« AnteriorContinuar »
plied with out of hand, and that millions and an half in question, on he would order 1,200,000l. to be exchequer bills, payable out of the paid to the bank, on that account, growing produce of the consolidatimmediately.
ed fund, in the quarters for Otto
ber next and the April following, ANSWER to (No. 4.) he did mean to pay part of the
bank's advance on the treasury buils ON presenting this paper, Mr. out of that money ; but he hoped Piit said, it was not his fault that that the whole of it would not be the account nad not been dimin required, b:it that it fiould be pronished, for he had ordered, some vided for out of other funds - The time fince, two warrants to be made governor then oblerved to him, out, amounting to above 600,000l. how frequent pron ifes ha! teen which were now completing, and given to reduce this advance to the would soon come down to us ; limit of 500,000l, which had never fi ewing, at the same time, the pre- yet been carried into effert; and paratory parts thereof. The go- begged leave to represent, how devernor then replied, that 600,000l. firous the bank court was, to have would not nearly reduce the a the pay rent of the treafury acmount to the agreed sum; that ceptances otherwise arranged taan our calls had lately been so great, at the bank ; which Mr. Pitt said, with large drains of cash ani bul Mould be taken up on a future oclion, as masie us earneftly wish to cafion. The governor faid, he lelsen our credits, as much as pof Id not engage for any thing; fible; and then he wished Mr. Pitt but he knew how defirous the would, without particular inconve court always was to affiit the gonience to himself name a day fr vernment; thou h a provident care whence the resolution of the court for their establifhm ent must preMould take place. The deputy-go-cede all other objects. Mr. Pitt vernor asked, if Mr. Pitt could do observed on this, that the welfare this next Monday (when the chairs of the bank, we must support, was were to meet him on the national. an object of equal importance to ftock business)? He replied, he b'm as to 17s. The governor then could pot, he believed, be ready to added, that though he did not er. do it by that time; but he might gage for the court, if Mr. Pitt probably then inform us farther could promise that two millions of about it; and added his hope, that the sum now asked for should be the bank did not, for this year, applied to extinguish so much of mea:1 to restriêt him from the cre the advance on the treasury bills, dit of 500,000l. on treafury bills. 'he believed it might be acceded to.
Mr. Pitt replied, that he could not ANSWER to (No. 5.) answer for so large a part being
paid immediately; but that he MR. PITT acknowledged, That would, on this information, draw he had not, in his note of Wednes- up a new letter to the court, to be day laft, entered into any particu- confidered next Thursday; and he lirs about the payment of the trea wified to fee the two governors at fury bills; but that he meant, if twelve o'clock on Tuesday next, the bank aslifted him with the two to submit to them the plan of his
letter : and the governor and de- consequences. The chancellor of paty promised to wait on him at the exchequer viewed this in a most that time accordingly.
The governor then mentioned ANSWERS to (No. 7.) the p:obability of the claims of the
American ihips taken in the West AFTER Mr. Pitt had read this Indies foon coning to a hearing, paper, with great attention, twice, and which he said, from report, he began by exprehiig his satis- would a nount to near four milfaction and approbition of the mea- lios. Mr. Pitt agreed that appeals fure of communicaring such mat. were soon to be made, but he did ters to him ; saying, that he would not think the amount would come most certainly frame his arrange- up to such a fum.
The governor ments in a manner that might ena then resumed the subject of the ble him to remove our fears, and treasury bills; and hoped, that afprevent unpleasant consequences; ter the meeting of parliament, Mr. and that he would endeavour to do Pitt would so arrange matters as to this in such a manner as fhould prevent their continuing to be paid produce 10 alarm; strongly re by the bank in the manner lately mending to the court of directors adopted. His reply was, that this to use every poffible precaution to object would soon cease; their prevent thai also.
amount seemed to have impretled The governor then said, That his mind with a design to disconhe hoped Mr. Pitt did not conceive tinue the service that occafi ned it to be the intention of the court them; the troops were about to to retuse the advance of the land return home. He candidly acand malt, 1796 ; but orly that it was knowledged, that the expense of their with có protract it for some our troops on the continent had tiine. Mr. Piet said, he understood been enormous; and intimated, it fo, and thould avoid applying for that the bent and operation of the it until it might be more suitable war, as long as it did still continue, to the bank. He also said, he would be naval, and in the West fiould certainly re-imburse a mil. Ind es. lion of the treasury bills, and re The governor then made his ac. pay the 1,100.000l. as soon as the knowledgments to Mr. Pitt, for the accounts were made up; and, if indulgence of lo much time as he neceffary, the 1,400,000!. remain- had given to him and the deputying Mould be re-imbursed.
