of his Majesty's continued en- vancement mainly to be attributed to that
deavours to reconcile conflicting interests, state of tranquillity which now happily
and to recommend and cultivate peace prevails throughout all the provinces of
both in the old world and in the new: Ireland:
That we recognize with the highest To thank his Majesty for having di-
gratification the signal success of that reacted the estimates of the year to be
wise and beneficent system of policy in prepared and laid before us:
the treaty concluded under his Majesty's To express the pleasure with which
mediation between the crowns of Portugal we heard that those estimates have been
and Brazil, by which the relations of framed with an anxious desire to avoid
friendly intercourse, long interrupted, every expenditure beyond what the lie-
between two kindred nations, have been ceisary demands of the public service
restored, and the independence of the may require, and that the produce of the
Brazilian empire has been formally ac- revenue in the last year has fully justified
knowledge : the expectations entertained at the com-
That we thank his Majesty for avail- mencement of it:
ing himself of every opportunity to give To assure his Majesty, that we hum-
effect to the principles of trade and navi- bly concur with his Majesty in deeply
nation, which have received the sanction lamenting the injurious effects which the
of parliament, and to establish them, as late pecuniary crisis must have entailed
far as possible, by engagements with fo- upon many branches of the commerce
reign powers; and for having directed to and manufactures of the United King.
be laid before us copies of a convention, dom ; but that we partake also of the
framed upon' these principles, which has confidence which his Majesty entertains,
recently been concluded between his Ma- that the temporary check which commerce
jesty and the king of France, and of a and manufactures may at this moment ex-
similar convention with the free Hanseatic perience will, under the favour of divine
cities of Lubeck, Bremen, and Hamburgh, Providence, neither impair the great
as well as of the treaty of amity, com- sources of our wealth, nor impede the
merce, and navigation, concluded between growth of national prosperity."
his Majesty and the republic of Colombia; Mr. Green said, that, situated as Eng-
and to assure his Majesty of our readi- land was, owing her great general pros-
ness to take into immediate consideration perity to commerce and manufactures, and
any measure which may be required for dependent, especially in time of peace,
giving effect to the stipulations of this upon those sources for the high station
latter treaty : which she maintained among the nations
To assure his Majesty that much as of the world, it would ill become the go-
we should have been gratified if the suc- vernment of the country, if, when any
cesses of the late campaign had led to a danger threatened those manufactures, or
cessation of hostilities in India, we con- temporary evil led to a convulsion in them,
cur with his Majesty in doing justice to it failed to bring the subject in the fullest
the bravery displayed in that campaign as well as in the most speedy way, before
by the forces of his Majesty and of the the consideration of parliament. The
East India company, and to the skill and subject was one a. to the importance of
perseverance of their commanders, and which there could be no second opinion.
in earnestly hoping that a continuance of It was a subject which parliament would
the same exertions may lead, at no dis- investigate, not merely as regarded cir-
tant period, to an honourable and satis- cumstances of present or local distress,
factory pacification : but taking it in a large and comprehensive
To acknowledge his Majesty's good- point of view; considering the several
ness in having turned his attention to the effects likely, in various quarters, to result
measures recommended by committees from it; and particularly the consequences
of this and of the other House of parlia- which it might produce upon that general
ment during the last session for improv- mercantile credit and confidence which
ing the condition of Ireland, and to ex- were so essential to the success of all com-
press to his Majesty the cordial satisfac- mercial speculation. In speaking of tile








FEB. 2,1826. [rST


duty which devolved upon parliament, to
examine into the causes which might have
led to the late commercial shocks, as also
to take such, measures as it should deem
fit to prevent the recurrence of similar
calamities, he felt that he could only hope
to go again over the ground which had
been so ably taken by the hon. mover;
but, the subjects were of such paramount
importance, that he should compromise
his duty if he were wholly silent upon
them in seconding the motion for the ad-
dress. Looking first, then, at the subject
of the late distresses, it was not unnatural
for the recollection to go back to the
events of the years 1793 and 1797; but,
upon a slight examination, it would appear
that the distress at those periods had taken
place under circumstances widely different
from those of the present day. The dis-
tress in the year 1793, it would be recol-
lected, had arisen at the outset of a war;
that of the present day, on the contrary,
took place in a period of profound peace.
We stood in an attitude of perfect peace;
without the slightest apprehension of being
.involved in war; after a harvest, full and
abundant; our commerce and our manu-
factures prosperous. But yet, with all
this difference between the state of things
at present, and the year 1793, there was
one point of strong similarity. It would
be remembered that both in the year 1792,
as in the year now last past, the interest of
money had been unusually low. In 1792
the manufactures of the country had been
rapidly advancing; and the general pros-
perity was such as induced many indi-
viduals to trade beyond their capital. The
country banks at that time had not the
power of issuing small notes; but those
which they were empowered to issue they
had sent out to a vast and dangerous ex-
cess. The consequence was, that the
country found itself glutted with. paper.
A slight apprehension produced imme-
diate pressure upon those country bankers
who were least able to sustain it; and the
stoppage of these pulled down others who
were solvent, but who were not prepared
to meet so sudden a demand. The failure
of one man, of necessity, led to the failure
of some other: there was a demand for
cash far beyond the possible supply; and
out of a mischief in many cases imaginary,
real evil was created, until the most se-
rious distress and difficulty was the result.
Now, let the House observe how nearly
this state of things in the year 1792 tallied
with the state of things at the opening of


the list session. Capital was so abundant,'
that the merest adventurer might go into
the money-market; and let his scheme be
the wildest that human fancy could sug-
gest, he would find people to support him
in it. Then was it a matter of astonish-
ment that if the bubble had burst, a void
was left behind ? or that, at the present
moment, instead of a mass of capital, float-
ing through the country, we had a scar-
city of it ? With this part of the general
question, there was connected one point
which he could not forbear from noticing
-he meant the conduct of the Bank of
England during the late troubles. That
body was entitled tothe thanks of the
country at large, for the prompt and
liberal manner in which it had rendered
all the assistance in its power. The sud-
den issue of their small notes had been a
measure called for by the sudden with-
drawal of the local small notes from
circulation, owing to the failure of so
many provincial establishments. The
House would also feel, that although
during the last year there had been a vast
imaginary capital floating in the country,
at the present time the real and actual
capital available was lessened in conse-
quence of many bankers still keeping
large sums of ready money by them, to
meet any sudden emergency. Whatever
might be done, however, to prevent, as far
as possible, the recurrence of such con-
vulsions as the country had just suffered
under, parliament would recollect that it
was one of its first duties to leave the
freedom of trade untouched, as far as
was consistent with the general safety.
To avoid a temporary and an occasional
evil, we were not to give up a constant
and a lasting good. From time to time,
under the best government, popular
tumults would arise; but means might be
found to prevent anarchy and mischief,
without striking at the root of constitu.
tional freedom; and remedies might be
found for occasional commercial evils,
without weakening that great system upon
which the wealth and power of the nation
depended. With the immediate nature
of such remedies he would not then busy
himself: but the House would'recollect
that the same remedies were not now ap-
plicable which were resorted to in 1793.
The state of the country was widely
different at the two periods. We were
not now in a state of war; and government
had not, as in the year 1793, called upon
the Bank for a large portion of the gold


at the Oponin~g ef the Sesfion.








31] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
in its possession -a measure which'had
led, and necessarily, to the Bank restric-
tion. At present, whatever was the extent
of the difficulty, no portion of it could be
attributed to the conduct of government,
or to its arrangements. This being a
period of peace, too, in another sense
it would not be inconsistent with the
interests of the country to take the course
which had been taken formerly. We had
now leisure and opportunity to go into
the system thoroughly ; and it was no less
the bounden duty than the policy of the
House to do so. For himself, he thought
it would be a great boon on the part of the
Bank, if that body permitted the form-
ation of joint-stock banking companies.
The advantages likely to accrue from such
a system, were too obvious to be dwelt
upon. The vast property which would
then be embarked in every banking estab-
lishment would be a sufficient security
against the danger of over-issues. The
business would be carried on by persons
conversant with the true principles of the
banking trade; and not, as now, by in-
dividuals often wholly ignorant of those
principles, and who left the management
of their establishment to.needy adventurers,
or unprincipled speculators. Scotland
already afforded us an example of the
safety and convenience of this system.
Scotland had a large paper currency; and
felt neither difficulty nor apprehension.
Although no man could feel more anxious
than he did, to afford every possible facility
to trade, yet it did seem to him that some
restriction might be beneficially devised
to keep within due limits the issues of
the banks. As regarded the issue of
local notes, there could be no doubt 'that
some immediate measure was imperatively
called for, parliament would grossly neg-
lect its duty,-if steps were not taken to
relieve the'country from apprehension of
the recurrence of the evils which it had
lately been suffering; if it permitted that
which the poor man had acquired by his
labour to be placed in jeopardy; or if it
upheld a system under which the same
man, without one fault or improvidence of
his own, might one day be rich, and the
next want the means of existence.. It was
needless, however, to detain the House
with comments upon the performance of
a duty, the necessity of which must be
obvious; and he should therefore turn
from the consideration of difficulties which
could not be contemplated without regret,
to a subject which afforded matter for


Address on the Kiig's Speech I [3
unmixed congratulation. If there had
been some distress felt during the last
year in England, in Ireland there was
every token of material improvement.
The labours of parliament, during the last
session, had been great upon this subject.
The House had inquired not merely into
general questions, but had gone assidu-
ously into all the details and intricacies of
her domestic economy. The situation of
Ireland was now meliorating. The House
was no longer called upon to pass Insur-
rection acts, or to pursue any coercive
measures. Instead of steps to enforce
the payment df tithes, a system was adop-
ted of taking compositions; by which the
settlement was rendered less irksome to
the people. It was the desire of govern-
ment to enter fairly and dispassionately
into every subject immediately connected
with the state of Ireland; and if the mea-
sures pursued had not producediall the
good that had been expected, it was the
wish of ministers to enter into a full con-
sideration of what would be most condu-
cive to the best interests of Ireland. He
felt the greatest satisfaction in witnessing
the influx of manufactures into Ireland.
Capital now began to overflow into that
country-a desideratum from which so
much benefit must infallibly arise to that
country. We should find, in a short
period, the immense effects of thisinflux of
capital upon the Irish landholders. They
would feel it to be their interest and
pleasure, to establish themselves on their
own estates; and Ireland, like England,
would soon possess all the advantages of
a resident gentry. With this prospect of
a numerous population coming into active
employ, and with foreign ports bpen to
exchange the produce of their industry, it
was impossible not to foresee.a rapid im-
provement in the condition of that coun-
try. Neither could he suppress the
expression of his satisfaction at the
state in which this country stood with
regard to the republics of South America.
The conduct of Great Britain upon this
point had been liberal and manly. The
government had openly declared, that
its recognition of the American states
did not rest upon matters of opinion, but
upon a simple question of fact. IWe had
declared openly, that when the govern-
ments of those countries had fully estab-
lished their independence, then, and not
till then, would we acknowledge them as
iridependent governments; and when that
event did take place, we accordingly re-







33] at the Opening of the Sessio
cognised them. We were not to be in-
timidated by any foreign powers, into the
withholding or delaying our recognition;
but, at the same time, we would not rush
madly into a war,when we could obtain our
object more effectuallywithout it. We might
undoubtedly feel a satisfaction at Liberty
extending her blessings over those vast
and hitherto ill-governed regions ; but, at
the same time, it did not behove us to be
led away by individual feelings; it was
necessary to act upon sound and general
principles of justice and international
law, as well as upon views of general
policy. The results had justified the views
which the government had taken upon the
subject. We had secured the friendship
of those states, by declaring that, although
we should withhold our recognition of
them until their independence should be
unequivocal, we would resist the at-
tempts of any other government that
should endeavour to assist Spain in her
efforts to re-establish her power over her
colonies. The arguments which had been
so often brought forward, that because
Spain had interfered in the early part of
our own war with our American colonies,
we should therefore be justified in assist-
ing her colonies against her, were argu-
ments quite untenable. It was a principle
of retaliation upon which no individual
would guide himself in his private trans-
actions, and upon which no Englishman
who felt for the national character would
wish to see his country guide her public
conduct. He had now only to refer to
the subject of Finance. The late shock
which had been given to the commercial
transactions of the country, had had their
effect upon the revenue ; but it was highly
satisfactory to reflect, that, notwithstanding
this unexpected event, the revenue for the
year was, upon the whole, greater than
what the chancellor of the Exchequer had
anticipated. He trusted that thedifficulties
under which the country was at present
labouring would be soon removed; and
that our commerce would speedilyreceive
all those benefits which could not fail
to arise from the principles of free trade
which government had adopted. Although
the commerce of the country had undoubt-
edly flourished under the system of re-
strictions, he was convinced that but for
them it would have advanced more rapidly
and with less precarious results. He had
little doubt but that, in the course of a
short period, the other governments of
Europe would see the advantages arising
VOL. XIV,


n. FEB. 2, 1826. [34
from the principles of free trade; and
the evils of persevering in the contrary
system. Seeing that our finances were
likely to return to their flourishing con-
dition; that our trade was likely to in-
crease; that Ireland was prosperous; that
South America was forming so great a
mart for our united industry, and reflect-
ing also upon the success and glory of
our arms, in the only country in which
they are engaged; under these circum-
stances could it be said that our prosperity
had gone by, or that our grandeur was
upon the decline ? A passing gale may
have stopped the tide of our prosperity; but
as soon as the storm shall have gone over,
Great Britain would again hold that pre-
eminent station which she had hitherto
held amongst nations; and the page of
future history would record the present
panic as the passing events of the day,
which had produced no lasting mischief.
Mr. Brougham said, it was a subject of
great regret, that ministers had departed
from the old and established practice of
delivering a copy of the king's Speech,
for the information of members, a few
days before they were called on to discuss
it and to vote upon its contents. This
want of courtesy on their part was at-
tended with considerable inconvenience.
Although there were not many definite
propositions laid down in the Speech just
delivered from the Throne, there were a
variety of important matters touched upon
in it, and the House were called upon to
discuss and vote upon them, without half
an hour's previous notice, or any means
of making up their minds upon the subject.
Members were thus called upon to accede
to the address, which was foisted upon
them by a side wind, and no option was
afforded them but of either moving an
adjournment, or of blindly voting for that
into which they had no opportunity of in-
quiring. Although it was not his inten-
tion to move an adjournment, or even to
oppose the present address, he thought it
necessary to protest against its being in-
ferred that he therefore acceded to its
contents; on the contrary, he reserved to
himself the future occasions that might
arise for discussing the topics which it
embraced, as fully as if he had not voted
for it that evening. He could not help
feeling, that the address would go to the
public, as if there were a general concur-
rence of the House in the statements which
it contained; whereas no such inference
ought to be drawn from the circumstance
D








of its passing without meeting with an ex- consequence of those alterations with
pressed and formal opposition. The which the parties would be least likely to
country would feel not a little surprised, complain--he alluded to the fact, that
when they found that the distress, which upon the diminution of the duties, large
had been so severely and extensively felt, sums were returned upon the stock on
was treated in so slight a manner, and hand ; a circumstance which, of itself, gave
mentioned in terms totally inadequate to rise to considerable overtrading. When
the extent and severity of the evil. It men were suf'-ring under great and press-
was talked of as if it were something of ing distress, it was a painful, a delicate,
a very temporary nature, and confined to and a thankless undertaking, to tell them
partial and almost immaterial transactions; that a part of their distresses was attri-
whereas it was well known to be general butable to themselves. But he felt him-
and severe, to have spread the greatest self called upon, in the discharge of his
possible embarrassments throughout the duty, to declare that much of the distress
most important branches of our industry, under which the silk trade, as well as the
and to have entailed the greatest suffer- other branches of our manufactures, at
ings upon numerous classes of the people. present laboured, was to be attributed to
Yet, notwithstanding the extent and va- over-trading. He would not go back to
riety of this distress-for that it did ex- what took place in 1793, or in 1797, in
ist to a great extent it was impossible to support of his argument, but would con-
deny- there was one topic in his Majesty's fine himself to a period more recent and
Speech of a most consoling nature, as it more analogous to present times and ex-
clearly proved, if any argument to prove listing circumstances. When, for instance,
such a fact were necessary, that they did we had a new market opened to us in
not arise out of those sound and wise and South America, speculation and enter-
liberal principles of commercial policy, prise became so great, that over trading
which had recently been proposed by his to a great extent was the natural conse-
Majesty's government, and which, le was quence. Again, when the peace of 1814
happy to say, had received the sanction opened the trade of the continent to us,
of parliament. If the distresses which at over-trading was carried to such an ex-
present prevailed were confined to one tent, that several of our merchants found
single branch of our trade; if, for instance, it a profitable traffic to send to Holland,
it were found to exist in our silk trade and there re-purchase and re-import our
alone, it might afford some little argument own manufactures. The markets of South
though certainly not one upon whicl America were equally glutted with our
much stress could be laid, in favour of iron, crockery, and various other articles.
those who opposed themselves to the al- This was the usual consequence of having
terations recently made in that trade, a new market opened to us, and no per-
But when it was found that our woollen, sons could be blamed for the excess but
our cotton, our linen trade, and various the over-traders themselves. As well
other branches of our manufactures, were might it be argued, that we ought not to
labouring under a similar depression, it open a new market, or discover a new
was as vain to attempt the proof of the colony with which to trade, as that we
assertion on the one hand, that this dis- were not to adopt sound, and wise, and
tress was wholly attributable to our late enlightened principles of commerce, be-
commercial policy, as it was needless to cause the one as well as the other might
contradict it on the other. He was aware give rise to over-trading on the part of
that people speaking of this experiment, certain individuals. He trusted, that upon
said, that, like others, it had been tried, this subject, there would take place in
and had failed. That assertion, however that House no such difference of opinion
true of ether experiments, did not hold as would lead ro any unjust conclusions,
good with respect to this. True it was, or delusive expectations, ott of doors.
that the experiment had been introduced; Upon this point as well as upon that
but it had not been tried. Time for its which followed it, he most fully concurred
trial had not yet been afforded, and there- with the hon. mover and seconder of the
fore it could not be said to have failed, address. In adverting to the late com-
If they reflected a little, they would find, mercial regulations, he might perhaps feel
that if any portion of the distress in the that it would have been better, had some
silk trade was attributable to the recent little alteration been made in the mode of
alterations, it was to be attributed to a carrying certainmeasures into effect ; but


35-1 uousF, oF commoMOs,


Address on the King~'s SpeEechl







tit tlie Oe)ning of the Scssion.


those measures having received the sanc-
tion of parliament, he felt that it would
be exceedingly unfair now to turn round,
and assert that they might have been car-
ried into execution with more effect.-
There were only two points more alluded
to in the Speech from the Throne, upon
which he felt it necessary to say a few
words. And first, with respect to our
currency. Now, he would put it to any
thinking man, to recollect what must have
been his opinions, when lie last year heard
of a great event which took place on the
continent, and which was likely to affect,
in a material degree, the future peace of
Europe: he would ask him, whether the
first great objects of his attention, in pro-
viding for the security of England, would
not naturally be-the national debt, the
currency, and the state of Ireland. The
debt was, perhaps, not within their reach ;
but the currency was within their control;
Ireland was within their control; and
therefore he must feel that the latter
must sooner or late:- come under the
consideration of parliament. When lie
heard it stated, that Ireland had, for the
last year and a-half, been not only tran-
quil, but progressively advancing in pros-
perity, he could not help expressing his
sincere satisfaction at it; yet, on inquiry,
he found that the tranquillity of Ireland
was to be attributed to the expectations
entertained by the people, that something
would be done for them by parliament.
He believed, in his heart, that the tran-
quillity of Ireland was mainly preserved
by the steady attention with which they
looked forward to the exertions of the
House of Commons in their favour. To
that House did they ardently and con-
fidently look for relief; and, sincerely did
he hope that, at a convenient time, they
would not be allowed to look and hope in
vain. If the people of Ireland were again
(after a convenient time) allowed to look
and hope in vain, in vain might England
look to Ireland for unanimity and exer-
tion, when both should be most required
from her. He firmly believed that the
peace of Ireland had been in a great de-
gree preserved by the Catholic Association.
As long as the Roman Catholics of Ire-
land remained firm and united amongst
themselves-as long as they continued to
yield ready obedience to the laws, how-
ever opposed to the means by which those
laws had been enacted-so long had they
a right to entertain a just and reasonable
expectation, that they would obtain, from


the justice of the legislature, an equal
participation in tho;e rights and pri-
vileges, from the enjoyment of which they
had been for such a length of time de-
barred.-He had heard, with much plea-
sure, that part of his Majesty's Speech
which had reference to our intercourse
with South America. It was matter of
pride and pleasure to reflect upon the
glory achieved by the brave inhabit-
ants of those republics-a set of men
who, unaided, unsupported,had succeeded
in establishing their independence and
freeing themselves, at once and for ever,
from the detestable yoke which had so
long and so ignominiously galled them.
Those states were now at peace; their
independence was recognized, and we
were on friendly terms with them. That
those friendly relations might remain
unbroken, and that we should soon have
united to us, by treaties similar to that
with Colombia, all the other great repub-
lics in that part of the new world, who
had achieved their liberties, was his most
ardent wish, as their independence must
afford matter of pure and sincere delight
to every friend of freedom.-Therc was
another matter to which he wished to ad-
vert. He meant the treaty between
Portugal and Brazil; in which the in-
dependence of the latter had been for-
mally acknowledged by the former nation.
He hoped that that treaty would not be
ratified in its present form ; containing, as
it did, an article of foreign policy against
which he must ever protest: lie alluded
to a clause by which each nation pledged
itself to give up to the other-whom ?
All persons guilty of murder, forgery, and
piracy? No; but all persons not found
guilty, but accused of high treason, who
should take refuge in the territory of the
other. And who was to be the judge of the
act which was to be designated high
treason ? Why, the accuser :-so that
there was no escape. If either govern-
ment wished to get hold of an obnoxious
person, it was only to accuse him of high
treason, and his business was done. Now,
this undertaking would not only compel
us to retain upon our Statue-book the alien
law, which of all the laws which appeared
upon it was one of the most dangerous
and offensive; but.-it might also bind us
to execute it against an individual who
should be accused of the slightest political
offence, or even only be politically ob-
noxious. For it would not lie with us to
decide what did or did not constitute trea-


FEB. 2, 182.






39] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
son; andwe might be made the instruments
of inflicting punishment for that offence,
although the charge should be as ca-
pricious, or as morally groundless, as
some of those set up by our own Harry
the eighth.-Much had been said upon the
proceedings of the Bank of England
during the late panic of the country.
Without wishing to throw blame upon
the conduct of that body, he could not
help expressing his conviction, that an
end must come to that system which ex-
erted so powerful an influence at present,
not only on the money market, but on the
whole trade of the country. Some change
ought to be effected, by which the in-
terests of the whole empire, together with
the fortunes of every family in it, should
be drawn from the absolute control and
direction of four and twenty men: be
they bankers, or be they merchants,
whether they were to be looked up to as
a political corporation, or a powerful
commercial company, it was too much to
trust the whole property of the country
to the absolute will or caprice of a fewv
men, left in the exercise of a power which
was constantly changing all the relations
of that property-sometimes increasing
their issues and raising its value, then as
suddenly contracting them and leaving
the commercial transactions in a state of'
corresponding embarrassment-now re-
stricting their discounts, and now en-
larging them-again restricting their is-
sues, and lowering the rate of interest;
and again suddenly enlarging their issues,
and raising the rate of interest. Just
such as they had lately witnessed were
the fearful consequences of that system
upon all the property of the country-
such were the confusion and disorder
which must continually prevail in all its
concerns so long as the influence of that
system was allowed to prevail. He meant
not to say, that he distrusted the present
Bank directors; but he distrusted, and
should ever distrust, the wisdom of any
set of men placed in their situation, and
who, unless they possessed the gift of
prophesy, could not be safely intrusted
with powers such as those at present vest-
ed in the Bank of England, without check
or control. Let the monopoly of the
Bank of England be restricted, and let
other companies have an opportunity of
raising themselves up in opposition to
them: then, and not till then, would
the money market and the commercial
transactions of the country be placed


Address on the King's Speech [40
upon a steady and secure footing. He
could gather from the King's Speech, that
his Majesty's ministers intended to in-
troduce some measure calculated to reme-
dy the evils of the existing system; and
therefore he should, for the present, ab-
stain from entering more fully into the
subject. He had only to add, that in
not offering any opposition to the address,
he was only actuated by the courtesy
evinced by gentlemen around him, on
that as well as on other occasions; re-
serving to himself the right of discussing
every subject touched upon in it, when
the proper occasions for doing so should
present themselves.
Mr. Robertson said, that the distress of
the country, great as it was at present, was
only in its commencement, unless vigor-
ous measures were applied to its relief.
It would be recollected that during the
last session he had implored the House
and the ministry to step forth and secure
the country from the open and barefaced
spoliation which it was suffering by the
machinations of joint-stock companies,
from one end to the other. He clearly
predicted what had proved to be the ac-
tual consequences of those schemes.
And if he had thus seen beforehand the
multitude of evils which had since been
realized, he thought he had given the
House sufficient warrant for the correct-
ness of his opinions to entitle him to some
portion of their attention. He considered
the present embarrassments as the un-
avoidable consequences of that policy
which had directed the public counsels,
and which was now often years' duration.
Should the government persevere in it,
the existing calamities would be more
than a gradual approach to the crisis.
The House was bound to step in, and
rescue the manufacturing and landed in-
terests from that ruin which awaited them.
He spoke upon the deepest reflection and
consideration; and as far as facts were
concerned, he was guided by statements
which had been laid upon their table. If
those statements were valid, that which he
had to offer must make a serious impres-
sion on the House. The present diffi-
culties might pass away ; but greater
remained behind, unless an end were
brought to that speculative and gambling
system of commerce which had produced
it. Before he went into the subject, he
would read to the House a passage out of
an excellent pamphlet written fifteen years
ago by the present right hon. president







Address on the King's Speech.


those in the northern part of the island. sent state of the country, then, be matter
Previous to thelast war, the greatest portion of surprise, when a demand was made on
of the currency of those banks was paper. its labour and capital to the amount of
Under that currency Scotlandhadflourish- seventeen millions ? The noble earl had
ed, and had not experienced those convul- read a statement of the increased issues of
sions which this part of the county had country bank-notes for the last year or
felt under the restrictive system. It was two; but if he wished to account for the
therefore highly desirable that parliament embarrassments of the country, he had
should consider the question in all its better analyse the number and qualities of
parts, and establish a permanent system the Steam and Mining, and other joint-
instead of constantly changing its mea- stock companies which had recently been
sures. The Speech from the throne held formed, and the quantity of capital which
forth the prospect of years of continued had been sunk in these speculations. At
peace. He hoped that those years would all events, if it was intended to restrict the
be occupied in establishing the internal circulation of one and two pound notes, he
condition of tlie country on a permanent hoped that such a restriction would not
foundation. If any alteration vwas to be be extended to Scotland.
made in the currency, it had better be The Amendment was negatived, and
effected at once, than gradually. A the Address agreed to without a division.
graduated system was proposed in 1819,
and their lordships knew that it had been HOUSE OF COMMONS.
productive of no benefit. The temporiz-
ing measures adopted with respect to the Thursday, February 2.
silk-manufacture, had greatly aggravated, ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH AT
if not entirely caused, the distress under THE OPENING OF THE SESSION.] The
which that trade was at present suffering. Speaker having reported the Speech of
The introduction of foreign siiks was post- the Lords Commissioners, and read it to
poned for two years; and the consequence the House,
was, that the manufacturers entered into Mr. John Stuart WVortley (member for
extensive speculations, and ov-r-stocked Bossiney) rose, for the purpose of moving
the market during the period allowed for an Address to his Majesty, in answer to
the continuance of their monopoly. If the Speech which had just been read. In
they had been allowed only a few months doing so, he was, he said, aware of tle
to dispose of their stock on hand, the ex- difficulty of the task which he had under-
isting distress would not have prevailed, taken, from the circumstance of his being
The Earl of Laudeidale said, that from a young member, and this being the first
the time he had first thought upon the time he had had the honour to address
subject, he had always been of opinion that assembly. It had been the duty of
that a paper currency, convertible into his predecessors, in the task which was
gold on demand, was that which was best now assigned him, to congratulate the
adapted for the transaction of the business country upon its flourishing condition.
of a country. A currency of that de- In the Speech which had been just read,
cription at present existed in this country. he also found motive for congratulation;
He challenged any of their lordships to although the year which had passed over
state an instance, since tli resumption of them had not been marked by some so
cash payments, in which gold had not pre-eminent advantages as former years
been given in exchange for paper when had been. In adverting to the royal
demanded. In his opinion it was not to Speech, the first subject that arrested his
the currency that it was necessary to look attention was the formidable shock which
for the origin of the existing embarrass- the commercial credit had recently sus-
ments. In the course of the last year tained. This was the topic that most
there had been a demand on the capital strongly challenged the attention of the
and labour of the country, to the extent House; and they should come to the
of 17,000,000/. Let any man consider consideration of it boldly and manfully,
whether the country was capable of an- with a view of removing it, or at least,
swering that demand. The distress which checking its increase. And here due
was caused at the commencement of the credit must be given to ministers for
late war, by the raising of a loan of only having introduced this important subject
four millions, was nearly as great as that to the notice of parliament. They stated
which at present existed. Could the pre- it with candour, and admitted it without


FEu. 2, 1826.






41] at the Opening ofthe Sessio
of the Board of Trade. The subject of
the passage was the balance of commerce,
and he expected to be able to prove from
it, that, without an essential alteration in
ourcommercial policy, the greatest calami-
ties would ensue. From this pamphlet
he drew the following proposition-that
the excess of the exports over the im-
ports of a country is not a necessary in-
ference of the prosperity of that country,
or that the balance of trade was in its
favour. It was only an indication that
such a portion of the wealth of the country
might be spared; it amounted, in the first
instance, to no more than a proof of the
capacity of the country to endure that
expenditure and absence of surpluscapital.
It did not follow, according to the author,
that that exported wealth or expenditure
might not be beneficial to the country.
Now, he (Mr. R.) was prepared to prove,
that it was absolutely pernicious; that in
the case of this country it was the direct
cause of all the distress which prevailed.
He took the excess of the exports over the
imports, since the peace, at 189,000,0001.,
for which no return had been made to
this country to compensate the loss thus
endured. And yet this was but a gradual
advance to what must be expected from a
perseverance in the same system. At
the close of the war, and in the first year
of the peace, the excess of exports above
imports was only 13,000,0001.: last year
it was 24,000,0001. Could any country
live and thrive under this drawing away
and transfer of its resources ? They ought
to think seriously of the means to prevent
the destructive consequences of such a po-
licy. When Mr. Pitt governed the country,
this system had not begun its operations.
The state of things was something like
this:-From the peace with America to
the French war, the excess of exports was
about 600,0001. a-year. This expenditure
was readily accounted for by the pay of
ambassadors, and other functionaries, to-
gether with the expense of establishments
abroad : so that it would be readily shown
that not a single pound sterling left the
country, for which another pound, or a
proper equivalent, did not come in. From
1797 to 1808, the excess in the same way
of expenditure amounted altogether to
about five millions and a half. In the
continuation of the war, this expenditure
continued to increase, but in a proportion
which might be accounted for by the ex-
pense of extensive fleets, and the capture
and occupation of garrisons abroad. The


n. FEB. 2, 1826. [42
expenses of our armies in the Spanish war
alone would account for more than ten mil-
lions of the excess. At the peace, and ever
since, thesystem had changed to an excess
of this expenditure, which was continually
increasing, without bringing back to the
country any adequate returns-until it had
reached the enormous sum of 189,000,0001.
Let the House now allow him to show
how this excess of 25,000,0001. of foreign
expenditure worked among the various
classes and interests of the country, and
how it brought detriment upon the lowest
as well as the highest. There being clear.
ly that surplus of capital, its natural em-
ployment would be the application of it to
the wages of labour among the increasing
population of the country. For if the
capital left the country in larger propor-
tions than before, and the population con-
tinued to increase, the supply of labour
must soon far exceed the employment
given by the capital remaining; the la-
bourers must be depressed, and the coun-
try impoverished. On this account, he
could not but deplore that pernicious and
pestilent doctrine which had obtained,
that capital from England spent on the
continent, or capital from Ireland spent on
the continent or in England, was equally
useful as the same capital spent in Ireland
or in England. True it was, that such
excess of expenditure abroad might have
the appearance of prosperity; but it was
only a speculative prosperity, big with
national impoverishment. The House
might ask how the surplus wealth was to
be kept in the country? The question
was not difficult to answer. Give such
capital protection, and then it will stay at
home and create a real prosperity, by
bettering the wages of labour, and in-
creasing the productive powers of the
national industry. An absolutely free
trade would let in foreign commodities.
What would be the effect ? The home
manufactures must be pressed down by
the competition; and capital, instead of
being employed in compensating our own
labourers, would be drawn in greater and
greater quantities abroad, to bring in those
supplies of foreign industry. He con-
sidered the doctrine of absolute free trade,
as applied to this country, as the most
vicious principle which had ever been
adopted by thinking men. He begged
pardon of the House for thus addressing
them; but his feelings upon the subject
were strong, and he could not repress
them; so grievous were the results which






43] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Address on the King's Speech [44
he anticipated from the adoption of that land. The capital embarked was a mil-
principle. The argument urged by the lion. The first capital of the East India
government in support of that system was, company was no more than 72,000/. At
the usefulness of competition in restraining a subsequent period the company obtained
monopoly. Nothing could be so absurd, leave to invest 700,000/., upon which it
Competition with other countries was ut- was afterwards found necessary to raise
terly impossible: circumstances were not no more than 50 per cent.; so that
the same ; and unless circumstances were 350,000/. was all that was paid in. Here
exactly equal, what competition could was a million of money to be applied-a
there be ? There could be no compe- sum more than sufficient for three times
tition, therefore, but that fair and proper the trade which this country would ever
competition which was sure to prevail have to carry on in the growth and throw-
beneficially for all among the subjects of ing of silk. The natural effect must be,
the same country, strivingwith each other that the company would ruin all minor
for superiority under the very same cir- competitors, and then raise their prices,
cumstances. No possible combination to the inevitable injury, perhaps the de-
could there take place among them to the struction, of our silk manufactures. It
disadvantage of the country at large, grieved him to be obliged to give out the
Now, it was utterly impossible not to fore- names of peers and hon. gentlemen who
see the circumstances which might throw were implicated ; but he could not refrain
the advantage of foreign competition into from doing his duty. The president was
the hands of France; and, once lost, it the marquis of Lansdown ; vice-president,
could never be recovered.-The hon. the earl of Liverpool. What would Mr.
gentleman then called the attention of Pitt say, did he but know that his great
the House to a transaction which was disciple was to be found in such a list?
utterly at variance with the principles of [laughter.] Among the directors were,
free trade, so loudly promulgated, though the right hon. W. liHukisson, Henry
many members of that House, and some Brougham, Wilmot Horton, and Pascoe
of the members of government were im- Greniell. How different were the senti-
plicated. He must be excused for ex- ments of the right hon. the president of
pressing his sense of it plainly. It ap- the Board of Trade, as theyappeared in his
peared to him to be one of the vilest jobs pamphlet, when commenting upon similar
which had been heard of among all the project adopted by the French govern-
schemes with which the country had over- ment, to force the cultivation of cotton.
flowed. He was sorry to use such ex- Such," said he, "is the detestable policy
pressions. No man thought better of the which sways some of the powers of Eu-
members of his majesty's government- rope, that we are boastingly told of whole
no man gave his support to their measures districts of otherwise fertile territory being
generally with more cordial good-will- forcibly destined to a particular cultiva-
than he did. When the mad projects of the tion, and of the French government rais-
money-market and the commercial world ing, at a ruinous expense, a little bad
were going forward in their destructive cotton." How soon the right hon. gen-
career, how often had he called upon the tleman forgot his own principle in favour
House to interpose! How often had he ofasimilarcultivationofa little bad silk!-
implored ministers to stand forward, and while the produce of India was secured to
rescue the country from those pernicious the country on terms which made compe-
delusions! Had the House done their tion utterly impossible. Such was the in-
duty, they would have broken up those consistency of the advocates of free trade,
complicated schemes which were brought and of the government which had adopted
out by companies upon companies. Now their principles! Here was the most di-
let the House remark the strange inconsis- rect encouragement given to that disas-
tency of some of the advocates of free trous scheming and speculation which had
trade. Since they had last met, a charter nearly convulsed the country. He dis-
had been granted by the Crown, similar approved of that part of the Speech which
to that upon which the monopoly of the stated the pecuniary difficulties of the
East India company was originally found- country to be without any remedy. The
ed; by which charter the new company remedy was within the reach ofthe House.
had been authorized to vest a million of The remedy was, to keep the capital at
money in n1n tclusive scheme for the home, encourage the productive industry,
growth of silk in Great Britain and Ire- raise the demand for labour, and increase







451 at the Opening of the Session
the internal trade of the country. The
foreign trade was a thing utterly insigni-
ficant in amount and importance when
compared with this. He had no interested
motive in the view of the question which
he had taken. Every word he had uttered
was opposed to his own particular interests
as a foreign merchant. He spoke accord-
ing to his sincere conviction. The chief
calamity of the country was, that the go-
vernment dwelt so much on our foreign
commerce. They seemed to see nothing
else, and to be blind to all other relations.
The interests of the foreign merchant
might be in opposition to the others.
It was his interest that the country
should not grow its own corn, but that it
should be imported from places of cheaper
growth. He was sure to be benefited by
free trade. But, when the landed and
manufacturing interests were depressed
by that freedom of trade, it must be in-
jurious to the country at large. He could
not bring himself to concur in the opinion,
that the remedy for the existing evils were
not within the reach of that House.
The Ciancellor of the Exchequer con-
fessed that he did not clearly comprehend
the drift of the arguments of the hon.
member for Grampound ; and felt utterly
at a loss how to reply to them. The
speech of his hon. friend appeared to
contain some propositions of rather a
startling nature ; for if he understood him
rightly, the effect of his argument tended
directly not only to that consummation,
which his hon. friend certainly desired,
the extinction of our foreign commerce;
but also to the extinction of all the ad-
vantages of our home industry. So, at
least, did it appear to him. His argument
was, that the greater part of the distresses
of the country was to be attributed to
excessive exports; and then again his
greatest dread seemed to be from the
operation of the principles of free trade,
by excessive importations. How to re-
concile such seeming contardictions, he
must leave to the ingenious and speculative
mind of his hon. friend. As to the crimes
alleged against the government, at first
he felt perfectly astounded-he could not
conceive what he himself, or his right
hon. friends had been about, to deserve
the denunciation-he quite trembled at
the terrible consequences which were to
follow. But lo, and behold! some dis-
tinguished members of his majesty's go-
vernment had lent their names to a specu-
lation, the most innocent that had ever


