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flutions which had been proposed. ver was to be conGdered as implyWith regard to the constitution of ing that there should be no adthe committee, to which the noble vances. His lordship observed duke objekted, he would answer, it further, that the noble duke was was necessary that they should havę inaccurate in the facts which he before them every thing connected stated as a consequence of this with the investigation; and with re measure; no bills drawn for these spect to the conduct of it, never advances were received till July, was the conduct of a committee yet the rate of exchange from Ocmore candid and impartial. The tober that year till March follownoble duke had said, that a great ing rose considerably in our fapart of his charge was directed a- vour. It appeared from the report, gainst the chancellor of the exche- that 14,918,000l. had been remitted quer; yet this culprit had been exo to the continent this war, and in amined upon oath the first instance 1763, fifteen millions; were we less in this country of the kind, and able now to sustain such a charge ? which, in fact, was contrary to the It was proved that the balance of principles of the law of England. trade for the last four years was at With regard to the fummary ailud- an average of ten millions a-year; ed to, he was sure nothing could be the whole remittances out of the exprefied with greater candour and country had been thirty-two millimodefy. That the diminution of ons, and the balance for the same bank-notes, according to the duke's four years of the war had been forpolition, would increase the quantity ty-two millions : – was it possible of specie, was an absurd hypothefis; the stoppage of the bank could be that it might decreale the demand of afcribed to the imperial remitthein, was the only view in which tances? With regard to the effect the observation was intelligible. of the advances by the bank to goHis lorúship then desired the clerk vernment, he had to observe, that might read the ininutes of the court a very considerable sum had been of directors in 1795, and the an: stated as advances by the bank, swers of the chancellor of the ex- which in fact did not belong to chequer on the imperial loan, in them, but was the amount of ur1795 and 1796; the resolution of claimed dividends, which had been the committee of treasury, dated taken for the public service. His February 11, 1796, with his further lordship observed, that the advananswers. His lordship faid, it ap- ces to government were by no peared, from the evidence contain means unprecedented; for in the ed in the report, that the bank had year 1980 they were 10,000,oool. at different times made application somewhat higher in 1797; and in to the chancellor of the exchequer, 1793 they were only an hundred Itating the danger which they ap- thousand less. The bank, too, must prehended from the continuance of be able to make advances in proforeign remittances. A direct an- portion to the general prosperity of swer was given to the two first, viz. commerce and increale of wealth. that no imperial loan Mould be Our commerce was nearly double brought forward. The third appli- to what it was in 1782 and 1783. cation mentioned both loan and ad. Was ic possible that this advance vances ; the answer intimated, that could produce effects so serious as there Bhould be no loan, but it ne, to fufpend the money-payments of
the bank? His lord thip said, that The duke of Leeds congracountry bank-notes were the chief rulated the house on the favouracirculation in the country; and ble description of the ftuation of these in the moment of alarm pro. the country given by the noble duced a run upon the bank of Eng- earl who spoke second in the de. land, the reservoir of the cash of bate. He lamented that there should the kingdom. After commenting be any misunderstanding or dispute upon the subject for some length, between the government and the ke concluded by moving the pre- bank. His grace concluded by vious question.
saying, he thought it very extraorThe earl of Guildford observed, dinary, and somewhat strange, that that, whatever might be the necessity the noble duke should come for. of continuing the order of council, ward with what might be confidered he doubted the necessity of origin: as an oppofition-motion, grounded ally issuing it. He thought that the upon the very documents that afbank might liave been enabled to forded those who opposed it a fund go on, or, if obliged to stop at of reasoning against it. last, it would have been better that Earl Strange (duke of Athol) it had Mut up the doors, and shewn said, he had read the report with to the pablic that its stoppage arose the greatest attention, and thought from its own want of cath; instead it contained a conclusive evidence, of its being proved that such an that no blame was ascribable to the event arose from the wants of go- chancellor of the exchequer for his vernment. The bank themselves, conduct with regard to the bank. he remarked, had expressly de. He had listened to the arguments of clared, that they were of opinion the noble duke that day, and nothat the imperial loan bad produced thing that he had heard from him the scarcity of their cash; and the had in the smallest degree altered chancellor of the exchequer had no his opinion. But before he fat right to distrust their authority. The down, he could not help expreffing bank had repeatedly demanded of his feelings at the violent language government repayment of their ad. of the noble duke in the conclusion vances, which was one of their re- of his speech. The noble duke he fources for extricating themselves was persuaded would not have used from their embarrassment; and he such language in any other place, did not doubt but, had the promises and he thought the same regard, of the chancellor of the exchequer decorum, and respect was due to been kept, they would have been their lord thips in general, who were enabled to go on. His lordship at liberty to entertain whatever poconcluded by saying, they should litical sentiments their own judge consider whether they could avoid ments directed. a decifion by supporting the pre The duke of Bedford rose to vious question, which he admitted apologize for some of the intempe. was a fair way of getting rid of the rate expressions which he had made resolutions, which however were use of in the conclusion of his some of them undoubted truisms. speech. His grace then referred to
Lord Auckland rose to make the evidence of Mr. Giles, Mr. some incidental remarks in answer Raikes, and Mr. Bosanquet, to to the duke of Bedford, nearly fimi- few, that they clearly understood lar to those delivered by the earl of the chancellor of the exchequer, Liverpool.
