Page images
PDF
EPUB

a

the bastions of Savoy and Flanders, they French army on the other, would meet are now plunged into despondency by the with little interruption in their way to what pacific tone of Sweden and Russia, and they both regard as the principal source of particularly by the step which the latter our wealth. We have taken the wrong power is now said to have taken with re course to obtain efficient aid upon the Congard to the unfortunate King of France, to tinent. We have begun at the wrong end. their own credulity their disappointment to raise an army; to form a complete miand dejection must be ascribed. In this litary system; these should have been the work a fear was, from the beginning, ex. first measures. Having an army, we should pressed, that, under the influence of such a have been able to offer our alliance with political system as ours, no effectual alliance some confidence. We should have talked would be formed against France; no league of giving protection to others, instead of for the sole and openly avowed purpose of humbly seeking protection for ourselves. restoring the House of Bourbon to the Why," says crying Sir Balaam, “ have throne; and, unless such was the bond of we not an army of 480,000 volunteers alliance, it was always considered as use " and small bounty and permanent duty less to form any alliance at all, at the pre men?” Yes, Balaam; but that is present conjuncture, with Russia, because no. cisely the reason why friendly nations keep thing short of the certainty that the war aloo from you, and why, as to hostility to would not tend to the aggrandizement of France, your wish " to keep yourselves to Russia, could, it was evident, induce Au " yourselves" is, and will be, gratified to stria to become a party to the alliance ;

its' fullest extent. " What, then, would and, because (Prussia being out of the com you make every body soldiers? Would pass of hope, it was equally evident, that, you destroy all commerce and manufacwithout Austria, no alliance whatever could tures? Would you never hwe any thing produce much effect against France.-- " but war?" No: I would not have every How, then, has the alliance with Russia and body soldiers ; I would, comparatively Sweden hitherto operated ? To the latter, speaking, have but a very few soldiers: I it is said, with what truth I know not, that

would not have half a dozen kinds of arwe are paying the expense of raising an

mies: I would have only one army; but as army, at the rate of twenty pounds a man, the lioness said to the sow, that one should for the defence of Anterior Pomerania ! be a lion. No: Balaam, I would not deRussia we are introducing into the Medi stroy all commerce and manufactures: I terranean. We have not given her the pos would only destroy the effect of their dele. session of Mr. Pitt's “ intant republic of terious principles: I would banish those " the Seven Islands,” the independence of principles from the cabinet and the legislawhich that statesman declared to be of an iure: I would destroy the predominance, importance to England “ equal, perhaps, the empire, of trade: I would have no “ to the possession of Malta itself :" no; Knights and Baronets of the countingwe have not given this independence op to house, the pack, and the spinning-jenny; I Russia; she has taken it; and, we find, would, in short, make trade, in all its that this is one of the subjecis of quarrel be

branches, be universally regarded as greattween her and Napoleon! It is curiously inferior to every liberal profession, and, enough, that our enemy should have quar more especially to the profession of arms. relled with our ally for encroaching upon No: Sir Balaain, I would not always have an independence, to preserve which we war, though I confess to you, that I think regarded as of inestimable importance! wars are, upon a general principle, necessary Whatever footing Russia obtains in the Me. to maintain the order of the world. No, diterranean will, in its degree, be injurious no, Balaam, it is not I that am for “eternal to Great Britain ; that is to say, if it be the “ war:" it is you, who seem to be for eterinterest of Great Britain to preserve her

nal war; for, that is the consequence of colonies in the East Indies, and especially if the defensive, such is the commercial sysit shoutd continue to be the policy of | tem, that it is now utterly impossible for France to strive to wrest those colonies any man to point out how this war can be from her, or, at least, to throw them open ended, except in a way resembling the to all the world. Russia, firmly fixed in termination of your renowned progenitor : the Mediterranean, would, when occasion “ The devil and the French divide the prize, served, become, in conjunction with France, 6. And sad Sir Balaam curses Gor! and dies." a most formidable enemy to this country. -This is the fatal catastrophe, which I The Porte must remain an inactive specta am anxious to see prevented; and, which I Lor, while a Russian army on one side, and am thoroughly persuaded, cannot be pre

