« PoprzedniaDalej »
relief to be afforded by their removal, through both Houses by a large mawas stated at 255,7681., being within jority. a few thousand pounds of what he had The same charges made by the opdescribed as necessary;
position against the civil list, were, on His lordship concluded with de- various occasions during the session, tailing certain prospective regulations brought against various other departwhich would be necessary for uphold. ments of the public expence. One of ing the proper splendour of the crown. the most conspicuous of these occaThe principal topic in this part of the sions was that on which Mr Tierney detail was the necessity of a new offi. brought forward his motion with recer, who should act as the representa. gard to the offices of the seeretaries tive of the treasury in the superintend- of state. According to the view given ance of the whole civil list expendi. by this member, the old establishment ture ; who should have all facility of of two secretaries of state had been, communicating with the different de- increased by the addition of a third in partments, and of calling the officers the year 1794, solely on account of before him and inspecting their ac- the war; and that having ceased, the counts; and who should thus be ena officer created on account of it should, bled to controul extravagance in every he alleged, be immediately disconti point, and to make proper represent- nued. In reply to these observations, ations to the treasury whenever he Mr Golbourn and Mr Addington stashould see occasion. His lordship ted, that the immense additional labour proposed, that the salary annexed to which had, within the last 20 years, this office should be 15001.
become necessary in the management On the 6th of the month, Mr Tier- of our colonies, had alone been more ney entered into a long and detailed than enough to justify the creation of examination of the various accounts
an additional secretary: submitted to the House by the mini- The personal and bitter recrimina. sters, in order to guide their judgment tions lavished by the two partiesagainst respecting the civil list bill. The each other upon this occasion need not charges of extravagance and profu- be embodied in the annals of the time. sion which he brought against almost The increase which has obviously ta. every department of these, were an- ken place in our population and in our swered, chiefly by statements of detail, power, seems to afford some presumpby Lord Castlereagh and the Chan. tion, that the labours of another great cellor of the Exehequer. Upon the state officer might not be unnecessary. whole, it would seem that the attacks We believe that, in the midst of all made on the personal expenditure of the zeal of their debates, no charge of the Regent were by no means merited idleness was brought against any of by the late conduct of that prince; the persons actually filling any of these that his situation, as it was one with high and responsible situations. From out precedent, so it might have occa- the statement given by Mr Addingsioned some expences (such as build- ton, it would appear, that even the ing, &c.) a little out of the ordinary toils of professional men, active and course, but that, on the whole, he had eager in their professions, admit of been endeavouring, and that success. greater intervals of repose, and defully, to suit his expence to the situa- mand, during their continuance, a less tion of the country. In the end, the intense application, than the exertions bill of Lord Castlereagh was carried of the persons filling these high official
situations, which, in our country, are The motion was lost by a majority of never adequately rewarded, except by 43. the honour of worthily discharging Several important financial debates them. The House rejected the mo- occurred this session, in consequence tion of Mr Tierney by a large majority of the public transactions with the
A similar attack was made by Mr Bank, the nature of which, and the Methuen upon certain regulations, alleged grounds of suspicion concernwhereby the salaries of the secretaries ing them, were in some measure ex. and clerks of the admiralty had been plained in our last volume. * It will kept up at the rate of war salaries af. be recollected, that Mr Grenfell and ter the conclusion of the war. Lord Mr Mellish moved two counter sets Castlereagh alleged, that when the of resolutions, stating their respective peace. with America was concluded, views concerning the state of the pubthe period of reduction might have lic transactions with the Bank, and been supposed to be arrived, but that that the House agreed to take up the the subsequent re-appearance of Buo- discussion of both upon the same ocnaparte had demanded new hostilities, casion. and new labours on the part of the The production of the accounts or. officers in question, and had conse. dered towards the close of last session quently rendered the continuance of had not, in any measure, altered the their salaries at the war rate not only opinion then expressed by Mr Grenreasonable but indispensable. At a fell respecting the unequal nature of sabsequent period of the session, how- the transactions with this immense ever, it was declared by Mr Warren. corporation. On the 14th of March der, that there was no intention on the he made a long and most elaborate part of government of moving for any speech, which terminated in a recapipermament continuance of the salaries tulation of the advantages gained to of the admiralty secretaries at the rate the Bank, and of the corresponding allowed during the war.
loss to the public, arising out of the Another debate of a similar charac. possession by the Bank of the public ter occurred on the 7th of May, when balances since 1806, assuming the ag Lord Althrope made a motion on gregate amount during the whole of the subject of the increase of, or di. this period to have been about eleven minution of, the salaries of public of millions and a half. According to this ficers. His lordship mentioned, that statement, in 1806, the Bank advanced this important subject was in the hands a loan of three millions to the public, of a committee appointed by the trea. at three per cent., which reduced the sury, but that he was of opinion that aggregate amount of the deposits from no progress had been made by them in eleven millions and a half to eight milremoving the grounds of public dis- lions and a half. content, and that, therefore, the matter would be better in the hands of a The interest on eight mil. committee of the whole House. The
lions and a half, is, per Chancellor of the Exchequer entered annum......
£425,000 into a long detail of facts, with a view To which add interest on to prove that the charge against mi
the loan of three mil. aisters was unfounded, and that the
90,000 matter was already in excellent hands.
See Edinburgh Annual Register for 1815, Part I. p. 23. et seq.
