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a manner almost free from all present risk the very high price of bullion, and pest le to their respective credits as dealers in pr. that, the low state of the continental et. per money, issues of that article to the changes; that this exress is to be ascribed amount of several millions, operating, in to the want of a sufficient check and coothe first instance and in their hands, as trol in the issues of paper from the bank capital for their own benefii, and when used of England ; and originally, to the sospes. as such by them, falling into and in suc sion of cash payments, which removed the cession mixing itself with the mass of cir- natural and true control. For apob a geculation of which the value in exchange neral view of the subject, your committee for all other commodities is gradually low are of opinion, that no safe, certain and ered in proportion as that mass is aug- constantly adeguate provision against an meuted. If your commttee could be of excess of paper currency, either occasional opinion that the wisdom of parliament or permanent, can be found, except in the would not be directed to apply a proper convertibility of all such paper into specie. remedy fo a tite of things so unnatural, Your committee cannot, therefore, but see and teeming, if not corrected in time, with reason to regret, that the suspension of casa ultimate consequences so prejudicial to the payments, which, in the most favourable public welfare, they would not hesitate to light in which it can be viewed, was only a declare an opinion, that some mode vught temporary measure, has been continued sa to be derived of enabling the state to par- long; and particularly, that by the inasticipate much more largely in the profits ner in which the present continuing act is accruing from the present system ; but as framed, the character should bave bett this is by no means the policy they wish to given to it of a permanent var measure. recommend, they will conclude their ob. Your committee conceive that it would servations on this part of the subject, hy be super uous to point, out in detail, the observing, that in proportion as they most disadvantages which must result to the fully agree with Dr. Adam Smith and all country, from any such general exorss of the most able writers and statesmen of this currency as lowers its relative value. country, in considering a paper circulation The effect of such an augu.entation of constantly convertible into specie, as one prices upon all money transactions for of the greatest practical improvements time; the unavoidable injury suffered by which can be made in the political and do. appuitants, and by creditors of erery demestic economy of any state; and in view. scription, both private and public; the ing the establishment of the country banks univtended advantage gained by govertissuing such paper as a most valuable and ment and all other debtors; are coiseessential branchof that improvenient in this quences too obvious to require proof, and kingdom ; in the same proportion, is your too repugoant to justice to be left with committee anxious to revert, as speedily out remedy. By far the most important as possible, to the former practice and state portion of this effect appears to your of things in this respect: convinced on the committee to be that which is communi • one hand, that any thing like a permanent cuted to the wages of common country and systematic departure from that prac. labour, the rate of which, it is well known, tice must ultimately lead to results, which adapts itself more slowly to the changes among other attendant calamities, would which happen in the raiue of money, than be destructive of the system itself; and the price of any other species of labour or on the other, that such an event would be commodity. And it is enough for your the more to be deprecated, as it is only in coinmittee to allude to some classes of the 2 country like this, where good faith, both public servants, whose pay, if once raised public and private, is held so high, and in consequence of a depreciation of money, where, under the happy union of liberty cannot so conveniently be reduced again to and law, property and the securities of its former rate, even after money sha! every description by which it is represented have recovered its value. The future proare equally protected against the encroach- gress of these inconveniencies and evils, ments of power and the violence of popular not checked, mist at no great distance commotion, that the advantages of this time, work a practical conrietion upoa the system, unaccompanied with any of its minds of all those who may still doubt dangers, can be permanently enjoyed, and their existence; but even if their progres carried to their fullest extent.
sive increase were less probable than 2 - Upon a review of all the facts and rea- appears to your committee, they canas sonings which have been submitted to the help expressing an opinion, that the in consideration of your comınittee in the tegrity and bonour of parliament are con "conrse of their enquiry, they have formed cerned, not to authorise, longer than a an opinion, which they submit to the required by imperious vecessity, the cou house: that there is at present an excess tinuance in this great commercial contry in the paper circulation of this country, of of a system of circulation, in which tbs! which the most unequivocal symptom is natural check or controul is absent
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maintains thc value of money, and, by bank, against which it oight most care. the permanency of that coinmon standard fully and strongly to be guarded. But all of value, secures the substantial justice those may be effectually provided fur, by and faith of monied contracts and obliga. entrusting to the discretion of the bank tious between man and man.