vented without banishing from our national the temper of mind, to which we must councils the narrow and degrading notions come; or, we shall assuredly fall under the of trade, and without changing, to a very yoke of our enemy --To weep over the great degree, the spirit of trade into a milí. hard alternative is useless, as it is also to tary spirit. ---In ihe answers to observa. execrate those who have reduced us, to il. tions of this sort, it is now-and-then con It is not a speculative quesiion as to the fessed, though with great apparent reluco good or evil of wars, or as to which ought tance, that “ some military states have, in to be preferred, the arts of peace, or the

process of time, succeeded over those arts of war. It is a fact that we have be. “ whose main object was traffic.” In pro: fore us, and that we are called on seriously cess of time! Which were the commercial to contemplate ; and, this fact is, that, if states of the continent of Europe, at the France, with her present population and commencement of the French revolution? resources, insists that we shall be military, France herself was one. Her financiering or become her slaves, we must become either ministers had been, for several years, en one or the other. We have a choice; bot, deavouring in all manner of ways, to ex. having no efficient allies upon the cookie tend the commerce of France. Companies nent, that choice must be speedily made. of traders were established ; American fish Chester VOLUNTEERS - Little space ermen were invited to setile in the French as I have left, I cannot refrain from saying sea-ports to teach Frenchmen the art of a few words by way of preface to a handobtaining blubber; the custom-house books bill, which has been published at CHESTER became the manual of the minister ; qp upon the subject of an election for a sheriff short France became, as far as it was possi. of that place, which, as the reader will reble for ber, under the then existing circum. collect, is a county of itself.--I need Biance, to become, a commercial nation. hardly remind the public of the fears I have The commercial nations, then, were, Den. so frequently expressed as to the effect of mark, the Hans Towns, Holland, Monar. the Volunteer system upon Elections; bow chical France, Poilugal, Spain, Genoa, and often I cautioned the ministers against this Venice, What are they now! All except danger; and how pressing I was for some the first (and that first is not very secure) mea-ure effectually to prevent the arms, have actually been subjugated by, or, from given for the defence of the country, being the dread of subjugation, have become tri. made use of to subvert the constiintion. All butary to military France. “ In process of this must be fresh in the reader's mind,

time!" God 'a' mercy! why all these and, therefore, I shall, for the present, commercial nations have been thus subdued content myself with just inserting the in the space of ten years, and less! « In following paper :-"To the free-men of the “ process of time !" Time flies swift with city of Chesier. Influenced by the wishes declining nations, particularly if they are “ of many very respectable friends, I take of a commercial cast; because, though they “the liberty of offering myself a candidate present a fine plump and Aorid figure, they “ for ihe office of sheriff

for the year ensuing. are deficient in point of nerve. -Again " It is to give my fellow citizens an oppor. and again, therefore, I say, we must be " tunity of solemnly deciding between the come less commercial, and more military; “ Chester Volunteers (to whom it is my we must think less of gain, and more, aye, greatest pride to belong) and their accu. much more, of our honour; we must get o sers, that I thus obtrude myself upon the into a disposition to tread back our steps “ public notice. I have suffered a little, the for ten years past, to lament the loss of the corps has suffered more, but the character symbols of our military fame, to feel indig. “ of this ancient and most respectable city nant at the base surrender of the lilies of or has suffered niost,

by the illiberal, France, of which though to the works and “ groundless, and wanton aspersions, that the profits of Birmingham and Manchester have been cast upon its loyalty. T bave they contributed nothing, we might, re no doubt that you will seize the present membering that they were won by the va " opportunity to wipe away the stigma, and lour and the blood of our forefathers, have “ fix the opprobrium where it properly altruly said : “ though they toil not, neither “ taches. I am, Gentlemen, with every “ do they spin, yet Solomon, in all his glory, « sentiment of respect, your most devoted

was not arrayed like one of these." This, « servant, JOHN WILLIANSON." however enthusiastic it may seem ; this is Cuppin's Lane, Oct. 24, 1804.