From 1806, then, to 1808, the Bank to any gentleman by his private bankheld a public treasure, amounting to er, they should therefore be paid at the eight millions and a half, and made a same rate. Were it possible that any profit thereon ; or the public lost there. competition should occur as to the on an interest of money at the rate of management of the public business, 515,000l. per annum.
he was satisfied that any respectable In 1808, the Bank advanced another banking house in London would wil. loan of three millions, which reduced lingly undertake to do what the Bank the deposits in their hands from eight of England does, for 25,0001. per anmillions and a half to five millions and num, thus making a saving of nearly
half a million to the public.
In addition to tbe immense gains de. The interest on five mil.
rived by the Bank from the interest of lions and a half is, per
the public balances, another great annum ....
£275,000 branch of their profits arises from the To which add, as before,
allowance possessed by them for maon the loan of 1806 90,000 naging the national debt. This allow.
ance had been fixed by Sir Robert Together
365,000 Walpole, in 1726, at 360l. per mil.
lion, an allowance, as Mr Grenfell be.
lieved, perhaps not too much at the From 1808 then, to 1814, the Bank commencement of the business ; but held a treasure belonging to the pub- the subsequent immense increase in lic of five millions and a half, and made the amount of the national debt had a profit, or the public lost in interest by no means, he alleged, been attendof money thereon, at the rate of ed with any thing like a correspond365,0001. per annum.
ing increase of trouble to the Bank ; In 1814, the loan of 1806 was dis- on the contrary, the profits derived to charged, and the amount replaced in them at a time when the debt exceeded the possession of the Bank, by which ten hundred millions, must have been the aggregate amount of deposits was far beyond the contemplation of those again raised from five millions and a who lived when it did not exceed two half to eight millions and a half. The hundred millions, while a very smail interest on this is, per annum, 425,000l. increase of establishment would be “ From 1814, then,” said Mr Gren- sufficient for managing the additional “fell, to the 5th April, 1816, the Bank business occasioned by it. From mowill have held a public treasure of tives unintelligible to the government, eight millions and a half, and we shall however, Mr Pitt had, in 1791, allowhave been paying to the Bank at the ed the Bank 450l. instead of 360l. per rate of 425,0001. per anvum, for ta- million. This allowance had, in conking care of it.”
sequence of the labours of the finance In return for this large annual sum committee of 1797, been reduced by of 425,0001 , it is fair, continued he, Mr Percival in 1808 to 340l. per mil. that we should enquire what services lion, at which sum it now stood, but are rendered to the public by the Bank.. below which he had no doubt it ought From every enquiry that he had been to be still very far reduced. Various able to make, it appeared to him to be other items were enumerated by Mr demonstrable, that the services render. Grenfell, in each and all of which he ed by the Bank to the public were ex. was of opinion an undue advantage was actly of the nature of those rendered taked of the public by the monopoli
sing corporation of the Bank. Al. cellor of the Exchequer defended the tbough he did not mean to propose at equity of these transactions, and repre. present any direct interference with sented Mr Grenfell as having been car. ihat branch of the Bank's profits, ried into many, no doubt unintentional, there was one other item of its gains over estimates of the profits gained by too important to be overlooked by the the corporation. A clause was, howBank itself in making its demands ever, introduced into the preamble of against the House in recovering them, the bill, as the Chancellor supposed, - this was the profits gained by the not against the consent of the Bank Bank in consequence of the immense directors, which ran thus :-“Whereincrease in the circulation of their pa. as the Bank of England are possessed per, occasioned by the Bank Restric. of certain sums of the public money, tion Act, an increase giving rise, as he arising from balances of several public calculated it, to no less than an addi- accounts, and are willing to advance," țion of 80,0001. to the gross annual &c. But on its being discovered that profits of the Bank,
through some accident the opinion of The conclusion of his speech was, the directors respecting this clause had that instead of borrowing six millions been mistaken, and after a debate in from the Bank at four per cent., we which Mr Baring and some other of ought, in consideration of the extrava. the first bankers maintained the equity gant profits lately made by them,,to of the dealings of the Bank, the clause “ borrow that sum,” (if the word bor- was withdrawn, and the bill passed in row could be properly applied on the its original state by a majority of 116 occasion,) at no interest at all. The to 56. motion was, “ That a select committee The subject of the Bank Restricbe appointed to enquire into the en- tion Act, above alluded to, was aftergagements now subsisting between the wards more directly brought before public and the Bank of England, and parliament by Mr Horner. The arguto consider the advantages derived by ments and statements which that genthe Bank from its transactions with tleman used, were in no ways different the public, with a view to the adoption from those which he had already emof such future arrangements as may ployed, and of which we have in a forbe consistent with those principles of mer volume given an account. The good faith and equity which ought to motion which he made on the present prevail in all transactions between the occasion was lost ; but the Chancellor public and the Bank of England.” of the Exchequer expressly stated,
On the representation of the Chan. that he had no intention of rendering cellor of the Exchequer, that a more the act perpetual ; that steps had alproper opportunity for considering ready been taken for preparing graduThese subjects would occur when in ally the restoration of cash payments. due course the Bauk restriction bill of and that at the end of two years he the season should be brought before had no doubt they would be entirely the House, Mr Grenfell's motion was resumed. An act for extending the lost. When that bill was read for the Restriction Act till July the 5th, third time, accordingly, Mr Grenfell, 1818, was accordingly passed. whose indefatigable and disinterested The only other important matters exercions entitle bim to the thanks of of a financial nature which this year the public, again renewed his attack occupied the attention of parliament, on the style of the transactions between were the consolidation of the English the Bank and the public. The Chan, and Irish Exchequers, a measure, the
wisdom of which had been rendered for a new silver coinage, a measure