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conceive it their duty to call the The committee think it fufficient attention of the house to a point of merely to enumerate considerations so great importance, and refer the of such general notoriety, and to house to the arguments stated more submit them, without farther obat large in the evidence.
servation, to the wisdom of the The committee have thus gone house. through the chief points which have occurred in their inquiry respecting the causes which produced copy of Resolutions moved by the the order in council of the 26th of Duke of Bedford, May 15, 1797, February laft, as resulting from the
in Consequence of the above Report evidence taken by them, and the
The previous question was carried accounts laid before them. They on the wkole Series. fubmit the fame to the confideration of the house; but as the mi THAT it appears to this nutes of their proceedings are in-house, that subsequent to the monthi serted in the former part of this re of June, 1795, and during the year port, and as the house is thereby 1796, a great diminution was exa poffeffed of the evidence on the perienced in the fpecie of the bank whole of this subject, in great de- of England. tail, the members of it will be 2. That the governor and deenabled to fupply any omissions, puty governor of the bank did, at and to correct any defe&ts which various times, represent to the chanmay be found in this summary.
cellor of the exchequer the danger The committee being defirous of to the bank, from the diminution confining themselves to thofe mat of its fpecie, particularly at the folters on which they have thought lowing periods: proper to call evidence, and fenti
uth December, 1794, ble of the difficulty (even at all
10th October, 1795, times) of appreciating the extent
23d O&ober, 1795, and influence of alarm, forbear 18th November, 1795, froin adverting to the effects pro 3d December, 1795, duced upon the state of pecuniary 15th and 16th January, 1796, transactions and circulation, by the 28th January, 1796, apprehenfions of invasion generally 5th and 8th February, 1796, prevalent towards the clofe of the 11th February, 1796, last year, and in the beginning of 8th, 10th, and 211 February, the present, but of which the opera
1797: tion must doubtless have been con 3. That it appears, that during fiderable. Nor will they attempt these periods the directors of the to estimate how far the interruption bank frequently remonstrated with given to the banking operations of the chancellor of the exchequer on many great commercial cities, by the magnitude of their advances to the troubles and calamities which government, anxiously requiring have agitated Europe, and the en- payment, or a confiderable reductire ruin of many commercial tion of the same; but that never. houses and establishments, may thèless the chancellor of the exchehave tended to derange the ac. quer not only neglected to comply customed course and confidence of with the object of those remon general circulation,
ftrances, but usually, under pré(P 4)
A P E R s tence of the necessity of the public any one time the sum of 150,000l. service, renewed bis demands for the wisdom of our ancestors having farther aid ; and that under the exi- foreseen and pro:ided again the gency of the case, as flated to them mischief of similar ads ances, by a by the chancellor of the exchequer, clause in an act palled in te sth the directors of the bank were, year of Widian and Mary, by from time to time, induced to con. which the governor and company fent to farther accommodation. of the bank of England were re
4. That it appears that the chan- ftrained from advancing any fums cellor of the exchequer frequently of money, other than solicited such farther accommoda- funds on which a credit is granted tion in the most anxious and preil- by parliament. ing terms; declaring, that it was 8. That it appears, that from and impoliible to avoid the most serious after the year 1793, at which time embarrassments to the public ser- an ad of parliameot paffed, conVice, unless the bank directors af- taining a clause, by which the die forded the affittance he required. rectors of the bank' are indemnified
s. That it appears, that although for the advances they had made on by these means the directors of the bills drawn from abroad, and exbank were induced to comply with empted in future from the penal. his demands, they generally exprell- ties of the said act of William and ed their reluctanice in strong lan- Mary respecting such advances to guage ; and thar they at latt
, that government, the amount of treais to say, on ihe 28th of July, 1796, sury bills paid at the bank contiou. thought it necessary for their own ed progreffively to increase; and justification, to request the chan, that bei wech the ist of January cellor of the exchequer to lay be- 1795, and the 25 h of February fore his najesty's cabinet, their 1797, funis to the amount of up most serious and folemu remone wards of 15,000,000l. were at dif. strance; in which they declare, ferent periods advanced to governthat, “ sensible of the alarming and ment upon this head. dangerous state of public credit, 9. That it appears, that the dinothing could induce them to com- rectois of the bank did, at various ply with the demand then made times during the years 1795, 1796, upon them, but the dread tirat this and 1797. apply to the chancellor refusal might be productive of a of the exchequer før re-payment of
such advances, arid represent to him 6. That it appears, that during the ruinous consequences to them, the above period, a considerable felves and to the public, of contiportion of ihe bank advances was nuing the syftem of making trea. occasioned by payments of bills of fury vilis payable at the bank: and exchange drawn on the treasury that they even declared they confrom abroad.