Prighted by Cox and Baylis

, No. 75, Great Queen Strçet, and published by R. Bagshaw, Bow Street, Coren! Garden, where former Numbers may be had; sold also by J. Budd, Crown and Mitre Pall-Mallo

Vol. VI. No. 19.]

LONDON, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1804,

[PRICE 10.

(See p.

[ocr errors]

* As public credit will begin, by that time" [in half a century from the year 1752) “ to be

a little frail, the least louch will destroy it, as it bappened in France during the Regouy, " and in ibis manner it will die of the doctor,” Hume on Public Credit. 1705]

[706 IRISH PÁPER-MONEY.

tained, if it appears that these parties to the SIR, ---The last packet brought the 17th law have neglected their dury.--As to the Number of Vol. VI. of your Political Regis government, it is very clear, that they have ter, containing my letter to you of the 18th been guilty of this neglect, because the neaultimo, (see p. 623) on Irish paper money, sure of evil has pearly been filled without and your observations upon it.

any single exertion having beeo made to 665.) --You state, that " it is not the prevent it. They should have watcbed 'the " Bank Directors, but the paper system, ex progress of this new and dargerous lar, bave " tended as it now is, that is in fault; which 'observed its alterations, and, at least, have " paper system is the consequence of the endeavoured by applications to l'arliament “ bank restriction law, and the measure of or to the Bank Directors, to prevent the state * Me Pitt.” You likewise defend what in of the country over which they presided, to this country is too well known, and what is afford so distressing a picture as to its cutalways termed, the “ Irish Government:" rency as it does ai ihis day. If, in the fuviz., a Lord Lieutenant, a Secretary to a ture pages of history, it is written, that, whilst Lord Lieutenant, and two Secretaries to the Lord Hardwicke was Chief Governor Secretary.---- In justification of the opinions Ireland, the paper of the National Bank bo I have expressed, I must make a claim on came depreciated ten per cent., the golu curyour accustomed liberality, to make public rency disappeared, that of silver was unithe following answer to your argament.-- versally cried dort?), and the rates of exThere are evidently two circumstances that change advanced to 19 per cent. agaiost invariably attend the passing of every law, Dublin ; ani if, at the saine time, tlie liis. by which the conduct of those concerned is torian shall relate, that, during this adminito be adjudged. First, the policy of making stration, no one measure of any kind was the law; and secondly, the manner of ad adopted to regulate the operations of the reministering it. As we perfectly agree in at striction law, wliich was the cause of the tributing the ultimate cause of all the evils before-upheard-of circumstances; but, that attending the paper currencies of these this law was not attended to; that the Bank realms to the restriction law, the manner of of Ireland, in particular, were permitted to adosinistering it alone remains a subject of take advantage of it; that the army agents discussion. - You will surely admit, that were permitted to take advantage of it; and, good laws may be rendered productive of that every person who acted in the capacity bad consequences by bad administration, of a paymaster of public money, was also and that the natural mal consequences of permitted to take advantage of it; the readbad laws, may, in a great measure, be ob er of such a statement will necessarily conviated by the talents and activity of those in demn the conduct of the Irish government, whose hands the adıninistration of them is as guilty of neglect of that part of its duty, committed. This is a position, so far as it which atiached to it, in its executive capa., bears upon the question at issue, that is daily city of administering the ordinances of ihe exemplified by the administering the penal legislature.--It is by no means inte ded to lawe. In respect to this code, we have di be asserted, that all the injury which has rect proof of the severity which would natu tlowed from the restriction law could have rally flow from it, being divested by the ta heen preventet by any measure, or even by lents, and constitutional sentiments of the any application to Parliam at short of the judges who administer them, and also of repeal of this law; but, when it is rememthe possibility of benefits to society being bered, that this law has teen passed only the result of a system of legislation, which is from year to year, and that it would have at variance eveo with the first prisciples of been easy for ihe Irish governinent to introour constitution. In regard to the restric duce clauses, to ward off evils when ihãy betion law, it is my business to examine how gan to appear, it cannot be maintainul, that far it has been duly administered by the Irish that government are altogether free from Government and the Directors of the Bank, blame. It has been proved by the Exand my opinion in die result will be main change Committee, that the proximate cause