that neither loan nor advances were
to be made to the emperor without The duke of Bedford made a their previous knowledge, and that short reply, in which he said, as they re-asserted that the whole of long as he existed, he should hold the last two years. His grace thought it his duty to declare his sentiments that the repeated warnings which on public matters with freedom, they gave him ought to have deter- equally regardless of the noble femined him from the drain of cash cretary's reprehenfion or his mis. from the bank, which had brought representation. on the calamity of the hoppage of After a few words in explana. payment.
tion from the earl of Guildford, Lord Grenville rose to make the previous question was put on fome remarks upon what had fallen each of the feries of resolutions, from the duke of Bedford, and con- and carried. tended that, if the chancellor of the Both the order of time and the orexchequer had given any assurance der of precedence demanded that the to the governor and directors of the first place Mhould be afligned to the bank, that no advances should be debates of the lords on this impormade to the empreor without their tant subject.-It was, however, in previous concurrence, it would not the house of comamnons that the most have been what the noble duke had interesting debates took place; and called it, the government taking the to these it is our will particularly direction of the affairs of the bank to direct the attention of the reader. of England into their own hands, On the 28th of February a mefbut it would have been in fact fage fimilar to that which was pre. a surrender of the functions of go- sented to the house of lords, was vernment into the hands of the brought up in the house of combank. His loruthip, admitted that mons, by the chancellor of the exthe chancellor of the exchequer chequer. When he moved the or. might have overlooked the word ad- der of the day for taking the same vances in the application of the into consideration bank, and have answered them ge The chancellor said, he had given nerally, without fuppofinz govern. notice the preceding day that he ment Mould be in any agree re- should first move an aduress to his ftrained in private remittances to majesty, returning him thanks for the emperor or other foreign pow. his gracious communication, and er: neither was there any one fact to afure him that the house would to prove that the advances to the proceed without delay to the deli. emperor had either occafioned a beration of the important subje&t. ruu upon the bank, affected the His second motion, he informed exchanges, or injured the cre-lit of them, was for the appointment of a the country. After remarking at fetect committee, to inquire inte fome length that the exchange had the outstanding engagements of the risen in our favour during the ad. bank. He therefore moved, that vances, bich, he said, had been ful. an humble address be presented to ly proved by the convincing argu- his majesty, thanking him for his ments of the noble earl, his lord, most gracious communication. Thip concluded by making fome Mr. Dundas seconded the moremarks on the violent language tion, which was carried nem. con. employed by the duke of Bed- and ordered to be taken to his maford.