ceived it to be “ an unconftil7. That it appears, that it had tional mode of raising noliey, and seldom been the custom of the what they were not warranted by bank of England to advance, on their charter to consent to." the account of suci bilis, more 10. That it appears, that the than from 20,0col. to 30,000l. ; chaucellor of the exchequer did, at and that even during the American various times in that period, underwar, such vills never exceeded at take to reduce the advances on
that head within the sum of out previously communicating to 500,oool, and likewise fo to arrange them his intention. his payments as to put an end to 14. That on the ixth of Fe. the account; but that nevertheless bruary, 1796, the directors of the the said promises never were kept back paffed unanimously the folby him, and that the advances on lowing resolution : treasury bills, on the 28th of “Resolved, That it is the opinion February, 1797, aniounted to of this court, founded upon the ex1,6 19,0491.
perience of the effects of the late I. That it appears to this house, imperial loan, that if any farther that foreign remittances to a much loan, or advance of money, to the larger amount than ever were emperor, or to any other foreign known in the most expensive wars ftate, should, in the present state of in which this country has been in- affairs, take place, it will in all provolved, have taken place since the bability prove fatal to the bank of year 1793
England. 12. That the extent of such re The court of directors, theremittances occafioned, at so early a fore, do moft earnestly deprecate period as the end of the year 1794, the adoption of any such measure, and the beginning of the year 795, and they solemnly protest against great aların in the minds of the di- any responsibility for the calami: rectors, which they at various periods tous consequences that may follow communicated to the chancellor of thereupon." the exchequer; and that on the 3d To which resolution, when comof December, 1795, the court of municated to him, the chancellor directors, under the apprehension of the exchequer returned for anthat it was intended to grant a far. fwer, “ That after the repeated in. ther loan to the emperor, came to a
timations which he had given to resolution, by which they declar. the governor, &c. of the bank, that ed their unanimous opinion, that no farther loan to the emperor. should such a loan take place it would be resolved on without prewould be most fatal in its conte. vious communication with the quences to the bank of Englan:.. bank, he did not see any reasou “ That they cominunicated such for these resolutions ; that he did resolution to the chancellor of the suppose they were adopted in a moexchequer, who assured them hement of alarm, and that he should should lay aside all thoughts of it, consider them in that light." unless the Gituation of things rela 15. That both from the gene. five to the bank should so alter as ral tenor of the said answer, and to render such a loan of no im- from its particular reference to the portance or inconvenience to substance and matter of the resolu, them."
tion then communicated to him, he 13. That on the 5th of February, gave the governor, &c. of the bank 1796, the chancellor of the exche- to understand, that he was bound quer, after stating, in conversation by promise to them, to negotiate with the governor and deputations no loan for the service of his imfrom the bank of England, his opi- perial majefty, nor to make any re. nion of the neceflity of farther af. mittance either to his said imperial fifting the emperor, promised to majesty, or any foreigo prince, untake no step in that business with- der any pretences whatever, with
out previously communicating such pending the due and ordinary his intention to the bank of Eng- course of the bank payments ia' Jand: that the directors so under. calls. stood him; and that, impresled 20. That it appears to this with that belief, they abstained house, upon an attentive examinafrom making any further remon- tion of the evidence reported by ftrance on this subject.
the secret committee, upon a mi16. That neverthelefs, the chan- note perufal of the correspondence cellor of the exchequer, for some between the governor and directime prior to February 11, 1796, tors of the bank of England and clandestinely remitted, and did the chancellor of the exchequer, for several months fubfequent, during the years 1795, 1796, and clandestinely remit, to his said im- 1797, and after a thorough review perial majelty, and other foreign of the whole circunstances of the princes, large sums of inoney, in case, that the vegleet of the chan. defiance of his repeated promises, cellor of the exchequer in discharzand in violation of his folemn en- ing, or fufficiently diminishing, the gagement with the bank of Eng. amount of the fums advanced 10 land, and consequent upon their government by the bank of Engresolution of the nth of Febru- laud; his perseverance in direct ary.