FEB. 2, 1826. [46
been set on foot. He himself was not a
member of the association ; but, what harm
could there be in it ? It appeared to him,
on the contrary, that the growth of silk in
this country was a most desirable object,
if it could be accomplished, and in no de-
gree similar to the monopoly of the East
India company. His right hon. friend,
the president of the Board of Trade, had
suffered his name to be inserted in the list
of directors, not for purposes of profit,
but as an honorary title; and then the
hon. member for Grampound, taunting
his right hon. friend with this alleged
inconsistency with the principles of free
trade which he had so successfully ad-
vocated, referred to some passages in a
very able pamphlet written during the
bullion controversy, and which pointed
out the absurdity of the French govern-
ment in endeavouring to force the culti-
vation of cotton, some indifferent coffee,
and manufacturing beet root into sugar.
But this silk company did not propose
to force the growth of silk. There was
not a sentence in their charter to compel
the honourable gentleman to grow a
single mulberry on his estate. In what
respect did an association for the voluntary
cultivation of silk resemble a restrictive
monopoly, or a compulsory appropriation
of good corn lands to the production of
cotton, coffee, and beet root ? But, Buo-
naparte was absurd enough to pass a law,
compelling his subjects to resort to miser-
able, futile, and ill-contrived attempts to
produce the articles, which his own mea-
sures prevented him from obtaining in the
regular and more natural way. Thus far
in reply to the hon. gentleman's speech.
And now, perhaps, the House would allow
him to take that opportunity of explaining,
in a general way, the views of his Majesty's
government respecting the more important
parts of the Speech from the throne. And
here he would say, that the hon. and
learned member for Winchelsea might
have forborne from making one or two of
his comments (and he was persuaded he
would have done so), had he been suffi-
ciently aware of the full contents of his
Majesty's Speech. Undoubtedly the mat-
ters on which the hon. and learned gentle-
man had touched, were so important, as
to be calculated to excite the strongest
feelings of the country ; and he owed his
thanks to the hon. and learned gentleman
for the moderate and candid tone in which
he had explained his opinions upon many
of these points. He was not, however,






47] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
justified in imputing to ministers the
charge of treating too lightly the heavy
distresses which so unfortunately prevailed.
This imputation might have been spared ;
for he could solemnly assure the House,
that nothing was further from the feelings
or intentions of the executive government,
than to treat with any thing bordering
upon levity, those distresses which the
country had endured, was still enduring,
and might continue, to a certain extent,
to be afflicted with, notwithstanding the
utmost extent of human aid and sympathy.
He entreated parliament to believe, that
nothing was further from the meaning of
his majesty's advisers, when they suggest-
ed the insertion of that paragraph in the
King's Speech, than to treat the matter
lightly. Indeed, he knew not what
materials men could be made of, who
could have so treated the sufferings of any
large portion of their fellow-countrymen.
He should have thought that the best
proof of a contrary sentiment pervading
the breasts of ministers, and that they did
not behold with indifference the sufferings
of large classes of the community, was to
be found in the striking fact of their placing
that topic in the very head and front of
the royal Speech; thereby showing the
country how strongly the king and his
government felt the necessity of calling
the immediate attention of parliament to
the consideration of so painful a subject,
if not to avert or mitigate its present evils,
at least to prevent, so far as human wisdom
could prevent, the recurrence of such
disasters. When he talked, however, of
such a precaution, it was in vain for any
man who had observed the progress of the
late events to deny, that, looking at the
cause of the late shock in the pecuniary
transactions of the people, there were no
legislative precautions that could have
averted the mischief. It was quite im-
possible to expect this virtue from public
enactments, with the view of effectually
controlling or directing the speculations
of individuals in so great a commercial
country as this, where such temptations
were held out for enterprise-where so
much skill and industry were displayed in
the conduct of mercantile affairs. It was
quite impossible to apply laws to govern
the speculations of individuals in such a
country as this, without doing far more
mischief than good, by an attempt so
inconsistent with the habits of Englishmen.
There was, however, no ground for de-
spondency, notwithstanding the present


Address on the King's Speech [48
condition of the country. If they referred
to the distresses which prevailed in 1816
and 1817, they would see how soon the
country arose out of them in the following
year. The extreme pressure in the one
year was followed in the other by a rapid
re-action of a contrary kind ; and this was
effected without any legislative measure,
or violence of any kind, but from the very
nature of the pressure itself; because they
always found, that when circumstances
for a while disabled any considerable por-
tion of the people from indulging in their
accustomed enjoyments, they eagerly
seized the earliest opportunity their re-
newed means afforded, of an increased
consumption of that of which they had
been for a time deprived. They rushed,
therefore, with a greater avidity to obtain
what they desired to possess the moment
it was brought within their grasp. It was,
he thought, quite clear to any reflecting
person, that the great proportion of all
the public difficulties complained of, had
arisen from causes out of the reach of
human control; and he was perfectly
satisfied, that the man who would legislate
on the assumption, that all engaged in the
foreign or domestic commerce, or the
agriculture of this country, were neces-
sarily persons of a prudent character, who
would act upon sound views, and turn
aside from visionary speculations, would
find himself grievously disappointed when
he beheld the effect of his system of legis-
lative interference in concerns of private
management. When he said this, he
begged it at the same time to be under-
stood, that undoubtedly there were cases
in which it was competent for parliament
to interpose, and in which it was decidedly
useful to call for that interposition. And
this distinction was particularly necessary
to be laid down, in a country where its
affairs were carried on with reference to
a sound basis, and where it was impossible
to avoid having a currency exposed to
excess at one time, and depreciation at
another. This was the case here, where
the currency was so far of a mixed nature,
as that the part of it consisting of paper
greatly exceeded the amount in metallic
coin. Under such circumstances, it was
quite clear that the tendency of the paper
portion of the circulating medium was to
increase itself, and to effect this without
reference to consequences; and singularly
enough, the operation went on too, from
causes which did not necessarily require
that increase. This was precisely what








had happened in this country, and partly rending affliction. A great deal was said
as connected with the circulation of the of the spirit of trade excited by, and the
country banks, the increase of which within consequent benefits resulting from the
the last three or four years had been of a circulation supplied by these banks, but
most extraordinary description. Of the he would unhesitatingly ask, what advan-
actual state of the circulation of the coun- tage had been conferred on agriculture,
try banks, it was difficult to form an ac- on commerce, on the community at large,
curate estimate; and this difficulty was in which could be put in competition with
itself a very great evil, because it left both the ruin of its re-action at a moment of
the Bank of England and the government panic, and the wide-spreading evils which
in comparative obscurity upon a matter its sudden depreciation inflicted ? What
which it was essential for them to know, real or apparent benefit could compensate
and deprived them of the advantage of for the poverty and misery to which it
having recourse to a known fact, which consigned so large a portion of the wolk-
would enable them todetermine thecriteria ing classes of the community, who pos-
how far the circulation was in excess. sessed nothing for their labour or their
Although, however, they could not deter- sustenance, but the worthless piece of
mine the precise amount of the country paper bearing the impress of the local
banks'circulation,they had themeansofap- bank? Who, with a heart to feel, could
proximating to something like an estimate, refrain from saying, that these evils did
by a reference to the amount of stamps is- not far, very far, outweigh all the exag-
sued within a given time to these bankers. gerated advantages of the circulation of
It was usually considered that the average this mass of country paper ?-Upon the
circulation of country bank paper lasted fullest consideration which he had been
about three years-it might be more or able to give this part ot the matter em-
less in particular cases, but the three braced in his Majesty's Speech, he had
years' average was mostly relied upon ; come to the conclusion, that it was indis-
and, therefore, if he multiplied each pensably necessary to apply an immediate
year's issue of stamps by three, le ar- remedy to that great source of public
rived at a probable test for the purpose mischief. Of course, it would not be
of his argument. Ju:iging in this man- expected of him, at that moment, to go
ner, he fIand that, in the year 1820, the into the details of the measure by which
issue of country bank notes had been he intended to accomplish this beneficial
3,493,9011. In 1821, it was 4,4S,5tSh. purpose. Undoubtedly, caution was ne-
And in the year 1825, it had got up to cessary in the progress of the woik. It
no less a sum than 8,755,000/. During was not always the most prudent course
this progressive operation of the country to rush headlong to an opposite extreme
banks, there was no excess of circulation from that in which they had previously
apprehended, and the affairs of the coun- acted ; yet lie thought something must be
try were generally in a rapidly increasing done decisively and effectually, to prevent
state of prosperity. But, nevertheless, the recurrence of the evils so universally
the inevitable result of this operation complained of. And when he reflected
must be, to produce a rise in prices, which upon this state of things, it was to him a
naturally extended a spirit of speculation, source of regret that in the arrangements
where men struggled who should get most respecting the currency provided by par-
money for articles in demand.-But this liament in the year 1822, the original
was not all the evil which this system of intention of causing the indulgence grant-
circulation encompassed. A great deal ed to the country bankers to issue small
of difficulty arose out of the present con- notes to cease in the year 1825, had been
stitution of their banking system, and abandoned. He greatly regretted that
especially from that part of it which was any circumstances should, at the time he
composed of one pound notes, notes referred to, have induced government to
which, from the smallness of their amount, I abandon their first intention: but what
necessarily circulated among the poorer had passed since had abundantly con-
classes of society, upon whom they en- firmed him in the opinion that they must
tailed the heaviest affliction when the time now have recourse to a firm and decided
of revulsion and sto ppage arrived. When measure, for the purpose of placing the
one of these banks break, thousands currency of the country upon a durable
upon thousands of poor people lose their basis. Tnis, however, would not have
all, and are visited with the most heart- the effect of preventing a recurrence of
VOL. XIV. i E


at thre Opening Qf Mlle Session.


FEBR. 2, 1826. [ 0







the evil, without another measure, which I vided the extension of the charter was
was equally important. He alluded to conceded; that is, they were ready to
what had been appropriately termed the give the public, instanter, the particular
exclusive privileges of the Ban!: of Eng- benefits which it could not otherwise
land, as their charter now stood. It was acquire until 1833, provided the main
impossible for nny man who considered operation of the charter would be allowed
what was the extent of the public trans- to survive till 8-13. This, however, the
actions of this great kingdom, and the government refused to call upon parlia-
measures inevitably necessary for carrying meant to grant; but it pressed upon the
on the business of the nation and the Bank the greater advantage which the
government, not to see, that one single company would obtain in the administra-
chartered banking company, however well tion of their own affairs, by the increased
constituted, was inadequate to execute safety and security which would result
all the functions of the state. The town from the adoption of the plan then under
business-that immediately on the spot- contemplation. The government had
they could conduct, undoubtedly, in the lately again pressed this matter upon the
present manner; but not so throughout consideration of the Bank, and had sub-
the country, where the government had mitted to the directors the benefit which
necessarily pecuniary affairs to transact, both the company and the public would
and where, from the necessity of the derive from its execution, accompanied,
case, country banks had sprung up and at the same time, with a direct and une.
taken a part of that business. That the quivocal assurance, that there was no
Bank of England was at the outset per- intention of extending the present period
fectly sufficient for all purposes, he readily of their chartered rights. And here he
admitted ; but the immense growth of the was bound to say, that the manner in
wants of the country for banking aid which the Bank directors had met this
had become so extended, that the case proposition deserved the highest credit.
was altered, and a change to meet this It should always be remembered, that
varied aspect must be brought about, the conductors of such a corporation had
Country banks had become necessary, difficulties to contend with which could
in consequence of the exclusive privi- not be felt by others who were not bound
leges of the Bank of England and the by the same interests, nor constituted in
outgrowing claims of the public. And, the same privileged manner. The direc-
from these very circumstances, the coun- tors had, however, acquiesced in the pro-
try banks had been so constituted, that position made by his majesty's ministers,
they were deprived of much of the solidity which they engaged immediately to sub-
of what ought to belong to the banking mit to the consideration of a court of
system; in fact, the effect of the exclu- proprietors. The plan, if carried into
sive privileges had been, to permit else- effect, would place the banking system
where in the country, every species of of this country upon the same footing as
banking plan to be in full operation, save in Ireland, where companies were allowed
what was of the most solid and beneficial to establish banks, with any number of
character. This state of things required partners, fifty miles from the capital.
a more efficient remedy than any which The same relative distance would be
had hitherto been applied. Indeed, for sixty-five miles in England; and at that
some time, it had not escaped the atten- distance it was proposed to establish bank-
tive consideration of his majesty's go- ing companies with an unlimited number
vernment. Two years ago they had of partners. When lie alluded to the
commenced a negotiation with the direc- reluctance of the Bank directors to aban-
tors of the Bank, to see how far the don, all at once, rights which they felt
company could be induced to forego a were secured to them by charter, it was,
portion of their exclusive privileges, he repeated, too much to complain of
Their charter, as at present constituted, them for such hesitation. They were
would expire in the year 1833, and the charged with the protection of the par-
Bank offered to consent to a relinquish- ticular interests of the Bank; and though
ment of certain privileges, provided the it was the object of the government, in
charter in its main duration was extended their communications with the directors,
to the year 1843. They agreed to allow to make it clear to them, that the rights
other chartered companies, within the they were charged to cherish would not
present prohibited distance, at once, pro- be prejudiced by the concession required


,51] HOUSE~ OF COMMONS,


Address on the Kin4,'s SI~-eecli







53] at the Opening of the Session. FEB. 2, 1826. [54
at their hands, still it was not to be culties of the country, and the measures
wondered, that men held tenaciously to best calculated to obviate their recur-
the maintenance of enjoyments exclu- rence. There were two other points
sively intrusted to their protection. It upon which he was desirous for a moment
did not follow, because these private to dwell. And first lie would advert to
interests persevered in wishing to retain the produce of the revenue during the
their peculiar privileges, that therefore last year. Now, upon that point, the
they were right in their judgment as to words of his Majesty's Speech wele
their value; on the contrary, lie believed greatly below the mark; for the produce
they were wrong in this respect, and was of the revenue had far exceeded his most
persuaded, as he had stated to the par- sanguine expectations.-He had assumed,
ties, that if the Bank surrendered at once that the revenue of 1825 would have been
the whole of its exclusive privileges they less than that of 1821, by 600,0001.; and
would profit rather than lose by the con- he had besides remitted taxes to the same
cession. Still, if they thought otherwise, amount. His calculation, therefore, had
nobody had a right to wrest from them a been, that the revenue of 1825 would
privilege, with which they were legally have been less than that of 1824, by
invested. This should not prevent him 1,200,0001.; and yet the House was
from doing justice to their imtives; and aware how much mole beneficial the re-
he felt no hesitation in avowing, that suit had been. He had certainly, by no
throughout his intercourse with the Bank means contemplated the having to return
of England, the directors had uniformly any duty in that quarter, though the
manifested the most anxious desire to amount returned on what had been paid
promote the general interests of the coun- was no less than 1,050,0001.; so that if
try. He might occasionally differ from that cause had not existed, the revenue
them upon points of general policy; but of the year 1825 would have exceeded
lie had no right to find fault witil their by one niillion Ihat of the year 1821.
mode of managing the affairs intrusted to But, in spite of all the-e circum tances,
their guidance; and sure lie was, that none still the revenue of 1825 had exceeded
would be found more ready than the Bank that of the preceding year by 250,000/.
of England had been, to throw itself into He therefore trusted that the House
the breach, when the country required a would be satisfied that there was nothing
great effort. At the risk of their own of exaggeration in that part of his Ma-
interests, at the risk even of their own jesty's Speech which alluded to the reve-
security, they had often gallantly come nue of the country. IIe thanked the
forward, and saved the country, by their hon. and learned gentleman for the frank
timely aid, from evils of the greatest and uncompromising manner in which he
magnitude. With this experience of the had spoken out respecting commercial
value of the services performed by that principles of great importance to the
great corporation, it would be monstrous well-being of the country, and had de-
injustice not to treat with fairness and dared that if the government remained
properconsideration the opinions of such a true to the best interests of the commu-
body. They had now agreed to relinquish nity, they would not suffer themselves to
that part of their exclusive privileges be diverted from that system of policy in
which restricted the number of partners matters of commerce which was founded
in banking concerns, and had refrained on the wisest principles. He entirely
from requiring the condition of a ten concurred with the hon. and learned
years' extension of their charter, which, gentleman, tlat the government would
on the former occasion, they had declared act with the greatest inconsistency if they
to be a sine qua non of this concession, abandoned those principles; and, speak-
He had now stated in general terms the ing for himself, he would say, that to him
outline of his plan respecting the banking it would be an eternal disgrace it' lie, in
system. On a very early day he would any way, were to depart from them.
submit a distinct proposition on the sub- And though he and his colleagues were
ject, when it could be fully discussed in taunted by the hon. member for Gram-
all its parts. But he could not refrain, pound with having lost the countenance
on the present occasion, from stating at of some of their oldest friends, and cast
once what were the general views of his for support upon their usual opponents
majesty's government-what they felt to at the other side of the House, still lie
be the main causes of the existing diffi- would say that they were cheered by an








honest and effective co-operation. Nor reverse he was unable to collect his
would the lion. member's taunt drive him means to pay demands upon him, and the
to reject the assistance of lion. gentlemen whole currency of his neiglbourhood was
opposite, who had the generosity and exposed to derangement from his failure.
candour to give him their important aid lie entirely approved of the determination
in this branch of his policy, and who to put an end to the small notes. It was
could have no inmtiv:, for taking such a evident they had banished all specie from
part, save an oar'.'nt and disinterested circulation, and since parliament had de-
attachnient. to the tiue interests of the cided on the resumption of cash payments,
country. It was with the highest satis- the currency of the country could never
faction that he saw the principal men of be on a secure footing, unless a certain
every sect and of every party ready to amount of coin was maintained in circu-
give him their support in this branch of nation. He Iad been of this opinion on
the public policy, and that he carried the passing of Mr. Peel's bill, and recent
with him in his steadfast adherence to it, experience had added to his conviction
the concurring opinions of all the best- on the subject. But, the particular object
informed, and he would add, if lie were which induced him to rise was, to direct
not himself one of its most zealous advo. the attention of the House to the omis-
cates, of all the wisest men in this or in sion of all reference to the Corn Laws in
any other country. his Majesty's Speech. Did ministers in-
Mr. Ellice rose, he said, rather to advert tend to aliow them to remain on their
to one serious omission in the Speech present footing, with their boasted at-
from the throne, than to follow the right taclhent to right principles and their
hon. gentleman through the various topics determination to remove all restrictions
on which he had addressed the House. from the trade of the country ? Every
But, before le did this, he must offer one branch of industry must be severely af-
or two observations on what had fallen fected by the present measures of reform
from him respecting the currency, and in the currency. Prices of other com-
the measures proposed to place it on a modifies would be nm.,:cilaily depressed,
more satisfactory footing. lie thought and great stagnation consequently take
the greatest caution should be observed in place in all branches of our manufactures;
extending the system of banking, without and were the prices of all necessaries of
providing efficient cheeks against the life to be alone maintained by law to
abuses to which recent events had proved double the rate of every other country in
it so liable. The Scotch chartered banks the world ? The House would very soon
were, in some respects, to be regarded receive petitions from his constituents
with as much jealousy as the country against the introduction of foreign manu-
banks in England. They had not been featured silks under the act of 1824; and
behind hand in giving en couragement to with what appearance of justice could
over trading and speculation, and their they refuse to listen to their complaints,
issues, of paper had at least been on an while the importation of corn was prohi-
squal scale, with those during the last bited ? What better reason could be urged
two years in this country. Their present for a standard import price of corn, than
situation was probably as much to be of silk or any other commodity ? It was
ascribed to good fortune, as good ma- madness to persevere with their experi-
nagement, and they might not have been ments on the manufacturing interests of
found better prepared than their neigh- I .he country, unless they were prepared to
hours, if the recent panic had travelled go forward and supply the principles of
northwards, and exposed them to the same free trade to the trade in corn, and he
severe trial. In future legislation on this lamented to see by this omission in the
subject, it would be well to advert to the Speech, the ruinous sacrifice of all right
expediency of encouraging the collection and just principles which ministers were
of large masses of capital in the hands of willing to make to the prejudices on this
persons issuing local notes, for which subject, and the more powerful interest
interest was allowed to depositors. The by which they were supported. But they
banker must look in this case for a profit must either proceed, or be prepared to re-
beyond the interest, and was tempted in trace all their steps, and he hoped this
prosperous times either to lock up his question would be pressed on parliament
funds, or to embark them in hazardous by the strong and general voice of the
SpeCtcuations with that object. On any country.


551 HOUSE OF COMMONS,


Address on Mlie Kin ',g' Sprl






FEB. 2, 1826. [58


Mr. Hume said, that the right hon., the
chancellor of the Exchequer had carried
them back to former years in the course
of his speech, but had forgotten to point
out what appeared to be the principal
cause of all the distress about which lie
had occasion to speak. Without intend-
ing to disapprove of the speech of the
right hon. gentleman, he must enter his
protest against the praises which he had
heaped upon the Bank of England. It
appeared to him just as if an incendiary
were to be praised, because, after he had
kindled the flame, he endeavoured to put
it out. If the Bank of England had known
the true principles of banking, or if it had
taken example by the events of 1793, it
would never have allowed the course of
exchange to remain for seven whole
months against this country. He how-
ever hailed the proposition of the govern-
ment as the commencement of better
times, though he could not but regret
that no bank was to be permitted within
sixty- five milesof the metropolis; for if they
were wanted any where, it was in London
itself, in order that there might be some-
thing like competition to keep the Bank
of England at bay. The right hon. gen-
tleman had taken great credit to himself
for the prescience with which he had
pointed out the course of the revenue;
but, in so doing, he had taken care not to
go back to that period at which the go-
vernment had been so lavish of their pro-
mises as to the reduction of taxation.
Did the right hon. gentleman's speech,
he would ask, hold out the smallest hopes
of reduction in the military establishment
of the country, which was tearing it to
pieces? In the year 1793, when the
country was at war, four millions and a
half had been found sufficient to pay the
military establishments at that time. And,
what was the amount requiredat present ?
Something between nine and ten mil-
lions; and, at the very time that they
were receiving assurances from his ma-
jesty of there being every prospect of a
continuance of peace. In 1793, the whole
taxation of the country did not exceed
eighteen millions, while its parochial assess-
ments were not more than two millions.
What was the case at present ? The
taxation of the country amounted to the
incredible sum of fifty-five millions, and the
poor rates and parochial assessments to
six or seven millions annually. In such
a state of things it was mere fallacy to
talk of relieving the distresses of the


People by putting down one pound notes.
The people could not be led astray from
the contemplation of the real source of
their sufferings, by such theories and ab-
surd opinions. They would inquire, and
see that wasteful expenditure of the public
money, the profligate sinecures and un-
necessary and overgrown establishments,
were the evils to which all their hardships
were attributable. It was in vain to speak
of securing the property of the country
by putting down one pound notes or by
any regulations by which bankers would
be prevented from issuing paper without
its actual representative in money. Make
banks as secure as you please, individuals
placed at the head of them in the receipt
of large profits would still indulge in
wasteful and lavish expenses. Lightly
come, lightly go. Men would squander
money who could create it as they pleased.
That was not what the country required,
but a confidence in the administration-
a reliance on those who directed its
finances, that not a shilling would be
called for which the public service did
not require, and that every reduction
compatible with its safety would be made.
The right hon. gentleman had spoken at
much length of the increase of country
bank notes in the last year, above pre-
ceding years. He had stated, that the
issue of 1820 was 3,400,000, the i-sue of
1821, 4,500,000; and the issue of 1825,
8,000,000. But, what inference could be
drawn from that fact, when he admitted,
at the same instant, that the issue of Bank
of England paper, in the same year, was
diminished seven millions ? What more
could be collected from the statement
than this, that the superabundance of
local notes supplied a vacuum created by
the diminution of Bank of England paper ?
Thus, in whatever shape the subject ap-
peared, whatever attempts were made
to mislead the public mind by misrepre-
sentation-the slightest inquiry tended to
show, that these evils were partial and
temporary, and that the true and deep-
rooted source of all our distress and
suffering was the extravagance of govern-
ment, in continuing to maintain establish-
ments oppressive and unnecessary, and in
Sthe wasteful expenditure of the treasures
of the country. Let the House recollect
the report of the finance committee at
the close of that most expensive war in
which the country had been so long en-
gaged. That report stated the necessity
of still keeping up a large establishment;


at the Opening of the Session.






59J HOUSE OF COMMONS,
but, at the same time, it held out a hope
that there would be a gradual reduction
of our expenditure, according as the con-
tinuance of peace should enable us to free
ourselves from that military system, in
which, in consequence of our connection
with the continent, we had unfortunately
entangled ourselves. Than such a sys-
tem nothing was more absurd. It was
not our element. Every attempt to rival
the powers of the continent in the main-
tenance of a large military force, was un-
natural on the part of this country, and
must always tend to our serious injury,
if not to our utter destruction. Revcrt-
ing, however, to the finance report, to
which lie had alluded, he observed, that
the committee had, after great delibera-
tion, held out a prospect of a gradual
reduction of tie taxation of the people.
But, what had been the result ? In 1817,
the amount of the taxation on the people,
including the expenses of collection, was
52,300,000/.; in 1818 it wais 53,979,0001.;
in 1819 it was 53,200,000/.; and so on
until 1823, when it was 53,600,0001.; and
in 18241, when it was 53,700,0001. After
ten years of peace, therefore, notwith-
standing every hope of an amelioration of
their condition had been held out to the
people, no amelioration whatever had
taken place; but as great an amount as
ever was deducted from the produce of
their industry. Was he not then justified
in blaming his majesty's ministers for the
unmeaning Speech which they had just
heard ? He was not fond of making in-
vidious comparisons; but, let the House
look at the speech of the president of the
United States, and then let them look at
the Speech which had been just delivered,
and see what a perfect blank it exhibit-.1.
He wished his majesty's ministers would
take a lesson from other states. He
wished they would take a lesson even from
some of the states of Germany. Bavaria
had set a noble example last year, by the
reduction of half its military establish-
ment. It would be infinitely more ho-
nourable to his majesty's government to
reduce the army, instead of maintaining
it in its present extent, and with all that
frippery and foppery by which it was so
disadvantageously distinguished. While
our manufacturers were starving, while
a man with his wife and five or six chil-
dren were unable to obtain more than
seven shillings a week-the Guards were
covered with gold lace, and with all the
absurd paraphernalia of military decoration.


Address on the King's Speech [60
There was scarcelyafamilyofany distinction
in the kingdom of which some individual
was not enjoying either an army or a navy
pension, while the great body of the
population were suffering extreme distress.
It was a farce to say that the misery which
we had been lately experiencing was
attributable to the country banks. The
right lion. gentleman himself could not
believe that such was the fact, although
he knew that there were a number of
good-natured gentlemen in that House
always disposed to give credit to any
statement that he might think proper to
put forth. The poor at large ought not
to be misled by any mis-statements of that
nature. He contended that there was in
his Majesty's Speech not one word of
what ought to have been there. Let the
House recollect that on some frivolous
pretence or another, our military establish-
ment had been actually going on increas-
ing for the last three years, until it had
arrived at an amount which was altogether
unwarranted by the circumstances of the
country. He gave the right hon. secretary
of state for Foreign Affairs great credit
for the manner in which lie was endeavour-
ing to dissociate this country from her
connection with the continent; although
he had hoped that the right lion. gentle-
man would have gone even further than
he had done. We ought to avail our-
selves of all those advantages which were
peculiarly our own, to break off all our
continental intimacies. It was evident we
did not require a large military force for
internal purposes. It it were maintained
for the purpose of keeping down our own
population, he would ask, if that was the
best way of making them happy? Would
it not be much better to render them
contented, by the diminution of our ex-
penditure, by the reduction of sinecures
and pensions, and by reverting to the
expenditure of 1793 ? As it was, he would
take upon himself to prove, that in no
year during the late war, not even in
1815, the year of our greatest expendi-
ture, in which it amounted to 72,000,000,
was the weight of taxation so heavy as
now, if valued by that standard, by which
alone it ought to be valued-gold. Much
less gold was taken from the people in
taxation, at the period to which lie had
just alluded, than had been taken from
them during the last three or four years.
He could not concur in thinking, that the
predictions of ministers as to our increas-
ing prosperity were realized. On thl







FEB. 2, 1826. [62


contrary, he thought that, unless some-
thing was done, and that speedily, in the
way of reduction, our condition would
become much worse. It was said, that
our immense military establishments were
rendered necessary by the extent of our,
colonies ; but he denied that our colonies
required such expensive establishments,
if they were managed as they ought to be.
Ireland, he supposed, was looked upon as
a colony which called for a large military
establishment. But, why should that be
necessary ? Why not put Ireland in that
condition in which she could support her-
self? Those who treated her as a con-
quered country, must take the conse-
quences; but he felt that a different
system would not only have the effect of
taking the burthen from England, but of
making that island, what she had not
hitherto been-productive of great advan-
tage to us. The system pursued with
respect to our foreign colonies was not
less extravagant. The people of England,
under the present system of mis-manage-
ment, were, year after year, called upon
to pay large sums on account of most of
our colonies, which were not repaid by
any advantages to us. Vast sums were
expended to keep pampered minions in
power, over whose conduct no salutary
check was exercised. Look at the Cape ;
look at every colony we possessed, and
then say if they were not all burthens to
the country. If he turned his eye to the
eastward, he could not agree with what
was stated in the Speech from the throne.
In the King's Speech of last year, it was
declared, that the interruption of tran-
quillity in India had been occasioned by
the unprovoked aggression and extrava-
gant pretensions of the Burmese govern-
ment, which had rendered hostile opera-
tions against that state unavoidable." That,
he asserted, was contrary to truth. The
information which had been laid on the
table showed that hostilities had been
most unjustifiably commenced on our
part. The consequence must naturally
be, a great increase of the East India
debt. And, let it be considered, that an
increase of that debt was in fact an
increase of the debt of the people of
England. What had ministers put into
his Majesty's mouth on this subject in the
Speech under consideration ?" His Majesty
regrets that he has not to announce to
you the termination of hostilities in India.
But the operations of the last campaign,
through the bravery of the forces of his


Majesty, and of the East India company,
and the skill and perseverance of their
commanders, have been attended with
uniform success, and his Majesty trusts
that a continuance of the same exertions
may lead at no distant period to an
honourable and satisfactory pacification."
This was inconsistent with fact. Undoubt-
edly, wherever a British soldier in India,
or a native soldier in the service of the
company, had met with the enemy, he had
distinguished himself by his valour and
good conduct. But, what had been the
course of the war with the Burmese ? Had
our army met with the army of the
enemy ? Did the enemy wait the approach
of our troops? Had they not uniformly
retreated as we advanced? And a wise
policy they had adopted in so doing. If
all the other native chiefs in India had
played the same game as the Burmese had
been playing, the British government in
India would have had little to boast of
at the present moment. Our triumphs
had been all of a negative character. They
had been accompanied by a pestilence
destructive of thousands. Eight thousand
European troops had been carried to a
spot ten times more deleterious than the
marshes of Walcheren; a place wholly
unfit for the momentary occupation of
human beings. And, who was to blame
for all this? His majesty's ministers, for
having sent out to govern India a man
wholly incompetent to that arduous
situation; a man against whom all
opinions-even, if he was rightly inform-
ed, the opinions of the directors of the
East India company-were united. He
had every reason to believe that the court
of directors had no confidence whatever
in lord Amherst's government. If what
he had just stated was the fact, how in-
excusable were his majesty's ministers in
keeping in such a situation an individual
who had proved himself so unqualified to
the discharge of its duties By so doing
they rendered themselves parties to lord
Amherst's proceedings; and made them-
selves deeply responsible for the conse-
quences. Whether it was attributable to
the Board of Control, or to the court of
directors of the East India company he
knew not; but certain it was, that the
British empire in India was in a state in
which it had never before been.-Upon
the whole, he came to this conclusion,
that, whatever measures might be adopted
to alter or remodel the state of the cur-
rency-whatever measures might be


(it thes Openling Qf'lhe Session..








proposed to prevent an injurious issue of I ments. He himself was a partner in one
paper by persons whose property was not of a hundred years' standing, which, he
adequately responsible for its value,-all would say, had conducted its affairs with
would be unavailing, unless the country character and respectability ; but his own
was relieved from eight or ten millions of interest would never induce him to sanc-
taxes-a remission which, he would tion the system of circulating one pound
venture his life upon the assertion, might notes, which was inconsistent with the
be accomplished with the utmost safety ; honesty and integrity of the country. The
leaving all the duties of government to be government should be careful not to do
carried on with much greater ease and that which had been done in Scotland;
with much more public benefit, than they namely, to banish every piece of gold out
were under the present circumstances, of the country. He threw out these re-
Mr. T. Wilson said, lie was a friend to marks for the consideration of tile chan-
the general principle of free trade, but cellor of the Exchequer, who, he hoped,
that lie thought the silk-trade, under would distinctly state when, or where-
present circumstances, ought to be made about, his plan was to come into opera-
an exception; or at least that the principle lion, in order that establishments of cha-
should not be extended to that branch of racter and credit might not be obliged to
our trade, while the monopoly of the corn enter into competition with those powerful
trade was allowed to exist. He would opponents, the joint-stock companies,
not press the subject at that moment; without adequate notice. Unless he did
but, at some future time he should feel it so, he might be the cause of very serious
his duty to bring it under the considera- alarm, and to an extent upon which he
tion of the House, for he was quite con- could not calculate. It was chiefly with
vinced that unless some alteration was the view of requesting this explanation,
made in the corn laws, it was impossible that he rose to address the House, but lie
that the silk-trade could go on under the could not sit down without adverting to
existing regulations. that part of the Speech from the throne
Mr. John Smith was of opinion, that which alluded t,) the present state of
unless the chancellor of the Exchequer Ireland. They had been told that his
entered into a much more full explanation majesty had directed to have carried into
of his imperfect statement than he had effect the recommendation of certain com-
given, the effect would be, to increase that niittees, which had sat a year or two ago.
panic and alarm, of the existence of which He was glad to find that such was the
he must be fully aware. He entirely con- intention of the government. Last year,
curred with the right hon. gentleman, and the year before, there was a corn-
in most of his observations respecting the mittee of that House; and a more excel-
issue of small notes by private banks, lent and industrious committee never
and of the injury which had accrued emanated from the House of Commons.
therefrom in some instances; but, he The nakedness of Ireland was exposed,
must remind the right hon. gentleman, not only to the House, but to all England:
that the undefined manner in which he all the subjects of complaint were exa-
had alluded to the intention of allowing mined, but not to the bottom. He wished
joint-stock company banks, with a greater to know whether that excellent commit-
number of partners, and with, of course, tee were not to continue their labours?
a veiy large capital, might have an effect He was sure there was a part of the ad-
injurious to many banks within sixty-five ministration which felt the necessity of
milesofthe metropolis, unlesshe explained probing these circumstances to the bot-
immediately the time whenthisproposition tom ; and reasoning from the analogy of
was to he carried into effect. Without other committees, the necessity must be
such explanation his proposition might obvious. There was, for instance, the
create an alarm, and produce a recurrence Commission of Education. He was per-
of the panic wh:ch they were also anxious suaded the right hon. secretary ( Mir.
to prevent. He did hope, therefore, that Peel), who had resided so long in Ireland,
before the close of this debate the right would never have tolerated the iniquitous
hon. gentleman would give some expla- practices and infamous jobbing, which
nation on this point. He hoped that in the report of that commission disclosed,
any plan which might be adopted, no had he been aware of their existence.
privileges would be given that would But, the fact was, the government of Ire-
go to destroy the ancient establish- land had not the power of going to the


A~ldress on thle King'gs Speech~


63] HOUSE OF: COMMiONS,






al the O1eninrg 9f t/ie Session.


bottom of the inquiry, it must be done by
a committee of that House. He presumed
that every gentleman who heard him, had
read the evidence of the committee of
last year. The evidence was extremely
long the report exceedingly short.
That committee ought to be renewed, if
it were for nothing else than the benefit
of an additional report. The inquiry
ought to be pursued further; for, in his
opinion, it had only been half done.
Mr. Cripps defended the country banks
from the imputations to which they had
recently been so generally subjected.
No one, he said, could judge fairly of
their merits, except those who were in-
terested in the subject. The failures
that had taken place among them were
principally owing to a want of knowledge
on the part of those who had the manage-
mentof the concern: the bankcrswho hada
common share of prudence, had experien-
cedlittledifliculty in weathering the storm.
He did not know that the existence of one
pound notes was so great an evil as seemed
to be imagined. On the contrary, he was
satisfied that their circulation had been
beneficial to the public. Whatever might
be said of country banks, a great part of
the prosperity of the country was mainly
attributable to the facilities and the in-
dulgences which they had afforded. iHe
was quite sure, that if the existing sys-
tem were suddenly altered, or without
great deliberation, an effect would be pro-
duced on the country which was not at
all anticipated. In every part of England,
and in the agricultural counties particu-
larly, the country banks had, undoubtedly,
lent a large part of their capital on mort-
gage. But, it by no means followed, that
they had not obtained security. If, how-
ever, they were suddenly driven to call
in all these loans, an alarm would be oc-
casioned, the ultimate result of which no
one could foresee. The debts due to
them might be good debts; but, when the
House saw, only six weeks ago, that any
man who could not suddenly turn his
parchments into gold was a ruined man,
they might have some notion of the evil
which a precipitate measure might gene-
rate. If left alone, eventually they might
bring their affairs round; but if suddenly
compelled to meet a parliamentary mea-
sure, such as that alluded to by the right
hon. gentleman, they might be driven to
dispose of their property to such disad-
vantage, as not to be able to pay ten shil-
lings in the pound. He had thought
VOL. XIV.


it his duty to say thus much, in order
that it might not go forth uncontradicted,
that country banks had occasioned great
evil, instead of having materially con-
tributed to the prosperity of the country;
and in tile hope that, whatever system it
might be thought advisable to propose, it
would be proposed deliberately; and widl
a view to the whole of thi banking estab-
lishments of the country.
Mr. Mlaberly said, lie could not express
an opinion upon the proposed mea-ures
without offering his meed of concurrence
in all that had been said of the conduct
of the Bank of England, during the late
shock to which the public credit had
Been exposed. He was ready to admit,
that in what had been said of that
body, justice only had been done them;
and even if the right hon. gentleman had
gonefurther, he would have been warranted
by the course which theBankhad pursued,
in circumstances more trying and extra-
ordinary than ever a commercial body
was placed in before. To their energy
and determination, although in opposition
to their usual principles, was the salva-
i tion of the country to be attributed. But,
whilst he gave them praise where they
deserved it, he was bound to say, that their
good intentions might have been more
beneficially developed, if they had not
crippled themselves by the dead weight
on mortgages. This, however, was an
abstract operation, and he should not now
go into it. All he should say was, that
he did not think the difficulties which the
Bank had contributed so largely toalleviata
were attributable exclusively to the mis-
fortunes of the commercial world, or to
the failure of the country banks; for sure
he was, that they had been much aggra-
vated by the measures of the right hon.
gentleman and his colleagues in deluging
the country with so large an issue of their
promissory notes. The weight of thirty
millions of Exchequer bills was calculated
to produce a great languor in the money
transactions of the country; and he was
sure that, if the Bank of England had
not gone into the Exchequer market,
and taken up those bills, the panic would
have been ten times more dreadful. In-
deed, he doubted whether, if this had not
taken place, the dividends due in October
or January would have been paid. It
would be a neglect of duty not to remind
the country that it was by the prompt-
itude with which the Bank had come
forward that the country was saved from
F


1FEIi. 2, 1826.






67] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
the consequences which the Exchequer
bills of the right hon. gentleman had
prepared for it. He hoped the ex-
perience would not be lost upon the
right hon. gentleman ; for if by another
glut of Exchequer bills commercial
distress should again return, the same
relief could not be calculated upon from
the Bank; since, with the exchanges
against us, they would be obliged rather
to contract than enlarge their circulation,
and the effect would be, to enhance instead
of alleviating the difficulty. The dividends
then could not be paid, and there would
be no alternative but to make the Bank of
England commit itself by an over-issue
of paper; which would reduce its credit
to the level of the country bankers ; who,
though they might have assets for the
discharge of all their claims, were still
reduced to the greatest distress, from
an impossibility of raising money in
London. He could appeal to an hon.
director over the way for a corrobo-
ration of all that he was saying; if that
hon. member felt himself at liberty to
speak out.
Mr. Pearse, as one of the directors of
that establishment, rose to defend the con-
duct which the Bank had pursued during
the late crisis, and to deprecate the tone
of triumph in which the light hon. gentle-
man had described the result of his late
negotiations with that body. The advances
which the Bank had made upon stock, and
also those which it had made upon mort-
gages, had been made with a view of al.
leviating the embarrassments of the com-
mercial and the agricultural interests, and
not with any view of beating down the
rate of interest of money. The Bank had
acted with the utmost prudence and con-
sideration in the whole of the late tremen-
dous convulsion ; and he thought that the
House would agree with him, that the
public had never been brought into any
scrape by its proceedings, or when it had
got into a scrape by other means, had ever
been unassisted by the Bank with the
means of getting out of it. He had been
connected with the Bank for the last forty
years-a period as eventful as any in the
annals of the world, and he would solemnly
say, with all that experience before him,
that he never saw the directors influenced
by unworthy motives. In all questions
that came before them, they considered
the interest of the country as that which
was paramount to all others, being well
aware, that when that interest was secured,


Address on the King's Speech [68
their own profits would follow as a matter
of course.
Mr. Secretary Canning said, that al-
though he had not expected that any dif-
ference of opinion would havebeen excited
by thespeech ofhisriglithon. friend, still,as
somestrange misconception had arisenupon
several of the topics contained in it, he was
anxious to state to the House the manner
in which he had himself understood them.
The House had been addressed by two
hon. members from different sides of the
House, who had both evidently miscon-
ceived the meaning of his right lion. friend.
The misconception of one of the hon. gen-
tlemen was perhaps natural, and at any
rate might be accounted for; but, how the
misconception of the other had arisen, it
was impossible for him to imagine. The
lion. gentleman opposite seemed to appre-
hend that his right hon. friend had a plan
for erecting joint-stock banking companies
or corporations, which would swallow up
all the existing establishments. Now, the
plan of his right hon. friend went no fur-
ther than to take off, with the consent of
the Bank of England, a few years sooner
than it would otherwise expire, a prohibi-
tion, ofwhich the effect, by the concurrent
opinion of all who had spoken upon
the subject, was to make weakness, instead
ofstrenglh, an inherent quality in the sys-
tem of country banking. It required not
the agency of his right hon. friend, that
the evil which the hon. gentleman appre-
hended should take place in the year
1833; that there should then be no longer
any privilege in the Bank of England to
prevent more than six persons from be-
coming partners in the same banking con-
cern; that that privilege should then
cease with the existence of the Bank
charter; and that such corporations and
joint-stock companies as the hon. gentle-
man appeared so much to dread, should
then rise up in all parts of the country.
But, under what circumstances, he would
ask the hon. gentleman, would that evil
occur, supposing the present law to remain
unaltered ? On the one hand, the privilege
of the Bank of England, which prevented
the spreading of a wider basis for the
transactions of country banks, would con-
tinue to exist till the year 1833; and, on
the their there was by law in the country
banks an unlimited power to issue small
notes up to precisely the same period.
Now, if the undoing of the privilege of the
Bank of England was so fraught with mis-
chief as the lion. gentleman seemed to







69] ai the Opening of the SessionI.FEB. 2, 1826. 70
think, how would that mischief be aggra- selves. Now, if the establishment of either
vated, if it were to operate upon an un- were likely to be ruinous to the existing
limited and unrestricted issue of country establishments, which he denied, that ruin
bank-notes? His right hon. friend had two was equally inevitable, whichever side of
objects in view in the measure which he the alternative was taken, whether the
proposed. The first was, to accelerate the Bank of England was the agent for such
period in which the prohibition was to be branch establishments, or whether advan-
removed, which, as he had before said, tage was taken of the Bank of England
entailed weakness upon the country banks; withdrawing its privileges for the purpose
and the second was, by limiting the issues of allowing others to establish banks,
of those banks, to make the new power taking and absorbing the old banks, or
given to them operate with less suddenness coming into collision with them, if so it
upon theexisting establishments. Whether turned out; which he for one considered
the consequence of withdrawing the pri- very unlikely. The country was in this
vilege of the Bank of England would be situation, that one of these measures it
that new banks would be created all over must embrace-either it must permit the
the country, or that the ancient and long Bank of England to exercise its privilege
established ones would widen their foun- of establishing branch banks all over the
dations by coalescing with new partners, country-which would be equally fatal, if
he could not pretend to decide positively the competition of confidence and capital
at present. The hon. gentleman seemed can be fatal, to the old establishments, with
to assume that the latter consequence the creation of new banking corporations,
would take place, but, as appeared to him, -or, it must adopt the plan of his right
without sufficient reason. He could see hon. friend for taking advantage of the
no reason why, when the power of widen- Bank of England's surrender of its privi-
ing the basis of country banks was given, lege to establish new banks, on a wider
it should not operate to add a seventh, or basis, not so formidable as rivals as the
an eighth, or even a tenth partner to the Bank of England, nor possessing that
existing establishments, rather than to quality of repulsion to existing establish-
create new establishments all over the ments which it did-or, thirdly, the
country, to rival and extinguish the old country must remain in its present situa-
ones. Surely, every establishment would tion, with a clear view of all the mischief
have the power, either by an accession of resulting from its present insecure and
strength, or a consolidation of interests, insufficient system of banking. Between
to guard against the evil which the hon. these three alternatives, if he might be
gentleman appeared to apprehend. With permitted to use such a solecism, the
respect to the idea of his right hon. friend House and the country had now to choose.
pressing his measure unawares upon the As to the last of them, he believed that
country, he must say that nothing had there would be no difference of opinion.
fallen from him which indicated any such The House seemed inclined to agree, that
intention ; and, if his right hon. friend had it was not that measure to which it would
not dwelt more at large upon the details resort. As to the other two, it was clear
of his measure, it was, that it had been so that the latter-he meant that of incorpo-
often before parliament, or at least so long rating more than six partners into each
before the public, that it was only neces- establishment-would, even on the prin-
sary to refer to it, to bring it to the minds of ciple avowed by the hon. gentleman him-
gentlemen who were at all acquainted with self, be more effectual for the purpose
the subject.-There was another point which it was intended to answer, would be
which the hon. gentleman appeared to established with the least shock, and would
have overlooked in his view of the ques- be best calculated to save the interest of
tion. If it were an evil, it was one that existing establishments. It was impossible
the Bank could create at present on any to discuss this subject without feeling it to
day in the week; for it could create branch be due to the Bank of England to say, in
banks in all parts of the country; and if addition to the praises which had been
there was a necessity for a more solid bestowed on it with no niggard hand for its
system of banking, the alternative was, conduct in the administration of its affairs,
either that the Bank of England should that nothing became it more than the grace
establish branch banks throughout the with which it had consented to strip itself
country, or that power should be given to of this part of its privileges. It was idle
other parties to establish banks for them- to say that the privilege was odious-it







was idle to say that it was a monopoly : it to think, that ministers were extremely
might be both odious and a monopoly; culpable for not discouraging the wild
still it was an inherent privilege of the spirit of speculation which had contributed
establishment. By law they had it ; and so much to the present distress, and that
from the possession of it not even the they were wanting in their duty, because,
boasted omnipotence of parliament could when the various schemes of last year
disturb them. It was an unfair view of were discussed, they did not attend in
human nature and of the principle of their places to give a detailed opposition
possession, to treat such a sacrifice with to every one of them. Now, it appeared
levity. Such a rare occurrence as the to him to be a convenient and seemly
voluntary abandonment of a possession, rule, that those whose duty it was, to at-
which was not merely a grace or orna- tend to the public business of the coun-
ment, but was valuable as a source of try, should abstain from taking an active
profit, deserved the highest panegyric. part in the consideration of any measure
The Bank of England might have kept which merely affected individual interests.
it, because they had it-because the law He would say for himself, that he had al-
had given it them-because no man ways endeavoured to act by that rule-
could extort it from them. The Bank that he had never given a vote on any
of England might have kept it in private !business since lie had become a
order to make a bargain with the pub- minister-and that he believed the same
lie for some other consideration. The rule to have been followed by all his col-
Bank of England might have kept it in leagues. It appeared to him, he repeat-
order to prevent the rivalry of the country ed, that such was the safe and seemly
banks, which they might apprehend in rule of conduct; because, if he could re-
those parts of England of which they concile it to his sense of duty to break
had hitherto had the exclusive possession. through it in one instance, he might be
They might have kept it without assign- induced to break through it in more; and
ing any cause for so doing, except their a practice might thus grow up, from
own will ; but they had yielded it up to which many suspicions might arise, unjust
the public for reasons which did them and unfounded, as they would be at. pre-
immortal honour. If they had yielded it sent, but still impossible to be entirely
unwillingly, their conduct was the more avoided. But, he would ask, had there
laudable; if willingly, still credit was their been no warning given to the country
due, because they had studied the public on the part of ministers ? Had there
interest first, and had seen that their own been no occasion, during tl'e fever which
individual profit was ultimately involved existed last year in the public mind, in
in it. They had consented, for reasons which the king's government had de-
with which the House had nothing to do, cared that they would not advance a
to a menaure to which they had formerly farthing to the aid of any difficulties which
refused their consent, unblameably he had might ensue from excessive speculation ?
no doubt. They had now done that He might now, as a matter of history, al-
which they had long been solicited to lude to what had occurred on a former
do; and having done it, his right hon. occasion in another place. One of his
friend meant to draw from it an advan- majesty's ministers,-hle meant his noble
tage-not unkindly, not ungenerously, friend at the head of the Treasury-speak-
notin a spirit of triumph over the Bank, as ing as the organ of that department of the
had been that evening suggested. He state, and also in his capacity as a mem-
could assure the House that no such her of the government, had taken an op-
feelingexisted inthebreast of his right hon. portunity in March last, not many weeks
friend, but that his right lion. friend was after the commencement of the session,
ready, upon all occasions, to render jus- and before one single bill had passed, to
tice to the Bank, for the manner in which hold out to all who were engaged in those
it had conducted this discussion, and also speculations, that they were running
for the conclusion to which it had con- wildly into them; that it was the essence
sented to bring it.-An hon. gentleman of a free government not to interpose any
who had spoken early in the debate, had legislative let or hindrance to the current
made, among a variety of remarks, which of individual enterprise and industry; that
ie did not intend to notice at present, those who entered wildly into extrava-
one which he could not allow to remain gant speculations, did so upon their own
unnoticed. The lon. gentleman seemed risk and responsibility; and that it waa


71] H-OUSE OF COMMONS,


Address on the King's Speech~







73] at the Opening of the Session
the fixed resolution of his majesty's go-
vernment not to extend any pecuniary
assistance to the difficulties which were
likely to arise out of them.* As far as
the voice of government could be heard,
it was heard through the country clearly
and intelligibly, and the more clearly and
the more intelligibly, because the declara-
tion did not grow out of any measure in
which the government took a part, but
was fastened accidentally on a measure
with which it had nothing to do, and was
not therefore made to be treasured up
for such a crisis as had now occurred, but
to prevent its occurrence. Unfortunately,
that warning had been disregarded: the
difficulties which had been anticipated had
subsequently arisen; and it was a little
too hard that the government should now
be taunted for a want of caution, on that
very topic on which it had spoken so very
explicitly. His majesty's ministers were
aware that the present topic was that to
which the minds of men were most in-
tensely directed, and to which the con-
sideration of parliament must naturally
and inevitably be called, immediately af-
ter its assembling. There was no want
of attention to that topic in the Speech
which they had that night heard from the
Throne. If the House measured it by its
proportion to the whole Speech, hon.
members would find that it occupied the
greater part of it, and that it threw every
other topic into the shade. It was felt by
every member of the cabinet, that every
person in the country was anxious to
know how this great subject would be
treated: and they had determined that
the most manly mode of treating it
would be, to treat it as the most urgent
and important subject which parliament
could have under its consideration.-He
trusted it would be thought that he had
now gone far enough in his observations
upon this subject; because, if he went
further, he must be carried into a wide
field of observation, into which he had
neither the inclination nor the power to
enter at that moment. An hon. gentle-
man opposite, who had addressed them on
the third bench, had left untouched no
topic which had been agitated either dur-
ing the last war or the present peace.
[Mr. Home observed, that he had not
mentioned the last war.] If the hon.
member had omitted to rip up the mea-

See the Speech of the Earl of Liver-
pool vol. xii. p. 1194.


i. FEB. 2, 1S26. [74
sures of the last war, he congratulated
him upon it, as he would have the oppor-
tunity of coming back upon it on the first
set speech he might make. But, as the
hon. member would have a future oppor-
tunity, which he had no doubt he would
embrace, of bringing all the subjects
which he had that night mentioned regu-
larly under their notice, he hoped he
would not think him (Mr. Canning) dis-
respectful, if he passed by them at pre-
sent without remark. The hon. member
had told them, that the Speech of last
year was contrary to the truth, and that
the Speech of this year was inconsistent
with fact. What nice metaphysical dis-
tinction there might be between con-
trary to truth," and inconsistent with
fact," he for one could not see. Perhaps
the hon. member, as lord rectorofalearned
Scotch university, was gifted with acuter
perception, and could enlighten the
House upon this distinction without a dif-
ference. There were, however, some
propositions in the speech of the hon.
member, upon which he should venture to
retort the hon. member's own expressions.
Thehon. member said, that there had been
no reduction of taxation since the war.
This assertion he would venture to say
was contrary to the truth," as all the
world, with the exception of the hon.
gentleman, knew that there had been a
reduction of taxes to the amount of
twenty-seven millions. The hon. mem-
ber then proceeded to say, that although
no reduction of taxation had taken place
during the ten years since the war, the
reductions during the last five years had
been fewer than before; that was, in plain
English, that they had been fewer than
none. This assertion, therefore, he would
venture to call "inconsistent with fact"
[a laugh]. He took these assertions as
fair specimens of the other topics in the
hon. member's speech-topics, which he
supposed were only mentioned by the
hon. member, as preludes to future de-
bates, on which, when they should arise,
he would endeavour to set the hon. mem-
ber as right with regard to his arguments,
as he had now set him right with regard
to his facts. One question had been asked
him by an hon. and learned gentleman, to
which he should take the present oppor-
tunity of giving an answer. The hon.
and learned gentleman had asked him,
whether the treaty between this country
and Brazil had not been refused ratifica-
tion? He entirely agreed with the hon.






75] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Address on the King's Speech [76
and learned gentleman as to the charac- the Bank of England had adopted, of
ter of the stipulation to which he had lending money on mortgages, and on the
made reference. Nothing could be more security of stock, was the beginning of
objectionable, or more impossible for his the distress. When they found that, owing
majesty's government to adopt. There to the state of the money market, people
were likewise other stipulations in that could get money at so moderate a rate of
treaty to which he should be equally un- interest, that the Bank could not make
willing to give his assent. The fact was, that profit by their notes to which they
that the treaty had been negotiated with- thought they were entitled, then it was
out any instructions, and even contrary that they placed themselves in competition
to the views which the English govern- with the other bankers who were lending
ment entertained upon such subjects. money at a smaller discount. He did
Yet though it had been negotiated with- not wish to detract from the merit which
out instructions, if it had been unexcep- was fairly due to the Bank, but he felt it
tionable, it would have been ratified by his duty to animadvert thus freely upon
this government; but objectionable as it what he took to be a principal cause of
now was, he had no hesitation in saying the existing distress.
that it never had, and never would be ra- The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
tified. He had only another observation that the hon. gentleman was mistaken if
to make before he concluded, and that he imagined that he had recommended an
was, that under the pressure now existing issue of one pound notes as a remedy for
in the country, he could not think it ad- the present distress. It would have been
visable that the state of the Corn laws preposterous for him to do so; because
should be brought under consideration he had already stated his belief, that the
during the present session. issue of one pound country bank notes
Mr. Calcraft contended, that the dis- had contributed to the existing evils; and
tress under which the commercial world this observation applied with equal force
was now labouring had not been entirely to the Bank of England.
occasioned by excessive speculation and Mr. Greifell said, he felt it due to the
over-trading. The government and the Bank of England to say, that when the
Bank, by contriving to beat down the rate distress was at its height, the directors
of interest, had done far more mischief had come forward in the most liberal
than the present system of country banks. manner, and thrown themselves into the
Why had nothing been said against the breach, to avert, as far as they could, the
London banks ? It was their stopping danger which threatened the country.
which had stopped the country banks, Mr. Baring said, that the chancellor
and the evil ought to be attributed to of the Exchequer, in omitting to state at
the right cause. He defended the coun- what time he intended to carry his measure
try banks. From the great competition into effect, had prevented the House from
among them, it was mere matter of option judging of its expediency. It would make
whether a man took their notes or not. a great difference whether it was to take
If he did not like them, he might take effect within two years or within six
them to their banking-house and compel months from this time. It could not be
them to pay him in specie. What objec- denied that the present state of the coun-
tion was there to this part of the system ? try was ominous. He had no hesitation
Of the whole number of country banks, in attributing that distress to the extent
not one-tenth had stopped ; and of those to which the circulation of paper money
which had been compelled to suspend had been pushed about eighteen months
payment, many had paid, or would be ago, and for which the country banks,
enabled to pay all demands upon them. and, he was sorry to say, the Bank of
He would be the last man to allude un- England were answerable. He did not
necessarily to distresses which all must mean now to discuss at any length that
deplore; but when so much had been said responsibility; but as this was, in his
respecting the failures of the banks, he opinion, the only part of the conduct of
might be permitted to remind the House the Bank that was liable to animadversion,
that there had been other failures with he thought it would be neither just nor
which the countrybankshad noconnexion, prudent to withhold this observation. The
and which had been the occasion of in- Bank of England, by the facilities which
finitely greater distress, than all the coun- they afforded, had been the authors of
try banks put together. The system which that dangerous redundancy of money, that







at the Opening of the Session.


gave rise to the wild speculations which
some time ago abounded in every part of
the country. The country banks had
added to this redundancy in a much more
mischievous manner. The Bank of Eng-
land exercised a discretion as to the quan-
tity of paper-money which it put out;
but the very business of a country bank
was to put out all the paper it could, and
this, as every gentleman acquainted with
country banks well knew, was their con-
stant practice. On market-days they
employed persons to go out, and not only
to put out as much paper of their own as
they could, but to withdraw from circula-
tion all the paper of the Bank of England,
and substitute for it their own. By these
means the country was saturated with
paper-money, and that redundancy pro-
duced, which had been the parent of the
existing distress. And all this had been
done without the least reference to the
effect which it must naturally have upon
the rate of exchanges, which, as persons
acquainted with the nature of such things
well knew, should be the regulation for
the issues of paper-money. It would ill-
become him to reflect with severity upon
persons who had made adventurous specu-
lations in commerce, because, if they were
sins, he should perhaps have as much to
answer for as any body ; but, little as he
was disposed to look too strictly at such
hazardous undertakings, he must say, that
neither in this, nor in any other country,
had enterprises so rash and ridiculous
entered the minds of men, as many of
those which had been produced in London
during the last year. It seemed as if all
Bedlam had broken loose on the Royal
Exchange. The same frantic spirit over-
ran the country, and, like an epidemic
disease, extended itself every where. IHe
did not mean to say that this was not far
beyond any such cause as the redundancy
of money he had alluded to ; but it was,
nevertheless, true, that this fictitious sur-
plus was the fuel by which the fire was
fed. The greatest exertions were made
by every body to get rid of their capital.
The bankers in London, their agents in
the country, and the customers of both,
were actuated by the same universal de-
sire to put out their money in whatever
way they could. Then, all on a sudden,
the very reverse of this system came into
practice. A panic seized the public.
Men would not part with their money on
any terms, nor for any security, and the
consequence was general distress. The


extent to which that distress had reached
was melancholy to the last degree. Per-
sons of undoubted wealth and real capital
were seen walking about the streets of
London, not knowing whether they should
be able to meet their engagements for the
next day. It was impossible that any
thing could be more liberal or sensible
than the conduct of the Bank of England
at this juncture; but the causes lay too
deep to be removed by any thing that the
Bank of England could do. Their assist-
ance might, and did in a great measure,
relieve the distress; but they could not
cure it. The over-issue by the country
banks was the main cause by which the
distress had been so widely spread ; and,
as every body in the country was deeply
concerned in the subject, he thought that
the more this cause was investigated and
explained, the more it would be likely to
be remedied. If this crisis were allowed
to pass without speaking the truth, it
would be only laying the foundation for
future evils. This feeling it was, that in-
duced him to say what he had said respect-
ing the Bank of England; and, while he
bore testimony to the promptitude with
which they did all in their power to alle-
viate the distress, he would censure them
for the share which their conduct had had
in producing it.-With respect to the re-
medy which was to be now applied, there
must be in the first place great caution in
the manner of its application. If his ma-
jesty's ministers should announce that they
meant to draw in the powers of country
bankers, every man who had capital in-
vested in those banks would prepare for
it by drawing out his capital, because he
would not know how long he should be
permitted to keep it on the same terms
as at present. This made it also necessary
that some further explanation should be
given respecting the proposed measure.
He did not mean to press for that expla-
nation now ; but he hoped that it would
be afforded at some early opportunity.
He had always considered the one-pound
country bank notes as a great nuisance,
and the cause of frequent distress. He
thought that before the right hon. gentle-
man proceeded with the measure which
he contemplated, he should be furnished
with the exact amount to which the
issues of these one-pound notes had ar-
rived. This information would afford the
greatest facility to parliament in dealing
with so important a subject; and he would
suggest, that a short bill should be passed


FEB. 2, 1826.






79] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
calling upon bankers to make returns of
the amount of all notes issued within the
last three years. The reduction of these
notes, necessary as it was, could not begin,
until the present state of excitement had
passed over. It would rather be wise in
the parliament to afford to the country
bankers every facility, as far as was pru-
dent, in conducting their affairs. As a
skilful surgeon, who was desirous of re-
placing a dislocated limb, would not apply
his screws, however necessary that opera-
tion might be for the recovery of his
patient, until the fever had passed, so in
the present state of things, however de-
sirable it might be that the system of is-
suing one-pound notes by the country
bankers should be restrained, this was not
the time in which this operation could be
safely performed. The amount of those
issues might be taken more or less cor-
rectly, at eighteen millions. These, itwould
be remembered, must be replaced by gold.
It would not do to go to the Bank of Eng-
land for notes to replace this sum; gold,
and nothing but gold, could be substituted
for it. He had heard frequent allusions
made to the charter of the Bank of Eng-
land, and to the terms on which it should
be renewed, when the time should arrive
for its renewal. He was of opinion that
it was for the real benefit of the country
that the highest legislative distinction
should be given to the Bank, and that its
dignity should at all events be kept up,
investing it at the same time with only
such power as might be thought safe;
because it was evident, that it would be
impossible, in the event of a war, to go
on two campaigns without the assistance
of the Bank ; and, to make this assistance
available, the means of the Bank must
be considerably enlarged. The govern-
ment could at no time take credit to itself
for not having suspended the Bank pay-
ments, because this was to assume that
it was at the option of government to do
so. They could never either hasten or
avoid that event. They might throw a
cloak over it when it was about to fall,
but they could do no more. The coun-
try must have some circulating medium.
Nothing would induce the government to
consent to paper being made that me-
dium, 'but the failure of all the others;
and this failure would be an inevitable act
of bankruptcy. Whoever might be the
chancellor of the Exchequer when that
event should happen, must come down
to the House with a long face, and, as


Address on the King's Speech [80
the late Mr. Pitt did, say lie was very
sorry that the Bank had gone, but that
the government and the currency of the
country could not stand still. He hoped
that we should long continue to live in
peace; but he was not the less convinced
that it would be impossible to get through
two campaigns in a time of war, without
this being the result-unless the Bank
system should be built upon a much
broader basis. Upon this subject he
wished to draw the attention of the House
to the marked difference between the in-
dividuals with whom that institution had
to deal at the time of its commencement,
and those who at present stood in the
same relation to it. At the period he
alluded to, the Bank stood like a sove-
reign surrounded by little dependencies;
now, some of the persons who had deal-
ings with it possessed of themselves capi-
tals to an amount which then had never
been heard of as being possessed by one
man. Another alteration which he be-
lieved must of necessity be adopted, was
to make the circulating medium here, as
in other countries, silver as well as gold.
Without this, the Bank even might be
put in danger. There was a great quan-
tity of silver sent to England from the
Spanish colonies. This must now be
sent over to France or Holland for the
purpose of buying gold, which was then
only an article of merchandize, subject
to the same accidents as all other mer-
chandize, sometimes to be obtained, and
sometimes not, and which it was always
in the power of speculators, if it should
suit their purpose to prevent coming to
this country at all. He did think, that,
as to power, the Bank of England was a
mere pigmy to what it was a few years
ago; and that something, therefore, ought
to be done to renew and increase it. Un-
less, indeed, in this respect, and in regard
to an improved standard, something of
the kind he had mentioned were speedily
adopted, they might all go to sleep, under
the flattering impression that they had
established something like a permanent
currency; but some morning they would
infallibly awake, and find that that season
of alarming difficulty to which he had
been adverting had at length really ar-
rived.-He would say one word with
respect to the proposition for establishing
larger banks. Undoubtedly, the surrender
of that part of the Bank charter, which
was the present obstacle to their esta-
blishment, was very desirable, and would






at the Opening of the Session.


be a sacrifice which it would be the more
creditable in the Bank to make, because
men were never observed to part with
power which they had long possessed,
very willingly. But he confessed that he
could not anticipate all the beneficial re-
sults which some hen. gentlemen seemed
to expect from extending these banking
partnerships. He, for one, did not ima-
gine that country gentlemen would be
fools enough to part with their money, in
order that they might become the sleep-
ing partners in such concerns. He trusted
they would not be tempted to do any
thing so ridiculous. He had seen too
many instances of gentlemen who did not
at all understand business, engaging in it
to their own prejudice, not to warn coun-
try gentlemen to beware how they allowed
themselves to be persuaded to become
country bankers. He had heard of the
extraordinary faculty of some creatures
sleeping with their eyes open. Such a
quality should that man possess who be-
came a dormant proprietor in any con-
cern of importance. He should be a
sleeping partner with his eyes open, to
watch and scan the motions of those who
were about him. It' it was desirable to
form banks in the great commercial towns,
such as lManchester, B3ritol, and York,
which should be perfectly in po--essiun
of public confidence, it should be done
either by the means of branch banks from
the Bank of England-a plan which, how-
ever, from its interfering with the present
provincial interests-might not prove
very palatable-or they should, by an act
of incorporation, allow a number of gen-
tlemen to embark certain portions of their
capital, say 10,0001. in a joint banking
company. That sum, from ten men,
would be 100,000/.; an amount, in his
opinion, quite adequate to support the
respectability of the ordinary run of such
concerns. There were very few men of
capital who would not, he apprehended,
be induced, by the ordinary gains of such
establishments, to become one of a com-
pany of such a kind as he had described ;
but no prudent man would or ought, after
what had taken place in the last few
months, risk his whole property by be-
coming a sleeping or acting partner in
the ordinary mode. He was not prepared
to say, that a rule, exempting the property
of the individuals composing a company,
from all liability beyond their subscribed
capital, would be proper for the ordinary
purposes of trade; but for banks, it was
VOL. XIV.


his fixed opinion, that, under all the cir-
cumstances, it would be found both to
confer adequate respectability, and insure
sufficient confidence. The object, how-
ever, which induced him to rise, was to
warn ministers of the danger of tampering
with that description of our public secu-
rities, and to implore them, in their con-
sideration of the time for the adoption of
their proposition, to reflect that security
should be bestowed as soon as possible.
One word as to the Silk trade. The right
hen. gentleman had that night declared,
that it was the firm determination of his
majesty's ministers to adhere to the prin-
ciples which had regulated their conduct
with regard to that trade. That declara-
tion had been received with considerable
cheering; and he was not one of those
who felt any disposition to find fault with
the candour and firmness of that declara-
tion, because lie thought, that if such was
the determination of government, the
sooner it was known the better. The
alterations which it had been deemed ex-
pedient by government to adopt in the
trade, had undoubtedly produced a great
deal of immediate misery. Those altera-
tions he had given a decided opposition
to on former occasions; and lie was ready
to acknowledge, not on!y that such oppo-
sition wai overruled by a large majority
of that House, but that lie had found
scarcely an individual to support him,
He still remained firmly of opinion that
France would beat us in this trade. Po-
litical economists said, Very well; so
much the better; if it be a trade that re-
quires such large protections and indul-
gencies, the sooner it is got rid of, the
better for the country." With gentle-
men who reasoned in that way, he would
not argue; for he could not look with
indifference on the extinction of a long
established manufacture, or on the inevit-
able misery of the many thousands which
such a result would occasion. In alluding
to that part of his Majesty's Speech which
related to foreign affairs, he could not
avoid expressing his unqualified admiration
of the way in which the whole of the bu-
siness of that department had been con-
ducted; or abstain from giving utterance
to his conviction, that however slow the
right hon. Secretary might have been sup-
posed in obeying the unanimous feeling
of the country, with regard to the South
American states of Portugal and Spain,
still that the very slowness complained of
had been the means of arriving at the
G


FEB. 2L, 1826. [82






83] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
surest possible conclusion. In the pre-
sent artificial state of our circumstances,
and when the right hon. gentleman (Mr.
Huskisson) had been defeated in his views
of reciprocal treaties with France and the
continent, nothing could be more im-
portant to England, than the cultivation
of our connections with the states of the
New World ; and noticing could be more
conductive to that end, or more likely to
give those relations permanence, than the
firm, honourable, and candid declarations
of the right hon. Secretary for Foreign
Affairs. What he wished particularly to
call to the attention of the House was, the
treaty concluded between the Brazils and
Portugai, under the mediation of this
county; that treaty he took to be ob-
jectionable, in so far as that it was con-
cluded betwenri two contracting parties,
separate at present, but likely at some
period to become one; for, although there
was an emperor in Brazil, and a king in
Portugal, still there was no provision
against the son succeeding his father upon
the throne of Portugal. It appeared to
him, therefore, that we had mixed our-
selves up with an uncertain contingency,
with a something which might, after all,
be rendered nugatory by the amalgama-
tion of the two contracting powers.
Mr. luskisson said, that although he
had listened to the observations of the
hon. member for Taunton with all the
attention so justly due to his profound
commercial knowledge, and extensive ex-
perience, yet, as so many opportunities
would occur for a better examination of
the various topics touched upon in the
course of his address on this occasion, he
would not go further than to reiterate the
determination expressed by his right lion.
friend, of not going into any details, until
the House should be more fully in posses-
sion of the nature of the measures which
it had been resolved at the present crisis
to adopt. This much lie might, however,
say, that his right lon. friend would, at
the earliest possible moment, submit his
proposition for their consideration. The
House would, he trusted, when any delay
was complained of, recollect that it was
only on the coming morning, when any
plan of the House; adopted by the Bank
directors, at the suggestion of his ma-
jesty's ministers, could be by them sub-
mitted to the approbation of the pro-
prietors, whose trustees they were, and
without whose sanction no measures could
be resolved upon between government


Address on the King's Speech [8LS
and the Bank. It was impossible, there-
fore, to lay any proposals before the
House, until the directors had obtained
that favourable decision from the pro-
prietors, which was anticipated by them
and the government. His right ion.
friend had, however, stated very clearly
that measures would be adopted, which,
he trusted, would have the effect of pre-
venting a recurrence of those disasters
which had recently convulsed the com-
mercial world. He agreed with his hon.
friend, that no change of the currency
was politic or safe that was not gradual;
and that at a time when, if they hastily
withdrew a large portion of the paper
currency, they had not the means of sup-
plying a substitute, such a principle was
of still more consequence. It was not,
therefore, the intention of his right lion.
friend to propose the withdrawing of
eighteen millions of paper from circula-
tion, but only that portion of it which
consisted of one and two pound notes,
amounting to perhaps six or seven mil-
lions: but even with that amount it was
his right hon. friend's intention to deal
with caution and care; indeed, he pro-
posed to allow those notes to wear them-
selves out, guarding, however, against the
possibility of any fresh issues ; a plan by
which they would gradually disappear
from circulation, without any sudden in-
convenient limitation of the currency of
the provincial towns. As to the period
at which the change of the constitution of
the country banks was to take place, by
permission of the Bank of England, he
did not see any great difficulty likely to
arise from its happening in a short time.
He, for one, did not understand that it
was the intention of the Bank of England
to establish great banking companies in
districts of the country, but to allow any
persons disposed to form a company of
more than six partners to carry on the
business of bankers within a certain dis-
tance of the metropolis. He could see
no well-founded alarm, in the project of
allowing any of the establishments which
had held firm during the late pressure, to
add an additional number of partners to
the existing firm. In order, however, to
give time to those most interested to look
about them, it was thought desirable to
specify a period, after the passing of the
act, for the commencement of the new
establishments. Six months, he thought
would be sufficient to enable bankers to
wind up their concerns in any old estab-








lishment, and to make their arrangements three, five, and eight millions. The
for going into a new one. With regard amount varied materially, as the public
to the services which had been rendered confidence was stronger or weaker in the
to the public by the Bank of England, Bank of England. When this confidence
there could only be one opinion. They was diminished, then there was an in-
had been important, liberal and season- creased circulation of country notes. As
able; and, what was more, he firmly be- this confidence returned, the country
lived that, in saving others, the Bank had i notes gradually disappeared, and those of
actually saved itself. One word more, the Bank of England took their place.
upon a subject which had been described The great fault committed by the Bank
as a very alarming and astonishing cir- of England was in taking upon itself the
cumstance: he meant the silk company. dead weight, and lending upon mortgages.
The truth was, that some time last year, If, instead of extending it had contracted
a few persons, who thought that the cul- its issues, the country would not be in its
tivation of the mulberry tree and the pro- present state. The right hon. gentleman
pagation of the silk-worm might be suc- had said, that six months would afford
cessfully attempted in Ir,'land and the sufficient time for the bankers to wind up
colonies, appliedto government for its ap- their affairs. He was of opinion that the
probation of their plan. He (Mr. H.) right hon. gentleman could not have meant
had accordingly recommended a charter this. luch hadbeensaidaboutthe greater
to be given to them; and after it had solidity of a banking establishment from
been granted, he was requested to become the number of partners. For himself, he
honorary president. It was at the same thought that that bank was the safest
time asked both of him and of the noale which had the fewest partners. Every
earl at the head of the Treasury, what man knew the state of his own affairs, but
number of shares they should be willing to lie could not be equally conversant with
have at their disposal; a question to which those of another person. With regard to
both the noble lord and himsell had replied, the one-pound notes, it was possible that
that what they had done was solely on it might answer the purpose of a few
the ground of public good, and that they bankers to put as many of them out as
neither expected nor wished to derive any they could, and send them to markets and
private advantage from connecting them- country towns, but this could only serve
selves with the experiment. a temporary purpose. Every country
Sir M. V. Ridley suggested, that in banker who continued a forced circulation,
order to carry into effect the intentions would soon find himself in an iunlpleaant
of government, a short bill should be situation, if not in the list of bankrupts.
passed to prevent new issues, as the one It might appear wise in theory to contract
pound notes were not to be withdrawn till the circulation of the one-pound notes,
they were worn out. Many insinuations, butifitwerenotcarried intoexecution with
he said, had been thrown out against the the greatest caution, the business of the
country bankers, which were as unfound- country could not go on. It was a mis-
ed as they were unnecessary. That the take to suppose that country bankers
country bankers had been the means of issued their notes solely with a view to
producing the commercial distress, lie en- profit. They issued them more with a
tirely denied. They had no power of view to the convenience of others.
over-issue; they were unable to raise a Mr. Hudson Gurney said, he did not
fictitious credit: they could not keep in rise to object to any of the plans indicated
circulation a single note longer than it by the chancellor of the Exchequer; but,
was absolutely necessary. The Bank of he could not let the debate close, without
England, when not required to pay in remarking, that the right hon. gentleman,
gold, could issue as many notes as they and all those who had followed him, ut-
pleased; but the country bankers, who terly blinked the main question, which
had always been obliged to pay in gold was entirely a question of prices. Mr.
or Bank of England notes, were neces- Gurney said, he had always disliked the
sarily restrained from any over issue. bankers' circulation, and particularly de-
The right hon. gentleman had made a tested their one pound notes. He had
calculation, as to the number of country always been convinced, that it was their
notes in circulation. The best authority circulation, that was, their bidding against
on that point was the Stamp office. He each other in credits, which had reduced
had estimated them at different periods at the banking business to the minimum of


at the Open~ling qf the rSession.