jefty, by such of the members of
the house as were of his majesty's nels of detail." It would alío, he privy council,
faid, be higiv improper for the The chancellor of the exchequer committee to enter into a minute next proceeded to submitto the house investigati in of the precif the of his promised motion relative to ap- the different descriptions vi fpecie pointing a select committee to make belonging to the bank. It would fach inquiry into the state of the therefore be neceffary ’nit the combank as might be thought necessary mittee appointed should be a secret to justify the necessity of the mea- one, and that they fould be in. fure adopted by the bank in conse- ftru&ted not to put their inquiries quence of an order of council. too minutely into particulars. On But though there could be no hefi. these grounds he was detirous to reit tation with respect to the solidity of the motion, which was to the fole the bank, it was incumbent, he lowing effect : observed, upon them to take the u That a committee be appoint. proper means to satisfy themselves, ed to examine and state the real ihat the measure which had been amount of outitanding demands on adopied in consequence of the opi- the bank of England, and likewise nion of council was occasioned by of the funds for discharging the unavoidable emergency. It was same, and to report the reiul ihere. now necellary that parliament should of to the house, together with their be called upon to confirm that opic opinion of the neceility of provid. nion, and io fan&tion that measure ing for the confirmation and contiby an ad of the legislature. With nuance of the measures taken in respect to the amount of the out- pursuance of the minute of coulle ftanding demands of the bank, and cil, on the 26th inftani.” the means which they poffefs for dis The motion being read, charging their obligations, the in Mr. Fox rose, and addressed the quiry would be comprised in a house. - When he confidered, he fhort compass; and from the result faid, the wonderful event which had of a very thore investigation, the this night been announced to the advantage of the measure adopted house; when he took into review would, in his opinion, appear fo the causes which had led to this exobvious as to lay the natural foun- traordinary fituation of affairs, and dation of every further proceeding the effe&s likely to refult from it; on the part of the house. It was after the pause which had been af: proposed that public security should forded for deliberation, he did not be given, not only for the out- at all feel inore fanguinely or more standing claims on the bank, but agreeably than he did on the first also for those additional issues of mention of the subject. The right paper which might be deemed advise honourable gentlemar had moved able. It is necessary, however, for the appointment of a commitite (continued Mr. Pitt) to observe one for the purpose of inquiry; but it point relative to the necessity of ad- might be expected, that the inisi. opting such a measure. It must iter. who had conducted astuirs in appear to every reflecting man, that such a manner as to call for the it is a subject of inquiry of so de. measure which was now proposed, licate a nature, that it cannot, con- would not have been contented tó Sittently with public safety, be puth- pass so flightly over the nature of ed to great particularity or minute. ihe crisis. Every man who read the
order of council must have been tainly should not desire that the inftruck with the rejection that this quiry should be placed on a more was the first time a measure had been extensive scale. But the right hoadopted by the executive govern- nourable gentleman has intimated, ment in this country to prevent the that it is not his intention the in: bank from answering the demands of quiry should be conducted in this its lawful creditors. If the measure manner. I therefore say, if the was indispensably required from house of commons should allow this the pressing exigency of the coun- committee to be appointed, they try, and the imperious consideration will most scandalously abandon their of public safety, an act of parlia- duty if they confine their inquiry ment was surely the only proper to what the chancellor of the ex. mode of effecting the purpose. That chequer has this night stated.” Mr. house was that particular branch of Fox next remarked, that the directhe legislature which should have tors of the bank often told the mi. been consulted on such an occa- nister," what the effect would be fion. All those who had turned of sending such vast sums of money their attention to the paper-credit of abroad; for he sent sums not only this country, (Mr. Fox observed), against the opinion and in defiance muit view with alarm for years and of the remonftrances of the bank, centuries to come, that the mini- but in one instance against the sters or the executive government known spirit, and palpably against had by the present measure claimed the very letter, of the conftitution. In a power to annihilate at one breath the course of what he had said, he all the property of the creditors of had abstained from much observathe bank. The proclamation of tion upon what be thought would the council merely forbade the illu- be the effect of the earure now ing of money ; the paper, however, before the house. He thought that subsequently published from the in many parts of the measure it bank removed all doubt with respect was impossible to conceive anything to the nature and extent of the mea- that would be more mischievous to fure; and thanks were due to the this country; he could not put any directors for the explicitness they had thing in competition with the danger manifested on the occasion. The mi. of refusing to pay the publiccreditor. nister, who came down to the house, He did not think, that even under and endeavoured to prove that ne- the measures of the present admi. celliiy bad compelled him to this fa. niftration our total ruin was betal and irremediable act of bank; come so near. It was our duty, if ruptcy, ought at least to have been postble, to retrieve our affairs; but prepared to fiew that the necessity if the house perlifted in confiding had been occasioned by no fault of in ministers, is our ruin (faid Mr, his own, and that the most rigid - Fox) is inevitable !" conomy had prevailed in every de Mr. Hobhouse observed, that, partment of administration. “If I when information was received that thought that the committee (added this measure was to be adopted, all Mr. Fux) would be empowered to the bankers were struck with congo into all the causes which have sternation. Tiey did not know led to this disastrous state of affairs, whether they should be able to keep and into all the circumstances con- open their shops; and be was anected with the transaction, I cer- fraid that the bank-paper would fall