itself the charge of conducting and com. Your committee moreover beg leave to pleting the operation, and by allowing to advert to the templation to resort to a the bank so ample a period of time for depreciation even of the value of the gold conducting it, as will be more than suffici. coin by an alterat oo of the standard, tu ent to effect its completion. To the dis. which parliament itself might be subjected cret'on, experience, and integrily of the by a great and long continued excess of directors of the bank, your committee bepaper. This has been the resource of lieve that parliament may safely eutriist many governments under such circum- the charge of eflecting that which parliastances, and is the obvious and most easy ment may in its wisdom determine upo'i remedy to the evil in question. But it is as necessary to be effected; and that the unnecesary to dwell on the breach of pub- directors of that great institution, far froin lic faith and dereliction of a primary duty makinx theinselves a party with those who of gorernirent, which woulil manifestly be bare a temporary interest in spreading implied in preferring the reduction of the alarm, will tike a much longer view of the coin dout to the standard of the paper, to permanent interests of the bank, as in. the restoration of the paper to the legal dissolubly blended with those of the public. standard of the coin.
The particular mode of gradually effecting Your committee, therefore, having very the resumption of cash payments ought apxiously and deliberately considered this therefore, in the opinion of your comsubject, report it to the house as their mittee, to be left in a great measure to opinion, that the system of the ciiculating the discretion of the bank, and parliament medium of this country ought to be brought ought to do little more than to fix, deback, with as much speed as is compa- finitively, the time at which cash pay. tible with a wise and necessary caution, ments are to become as before compul. to the original principle of cash paya sory. The period allowed ought to be inents at the op'ion of the holder of bank ample, in order that the bank directors paper.
may feel their way, and that, having a Your cen.mittee bare understood that constant watch upon the varying circumn. remedies, or palliatives, of a different na. stances that ought io guide them, and ture, have been projected; such as, a availing themselres only of favourable cir. compulsory limitation of the amount of cumstances, they may tread back their bank advances and discounts, during the steps slowly, and may preseive both the continuance of the suspension; or, a com- course of their own affairs as a company, pulsory limitation during the same period, and that of public and commercial credit, of the rate of bank profits and dividends, not only safe but unembarrassed. by carrying the surplus of profits above With this view, your committee would that rate to the public account. But, in suggest, that the restriction on cash pay. tire, judgment of your committee, such ments cannot safely be removed at an indirect schemes, for palliating the possible earlier period than two years from the preevils resulting from the suspension of cash sent tine; but your committee are of payments, would prove wholly inadequate opinion, that carly provisiun ought to be for that purpose, because the necessary inade by parliament fur terminating, by proportion couid never be adjusted, and the end of that period, the operation of the if once axed, might aggravate very much several statutes which have imposed and the inconveniencies of a temporary pressure; continued that restriction. and even if their efficacy could be made In suggesting tbis period of two years, to appear, they would be objectionable, your committee bave not overlooked the as a inost hurtful and improper interfer- circumstance, that, as the law stands at ence with the rights of commercial pro- present, the bank would be compelled to perty.
pay in cash at the end of six months after According to the best judgment your the ratification of a detinitive treaty of committee has been enabled to form, no peace; so that if peace were to be consuffirient remedy for the present, or secu- cluded within that period, the recommen. rity for the future, can be pointed out, dation of your committee might seem to except the repeal of the law which susa hare the effect of postponing, insiead of pends the cash payments of the bank of accelerating the resumption of payments. England.
But your comm'ttee are of opinion, that In effecting so important a change, if peace were immediately to be ratified, your committee are of opinion that some in the present state of our circulation, it difficulties must be encountered, and that would be most hazardous to compel the there are some contingent dangers to the bank to pay cash in six months, and
would be found whilly impracticable. In. reduction of the quantily of paper, and all deed, the restoration of peace, by open- other measures which accord with the true ing new fields of commercial enterprise, principles of banking. The anticipatin would multiply instead of abridging the of the time when the bank will be cundemands upon the bank for discount, and strained to open, may also be expected to would render it peculiarly distressing to contribute to the improvement of the exo the commercial world if the bank tere changes; whereas a post punt ment of thes suddenly and materially to restrict their era, so indefinite as that of six months issues. Your committee are therefore of after the terinination of the war, and espeopinion, that eren if peace should inter- cially in the event of an exchange convene, two years should be given to the tinuing to fall, (which more and more would bank for resnming its payments; but that generally be perceived to arise from an even if the war should be prolonged, cash excess of paper, and a consequent deprecipayments should be resumed by the end of ation of it) may iearl, under an qufavourthat period.
