Obrazy na stronie

rectors always ascertained this point he No alteration in the balance of exchanges did not know, but he believed there were between countries not possessing mines of cases in which they had been mistaken. their own could affect the system of their. The practical consequences of such a sys- internal circulation. It was ulterly im. tem was, that enterprising speculators possible, that in a general interchange of were tempted by these new facilities into commodities, the demand for the precious undertakings, many of which, in the metals should ever be excessive. These course of time, naturally failed, and principles were so incontrovertible and so caused very extensive distress. Another well established, that he was at a loss to effect equally important was, that the attribute the diversity of opinion which main ground on which the system was prevailed respecting them to any other originally supported had been entirely cause, than a disagreement in the meaning taken away, and that instead of being of the term employed, by which, what was enabled through its operation to prosecute obvious to one understanding was ren, the war in the peninsula, it now was the dered unintelligible to another. If this great obstacle to its progress.

were not the case, he must be led lo conMr. Rose repeated several statements, clude, that different understandings were which he had a few days since laid before differently constructed. But with respect the House, in order to show that the fo- to the Bill immediately before the House reign exchanges were entirely independ he rose on this occasion to enter his hument of the domestic currency. He endea ble protest against it. Bad as the system voured, likewise, to shew that the whole was to which it belonged, he regarded it amount of our present circulation fell as its worst part, because it cut off the last short of what it was when gold formed the hope that remained of revising it. With larger part -of the currency. He was regard to what had been said about a aware that the issues of the country banks pound note and a shilling being equiva. were considerable; but in many parts, and lent to a guinea, he thought that it proved particularly in Lancashire, no country that the parliamentary meaning of the word paper whatever was in circulation.

equivalent was very different from the Mr. J. P. Grant, in a maiden speech, common acceptation of it; and that thus began by remarking, that to his under the word equivalent, like 'permanent' (as standing, it appeared quite clear, that the a noble lord had stated a few evenings depreciation of any currency could arise ago) had two different meanings. Unless only from one of two causes either from this were the case, it was certainly imposa want of confidence in those by whom it sible to prove that a pound note and a was issued, or from an excess in the shilling were equal to a guinea. The amount of their issues. This proposition remedy proposed by this Bill appeared to was so indisputable, that upon this part of embrace, as a principal object, the prethe subject, he should make but few ob- vention of two prices. Now, with respect servations. In speaking of the value of to two prices, properly speaking there gold, or of any other circulating medium, was an inaccuracy in the language; two he thought it would not be to require too prices in fact could never exist, much, if gentlemen were to state in what not possible to maintain the existence of commodity it was they estimated that two contemporary currencies of unequal value. The price of any article could values. In the reign of William 3, as only be ascertained by a comparison with every body knew, one part of the cur. the value of some other. In the year rency became degraded below its nomina! 1718, when the nominal value of the value, and the consequence was, that it guinea was considerably raised, the im banished from circulation that part wbich mediate effect was, to render gold ex- was justly estimated. The hardship com. clusively the currency of the country. It plained of by the public creditor was not was stated, he believed, in lord Liverpool's that the currency was merely depreciated, Letter to the King, that during a period of but that he was obliged to receive it at some extent, the value of gold remained one value, and pay it away at another. It stationary, whilst that of silver had under might be a harsh name to call this Bill, if gone several variations. The rate of exit passed, an act for the promotion of change to which the right hon. gentle- fraud; but it certainly was not a law for man, who preceded him, had referred, the distribution of justice. Persons con. could serve to throw no light whatever stantly engaged in the purchase and sale on the question to which it was applied. of stock were not exposed to the loss in.

