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the bastions of Savoy and Flanders, they are now plunged into despondency by the pacific tone of Sweden and Russia, and particularly by the step which the latter power is now said to have taken with regard to the unfortunate King of France, to their own credulity their disappointment and dejection must be ascribed. In this work a fear was, from the beginning, expressed, that, under the influence of such a political system as ours, no effectual alliance would be formed against France; no league for the sole and openly avowed purpose of restoring the House of Bourbon to the throne; and, unless such was the bond of alliance, it was always considered as useless to form any alliance at all, at the present conjuncture, with Russia, because nothing short of the certainty that the war would not tend to the aggrandizement of Russia, could, it was evident, induce Austria to become a party to the alliance; and, because (Prussia being out of the compass of hope) it was equally evident, that, without Austria, no alliance whatever could produce much effect against France.—— How, then, has the alliance with Russia and Sweden hitherto operated To the latter, it is said, with what truth I know not, that we are paying the expense of raising an army, at the rate of twenty pounds a man, for the defence of Anterior Pomerania : Russia we are introducing into the Mediterranean. We have not given her the possession of Mr. Pitt's “infant republic of “ the Seven Islands,” the independence of which that statesman declared to be of an importance te England “ equal, perhaps, “ to the possession of Malta itself:” no; we have not given this independence up to Russia; she has taken it; and, we find, that this is one of the subjects of quarrel between her and Napoleon' It is curious enough, that our enemy should have quarrelled with our ally for encroaching upon an independence, to preserve which we roof as of inestimable importance — Whatever footing Russia obtains in the Mediterranean will, in its degree, be injurious to Great Britain; that is to say, if it be the interest of Great Britain to preserve her colonies in the East Indies, and especially if it shoutd continue to be the policy of France to strive to wrest those colonies from her, or, at least, to throw them open to all the world. Russia, firmly fixed in the Mediterranean, would, when occasion served, become, in conjunction with France, a most formidable enemy to this country. The Porte must remain an inactive spectajor, while a Russian army on one side, and
a French army on the other, would meet with little interruption in their way to what they both regard as the principal source of our wealth.--We have taken the wrong course to obtain efficient aid upon the Continent. We have begun at the wrong end. To raise an army; to form a complete military system; these should have been the first measures. Having an army, we should have been able to offer our alliance with some confidence. We should have talked of giving protection to others, instead of humbly seeking protection for ourselves. “Why,” says crying Sir Balaam, “ have “we not an army of 480,000 volunteers ‘ and small bounty and permanent duty “men o' Yes, Balaam; but that is precisely the reason why friendly nations keep aloof from you, and why, as to hostility to France, your wish “to keep yourselves to “ yourselves" is, and will be, gratified to its fullest extent. “What, then, would “ you make every body soldiers Would “you destroy all commerce and manufac“tures? Would you never have any thing “ but war?" No: I would not have every body soldiers; . I would, comparatively speaking, have but a very few soldiers: I would not have half a dozen kinds of armies: I would have only one army; but as the lioness said to the sow, that one should be a lion. No : Balaam, I would not destroy all commerce and manufactures: I would only destroy the effect of their deleterious principles: I would banish those principles from the cabinet and the legislature: I would destroy the predominance, the empire, of trade : I would have no Knights and Baronets of the countinghouse, the pack, and the o I would, in short, make trade, in all its branches, be universally regarded as greatly inferior to every liberal profession, and, more especially to the profession of arms. No: Sir Balaam, I would not always have war, though I confess to you, that I think wars are, upon a general principle, necessary to maintain the order of the world. No, no, Balaam, it is not I that am for “eternal “ war:” it is you, who seem to be for eternal war; for, that is the consequence of the defensive, such is the commercial system, that it is now utterly impossible for any man to point out how this war can be ended, except in a way resembling the termination of your renowned progenitor: “ The devil and the French divide the prize, “ And sad Sir Balaam curses Go! and dics.” This is the fatal catastrophe, which I am anxious to see prevented; and, which 1 am thoroughly persuaded cannot be pre