of the depreciation of the paper of the Bank, 1 transferred into the hands of these direcwas, the over issue of it. Could not govern tors, one of his principle prerogatives, the ment have carried any measure in Parlia. superintendance of the currency; and the ment, which would have prevented this por Bank directors, in taking advantage of the tion of the evil? Yes, they might have tol circumstances of the country, and issuing lowed the example of America, where the paper in such quantities as to afford thein Bank of the United States is prohibited from their dividends of 7 per cent., and bonusses making issues of paper to a greater amount of 5 per cent.; and to infict upon the land. than the amount of "heir capital, (Dorrien ed proprietors a tax of 10 per cent. on their Magens on Actual and Paper Money, p. 61) incomes

, have very evidenily proved the or by looking back to the original forina- impulicy of entrusting them niih such an tion of the Bank of Ireland, they might have important function. This assumption, acquired a similar hint, it being then pro- M'. Cobbeti, leads me to the main argupued to place such a limit on the paper of ment, on which I propose to rest the charge the Irish Bank. (Speech of Altorney Ge I have advanced against the directors. For, neral, Iri h Parliamentary Debates, Vol. 1. as the depreciation complained of is admitP 301.) Here then is a proof and justifi-ted, by every one, to be the consequence of cation if one measure which the govern the issues of the bank, the question is coo. ment of Irela id might have advised, and at hned to one single consideration, whether the same time, a proof and justification of the directors were, or were not, in fault in the charge which has been brought against making them; and that this is a fair statethem of neglect of duty-In respect to ment of the subject, cannot be denied, as the Bank Directors, it was particularly their the sum total of all the charges which have province 10 administer the restriction law been brought against the restriction law, in such a manner, as would be the most be has been the taking away of the commula. neficial to the publc! But, it is here neces. bility of paper at the option of the holder sary to take an objection to the supposi- into specie. — As the government of Ire. tion, that they are bound only to promote

land had received no aids from the Barik; the interests of their cu instituents, the Bank and as no circumstances had occurred to Proprietors. If the Bank was a corpora

render necessary an unusual quantity of tion instituted for the better conducting of circulating medium, it was certainly a matthe private concerns of merchants, and ter of discretion with the directors, whether merely on private considerations, and for or no they would make the large issues private purpo es, their conduct has been which they have made. By refusing to most undeservedly aspersed. But, as this make them to a greater extent than to twice corporation was formed on the principle of the amount of their notes in circulation affording great utility to the public, and as when the restriction law passed, they

would it has accepted of a valuable consideration not have disobliged any one, and no depre. from the public, for being of use to it, ciation would have occurred. By quadru. name'y, the Charter which grants to it the pling their issues they have produced a deright of being the Bank of the nation,' with preciation, with no other advantage a greater capital, and with greater powers ing it than that of a great gain to them. than any other Bank can possess, its conduct selves. Surely, therefore, the proximate is a fair subject of public animadversion, cause of the depreciation is the want of disand particularly that portion of it which cretion on the part of the directors in lie relates to the occurrences of these few last miting the extent of their issues; and, years. It is to this conduct, therefore, when this deficiency of discretion has been of the Bank that we are to look for the ad attended with great injury to the public, ministration of the restriction law; and and great benefit to individuals, it may be certainly, it was no trivial error on the part erroneous, but certainly not unreasonable, of those who framed it, to leave the bank to impute blame to those who can so uni. altogether free from control, and at perfect formly better their affairs by being uniformliberty to make whatever use they thoughtly indiscreet. I have been induced to offer proper of the new and unheard of autho. these further observations concerning the rity of issuing their paper to any extent Irish government and the Bank directors

, which either caprice or self interest might under the expectation that you will do me suggest. But, since the law did place 60 the justice of affording me an opportunity much confidence in the directors of the of explaining to the public, the motives on Bank, their subsequent proceedings reflect which I accuse them, and the manner in the greater degree of culpability. The which I defend myself against your accusa: King, by giving bis assent to that law, tion. That you should defend these par.

attend

[ocr errors]