F.CB. 2, 1826. [S61






87] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Address on the King's Speech. [88
profit on the operations performed: and, mean to proceed with the subject this
if the right hon. gentleman could place session. While the principles of free
the circulation of the country on a better trade were acted upon with regard to
footing, there was no class which would those articles which administered to the
be so greatly benefitted as the bank- comfort and luxury of the rich, was it
ers themselves. But how the proposed dealing fairly with the poor man to with-
changes could be carried into effect, and hold the same benefit from him, and to
golden sovereigns at S3. 17s. 10d. an uphold the price of the chief article of his
ounce could be substituted for the present subsistence ? This could not continue
paper issues, was to him totally incom- without bringing misery and desolation
prehensible. The very endeavour to do it among thousands and hundreds of thou-
(for it never had been effected) occa- sands. There was an amount of distress
sioned all the pressure of 1821-2 ; and, among the people, of which ministers were
under the existing mass of public and by no means aware. In a multitude of
private engagement, if that substitution pursuits the best workman in full employ-
could be accomplished, it would occasion ment could not earn more than six, seven,
a greater and more general ruin, than had or eight shillings a week. How was he
ever been witnessed in this or perhaps to support and clothe himself and family
any other country. out of this wretched pittance? Foreign
Mr. Deinan said, he did not mean to manufactures were now allowed to com-
quiestion the conduct of the Bank of Eng- pete with us in our markets at home,
land, nor the justice of the high eulogium while we were shut out from the possi-
passed upon it. The directors had a duty ability of entering into competition with
to perform towards the proprietors; but as them abroad, by the high price which the
far as the public were concerned, he did landlords exacted from the poor man for
not conceive that they, more than any his bread. Upon this subject they would
private bankers, were bound to consult the assuredly hear much more in the course
publicinterest. Theinterestsofthe propri- of the session. Delay would not lessen
actors alone they were bound to promote, the urgency of its demands on the con-
when they did not interfere with th rights sideration of the House; for attention
ofothers. The hon. member, as the organ would, by and by, be forced to it by the
of that powerful establishment, in giving cries of perishing thousands. lie did not
the reasun why it wished for a change in quarrel with the principle of a free trade;
its charter, had thought fit to eulogise it, lie only objected to its partial application.
and said that every thing was right and He did not blame ministers for repealing
proper. lie had lauded their judgment, prohibitory laws; but, he contended that
liberality, and promptitude. This reminded whliile a free trade was allowed in minor
him of the epigram of Prior-- articles, it should be extended to the
To John I ow'd great obligation, most important article of life, bread.
But John unluckily thought fit There was another important part of the
To publish it to all the nation, Speech which related to the circulating
So John and I are more than quit." medium, and from which much of' tie
The balance had been tfirly struck ; present distress was stated to have arisen.
whatever good had been done by the In this lie could not agree. He saw no
Bank had been more than acknowledged. difference between the issuing of one and
He did not agree with the right lion. gen- two pound notes, and ten pound notes, so
tieman opposite, that parliament could long as there was no compulsion to take
not interfere with the Bank. Nothing them. The amount of the note made no
could be more simple than to limit their difference, unless that, when the misfor-
issues; nothing more easy. ie admitted, tune came, it fell upon those who were
that nothing could be more clear and least able to bear it. From the view
satisfactory than the explanation of his taken of it by some hon. members, the
measures by the right hon. gentleman; cause of the present distress appeared to
but he should not do his duty to his con- be a subject of mystery, and the Speech
stituents, if he did not express his disap- from the throne did not account for the
pointment, that not a word had been said existence of the evil, nor did it point out
on the Corn laws. On this important a remedy. After telling them, that the
subject not a word had been said by the country had been visited with a panic, it
kig's ministers except that one right hon. stated that there was nothing to account
gfintleman had said, that they did not for it. There was no war, no great de-






89] Mr. Brogden. FEB. 3, 1826. [90
mands on the resources of the country. more industrious people in the empire.
No sudden desolation had swept its ravages His majesty out of his generous feeling,
over the land. These very circumstances, had given them large relief; but, large
this apparent want of all cause for this as it was, it did not amount to the re-
distress, was, to him, most alarming. It ceipts of one week in a time of employ-
was not, however, so difficult to account men. It was impossible that they could
for it. That detestable measure, which compete with the foreign manufacturer,
released the Bank from the necessity of while two-thirds of the value of the article
keeping its engagements, was the root of consisted in labour. Repeal the Corn
the evil. With those who, in 1819, at- laws, give the country a free trade in that
tempted to apply a remedy for its removal, article, and put the labourer on an equal
by a repeal of the Bank Restriction act, footing of taxation with other countries,
and a return to cash payments, he had and they would be able to meet all foreign
agreed; but its utility had been destroyed, competition.
by adding at the same moment three The Address was then agreed to.
millions to the burdens of the people. If,
when that act was repealed, a reduction in- HOUSE OF COM MON S.
stead of an increase of taxes had taken
place, the remedy would have been effect- Friday, February 3.
ual, and the country would not now have Mr. BROGDEN.] The Chancellor of
been overwhelmed with distress. The the Exchequer moved the usual Sessional
only remedy for the present evil was, the orders. On the resolution appointing him
most rigid economy. He could not help chairman of the committee of Ways and
sighing after every guinea which, wan- Means,
toning, like the man in the fable, over Mr. Brogden observed, that he had for
their dreams of false prosperity, they had a considerable period discharged the
lavished upon every extravagant proposi- duties of the office to which he had now
tion submitted to them. He sighed after been re-appointed, he trusted,with zeal and
the grant to the duke of Cumberland, the diligence. Circumstances had occurred
increase of the judges' salaries, for which since the last session which made him de-
there was no necessity, the two millions sirous of occupying the attention of the
giventobuild new churches, of which there House for a few minutes, in order that he
was no want, and that at a time when might exculpate himself from the gross
taxation was weighing down the energies imputations which had been cast upon
of the country. Permanent relief was to him in the newspapers. Under those as-
be obtained only by a reduction of taxes. persons on his character he had suffered
Ministers must not be satisfied with re- greatly. It would be impossible to de-
ducing by little and little: they must re- scribe how severely his feelings had been
move the evil by a large and substantial wounded. It had been said, that no per-
reduction. The people said, and natu- son suffered unjustly, at least without
rally, "if you, by imposing a large some ground; but he was an example to
amount of taxes, raise the price of bread, the contrary. In the matter he referred
we must go to the parish, and then you to (the Arigna Mine concern) he had the
must support us." Government should satisfaction to say, that 150 gentlemen
recollect, that the security of property had met at the city of London Tavern,
depended upon lowering the price of this who had completely absolved him and
necessary of life. When paupers increas- another member of the House from any
ed, and parishes were largely burdened, improper conduct in regard to the com-
the less secure did property become. He pany, and had requested him to continue
repeated, that the matter would not be a director. The hon. member added, that
allowed to sleep. Humble but earnest he would not descend to minute details in
petitions would be presented to them, order to rebut the allegations in the news-
entreating them, that while laws are made papers; a proceeding at law would be in-
to administer to the comforts of the rich, stituted against one libel. He had re-
those should not be allowed to continue ceived a letter which would abundantly
which visited the poor with ruin and beg- show the conviction entertained of his
gary. entire innocence in the affair referred to,
Mr. Alderman Wood said, he had a and which he proposed to read to the
word to offer upon the sufferings of his House. The hon. member, however, on
constituents, than whom there were not a searching, found that he had omitted to







bring it with him; but he stated the sub- posed to be made in the system of our
stance of it, which was, that the sub- currency, as far as it was developed, had
scribers absolved Mr. Brogden and Mr. his approbation ; but he thought that the
Bent from all corrupt participation in the suggestion thrown out last night by the
monies of the company; that the sums hon. member for Taunton, deserved se-
particularly specified, which were indeed rious consideration. The making silver a
placed in their hands, were not improperly standard as well as gold had been held
received by them; and requested that objectionable, upon the ground of the
those gentlemen would continue in the variations to which silver would be sub-
direction. Being thus absolved, he trusted ject; but if there was a probability of
that the confidence of the House would remedying that difficulty, he thought the
not be withdrawn from him. He courted plan merited full discussion. The hon.
inquiry and publicity. There was nothing gentleman sat down by giving notice,
he wished so much as to have his conduct that at an early day he should bring the
fully and completely investigated, and Corn laws before the notice of the House.
were it not beneath the dignity of that Sir Charles IForhes applied himself to
House, he would wish that he might have that part of the Speech which touched
anopportunity of going before committee upon the affairs of India; and reminded
into those details, and producing that evi- the House, that the observations of the
dence, by which he could, beyond the hon, member for Montrose, on the pre-
possibility of question, put to shame his ceding evening, were unanswered. He
accusers, concurred with that lion. member as to
the rise and progress of the war in India,
ADDRESS ON THE KING's SPEECH AT and trusted that what he had said would
THE OPENING OF THE SESSION.] On the have due weight with the House. The
motion for bringing up the report of the state in which we were now placed as to
Address on the King's Speech, India was extremely critical, and he
Mr. Whlitnore took occasion to regret, thought that upon the Burmese war there
that the question of the Corn-laws was not could be but one opinion; namely, Ihat
to be brought forward by ministers in the it ought to be ended as speedily aspossiblc.
present session. He had much confidence The war had now lasted two years. It
in the sincerity and good intentions of had assumed the character of a war of
government; but, looking at that question extermination. We might force our way,
as the one which must form the ground- by the blood and valour of our soldiers,
work of every thing like a system of free to the Burmese capital ; but when we got
trade, he could not help fearing that some there, we should be no nearer a termina-
unfortunate influence was operating to tion of the contest than before. The
postpone its discussion. So satisfied was Speech of last session had told the House,
he, that without a proper settlement of that none of the other native powers of
the corn question, all attempts to keep up India were inimically disposed towards
a scheme of free trade must be ineffectual, us. The Speech delivered from the
as ministers did not mean to bring it for- throne this session did not venture to tell
ward, he should feel it his duty to bring us so much. If, as he contended, the
it on himself. He regretted thus to country had involved itself in an unjust
undertake a task which he had hoped to and dangerous war, the best way to cs-
see performed by abler hands; particularly cape would be by retracing their steps.
as government stood, in a great degree, He regretted that the wishes of the coun-
pledged to the discussion of the subject. try had not been complied with by the
He was glad to hear the gentlemen oppo- recal of lord Amherst, a nobleman who,
site declare, that the present distresses however amiable his private character,
(which he trusted would be transitory) was evidently incompetent to discharge
would make no difference in the views the high duties of governor-general of
which they had acted upon during the India. If we did not adopt different mea-
last session. The stoppage in the silk sures, we must make up our minds to lose
trade arose, in a great degree, from the India.
apprehension of the masters as to the Mr. Curwensaid, that the manufacturers
effects of the new measures ; which ap- were grossly mistaken, if they attributed
prehensions would be entirely removed any part of their distress to the operation
when those measures came into full of the Corn laws. If rightly understood,
operation. The change which was pro- they would be found to be highly beneficial
to the commercial interests of the country.


91] 14OUSE OF COMMONS,


,4ddress on thie King~'s Speech







93] at the Opening of the Sessiot
Mr. Wynn said, lie had not replied to
the hon. member for Aberdeen's observa-
tions on the subject of India on the pre-
ceding evening, because he thought the
whole matter an episode to the general
discussion, and because he knew the hon.
gentleman too well to have any apprehen-
sion that he would be long without speak-
ing upon the subject a second time. The
right lion gentleman then proceeded to
defend both the principle and the conduct
of the Burmese war; and declared, that
the declaration of lord Amherst was fully
borne out by all facts. Could any one
deny, not merely that actual aggression
had been committed against us by the
Burmese, but that disposition to the com-
mission of such aggression had for a long
time been manifested? As for the con-
duct of our troops, and the success of our
arms, who could impeach either ? If an
enemy constantly flying before us, did not
bear testimony to the valour of our troops,
he did not know what the hon. gentleman
would desire. As for any unfriendly dis-
position among the native powers of India
towards us, lie denied its existence. It
was true that our army, or a portion of it,
had suffered severely from sickness. This
did not arise, however, from any pe-
culiarity in the climate, but from those
causes which must always, in a greater
or less degree, attend upon campaigns
in India. By the last accounts, however,
the sickness was diminishing; and by the
next, he had hopes that it would be found
lessened in a still greater degree. He
had not the slightest doubt that the valour
of our soldiers, and the ability of their
leaders, would bring the contest to an
honourableand fortunate conclusion. He
should hear of such a termination with as
much pleasure as any man. But though
it was our policy to avoid war as long as
it could safely be avoided, it was impossi-
ble for us to overlook insults, or to shrink
from entering into a contest, where it was
obstinately presented to us.
Mr. Hutchinson denied that his hon.
friend had insinuated any thing against
our troops in India, he had only lamented,
that those troops were put in a situation
where, instead of coming in contact with
the enemy, they encountered contagion.
Many individuals acquainted with India,
and sensible of the imminent danger of a
war there, were far from being convinced
of the necessity of the present contest.
For himself, he discovered a culpable
omission in the Speech from the throne.


i. FEB. 8, 1826. [91
His way of looking at it was, to consider
it as the declaration of ministers. He
entirely agreed with the chancellor of the
Exchequer, that the king's ministers were
bound to take notice of the public em-
barrassments. They could not blink them.
It was their duty to meet them manfully,
and to set about finding a remedy. Ac-
cordingly, in the first paragraph of the
Speech, the distress was announced, and
a remedy was suggested. He hoped that
confidence would be restored; for the re-
turn of confidence would in itself be a
powerful remedy. There could be no
doubt of the resources of the country.
All that was wanting to bring them into
successful play, was the return of confi-
dence. But, the omission of which he
complained in the Speech from the throne
was, that it contained no reference to the
affairs of Ireland. They were given to
understand, that the exertions of his ma-
jesty were unceasing to unite in lasting
amity and concord all the nations of the
earth. He applauded that disposition:
it was wise, it was humane. But, then,
it would have gladdened him to hear of
exertio:ns to do for Ireland that which
was so anxiously attempted on behalf of
all other nations. He had hoped to have
heard of some attempts to secure peace
and concord for his native country. A
pledge of that nature given at the begin-
ning of a session would have been most
satisfactory to the people of Ireland. It
was very true, that some indications of a
favourable change were perceivable. He
rejoiced to see it. He believed that there
was a general tranquillity at present, as
well as increasing industry ; and, perhaps,
they might indulge a hope of returning
prosperity. But they were without a
proper assurance of the continuance of
that tranquillity. On many points of the
national policy, there was a ruling spirit
seen to prevail in the cabinet: with re-
spect to the state of Ireland, it was not
so. Now, how were the people of Ire-
land to be secured in the enjoyment of
their present tranquillity, unless they saw
a ruling spirit in the cabinet ready at all
times to exert itself for their relief? And
how could they feel this, while on every
page of the Statute-book they could read
the causes of their degradation, while
nothing was attempted to remove their
oppressions ? Could this state of things
continue ? We were at present on good
terms with France. We had no jealousy
of her growing greatness, though she was






95] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
moving forward in a splendid career. She
was a great military power. She was in-
creasing in resources, and was no less con-
siderable now than she had shown herself
under Napoleon. Her trade was pros-
perous, and her revenues so abundant, that
the government was about to reduce nine-
teen millions of taxes. We might not re-
main on terms so pacific as at present,
and those resources might be turned
against us, as they had been by her former
master. Should that period ever arrive,
this country ought to be in a situation
which would render all herpower available.
But that could not be with respect to Ire-
land, unless means were applied to include
her in the general system of amity and
co-operation. Approving of much of the
Speech, he had thought it necessary to
say thus much on behalf of Ireland, as
there seemed to be little wanting to en-
title ministers to the support of all parties.
but the extension of their own principles
to the interests of that country.
Mr. Lockhart said, he did not feel so
much apprehension as had been express-
ed by many hon. members, at the late
agitations in the commercial affairs of the
country, because he considered occasional
paroxysms of that nature as inseparable
from the enlarged and growing bulk of
the trade and resources of this great nation.
He could not agree in attributing any of
the distress which had prevailed to the
Bank of England, though he was not pre-
pared to oppose the measures which were
to be proposed for opening the traffic to
other adventurers. He did not see the
reasons which limited the Bank of Eng-
land to a radius of exactly 65 miles. As
to improving the business of banking by
enlarging the number of persons in the
firm, though the existing law limited them
to six, it was seldom that a country bank-
ing establishment contained so many part-
ners as the law allowed. He really be-
lieved that the average did not exceed
three to a firm of all the establishments
which existed. But suppose an alteration
of the law should enable bankers to en-
large the numbers of the firm, were they
sure that persons of property would come
in, and, by placing all their disposable
funds in a bank, subject themselves to the
hazards of trade, and the probable visita-
tion of the bankrupt laws ? It was clear
to him that they would not. And then,
would that bring the public the security
so much desired ? On the contrary,
would not the chances of insolvency be


Address on the King's Speech [96
increased by the addition of every new
partner to the concern, which must be
answerable for every imprudent member
who might happen to join the firm ? The
law maxim testes ponderentur non nu-
merentur," was equally applicable to
bankers. It was not their wealth, nor
their probity, which could give the proper
security. Had he to choose a person
with whom to confide the management of his
affairs, he would not be guided merely by
the integrity of the individual, but by his
firmness, his acquaintance with the world,
and his accurate knowledge of mankind.
Ask practical men as to the causes of the
late failures, and lie would venture to say,
that they would agree that the greater part
of those cases were attributable, not to
deficient property or want of moral
character in the parties, but to want of
firmness, skill, and general knowledge of
the world. The securities which were
likely to be proposed would bring no re-
lief to those cases. Lands could not be
easily made available to the purposes of
such securities. Another objection to
taking an increase of the number of part-
ners as a ground of security was, that
it was likely to have a contrary effect,
and to gather into a firm a number of
specious and designing individuals, who
would be mistaken for an opulent body of
men, until their schemes should prove by
their failure how undeserving they had
been of public credit. He approved of
much that had been advanced on this
subject by the hon. member for Taunton,
whose knowledge of the subject entitled
his opinions to great respect. His lion.
friend had pointed out the glaring defect
of such supposed securities, and had di-
rected the attention of the House to the
practice in France, where private indi-
viduals might invest small sums in banks,
without rendering themselves liable be-
yond the amount of those small sums. In
this practice, the public had a full and
sufficient security. Many gentlemen would
have no objection to embark portions of
their property thus far, though they would
feel a repugnance to subject themselves
to the possibility of a commission of
bankruptcy.
Sir T. Lethbridge said, he thought it
was rather premature to discuss a measure
before its details were known. His Ma-
jesty's Speech was, in his opinion, calcu-
lated to do great good. It expressed the
determination of ministers to take the
subject into their hands, and to bring it






97] at the Opening (f the Session. FEB. 3, 1826. [98
openly and candidly before parliament. this country, free from all risk to the
Such a promise could not fail to allay the purchaser, any quantity of silk goods.
existing ferment, and restore confidence. The establishment of Joint-stock banks,
I-e differed from the hon. member for such as were recently set on foot in Ire-
Bridgenorth, who had attached blame to land, and had been found so beneficial in
ministers for not taking up the subject of Scotland, would be the most certain mode
the Corn laws, and originating some mea- of fixing the currency; which, under the
sure with respect to them. He thought present system, was in a state of constant
that resolution entitled to the greatest fluctuation, making prices high on one
praise. The question of the Corn laws day, and low on the next. He believed,
was the most intricate, and important of that the absorption of the one and two
any which could be agitated. It was pound notes would lead to great inconve-
clearly improper to bring it forward at a nience. These small notes were, for the
time when the attention of parliament was most part, in the hands of the poorer
to be taken up with an important alter- people, for whom the legislature ought to
ation in the currency of the country, be anxious; but if these small notes were
The question of the currency naturally taken away, how were these people to be
went first, and must be set at rest, before paid ?
they could undertake that of the Corn Mr. Hume was astonished to hear the
laws. He believed the public coincided dootrines which had been broached by
with the view taken by ministers, and that the hon. baronet. If the views of the
there was no anxiety out of doors to see hon. baronet were correct, the currency
the Corn laws altered. He was fortified of the country was always regulated by
in this opinion by frequent intercourse the Corn laws. As well might he have
with the silk-throwsters of the county contended, that the monopoly of the tea
which he represented. He was rejoiced trade enjoyed by the East India company,
to say, that the manufacturers, though or that any other monopoly, had such an
under severe distress, took a more cor- influence on it.
rect view of the Corn laws, and were by Sir T. Lethbridge.-I said that the Corn
no means dissatisfied with the prices of laws were closely allied to the state of
agricultural produce. They were suffer- the currency.
ing distress, however; and it wouldbe his Mr. Hume said, he did not see what
duty, in a few days, to urge their earnest possible connexion existed between them.
application to the House, that they would The hon. baronet had stated, that the
not persevere in enforcing the principles sentiments of the manufacturers were al-
of free trade. In making that appeal, he tered on the subject of the Corn laws, and
should discharge his duty, though lie had that they now viewed them in a favour-
but feeble hopes of making an impression. able point of view. He would not deny,
He always had strong doubts as to the since the hon. baronet had stated the
usefulness of those principles ; but when thing as a fact, that there were some ma-
he heard them advocated from the Trea- nufacturers in Somersetshire who would
sury bench, and lauded by the most en- rather pay Is. for the quarter loaf than
lightened members of the opposition, he 6d.; but, he would take upon him to say,
felt somewhat shaken in his conscientious that the sentiments of these men were
opinion, which was, that the principles of not in unison with those of the great body
a free trade, however beautiful in theory, of manufacturers throughout the king-
were not applicable to the commerce of dom. And in the name of that large
this country. They were told last night, body-in the name of every class of per-
that the new laws relative to the silk trade sons in the country, the land-owners ex-
had not yet been tried, and that therefore cepted-he protested against such a mis-
it was impossible to judge of their effect; representation of their opinions on this
but, from all he could learn, the present question. The general feeling of the
distress was not owing to over-trading, country was opposed to all kinds of mo-
or to the large quantity of goods in hand, nopolies-to the East India monopoly
but to the apprehension of a great influx and the Bank monopoly, as well as to
of silk from France. The dut3 of 30 per that of the landed interest-because it
cent, he was assured, was a mere mockery; was now pretty well understood, that the
that it could be evaded without difficulty; payment of all those monopolies came
and that a manufacturer at Lyons would out of the pockets of the people. He
undertake for 15 per cent, to furnish in had opportunities of knowing the senti-
VOL. XIV. H






99] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Address on the King's Speech. [100
ments of the manufacturers as well as the they would punish the murderer. The
hon. baronet; and he could take it upon man," said they, "by whom it was com-
him to say, that they were not afraid of mitted, is a bandit; if you can take him,
an extension of the principles of free we will hang him for you with the greatest
trade, provided no reserve was made, and pleasure." They could not do more ; for
that those principles were applied to the they had not the means of reaching that
article of corn as well as to all others, individual. He had no doubt, that had
The silk trade, in particular, did not fear the Company an efficient man at the head
a competition with the manufacturers of of their affairs, the war might have been
France, if the corn trade were thrown avoided, and a great waste of blood and
open; except, perhaps, in a few fancy treasure prevented. But, the inefficiency
articles. He believed ministers were well of the governor-general was not denied
inclined to carry their principles of free even by the Court of Directors. It was
trade to corn as well as to all other arti- publicly stated, that lie did not possess
cles ; but they feared the influence which the confidence of that body; and yet he
might be opposed to them on the corn was still kept at the head of their Indian
trade, and from what had occurred in government. The feeling on this subject
another place, there was no doubt that was general. He could quote many do-
influence was very considerable. But, cuments which would put that fact be-
notwithstanding the existence of that in- yond doubt ; but he would refrain from it
fluence, let ministers propose the rnea- at present. He could not, however, re-
sure, and it would, he little doubted, be frain from reading one extract from a
carried in that House; and then, if it fail- letter which had been received from a
ed in another place, the country would highly respectable military officer in Cal-
see where the blame lay. He now came cutta; and the sentiments contained in
to the observations of the president of this letter were the same as those of every
the Board of Control. He regretted ex- letter which he had seen. They all con-
tremely that a question involving the in- curred in representing lord Amherst as
terest of millions should be considered an an excellent man in private life; but, as
episode scarcely worth answering. This a public man, as a governor-general, the
indifference on so important a subject was general opinion was that lie was altoge-
the more to be lamented, as there was not their inefficient. The letter contained
a free press in India. That had been put these words:-" There was never a more
down by the most arbitrary and illegal inefficient governor. He is imbecile in
proceedings. It was no defence to say the extreme." Now this was a part of
that the governor had a power of acting the subject which had been altogether
according to what he judged best for the blinked by the right hon. president of the
interests of the country. He had un- Board of Control. That right hon. gen-
doubtedly a great discretionary power; tleman incurred a serious responsibility,
but he was not to use it in a manner in- unless he could show that there was even
consistent with the laws of England ; and i one man in England who concurred with
those laws did not sanction such proceed- him in the fitness of the noble governor
ings. He had no right to put down the for his present situation.
press, until it had been proved that the Mr. Fremantle said, he could assure
use of it, in any particular instance, had the House, that every one of the public
been illegal. With respect to the Bur- letters which had recently been received,
rese war, the right hon. gentleman had held out confident hopes of a successful
said, that he (Mr. H.) was bound to termination of hostilities in India. The
prove the assertion, that it had been hon. gentleman had said, that the Court
wantonly commenced. The present was of Directors had no confidence in lord
not the time for entering into a discussion Amherst. This statement was disproved
on that point; but he would at the proper by the fhct, that the directors had, if they
season be prepared to contend, that there chose to exercise it, the power of recall-
was not, in the papers which had been ing him; which they had not done. Ought
produced, any document to show that the the conduct of such a man to be judged
Burmese nation had discovered a dispo- of by private letters? If there was any
sition to commence the war. It was true part of the noble lord's conduct on which
that a subject of ours had been murdered the hon. gentleman could lay his finger
in their territory; but they admitted the in the way of censure, he was warranted
fact, and said that, as far as they could, in doing so ; but let him do it on ostensi-







0] Mr. Cowper-'lerk Assistant.


ble grounds, and not on the irresponsible
communications of private individuals.
Sir C. F'rbes said, it should, in justice
to lord Amherst, be stated, that he was
not in any degree implicated in the un-
fortunate occurrence at Barrackpore. He
therefore hoped, that, in justice to the
noble lord, all papers relating to that
transaction would be laid before the
House.
Mr. Wynn could not see on what ground
it should have been thought, that lord
Amherst was implicated in the affair of
Barrackpore. He was in possession of a
variety of documents, which would re-
move any such opinion; but he did not
think it necessary to lay them before the
House. Equally unfounded were the
reports which were daily published as
extracts from private letters from India.
The writers of those letters filled them
with idle gossip, as if they wished to as-
certain how far the credulity of their
friends in England would go.
Mr. Hlume defended the authenticity of
the information contained in the letters
to which lie had referred. As to the
affair at Barrackpore, the conduct of the
government was most blameable, in neg-
lecting to give any answer to the appli-
cations made to them on the part of the
troops which had refused to march. The
then adjutant-general was now in Lon-
don, and therefore the truth of the cir-
cumstance to which he alluded might be
easily ascertained. Another ground on
which he objected to the conduct of the
Indian government on that occasion, was
the manner in which it had behaved to-
wards the native officers of the refractory
troops. It was admitted, that they had
remained faithful to their engagement to
the Company, and refused to join their
mutinous troops ; yet, after this, and be-
cause they had not foreseen or prevented
what had happened, every one of them
was dismissed the service, as no longer
worthy of the confidence of the Com-
pany. Was this a just or reasonable
course towards men who had acted with
such fidelity; or was it any encourage-
ment to officers who might be placed in
similarly delicate situations? Again he
asked, what was the conduct of the go-
vernment towards the unfortunate men
who had been convicted of mutiny?
They were (many of them men of high
caste) condemned to work in irons on
the public roads. It was true this was a
commutation of the punishment of death,


but he believed there was not one of
them who would not prefer being shot, to
dragging out an existence in that de-
graded situation. Was the conduct of
the Indian government approved here at
home on this point ? On the contrary,
the moment the circumstance became
known here, did not the Court of Di-
rectors, and the Board of Control, con-
cur in sending out orders for the uncon-
ditional discharge of the unfortunate men ?
All he wished for, was correct informa-
tion on this subject. If he should find
that he was in error, he should be most
happy to retract what he had said.
Mr. Fremantle observed, that the hon.
member was greatly misled, if he believed
that no communication was made to the
refractory troops for ten days before it
was found necessary to resort to force.
The very reverse was the fact; for, from
the time that they first objected to march,
up to the period when the fatal termina-
tion of the affair occurred, communica-
tions were every day made to them, and
no pacific effort that could be resorted to
was left untried. An offer was made on
the part of the general officer in com-
mand, to refer the case to a court of in-
quiry, and the troops were told to send
those of their body in whom they could
most confide, to attend that court, and
explain the nature of their complaints;
and that if found reasonable, they should
be immediately redressed. They refused,
however, to listen to any terms of accom-
modation.
The address was then agreed to.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Monday, February 6.
MR. COWPER-CLERK ASSISTANT.]
Lord Gifford read a letter from Mr. Cow-
per, stating that, from infirmity he was
unable to attend to discharge the duties
of his office, and begging that their lord-
ships would be pleased to accept his re-
signation. He further begged leave to
lay before the House the deep sense of
the gratitude he felt for the attention
they had paid to him during forty-one
years he had been their servant.
The Earl of Liverpool said, there could
be but one opinion, as to what ought to
be done on hearing the letter which had
just been read. He was sure their lord-
ships would take the earliest opportunity
of recording the sense they entertained of
Mr. Cowper's services. He therefore


101]


Fffm 6, 18r26. [102)






89] Mr. Brogden. FEB. 3, 1826. [90
mands on the resources of the country. more industrious people in the empire.
No sudden desolation had swept its ravages His majesty out of his generous feeling,
over the land. These very circumstances, had given them large relief; but, large
this apparent want of all cause for this as it was, it did not amount to the re-
distress, was, to him, most alarming. It ceipts of one week in a time of employ-
was not, however, so difficult to account men. It was impossible that they could
for it. That detestable measure, which compete with the foreign manufacturer,
released the Bank from the necessity of while two-thirds of the value of the article
keeping its engagements, was the root of consisted in labour. Repeal the Corn
the evil. With those who, in 1819, at- laws, give the country a free trade in that
tempted to apply a remedy for its removal, article, and put the labourer on an equal
by a repeal of the Bank Restriction act, footing of taxation with other countries,
and a return to cash payments, he had and they would be able to meet all foreign
agreed; but its utility had been destroyed, competition.
by adding at the same moment three The Address was then agreed to.
millions to the burdens of the people. If,
when that act was repealed, a reduction in- HOUSE OF COM MON S.
stead of an increase of taxes had taken
place, the remedy would have been effect- Friday, February 3.
ual, and the country would not now have Mr. BROGDEN.] The Chancellor of
been overwhelmed with distress. The the Exchequer moved the usual Sessional
only remedy for the present evil was, the orders. On the resolution appointing him
most rigid economy. He could not help chairman of the committee of Ways and
sighing after every guinea which, wan- Means,
toning, like the man in the fable, over Mr. Brogden observed, that he had for
their dreams of false prosperity, they had a considerable period discharged the
lavished upon every extravagant proposi- duties of the office to which he had now
tion submitted to them. He sighed after been re-appointed, he trusted,with zeal and
the grant to the duke of Cumberland, the diligence. Circumstances had occurred
increase of the judges' salaries, for which since the last session which made him de-
there was no necessity, the two millions sirous of occupying the attention of the
giventobuild new churches, of which there House for a few minutes, in order that he
was no want, and that at a time when might exculpate himself from the gross
taxation was weighing down the energies imputations which had been cast upon
of the country. Permanent relief was to him in the newspapers. Under those as-
be obtained only by a reduction of taxes. persons on his character he had suffered
Ministers must not be satisfied with re- greatly. It would be impossible to de-
ducing by little and little: they must re- scribe how severely his feelings had been
move the evil by a large and substantial wounded. It had been said, that no per-
reduction. The people said, and natu- son suffered unjustly, at least without
rally, "if you, by imposing a large some ground; but he was an example to
amount of taxes, raise the price of bread, the contrary. In the matter he referred
we must go to the parish, and then you to (the Arigna Mine concern) he had the
must support us." Government should satisfaction to say, that 150 gentlemen
recollect, that the security of property had met at the city of London Tavern,
depended upon lowering the price of this who had completely absolved him and
necessary of life. When paupers increas- another member of the House from any
ed, and parishes were largely burdened, improper conduct in regard to the com-
the less secure did property become. He pany, and had requested him to continue
repeated, that the matter would not be a director. The hon. member added, that
allowed to sleep. Humble but earnest he would not descend to minute details in
petitions would be presented to them, order to rebut the allegations in the news-
entreating them, that while laws are made papers; a proceeding at law would be in-
to administer to the comforts of the rich, stituted against one libel. He had re-
those should not be allowed to continue ceived a letter which would abundantly
which visited the poor with ruin and beg- show the conviction entertained of his
gary. entire innocence in the affair referred to,
Mr. Alderman Wood said, he had a and which he proposed to read to the
word to offer upon the sufferings of his House. The hon. member, however, on
constituents, than whom there were not a searching, found that he had omitted to






103] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


gave notice, that to-morrow he would
bring forward a motion on the subject.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Monday, February 6.
BANK OF ENGLAND-COMMUNICA-
TIONS RELATING TO ALTERATION IN
EXCLUSIVE PRIVILEGES.] The follow-
ing Papers were laid on the table of the
House:-
COPIES of COMMUNICATIONS between the
First Lord of the Treasury and the Chan-
cellor of the Exchequer, and the Gover-
nor and Deputy Governor of the Bank
of England, relating to an alteration in the
Exclusive privileges enjoyed by the Bank
of England.
No. I. Fife House, Jan. 13.
Gentlemen.-We have the honour of trans-
mitting to you herewith a Paper, containing
our views upon the present state of the Bank-
ing System of this country, with our sugges-
tions thereupon, which we request you will
lay before the Court of Directors of the Bank
of England for their consideration. We have
the honour to be, gentlemen, &c.
(Signed) LIVERPOOL.
FREDERICK JOHN ROBINSON.
The Governor and Deputy-Governor
of the Bank of England.
The panic in the money-market having sub-
sided, and the pecuniary transactions of the
country having reverted to their accustomed
course, it becomes important to lose no time in
considering whether any measures can be
adopted to prevent the recurrence in future, of
such evils as we have recently experienced.
However much the recent distress may have
been aggravated, in the judgment of some,
by incidental circumstances and particular
measures, there can be no doubt that the
principal source of it is to be found in the
rash spirit of speculation which has pervaded
the country for some time, supported, fostered,
and encouraged by the country banks.
The remedy, therefore, for this evil in future,
must be found in an improvement in the cir-
culation of country paper; and the first mea-
sure which has suggested itself, to most of
those who have considered the subject, is a
recurrence to gold circulation throughout
the country, as well as in the metropolis
and its neighbourhood, by a repeal of the act
which permits country banks to issue one
and two pound notes until the year 1833;
and by the immediate enactment of a prohibi-
tion of any such issues at the expiration of
two or three years from the present period.
It appears to us to be quite clear, that such a
measure would be productive of much good;
that it would operate as some check upon the
e~nrt of speculation, and upon the issues of
country banks ; and whilst, on the one hand,


Bank ofEngland- Communications [ 104


it would diminish the pressure upon the
Bank and the metropolis, incident to an un-
favourable state of the exchanges, by spread-
ing it over a wider surface; on the other hand,
it would cause such pressure to be earlier felt,
and thereby ensure an earlier and more gene-
ral adoption of precautionary measures neces-
sary for counteracting the inconveniences in-
cident to an export of the precious metals.
But though a recurrence to a gold circulation
in the country, for the reasons already stated,
might be productive of some good, it would
by no means go to the root of the evil.
We have abundant proof of the truth of this
position, in the events which took place in
the spring of 1793, when a convulsion occurred
in the money transactions and circulation of
the country more extensive than that which
we have recently experienced. At that period
nearly a hundred country banks were obliged
to stop payment, and Parliament was induced
to grant an issue of Exchequer-bills to relieve
the distress. Yet, in the year1793, there were
no one or two pound notes in circulation in
England, either by country banks or by the
Bank of England.
We have a further proof of the truth of
what has been advanced, in the experience of
Scotland, which has escaped all the convulsions
which have occurred in the money-market of
England for the last thirty-five years, though
Scotland during the whole of that time has had
a circulation of one-pound notes; and the
small pecuniary transactions of that part of the
United Kingdom have been carried on exclu-
sively by the means of such notes.
The issue of small notes, though it be an
aggravation, cannot therefore be the sole or
even the main cause of the evil in England.
The failures which have occurred in Eng-
land, unaccompanied as they have been by the
same occurrences in Scotland, tend to prove
that there must have been an unsolid and de-
lusive system of banking in one part of Great
Britain, and a solid and substantial one in
the other.
It would be entirely at variance with our
deliberate opinion, not to do full justice to the
Bank of England, as the great centre of circu-
lation and commercial credit.
We believe that much of the prosperity
of the country for the last century is to be
ascribed to the general wisdom, justice, and
fairness of the dealings of the Bank; and we
further think, that during a great part of that
time, it may have been, in itself and by itself,
fully equal to all the important duties and
operations confided to it. But the progress of
the country during the last thirty or forty years,
in every branch of industry, in agriculture,
manufactures, commerce, and navigation, has
been so rapid and extensive, as to make it no
reflection upon the Bank of England to say,
that the instrument, which, by itself, was fully
adequate to former transactions, is no longer
sufficient without new aids to meetthe demands
of the present times.