vented without banishing from our national councils the narrow and degrading notions of trade, and without changing, to a very great degree, the spirit of trade into a military spirit. In the answers to observations of this sort, it is now-and-then confessed, though with great apparent reluctance, that “ some military states have, in “ process of time, succeeded over those “ whose main object was traffic.” In process of time ! Which were the commercial states of the continent of Europe, at the commencement of the French revolution ? France herself was one. Her financiering ministers had been, for several years, endeavouring in all manner of ways, to extend the commerce of France. Companies of traders were established; American fishermen were invited to settle in the French sea-ports to teach Frenchmen the art of obtaining blubber; the custom-house books became the manual of the minister; in short France became, as far as it was o ble for ber, under the then existing circumstance, to become, a commercial nation. The commercial nations, then, were, Denmark, the Hans Towns, Holland, Monarchical France, Portugal, Spain, Genoa, and Venice. What are they now ! All except the first (and that first is not very secure) have actually been subjugated by, or, from the dread of subjugation, have become tri. butary to military France., “In process of “ time " God 'a' mercy! why all these commercial nations have been thus subdued in the space of ten years, and less! “In “ process of time !” Time flies swift with
declining nations, particularly if they are
of a commercial cast; because, though they present a fine plump and florid figure, they are deficient in point of nerve.—Again and again, therefore, I say, we must become less commercial, and more military; we must think less of gain, and more, aye, much more, of our honour; we must get into a disposition to tread back, our steps for ten years past, to lament the loss of the symbols of our military fame, to feel indignant at the base surrender of the lilies of France, of which though to the works and the profits of Birmingham and Manchester they contributed nothing, we might, remembering that they were won by the valour and the blood of our forefathers, have truly said: “though they toil not, neither “ do they spin, yet Solomon, in all his glory, “ was not arrayed like one of these.” This,
however enthusiastic it may seem ; this is
the temper of mind, to which we must come; or, we shall assuredly fall under the }. of our enemy.--To weep over the ard alternative is useless, as it is also to execrate those who have reduced us to it. It is not a speculative question as to the good or evil of wars, or as to which ought to be preferred, the arts of peace, or the arts of war. It is a fact that we have be. sore us, and that we are called on seriously to contemplate ; and, this facto is, that, if France, with her present population and resources, insists that we shall be military, or become her slaves, we must become either one or the other. We have a choice; but, having no efficient allies upon the continent, that choice must be speedily made. , Chest ER Volux T E E Rs—— Little space as I have left, I cannot refrain from saying a few words by way of preface to a handbill, which has #: published at Chester upon the subject of an election for a sheriff of that place, which, as the reader will recollect, is a county of itself——I need hardly remind the public of the fears I have so frequently expressed as to the effect of the Volunteer system upon Elections; how often I cautioned the ministers against this danger; and how pressing I was for some measure effectually to prevent the arms, given for the defence of the country, being made use of to subvert the constitution. All this must be fresh in the reader's mind, and, therefore, I shall, for the present, content myself with just inserting the following paper :—“To the free-men of the city of Chester. Influenced by the wishes “ of many very respectable friends, I take “ the liberty of offering myself a candidate ‘ for the office of sheriff for the year ensuing. “It is to give my fellow citizens an oppor“ tunity of solemnly deciding between the “ Chester Volunteers (to whom it is my “ greatest pride to belong) and their accu“ sers, that I thus obtrude myself upon the “ public notice. I have suffered a little, the “ corps has suffered more, but the character “ of this ancient and most respectable city “ has suffered most, by the illiberal, “ groundless, and wanton aspersions, that “ have been cast upon its loyalty. I have “ no doubt that you will seize the present “opportunity to wipe away the stigma, and • fix the opprobrium where it properly at“ taches.——I am, Gentlemen, with every “sentiment of respect, your most devoted “ servant, Jo HN WILLIAM son.” Cuppin's-Lane, Oct. 24, 1804.