It was

curred through depreciation ; but on the frequent and satisfactory assurances of the contrary, those whose property had been contrary from experience, the best of all long vested in the funds, and others en teachers; yet though such was his opinion, gaged in Chancery suits, suffered an in- he could not give that unqualified oppojury of prodigious extent. They found at sition 10 the Bill which might appear to the Bank that 10 per cent. was taken in be necessarily deducible from it. Thero the first place under the Income Tax, and was one provision of the Bill, which in the in the second, that the value of the re existing situation of affairs, was absolutely mainder was diminished above 30 per required to protect the poorer and feebler cent. The system was equally injurious class of society from being visited by the to private annuitants, and unless so great oppression of the weaithy and more powerand grieving an evil should be redressed fül-he meant that by which landlords by the application of salutary measures, were prevented from exacting from their and looked at steadily with the eye of a tenants payment of their rents in gold. But true statesman, the inconvenience would here his approval must terminate. In the soon become not less obvious to the remaining provisions he could see nothing meanest capacity than it already was to but a mass of mischievous absurdity. The those whose inquiries had rendered them very title of the Bill appeared to him a more conversant with the subject. The misnomer, it was called the Gold Coin present Bill appeared to him to resemble Bill, when it would have been more apthe folly of children, who imagined that propriately entitled the No Coin Bill. He they would remain concealed by placing would state to the House a fact, which their hands before their eyes : its object would serve as well as any that had hiwas to draw a veil between the country therto been submitted to their attention, and its real situation. No doubt the ge- to prove the existence of two prices. nuine remedy must produce inconvenience, Having had occasion to purchase a horse and, perhaps, in some degree distress; but in his natire country, he had visited a fair these would be greatly augmented by for the purpose, where having fixed on one suffering the distemper to continue until in the possession of a country dealer, and it should assume a yet more formidable | asked his price, he was answered, thirtyaspect. He thanked the House for the eight guineas, upon which, pulling out a indulgence he bad experienced; the great parcel of Bank-notes, amounting to that importance of the subject and his own sum, from the one pocket, and a purse conviction of its nature and tendency had containing thirty-four guineas in gold, prompted him to state on what grounds he from the other, he asked the seller which must protest against the Bill then under he would have, when the man, without consideration.

hesitation, made his election in favour of Mr. Alderman C. Smith admitted that the specie, swearing by bis soul, when he the gold coin of the realm had disappear- could get it, he would have nothing to do ed; and he saw no reason why gold, as with a bit of a note. No doubt could well as other articles, might noi be made exist but that a similar feeling pervaded a source of traffic. In many instances it all society; that there was no part of the must necessarily be expected, such as country, where if a person were to send when it was applied in the purchase of guineas to market, he would fail of getting corn, or other commodities, on the con such articles as he might wish to purchase tioent. The high price of bullion was, in cheaper than if he were to send paper to his opinion, wholly attributable to the ba the same nominal amount. But besides lance of trade being against us; and un- the evil which must result from the exist. til this could be remedied it was not to be ence of two prices, and whi the Bill expected that we should have an influx of went to inflict on the community, it must that coin, of which the country now ap- also be considered as tending to effect the peared to be almost totally drained. Ra exclusion of specie from the country, and ther than see two prices put upon the cir. as bolding forth an invitation to foreign culating medium, however, he would be agents to extract that portion which it satisfied to see the country without a single might still haply be found to contain. guinea.

Could any rational man for a moment Sir F. Flond could not, by any means, doubl, that such must be its tendency, agree to a Resolution which went to as. when the immense disparity of value besert that a one pound note and a shilling tween the metal and paper curcency was were equal to a guinea. He had had very considered ? He had himself, on his way to the House, applied to a goldsmith in order the decided and very laudable inclination to ascertain what that disparity was, and which had been exhibited by the governor had been assured by him, thai a guinea and directors of the Bank, to do every contained bullion,which was worth twenty: thing in their power to remedy the evil to eight shillings, if bought with the reduced which the country was exposed. But the currency. Would it not be absurd, under

reason which now chiefly induced bim to these circumstances, to suppose that gui- rise was, a desire to suggest some change peas would not be sold, or if it were un of our commercial intercourse with the safe to sell them, hoarded till an opportu- countries subject lo the enemy, such as nity could be found of doing so ? For his might have the effect of obviating the nepart, if he were to consult his own feel. cessity of having recourse in future to ings on the subject (and he was perhaps measures of a similar nature to that.which as disinterested as his neighbours), he was now under discussion. It had been, could not indulge in such an hypothesis. as was well known, for a long time, the On these grounds, though as he had be object of Buonaparté to effect the reducfore stated, he approved of one provision of tion of our political power, by excluding the Bill, yet, considered as a whole, he our manufactures from the countries which must enter his vehement protest against it. had fallen beneath his rule, and thus cut

Mr. Preston was of opinion, that the ting off a main source of our national evils which it was asserted would be the wealth. How sanguine he had been in result of the Bill, were either fictitious, or the prosecution of this plan, not to men. easily obviated ; and that under all cir- tion less prominent instances, might be cumstances, the necessity of the measure collected from, his late attempt against must be apparent to all who sufficiently Russia, which was made avowedly with a reflected on it.

