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the private bankers in England. It their part, on bis pressing folicitations."
was an immense trading company, In an interview with the chancellor
which dealt in bullion, discounted of the exchequer, which took place
bills of exchange, advanced money on the 23d of the same month, on
on ferurity to individuals, and occa the loans to the emperor being men-
fionally to the government.--Its ad- tioned, the governor aliurrd Nr.
vances to the latter became at length Pitt, ó that another loan of that fort
so considerable, as to absorb the would go nigh to ruin tbe country ;"
whole capital with occasional augand on the gth of February 1797,
mentations, as will appear from the the directors ordered the governor
ensuing debates. Its connexion with to inform the minister,
the government, and the advances of der the present state of the bank's
money to the fupport of every war, advances to government here, to a-
rendered it the policy of the mini- gree with his request of making a
fters, as well as of the bank directors, farther advance of 1,500,0001. as
to involve in myítery as much as a loan to Ireland, would threaten
poffible its proceedings. Some fpi- ruin to the bank, and most probably
rited, and, we must add, patriotic ef- bring the directors to sui up their
forts were, however, made by the doors.
late alderman Pickett, to oblige the With this cause, another is sup-,
directors to lay their accounts, an- posed by some to have powerfully
nually, before the public; and we co-operated to the late event, and
mult remark (io ello ntial is public that was the dread of an invasion,
city to the welfare of every nation which had induced the farmers and
al inftitution) that if his applica- others resident in the parts dittant
tions had been succesful, the bank from the meiropolis, to withdraw,
would probably never have expe- their money from the hands of those
rienced the shock which we have bankers with whom it was depofit-
now to record.

cd. The film, therefore (to speak
- In the course of the present war, in the technical language of the mo-
the remittances to the emperor and ney-market), commenced upon the
other foreign powers preiled fo bca- country banks, and the demand for
vily on the bank of England, that, fpecie loon reached the metropolis.
fo early as the month of January In this alarming tlate the ministry
1795, the court of directors inform- thought themselves compelled to in-
eil the chancellor of the exchequer, tertere, and an order of the privy
that it was their with, 6s that he council was itlued on the 20th of
would arrange, his finances for the February, prohibiting the directors
year in such a manner as not to de- 1 of the bank from " istuing any cath
pend on any further alijtance from in payment till the sense of parlia-
them.These remonitrances were ment can be taken on that subject,
renewed in the months of April and and the proper measures adopted :
July, in the same year; and on the thercupon for maintaining the means
8th of (ctober following. they of circulation, and supporting the
sent a written paper to the minister, public and commercial credit of the
which concluded by itating the kingdom at this important conjunc-
absolute nerellity, which they con ture"
ceive to exist, for diminishing the fis the parliament was fortunate-
sum of their present advances 10 go- . ly Hilting at this critical moment, no
vernment; the last having bien time was to be loit in laying those
grapted with great relatiunce on proceedings before it. On the fol-

lowing day, therefore, the 27th of The earl of Guildford said, he did Februiry, a metlage was delivered not rise with any intention to dili ufs from his majesty to both houses of this subject, as it was determined for parliament, stating, “ That an un- the next day, though he thought it usual demand of specie having been required immediate confideration. made from different part of the His lordship added, tliat, confidercountry on the metropolis, it had ing the glaring incapacity and ill been found necessary to make an or- conduct of his majesty's niinit'ers in der of council to the directors of the the course of the war, he thought bank, prohibiting the illuing of any fome firong meature thould be acaih in payment till the sense of dopted for the support of public creparliament could be taken on the dit. He contended, that ministers subject. The order of council was ought to have been aware of the nered along with his majesty's mief- ceility to which they had reduced lage; and lord Grenville, in the the country, and not have suffered, house of lords, rose to move, “ that themselves to be taken by surprise, the communication from his majelty and driven, as it were, to a ttep 10 fhould be taken into consideration alarming as to require the bank to on the following day.”

stop payment of their own notes. The duke of Norfolk observed, His lordthip faid, it was very exthat as the message was so soon to be traordinary, that the impulse thould taken into confideration, he thould be so sudden, as to cause such a vionot then enter much into the sub- lent measure to be adopted, without jed. The cause in which the or- consulting parliament. Parliament der originated must have given fe- had been fitting the whole of the last tious alarm to their lordships and the fortnight, and not a single word had public. The bank was ordered to been dropt on the fubject. Not refuse payment of their own billz in being aware of the reaions which the poffeflion of individuals, who prompted minidiers on a sudden to considered them as property. adopt a measure so extraordinary, he