Printed by Cox and Baylis, No. 73, Great Queen Street, and published by R. Bagshaw, Bow Street, Covent Garden, where former Numbers may be had ; sold also by J. Budd, Crown and Mitre Pall-Mall.
* As public credit will begin, by that time" [in half a century from the year 1752) “ to be “ a little frail, the least touch will destroy it, as it happened in France during the Rogeoy;
“ and in this manner it will die of the doctor."
HUME on Public Credit.
#05]: - . 1R1sh PAPER-Mo NEY. tained, if it appears that these parties to the SIR, The last packet brought the 17th law have neglected their duty.——As to the
Number of Vol. VI. of your Political Regis
ter, containing my letter to you of the 18th
ultimo, (see p. 623) on Irish paper money, and your observations upon it. (See p. 665.)——You state, that “ it is not the “ Bank Directors, but the paper system, ex“ tended as it now is, that is in fault; which “ paper system is the consequence of the
“bank restriction law, and the measure of
* Mr. Pitt.” You likewise defend what in this country is too well known, and what is always termed, the “Irish Government:" viz., a Lord Lieutenant, a Secretary to a §. Lieutenant, and two Secretaries to the Secretary.——In justification of the opinions I have expressed, I must nake a claim on your accustomed liberality, to make public the following answer to your argument.—— .There are evidently two circumstances that invariably attend the passing of every law, by which the conduct of those concerned is to be adjudged. First, the policy of making the law; and secondly, the manner of administering it. As we perfectly agree in attributing the ultimate cause of all the evils attending the paper correncies of these realms to the restriction law, the manner of administering it alone remains a subject of discussion.——You will surely admit, that good laws may be rendered productive of bad consequences by bad administration, and that the natural mal consequences of bad laws, may, in a great measure, be obviated by the talents and activity of those in
whose hands the administration of them is
committed. This is a position, so far as it bears upon the question at issue, that is daily
exemplified by the administering the penal
laws. In respect to this code, we have direct proof of the severity which would naturally flow from it, being divested by the talents, and constitutional sentiments of the judges who administer, them, and also of the possibility of benefits to society being the result of a system of legislation, which is at valiance even with the first principles of our constitution. In regard to the restriction law, it is my business to examine how far it has been duly administered by the Irish Government and the Directors of the Bank, and my opinion in the result will be main
government, it is very clear, that they have been guilty of this neglect, because the neasure of evil has nearly been filled with put any single exertion having been made to prevent it. They should have watched the progress of this new and dargerous 'aw, have observed its alterations, and, at least, have endeavoured by applications to l'art an ent or to the Bank Directors, to prevent the state of the country over which they presided, to 'affold so distressing a picture as to its curtency as it does at this day. If, in the future pages of history, it is written, that, whilst Lord Hardwicke was Chief Governor 'o' Ireland, the paper of the National Bank became depreciated ten per cent, the gold currency disappeared, that of silver was universally criod down, and the rates of exchange advanced to 10 per cent. against Dublin ; and if, at the same time, the historian shall relate, that, during this administration, no one measure of any kind was adopted to regulate the operations of the restriction law, which was the cause of the before-unheard-of circumstances; but, that this law was not attended to; that the Bank of Ireland, in particular, were permitted to take advantage of it; that the army agents were permitted to take advantage of it; and, that every person who acted in the capacity of a paymaster of public money, was also permitted to take advantage of it; the reader of such a statement will necessarily Condemn the conduct of the Irish gove; nament, as guilty of neglect of that part of its duty, which attached to it, in its executive capa-. city of administering the ordion:ces of the legislature.