0] Mr. Cowper-'lerk Assistant.


ble grounds, and not on the irresponsible
communications of private individuals.
Sir C. F'rbes said, it should, in justice
to lord Amherst, be stated, that he was
not in any degree implicated in the un-
fortunate occurrence at Barrackpore. He
therefore hoped, that, in justice to the
noble lord, all papers relating to that
transaction would be laid before the
House.
Mr. Wynn could not see on what ground
it should have been thought, that lord
Amherst was implicated in the affair of
Barrackpore. He was in possession of a
variety of documents, which would re-
move any such opinion; but he did not
think it necessary to lay them before the
House. Equally unfounded were the
reports which were daily published as
extracts from private letters from India.
The writers of those letters filled them
with idle gossip, as if they wished to as-
certain how far the credulity of their
friends in England would go.
Mr. Hlume defended the authenticity of
the information contained in the letters
to which lie had referred. As to the
affair at Barrackpore, the conduct of the
government was most blameable, in neg-
lecting to give any answer to the appli-
cations made to them on the part of the
troops which had refused to march. The
then adjutant-general was now in Lon-
don, and therefore the truth of the cir-
cumstance to which he alluded might be
easily ascertained. Another ground on
which he objected to the conduct of the
Indian government on that occasion, was
the manner in which it had behaved to-
wards the native officers of the refractory
troops. It was admitted, that they had
remained faithful to their engagement to
the Company, and refused to join their
mutinous troops ; yet, after this, and be-
cause they had not foreseen or prevented
what had happened, every one of them
was dismissed the service, as no longer
worthy of the confidence of the Com-
pany. Was this a just or reasonable
course towards men who had acted with
such fidelity; or was it any encourage-
ment to officers who might be placed in
similarly delicate situations? Again he
asked, what was the conduct of the go-
vernment towards the unfortunate men
who had been convicted of mutiny?
They were (many of them men of high
caste) condemned to work in irons on
the public roads. It was true this was a
commutation of the punishment of death,


but he believed there was not one of
them who would not prefer being shot, to
dragging out an existence in that de-
graded situation. Was the conduct of
the Indian government approved here at
home on this point ? On the contrary,
the moment the circumstance became
known here, did not the Court of Di-
rectors, and the Board of Control, con-
cur in sending out orders for the uncon-
ditional discharge of the unfortunate men ?
All he wished for, was correct informa-
tion on this subject. If he should find
that he was in error, he should be most
happy to retract what he had said.
Mr. Fremantle observed, that the hon.
member was greatly misled, if he believed
that no communication was made to the
refractory troops for ten days before it
was found necessary to resort to force.
The very reverse was the fact; for, from
the time that they first objected to march,
up to the period when the fatal termina-
tion of the affair occurred, communica-
tions were every day made to them, and
no pacific effort that could be resorted to
was left untried. An offer was made on
the part of the general officer in com-
mand, to refer the case to a court of in-
quiry, and the troops were told to send
those of their body in whom they could
most confide, to attend that court, and
explain the nature of their complaints;
and that if found reasonable, they should
be immediately redressed. They refused,
however, to listen to any terms of accom-
modation.
The address was then agreed to.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Monday, February 6.
MR. COWPER-CLERK ASSISTANT.]
Lord Gifford read a letter from Mr. Cow-
per, stating that, from infirmity he was
unable to attend to discharge the duties
of his office, and begging that their lord-
ships would be pleased to accept his re-
signation. He further begged leave to
lay before the House the deep sense of
the gratitude he felt for the attention
they had paid to him during forty-one
years he had been their servant.
The Earl of Liverpool said, there could
be but one opinion, as to what ought to
be done on hearing the letter which had
just been read. He was sure their lord-
ships would take the earliest opportunity
of recording the sense they entertained of
Mr. Cowper's services. He therefore


101]


Fffm 6, 18r26. [102)






103] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


gave notice, that to-morrow he would
bring forward a motion on the subject.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Monday, February 6.
BANK OF ENGLAND-COMMUNICA-
TIONS RELATING TO ALTERATION IN
EXCLUSIVE PRIVILEGES.] The follow-
ing Papers were laid on the table of the
House:-
COPIES of COMMUNICATIONS between the
First Lord of the Treasury and the Chan-
cellor of the Exchequer, and the Gover-
nor and Deputy Governor of the Bank
of England, relating to an alteration in the
Exclusive privileges enjoyed by the Bank
of England.
No. I. Fife House, Jan. 13.
Gentlemen.-We have the honour of trans-
mitting to you herewith a Paper, containing
our views upon the present state of the Bank-
ing System of this country, with our sugges-
tions thereupon, which we request you will
lay before the Court of Directors of the Bank
of England for their consideration. We have
the honour to be, gentlemen, &c.
(Signed) LIVERPOOL.
FREDERICK JOHN ROBINSON.
The Governor and Deputy-Governor
of the Bank of England.
The panic in the money-market having sub-
sided, and the pecuniary transactions of the
country having reverted to their accustomed
course, it becomes important to lose no time in
considering whether any measures can be
adopted to prevent the recurrence in future, of
such evils as we have recently experienced.
However much the recent distress may have
been aggravated, in the judgment of some,
by incidental circumstances and particular
measures, there can be no doubt that the
principal source of it is to be found in the
rash spirit of speculation which has pervaded
the country for some time, supported, fostered,
and encouraged by the country banks.
The remedy, therefore, for this evil in future,
must be found in an improvement in the cir-
culation of country paper; and the first mea-
sure which has suggested itself, to most of
those who have considered the subject, is a
recurrence to gold circulation throughout
the country, as well as in the metropolis
and its neighbourhood, by a repeal of the act
which permits country banks to issue one
and two pound notes until the year 1833;
and by the immediate enactment of a prohibi-
tion of any such issues at the expiration of
two or three years from the present period.
It appears to us to be quite clear, that such a
measure would be productive of much good;
that it would operate as some check upon the
e~nrt of speculation, and upon the issues of
country banks ; and whilst, on the one hand,


Bank ofEngland- Communications [ 104


it would diminish the pressure upon the
Bank and the metropolis, incident to an un-
favourable state of the exchanges, by spread-
ing it over a wider surface; on the other hand,
it would cause such pressure to be earlier felt,
and thereby ensure an earlier and more gene-
ral adoption of precautionary measures neces-
sary for counteracting the inconveniences in-
cident to an export of the precious metals.
But though a recurrence to a gold circulation
in the country, for the reasons already stated,
might be productive of some good, it would
by no means go to the root of the evil.
We have abundant proof of the truth of this
position, in the events which took place in
the spring of 1793, when a convulsion occurred
in the money transactions and circulation of
the country more extensive than that which
we have recently experienced. At that period
nearly a hundred country banks were obliged
to stop payment, and Parliament was induced
to grant an issue of Exchequer-bills to relieve
the distress. Yet, in the year1793, there were
no one or two pound notes in circulation in
England, either by country banks or by the
Bank of England.
We have a further proof of the truth of
what has been advanced, in the experience of
Scotland, which has escaped all the convulsions
which have occurred in the money-market of
England for the last thirty-five years, though
Scotland during the whole of that time has had
a circulation of one-pound notes; and the
small pecuniary transactions of that part of the
United Kingdom have been carried on exclu-
sively by the means of such notes.
The issue of small notes, though it be an
aggravation, cannot therefore be the sole or
even the main cause of the evil in England.
The failures which have occurred in Eng-
land, unaccompanied as they have been by the
same occurrences in Scotland, tend to prove
that there must have been an unsolid and de-
lusive system of banking in one part of Great
Britain, and a solid and substantial one in
the other.
It would be entirely at variance with our
deliberate opinion, not to do full justice to the
Bank of England, as the great centre of circu-
lation and commercial credit.
We believe that much of the prosperity
of the country for the last century is to be
ascribed to the general wisdom, justice, and
fairness of the dealings of the Bank; and we
further think, that during a great part of that
time, it may have been, in itself and by itself,
fully equal to all the important duties and
operations confided to it. But the progress of
the country during the last thirty or forty years,
in every branch of industry, in agriculture,
manufactures, commerce, and navigation, has
been so rapid and extensive, as to make it no
reflection upon the Bank of England to say,
that the instrument, which, by itself, was fully
adequate to former transactions, is no longer
sufficient without new aids to meetthe demands
of the present times.







105] relating to Alteration in Exclusive Privileges. FEB. 6, 1826.


We have to a considerable degree, the proof
of this position, in the very establishment of
so many country banks.
Within the memory of many living, and
even of some of those now engaged in public
affairs, there were no country banks, except in
a few of the great commercial towns.
The money transactions of the country were
carried on by supplies of coin and Bank notes
from London,
The extent of the business of the country,
and the improvement made from time to time in
the mode of conducting our increased commer-
cial transactions, founded on pecuniary credit,
rendered such a system no longer adequate,
and country banks must have arisen, as in fact
they did arise, from the increased wealth and
new wants of the country.
The matter of regret is, not that country
banks have been suffered to exist, but that
they have been suffered so long to exist with-
out control or limitation, or without the adop-
tion of provisions calculated to counteract the
evils resulting from their improvidence or
excess.
it would be vain to suppose, that we
could now, by any act of the legislature, ex-
tinguish the existing country banks, even if it
were desirable; but it may be within our
power, gradually at least, to establish a sound
system of banking throughout the country;
and if such a system can be formed, there can
be little doubt that it would ultimately extin-
guish and absorb all that is objectionable and
dangerous in the present banking establish-
ments.
There appear to be two modes of attaining
this object:
First, That the Bank of England should
establish branches of its own body in different
parts of the country.
Secondly, That the Bank of England should
give up its exclusive privilege as to the num-
ber of partners engaged in banking, except
within a certain distance from the metropolis.
It has always appeared to us, that it would
have been very desirable that the Bank should
have tried the first of these plans-that of es-
tablishing branch banks, upon a limited scale.
But we are not insensible to the difficulties
which would have attended such an ex-
periment, and we are quite satisfied that it
would be impossible for the Bank, under pre-
sent circumstances, to carry into execution
such a system, to the extent necessary for pro-
viding for the wants of the country.
There remains, therefore, only the other plan
-the surrender by the Bank of their exclusive
privilege, as to the number of partners, be-
yond a certain distance from the metropolis.
The effect of such a measure would be, the
gradual establishment of extensive and re-
spectable banks in different parts of the coun-
try; some perhaps with charters from the
Crown, under certain qualifications, and some
without.
Here we have again the advantage of the
experience of Scotland.


In England there are said to be between 800
and 900 country banks; and it is no exagger-
ation to suppose that a great proportion of
them have not been conducted with a due
attention to those precautions which are ne-
cessary for the safety of all banking establish-
ments, even where their property is most
ample. When such banks stop, their creditors
may ultimately be paid the whole of their
demands, but the delay and shock to credit
may, in the mean time, involve them in the
same difficulty, and is always attended with
the greatest injury and suffering in the districts
where such stoppages occur. If this be the
case where the solidity of the bank is unques-
tionable, what must it be when (as too often
happens) they rest on no solid foundation.
In Scotland there are not more than thirty
banks; and these banks have stood firm
amidst all the convulsions in the money-mar-
ket in England, and amidst all the distresses
to which the manufacturing and agricultural
interests in Scotland, as well as in England,
have occasionally been subject.
Banks of this description must necessarily
be conducted upon the general understood and
approved principles of banking.
Individuals are, from the nature of the in-
stitutions, precluded from speculating in the
manner in which persons engaged in country,
and even in London banks, speculate in
England.
If the concerns of the country could be
carried on without any other bank than the
Bank of England, there might be some reason
for not interfering with their exclusive pri-
vilege; but the effect of the law at present is,
to permit every description of banking, except
that which is solid and secure.
Let the Bank of England reflect on the
dangers to which it has been recently subject,
and let its directors and proprietors then say,
whether, for their own interests, such an im-
provement as is suggested in the banking
system is not desirable, and even necessary.
The Bank of England may perhaps propose,
as they did upon a former occasion, the ex-
tension of the term of their exclusive privilege,
as to the metropolis and its neighbourhood,
beyond the year 1833, as the price of this con-
cession.
It would be very much to be regretted that
they should require any such condition.
It is clear that in point of security they would
gain by the concession proposed to them, in-
asmuch as their own safety is now necessarily
endangered by all such convulsions in the
country circulation as we have lately and for-
merly witnessed.
In point of profit, would they lose any thing
by it, for which they are entitled to demand
compensation.
It is notorious, that at the present time their
notes circulate in no part of England beyond
the metropolis and its neighbourhood, except
in Lancashire; and perhaps for that district
some special provision might be made.


[106






107] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Bank of England-Conmmunications [108
But as it is the interest, so it has been and That however essentially they may differ
ever will be the endeavour, of the country on certain views and sentiments therein laid
bankers to keep the Bank of England notes down and expressed, it is not for the court at
out of circulation in those parts of the kingdom the present moment to offer any opinions of
where their own circulation prevails. In this their own, the paper appearing to be intended
they must always be successful, whilst public as declaratory of the grounds on which his
credit continues in its ordinary state, and the majesty's ministers have come to the deter-
exchanges not unfavourable to this country, mination to require the Bank to give up its
The consequences are, that in such times the exclusive privilege as to the number of partners
Bank of England becomes in a manner thesole engaged in banking, except within a certain
depository for gold; and in times of an oppo- distance from the metropolis.
site tendency, the sole resort for obtaining it; It cannot, however, be considered incon-
that at one period their legitimate profit is cur- sistent with this forbearance, to state the ap-
tailed by an accumulation of treasure beyond prehensions of the court of Directors, that con-
what would be required by a due attention to fidence is not so fully restored as lord Liver-
their own private safety as a banking estab- pool and the chancellor of the Exchequer seem
lishment; and at another period they are ex- to imagine.
posed to demands which endanger that safety, Though the panic has subsided, credit, both
and baffle all the ordinary calculations of fore- public and private, remains in a very uncertain
sight and prudence, and anxious state.
If, then, the Bank of England has no coun- That the country circulation is in many
try circulation, except in the county above parts extremely defective, cannot be contro-
named, the only question for them to consider verted; and the Bank would very reluctantly
is, whether, on the ground of profit, as well as oppose itself to any measures tending to
security to themselves, the existing country ameliorate it, but would be glad to promote
circulation shall or shall not be improved, that object, either by fresh exertions on their
With respect to the extension of the term of part, should such be found practicable, or by
their exclusive privileges in the metropolis and any reasonable sacrifice.
its neighbourhood, it is obvious, from what Under the uncertainty in which the court of
passed before, that parliament will never agree Directors find themselves with respect to the
to it. details of the plans of government, and the
Such privileges are out of fashion; and effect which they may have on the interests
what expectation can the Bank, under present of the Bank, this court cannot feel themselves
circumstances, entertain that theirs will be re- justified in recommending to their proprietors
newed ? But there is no reason why the Bank to give up the privilege which they now enjoy,
of England should look at this consequence sanctioned and confirmed as it is by the solemn
with dismay. They will remain a chartered acts of the legislature.
corporation for carrying on the business of
banking. In that character they will, we No. III.-The first lord of the Treasury and
trust, always continue to be the sole bankers the chancellor of the Exchequer have duly
of the state, and with these advantages, so considered the answer of the Bank of the
long as they conduct their affairs wisely and 20th inst.
prudently, they always must be the great They cannot but regret that the court of
centre of banking and circulation. Directors should have declined to recommend
Theirs is the only establishment at which to the court of Proprietors the consideration
the dividend due to the public creditor can by of the paper delivered by the first lord of the
law be paid. Treasury and the chancellor of the Exchequer
It is to be hoped, therefore, that the Bank to the governor and deputy governor of the
will make no difficulty in giving up their ex- Bank on the 13th instant.
elusive privileges, in respect to the number of The statement contained in that paper ap-
partners engaged in banking, as to any dis- pears to the first lord of the Treasury and
trict- miles from the metropolis. chancellor of the Exchequer so full and ex-
Should the Bank be disposed to consent to plicit on all the points to which it relates, that
a measure of this nature in time to enable the they have nothing further to add, although
government to announce such a concession at they would have been, as they still are, ready
the opening of parliament, it would afford to answer, as far as possible, any specific ques-
great facilities to the arrangement which they tions which might be put, for the purpose of
may have to propose for ensuring the stability removing the uncertainty in which the court
of private credit, in which the support of pub- of Directors state themselves to be with re-
lic credit and the maintenance of public pros- spect to the details of the plan suggested in
perity are so materially and closely involved, that paper."
After all, the simple question for the Bank
No. II.-At a Court of Directors at the to consider is, whether they are willing to re-
Bank, January 20 : linquish their exclusive privilege as to the
This court having taken into consideration number of partners engaged in banking at a
the important paper received from the first certain distance from the metropolis ?
lord of the Treasury and the chancellor of the The first lord of the Treasury and the chan-
Exchequer, have resolved- ccllor of the Exchequer are satisfied that the







109] relating to Alteration in Exclusive Privileges. FaB. 6, 1826.


profits of the Bank would in no degree be
affected by their consenting to such a pro-
posal.
Convinced of this, and that its adoption by
the Bank is as important to their own security
as to that of the public, it does not appear that
the Bank can be equitably entitled to claim
any compensation for the surrender of this
privilege of their charter.
Against any proposition for such compen-
sation the first lord of the Treasury and chan-
cellor of the Exchequer formally protest; but
if the Bank should be of opinion that this
concession should be accompanied with other
conditions, and that it ought not to be made
without them, it is for the Bank to bring for-
ward such conditions.
Fife-house, Jan. 23.

No. IV.-At a Court of Directors at the
Bank, January 26;
The governor laid before the court the fol-
lowing minute of the committee of Treasury,
viz.-
Committee of Treasury, Jan. 25.
The committee of Treasury having taken
into consideration the paper received from the
first lord of the Treasury and the chancellor of
the Exchequer, dated January 23, 1826, and
finding that his majesty's ministers persevere
in their desire to propose to restrict imme-
diately the exclusive privilege of the Bank, as
to the number of partners engaged in banking,
to a certain distance from the metropolis, and
also continue to be of opinion, that parliament
would not consent to renew the privilege at
the expiration of the period of their present
charter; finding, also, that the proposal by the
Bank, of establishing branch banks, is deemed
by his majesty's ministers inadequate to the
wants of the country, are of opinion, that it
would be desirable for this corporation to pro-
pose, as a basis, the act of the 6th Geo. IV. c.
42, which states the conditions on which the
Bank of Ireland relinquished its exclusive
privilege; this corporation waving the ques-
tion of a prolongation of time, although the
committee cannot agree in the opinion of the
first lord of the Treasury and the chancellor of
the Exchequer, that they are not making a
considerable sacrifice, adverting especially to
the Bank of Ireland remaining in possession
of that privilege five years longer than the
Bank of England.
The act above alluded to contains the fol-
lowing clauses, sections 4 and 18. [See the
annexed paper, marked A.]
(A)--"Provided always, and be it further
enacted, that nothing in this act contained
shall extend, or be construed to extend, to
enable or authorize any such society or co-
partnership, either by any member or members
thereof, or by their agent, or any other person
on behalf of such society or copartnership, to
pay, issue, or re-issue, at Dublin, or within 50
miles thereof, any bill or note of such society
or copartnership, which shall be payable to


bearer on demand, or any Bank post-bill, nor to
draw upon any partner or agent who may be
resident in Dublin, or within 50 miles thereof,
any bill of exchange which shall be payable on
demand, or which shall be for less amount
than 501., nor to borrow, owe, or take up in
England, or in Dublin, or within 50 miles
thereof, any sum or sums of money, or any pro-
missory note, or bill of any such society or co-
partnership, payable on demand, or at any less
time than six months from the borrowing there-
of, or to make or issue any bill or bills of ex-
change, or promissory note or notes of such
society or copartnership, contrary to the pro-
visions of the said recited acts of the 21st and
22nd years of king George the 3rd, or of the
1st and 2nd of his present majesty, save as
provided by this act in that behalf.
And be it further enacted, that execution
upon any judgment in any action obtained
against any public officer, for the time being,
of any such society or copartnership, whether
as plaintiff or defendant, may be issued against
any member or members, for the time being,
of such society or copartnership, and that
in case any such execution against any mem-,
ber or members, for the time being, of such
society or copartnership, shall be ineffectual
for obtaining payment and satisfaction of the
amount of such judgment, it shall be lawful for
the party or parties so having obtained judg-
ment against such public officer for the time
being, to issue execution against any person
or persons who was or were a member or mem-
bers of such society or copartnership, at the
time when the contract or contracts, or en-
gagement or engagements, on which such
judgment may have been obtained, was or were
entered into. Provided always, that no such
execution as last mentioned shall be issued
without leave first granted on motion in open
court, by the court in which such judgment
shall have been obtained, and which motion
shall be made on notice to the person or per-
sons sought to be charged; nor after the ex-
piration of three years next after any such
person or persons shall have ceased to be a
member or members of such society or copart-
nership."
Resolved,-That the foregoing recommend-
ation of the committee of Treasury be agreed
to; and that the governor and deputy governor
be requested to lay it before the first lord of the
Treasury and the chancellor of the Exchequer.

No. V.-The first lord of the Treasury and
the chancellor of the Exchequer have taken
into consideration the paper delivered to them
by the governor and deputy governor of the
Bank, on the 27th instant.
They think it right to lose no time in ex-
pressing their concurrence in the proposition
which has been sanctioned by the court of
Directors, as to the exclusive privilege of the
Bank of England, and are willing to agree that
the two clauses inserted in the Irish act last
year, and referred to in the paper communi.


[110






111] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
cated by the governor and deputy governor on
the 27th instant, shall be inserted in the bill,
which will be necessary to give effect to the
new arrangement.
The first lord of the Treasury and the Chan-
cellor of the Exchequer cannot conclude with-
out adverting to that part of the paper of the
Bank which respects branches of the Bank of
England. In their paper of the 13th of Ja-
nuary, the first lord of the Treasury and the
chancellor of the Exchequer have stated the
reasons why they are of opinion that, under
all the present circumstances, the establish-
ment of branches of the Bank of England
would not of itself be sufficient to meet all the
exigencies of the country; but they are so far
from wishing to discourage the establishment
of such branches, that they are decidedly of
opinion, that the formation of them, under
proper regulations, would be highly advan-
tageous both to the Bank and to the com-
munity.
Fif-house, Januart 28th.
No. VI.-At a general Court of the Governor
and Company of the Bank of England, Friday,
February 3rd:
Resolved,-That this court do consent to
the terms proposed to the Bank, in the papers
now read, and do request the court of Di-
rectors to carry the arrangement into effect.

TREATY OF AMITY, COMMERCE, AND
NAVIGATION WITH THE STATE OF Co-
LOMBIA.] The following Treaty was
laid on the table by the Chancellor of the
Exchequer:-
TREATY of AMITY, COMMERCE, and NAVIGA-
TION, between his Majesty and the State of
Colombia, together with an additional arti-
cle thereunto annexed, Signed at Bogota,
April 18, 1825.
In the name of the Most Holy Trinity-Exten-
sive commercial intercourse having been esta-
blished for a series of years between the do-
minions of his Britannic majesty, and the se-
veral provinces or countries of America, which
(now united) constitute the State of Colombia,
it seems good for the security as well as en-
couragement of such commercial intercourse-
and, for the maintenance of good. understand,
ing between his said Britannic majesty and
the said state, that the relations now subsist-
ing between them should be regularly acknow-
ledged and confirmed by the signature of a
treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation.
For this purpose they have named their re-
spective plenipotentiaries, that is to say,-His
Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Ireland, John Potter Hamil-
ton, esq.; and Patrick Campbell, esq. ;-and
the Vice-president, charged with the executive
power of the State of Colombia, Pedro Gual,
secretary of state in the department for foreign
affairs, and general Pedro Briceno Mendez ;-
who, after having communicated to each other


Treaty ofAmily, Commerce, and [112
their respective full powers, found to be in due
and proper form, have agreed upon and con-
cluded the following articles:-
Art. 1.-There shall be perpetual, firm, and
sincere amity between the dominions and sub-
jects of his majesty the king of the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, his
heirs, and successors, and the State and people
of Colombia.
Art. 2.-There shall be, between all the ter-
ritories of his Britannic majesty in Europe,
and the territories of Colombia, a reciprocal
freedom of commerce. The subjects and ci-
tizens of the two countries, respectively, shall
have liberty freely and securely to come, with
their ships and cargoes, to all such places
ports, and rivers, in the territories aforesaid,
to which other foreigners are or may be per-
mitted to come, to enter into the same, and to
remain and reside in any part of the said terri-
tories, respectively; also to hire and occupy
houses and warehouses for the purposes of
their commerce; and, generally, the mer-
chants and traders of each nation, respectively,
shall enjoy the most complete protection and
security for their commerce; subject always
to the laws and statutes of the two countries,
respectively.
Art. 3.-His majesty the king of the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland en-
gages further that the citizens of Colombia
shall have the like liberty of commerce and
navigation stipulated for in the preceding arti-
cle, in all his dominions situated out, of Europe,
to the full extent in which the same is per-
mitted at present, or shall be permitted here-
after, to any other nation.
Art. 4.-No higher or other duties shall be
imposed on the importation into the territories
of his Britannic majesty, of any articles of the
growth, produce, or manufacture of Colombia,
-and no higher or other duties shall be im-
posed on the importation into the territories
of Colombia, of any articles of the growth,
produce, or manufacture of his Britannic ma-
jesty's dominions, than are or shall be payable
on the like articles, being the growth, produce,
or manufacture of any other foreign country;
nor shall any other or higher duties or charges
be imposed in the territories or dominions of
either of the contracting parties, on the ex-
portation of any articles to the territories or
dominions of the other, than such as are or
may be payable on the exportation of the like
articles to any other foreign country; nor shall
any prohibition be imposed upon the export-
ation or importation of any articles the growth,
produce, or manufacture of his Britannic ma-
jesty's dominions, or of the said territories of
Colombia, to or from the said dominions of
his Britannic majesty, or to or from the said
territories of Colombia, which shall not equally
extend to all other nations.
Art. 5.-No higher or other duties or charges
on account of tonnage, light, or harbour dues,
pilotage, salvage in case of damage or ship-
wreck, or any other local charges, shall be im-






113J Navigation tith the State of Colombia.


posed, in any of the ports of Colombia, on property of every sort and denomination, by
British vessels, than those payable in the same sale, donation, exchange, or testament, or in
ports by Colombian vessels; nor in the ports of any other manner whatsoever, as also the ad-
his Britannic majesty's territories, on Colom- ministration of justice, the subjects and citizens
bian vessels, than shall be payable in the same of the two contracting parties shall enjoy, in
ports on British vessels, their respective dominions and territories, the
Art. 6.-The same duties shall be paid on same privileges, liberties, and rights, as the
the importation into the territories of Colombia most favoured nation, and shall not be charged,
of any article the growth, produce, or manu- in any of these respects, with any higherimposts
facture of his Britannic majesty's dominions, or duties than those which are paid, or may be
whether such importation shall be in Colom- paid, by the native subjects or citizens of the
bian or in British vessels; and the same duties power in whose dominions or territories they
shall be paid on the importation into the do- may be resident.
minions of his Britannic majesty of any article They shall be exempted from all compulsory
of the growth, produce, or manufacture of military service whatsoever, whether by sea or
Colombia, whether such importation shall be land, and from all forced loans, or military
in British or Colombian vessels. The same exactions and requisitions; neither shall they
duties shall be paid, and the same drawbacks be compelled to pay any ordinary taxes, under
and bounties allowed, on the exportation to any pretext whatsoever, greater than those
Colombia of any articles of the growth, pro- that are paid by the subjects or citizens of one
duce, or manufacture of his Britannic majesty's or other power.
dominions, whether such exportation shall be Art. 10.-It shall be free for each of the two
in Colombian or in British vessels; and the contracting parties to appoint consuls for the
same duties shall be paid, and the same boun- protection of trade, to reside in the dominions
ties and drawbacks allowed, on the exportation and territories of the other party; but before
of any articles the growth, produce, or manu- any consul shall act as such, he shall, in the
facture of Colombia to his Britannic majesty's usual form, be approved and admitted by the
dominions, whether such exportation shall be government to which he is sent; and either of
in British or Colombian vessels. the contracting parties may except from the
Art. 7.-In order to avoid any misunder- residence of consuls, such particular places
standing with respect to the regulations which as either of them may judge fit to be so ex-
may respectively constitute a British or a cepted.
Colombian vessel, it is hereby agreed, that all Art. 11.-For the better security of coin-
vessels built in the dominions of his Britannic merce between the subjects of his Britannic
majesty, and owned by British subjects, or by majesty and the citizens of Colombia, it is
any of them, and whereof the master and three- agreed, that if at any time any interruption of
fourths of the mariners, at least, are British friendly commercial intercourse, or any rupture
subjects, excepting where the laws provide for should unfortunately take place between the
any extreme cases, shall be considered as two contracting parties, the subjects or citizens
British vessels; and that all vessels built in of either of the two contracting parties, residing
the territories of Colombia, and owned by the in the dominions of the other, shall have the
citizens thereof, or any of them, and whereof privilege of remaining and continuing their
the master and three fourths of the mariners, trade therein, without any manner of interrup-
at least, are Colombian citizens, excepting tion, so long as they behave peaceably, and
where the laws provide for any extreme cases, commit no offence against the laws; and their
shall be considered as Colombian vessels, effects and property, whether intrusted to in-
Art. 8. -All merchants, commanders of dividuals or to the state, shall not be liable to
ships, and others, the subjects of his Britannic seizure or sequestration, or to any other de-
majesty, or citizens of the state of Colombia, mands than those which may be made upon
shall have full liberty, in all the territories of the like effects or property belonging to the
both powers, respectively, to manage their own native inhabitants of the state in which such
affairs themselves, or to commit them to the subjects or citizens may reside.
management of whomsoever they please, as Art. 12.-The subjects of his Britannic
broker, factor, agent, or interpreter; nor shall majesty residing in the territories of the state
they be obliged to employ any other persons of Colombia shall enjoy the most perfect and
for those purposes, nor to pay them any salary entire security of conscience, without being
or remuneration unless they shall choose to annoyed, prevented, or disturbed on account of
employ them; and absolute freedom shall be their religious belief. Neither shall they be
allowed, in all cases, to the buyer and seller, to annoyed, molested, or disturbed in the proper
bargain and fix the price of any goods, wares, exercise of their religion, provided that this
or merchandise imported into, or exported from, take place in private houses, and with the de-
the territories of either of the contracting par- corum due to divine worship, with due respect
ties, as they shall see good. to the law%, usages, and customs of the country.
Art. 9.-In whatever relates to the lading, Liberty shall also be granted to bury the sub-
and unlading of ships, the safety of merchan- jects of his Britannic majesty, who may die in
dize, goods, and effects, the succession to per- the said territories of Colombia, in convenient
Eonal estates, and the disposal of personal and adequate places, to be appointed and es-
VOL. XIV. I



/


FEB. 6, 1826.


[114







115] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
tablished by themselves for that purpose, with
the knowledge of the local authorities. Nor
shall the funerals or sepulchres of the dead be
disturbed in any wise, nor upon any account.
In the like manner the citizens of Colombia
shall enjoy within all the dominions of his
Britannic majesty, a perfect and unrestrained
liberty of conscience, and of exercising their
religion publicly or privately, within their own
dwelling houses, or in the chapels and places
of worship appointed for that purpose, agree..
ably to the system of toleration established in
the dominions of his said majesty.
Art. 13.-The government of Colombia en-
gages to co-operate with his Britannic majesty
for the total abolition of the slave trade, and to
prohibit all persons inhabiting within the terri-
tories of Colombia, in the most effectual man-
ner, from taking any share in such trade.
Art. 14.-And forasmuch as it would be
convenient and useful, for the purpose of fa-
cilitating the mutual good understanding be-
tween the two contracting parties, and for
avoiding all difficulties henceforward,that other
articles should be proposed and added to the
present treaty, which articles, both from a
want of due time for their consideration, as
well as from the pressure of circumstances,
cannot at present be drawn up with the re-
quired perfection, it has been and is agreed,
on the part of both powers, that they will, with
the least possible delay, come forward to treat
and agree upon such articles as may be want-
ing to this treaty, and deemed mutually bene-
ficial; and which articles, when they shall be
agreed upon, and shall be duly ratified, shall
form part of the present treaty of amity, com-
merce, and navigation.
Art. 15.-The present treaty shall be ratified
by his majesty the king of the united kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland, and by the pre-
sident or vice-president charged with the ex-
ecutive power of the state of Colombia, with
the consent and approbation of the Congress of
the said state; and the ratifications shall be
exchanged at London within the space of six
months, or sooner if possible.
In witness whereof, the respective pleni-
potentiaries have signed the same, and have
affixed thereto the seals of their arms. Done
in the city of Bogota, the 18th day of April,
in the year of our Lord 1825.
(L. S.) JOHN POTTER HAMILTON.
(L. S.) PATRICK CAMPBELL.
(L. S.) PEDRO GAUL.
(L. S.) PEDRO BRICENO MENDEZ.

Additional Article.-Whereas, in the present
state of Colombian shipping, it would not be
possible for Colombia to take advantage of the
reciprocity established by the articles, 5, 6,
\nd 7, of the treaty signed this day, if that
art should be carried into immediate effect
which stipulates that in order to be considered
a Colombian ship, a ship shall actually have
n built in Colombia, it is agreed that, for
space of seven years, to be reckoned from


Treaty of Commerce, Amity, and [ 116
the date of the ratification of this treaty, any
ships, wheresoever built, being bona fide the
property of any of the citizens of Colombia,
and whereof the master and three fourths of L:e
mariners, at least, are also Colombian citizens,
excepting where the laws provide for any ex-
treme cases, shall be considered as Colombian
ships:-His majesty, the king of the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, reserv-
ing to himself the right at the end of the
said term of seven years, to claim the principle
of reciprocal restriction, stipulated for in
Article 7, above referred to, if the interests
of British navigation shall be found to be pre-
judiced by the present exception to that reci-
procity, in favour of Colombian shipping.
The present additional article shall have the
same force and validity as if it were inserted,
word for word in the treaty signed this day.
It shall be ratified, and the ratifications shall
be exchanged at the same time.
In witness whereof, the respective Plenipo-
tentiaries have signed the same, and have
affixed thereto the seals of their arms. Done
in the city of Bogota, the 18th day of April,
in the year of our Lord 1825.
(L. S.) JOHN POTTER HAMILTON.
(L. S.) PATRICK CAMPFELL.
(L. S.) PEDRo GUAL.
(L. S.) PEDnO BRICENO MENDEZ.
Declaration by His Majesty's principal Secre-
tary of State for Foreign Affairs, on the
Exchange of Ratifications.
The undersigned, His Majesty's principal
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, at the
moment of exchanging with Senor Manuel
Jose Hurtado, Plenipotentiary of the State of
Colombia, the ratifications of the treaty of
amity, commerce, and navigation, signed at
Bogota, on the 18th of April, 1825, by John
Potter Hamilton, esq., and Patrick Campbell,
esq., on the part of his majesty, and Senor
Pedro Gual, and general Pedro Briceno Men-
dez, on the part of the State of Colombia, has
been commanded by his majesty, in order to
avoid any misunderstanding which might pos-
sibly arise in the execution of that part of the
seventh article of the said treaty, wherein it is
defined what ships shall be considered as en-
titled to the privileges of British and Colom-
bian ships to declare to Senor Hurtado, that,
in addition to the qualifications therein ex-
pressed, such other ships will likewise be en-
titled to be considered as British ships, which
shall have been captured from an enemy by
his majesty's ships of war, or by subjects of his
majesty furnished with letters of marque by
the lords commissioners of the Admiralty, and
regularly condemned in one of his majesty's
Prize Courts as a lawful prize, or which shall
have been condemned in any competent court,
for the breach of the laws made for the pre-
vention of the slave trade; and that, in the
same manner, ships captured from the enemy
by the ships of Colombia, and condemned
under similar circumstances, will likewise







117] Navigation with the Stale of Colombia.


be entitled to be considered as Colombian
ships. GEORGE CANNING.
London, Nov. 7, 1825.
Senor Manuel Jose Hurtado, &c. &c. &c.
Act of Acceptance of the above Declaration,
by the Colombian Plenipotentiary.
The undersigned, Plenipotentiary of the
State of Colombia, having received from his
Britannic majesty's principal Secretary of
State for Foreign Affairs, a declaration, stating,
" That in order to avoid any misunderstanding
which might possibly arise in the execution of
that part of the seventh article of the treaty
between his Britannic majesty and the State
of Colombia, signed at Bogota, on the 18th of
April, 1825, wherein it is defined what ships
shall be considered as entitled to the privi-
leges of British and Colombian ships, in addi-
tion to the qualifications therein expressed,
such other ships will likewise be entitled
to be considered as British ships, which
shall have been captured from an enemy
by his Britannic majesty's ships of war,
or by subjects of his said majesty furnished
with letters of marque by the lords com-
missioners of the Admiralty, and regularly
condemned in one of his said majesty's Prize
Courts as a lawful prize, or which shall have
been condemned in any competent court, for
the breach of the laws made for the prevention
of the slave trade: and that, in the same
manner, ships captured from the enemy by
the ships of Colombia, and condemned under
similar circumstances, will likewise be entitled
to be considered as Colombian ships."
The undersigned, in virtue of tlhe full pow-
ers with which he is invested, hereby accepts
and adopts the said declaration, in the name
and on the behalf of his government.
MANUEL JOSt HIURTADO.
London, Nov. 7, 1825.
The Right Ilon. George Canning, &c. &c. &c.