ing treasury bills of exchange to 17. That it appears, that if an amount unexampled to be paid the said advances of the bank to at the bank; his frequent promises, government had been paid off and constant breach of those prowhen required, or considerably re- mises, to reduce their amount duced, the bank would have been within the sum of 500,000l.; and enabled to reduce, if expedient, the enormous amount of his rethe amount of its outstanding mittances to foreign princes in notes; and that such option would loans and fubfidies, were the prinhave been of effential service to its cipal and leading causes which interests.
produced the neceility for suspend18. That it appears, from the ing the due and ordivary course of evidence of the governor and depi!- the bank payments in cash.” ty governor of the bank, that if the said advances had been paid off when required, or confiderably Protest entered on the Journals of the reduced, the bank would have
House of Lords, in Confequence of been enabled to give more the Refolution of the House to reje&t
. tended aid to the mercantile inte ihe Motion of the Duke of Bedford rest of Great Britain, in the way of for the Difmission of Minifters. "discount.
19. That it appears, that if the DISSENTIENT. advances on the treasury bills had ift. Because, acting according to been paid off when required, and the ancient pra&tice of the British as the chancellor of the exchequer constitution, and in conformity had promised, and the foreign re- with its true principles, we hold mitrances abstained from, as the the advisers of the crown to be re. chancellor of the exchequer had sponsible for the condition of the likewise promifed, there would plate; refponfible for its internal have exifted no neceflity for suf- peace, and general good govern.
'ment; for the preservation of all do&trine that honour and reward is its ancient fundamental rights and to attend on crime and folly; and liberties; for the protection of its that men are to be entrutied with commerce, of its credit, and the va- power in proportio: to their disporious sources of its prosperity and lition to abuse it. Such perverted wealth; for the observance of or- maxims of policy take from yo. der, discipline, and obedience invernment all the fupport is derives all the deparıments of the public from opinion. The opinion of its force; for the honour and luccess contistency is lo! by ministers adof our arms (if unfortunately en- opring and rej Eting, as it suits the gaged in war); for the preponde- purpose of their power, tytiems rance of the British power, and for which they alternaiely recommend the glory and splendour of the Bri- and revile. The opinion of its tis name. Instead of recognizing justice is destroyed from seeing that in his majesty's ministers that abilis power depends on a principle ty, forelight, and integrity, by which confounds the first distince which there, its dearest interests, tions of right and wrong, All are
preserved, we have seen opinion of its vigour and citiciency throughout a course of years, the is loft in the daily infults to its auaffairs of the nation conducted thority to which they are compellwith that incapacity, perfidy, and ed to submit. Every species of corruption, by which ail great em- disorder is hence introduced. The pires, from the beginning of the example of those who govern is world, have found their ruin ; and followed by those who obey. Noa which, in the particular state and thing regular or orderly is found fituation of Great Britain, have in the intercourse between subject nearly exhausted its resources and and sovereign. State necessity, inits credit, and annihilated its con stead of being reserved for occaftitution, which have brought fons of the lift emergency, is re frame upon its character in the forted to as the conftant, and every eyes of foreign nations, and diffut. day practice of executive adivinied largely ainong its subjects inif- station. In such a fyít:m there is trust in the intentions of their go. neither order nor freedom ; and it is vernors, hatred of the r power, and the energy of freedom alone that. contempt for their debility. can refilt with effect the zeal or
2. Because, encouraged by the fancied Superiority of military uniform, implicit, and fatal confi means. Where no power is left dence of this house in the conduct to correct the vices of an ill-adıniof ministers, a fyftem of govern- niftered commonwealth, nothing ment has arisen, which, if it be fur: will remai. to opp. se to the eno ther persevered in, will render the terprises of a foreign enemy. fortunes of these realos utterly ir 3d. Becaute to suffer ourselves retrievabie, even thould wisdom to be found by a foreign enemy in and virtue succeed in the minds of this distracted condition, when we those ministers to ignorance and have the means of avoiding it, wickedness. That lystem is go- seems to us highly impolitic, and verned by principles the very re. wantonly to call down deitrucverse of those by which states and tion upon the state. We see nofocieties have hitherto been kept thing in the present minifters so together. It is grounded on the valuable as to induċe us to risque,