His grace thought that the despe- could not argne on its expediency or rate exigency to which ministers had its neceility; but thought the con-' driven the country, was owing to duct of his majesty's minifiers gave the exportation of specie to the em- room for fufpicion, and rendered his peror of Germany and our other al noble friend's motion highly proper.

upon the continent; and on this Lord Romney remarked, that in account he moved, that an humble the present momentous fituation of address be presented to his majesty, the country, erery thing which had to prevent the further exportation of the appearance of suspicion ought to specie, until the sense of parliament be removed, as it mutt have a danbe taken on that subject.

gerous tendency without doors. The Lord Grenville faid, as their lord- words “ extraordinary and illegal,” ships had determined not to take the which were in his noble friend's subject into consideration till the motion, he observed, amounted to next day, he did not wish to discuss a very strong infinuation that the it, as neither he nor the house were necellary ftep to be taken, was occaprepared for it,

foned by the mitconduct of minii he duke of Norfolk on the con- fters. His lordihip said, if there. trary urged the necesity of deciding were any ground for fuch an infinu, upon it that day.

ation, no man would be more eager



than himself to reprobate it in the very important subject before the strongest terms. He thought, when- whole was considered. ever this subject should be discussed, The earl of Guildford replied, that nothing relative to the injustice that neither he nor the noble duke or ill conduct of the war ought to be meant to say any thing at present on alluded to, as it might make an im- the sums already sent to the empepression on the public mind. 'ror; but, as the bank were ordered

The earl of Guildford said, that to stop payment, he thought it imthe words “ extraordinary and ille-' possible tojustify the sending of specie gal” being offensive, he made no from the country, and at the same doubt but the noble duke would time withhold it from those who readily strike them out, as he held have an undoubted claim on their under the present circumstances the own property. witholding of fpecie from foreign The duke of Norfolk rose to nopowers an indispensable measure. tice the objectionable words contain

The duke of Grafton urged the ed in his motion, viz. “ extraordinecessity of acceding to the motion, nary and illegal," which he thought as the refusal of the house would strictly applicable to the order of have an evil tendency with the pub- council; but had he supposed his lic at large. He thought they motion would have met with a more should assure the nation, that no favourable reception without them, more specie would be exported out they certainly fhould not have been of the kingdom till the sense of parlia- inserted. His grace observed, that ment Mhould be taken upon it; and he must take the sense of the house contended, that it was the duty of the on the whole of his motion. That noble secretary to state upon what the order of council was extraordigrounds the present measure had nary and illegal no perfori could debeen adopted. He approved of the ny, since it required the bank not to words “ extraordinary and illegal,” pay money to those individuals who from a conviction that they were presented their notes. It had been applicable and merited attention. remarked, that the order of council

Lord Grenville said, as the sub was not' binding upon the bank, ject was to be discussed the next His grace could not tell what was the day, he had no right to be called on extent of its jurifdi&ion; however, for an explanation. His lordship it certainly was an high constituted argued, that the bank were not authority, and must produce great obliged to obey the order of council, effect on those to whom its orders though he could make it appear they were directed. His grace concluded acted bighly proper for themselves by asking the noble lord one querand the public. He was ready, he tion: Was it intended to send money said, to prove, that tranfmitting mo to the emperor of Germany ? ney to support our allies was strictly The duke of Grafton observed, necessary, and attended with the that answering this question, and moit falutary effects to the country. affuring the house that no such thing He assured the house he would cer was intended, must give the greattainly vote against the present mo eft fatisfaction to the country; and tion, as it tended to convey an insi it would not then be necessary to press nuation against ministers, and to de his noble friend's motion to a di. eids, in an indirect way, part of a vifion,


Lord Grenville replied, he would cuffed with deliberation and cannot discuss that day the fubjet dour. Notwithftanding the illwhich was to be taken into con 1- founded alarm, he was persuaded deration the next.

the resources of the country were The earl of Moira role, and de- in a moit flourishing state, and, he clared he thought an answer ought contended, that the present meato have been given by the noble fure was only of a temporary nafecretary of state. He was afraid, ture. His lordship avoided going that, in consequence of the refuled into a detail, as all parliamentary to answer on this subject, a fufpi- proceedings affecting the public cion might go abroad that ministers purse, were considered as falling did mcan dire@ly to send specie out more immediately within the proof the kingdom; when they had vince of the other house. He taken a measure to withhold it from should, therefore, recomend to its right owners. However, free as their lordships to wait till the prohis mind was from fufpicion, he be- ceedings of the house of commons lieved the more the affairs of the came before them. He, however, bank were inquired into, the more informed the house, he had two substantial their affluent would be motions for their confideration, found. He concluded by voting the first," that an humble address be with the poble duke. The question presented to his majesty, to return being put, the house divided, thanks for his gracious communiContents