CONVENTION OF COMMERCE WITII
THE HANSEATIC REPUBLICS.] The fol-
lowing Convention was laid on tie table:-
CONVENTION OF COMMERCE between His
Majesty and the free Hanseatic Republics
of Lubeck, Bremen, and Hamburgh, signed
at London, Sept. 29, 1825.
His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland on the one part,
and the Senate of the free Hanseatic city
of Lubeck, the Senate of the free Hanseatic city
of Bremen, and the Senate of the free Hanseatic
city of Hamburgh (each State for itself sepa-
rately) on the other part, being equally desirous
of affording every facility and encouragement
to their subjects and citizens engaged in com-
i.ercial intercourse with each other, and
being of opinion that nothing will more con-
tribute to the attainment of this desirable
object than a reciprocal abrogation of all dis-
criminating and countervailing duties levied


upon the ships of the high contracting parties,
or upon the cargoes of such ships, in the ports
of either, have appointed their plenipotentiaries
to conclude a convention for that purpose, that
is to say :-
His Majesty the King of Great Britain and
Ireland, the Right Hon. George Canning, a
Member of His Majesty's Most Hon. Privy
Council, a Member of Parliament, and His
said Majesty's principal Secretary of State for
Foreign Affairs; and the Right Hon. William
Huskisson, a Member of His said Majesty's
Most Hon. Privy Council, a Member of Par-
liament, President of the Committee of Privy
Council for Affairs of Trade and Foreign
Plantations, and Treasurer of His said Majes-
ty's Navy :-
And the Senate of the free Hanseatic city
of Lubeck, the Senate of the free Hanseatic city
of Bremen, and the Senate of the Free Han-
seatic city of Hamburgh, James Colquhoun,
Esq. their Agent and Consul-General in Great
Britain:-
Who, after having communicated to each
other their respective full powers, found to be
in due and proper form, have agreed upon
and concluded the following articles :
Art. 1. From and after the date hereof,
British vessels entering or departing from the
ports of the Free Hanseatic Republics of
Lubeck, Bremen, or Hamburgh, and Lubeck,
Bremen or IIamburgh vessels entering or
departing from the ports of the United King-
dom of Great Britain and Ireland, shall not
be subject to any other or higher ship duties
or charges than are or shall be levied on
national vessels entering or departing from
such ports respectively.
Art. 2.-All goods, wares, and merchandise,
whether the production of the territories of the
free Hanseatic republics of Lubeck, Bremen,
or Hamburgh, or of any other country, which
may be legally imported from any of the ports
of the said republics into the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland in British vessels,
shall, in like manner, be permitted to be im-
ported in Lubeck, Bremen, or Hamburgh ves-
sels: and all goods, wares, and merchandise,
whether the production of any of the domi-
nions of his Britannic majesty, or of any other
country, which may be legally exported from
the ports of the United Kingdom in British
vessels, shall, in like manner, be permitted to
be exported from the said ports in Lubeck,
Bremen, or Hamburghvessels. And all goods,
wares, and merchandise, which may be legally
imported into or exported from the ports of
Lubeck, Bremen, or Hamburgh, in national
vessels, shall, in like manner, be permitted to
be imported into or exported from the ports
of Lubeck, Bremen, or Iamburgh, in British
vessels.
Art. 3.-All goods, wares, and merchandise,
which can be legally imported into the ports
of the United Kingdom directly from the ports
of Lubeck, Bremen, or Hamburgh, or either of
them, shall be admitted at the same rate of


FEB. 6, 1826. [118






119] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Convention of Commerce with France. 120
duty, whether imported in British vessels, or of such property or otherwise), than are or
in vessels belonging to either of the said re- shall be payable, in each state, upon the like
publics :-aud all goods, wares, and merchan- property, when removed by a subject or citizen
dise, which can be legally exported from the of such state, respectively.
United Kingdom, shall be entitled to the same Art. 8.-The high contracting parties re-
bounties, drawbacks, and allowances, whether serve to enter upon additional stipulations for
exported in British or Hanseatic vessels. And the purpose of facilitating and extending, even
the like reciprocity shall be observed, in the beyond what is comprehended in the conven-
ports of the said republics, in respect to all tion of this date, the commercial relations of
goods, wares, and merchandise which can be theirrespectivesubjectsanddominions, citizens,
legally imported into or exported from any or and territories, upon the principle either of re-
either of the said ports, in vessels belonging to ciprocal or equivalent advantages, as the case
the United Kingdom. may be; and in the event of any article or ar-
Art. 4.-No priority or preference shall be tides being concluded between the said high
given, directly or indirectly, by any or either contracting parties, for giving effect to such
of the contracting parties, nor by any company, stipulations, it is hereby agreed that the article
corporation, or agent, acting on their behalf, or articles which may hereafter be so con-
or under their authority, in the purchase of any eluded, shall be considered as forming part
article, the growth, produce, or manufacture of the present convention.
of their states, respectively, imported into the Art. 9.-The present convention shall be in
other, on account of or in reference to the force for the term of ten years from the date
character of the vessel in which such article hereof; and further, until the end of twelve
was imported; it being the true intent and months after the king of the united kingdom
meaning of the high contracting parties, that of breat Britain and Ireland, on the one part,
no distinction or difference whatever shall be or the governments of the free Hanseatic re-
made in this respect. publics of Lubeck, Bremen, or Iamburgh, or
Art. 5.-In consideration of the limited ex- either of them, on the other part, shall have
tent of the territories belonging to the repub- given notice of their intention to terminate the
lies of Lubeck, Bremen, and Hamburgh, and same ; each of the said high contracting parties
the intimate connexion of trade and navigation reserving to itself the right of giving such
subsisting between these republics, it is hereby notice to the other, at the end of the said term
stipulated and agreed, that any vessels which of ten years : and it is hereby agreed between
have been built in any or either of the ports them, that at theexpiration of twelve months
of the said republics, and which shall be owned after such notice shall have been received by
exclusively by a citizen or citizens of any or either of the parties from the other, this con-
either of them, and of which the master shall vention, and all the provisions thereof, shall
also be a citizen of either of them, and pro- altogether cease and determine, as far as re-
vided three fourths of the crew shall be sub- gards the states giving and receiving such no-
jects or citizens of any or either of the said twice; it being always understood and agreed,
republics, or of any or either of the states that if one or more of the Hanseatic republics
comprised in the Germanic Confederation, as aforesaid shall, at the expiration of ten years
described and enumerated in the 53rd and from the date hereof, give or receive notice
56th articles of the general treaty of Congress, of the proposed termination of this convention,
signed at Vienna on the 9th of June, 1815, such convention shall nevertheless remain in
such vessel, so built, owned, and navigated, full force and operation, as far as regards the
shall, for all the purposes of this convention, remaining Hanseatic republics or republic
be taken to be and considered as a vessel be- which may not have given or received such
longing to Lubeck, Bremen, or Hamburgh. notice.
Art. 6.-Anyvessel, together with her cargo, Art. 10.-The present convention shall be
belonging to either of the three free Hanseatic ratified, and the ratifications shall be ex-
republics of Lubeck, Bremen, or Hamburgh, changed at London within one month from the
and coming from either of the said ports to date hereof, or sooner if possible.
the United Kingdom, shall, for all the purposes In witness whereof the respective plenipo-
of this convention, be deemed to come from tentiaries have signed the same, and have affix-
the country to which such vessel belongs; and ed thereto the seals of their arms. Done at
any British vessel and her cargo trading to the London the 29th day of September, in the year
ports of Lubeck, Bremen, or Hamburgh, di- of our Lord 1825.
rectly or in succession, shall, for the like (L.S.) GEORGE CANNING.
purposes, be on the footing of a Hanseatic (L.S.) W. HUSKISSON.
vessel and her cargo making the same voyage. (L.S.) JAMES COLQUHOUN.
Art. 7.-It is further mutually agreed, that
no higher or other duties shall be levied, in any CONVENTION OF COMMERCE WITHt
or either of the states of the high contracting FRANCE.] The following Convention was
parties, upon any personal property of the sub- laid on the table :
jectsand citizens of each, respectively, on there-
noval of the same from the dominions or ter- CovNvNTroN or COMMERCE between his Ma-
ritory of such states (either upon inheritance jesty and the Most Christian King, together







121] Convention of Commerce with France.


with two Additional Articles thereunto an-
nexed. Signed at London, January 26th,
1826.
In the name of the Most Holy Trinity.-His
Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Ireland on the one part,
and His Majesty the King of France and
Navarre on the other part, being equally
animated by the desire of facilitating the com-
mercial intercourse between their respective
subjects, and being persuaded that nothing can
more contribute to the fulfilment of their mu-
tual wishes in this respect, than to simplify
and equalize the regulations which are now
in force relative to the navigation of both
kingdoms, by the reciprocal abrogation of all
discriminating duties levied upon the vessels
of either of the two nations in the ports of the
other, whether under the head of duties of
tonnage, harbours, light-house, pilotage, and
others of the same description; or in the shape
of increased duties upon goods on account of
their being imported or exported in other than
national vessels; have named as their pleni-
potentiaries to conclude a convention for this
purpose-that is to say:-
His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland, the Right Hon.
George Canning, a Member of his said Ma-
jesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, a Mem-
ber of Parliament, and his said Majesty's prin-
cipal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs,
and the Right Hon.William Huskisson, aMem-
ber of His said Majesty's Most Honourable
Privy Council, a Member of Parliament, Pre-
sident of the Committee of Privy Council for
Affairs of Trade and Foreign Plantations, and
Treasurer of His said Majesty's Navy :
And His Majesty the King of France and
Navarre, the Prince Jules, Count de Polignac,
a Peer of France, Marechal de-Camp of His
Most Christian Majesty's Forces, Knight of
the Royal and Military Order of St. Louis,
Officer of the Royal Order of the Legion of
Honour, Grand Cross of the Order of St.
Maurice of Sardinia, Aide-de-Camp of His
Most Christian Majesty, and his Ambassador
at the Court of His Britannic Majesty:
Who, after having communicated to each
other their respective full powers, found to be
in due and proper form, have agreed upon and
concluded the following articles:-
Art. 1.-From and after the fifth of April
of the present year, French vessels, coming
from or departing for the ports of France, or,
if in ballast, coming from or departing for any
place, shall not be subject, in the ports of
the United Kingdom, either on entering into
or departing from the same, to any higher duties
of tonnage, harbour, light-house, pilotage,
quarantine, or other similar or corresponding
duties, of whatever nature, or under whatever
denomination, than those to which British ves-
sels, in respect of the same voyages, are or may
be subject, on entering into or departing from
such ports ; and, reciprocally, from and after
the same period, British vessels coming from


or departing for the ports of the United King-
dom, or if in ballast, coming from or departing
for any place, shall not be subject, in the
ports of France, either on entering into or de-
parting from the same, to any higher duties of
tonnage, harbour, light-house, pilotage, quar-
antine, or other similar or corresponding duties,
of whatever nature, or under whatever de-
nominations, than those to which French ves-
sels, in respect to the same voyages, are or
may be subject on entering into or departing
from such ports ; whether such duties are col-
lected separately, or are consolidated in one
and the same duty; his most Christian Ma-
jesty reserving to himself to regulate the
amount of such duty or duties in France, ac-
cording to the rate at which they are or may
be established in the United Kingdom: at the
same time, with the view of diminishing the
burdens imposed upon the navigation of the
two countries, his most Christian Majesty will
always be disposed to reduce the amount of
the said burdens in France, in proportion to
any reduction which may hereafter be made
of those now levied in the ports of the United
Kingdom.
Art. 2.-Goods, wares, and merchandise,
which can or may be legally imported into the
ports of the United Kingdom from the ports
of France, if so imported in French vessels,
shall be subject to no higher duties than if
imported in British vessels, and, reciprocally,
goods, wares, and merchandise, which can or
may be legally imported into the ports of
France, from the ports of the United Kingdom,
if so imported in British vessels, shall be sub-
ject to no higher duties than if imported in
French vessels. The produce of Asia, Africa,
and America, not being allowed to be imported
from the said countries nor from any other, in
French vessels, nor from France in French,
British, or any other vessels, into the ports of
the United Kingdom, for home consumption,
but only for warehousing and re-exportation,
his most Christian Majesty reserves to himself
to direct that, in like manner, the produce of
Asia, Africa, and America, shall not be im-
ported from the said countries, nor from any
other, in British vessels, nor from the United
Kingdom in British, French, or any other ves-
sels, into the ports of France, for the consump-
tion of that kingdom, but only for warehousing
and re-exportation.
With regard to the productions of the coun-
tries of Europe, it is understood between the
high contracting parties, that such productions
shall not be imported in British ships into
France for the consumption of that kingdom,
unless such ships shall have been laden there-
with in some port of the United Kingdom; and
that his Britannic Majesty may adopt, if he
shall think fit, some corresponding restrictive
measure, with regard to the productions of
the countries of Europe imported into the
ports of the United Kingdom in French ves-
sels: the high contracting parties reserving,
however, to themselves the power of making,


FPD. 6, 1826. [122






123] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Convention of Commerce with 1rancc. [1i2


by mutual consent, such relaxations in the
strict execution of the present article as they
may think useful to the respective interests of
the two countries, upon the principle of mutual
concessions, affording each to the other reci-
procal or equivalent advantages.
Art. 3.-All goods, wares, and merchandise,
which can or may be legally exported from
the ports of either of the two countries, shall,
on their export, pay the same duties of export-
ation, whether the exportation of such goods,
wares, and merchandise, be made in British
or in French vessels, provided the said vessels
proceed, respectively, direct from the ports of
the one country to those of the other. And all
the said goods, wares, and merchandise, so
exported in British or French vessels, shall be
reciprocally entitled to the same bounties,
drawbacks, and other allowances of the same
nature, which are granted by the regulations of
each country respectively.
Art. 4.-It is mutually agreed between the
high contracting parties, that in the intercourse
of navigation between their two countries, the
vessels of any third power shall, in no case,
obtain more favourable conditions than those
stipulated in the present convention in favour
of British and French vessels.
Art. 5.-The fishing-boats of either of the
two countries, which may be forced by stress
of weather to seek shelter in the ports or on
the coast of the other country, shall not be
subject to any duties or port charges of any
description whatsoever ; provided the said
boats, when so driven in by stress of weather,
shall not discharge or receive on board any
cargo, or portion of cargo, in the ports or on
the parts of the coast where they shall have
sought shelter.
Art. 6.-It is agreed that the provisions of
the present convention between the high con-
tracting parties shall be reciprocally extended
and in force, in all the possessions subject to
their respective dominion in Europe.
Art. 7.-The present convention shall be in
force for the term of ten years, from the 5th of
April of the present year; and further, until
the end of twelve mouths after either of the
high contracting parties shall have given notice
to the other of its intention to terminate its
operation; each of the high contracting parties
reserving to itself the right of giving such no-
tice to the other, at the end of the said term of
ten years: and it is agreed between them, that,
at the end of the twelve months' extension
agreed to on both sides, this convention, and
all the stipulations thereof, shall altogether
cease and determine.
Art. 8.-The present convention shall be
ratified, and the ratifications shall be exchanged
in London, within the space of one month, or
sooner if possible.
In witness whereof the respective plenipo-
tentiaries have signed the same, and have
affixed thereto the seals of their arms. Done
at London, the twenty-sixth day of January,


in the year of our Lord, 1826.
(L. S.) GEORGE CANNING.
(L. S.) WILLIAM HUSKISSON.
(L.S.) LE PRINCE DE PoLIGNAC.
ADDITIONAL ARTICLES.
Art. 1.-From and after the first of October
of the present year, French vessels shall be
allowed to sail from any port whatever of the
countries under the dominion of his most
Christian Majesty, to all the colonies of the
United Kingdom (except those possessed by
the East India Company), and to import into
the said colonies all kinds of merchandise (be-
ing productions the growth or manufacture of
France, or of any country under the dominion
of France), with the exception of such as are
prohibited to be imported into the said colonies,
or are permitted to be imported only from
countries under the British dominion ; and the
said French vessels, as well as the merchandise
imported in the same, shall not be subject, in
the colonies of the United Kingdom, to other
or higher duties than those to which British
vessels may be subject, on importing the same
merchandise from any foreign country, or
which are imposed upon the merchandise
itself.
The same facilities shall be granted, recipro-
cally, in the colonies of France, with regard
to the importation, in British vessels, of all
kinds of merchandise (being productions the
growth and manufacture of the United King-
dom, or of any country under the British
dominion), with the exception of such as are
prohibited to be imported into the said colonies,
or are permitted to be imported only from
countries under the dominion of France. And
whereas all goods, the produce of any foreign
country, may now be imported into the colo-
nies of the United Kingdom, in the ships of
that country, with the exception of a limited
list of specified articles, which can only be im-
ported into the said colonies in British ships,
his majesty the king of the United Kingdom
reserves to himself the power of adding to the
said list of excepted articles any other, he pro-
duce of the French dominions, the addition
whereof may appear to his majesty to be ne-
cessary for placing the commerce and naviga-
tion to be permitted to the subjects of each of
the high contracting parties with the colonies
of the other, upon a footing of fair reciprocity.
Art. 2.-From and after the same period,
French vessels shall be allowed to export from
all the colonies of the United Kingdom (except
those possessed by the East India Company)
all kinds of merchandise, which are not pro-
hibited to be exported from such colonies in
vessels other than those of Great Britain ; and
the said vessels, as well as the merchandise
exported in the same, shall not be subject to
other or higher duties than those to which British
vessels may be subject, on exporting the said
merchandise, or which are imposed upon the
merchandise itself; and they shall be entitled







Stamping of Small Country Notes.


to the same bounties, drawbacks, and other
allowances of the same nature, to which
British vessels would be entitled, on such ex-
portation.
The same facilities and privileges shall be
granted, reciprocally, in all the colonies of
France, for the exportation, in British vessels,
of all kinds of merchandise, which are not pro-
hibited to be exported from such colonies in
vessels other than those of France.
These two additional articles shall have the
same force and validity as if they were inserted,
word for word, in the convention signed this
day. They shall be ratified, and the ratifica-
tion shall be exchanged at the same time.
In witness whereof the respective plenipo-
tentiaries have signed the same, and have
affixed thereto the seals of their arms. Done
at London, the 26th of January, in the year of
our Lord 1826.
(L. S.) GEORGE CANNING.
(L. S.) WILLIAM HUSKISSON.
(L. S.) LE PRINCE DE POLIGNAC.


of twenty years, and he did not recollect
any instance in which he had given of-
fence. The late earl of Rosslyn, when
chancellor, had recommended that a pen-
sion of 1,0001. per annum should be
granted to the clerk on retiring from
office. Mr. Cowper had then stated, that
if nothing further should be granted to
him, he would be perfectly satisfied.
Their lordships, however, would not avail
themselves of this readiness to wave any
future claim, when they took a view of
the circumstances of the case. They had
some years ago turned their attention to
what was due to the gentlemen sitting at
the table of the House. They had now
to take into their consideration a case of
retirement, and he was convinced that
they would willingly concur in doing
what was not an act of liberality but of
justice. He would conclude by moving,
that That this House receives with sin-
cere concern the resignation of Henry


HOUSE OF LORDS. Cowper, esq., and think it right to record
Tuesday, February 7. the sense they entertain of the zeal, abi-
MR. COWPER-CLERK ASSISTANT.] lity, diligence, and integrity with which
The Earl of Liverpool rose to call their he executed the important duties of his
lordships' attention to a motion founded office during a period of more than forty
on the letter of Mr. Cowper, which he years. Also, that an humble address be
had read yesterday. He had the satis- presented to the king, laying before his
faction of feeling that the motion with majesty a copy of the letter of the said
which he should conclude was one which Henry Cowper, esq., and likewise the re-
would meet with no opposition. Their solution of the House respecting that
lordships knew how that gentleman had gentleman, and recommending him to his
discharged the important duties ofhisoffice majesty's royal grace and bounty."
for a period of forty-one years. There The resolution was agreed to.
was no instance of an individual having
discharged his duty with more diligence, HOUSE OF COMMONS.
assiduity, and integrity, than Mr. Cowper
had done. The situation was important Tuesday, February 7.
in various respects. It was necessary STAMPIT~G OF SMALL COUNTRY
that the person who filled it should be NOTES.] Mr. Calcraft begged to ask a
well acquainted with the course and forms question of the gentlemen on the Trea-
of judicial proceedings. The office was sury bench, upon a subject of consider-
also important from its connexion with able public interest. He understood
the forms and regulations of the House. that, of its own authority, government
This was a kind of knowledge which could had taken upon itself to refuse the issue
only be acquired by experience; and it of any stamps for one and two pound
was no disgrace to any one who sat on country notes. If this was the fact, he
the woolsack to say, that he might be thought it a great stretch of power.
assisted by Mr. Cowper. No one better Mr. Herries said, it was perfectly true
knew than the individual of whom he was that the government had taken upon it-
speaking, what was due to the dignity of self to refuse stamps for one and two
the House and to the maintenance of its pound country notes. He imagined, that
orders. Besides, his duty had been al- the understanding was general; that, if
ways discharged with so much propriety necessary, a short bill might be brought
and urbanity, that during the long period in to provide for exigencies, until the
of forty-one years, no one had ever had plan of the chancellor of the Exchequer
occasion to complain of his conduct. For was regularly stated. As the matter,
his own part, he could speak to a period however, was to come on so soon as Fri-


FEB. 7, 1826. [126







Stamping of Small Country Notes.


to the same bounties, drawbacks, and other
allowances of the same nature, to which
British vessels would be entitled, on such ex-
portation.
The same facilities and privileges shall be
granted, reciprocally, in all the colonies of
France, for the exportation, in British vessels,
of all kinds of merchandise, which are not pro-
hibited to be exported from such colonies in
vessels other than those of France.
These two additional articles shall have the
same force and validity as if they were inserted,
word for word, in the convention signed this
day. They shall be ratified, and the ratifica-
tion shall be exchanged at the same time.
In witness whereof the respective plenipo-
tentiaries have signed the same, and have
affixed thereto the seals of their arms. Done
at London, the 26th of January, in the year of
our Lord 1826.
(L. S.) GEORGE CANNING.
(L. S.) WILLIAM HUSKISSON.
(L. S.) LE PRINCE DE POLIGNAC.


of twenty years, and he did not recollect
any instance in which he had given of-
fence. The late earl of Rosslyn, when
chancellor, had recommended that a pen-
sion of 1,0001. per annum should be
granted to the clerk on retiring from
office. Mr. Cowper had then stated, that
if nothing further should be granted to
him, he would be perfectly satisfied.
Their lordships, however, would not avail
themselves of this readiness to wave any
future claim, when they took a view of
the circumstances of the case. They had
some years ago turned their attention to
what was due to the gentlemen sitting at
the table of the House. They had now
to take into their consideration a case of
retirement, and he was convinced that
they would willingly concur in doing
what was not an act of liberality but of
justice. He would conclude by moving,
that That this House receives with sin-
cere concern the resignation of Henry


HOUSE OF LORDS. Cowper, esq., and think it right to record
Tuesday, February 7. the sense they entertain of the zeal, abi-
MR. COWPER-CLERK ASSISTANT.] lity, diligence, and integrity with which
The Earl of Liverpool rose to call their he executed the important duties of his
lordships' attention to a motion founded office during a period of more than forty
on the letter of Mr. Cowper, which he years. Also, that an humble address be
had read yesterday. He had the satis- presented to the king, laying before his
faction of feeling that the motion with majesty a copy of the letter of the said
which he should conclude was one which Henry Cowper, esq., and likewise the re-
would meet with no opposition. Their solution of the House respecting that
lordships knew how that gentleman had gentleman, and recommending him to his
discharged the important duties ofhisoffice majesty's royal grace and bounty."
for a period of forty-one years. There The resolution was agreed to.
was no instance of an individual having
discharged his duty with more diligence, HOUSE OF COMMONS.
assiduity, and integrity, than Mr. Cowper
had done. The situation was important Tuesday, February 7.
in various respects. It was necessary STAMPIT~G OF SMALL COUNTRY
that the person who filled it should be NOTES.] Mr. Calcraft begged to ask a
well acquainted with the course and forms question of the gentlemen on the Trea-
of judicial proceedings. The office was sury bench, upon a subject of consider-
also important from its connexion with able public interest. He understood
the forms and regulations of the House. that, of its own authority, government
This was a kind of knowledge which could had taken upon itself to refuse the issue
only be acquired by experience; and it of any stamps for one and two pound
was no disgrace to any one who sat on country notes. If this was the fact, he
the woolsack to say, that he might be thought it a great stretch of power.
assisted by Mr. Cowper. No one better Mr. Herries said, it was perfectly true
knew than the individual of whom he was that the government had taken upon it-
speaking, what was due to the dignity of self to refuse stamps for one and two
the House and to the maintenance of its pound country notes. He imagined, that
orders. Besides, his duty had been al- the understanding was general; that, if
ways discharged with so much propriety necessary, a short bill might be brought
and urbanity, that during the long period in to provide for exigencies, until the
of forty-one years, no one had ever had plan of the chancellor of the Exchequer
occasion to complain of his conduct. For was regularly stated. As the matter,
his own part, he could speak to a period however, was to come on so soon as Fri-


FEB. 7, 1826. [126








day next, government had deemed it ex- who should be bound to take names, and
pedient to take upon itself the responsi- hand them over to the clerk for him to
ability of refusing any further stamps for register. He had as yet had no oppor-
the country small notes ; in order to pre- tunity of conferring with Irish members
vent the issue of very large quantities, on the subject. He then moved for
which would no doubt have been called leave to bring in a bill to alter and amend
for in the interim, the Election Laws in Ireland."
Mr. Calcraft said, it was the first time Mr. Hutchinson said, that any measure
he had known government take upon it- to alter the law of election must, at the
self such a responsibility, under such cir- eve of a general election, be looked at
cumstances ; and this, too, without even with peculiar jealousy.
taking the opinion of the law officers of Sir H. Parnell said, that the plan of
the Crown as to its legality. If the compelling people to show receipts for
exigency was so pressing, a short bill the discharge of rent, would be very ob-
ought to have been brought in; and the jectionable.
forms of the House might have been dis- Leave was given to bring in the bill.
pensed with. For himself, he thought
the course most unjustifiable; and that
it exposed the parties to actions of da- HOUSE OF LORDS.
mages. Thursday, February 9.
STATE OF IRELAND.] The Marquis
ELECTION LAWS IN IRELAND.] Mr. of Lansdotwn wished to ask of the noble
R. Martin, in moving for leave to bring lord opposite, how far the suggestions
in his bill, called upon every gentleman thrown out in the report of the committee
who had complained of the state of the of the House on the State of Ireland, im-
40s. freeholders in Ireland, to assist in perfect as they were, had been acted upon.
passing a measure which was intended to He called them imperfect, certainly not
place those voters upon a more respect- from any disposition to speak slightingly
able footing. By showing the receipt for of the labours of the persons who corn-
all rent due up to the time of the elect- posed the committee, of whom he himself
ion, the 40s. freeholders would be ren- was one, but because they were from the
dered really independent. At present it nature of the inquiry imperfect, and the
was well known that their property was committee themselves called them im-
in danger of being swept away, if they perfect. However, a great many sugges-
voted contrary to the inclination and tions of importance had been thrown out
bidding of their landlords. The tenants on the subject of education and other
would prove themselves before the world matters connected with the state of Ire-
to be much better qualified for exercising land, and he supposed the king's govern-
the rights of electors, could they show a ment had acted upon those suggestions
full discharge for their rent. If they as far as was found practicable. There
were in arrears, and the landlords wished were circumstances in the state of Ireland
them to vote independently, they could which rendered it very desirable that some
give them the receipt. No member who of the suggestions should be carried into
wished well to Ireland would deny them effect without delay. He was therefore
the boon which he now proposed. There very anxious to learn what had been
was one evil more which it was desirable done in pursuance of the suggestions in
to correct. Any one having a majority the report.
of the magistracy on his side, might suc- The Earl of Liverpool professed himself
ceed in preventing the adversary from ready to give the noble marquis every in-
registering a sufficiency of votes to secure formation in his power on the subject to
his return. In his own county he had which he had referred. In doing this, he
been prevented for twelve months from would take the report of the committee
registering a number of freeholders, and for the basis of his explanation, and would
in the mean time the election went by. go over the points suggested one by one.
Such a power ought not to be left for any The first suggestion related to an altera-
man to abuse. He would propose, that tion of the law of landlord and tenant.
the clerk of the peace should have due The subject had been referred to the law'
notice of the application of the freehold- officers of the Crown, who had had it for
ers to be registered, and in failure of his some time under their consideration, and
attendance, a person should be sworn in the result of their opinion had at last been


127J HOUSE OF LORDS,


State of Ireland.


[128







Stamping of Small Country Notes.


to the same bounties, drawbacks, and other
allowances of the same nature, to which
British vessels would be entitled, on such ex-
portation.
The same facilities and privileges shall be
granted, reciprocally, in all the colonies of
France, for the exportation, in British vessels,
of all kinds of merchandise, which are not pro-
hibited to be exported from such colonies in
vessels other than those of France.
These two additional articles shall have the
same force and validity as if they were inserted,
word for word, in the convention signed this
day. They shall be ratified, and the ratifica-
tion shall be exchanged at the same time.
In witness whereof the respective plenipo-
tentiaries have signed the same, and have
affixed thereto the seals of their arms. Done
at London, the 26th of January, in the year of
our Lord 1826.
(L. S.) GEORGE CANNING.
(L. S.) WILLIAM HUSKISSON.
(L. S.) LE PRINCE DE POLIGNAC.


of twenty years, and he did not recollect
any instance in which he had given of-
fence. The late earl of Rosslyn, when
chancellor, had recommended that a pen-
sion of 1,0001. per annum should be
granted to the clerk on retiring from
office. Mr. Cowper had then stated, that
if nothing further should be granted to
him, he would be perfectly satisfied.
Their lordships, however, would not avail
themselves of this readiness to wave any
future claim, when they took a view of
the circumstances of the case. They had
some years ago turned their attention to
what was due to the gentlemen sitting at
the table of the House. They had now
to take into their consideration a case of
retirement, and he was convinced that
they would willingly concur in doing
what was not an act of liberality but of
justice. He would conclude by moving,
that That this House receives with sin-
cere concern the resignation of Henry


HOUSE OF LORDS. Cowper, esq., and think it right to record
Tuesday, February 7. the sense they entertain of the zeal, abi-
MR. COWPER-CLERK ASSISTANT.] lity, diligence, and integrity with which
The Earl of Liverpool rose to call their he executed the important duties of his
lordships' attention to a motion founded office during a period of more than forty
on the letter of Mr. Cowper, which he years. Also, that an humble address be
had read yesterday. He had the satis- presented to the king, laying before his
faction of feeling that the motion with majesty a copy of the letter of the said
which he should conclude was one which Henry Cowper, esq., and likewise the re-
would meet with no opposition. Their solution of the House respecting that
lordships knew how that gentleman had gentleman, and recommending him to his
discharged the important duties ofhisoffice majesty's royal grace and bounty."
for a period of forty-one years. There The resolution was agreed to.
was no instance of an individual having
discharged his duty with more diligence, HOUSE OF COMMONS.
assiduity, and integrity, than Mr. Cowper
had done. The situation was important Tuesday, February 7.
in various respects. It was necessary STAMPIT~G OF SMALL COUNTRY
that the person who filled it should be NOTES.] Mr. Calcraft begged to ask a
well acquainted with the course and forms question of the gentlemen on the Trea-
of judicial proceedings. The office was sury bench, upon a subject of consider-
also important from its connexion with able public interest. He understood
the forms and regulations of the House. that, of its own authority, government
This was a kind of knowledge which could had taken upon itself to refuse the issue
only be acquired by experience; and it of any stamps for one and two pound
was no disgrace to any one who sat on country notes. If this was the fact, he
the woolsack to say, that he might be thought it a great stretch of power.
assisted by Mr. Cowper. No one better Mr. Herries said, it was perfectly true
knew than the individual of whom he was that the government had taken upon it-
speaking, what was due to the dignity of self to refuse stamps for one and two
the House and to the maintenance of its pound country notes. He imagined, that
orders. Besides, his duty had been al- the understanding was general; that, if
ways discharged with so much propriety necessary, a short bill might be brought
and urbanity, that during the long period in to provide for exigencies, until the
of forty-one years, no one had ever had plan of the chancellor of the Exchequer
occasion to complain of his conduct. For was regularly stated. As the matter,
his own part, he could speak to a period however, was to come on so soon as Fri-


FEB. 7, 1826. [126








day next, government had deemed it ex- who should be bound to take names, and
pedient to take upon itself the responsi- hand them over to the clerk for him to
ability of refusing any further stamps for register. He had as yet had no oppor-
the country small notes ; in order to pre- tunity of conferring with Irish members
vent the issue of very large quantities, on the subject. He then moved for
which would no doubt have been called leave to bring in a bill to alter and amend
for in the interim, the Election Laws in Ireland."
Mr. Calcraft said, it was the first time Mr. Hutchinson said, that any measure
he had known government take upon it- to alter the law of election must, at the
self such a responsibility, under such cir- eve of a general election, be looked at
cumstances ; and this, too, without even with peculiar jealousy.
taking the opinion of the law officers of Sir H. Parnell said, that the plan of
the Crown as to its legality. If the compelling people to show receipts for
exigency was so pressing, a short bill the discharge of rent, would be very ob-
ought to have been brought in; and the jectionable.
forms of the House might have been dis- Leave was given to bring in the bill.
pensed with. For himself, he thought
the course most unjustifiable; and that
it exposed the parties to actions of da- HOUSE OF LORDS.
mages. Thursday, February 9.
STATE OF IRELAND.] The Marquis
ELECTION LAWS IN IRELAND.] Mr. of Lansdotwn wished to ask of the noble
R. Martin, in moving for leave to bring lord opposite, how far the suggestions
in his bill, called upon every gentleman thrown out in the report of the committee
who had complained of the state of the of the House on the State of Ireland, im-
40s. freeholders in Ireland, to assist in perfect as they were, had been acted upon.
passing a measure which was intended to He called them imperfect, certainly not
place those voters upon a more respect- from any disposition to speak slightingly
able footing. By showing the receipt for of the labours of the persons who corn-
all rent due up to the time of the elect- posed the committee, of whom he himself
ion, the 40s. freeholders would be ren- was one, but because they were from the
dered really independent. At present it nature of the inquiry imperfect, and the
was well known that their property was committee themselves called them im-
in danger of being swept away, if they perfect. However, a great many sugges-
voted contrary to the inclination and tions of importance had been thrown out
bidding of their landlords. The tenants on the subject of education and other
would prove themselves before the world matters connected with the state of Ire-
to be much better qualified for exercising land, and he supposed the king's govern-
the rights of electors, could they show a ment had acted upon those suggestions
full discharge for their rent. If they as far as was found practicable. There
were in arrears, and the landlords wished were circumstances in the state of Ireland
them to vote independently, they could which rendered it very desirable that some
give them the receipt. No member who of the suggestions should be carried into
wished well to Ireland would deny them effect without delay. He was therefore
the boon which he now proposed. There very anxious to learn what had been
was one evil more which it was desirable done in pursuance of the suggestions in
to correct. Any one having a majority the report.
of the magistracy on his side, might suc- The Earl of Liverpool professed himself
ceed in preventing the adversary from ready to give the noble marquis every in-
registering a sufficiency of votes to secure formation in his power on the subject to
his return. In his own county he had which he had referred. In doing this, he
been prevented for twelve months from would take the report of the committee
registering a number of freeholders, and for the basis of his explanation, and would
in the mean time the election went by. go over the points suggested one by one.
Such a power ought not to be left for any The first suggestion related to an altera-
man to abuse. He would propose, that tion of the law of landlord and tenant.
the clerk of the peace should have due The subject had been referred to the law'
notice of the application of the freehold- officers of the Crown, who had had it for
ers to be registered, and in failure of his some time under their consideration, and
attendance, a person should be sworn in the result of their opinion had at last been


127J HOUSE OF LORDS,


State of Ireland.


[128






State of Ireland.


FEB.9, 1 S26. E 13(Y


digested and prepared for the considera- but many difficultieshadbeenexperienced'
tion of parliament. What he had to say In Ireland, prejudices were very strong
on the next point was not so satis- with regard to education, both among
factory. The subject of grand jury pre. Catholics and Protestants. It was there-
sentments had been, and still was, under fore thought, that the best way would be
the anxious consideration of government; to desire the commissioners to try an ex-
but it was not in such a state that any periment in some place where it was not
measure upon it could soon be submitted likely any resistance would be made to
to the consideration of parliament. The their plan. They readily undertook the
next point was the criminal and civil busi- task, and had since been employed in en-
ness of the quarter sessions, on which he devouring to accomplish the object. It
could not say that any thing was done. would certainly have been most desirable
The next suggestion related to assistant if the system originally proposed could
barristers. It was recommended that have been carried into effect. Many dif-
they should not act as counsellors, and ficulties had occurred; and the misfortune
that was agreed to. The next points was, that every one had a system of his
were the constitution of civil and criminal own. If, however, the experiment was
courts, the process of custodiam, the sum- once fairly tried, he had no doubt that it
mary regulations of sheriffs and sub- would succeed.
sheriffs. Upon these points a report would Lord Ellenborough had heard with re-
hereafter be made. The next point was great what the noble lord had said about
the administration of justice by magis- grand-jury presentments. He was sorry
tratesin corporate towns. On this subject that no measure was in preparation on
a bill was prepared. The next topic re- that subject. There certainly were not
lated to fictitious forty-shilling freeholders. too few, but too many roads in Ireland.
On this subject he was not prepared to These roads were so many jobs, and were
say that any measure was in progress for managed in such a way that the grand
the consideration of parliament. Among juries had not the means of doing justice.
the succeeding points of suggestion were He was convinced that most of the money
the extension of public works, additional raised for making roads in Ireland was
accommodations for lunatics, and regula- thrown away, as far as regarded the in-
tions of manor courts. With regard to terest of the public. Part of a road was
them nothing particular had been done; made this year, and part another; but
but, the two most important suggestions the benefit which the public was to derive
related to tithes and education. Upon from it was postponed till the whole was
the first of these topics he could assert, completed, which might be twenty years ;
that the measures which had been adopted and till that period he considered the mo-
by parliament had been most successful; ney completely thrown away. In a part
so successful as to exceed the expecta- where a gentleman resided, the roads were
tions of himself, the original proposer. kept in very good order; but it often hap-
Returns had been received from all the opened that where the country was popu-
dioceses of Ireland, with the exception lous, they were in very bad condition.
of two. From these returns, it appeared With regard to the corporations, he be-
that the act had been carried into execu- lived the administration of justice was
tion, with success, in at least one fourth of sometimes corrupt, and he thought that
the parishes in Ireland. But these returns inquiry ought to be made into the mode
did not afford evidence of all the ad- of admitting persons into their freedom.
vantages derived from the measure. The He did not know how far the attention of
agreements which were made in other government had been directed to the
parishes, in consequence of the act, but question of relief to the poor. For his
which rendered its operations unnecessary, own part, his opinion was very strong
were to be reckoned among its good ef- against any thing being done in that way.
fects. The operation of the act had been With regard to the question of education,
found most beneficial in the south and it was his firm conviction, that until the
west of Ireland; and in the county of Catholics gained their rights, they would
Cork, the business of the assistant bar- never agree to any system of education
rister had been reduced one half in con- which had been suggested. The public
sequence of the absence of tithe causes. mind was at present greatly exasperated
With regard to the point of education, it in consequence of the rejection of the
was wished to act on the system suggested, measure of last session, and therefore any
VOL. XIV. K






151] HOUSE OF LORDS,
suggestions on the subject were not likely
to be listened to.
Lord Clifden believed, that the govern-
ment would be glad to put an end to the
grand-jury presentment system, if they
could; but that was not easily accom-
plished. He agreed with the noble lord
in what he had said about the roads, the
management of which was often an enor-
mous and shameful job.
The Earl of Liverpool assured the
noble lord, that any suggestion respecting
the evils of grand-jury presentments
should not be lost. The subject was un-
der consideration. With regard to the
administration of justice in corporate
towns, whatever evils there might be to
complain of, they could not be with pro-
priety corrected by any general laws, be-
cause, the rights of corporations were
secured by charter. He had no objection
to a law to meet particular cases, but a
general law would affect those who had
discharged their duty properly, as well as
those who had neglected it. Besides, it
was to be recollected, that when indi-
viduals found themselves aggrieved, they
had their remedy in a court of law. He
should be extremely anxious to see some-
thing done for the poor, if it were prac-
ticable. At the same time he was not
prepared to say that any thing was prac-
ticable.
Lord Ellenborough said, he should not
be satisfied with any alteration on the
subject of grand-jury presentments re-
specting roads, unless it was provided
that no road should be undertaken except
upon the report of a sworn surveyor. He
also thought that no road should be un-
dertaken without the sanction of govern-
ment.
The Earl of Darnley said, that no
agreement on the subject of education
could be expected in Ireland, so long as
the Catholics were deprived of their
rights. The discontent produced by that
denial of justice prevented every plan of
reform from succeeding. Let the anxiety
of the noble earl opposite to benefit that
country be as strong as he asserted it to
be, still, so long as the principles he
avowed last session were acted upon, it
was impossible there could be tranquillity
in Ireland. He might as well attempt to
erect a perfect building on an insecure
foundation. With such an obstacle to
improvement, all the efforts of the noble
lord must fail. On the subject of educa-
tion, an opportunity had occurred, before


State of the Currency. [ 132
the rejection of the Catholic bill, to do
much. There was a disposition on the
part both of Catholics and Protestants to
give way to each other; but the extin-
guisher on the question of emancipation
had put an end to all hope of conciliation.
With regard to the poor, he did not think
that a system of poor laws ought to be
established in Ireland.