governor. The chancellor of the The governor mentioned to him, exchequer said, he was going out the drain of cash to Ireland, the of town to-morrow, for a week, calls for the West-India armament, and at his return would be glad to and the probability of foon per- see the governors again, if any ceiving thofe that may be occa- thing material should occur. fioned by the claimants of the neutral fhips being reimburfed : in all which he seemed to concur. Report from the Committee of Secrecy, Then the governor stated to him, appointed by he House of Lords that the price of gold being so examine and fate the total much above the value of our Amount of outfianding Demands on guineas, must necessarily impress
the Bank of Eng and, and likewise his mind with the unavoidable of the Funds for discharging the
fame, and to report the Result there- above the before-mentioned perof to the House, together with their manent debt of 11,686,800l. duc Opinion on the Necessity of provide from government. ing for the Confirmation and Conti The committee think it right to nuance of Measures taken in pursu observe, that this account is made ance of the Minute of Council or up to the 25th of February in. the 26th of February last.
clusive; and that since that day,
several confiderable issues have Ordered to report,
been made by the bank in bank, THAT the committee having, notes, both upon government se. in pursuance of the order of the curities, and in diícounting bills, house, proceeded to take into their' the particulars of which could not confideration the several matters re- inmediately be made up; but that, ferred to them, have agreed to re as those issues were upon correport thereon as follows:
Sponding securities, taken with the With repeat to the first part of usual care and attention, the ac: the order of the house, by which tual balance in favour of the bank they are directed to examine and has not been materially varied, but, report the total amount of out if at all, has been rather increased. standing demands on the bank of
In proceeding to the confideraEngland, and likewise of the funds tion of the second part of the orfor discharging the same, they call. der of reference, in which the comed upon the governor of the bank, mittee are directed to report to the and upon Mr. Bo'anquet, one of house their opinion on the necesthe directors of the bank (who at- fity of providing for the confirma. tencked them in the absence of the tion and continuance of the meadeputy governor), for an account fures taken in pursuance of the to that effect ; which account have minute of council of the 26th of ing, by them, been produced to the February, the committee have committee, was verified by the de- thought it right to confine their puty accountant of the bank; and inquiries to those points only
, on the same having been examined which that neceflity appeared to by the committee, it was agreed to them principally to depend; and report the result thereof 10 the having examined to these points honid, as follows:
governor of the bank, and the That the iotai aincunt of out- said Mr. Bosanquet (one of the die standing demands on the bank, on rectors thereot), the committee the 25th day of February last, was find, 13,770,5901; and tha: the total That the bank of England has anuunt of the funds for discharg. lately experienced an unusual drain ing ifose demands, over and above of caib. the permanent debt due from gg. That this drain was owing, in veruinent of 11,686,8col. was, on great part, to demands for cash, the faine day of February last, from the country; such demands 17,597,280l.; and that the result being made upon the bank indiis, that there was, ou the 25th day reftly from the country, but diof February laft, a surpliis of effects secily from the bankers of Lonbelonging to the bank beyond the don, who are to supply the coulitotal of their dabs, ar uning to tie jurn of 3;20,8 gol. over and That by the effect of this drain,
the call of the bank has been of The Lords of the Committee late very considerably reduced ; Think proper to conclude their rethat it has, however, been known, port, with a summary of the chief by those conversant in the affairs points which have occurred in their of the bank, to be a great deal inquiry refpe&ing the causes that lower; but that on this occasion produced the order of council of the the rapidity of the demands has 26th of February last, as resulting been unparalleled.
from the evidence taken by them, That ttose demands have been and from the accounts laid before of late progressively increasing, but them. particularly in the last week; and In order to render the subrethat in the two last days of that quent derails relative to this imweek, the demands exceeded those portant subject more intelligible, of the four preceding days.