5 cation, and to affare his majesty, Non contents

34 he might rely with the utmost con.

fidence on the wisdom of parliaMajority

29 mnent, to call forth, in case of ne. On the 28th of February, the or- cetlity, the extensive resources of der for taking his majesty's message the kingdom." isto consideration having been read, His other motion was for the ap. and afterwards the message, lord pointment of a committee of nine Grenville rose to explain the nature lords to examine and report on the of the motions relative to his ma- outstanding demands against the jesty's message, and observed, he bank, and the state of the funds to Tould not have occasion to go discharge the fame, and also to inmuch into detail as to the causes quire the cause that rendered the which had induced the board of order of council neceffary; and he council to issue that order referred made no doubt but the result of the to in the mellage. Their lordihius inquiry would give their lordfhips, were fummoned to take into coufi- as well as the country, the most deration, under the exigency of the convincing proof that the bank was times, the measure which his ma in a Itate of affluence. His lord. jesty's ministers had thought proper thip observed, that in an investigation to adopt, and which, he trutled, into to delicate a marter as the after a due consideration, the would concerns of the bank of England, approve. His lordship obferved, the utmost fecrecy and caution that, in the course of the debate the were neceffary, as the interests of preceding day, some noble lords every individual were deeply imhad treated the order of council plicated, and a disclosure would be with great asperity; though, he attended will d:243 gerous college thought, the subjeą ought to be dif- quences. He thercore proposed, 1797



that the committee should be select The earl of Guildford thought and secret. Having thus explained act of iudemnity absolutely neceffathe nature of his motions, he would ry, at least for the direétors of the not trouble the house with any far- bank and their clerks, who must ther observatỉons.

act illegally, and be liable to actions. The duke of Grafton supported His lordship then adverted to the the address, and hoped it would speech of the noble secretary, in pass nemine diflintiente; but withed it the opening of which, he said, fome had not come before the house fo çf the noble lords had been disposed, fuddenly, as it was almost impossi- in the preceding day's debate, to ble to form an opinion respecting it. treat the measure harihly and with The noble secretary of state had said asperity; for his part he could not fomething, to thew that his ma- recal a fingle word he had attered jesty's ministers were driven to this on that subject; he had forborne to measure by imperious neceflity. give his opinion till he heard more His grace made fome pertinent re- of the reasons on which it was marks on the conduct of ministers in grounded. His lordship faid, he adopting so miserable an expedient, had no obje&tion to the first motion and said they had gone to the ex relative to the address. With retreme length of a measure, founded spect to the second, there were parts in an assumption of power unknown of the inquiry which ly no means reto the laws and conftitution of the quired fecrecy; on the contrary, they country. Ministers bcing aware of ought to be made as public as pofli this, would be obliged to have re ble. His lordfhip had a strong obcourse to a bill of indemnity to lega- jection to the committee being a lize their conduct. For unless this act secret one, as it was a mode of could be obtained, the bank-direc- smuggling bufines through the tors were liable to an action from house, and giving up the power of every individual to whom they re- judging to nine individuals, howfufed payment.

ever refpe&able they might be. If Lord Grenville said, undoubtedly, the bank were in such a flourishing his majetty's ministers lad under- ttate as it was represented, it ought taken a very arduouś responsibility; to be laid before the public, to rethey had adopted the measure which move all ground of suspicion. the order of council contained, on The earl of Liverpool approved the ground of state-neceflity, though of a secret committee, where subjects the bank were not bound to obey of a delicate nature were to be inthat order. With regard to the vestigated. His lord thip faw ng bill of indemnity, it would be for ground for the noble earl's objectheir lord ships, after the whole of tion, as the committee would make the subject had been considered, to their report to the house, and their decide whether the bill of indemni- lordships might determine upon it ty was necessary or not. His lord- as they thought proper. ihip admitted, that the measure The duke of Grafton could not could not be justified by the strict accede to the arguments of the noletter of the law, but thought it the ble earl relative to a secret comduty of ministers to consider the in- mittee, as the idea of secrecy contereits of the public, and not to veyed something disagreeable and hesitate in adopting a measure suípicious. He thought the subject which the exigency of the case re- ought to come openly before the quired.

house, that they might act upon it


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