STATE OF THE CURRENCY.] The
Marquis of Lansdown rose to call the
attention of their lordships to one of the
most important questions which could be
brought under their consideration. He
intended to submit to them a series of
motions, the object of which would be
to reach the source of that embarrassment,
which had prevailed, and still prevailed in
commercial affairs. In doing this he was
desirous of offering a few observations for
the purpose of expressing the opinion
which he entertained on the subject.
He was the more desirous of submitting
these few observations to their lordships,
because he entertained an apprehension,
that in the opinions he had formed on
the subject, he had the misfortune to differ,
respecting the causes of the present crisis,
from some persons in that House, and
also out of it, for whose opinions he enter-
tained the highest respect. Before he
proceeded further, he begged it might
not be understood, that he intended to
suggest, or that he expected, through
any of the documents for which he should
move, to reach any thing like a remedy
for the existing evil. His opinion, founded
upon what he conceived to be the nature
of the evil, was, that it must be allowed
to work its own cure. The state of the
currency had turned the exchanges
against the country, and gold disappeared.
There was an accumulation of stock, and
the consequence was, that any man who
purchased at a maximum, and sold at a
minimum was ruined or injured. The em-
barrassment would continue until, going
through the whole community, it should
be corrected by that increased demand
which would be produced by the reduction
of prices. Then would return, not that
artificial prosperity, which had been wit-
nessed, but that real prosperity which the
country was capable of attaining, under
its present state of taxation. He believed
it was the opinion of the king's ministers
themselves, that no adequateremedy could
be applied to the evil. Concurring in this
opinion, he thought that no time should






133] State ofthe Currency.
be lost by parliament in investigating the
cause, and if no remedy could be found,
to endeavour to prevent the recurrence of
one of the most tremendous and search-
ing convulsions ever experienced in any
country, and that in a time of profound
peace. There were two classes of evils,
both of which might be referred, in some
degree, to the same cause, and yet they
were in their consequences essentially
different. The first was the state of the
currency, which, running into excess and
causing the exportation of the precious
metals, affected prices and the state of
the exchanges. These constituted a class
of evils by itself, but one which it was the
duty of parliament strictly to investigate,
in order to prevent its return. Another
evil attending the state of the currency
was, the insecurity with which it visited
the lower orders of the community, by
depriving them of the value of their
labour and the profits of their industry.
Important as the first class of evil was,
this was by far the most serious grievance
of the two. When he recollected the
important prerogatives of the Crown
-and all prerogatives of the Crown
existed only for the benefit of the subject
-none appeared to him more valuable
or more efficacious than that of coining
money, which, interposed as a shield
between ignorance and fraud, protect-
ed those persons, and secured to them
their humble earnings. Those who de-
pended upon their labour ought to be
protected from being involved in the ruin-
ous consequences of speculation. The
state of the currency, however, exposed
those classes of persons to ruin who had no
share in speculation, and who ought not
to be placed within the reach of the evils
which it occasioned. He would ask any
of their lordships who had happened to
be in a country town when one of those
failures had taken place, whether he could
bring to mind the scene of complicated
misery, and distress which he must have
witnessed, without feeling that it was
incumbent on him to do all in his
power to prevent a recurrence of the
most dreadful calamity to which a com-
munity could be exposed. If one of the
hundreds of thousands who had been ex-
posed to this evil had been stopped in
the highways and robbed of his property,
such an event would have fixed the great-
est stigma on the energy of government
and the foresight of the legislature. And,
where was the difference betweenbeing thus


FEB. 9, 1826. [ 13i
robbed, and being despoiled of property
by the operations of an excessive paper
currency? There was said to be this
difference between the two cases-that
the persons attacked on the highway
would have the means of defending them-
selves from attack whilst the community
had no means of escaping from that which,
sooner or later, was sure to fall upon
them, in the shape of one of the greatest
evils which it was possible to be subjected
to. The evil consequences of the system
to which he alluded were felt in all their
severity by the labouring classes. In
country towns local paper was usually
the only currency in which they were
paid for their labour. If they refused
to receive the paper in payment,
they must go without the reward for
the labour to which they were en-
titled. The state of the currency as
connected with the issue of small notes
was, therefore, a subject which called for
the serious attention of parliament. The
motion with which he should conclude,
was not intended to attack in any way
the measures which government were
about to propose for the consideration of
parliament. With regard to the proposed
measures respecting the issue, or rather
the prevention of the issue, of small notes,
he thought it would be more difficult for
ministers to show good grounds for having
authorized the continuance of that issue,
at a time when the benefit ofametallic cur-
rency had been obtained, than to prove the
necessity of putting an effectual stop to any
further issue. He trusted, therefore, that
their lordships would second the views of
government by repealing a measure, which
in an ill-advised hour, parliament had
been induced to adopt. He concurred in
the desire expressed by the noble earl
opposite, to check the issue of small notes;
and he believed there was no person who
had read the papers on theirlordships'table,
but must be of opinion that the excessive
issue of small notes had had the effect of
driving the precious metals out of the coun-
try, as well as of raising prices during the
last two years. This observation applied
more particularly to the notes of country
bankers. The effect produced by an ex-
cessive issue of small notes had been cor-
rectly described in a pamphlet which had
already been noticed in terms of great
praise in that House, and which pro-
ceeded from a gentleman who united
in an eminent degree practical know-
ledge with theoretical accuracy. He






1]35] HOUSE OF LORDS, Stale of the Currency. [136
meant Mr. Tooke. That gentleman had heard with great surprise, of a step taken
justly stated, that the effect of such an by government which he conceived to be
excessive issue of small notes was not only unnecessary, and unconstitutional, for the
to form an addition to the general capital purpose of defeating an existing law.
of the country, but to operate immediately What made the matter worse was, that
as an addition to that part of the capital this proceeding had taken place during
which was employed in speculation; and, the sitting of parliament, without any
in proportion as it operated to swell the communication having been made to it.
amount of capital devoted to speculation, He could not see why, if government had
it had a direct tendency to raise prices in the power to dispense with an existing
anartificial degree. Theonlycircumstance law without the intervention of Parliament
which had surprised him, and doubtless the same dispensing power might not he
many of their lordships, in the progress applied to other laws, and though perhaps
of the evil was, that under a state of judiciously exercised in the first instance,
law which provided for a metallic circula- grow up into a system of interference
tion, and for the convertibility of paper with established laws on the part of the
into specie, the check presented by that government, which would have the most
conversion had not sooner operated. dangerous results. It was therefore the
That, perhaps, was to be accounted for duty of parliament to reprobate the first
by this circumstancve-that a large arti- instance of the exercis- of such a power.
facial addition to capital having been crea- He must deeply regret, if ministers con-
ted by an excessive issue of paper, a con- sidered it necessary to suspend an exist-
siderable time must elapse before the ing law, that they had not communicated
cause of the increase could be correctly the fact to parliament, and at least ob-
ascertained. The first effect of an issue tainted the sanction of a resolution for the
of country bank paper was, to create an course which they had pursued. He
artificial abundance of capital ; the ac- hoped that ministers would come to par-
cumulation of capital caused a reduction liament for a bill of indemnity, for having
of the rate of interest; by the reduction done that which, however expedient, was
in the rate of interest facilities were constitutionally wrong. With respect to
afforded for speculation ; speculation pro- the measure of stopping the issue of small
duced an effect upon prices ; the alteration notes, he entertained no apprehension
in prices checked the progress ofmercan- from it. It was, he knew, the opinion of
tile exports, and that caused the precious many, that a paper currency, subject to all
metals to be sent out of the country, the evils to which it was liable, was never-
Then ensued that lamentable distress theless a species of accommodation, of
which arose from an accumulation of which the country with its existing amount
stock purchased at high prices being obli- of taxation stood in need. That was a
ged to be sold at greatly reduced prices most important point for consideration.
under the influence of alarm. That he But it would become theirlordships, before
believed was a correct statement of the they concurred in the continuance of that
train of events which was always liable to great evil, to weigh well the value of the
proceed from a paper currency, such as accommodation which it was calculated
that which was permitted to exist until to aflord. After the most attentive con-
1833. He therefore thought it was the sideration, lie could not bring his mind to
duty of parliament to check the issue of believe, that it was at all advantageous to
small notes as speedily as was consistent enable a person to do that without capital
with safety; and the mode in which the which should only be done with capital
noble earl proposed to elffct that object -that it could be beneicial, by throwing
was, as far as lie understood it, extremely artificial capital into the market, to pro-
proper. lie understood that the noble duce a rise of prices, which must, upon the
earl intended to propose, that no more artificial capital being withdrawn, be fol-
one and two pound notes should be al- lowed by a corresponding fall. He knew
lowed to be issued, and that the currency of no system of legislation which would
cf those already in circulation should prevent such an artificial rise of prices
be limited to three years. He must, from being followed by a revolution,
however, take that opportunity of stat- bringing ruin and destruction along with
ing, that whilst he concurred with the it. It being admitted, that the effect of
noble earl as to the expediency of stop- an issue of paper was to raise prices for a
ping the issue of small notes, he had time, it remained to be considered, whe-






137] State of the Currency. FEB. 9, 1826. [138
other the average of prices might not be apprehension of a scarcity of the precious
as great under a metallic currency. Sup- metals. He, however, wished it to be
pose a commodity which, under a paper understood, that he reserved himself with
currency, sold at one time for 1001., and respect to the question of the effect of
at another for 501., should, under a me- the amount of taxation taken in connexion
tallic currency, sell at two different pe- with a metallic currency on the general
riods for 901. and 601.; the average was means of the country. Whilst he enter-
the same, and it was certainly more ad- tained the opinion which he had expressed,
vantageous to the interests of the com- of the propriety of checking the issue of
munity, that a steady scale of prices should small notes of country banks, he was
exist, than that a constant fluctuation of equally desirous to see the Bank of Eng-
price should take place, occasioned by a land deprived of the power of circulating
system of paper issues, which had the ef- notes of the same kind. And this brought
fect of driving the precious metals out of him to the consideration of the share
the country, and thus producing a sudden which the Bank was supposed to have had
vacuum, under the influence of which in contributing to the crisis of last year.
prices fell much lower than they ever Having arrived at that part of his subject,
could under a metallic circulation. The it would be most unfair to pass by the
alarm which some persons felt at the pro- opportunity of stating, that in the recent
posed limitation of the paper currency transactions between government and the
was, he was convinced, perfectly ground- Bank, with respect to the surrender of
less. A great deal of the apparent pros- part of the privileges of that body for the
perity of last year, by which many per- purpose of facilitating the formation of
sons were deceived, was manufactured for solid banking companies, and the readi-
the occasion. As was the case with all ness which they had displayed to meet the
articles of spurious manufacture, its ac- public necessities, did them great honour.
quisition proved to be a loss rather than Giving them praise on that account,
an advantage. This was not the case he was disposed to go further, and say
with prosperity founded on a solid basis that the Bank directors deserved great
-the result of real capital in the market, credit for the promptitude with which they
capable of being immediately realized in endeavoured to arrest the effects of the
the form of a metallic currency. The late panic by a great issue of small notes.
subject of the currency branched out into But, having said thus much, it would be
many different parts, with respect to each uncandid in him not to add, that the Bank,
of which a variety of opinions was enter- in the first instance, so far from having
trained. One of the most extraordinary arrested the progress of the late evils, had
opinions he had ever heard was that increased them by the extent of its issues
which some persons entertained; namely, of paper. He believed it would appear
that this, the most opulent country in the that in 1825, but more particularly in
universe, could not procure such a share 1824, whilst the country-bank paper
of the precious metals, distributed through was increasing, considerable additions
the world as would enable her to carry on were made to the issues of paper and
her commercial transactions. He knew discounts of the Bank of England. After
that such an opinion was contrary to fact, the language which was held by the
and he derived his knowledge from ac- highest authority of the Bank some time
counts on their lordships' table, and from ago, he had a right to state, that the period
others which were within the reach of to which hehad alluded was not the proper
every one. It was proved by experience, time in which such issues should have
that when any occasion for it existed, a taken place. It was a time when an effica-
flow of gold into this country never failed cious check upon paper circulation might
to take place. In deference to that spe- have been administered by the Bank, and
cies of mystery with which the Bank of could not have failed to produce a most
England liked to surround itself to a salutary effect. He would explain the
greater degree, perhaps, than was expe- allusion which he had made to the words
dient, he would not particularize dates; of an individual connected with the Bank.
but he would confidently state, that on During the progress of that inquiry in
one occasion the Bank was able in the which their lordships were engaged some
course of two years to increase a treasure time back, and the result of which was
of less than three millions of gold to one known by the name of the Bullion report,
of fourteen millions. He therefore felt no one of the highest persons connected with






139] HOUSE OF LORDS,
the Bank, when asked what he considered
to be the criterion (independently of the
exportation of the precious metals) of an
excess in the issue of paper currency, re-
plied, a state of trade in which money
is hawked about every-where, and many
persons are induced to undertake uncer-
tain and imprudent speculations." He
would ask whether, independently of the
exportation of the precious metals which
was actually taking place in 1824 to South
America, a more accurate description
could be given of the state of trade and
speculation in England at that period,
than was to be found in the words which
he had just quoted. Money was then
hawked about every-where, and the most
imprudent speculations were going on.
He had a right, therefore, to say, that it
was deeply to be lamented that the Bank
did not at an earlier period adopt measures
for narrowing their paper-currency, and
diminishing their discounts. His object
was, to obtain an account of the amount
of issues of small notes from the Bank
during the last two years, in order
to show the effect which those issues
had produced upon prices. He was in-
clined to hope much from the abandon-
ment of part of the Bank's privilege. With
respect to the measure which would require
country bankers to give security, it ap-
peared to him to be attended with so much
difficulty in its application, thathe doubted
whether it could be carried into effect.
He thought that much more good would
be effected by giving publicity to the
transactions of public banks than by re-
quiring securities. This would operate as
a check upon improper conduct, whilst it
would leave them in full possession of their
funds, which would, in a great degree, be
tied up under the proposed system of se-
curities. He hoped, therefore, that the
noble earl would abandon that part of his
plan. He ventured to suggest, that it
would be expedient, thatwherevercountry-
bank notes should be issued, there they
should be made payable. Such a provi-
sion would remedy the inconvenience
which had been found to result from
country banks establishing branch banks
in different towns, which issued notes pay-
able only at the fountain head, or original
bank.-He had now stated the observa-
tions which occurred to him with re-
spect to the measures which it was the in-
tention of ministers to propose. Many
persons, he was aware, were of opinion
that the effect of those measures would be


Slate of the Currency. [ 140
to bring back the currency to the state in
which it was placed by Mr. Peel's bill, and
that it would, in that event, be impossible
for us, with the existing load of taxation,
to fulfil our pecuniary obligations. These
same persons approved of the artificial
paper currency, because they considered
that it enabled them to fulfil those obliga-
tions which otherwise they could not do.
He was unwilling to admit the possibility
of the country being incapable of fulfilling
all its engagements. If he could entertain
such an opinion, he would say, in God's
name declare the fact, and adopt a system
of policy applicable to the situation in
which we were placed. Proceed upon
fixed principles, but abandon a system
which caused perpetual revolutions, creat-
ing at one moment a state of artificial
prosperity, and at another plunging the
interests of the country into a state of un-
natural depression-a system which scat-
tered ruin through every part of the com-
munity, depriving every man of the means
of knowing the value of the currency, and
making him liable to have the produce of
ears of industry almost valueless. He
hoped andbelieved that the measures to be
proposed byministerswould have the effect
of putting an end to a system which pro-
duced such calamitous effects, and of plac-
ing the bankingestablishments of the coun-
try on a solid foundation. The intended
measures would not, he understood, apply
to Scotland or Ireland, but he trusted to
see, at a future period, some measures
founded on similar principles applied to
those parts of the country. The noble
marquisconcluded with movingfor," 1. An
account of the number of Bank of England
notes in circulation on the 15th of Februa-
ry, May, August, and November in each
year, from 1819 to 1825, distinguishing
the notes for 51. and under ; and a like
account of notes of the banks of Scotland
and Ireland. 2. An account of all the
notes issued by country bankers in Eng-
land, Scotland, and Ireland, from 1819,
up to the latest period. 3. An account of
the number of bankrupts in England,
Scotland, and Ireland, from 1819 to the
latest periods at which the return could
be made, distinguishing those who were
bankers. 4. Copies of all charters granted
to banking establishments during the same
period."
The Earl of Liverpool said, he did not
feel it necessary to trouble their lordships
with more than a few words on the present
occasion; first, because it would be his






141] State of the Currency. FEB. 9, 1826. 142
duty at a very early period to submit to the course of applying to parliament
the consideration of the House one of the for a short bill to sanction the proceedings
measures of which he gave notice on the which had been adopted, he would reply,
first day of the session ; and secondly, be- that that step could not have been taken
cause, having listened with the utmost at- without the greatest partiality and injus-
tention to what had fallen from the noble tice. The bankers near the metropolis
marquis, there washardly a sentence which would have got their notes stamped whilst
he had uttered, with which he was not the bill was passing, an advantage of which
disposed entirely to agree. So long as the bankers at a more distant part of the
the Bank of England continued under country could not avail themselves. Under
restriction, parliament had a right to call, these circumstances, it was considered
from time to time, for the accounts of the advisable to adopt the measure without
Bank, in order that they might be fully any previous application to parliament.
acquainted with the proceedings of that It was done to prevent the desirable object
body; but the restriction having expired, which government had in view from being
and the Bank being under no control, he defeated.
did not conceive that parliament was en- The Earl of Lauderdale denied that the
titled to call for information from them as issues of small notes had the effect of
a matter of course. The information driving the metallic currency out of the
which the noble marquis sought for might, country. The present distress, in his
however, be obtained, though perhaps not opinion, was not occasioned by the cur-
so completely, from the Stamp-office. But rency so much as by the spirit of extra-
though he did not consider the motion a vagant speculation which lately prevailed
matter of course, yet, connected as it was throughout the country. The withdraw-
with a great legislative measure about to ing of nineteen millions, which was the
be submitted to parliament, with the con- amount supposed to be withdrawn from
currency (with respect to one of its the circulation of the country, was the
branches) of the Bank itself, he thought true cause of the calamity. That these
their lordships had a claim to any informa- speculations had been indulged in was no
tion which might enable them to form a fault of his. He had done all that lay in
correct judgment on the subject; and he his power to warn the public from enter-
thought it would be most ungracious on ing into these rash and hazardous enter-
the part of the Bank to throw any unne- prises; as had also the noble and learned
cessary obstruction in the way. He was lord, whom he regretted not to see now on
happy to say, however, that the Bank the wool-sack. As to the Scotch banks,
directors entertained no such disposition. they were certainly found by experience
They thought that, under the special cir- to be established on principles of perfect
cumstances of the case, parliament ought security; but he was apprehensive, if the
to have the information which was sought intelligent persons who introduced the
for. The noble marquis had alluded to a system of Scotch banking were brought
transaction with respect to which he felt up to the bar of this House and examined,
that a considerabledegree ofresponsibility that they would admit that the Scotch
attached to his majesty's government. He system was, in many respects, incom-
alluded to the stopping for the present of patible with the commercial transactions
the stamping of any one or two pound of this country, and unfit to be introduced
country-bank notes. The measure was into England.
not adopted, until notice had been given The Earl of Carnarvon said, he approv-
to parliament of the intention of govern- ed highly of the plan of extending the
ment to effect such an object by legislative number of partners in banking establish-
enactment; and it was only resolved upon ments, and agreed also in the propriety
in order to prevent the views of parliament of each of the partners of such establish-
from being defeated whilst the bill was in ments being made liable, in the whole
progress. The proceedingwas not adopted amount of his property, for the concerns
upon light grounds. Government had of the Bank. This would create a class of
positive information that there existed an merchant bankers who would have an
intention of doing that which would have interest in attending to the affairs of the
thrown considerable obstacles in the way Bank, and would operate as a check
of the measures which it was the object of against over-issues. Accompanied with
ministers to recommend to parliament. If these measures, he would be glad to see
he were asked, why he had not adopted the country return to silver as the stand-






143] HOUSE OF LORDS,
ard of the currency, such as silver was at
the old Mint-price. This would, in his
opinion, place the currency on the most
satisfactory footing. As to the proposed
measure of withdrawing the one and two
pound notes from circulation, it was, in
his opinion, by no means calculated to
remove the evils by which the country
was afflicted. The adoption of this mea-
sure would operate injuriously to the
farmer, and to the humble class of agri-
culturists and dealers, who principally
carried on their business by means of the
one and two pound notes. Great injury
would be done generally to the com-
munity by withdrawing so large a sum as
six or seven millions from the circulation
of the country. This inevitable evil
would follow from it, that it would con-
tract the circulation of the country at a
time when it required an extension.
Whatever might have been the evil con-
sequences of over-issues, the distress
under which the country laboured must
be augmented to an incalculable degree,
unless parliament went to the root of the
evil. That the withdrawing the one and
two pound notes from circulation, and the
substitution of a metallic currency, did not
go to the root of the evil appeared from
the letter of the first lord of the Treasury,
and the chancellor of the Exchequer, to
the Bank directors. It was there stated,
that, though a recurrence to a gold
circulation in the country, for the reasons
already stated, might be productive of
some good, it would, by no means, go to
the root of the evil." Here then, upon
the acknowledgment of these gentlemen,
the withdrawing of the one and two pound
notes would not be an effectual remedy for
the distresses. The letter proceeded thus:
-"We have abundant proof of the truth of
thisposition, in theevents which took place
in the spring of 1793, when a convulsion
occurred in the money transactions and cir-
culation of thecountry,moreextensive than
that which we have recently experienced.
At that period nearly a hundred country
banks were obliged to stop payment, and
parliament was induced to grant an issue
of Exchequer bills to relieve the distress.
Yet, in the year 1793, there were no one
or two pound notes in circulation in Eng-
land, either by country banks or by the
Bank of England." As the distress pre-
vailed, therefore, when one and two
pound notes were not in circulation, the
House ought to pause before it gave its
assent to a measure which would with-


State ofthe Currency.


[144


draw so large a sum from circulation,
At the period of the South-Sea scheme,
there were no one or two pound notes,
yet then there was distress. In 1793 was
there not distress ? And at various other
periods, was not distress as great and even
greater, than at present ? As, then, these
evils existed when small notes were not
in existence, he was unwilling to give his
assent to the abolition of the small notes,
without some further information. For
his part he did not see the great evil of a
paper-currency. At the time of the Bank
restriction in 1797, the business of the
country was chiefly transacted in paper,
and during the subsequent progress of
the war, down to the resumption of cash
payments, a paper currency was main-
tained, without our experiencing such
distress as we did at present. To prevent
over-issues, means should be devised to
prevent a greater circulation of paper
than there was metal in the country to
meet it; and if this were done, he saw no
objection to the circulation of notes whe-
ther of great or small amount. As
to extravagant speculations, at present,
there was no very buoyant spirit of that
kind afloat. The calamity now complained
of was, not that there was too much gold,
or too many notes, but that there was
neither one nor the other, and the
currency of the country was at a stand.
An objection had been made to small
notes, that by extending our circulation,
they had a tendency to diminish the in-
terest of money. Now, even if that were
the case, it did not weigh as an objection
with him ; for in all states in prosperity,
and where there was much money and
much commerce, money was held at a low
rate of interest; whereas, the interest of
money was always high where there was
little money, In all the proposed altera-
tions of the currency, we should never
omit to bear in mind that enormous weight
upon the country-the national debt.
When it was considered that the interest
of that debt was to be paid, the effect
of withdrawing six or seven millions from
circulation must be most injurious. The
effect of such a contraction of the currency
must be, that the chancellor of the Ex-
chequer would next year be obliged to
state that the revenue of the country was
not sufficient to discharge the interest on
the national debt, and the expenses of the
establishment. We were now in the tenth
year of peace, and there was no likelihood
of our being able to do more, during the






145] Country Banks that have become Bankrupts. FaB. 9, 1826.


probable period we might continue at
peace, than supply and relieve our imme-
diate exigencies. The currency of the
country had gone through every variety of
fluctuation-it hadbeen over andover again
tried in the crucible-paper was converted
into gold, and gold again into paper, and
still a new change was found necessary.
In Scotland, an approved system of Bank-
ing had been brought to the test of ex-
perience. This was admitted in the letter
of the noble earl opposite. In Scotland
there are not more than thirty banks;
and these banks have stood firm amidst
all the convulsions in the money-market
in England, and amidst all the dis-
tresses to which the manufacturing
and agricultural interests in Scotland, as
well as in England, have occasionally
been subject." And it was not a little ex-
traordinary, that whilst ministers were in-
ducing the people of England to abandon
a system which sanctioned a small note
circulation, they admitted the efficacy of
such a system in Scotland. He would
wish to see banking establishments of
equal solidity in this country. He was
persuaded that in returning to a metallic
currency, every relation between landlord
and tenant, and between man and man,
would undergo a considerable change.
When their lordships assembled next year,
he should be happy to find that the
government had funds sufficient to meet
the yearly expenditure. In order to
embrace the whole of the question, he
would move for a return of all the notes
issued by the Bank of England and the
country banks since the year 1790.
The said motions were agreed to.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Thursday, February 9.
COUNTRY BANKS THAT HAVE BECOME
BANKRUPTS.] Mr. Hume moved for a
return, of the number of Country Banks
issuing notes that have become bankrupts
since January 1816, up to the present
time; stating the place where the banks
were established, the number of partners
in each bank, the amount of debts proved
against each, and the amount per cent of
dividends paid or declared upon each, as
far as the same can be complied with."
The House would then have before it, a
statement of the extent to which the public
banking had suffered by the countrysystem.
Mr. Grenfell wished the account to ex-
tend to Scotland.
VOL. XIV.


Mr. Hume said, he had no objection.
Mr. Maberly thought the account ob-
jectionable, as an intrusion upon the affairs
of individuals. If the principle was once
established, that any member might move
for an inquiry into the private concerns
of parties, it was difficult to see where
the operation of that principle might stop.
How could that House entertain cogni-
zance of the debts which had been proved.
He hoped the Chancellor of the Exche-
quer would not accede to such an im-
proper motion.
Mr. Grenfell wished Scotland to be in-
cluded, because he was persuaded that a
return to the motion, as regarded Scotland,
would be nil.
Mr. John Smith said, that when an in-
trusion upon the private affairs of in-
dividuals was spoken of, it ought to be
recollected of the country bankers, that
they had in fact been dealing in that
which was the money of the country.
Theirs was quite a different case from
that of merchants or ordinary traders; and
he was therefore disposed to support the
motion. He had not until that morning
read the correspondence between the
Treasury and the Bank ; but, in reading it
he had been much struck with a paragraph
which stated, that the country banks, all
of them, without exception, had for some
time fostered, supported, and encouraged,
a rash spirit of speculation. Now, in the
name and on behalf of very many country
bankers who claim to be considered men
of honour, prudence, and integrity, he
called on the chancellor of the Exchequer,
to state the grounds upon which he had
made that sweeping accusation. At the
same time, it would, perhaps, be conve-
nient to the right hon. gentleman to prove

to parliament the sound policy of directing
public odium against the country banks
at this particular crisis.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer saw
no objection whatever to the motion.
He thought it quite reasonable that the
House should be in possession ofany facts
relative to the number of country banks
which had failed. Such a return could
do no mischief to parties who might have
failed and were in business again. With
regard to the terms in which the country
bankers were spoken of in the corres-
pondence between the government and
the bank, he could have no objection to
give every explanation to those who
might fancy themselves injured thereby.
Most certainly, it never had been the in-
L


[146






147] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Country Banks that have become Bankrupts. [148


tention of ministers to convey the slightest
imputation against individuals. Their ar-
gument went merely to the general system
of country banking. And it was difficult
to think that any member could have
listened to the account given a few nights
since by the hon. member for Taunton,
of the course which a country banker was
compelled to pursue in order to carry on
his business profitably, without seeing
that the system was calculated to produce
the effects adverted to in the correspond-
ence. In truth, an allusi to the system
of country banking generally, and not to
individuals, was all that ministers had con-
templated; and that was the only in-
terpretation which they imagined could
be put upon the words in question; but
even if the charge had been made against
individuals, he could not look at it in the
same light with the hon. member for Mid-
hurst. Every man who possessed, and
traded with, considerable capital, was,
more or less, an encourager of speculation;
and to say so, was neither an impeachment
of his honour or his integrity.
Mr. Calcraft was happy to hear the
explanation given by the right hon.
gentleman; but, without that explanation,
he certainly should not have understood the
expressions, rash speculations, aided,
fostered, and abetted, by the country
banks, as exactly placing the country
bankers upon that advantageous ground
which it seemed they really occupied in
the right hon. gentleman's opinion. For
himself, however, he denied the fact that
it was by the issues of the country banks
that the rash spirit of speculation, as it
was called, which had existed in the
country, and the enterprises to which that
spirit had led, had been supported.
Seventeen millions of paper could not
have been issued by any country banks
for purposes of speculation, and that
speculation principally carried on in
London. For, as fast as a country note
made its appearance in London, it was
instantly converted into a bank of Eng-
land note, or into gold, or the banker was
discredited. Those speculations, which,
joined to the conduct of government, had
done so much to disorder the country,
never could have been carried on by
country bank notes. To the motion he
saw no objection. As far, however, as
disclosure went, it would do the country
bankers no harm, but good. It was well
for ministers to talk of country paper !
The right hon. gentleman had more


accommodation paper in the market
than all the country banks put together.
No circumstance had more contributed to
do mischief than the immense amount afloat
of exchequer bills. Government, deal as it
would with the system of the country
banks, would do little good until the issue
of exchequer-bills was limited. He could
not place much confidence in any set of
men who could speak on the 13th of
January of the distresses of the country
as being over.
Sir J. Wrottesley said, that during the
last year, the country bankers had been
almost the only class of persons who
had not speculated. They had been
rather the victims of the speculations of
others, than speculators themselves.
Mr. Hudson Gurney thought, that
though it would be perfectly easy to
obtain a return of the number of failures
of country bankers, it would be ex-
tremely difficult to learn the amount of
the dividend they had respectively paid.
The object of the hon. gentleman appear-
ed to be, to show the advantages of the
Scotch system of banking, as compared
with that obtaining in England; both
with regard to its general security, and
as not being obnoxious to the objections
of encouraging undue adventure. But,
if such were the hon. gentleman's view,
Mr. Gurney said, he must entirely differ
with him. There was nothing he should
more deprecate than the introduction of
the Scotch system into this country, as
he was convinced, that its direct tendency
would be to the increase of the number
of bankruptcies, though not, perhaps,
leading to the breakage of so many banks.
The Scotch system was one which went,
much more than that of England, towards
facilitating speculations of every kind;
but, it was the customer there who broke,
and the banker who swept his securities.
Much had been said, and said very
idly, of the degree in which the paper of
the country bankers had aided in the
delusions and frauds which had been prac-
tised on the public; but, in fact, the
country banker is, of all mankind, the
most interested in preventing speculation.
The speculator is his natural enemy. If
he gains, the profit is not the banker's;
and, if he becomes insolvent, the banker
is sure to lose. At the same time, there
is an evil in the existing system, for which
it seems difficult to find an adequate
remedy. The banker allows an interest
to the customer; consequently, he must







149] Country Banks that have become Bankrupts. Fra. 9, 1826.


employ the money deposited with him;
and, when the mass of the transactions
of the country are such as they have
been of late, it is impossible for him, with
the utmost precaution, to avoid entirely
the discount of bills, of which the basis
may be partly commercial transactions,
and partly mere speculation; whilst his
circulation will necessarily be proportion-
ablyincreased by the increased prices of all
things, measured in a perpetually increas-
ing medium; and, when any revulsion
takes place, it is obvious that the banker
must as necessarily pull in his advances,
for his own security, with the greatest
rapidity with which he can effect it, in
order to meet his engagements; and thus
greatly increase embarrassment, whenever
embarrassment shall be general.
The hon. member then entered into
the detail of the successive depreciations
of the currency, since 1797. He said,
it was agreed on all hands, in the debates
of that House in 1812, that the deprecia-
tion had reached 35 per cent. Now, he
considered that this 35 per cent, or some-
thing like it, had hung upon them ever
since. At one time, through the abun-
dance of paper circulation, it had spent
itself on the currency: at another, when
that paper was called in, it had fallen on
prices. Then we had commercial em-
barrassment, and agricultural distress, till
the necessities of all men had brought
the right lion. gentleman's bill of 1819, by
a sort of tacit agreement, into abeyance
and commodities paid for in paper, found
the prices at which they could be produced
under the existing burthens of the com-
munity.
For his own part, he sincerely wished
the circulation of the country out of the
hands of private individuals. But, it was
utterly impossible to do away with the
paper currency of the country banks,
without supplying some other medium,
which should sustain prices in a manner
to meet this depreciation, which had gone
to 35 per cent in 1812; and this could,
in his opinion, only be done by one of two
measures-the one, the abandoning the
law for making gold, at its present stand-
ard, the only legal tender; the other,
issuing such amount of paper, either by
government directly, or by the Bank, as
should sustain the general sale value of
commodities at something like their un-
derstood level.-Mr. Gurney said, that he
felt some apology was due to the House,
for having taken that occasion of express-


ing his sentiments on the subject; but as,
in the more regular debate on the right
hon. gentleman's motion to-morrow, many
gentlemen of much more weight would
probably be desirous of giving their opi-
nions at length, he might then be pre-
cluded from an opportunity of stating
what was his decided conviction; namely,
that unless some measures of the nature
adverted to were entertained, they would
bring on an almost universal bankruptcy,
and a degree of pressure, to which the
embarrassments of 1816, 1821, and 1822,
could hardly bear a comparison, and under
which, how the multiplied engagements of
the country, public and private, could
possibly be met, was more than he could
comprehend.
Mr. Robertson said, that the system
upon which the Scotch banks were con-
ducted, was that of creating an artificial
capital, which was lent out in aid of the
manufactures and trade of the country.
That this system had been productive of
great advantages, was proved by this, that
it had raised Scotland from being the
poorest country in Europe, to the state in
which it at present was. The banking
system in England was upon a different
footing, it had the effect of keeping up a
system of trading and manufacture which
ministers were using every effort in their
power to oppose. When they found that
the system now pursued by ministers
actually sent twenty four millions a year
out of the country without any return, it
would be clearly seen that nothing but
our banking system could have prevented
the present distresses of the country from
having come upon her long before. And
if ministers persevered in their intended
plan of withdrawing the one and two
pound country bank notes from circula-
tion, they would aggravate those distresses
ten fold. It was to him astonishing that
the House should continue to look with
silence upon this conduct on the part of
his majesty's government; first causing
of a great evil, then suddenly changing
their measures, and thereby aggravating
the distress which their first error had
caused. He begged of the House to re-
collect this argument with respect to our
commercial system, that our foreign com-
merce, including shipping and all, did not
amount to more than forty millions a-year,
while our manufactures, agriculture, and
internal trade and commerce, amounted
to one hundred and thirty millions per
annum. Such being the case, it became


[150






151] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
the duty of the landed and manufacturing
interests, to check the progress of the
evil. But when had there been any dis-
cussion upon the subject since the meet-
ing of parliament? Therehad, indeed, been
some motions for the production of papers
and returns, but no hon. member had
come forward to propose a remedy for
the evil. On the contrary, every one
seemed anxious to shut his eyes from the
view of those miseries, the existence of
which no one could deny.
Mr. Tierney wished to ask a question
of the chancellor of the Exchequer, in
order to solve a doubt suggested by the
correspondence between the Bank and
government, concerning branch banks.
In the answer of the Treasury committee
of the Bank to the communication from
ministers, they said, Finding also, that
the proposal by the Bank of establishing
branch banks is deemed by his majesty's
ministers inadequate to the wants of the
country, &c." What he wished to ask
was, when the Bank made that proposal
to establish branch banks, what was the
nature of that proposition, and why it was
not before the House?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
that no proposition had, in fact, been
made in the written communications of
the Bank to establish branches of its own
institution. Something of that kind might
have passed in the course of the discus-
sions, but certainly no direct proposition
to establish branch banks of their own had
been advanced in writing by the Bank.
Mr. Tierney said, that the Bank had
said expressly, that the proposal which
had been made by them was not one
which ministers could adopt, because
they considered it inadequate. Certainly,
if such a proposition had been made by
the Bank, it ought to be known to the
House.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer re-
peated his denial of any proposition hav-
ing been made in writing by the Bank to
establish branch banks; though, if they
had made such a proposition, ministers
would have deemed it inadequate to the
prevention of a crisis like that through
which the country had just passed.
Mr. Tierney.-Then, in point of fact,
the Bank did never make any such pro-
posal ["No," across the table]. Then
it ought not to have appeared in a written
communication of their own that they did.
Mr. Pearse said, that the subject might
have been touched upon verbally and in-


cidentally, but no specific proposition had
been made. The expressions in the answer
of the Bank went too far. But, for years
past, that plan had been repeatedly a
subject of conversation.
Mr. Hume thought, that the trading
in money ought not to be allowed to
individuals, it being a branch of the pre-
rogative of the sovereign. As to bringing
before the public, individuals who had
been unfortunate, there could be no ob-
jection on that ground, as those indivi-
duals had already appeared in the Ga-
zette. His object was merely to lay be-
fore the House certain facts. That the
public had suffered much from the recent
failures, by the issuers of paper, was be-
yond doubt; and those losses ought not
to rest upon the poorer classes of the
community. He was anxious that the
House should see the amount of loss
which had been sustained from actual
failures.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
he was anxious to explain an observation
of his which had been misunderstood by
the hon. member for Wareham. That
hon. member seemed to be of opinion,
that he had thrown the whole blame of
the excess of issues on the country banks.
He wondered how the hon. member could
have so misunderstood him. What he
did say, was, that it was not possible to
charge the whole evil, or even its origin,
on the country banks, or upon any per-
sons issuing paper. The speculations
which had brought on the present crisis
were of a character necessarily incident
to all commercial countries, where there
existed a great share of capital and en-
terprise. In all such cases, individuals
would be found ready to take advantage
of every circumstance favourable to their
own interests. He had further said, that
the speculations of 1819, whatever their
immediate effect, had been followed by
increased confidence and speculation.
Mr. Calcraft said, he was most ready
to admit the right hon. gentleman's ex-
planation. He felt it at the same time
necessary to say, that the papers on the
table went far to strengthen the impres-
sion he at first entertained of what had
fallen from the right hon. gentleman.
The motion was then agreed to.