The committee think it right to beThat ihere was every reason to gin, with taking a general view of apprehend that these demands, and the state of the circulation of the the consequent progreffive reduc- kingdom. tion of call, would continue, and It appears by the evidence, that even increase.
the circulation of this kingdom, by That by the effect of such re which its immense commerce is duction, if it were to continue in carried on, confifts, principally, in the same, or in a ftill farther in- the metropolis and its neighbourcreased proportion, the bank of hood, either of the notes of the England would be deprived of the bank of England, or of coin chiefly means of fapplying the cash which made of gold. -- In the country might be necessary for pressing exi- (where the notes of the bank of gencies of public service; and this England did not circulate to any led the bank to make the commu great amount), it consists of the nication they did to his majesty's bills of country bankers, or of the minifters.
banking companies in Scotland, And lastly, that since the date payable to bearer on demand; and of the minute of council above of coin of the description before mentioned, no such alteration has mentioned. occurred as materially to vary the
Inlund bills of exchange are situation of the bank in this re- thought, by many, to be a part of fpeét.
the circulation of the kingdom. On this view of the present state They are not itri&tly fo, in the faine of the important question referred sense as the two forts of
Paper bei to them, the committee have agreed fure mentioned. They are rather to report it to the house as their transfers of debts, from the draivers opinion, that it is necessary to con to the persons on whom the bills tinue and confirm the measures al are drawn. They are generally ready taken, for such time, and un- made payable at distant periods; der such limitations and restric. and as they are not payable at all tions, and with such power of dif. times on demand, they cannot, like continuing the same, as to the wis. the former, ansiver all the purposes dom of parliament may seem ex- of cash. pedient.
In the metropolis, the quantity
of paper much exceeds the quan- ciency or want of coin, in every tity of coin in circulation. The part of this kingdom or Ireland. comunittee have no sufficient means It appears that the circulation of before them, to judge of the pro- paper was carried to its greatest portion of cash and paper, in the height, a short time previous to the metropolis, except as far as any in- beginning of the year 1793. ference can be drawn from the But early in that year, a great diquantity of callı paid at the bank, minution took place, in the circucompared with the amount of the lation of country bank bills, from notes issued by that corporate body, the sudden failure of many of the as stated in the evidence of Mr. country banks. Mr. Elrison states, Newland, principal cashier of the that previous to this period there bank; and particularly from the were about two hundred and eighty proportion of cash paid quarterly country banks in England and at the bank, in discharge of the di. Wales, and that he does not be. vidends of the public stocks, a part lieve they exceed at present to of which only is received hy bank. hundred and thirty; the business ers, the remainder by persons of of which has by no means inevery description.
creased, in proportion to the re. But in the country, and particu- duction of the number and that Jarly in those parts of it where no the issue of country bank bills has considerable manufactures are efta- coníd ably diminished - that the blishes, and no great commercial quantity of specie actually kept by enterprise is carried on, there is the present country bankers, is at reason to conclude, that the quan- this time larger than it was before tity of paper exceeds in a less pro, the year 1793, and that they have portion the coin in circulation, lesened their balances with the than in the metropolis. It muli London hankers. vary according to circumstances of Mr. Thornton's evidence contime or place; and the committee fins the account given by Mr. Elhave no infornat on which enables lison, of the failure of the country them to form a judgment on this banks in 179', and of the cine. subje&t. It can ha ily, however, quent diminuion of the circula. be doubted, that there is too litile tion of country bank bills at liat of British coin, particularly of fil- time— fubsequent in this event, ver, current in the kingdom, from these country bank biiis increased a cause which will be hereafter again in foine degree, but never to ftated.
their former extent.
Both Mr. The bank of England is at the Thornton and Mr. Elliton are of head of all circulation. It is the opinion, tiat consderabie giangreat repository of the spare cath tities of caih must have been drawn of the nation, and alone carries from the metropolis into the bullion to the Mint to be coined country, in ordir to supply the It is subject, on that account, to deficiency of these country bank 'be called on for cail, directly or bills. indirectly, by those who are in In the beginning of the year want of it, and is neceflarily sen- 1793, when, from the causes be. fible of every material failure or fore mentioned, the circulation of distress, which arises from any defi- this kingdom began to be so much