"es, is a further proof of your impartiality, ficulty attending it, except that of securing "nd anxiety to act fairly by every one. But, the unanimous exertions of our country, hat I should be somewhat ob tinate in gentlemen. But, however ellicacious such maintaining my opinion, will not appear to associations might be, I cannot bring myself you surprising when I acquaint you, that I to feel the plan of obliging the directors to am one of those who are actually paying pay in Bank of England notes, so objectionthe tax of depreciation on a large fixed in able as you imagine; nor, indeed, nearly come; and at the same time, have an op so objectionable as these associations would portunity, from being very extensively en be, until every other plan had failed; for, gaged in business in this city, to be very however justifiable they might be, yet as well acquainted with the various intrigues their object could be nothing short of reof Exchange dealers.-- Before I conclude, sisting; in a certain degree, the existing I must beg leave to observe, that you have, law of the land, the objections to other in mistake, attributed to Mr. Foster the plans must be very great and very evident, proposed measure of obliging the Bank of to render the adoption of the plan of asso. Ireland to pay in Bank of England notes. ciation to be preferred. Lord Coke says, This measure, I took the liberty of suggest “ nunquam recurritur ad extraordinarium ing as the only alternative; his proposal to “ remedium, sed ubi deficit ordinarium." the Bank not being accepted; and, this I Upon this principle, I must, therefore, still did under the authority of Lord King. The adhere to my original opinion of the policy ** measure," (his lord ship states,) " which of Parliament, enforcing the payment of “ was proposed on this occasion in Pailia Bank of Ireland notes with those of the

mert, was, an obligation upon the Irish Bank of England. As to the danger which “ Bank, to pay upon demand, in noles of you apprehend, a further consideration of " the Bank of England. A regulation of the proposed measure, will, I trust, induce * this kind would impose upon the Irish you to be satisfied, that the depreciation of 6 directors the nece sity of restraining the English or Scotch paper cannot be the rea “ jcgue of their notes, and of bringing ihem sult of it. This could not be the case, una « to the standard of the Engligh currency, less it operated in such a manner as to aogo “ which appears to be much less depre ment the quantity of bank paper in Great “ ciated than that of Ireland." (2d edit. Britain, a circumstance impossible, as the p. 73, &c. to the 3d line, p.ge 75-) Though measure, must contribute to diminish the This measure inay with reason appear a quantity of Irish paper: and, as this paper measure of hazard, I am fully persuaded, will not certainly be received in circulation that the more it is considered, the more the in Great Britain. The measure my rene policy of it will become manifest. But if der Bank of England paper necessary in it is, as you conceive, inadequate to the ob. some degree for the circulation of Ireland, ject, what measure is there, which is better But this new market for it, will have the calculated to restore the value of our cur. direct effect of restoring the value of the rency in Ireland, whilst the restriction law notes of the Bank of England; so that it is continues ? Exchange, as I mentioned in very clear, that no reason exists for apprea my last letrer, is again 15 per cent. There hending any injury from this measure, in is every reason to suppose, that it will yet regard to its operation on the value of Bri. be higher. What, then, is to be done? tish currency.--I am glad to find that you

The restriction law is not to be repealed make no objections to the plan, on the till the end of the war, or till Mr. Pitt is grounds which have rendered it objectione out of office. The Bank of Ireland refuses able here, namely, the supposed injury to assist in applying any remedy. The con which the Bank would suffer by it. If my version of their notes into Bank of England argument, on this head, has been as sucs notes is too dangerous an experiment. cessful as I think the force of it might lead There remains under all these circumstan. me to expect, and, if I have also succeeded star.ces, should not Parliament adopt the in removing the doubts that you have enlalter plan, but one further measure to be tertained respecting the consequence of adopted; and, that is, an association of all the proposed measure, on the value of the The proprietors of land in this country, to paper of England and Scotland, I should demand guineas in payment of their rents. hope for the powerful aid of your sanction This plan has been very abły pointed out and your exertions to produce a remedy, by your correspondent Agricola, and as the which must give to the notes of the Bilik laws of Ireland are exactly sinilar to those of Ireland, an equal value with the notes of of England, concerning the tender of bank the Bank of England, and which is by nó noles in payment, there can be no other did. means of such a nature as to give rise to

« PreviousContinue »