--It is by no means intended to be asserted, that all the injury which has flowed from the restriction law could have been prevented by any measure, or even by any application to Parliament short of the repeal of this law; but, when it is remembered, that this law has been passed only from year to year, and that it would have been easy for the Irish government to introduce clauses, to ward off evils when they began to appear, it cannot be maintained, that that government are altogether free from blame.——It has been proved by the Exchange Committee, that the proximate cause of the depreciation of the paper of the Bank, | was, the over issue of it. Could not government have carried any measure in Parliament, which would have prevented this portion of the evil? Yes, they might have ol. lowed the example of America, where the Bank of the United States is prohibited from making issues of paper to a greater amount than the amount of their capital, (Dorrien Mogens on Actual and Paper Money, p.61) or by looking back to the original formation of the Bank of Ireland, they might have acquired a similar hint, it being then proPoed to place such a limit on the paper of the Irish Bank. (Speech of Attorney General, Irish Parliamentary Debates, Vol. s. P. 3ol.) Here then is a proof and justification of one measure which the government of Ireland might have advised, and at the same time, a proof and justification of the charge which has been brought against them of neglect of duty.—In espect to the Bank Directors, it was particularly their province to administer the restriction law in such a manner, as would be the most beneficial to the public' But, it is here neces. sary to take an objection to the supposition, that they are bound only to promote the interests of their constituents, the Bank Proprietors. If the Bank was a corporation instituted for the better conducting of the private concerns of merchants, and merely on private considerations, and for private purposes, their conduct has been most undeservedly aspersed. But, as this corporation was formed on the principle of affording great utility to the public, and as it has accepted of a valuable consideration from the public, for being of use to it, name'y, the Charter which grants to it the right of being the Bank of the nation, with a greater capital, and with greater powers than any other Bank can possess, its conduct is a fair subject of public animadversion, and particularly that portion of it which relates to the occurrences of these few last years. It is to this conduct, therefore, of the Bank that we are to look for the administration of the restriction law; and certainly, it was no trivial error on the part of those who framed it, to leave the bank altogether free from control, and at perfect liberty to make whatever use they thought proper of the new and unheard-of authority of issuing their paper, to any extent which either caprice or self interest might suggest. But, since the law did place so much confidence in the directors of the Bank, their subsequent proceedings reflect the greater degree of culpability. The King, by giving his assent to that law,
transferred into the hands of these directors, one of his principle prerogatives, the superintendance of the currency; and the Bank directors, in taking advantage of the circumstances of the country, and issuing paper in such quantities as to afford them their dividends of 7 per cent., and bonusses of 5 per cent.; and to inflict upon the landed proprietors a tax of 10 per cent, on their incomes, have very evidently proved the impolicy of entrusting them with such an important function. —This assumption, M. Cobbett, leads me to the main argument, on which I propose to rest the charge I have advanced against the directors. For, as the depreciation complained of is admitted, by every one, to be the consequence of the issues of the bank, the question is codfined to one single consideration, whether the directors were, or were not, in fault in making them; and that this is a fair statement of the subject, cannot be denied, as the sum total of all the charges which have been brought against the restriction law, has been the taking away of the commutability of paper at the option of the holder inte specie.—As the government of Ire. land had received no aids from the Bank; and as no circumstances had occurred to render necessary an unusual quantity of circulating medium, it was certainly a stal. ter of discretion with the directors, whether or no they would make the large issues which they have made. By refusing to make them to a greater extent than to twice the amount of their notes in , circulation when the restriction law passed, they would not have disobliged any one, and no depreciation would have occurred. By quadru. pling their issues they have produced a do preciation, with no other advantage attend.