SILK TRADE.] Sir T. Lethbridge
presented a petition from certain Silk
Throwsters of Somerset, against the im-
portation of foreign Silks.


[152


Silk Trade.






153) Silk Trade. FB. 9, 18%6. (154
Mr. Robertson called the attention of great hopes were entertained by them,
the House to one or two facts connected that the House would defend them against
with this subject. It was said, that 30 the ruin which awaited them from the
per cent was a protecting duty for our measures pursued by government. He
silks; but he knew that wrought silks had no great confidence in that source
could be introduced, both from India and of relief, when he recollected how his
from France, at such a rate as to compete own objections to the measure had fared
with our manufacturers when putting the two years ago. But the public mind
raw material into the loom. Would the should be set at rest. The master silk-
House, then, allow ministers to persevere weavers could not find employment for
in a system which would destroy a trade their people until their own fate was
that the country had been nursing for known. Whether right or wrong, they
ages ? To compete with the French was all said, that if French silk goods were
impossible. They had a particular kind let in, there was no chance of selling a
of silk which they never allowed to go single yard of English silk. He could
forth but in a manufactured state. Let not approve of hearing them in a com-
that silk be brought into our market, and mittee, because of the delay which would
it would be bought up at whatever price follow. Nor did he hope, if the commit-
by our fashionables. These silks, once tee were allowed, that they would be able
introduced, would drive our produce out to make out the case, that it was impos-
of the market. Was the English manu- sible for the English manufacture of silks
facturer, with a load of debt hanging like to bear the competition of a free trade.
a millstone round his neck, to be com- The case which they had made out to
pelled to a competition with the French him had left his mind without the shadow
manufacturer, whose debt sat so lightly of a doubt. Still, the question ought to
upon him that it was not felt as a bur- be set at rest by a bill. The conduct of
then ? Were they to tolerate such a government justified a suspicion, that
proceeding ? Let them call upon minis- they would not scruple to take liberties
ters to put this part of their new measures with the law. The late order to prevent
at rest. How else were they to get out the issuing of stamps from the Stamp-
of the difficulties and distresses under office, was a direct violation of the exist-
which the country laboured, unless by ing law. He was anxious to get rid of
giving every stimulus to industry, which the one and two pound notes, but he
was at present at a stand. The labouring wished to see them abolished gradually,
classes were without employment, and and by legal means. He had to complain
the means of procuring food or raiment; of a similar infraction with respect to the
and yet ministers persisted in subjecting silk laws. A duty of 7s. 6d. a pound had
the manufacturers to the competition of been laid upon thrown silk. He had said
cheaper markets, at the time, that every penny of that pro-
Mr. Baring presented a petition from testing duty on thrown silk, must so far
Taunton, against the introduction of sacrifice the interest of the manufacturer.
French silks, which, he said, deserved the An order had lately gone down to state,
serious consideration of the House. The that it was the intention of government to
subject, he hoped, would undergo dis- reduce that duty 2s. 6d., or from that to
cussion at an early period, seeing that 3s., as they found that 5s. was a sufficient
hundreds of thousands of people antici- protection for the throwsters; so com-
pated ruin and starvation from the im- pletely ignorant were ministers of that
portation of foreign silks. It was not interest, concerning which they were so
now the time for him to go into that dis- ready to advise enactments. As if the
cussion; though it would be very desir- law and the parliament were as nothing
able if the president of the Board of compared with their own notions, they
Trade could contrive to be in his place undertook to accept 5s. per lb. upon an
when petitions of this nature were sure article which was to have paid the state
to come on. He hoped to see the ques- 7s. 6d. per lb. This was a strong case;
tion set at rest. The conviction on his and, like the other, might be justifiable
own mind was settled long ago. What by circumstances. But if so, it was the
he wished to see was, whether or no the bounden duty of ministers, to have stated
House would support ministers in their them to parliament, and sought protection
desperate resolution. Great anxiety ex- from the offended law in a bill of indem-
isted among the silk manufacturers, and nity. The whole trade was unhinged,






155] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
and the operatives were in the greatest
straits. What he wished was, to impress
the minds of ministers with the necessity
of speedily taking their case into consi-
deration. The petitioners had requested
him to remove an impression which had
been made by the hon. baronet (sir T.
Lethbridge), that they were satisfied with
the corn laws. They had directed him
to contradict that statement. Their im-
pression, on the contrary, was, that the
principle of free trade must be greatly
injurious to the general interests, unless
it were extended to corn.
Mr. Huskisson wished to excuse him-
self for not being present sooner. His
only apology was, that he had not been
absent for his own convenience, but in dis-
charge of the duties of his office, and from
which he had repaired to the House. He
knew that this apology was inadequate to
the occasion; but it was the best he had
to offer. As to the order of the Treasury
to lower the duty on thrown silk, it was a
mistake to state that it was done without
authority from parliament. The board of
trade having satisfied themselves, that 5s.
was a sufficient protection, they had di-
rected so much of the duty to be taken,
and that bonds should be given for the
excess of 2s. 6d. per pound, should par-
liament not concur with the government.
The House would see at once, that the
whole of the duty was secured to the
public, should parliament think proper to
exact it, and that ministers had by no
means assumed a dispensing power over
it. He would not now go into the dis-
cussion of the deranged state of the trade
and currency of the country. When the
subject was brought forward in the regular
and formal manner, he should be quite
prepared to meet the objections to the
regulations in the silk trade, and all the
other alterations in the commercial system
which parliament had adopted. The hon.
gentleman himself had given his sanction
to much of what had been done; and
there certainly was nothing more desira-
ble, than that this matter should be fully
discussed in that House.
Mr. Davenport implored ministers to
take the subject of the silk trade again
into consideration. He gave them credit
for their intentions; but the consequences
of their measures were just such as, two
years ago, he had predicted. Open the
ports of England, he had said, to foreign
silk, and the home manufacturer must be
ruined. In his neighbourhood, thousands


Silk Trade. 1156
were suffering extreme distress; and were
chiefly supported by the warrant of the
magistrate. This state of things could
not last. What was to follow it? Clearly
starvation. He called upon the landed
and manufacturing interests to induce
ministers to forego a plan which must ruin
them all.
Sir T. Lethbridge said, that the hon.
member for Taunton had mistaken his ex-
pressions, both as to time and meaning.
It was not on a petition which he had
presented, but in the course of the ob-
servations which were made on the report
of the Address that he had stated that
which he believed to be perfectly correct;
namely, that the great body of the ma-
nufacturers took a more chaste view of
the corn question than before. He had
never taken upon him to say, that the
manufacturers would have no complaints
about the price of corn, however high;
but only that, in the present state of the
price of provisions, they did not complain
of the Corn laws, but of the destruction
of their trade. And, indeed, in their pre-
sent condition, it would not be surprising
if they were to complain of the price of
provisions, however low. Yet, to be
candid, he could not but look upon this
alteration of the silk trade as an outwork
to a similar alteration in the Corn laws,
which, if not directly touched, was so by
a side-wind, tending at no distant period
to an open trade in corn. From the dis-
tress resulting to the manufacturers from
this first attempt, the House might be
called upon to consider of a similar altera-
tion in the corn trade. He thought that,
if the intentions of government bore that
way, the more manly course would have
been to begin with the corn trade. For
his own part, he must oppose any propo-
sition like that of a free trade of corn.
As long as the national debt remained, no
such thing could be listened to. The
country could not support that competi-
tion and its present burthens together.
He would be as glad as any to see low
prices, but high prices there must be. The
prices must be kept up by an import duty,
amounting to an absolute prohibition, so
long as the interest of the national debt
was to be paid.
Mr. Ellice said, that the hon. baronet
was certainly right in considering this
measure as the outwork of an attack on
the Corn laws. If the principle of free-
dom was to be applied to other trades, it
ought to be applied to the trade in corn.






Bank of England Balances, [c.


With respect to the case of the silk manu-
facturers, a great uncertainty prevailed
in the public mind upon that subject.
He intended shortly to move to have all
the petitions referred to a committee.
Much useful light had already been
thrown on this subject, and much more
might be expected. It was the opi-
nion of persons who had the best conti-
nental intelligence, that unless there was
a great improvement in machinery, and a
great reduction in the price of corn, they
could not proceed with this bill, without
throwing out of employment the great
mass of people engaged in the trade.
Whether that trade could be built up
again, was another question; but the pre-
sent ruinous effect was clearly contem-
plated. The bill had, notwithstanding,
one good effect. It had induced the silk
manufacturers to institute a full inquiry
into the state of their trade, and the result
was a conviction on their part, that the
foreign competition would prove ruinous
to the home manufacturer.
Mr. Baring said, he had never encou-
raged this particular measure respecting
silk: on the contrary, he was almost the
only person who had raised his voice
against it from the outset. Still it was
rather hard, he must admit, to throw the
whole responsibility of the bill upon
ministers, since it had passed through the
House with almost unanimous approba-
tion. He was old enough to know, that
those measures were not always the best
and wisest which received the readiest
acquiescence of that House.
Mr. Huskisson said, he never intended
to intimate that his hon. friend had sup-
ported this particular measure. All he
meant to state was, that the opening of
the colonial trade, and the removal of the
duty on the raw material, had his hon.
friend's approbation.
Ordered to lie on the table.

CORN LAWS.] Mr. Baring said, he
understood, that a gentleman had lately
returned from the Continent, who had
been abroad during the whole of last year,
under instructions from his majesty's go-
vernment to collect information on the
state of the foreign corn trade. He was
anxious to know if that gentleman had
made any report upon the subject, and if
so, whether and when it would be pre-
sented.
Mr. Huskisson had no difficulty in
stating, that the individual alluded to had


been sent from this country with instruc.
tions from government, to obtain inform-
ation respecting the corn trade of those
countries in Europe from which England
imported grain. He had returned, after
making all the necessary inquiries, and
a very few days ago had put into his
hands, a report of great extent. It con-
tained 150 folio pages, together with a
voluminous appendix. As yet he had
been unable to read the report. As far
as he knew of it, however, he had no
reason to think that the gentleman had
not obeyed his instructions; and if this
should continue to be his opinion after a
perusal of the report, he knew of nothing
which ought to prevent its being laid be-
fore parliament.

BANK OF ENGLAND BALANCES, &C.]
Mr. Grenfell said, that although the ac-
counts for which he was about to move
were generally granted without opposi-
tion, he hoped, under the particular cir-
cumstances of the times, that he should
be allowed a brief explanation of his views
as connected with them. The accounts
referred first to the balances lodged by
the government, for the public, in the
Bank; and next, to the charges for the
management of the public debt, and other
services performed by the Bank for the
public. It was, perhaps, in the recollec-
tion of those who now heard him, that
when he had first called the attention of
parliament to the affairs of the Bank, the
production of these accounts was resisted,
not only by that corporation, but by the
then chancellor of the Exchequer. After,
however, a two or three years persevere
ance in calling for them, the resistance
gave way, and on every successive year
that he had since called for them, they
were yielded without a struggle. It was
thought by many, that the publicity which
had been given to the transactions be-
tween the government and the Bank had
been productive of public good. And,
when he considered the approaching pe-
riod of the expiration of the charter-a
charter which he hoped and trusted would
expire-he thought that, as the question
between the Bank and the public was
about to terminate, he should be allowed
to say a few words for perhaps the last
time, on the state of their affairs. The
first class of accounts which he now called
for related to the deposits of public money
lodged in the Bank for current use, in the
same manner as any gentleman kept his


FaB. 9; 1826. [ 158






159] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


cash account at his private banker's. He
remembered that, at one time, the average
amount of the public balance so placed
for ten or twelve years amounted to no
less a sum than eleven or twelve millions
a year. Of late years this amount had,
it was true, considerably decreased. In
1821, it was diminished to 3,900,0001.
In 1822, to 4,200,0001. In 1823, to
5,200,0001. In 1824, to 7,200,0001. He
was quite sure, that no practical man at all
conversant with the value of these lodg-
ments, would deny the advantage which
they must confer upon the Bank; and he
must repeat what he had often asserted,
that the nature of the service performed
by the Bank for the public, as compared
with the profits accruing from the use of
such large deposits, was so trifling, as
hardly to admit of calculation in any pro-
per settlement of these transactions. It
was right to call the public attention to
this circumstance; for when the period
arrived of the expiration of the Bank
charter, it would be for the government
to consider what bargain it would renew
for the transaction of the public business
with the present Bank (for he thought it
would still be preferable to deal with
them); or whether a second bank on a
large scale would agree to give the public
a participation in the profits arising from
the heavy balances in hand, and take such
a sum as 10 or 20,000/. a year for
the management of the national busi-
ness. At all events, the public ought,
whenever the bargain was again made, to
receive a large participation in the profits
derived from the use of so many millions
of their own money. Let them consider
how the public cash account stood at the
Bank of England. The Bank had ad-
vanced 15,000,0001., the whole of its
capital, to the public, at 3 per cent in-
terest, and this large premium they were
receiving for the year 1824, while they
actually were holders of nearly seven mil-
lions and a half of the money of that same
public. Surely there ought to be a ba-
lance of mutual profit struck, under cir-
cumstances like these. The next subject
that he wished to refer to was the allow-
ance made by the public to the Bank for
the management of the public debt. The
trouble of this management consisted in
the daily transfer of Stock, and the pay-
ment of the annual dividends to the pub-
lic. It was due to the Bank to say, that
the whole of this business was invariably
performed with promptitude, exactness,


and diligence; that, in fact, nothing could
be better done; and there was only one
complaint to be made respecting it, which
was, that the price for the work was much
too high. When the charter should ex-
pire, he hoped this matter would also be
taken into consideration; indeed, on an
equitable revision of this part of the bar-
gain, the public ought to save 250,0001.
The hon. member then concluded by
moving for the said accounts.
Mr. Pearse said, he had no objection,
on the part of the Bank, to the production
of these accounts; but he would not, on
the present occasion, go into the merits
of the public bargain with the Bank, or
the terms which ought to accompany the
contingent respecting their charter. He
hoped that important subject would in
due time be gravely considered; not
as it regarded the Bank itself, but as it
would best serve the government and the
country. They would at least come to
the discussion with the full knowledge of
the eminent services performed by the
Bank for the public, when that corpora-
tion had stood in the gap, and effected
what, upon emergencies, legislative inter-
position would have failed to accomplish.
What the consequences to the public
would be, if there were not such an es-
tablishment in existence in its chartered
form, he would leave others to anticipate.
As to the allowances to the Bank, it
would be time enough to discuss their
amount when the charter was under con-
sideration; but really when the hon. gen-
tleman thought proper to estimate the
services performed by the Bank, he
should not keep back the immense risks
and losses which they incurred, in trans-
acting the public business. On a late
occasion they had lost by the forgeries of
a single person above 250,0001., and this,
too, in the execution of the public busi-
ness, and so contrived by the individual,
that although the strictest inquiry was
made into the conduct of the Bank clerks,
in no single instance could negligence or
impropriety be attributed to any one of
them for it. There were other losses of
the same character continually happening,
which must be taken into the scale of
estimating the advantages derived by
the Bank from its connexion with the
pecuniary business of the public. He
regretted the allusions to the charter,
and that the existence of it should be
imputed as a matter of grave accusation
to government. He hoped when the


Bank of England Balances, 8;c.


[160







Banic of England Balances, &c.


proper time for discussion arrived, that
gentlemen would not be governed by
passion in their consideration of it, but be
influenced by the principles of reason and
sound sense.
Mr. Hmniehoped, that the time had come
when all those exclusive charters were to
be abolished, by which the community at
large always suffered for the gain of a few.
Full of faults as was the paper lately sent
by the government to the Bank, he en-
tirely concurred in that passage of it
which put an end to the hope of a renewal
of the Bank charter. As the word
" lottery" was introduced in the accounts
called for, he was anxious to know how
it had happened that the pledge given
by the government two or three years
ago for the extinction of lotteries in that
year had not been fulfilled ? It seemed
to him that these lotteries were to be
carried on perpetually ; two of them were
still advertised. How had this happened?
The Chancellor f the Exchequer replied,
that on the subject of lotteries it was true,
and he ought to take blame to himself
that it was so, that when he had brought
in his former bill, an adequate provision
was not made for their speedier extinction.
When he had moved the resolution in the
year 1823, upon which the lottery bill was
founded, he was not sufficiently aware of
the mode in which these lotteries were
practically conducted. It was never the
custom, he had since ascertained, that
they should be drawn in the same year,
for the service of which they had been
voted. The consequence was, that the
lottery for one year spread over one or
more future years, and hence arose the
apparent inconsistencybetween the pledge
he had given and the fact which the lion.
member had stated, of the prolongation
of these lotteries. There were now, how-
ever, only two of them remaining to be
drawn, and these must be concluded
within the present year, and he pledged
himself that they should be the last.
Mr. Robertson condemned in the
strongest terms the policy of government,
in breaking down the old commercial
system of the country, to make way for
theoretical notions of a mischievous
tendency. He alluded chiefly to the con-
dition into which the silk trade had been
thrown, and the manner in which govern-
ment, whilst sweeping away other charters,
were ready to set up a charter against
that class of traders who deserved their
encouragement.
VOL. XIV.


The motion was agreed to.
Mr. Ellice gave notice that on Thursday
next, he would move for an account
of all the issues of gold coin at the
Bank from July 1823 to the 1st of
February 1826. In 1823, he believed the
11. and 21. notes had been entirely with-
drawn from circulation, and he meant to
show what portion of the amount had
been supplied by specie, for the purpose
of exposing the fallacy which prevailed
respecting the real quantity of cash re-
quired for the circulation of the coun-
try. There was a great deal of gold coin,
it should be always remembered, which
remained in the hands of bankers, without
being issued at all in the manner sup-
posed. He should move for these returns,
that the House might be in possession of
all the information of which the subject
was susceptible. On the present occasion,
le begged to move for a return of Bank
notes in circulation on the 1st and 15th
of each month, for six months, to the 1st
of February inclusive, and the same return
of Bank post bills.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, whilo
he had no objection to the production of
these returns, because, under existing
circumstances, he thought a case was
made out to call for them, begged to
enter his protest against such motions
being considered as mere matters of
course. Neither the Bank nor the go-
vernment opposed the production of these
returns; protesting, however, against their
consent being taken as a matter of course.
Mr. Pearse thanked the right hon.
gentleman for the manner in which
he had delivered the consent of the Bank;
for certainly this information ought not
always to be given as a matter of right.
Indeed so impressed were the Bank pro-
prietors of the injury to the public inter-
ests which might follow these constant
disclosures of the state of the Bank affairs,
that they had by large majorities refused
to grant them in general courts. The
directors were ready to give every neces-
sary information; though he renewed
their protest against its being called for
as a matter of course.
Mr. Mlonck condemned this mystery
on the part of the Bank of England, and
preferred publicity as by far the better
course, both for the Bank and the country.
They had the example of the Bank of
France in favour of the public inspection
of such accounts, and it ought to encour-
age similar publicity in this country.
M


Fr~n9, IS26- [ 162






145] Country Banks that have become Bankrupts. FaB. 9, 1826.


probable period we might continue at
peace, than supply and relieve our imme-
diate exigencies. The currency of the
country had gone through every variety of
fluctuation-it hadbeen over andover again
tried in the crucible-paper was converted
into gold, and gold again into paper, and
still a new change was found necessary.
In Scotland, an approved system of Bank-
ing had been brought to the test of ex-
perience. This was admitted in the letter
of the noble earl opposite. In Scotland
there are not more than thirty banks;
and these banks have stood firm amidst
all the convulsions in the money-market
in England, and amidst all the dis-
tresses to which the manufacturing
and agricultural interests in Scotland, as
well as in England, have occasionally
been subject." And it was not a little ex-
traordinary, that whilst ministers were in-
ducing the people of England to abandon
a system which sanctioned a small note
circulation, they admitted the efficacy of
such a system in Scotland. He would
wish to see banking establishments of
equal solidity in this country. He was
persuaded that in returning to a metallic
currency, every relation between landlord
and tenant, and between man and man,
would undergo a considerable change.
When their lordships assembled next year,
he should be happy to find that the
government had funds sufficient to meet
the yearly expenditure. In order to
embrace the whole of the question, he
would move for a return of all the notes
issued by the Bank of England and the
country banks since the year 1790.
The said motions were agreed to.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Thursday, February 9.
COUNTRY BANKS THAT HAVE BECOME
BANKRUPTS.] Mr. Hume moved for a
return, of the number of Country Banks
issuing notes that have become bankrupts
since January 1816, up to the present
time; stating the place where the banks
were established, the number of partners
in each bank, the amount of debts proved
against each, and the amount per cent of
dividends paid or declared upon each, as
far as the same can be complied with."
The House would then have before it, a
statement of the extent to which the public
banking had suffered by the countrysystem.
Mr. Grenfell wished the account to ex-
tend to Scotland.
VOL. XIV.


Mr. Hume said, he had no objection.
Mr. Maberly thought the account ob-
jectionable, as an intrusion upon the affairs
of individuals. If the principle was once
established, that any member might move
for an inquiry into the private concerns
of parties, it was difficult to see where
the operation of that principle might stop.
How could that House entertain cogni-
zance of the debts which had been proved.
He hoped the Chancellor of the Exche-
quer would not accede to such an im-
proper motion.
Mr. Grenfell wished Scotland to be in-
cluded, because he was persuaded that a
return to the motion, as regarded Scotland,
would be nil.
Mr. John Smith said, that when an in-
trusion upon the private affairs of in-
dividuals was spoken of, it ought to be
recollected of the country bankers, that
they had in fact been dealing in that
which was the money of the country.
Theirs was quite a different case from
that of merchants or ordinary traders; and
he was therefore disposed to support the
motion. He had not until that morning
read the correspondence between the
Treasury and the Bank ; but, in reading it
he had been much struck with a paragraph
which stated, that the country banks, all
of them, without exception, had for some
time fostered, supported, and encouraged,
a rash spirit of speculation. Now, in the
name and on behalf of very many country
bankers who claim to be considered men
of honour, prudence, and integrity, he
called on the chancellor of the Exchequer,
to state the grounds upon which he had
made that sweeping accusation. At the
same time, it would, perhaps, be conve-
nient to the right hon. gentleman to prove

to parliament the sound policy of directing
public odium against the country banks
at this particular crisis.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer saw
no objection whatever to the motion.
He thought it quite reasonable that the
House should be in possession ofany facts
relative to the number of country banks
which had failed. Such a return could
do no mischief to parties who might have
failed and were in business again. With
regard to the terms in which the country
bankers were spoken of in the corres-
pondence between the government and
the bank, he could have no objection to
give every explanation to those who
might fancy themselves injured thereby.
Most certainly, it never had been the in-
L


[146






163] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Mr. Calcraft said, that the Bank pro-
prietors might refuse to call for the ac-
counts, from a confidence in their direc-
tors, but it did not follow that parliament
should participate in the same confidence.
He did not mean to say whether parlia-
ment confided, or did not, in that body,
for he would decide on each case as it
arose. With reference to the stoppage
of the stamping of country bank notes, it
was, on the part of ministers, a glaring
violation of the existing law, and ought
not to have been done without notice.
Did the government mean to continue
the instructions already sent to the board,
to prevent the further stamping. If they
did, he would tell the right lion. gentle-
man that the proceeding would cast such
a discredit on the country bank notes,
as to throw the local circulation in every
corner of the kingdom into the great-
est confusion. The effect would neces-
sarily be, that the panic, which was said
to be subsiding, must become perpetuated.
There was no analogy between the mode
of effecting this matter, and the regu-
lating the duty on thrown silk; for, in
the latter, the thing was cautiously done,
and proper security was received from
the parties. But was any security here
taken for the loss of revenue which the
country would suffer from stopping the
stamping of country bank notes?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
that government had been induced to
send that order to the Stamp-office, that
advantage might not be taken by the
country bankers to get stamped an unusual
quantity of notes; by which means the
effect of the proposed measure would be
forestalled. He did not intend to deny,
that the issuing such an order might re-
quire an act of indemnity from parliament,
but he trusted, when the necessity of the
case was taken into consideration, that
the House would not impute such a pro-
ceeding to any improper motive.
Mr. Calcraft did not mean to say, that
ministers were actuated by improper mo-
tives; but he believed that in this, as in
many other instances, they had committed
a great error in judgment, and fallen into
heavy mistakes. Why not have mention-
ed their intention ? The parties would
then have known their real situation ?
The ministers might rely upon it, that
this harsh and abrupt measure would de-
teriorate the local currency, and keep
alive the panic which they thought had
subsided.


Bank of England Balances, ,Sc.


[164


Mr. Ellice approved of the course
adopted by government. If they had not
stopped the stamping of country notes,
the consequence would have been, that
the country banks might have supplied
themselves for a year to come, by which
means the laudable intention of govern-
ment would have been defeated. He
granted that such a proceeding was
illegal; but, in a case of so much import-
ance, the duty of government was, to
weigh what would be of the least incon-
venience to the public; and, in his opinion,
they had chosen the right course.
Mr. Calcraft was surprised at the light-
ness with which his hon. friend appeared
to treat the subject. He supposed his
hon. friend was not aware that every
country bank had taken out and paid for
a license, which entitled them to get notes
stamped up to next October, under the
sanction of an act of parliament. He was
glad to see the right ion. gentleman treat
the subject more seriously.
Mr. Ellice disclaimed having recom-
mended the measure ; but did not appre-
hend the same consequences from it as
his hon. friend.
Mr. Gordon beheld the measure with
greatalarm. From theinformation which
he had received from the country, lie could
add his testimony to what had been sta-
ted by his hon. friend, of the effect which
it was likely to have in deteriorating the
country bank notes. He regretted that
government had taken, upon its own au-
thority, to effect this object in so strong
and unconstitutional a manner, without
the previous interposition of parliament.
He had heard of notes being sent up to
be stamped, and which were expected
back to meet previously formed engage-
ments. Let the House contemplate the
inconvenience which must follow from
such a state of things. He hoped minis-
ters would re-consider the matter before
it was too late, or else the agricultural
distress of 1821 and 1822 would return
upon the country with redoubled force.
Mr. Robertson was no advocate for the
banking system, but must condemn the
measures which were in contemplation.
After encouraging extensive circulation,
it ill became ministers so abruptly to
suspend it.
Mr. Monck thought the measure most
salutary. In proposing it, government
had not led, but followed, the public mind,
which was unequivocally in favour of it.
The injury done to the private bankers







165] Bank Charter, and Promissory Notes Acts. FEB. 10, 1826. [166
was not so extensive as was represented ; ed to propose in the committee, his ob-
for, without any enactment on the sub- jection would be obviated. But, if he re-
ject, that species of circulation would quired the House to go first of all into the
have ceased to exist before the expiration committee, then would the House be
of a year. Perhaps the measure in ques- treated most unfairly. And this was one
tion might have been rendered unneces- of the inconveniencies arising from the
sary by a resolution, declaring that all practice which now prevailed of voting an
notes issued since the 4th of February, address in answer to the speech on the
should be recalled from circulation. In first day of the sessions-that they found
taking it, however, ministers were fully themselves pledged to the measures of
justified. government, in a degree which restrained
The motion was then agreed to. them afterwards. He well remembered
that several gentlemen protested against
HOUSE OF C N S. being pledged by that address to the sup-
HOUSE FC M NS. port of the measures which might be pro-
Friday, February 10. posed upon the various subjects to which
BANK CHARTER, AND PROMISSORY it referred. This objection of his was not
NOTES ACTS.] On the order of the day a mere matter of form, but a point of sub-
for going into a committee on the above stantial importance. The House ought
acts, certainly to be in possession of what was
Lord Folkestone, before the Speaker intended to be brought, before they went
left the chair, wished to have an oppor- into the committee; for it might turn
tunity of expressing what he felt as to out, that there was no reason for going
the course now pursued. The question into the committee at all.
to be considered was one of great import- The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
ance, upon which the House ought to have that the term used by the noble lord, that
had some information beforehand. In his he had stolen a march on the House,
opinion, the right hon. gentleman had could not be justly applied to him. That
stolen rather an unfair march upon them. which he was now doing was the usual
On the first day of the session he had practice of the House. With regard to
given notice of a motion upon the sub- the notice of the motion, lie had found
ject generally, which was to come on at that it was incorrectly expressed. The
an early day. On a subsequent day, the consequence was, that his intentions had
right hon. gentleman had explained more been much misunderstood. He had moved
fully that his motion would go to a con- that the House should resolve itself into
sideration of the Bank charter acts in a a committee this day, to take into con-
committee of the whole House. On sideration the Bank Charter, and Pro-
Monday last the right hon. gentleman missory Notes Acts. He apprehended,
came down, and moved that the acts re- supposing that some measures were by
specting the Bank charter and promissory general admission necessary, that the only
notes should be entered as read. They proper course was a discussion of the
now passed at once to the order of the whole subject in a committee. Not the
day for going into the committee. The smallest idea was conveyed to his mind,
objection which he had might appear that any gentleman would adopt a step
technical only, but it comprised some- which must thwart altogether, if perse-
thing very essential to the order of their vered in, any measure of any description,
proceedings. The House might be very however urgent the necessity for pro-
willing and very right in agreeing to go ceeding. Now that, and nothing less,
into the committee; but, as the case would be the effect of the noble lord's
stood, they had been led into an admis- objection. There would, in fact, under
sion, which perhaps they might not have these circumstances, be no consideration
made upon a more regular discussion, of the Bank-charter acts. The objection
He, for one, was not at all prepared for would, in limine, stop the discussion, and
the discussion of the measures to be pro- frustrate the measures which he had to
posed in the committee. He was without propose on the part of government. The
that degree of information which was ne- course which he had taken was the usual
cessary. If, indeed, the right hon. mover course, and that which was the most con.
would, on the question that the Speaker venient. He should, in all probability,
do leave the chair, detail his plan, and be called upon to answer questions and
show clearly the nature of what he intend- explain matters of doubt, not once or






167] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Bank Charter, and Promissory Notes Acts. [168
twice, but repeatedly. If he were driven saidacts, unlesswhere ministers proved such
to the course which the noble lord wished alteration to be indispensably necessary.
him to take, lie must lay open his plan so The Speaker having left the chair,
as to meet all objections which would be The Chancellor of the Exchequer then
brought against it, without any sufficient rose. If, he said, he did not feel that he
opportunity for clearing away such objec- was acting in the discharge of a great
tions; as he would be precluded from public trust, however unworthily or un-
addressing the House more than once. fortunately imposed on him, he should
Mr. Baring complained cf the inex- be appalled at the magnitude and import-
pediency of the mode adopted. If the dance, if not at the difficulty, of the subject
statement which they so anxiously ex- on which he had now to address the
pected would meet the difficulties of the House. He was well aware that much
country according to the estimate formed criticism would be applied, that many
of those difficulties by ministers, undoubt- objections would be brought against him,
edly the right hon. gentleman was going both on the principle and the details of
to propose something upon a subject of the measure which it would be his busi-
the deepest importance, concerning which ness to submit. He was well aware,
the House was called upon to deliberate that, notwithstanding the impression on
with a total insufficiency of information, his own mind was clear as to the real
The course taken was only suitable to causes, and the proper remedy for the
subjects of a common and obvious kind. evils which had lately visited the country,
If they were about to consult on a subject he was likely to meet with no light hos-
of the most insignificant nature, they utility to his propositions. He perfectly
could not proceed with greater levity : understood the feelings which actuated
whereas this was a subject which should the minds of some individuals on the agi-
have been preceded by every possible station of topics of this nature; and to any
means of intelligence. Many papers and observations which might flow tror him
documents ought to have been produced, in the course of this discussion, he was
some of which had been actually moved prepared to meet no small degree of mis-
for no doubt with a view to their useful- understanding, as to the principles and
ness on this occasion. But, at the same grounds on which he proposed to rest the
time, so urgent was the whole subject, so projected measures. One source of re-
sensitive was the whole country, so anx- liaice at least he found in himself: he
iously did they wish to know what the came to this deliberation with a good con-
government were go ng to propose, that science; and he hoped he might venture
he could wish his noble friend to wave to ask the House for their gravest atten-
his objection. If they found themselves tion. He invoked their patience more
not to be in a condition to go on with particularly, because ie felt a fear within
the discussion they might report progress himself, that he could not contrive to
and ask leave to sit again, compress within those limits which the
Lord Folkestone said, his only wish was, House usually expected its members to
that the House might know upon what observe, the various parts of so intricate
they were to deliberate, before pledging and interesting a subject. He entreated
themselves to deliberation. They ought the indulgence of the House, therefore,
to have the subject adequately explained; to the extent of a patient hearing; not
and his view was, that if not done before, deprecating any hostile observations, in
at any rate it ought to have been done whatever spirit pronounced; but only
while the Speaker was in the chair. The asserting his claim to that forbearance and
effect of the present motion was, to pledge attention which the subject demanded,
the House to an alteration of the Bank and without the exercise of which, it
acts, without knowing that there was any would be utterly impossible for him to
necessity for alteration. However, as the discharge the duty which he owed to the
feeling of the House was against the government, to the House, and to the
mode of proceeding which he proposed, country.
he would not persevere in it. Before lie stated in detail the views of
Mr. Calcrerft said, the noble lord was the government, or gave any exposition
right in his objection to tha course taken ; of the facts connected with the case, or
butit would not have the effect of preclud- the grounds of the measures which he had
ing objections to the plan. For one, he to propose, and which, according to the
protested now against any alteration of the conviction of ministers, the best interests






169] Bank Charter, and Promissory Notes Acts. FEB. 10, 1826. [170
of the people and the safety of the country misery and distress; and, secondly, whether
required, he trusted he should be allowed the measures which his majesty's govern-
to make a few observations, which he ment had determined to bring under their
would not have made but for something consideration, were the most fitting and
which had fallen from various quarters, proper to produce the desired effect, it
and which seemed to justify him in doing was, in his opinion, a matter of essential
so. He was aware that one objection of necessity that they should satisfy their
a very general kind awaited him; namely, minds as to the immediate causes of that
that it would have been more prudent and particular evil to which they were about
more advisable in all respects, if govern- to apply a remedy. Because, if they did
ment had altogether abstained from not set out with a clear understanding of
making any decided allusions to the the case in all its bearings-if they did
causes of the late general distress. He not thoroughly understand the disease to
wished those who were of that sentiment which they were about to administer a
would do him the favour to reflect on the cure -they would legislate in the dark
situation in which ministers were placed, -they would aggravate the distress, and
and to reflect, not only on their situation create still greater mischiefs than any
asto the present question, but also-which they had yet experienced, by fallaciously
was a consideration of a thousand times leading both themselves and others to the
more importance-on the situation in belief, that they were applying infallible
which the country was placed. If they remedies. Infallible, in his belief, they
had not taken this course, it would yet could notbe: for no man, he hoped, would
have been impossible for them to have re- suppose he could flatter himself with
frained from some other mode of in- any idea of applying any thoroughly
terference. If they had abstained, and had effectual remedy to all the fluctuations of
held themselves aloof, would they have trade; the rise and fall of prices; or the
been sure of silence in other parts of the ebb and flow of public and private con-
House? Would many gentlemen, whom fidence. It was manifest that in all
he now saw before him, have been silent ? societies, constituted like ours-in all
Would the public have been silent? great commercial countries, where activity,
Would ministers not have been loudly enterprise, and speculation, formed as it
called upon to state explicitly, and dis- were the very elements of existence,
tinctly, whether, considering the situation there must be great and sudden changes
of the country, they meant to propose any -periods of long-continued prosperity,
new measures, and what those measures and seasons of temporary and trying ad-
were ? Good God, what answer could versity. All history produced instances
they give to these calls ? Could they say of these extraordinary fluctuations in every
that they would give no answer-that they country, which had applied itself to com-
would be silent ? If they had adopted that mercial pursuits. He could well under-
course, they would have occasioned evils stand how the argument arising out of that
of much greater magnitude than any that proposition could be turned against him,
could arise from the most complete pub- and how the very knowledge of the con-
licity; they would have aggravated the tinual recurrence and universality of the
feelings of public difficulty and distress, in evil should leave it to work out its own
a degree of which he did not wish to incur cure. What legislative measure, he knew
the responsibility. Whether their mea- it might be asked, could remedy that which
sures were right or wrong, it would be for seemedtobeanaturalconsequenceofsitua-
parliament and the country to judge; but tion; or why proceed upon the mistaken
altogether silent respecting them, they assumption, that you could check that
could not have been. On that score they which seemed to arise out of the nature
were entirely free from blame, and the of things? There did seem an incon.
objection, he conceived, was utterly un- sistency in this; but he thought he could
founded, reconcile it to that idea of our commercial
In order that the House and the situation which he wished to impress
country might be able to form a proper upon the House. In all countries, where
judgment; first, whether any thing should refinement and civilization had made any
be done to prevent the recurrence of progress, credit, as their necessary attend-
those evils which had been viewed by all ant, had introduced a currency, in some
with such apprehension, and which had cases, decidedly or theoretically metallic,
been, in fact, attended with incalculable in others partly metallic and partly paper.




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