view to the furtherance of his porpose, Mr. Marryatt having on the first bring, and that with an eagerness and precipitaing forward of the present measure op- tion which had put his crown and life in posed it, could not now assent to it, as he jeopardy. There was undoubtedly much meant to do, without explaining the grounds reason to hope that he was on the eve of of his assent, and thus shielding himself being overtaken by a just retribution, from any imputation of a dereliction of which, while it avenged the cause of an principle. In many respects, the bodies oppressed world, would obviate the necespolitic and natural admitted of useful com sity of deliberating with respect to meaparison, and if he might now be permitted sures of future defence from injory; but to draw an illustration from it, he would we should not be too sanguine in our views say, that at the time he opposed the mea- of the present state of affairs, however in. „sures which he now approved, the state dulgent it might be to our hopes. It was was in the situation of a patient, whom a but too probable that our enemy might singular operation would have restored to escape, and even with diminished power perfect and immediate health; it was now retain sufficient to accomplish his great in the situation of one who had deferred purpose of excluding us from all commersuch an operation till it could not be re- cial intercourse with the continent, at sorted to without incurring the risk of either extremity. This being the case, it more serious evils, even of death itself. might not be inexpedient to reflect a little He would not take upon himself to say to on the progress of the measures intended what cause the evil was chiefly attribu- to injure our commerce, as well as those table, whether to the state of the currency; by which they had been met on our part. or to that of our foreign commercial rela- The first to which the enemy bad recourse tigns; but be that as it might, he was re- were met by the Orders in Council, and joiced that the subject had been brought the consequence of both was an almost before parliament. If no other good was total cessation of commercial intercourse; to result from that circumstance, the pub- this state of things continued till the year lic would derive no slight satisfaction from 1809, when a quantity of goods were the declaration which had been made shipped in this country, and the efforts of some nights since by the governor of the the enemy to prevent the sale frustrated, Bank of England, namely, that in the and this was continued for some time, till course of the last year, the Bank issues by one grand stroke of policy, all hopes had undergone a diminution of two mil. of future success were wrested from us, lions. And here he could not forbear and for some time, our state was much the pressing on the attention of the House, same as if our Orders in Council had been rigidly enforced. Buonaparte, then feeling | extraordinary. Having, in the first inthat the people he governed suffered very stance, opposed the original resolution of much from the want of certain articles the House on the ground that it would be which it was in our power to withhold as easy to controul the motion of the from them, agreed to take a certain quan. heavenly bodies by act of parliament, as to tity of goods upon condition that we should regulate the circulation of the country, take in return commodities to the same under the circumstances in which it was amount. In this we acquiesced; but it placed; having again resisted the Bill would be easily perceived by those who when introduced last year, he, now that would take the trouble of examining the ministers tried their hand at it again, de. nature of this traffic, that it was not con- clared, that he was their man, and gave ducted on any principle of reciprocity. his support to this notable proposition. While we received any thing wanted in The House were placed in this situation : this community, he made a strict selection they first voted a resolution which they . of such articles of importation as he was could not maintain ; and they then ato in the greatest possible want of, such as tempted to bolster it up by a law which dyed woods, indigo, and other materials, was effective only in preventing the nawithout which, certain manufactures must tives of this country from purchasing gold, have been abandoned, of medicines, of and in opening the market to foreigners. leather, of bridles and saddles, and other Nothing could be more absurd than the equipments for his cavalry. How far such Bill which it was then proposed to read a a trade as this could be beneficial to the third time, and he should give his hearty country it was for ministers to decide. vote against it.

Mr. Whitbread observed, that the re- A division ensued, marks of the hon. gentleman were most For the third reading............... 80 foreign to the question before the House. Against it........

15 For his part he confessed himself wholly


-65 unable to discover their applicability : there might perhaps be a Ulysses or a

List of the Minorily. Nestor present, who could. Possibly the Abercromby, J. Marsh, c. Chancellor of the Exchequer, or the Pre. Babington, T. Martin, H. sident of the Board of Trade, or the Vice- Brand, T.

North, D. president of the Board of Trade might be Creevey, T. Robinson, G. A. able to show it. He owned that he was Flood, sir F.

Westerne, C.C. not at all surprised to hear the hon. gentle. Gordon, R.

Whitbread, s. man attribute the embarrassed state of our Grant, J.P.

Hamilton, lord A. currency to Buonaparté. It was the hon. Lloyd, J.M, Bennet, H. G. gentleman's usual practice to lay all our evils at Buonaparte's door. On him all were

HOUSE OF COMMONS. thrown. Perhaps, even, the absence of a noble lord (Castlereagh) might be owing

Tuesday, December 15. to Buonaparie's having turned up some- PETITION FROM THE BRISTOL CLERGY what nearer home than was expected. AGAINST THE CATHOLIC Claims.) Mr.

Mr. Bathurst intimated that his noble Protheroe presented a Petition from the friend was indisposed.