able state of public affairs, to such a Your committee have not been indiffer- fuilure of confidence land especially among ent to the consideration of the possible foreigners) in the determination of parlia. occurrence of political circumstances, which ment to enforce a return to the professed may be thought hereafter to furnish an standard of the measure of payments, as argument in favour of some prolongation may serve to precipitate the further fall of the proposed period of resurning cash of the exchanges, and lead to consequeLCES payments, or even in favour of a new law at once the most discreditable and disas. for their temporary restriction after the trous. bank shall have opened. They are, how. Although the details of the best mode of erer, far from anticipating a necessity, returning to cash payments ought to be even in any case, of returning to the pre- left to the discretion of the bank of Eng. sent system. But if occasion for a new land, as already stated, eerta in provisions ineasure of restriction could be supposed wonld be necessary, under the authority of at any time to arise, it cap in uo degree parliament, both for the convenience of be grounded, as your committee think, on the bank itself, apd for the security of the any state of the foreign exchanges, (which other banking establishments in this counthey trust that they have abundantly shewn try and in Ireland. the bank itself to have the general power Your committee conceive it may be conof controlling), but on a political state of venient for the bank to be permitted to things producing, or likely very soon to issue notes uuder the value of 51, for some produce, an alarm at home, leading to so little time after it had resumed payments indefinite a demand for cash for domestic in specie, uses, as it must be impossible for any It will be convenient also for the charbanking establishment to provide against tered banks of Ireland and Scotland, and A return to the ordinary system of banking all the country bauks, that they should not is, on the very ground of the late extrava- be compelled to pay in specie until some gant fall of the exchanges and high price time after the resumption of payments in of gold, peculiarly requisite. That alone cash by the bank of England; but that can effectually restore general confidence they should continue for a short period in the value of the circulating medium of upon their present footing, of beiog liable the kingdom ; and the serious expectation to pay their own notes on demand in bank of this event must enforce a preparatory of England paper.
546 | Arts, retrospect of the fine, 52, 161,
261, 442, 560
215 Asses, used in agriculture
194 Asthma, effectnal remedy for convul-
267 Balsam of Mecca, account of 133
344 | Banks, on the odium cast against coun
number of one Pound notes, is.
415 Bankers, proposed regulations for, 6,
426 - - on the speculations of - 227 -
579 | Banking system, vindication of the
565 Bankruptcies, lists of, 78, 166, 263,
368, 460, 566
151 Bath agricultural society, premiums
20 Canterbury, projected canal at 983
- account of a ride iu 506 Carriages, improvements in 254, 640
82 Catalogues, on forming book
· 3:, 119
381, 475 Cemetery, discovery of an ancient 191
report of the guardians Chalcographic society vindicated 412
- improvement at 575 Charcoal, on the counbustion of
accident from burning 583
508 Charles II. account of the escape of 137
67 Chatsworth, description of
346 - letters from 197, 298, 500
- chalybeate spring at 383
487, 592 Chickens, on the diseases of 255, 40%
556 | Children of the poor, on the treat-
367 . on defects in the pronuncia-
woman in London
481 | Cid, account of the play of the
benevolent institution at 190 to
285 Clavi-cylinder, account of the 305
237 Cloths, improvemeut in woollen
329 Clumber-park, Nottinghamshire, de
69, 154, 275 Cock, anecdote of a
remarks ou 262 Cockermouth, improremeists at 376, 469
170 Coins, discovery of apcient, 199, 284,
159 Cold, method of producing artificial 269
288 Columbia, colony at the mouth of the 426
387, 486, 591
289 Commons, on reform in the house of 905
364 Consumption, observations on
medal, adjudgment of the
57 Corn, machine for threshing