ing it than that of a great gain to them: selves. , Surely, therefore, the proximals cause of the depreciation is the want of dio cretion on the part of the directors in li: miting the extent of their issues; and, when this deficiency of discretion has been
attended with great injury to the public,
and great benefit to individuals, it may be
erroneous, but certainly not unreasonable, to impute blame to those who can so unk
formly better their affairs by being uniform:
ly indiscreet.—I have been induced to offer
§: further observations concerning the
Irish government and the Bank directors,
under the expectation that you will do no
the justice of affording me an opportunity
of explaining to the public, the motives"
which I accuse them, and the manner *
which I defend myself against your acco
tion. That you should defend these Po
es, is a further proof of your impartiality, *nd anxiety to act fairly by every one. But, hat I should be somewhat obstinate in maintaining my opinion, will not appear to you surprising when I acquaint you, that I am one of those who are actually paying the tax of depreciation on a large fixed income , and at the same time, have an opportunity, from being very extensively engaged in business in this city, to be very well acquainted with the various intrigues of Exchange dealers.-Before I conclude, I must beg leave to observe, that you have, in mistake, attributed to Mr. Foster the }. measure of obliging the Bank of reland to pay in Bank of England notes. This measure, I took the liberty of suggesting as the only alternative his proposal to the Bank not being accepted; and, this I did under the authority of Lord King. The **
measure," (his lordship states,) “ which
** was proposed on this occasion in Palia
** ment, was, an obligation upon the Irish ** Bank, to pay upon demand, in notes of “ the Bank of England. A regulation of * this kind would impose upon the Irish “ directors the nece sity of restraining the issue of their notes, and of bringing them “ to the standard of the English currency, “ which appears to be much less depre“ciated than that of Ireland.” (2d edit. p. 73, &c. to the 3d line, poge 75.) Though this measure may with reason appear a measure of hazard, I am fully persuaded, that the more it is considered, the more the policy of it will become manifest. But if it is, as you conceive, inadequate to the object, what measure is there, which is better calculated to restore the value of our currency in Ireland, whilst the restriction law continues Exchange, as I mentioned in my last letter, is again 15 per cent. There is every reason to suppose, that it will yet be higher. What, then, is to be done * The restriction law is not to be repealed till the end of the war, or till Mr. Pitt is out of office. The Bank of Ireland refuses to assist in applying any remedy. The conversion of their notes into Bank of England notes is too dangerous an experiment. There remains under all these circumstanstarces, should not Parliament adopt the later plan, but one further measure to be adopted ; and, that is, an association of all the o: of land in this country, to demand guineas in payment of their rents. This plan has been very ably pointed out by your correspondent Agricola, and as the laws of Ireland are exactly similar to those of England, concerning the tender of bank notes in payment, there can be no other dis
ficulty attending it, except that of securing the unanimous exertions of our countrygentlemen. But, however efficacious such associations might be, I cannot bring myself to feel the plan of obliging the directors to pay in Bank of England notes, so objectionable as you imagine; nor, indeed, nearly so objectionable as these associations would be, until every other plan had failed; for, however justifiable they might be, yet as their object could be nothing short of resisting, in a certain degree, the existing law of the land, the objections to other plans inust be very great and very evident. to render the adoption of the plan of asso-, ciation to be preferred. Lord Coke says, “ nunquam recurritur ad extraordinarium “remedium, sed ubi deficit ordinarium." Upon this principle, I must, therefore, still adhere to my original opinion of the policy of Parliament, enforcing the payment of Rank of Ireland notes with those of the Bank of England. As to the danger which you apprehend, a further consideration of the proposed measure, will, I trust, induce . ł. to be satisfied, that the depreciation of 2nglish or Scotch paper cannot be the result of it. This could not be the case, unless it operated in such a manner as to augment the quantity of bank paper in Great Britain, a circumstance impossible, as the measure must contribute to diminish the quantity of Irish paper : and, as this paper will not certainly be received in circulation in Great Britain. The measure m y render Bank of England paper necessary in some degree for the circulation of Ireland. But this new market for it, will have the direct effect of restoring the vahue of the notes of the Bank of England; so that it is very clear, that no reason exists for apprehending any injury from this measure, in regard to its operation on the value of British currency.—I am glad to find that you make no objections to the plan, on the grounds which have rendered it objectionable here, namely, the supposed injury which the Bank would suffer by it. If my argument, on this head, has been as successful as I think the force of it might lead me to expect, and, if I have also succeeded in removing the doubts that you have entertained lespecting the consequence o the proposed measure, on the value of the paper of Lngland and Scotland, I should hope for the powerful aid of your sanction and your exertions to produce a remedy, which must give to the notes of the Bank of Ireland, an equal value with the notes of the Bank of England, and which is by no means of such a nature as to give rise to *