Clergy of the city and deanery of Bristol, Mr. Whitbread expressed his regret at the setting forth, circumstance; he had supposed it possible That the . petitioners are warm and that Buonaparte's having been found at sincere friends to religious toleration, and Berlin, might have occasioned the noble to the free exercise of religious worship lord's absence; knowing, however, the by all who differ from the Church by law elasticity of the noble lord's mind and established, yet that they cannot but view, body, he bad no doubt that he would soon with deep concern and anxiety, the recover his wonted health.

With respect alarming extent of the claims so strongly to the Bill before the House, the object of and repeatedly urged by their Roman Cait was to prevent that which already tholic fellow subjects, not in behalf of 11existed-two prices. Every body knew berty of conscience (for that they already that all the necessaries of life could be enjoy in its utmost extent) but for the purbought at a cheaper rate with gold than pose of attaining political power; and with paper. The conduct of the hon. that these claims, as the petitioners undergentleman who spoke last had been most stand, directly extend to the removal of (VOL. XXIV.)




all restrictions and disabilities whatever, country has, since the æra of the Revolaon account of religious opinion, and to tion, enjoyed a degree of freedom, peace, the unlimited right of admission not only and happiness unknown to other uations, to offices of the highest responsibility, but and unexampled in former ages.” even into the legislature itself, under a Ordered to lie upon the table. monarchy and a constitution of which Protestantism has hitherto been, and, it is

HOUSE OF COMMONS. earnestly hoped, will never cease to be an essential and distinguishing character;

Wednesday, December 16. and that, as the petitioners humbly appre.

PETITION OF CAPTAIN INGLIS.) Sir F. hend, it is altogether impossible to admit Burdett said, he held in his hands a Pesuch claims without destroying some of the tition from captain Inglis, who was to strongest defences by which our civil and have gone out to survey Port Jackson. religious establishments have long been While his vessel was in the river, some of happily secured ; and though many of the his crew, all of whom had protections, most enlightened advocates for these claims were attacked by a press-gang. They have always professed, and sincerely pro- resisted this press.gang, and beat them off, fessed, a desire that other securitjes should but he himself took no part in the resistbe substituted in their place, yet, as far as A complaint was lodged at the the petitioners know or believe, not even Thames Police Office, to which he was the general nature of these new securities brought. His treatment there was shock(much less their specific character and ing and shameful. He was confined from tendency) has ever yet been publicly ex. four in the afternoon till eight in the evenplained, though such explanation, if truly ing, in a place which it was scarcely de convincing and satisfaciory, would most cent to mention; and when he came from powerfully have contributed to reconcile this place a common privy-be was so varieties of opinion, and to remove the ap- overcome with the stench, that he was prehensions of danger which now justly ready to faint. He was conveyed to Clerkprevail with respect to this momentous enwell Prison, and obliged to share a bed question; so that, even on this ground, with one of the felons, in irons. His affairs without adverting to the great, and, as were much injured, if not ruined, by being they think, insuperable difficulties inhe- detained till his trial should come on in rent in the thing itself, the petitioners March next. This gentleman was well deem it not unreasonable to declare their known, during a long life, as possessed of a full conviction that, if the above mention- most respectable character. 'He was well ed claims should be conceded, it would be related, and had served first as a midshiputterly impracticable to provide new de- man in the king's service, and afterwards fences on which equal dependence could in a high situation in a vessel belonging to be placed for the lasting safety of the Pro- the East India Company; and while he testant Government and Protestant Church, was in the Company's service, he had reas they are now established in this United ceived a considerable reward from lord Kingdom; and that the petitioners rely, Minto, for having saved the lives of several with perfect confidence, on the wisdom of persons wrecked on an unknown rock in parliament, but they feel it to be their the Bay of Bengal. He had references duty, with the utmost deference, to submit for character to admiral Hunter, bord to the House their deliberate opinion on a Erskine, the hon. Henry Erskine, and sequestion, which they cannot possibly view veral other respectable individuals. He as limited by mere political considerations, hoped that the Admiralty would of thembecause they are well assured, that whatever selres take this case into consideration, may affect the safety of the Established and prevent its coming before the House. Church, must materially affect also the On the suggestion of the Speaker, the interests of that pure and reformed reli- Petition was withdrawn, for the purpose gion, of which the Church is a faithful of endeavouring lo state the circumstances guardian and depositary; and praying, of the case with greater brevity. that the House will be pleased eftectually to guard against the adoption of any mea

LONDON BOOKSELLERS' PETITION, REsure tending to weaken or undermine the SPECTING COPY-RIGHTS, &c.) Mr. Davies firm and tried bulwarks of that constitu- Giddy presented a Petition from the booktion in Church and State, under which, by sellers and publishers of London and West the blessing of Divine Providence, this minster, setting forth,

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