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of the Government of the country. It eminent characters had expressed opiwas grateful to him to reflect that he had, nions of this nature, they had been very by his conduct then, done his part towards inconsistent in their condact. For how its preservation. As to what had been ever warmly they might hare contended introduced on the subject of special juries, against these informations when engaged he could not perceive how that was at all against the Crown Officers, there was, he connected with the object of the noble believed, no instance of their refusing kim baron's motion ; but he would remind their assistance whenerer he invited it in the House, that if any alteration was at- carrying on the same er officio informatempted in the present mode of regulating tionsm? A laugh.) After all the slatespecial juries, the same principle would ments which had been made of the rigour equally apply to some change in the sys- exercised-by virtue of the late Act, only tem of summoning common juries, who one person had been held to bail, and it were all returned at the discretion of the was in that aggravated case of an imSheriff. (Hear! hear!) He did not mediate republication of the libel, which know the meaning of this exclamation, had been already noticed. He recollect. but he could assure Noble Lords he ed well, that when he was Attorney-Gespoke for the purpose of being heard. (Aneral, a singular mode of doing the same laugh.) It was his decided opinion, that thing was practised. As the prosecutor the mere fact of the number of prosecu- of a libel, he was obliged to siate the lis tions having increased, by a considerable bellous matter in the record, and this renumber, in the last ten years, was not a cord of the indictment was in many insufficient ground for inducing them to ac- stances, itself immediately published, and cede to the motion of the noble lord. He the CIRCULATION OF THE LIBEL must do that Noble Lord the justice to THUS INGENIOUSLY EXTENDED. say, that he had, when the late act re- (A laugk.) It was impossible not to be specting ex officio informations was first amused at the contrivance, but it was an introduced, given to it his strongest oppo- evil which imperiously required a remedy. sition. He himself unquestionably had with respect to the circumstance of The approved of it, possibly from prejudice, Morning Post, he was desirous of stating and from the esteem in which he beld its that the principle which governed him, authors. He knew well that the person on those occasions, was to prosecute all who pow filled the office of Attorney-Ge- the parties implicated in the publication neral, for whom he felt the most sincere of the libel, and he had uniformly found, respect, bad been greatly misrepresented. that, by extinguishing the papers, he got This, however, he did not lament-it was rid of the authors. Thinking as he dia, the natural consequence of the authority that those who were charged with the juwhich he exercised, and it was also the dicial administration of the laws were esprivilege of a free people to view with titled to their support, and ought not to be distrust, and even with dislike, the ne, wantonly subjected to suspicion and recessary exercise of that authority. At proach, without some plain and specific the same time he must say, that a great ground being laid for entertaining any deal of misconception prevailed in the motion that should be attended with sucb public mind on the subject, and that if an effect; and thinking also, that no such well and truly understood, it would ap- ground had been adduced, and ibat te pear that no public officer bolding the accede to it would only be to unlinge the same trust bad ever displayed a larger public mind and create unfounded alarms, be portion of mildness and forbearance. It felt bimself under the necessity of resisting would be seen that be was THE MOST the motion. FORBEARING PROSECUTOR IN THE KINGDOM. (Hear ! hear!) His trust

COMMERCIAL CREDIT. was of a description which it was not under the circumstances of the respon Report from the Select Committee on the State sibility which he incurred, probable, it of Commercial Credit, laid before the House possible, that he should venture to abuse it. Much had been said by the Noble

of Commons, 6 March, 1811. Lord (Lord Holland) of the great Legal The Select Committee appointed to en Authorities that had set themselves against quire into the State of Commercial Credit, the general principle of, ex officio infor, and who were directed to report the same mations, but he must observe, that if those as it should appear to them, together with


their Observations thereon, from time to not been able to pay the Manufacturers, time, to the House, met, and examined a when the bills became due; these bills variety of Witnesses ; and have agreed were therefore returned upon the manuupon the following Report :-Your Com- facturers, which created a great deal of mittee directed its attention to three points; distress-many of those houses that were ---First-The extent of the difficulties and the original causes of the evil are gone to embarrassments which are at present ex. Bankruptcy long ago; but they have perienced by the trading part of the com- created this evil upon the manufactorers munity :-Second-The causes to which of whom they purchased the goods; that the same should be ascribed ;-and, -Third the manufacturers have their property -The expediency, with a view to the pre- locked up in bankrupts' estates ; that sent and future interests of the Merchants part of it will be lost no doubt, but yet and Manufacturers, and of the public, of that in the course of nine, twelve or fifteen any assistance being afforded by Parlia- months, a considerable part of the capital ment.--Your Committee found, ihat Me. will return to the manufacturers; but morials had been presented to his Majes while they are deprived of it, they go on ty's Treasury, towards the latter end of with the greatest difficulty; many of the the last and the beginning of the present weaker have been broken down. That the year, stating the great embarrassments and marrufacturers of goods who have capitals distress which were felt amongst the Ma- still feel great distress from this cause, and nufacturers in the Cotton Trade in Glas- it is that class of people that it would be gow and Paisley and their vicinity, and desirable to relieve, because a little aid praying for public assistance; that the from government would enable them to same were confirmed by the representa go on with their business, though on a li tion of a meeting held in the City of Lon- mited scale ; but still they would be ena. don, on the 12th of February, which sent bled to retain a certain proportion of their a deputation to wait upon the Chancellor work people or labourers; whereas, if they of the Exchequer, with a copy of the Re- get no kind of relief, they must be broken solutions adopted at that meeting. These down also; and the labourers, with their Resolutions your Committee have inserted families, must be left without means of in the Appendix to this Report. Your subsistence. That this distress still presses Committee found, by the evidence of the very heavily upon them, the export mer. witnesses which they examined, that those chants not being able to pay the manustatements and representations were found facturers, for the goods they have taken ed on fact.-It appeared to your Com- That in the course of trade great quantities mittee, that the principal part of the dis- of goods from Scotland were sold by agents tress which was complained of, had arisen | in London ; those agents gave a temporary out of great and extensive speculations, accommodation to the manufacturer, but which commenced upon the opening of the nothing more ; when the merchants could South American markets in the Brazils and not pay those bills which they had given for elsewhere, to the adventures of British goods, the bills went back upon the manuMerchants. -Mr. Garden, the Chairman of facturers. That there is this chain of conthe Chamber of Commerce and Manufac- nection between the manufacturing body ture at Glasgow, said " That in Glasgow and the upper classes of merchants, the and the neighbourhood the distress began Banks in Scotland having discountedor adamong the manufacturing body of the peo- vanced money upon those bills of the merple, and it has pressed niore severely upon chants for the manufacturers; those bills them hitherto, than on any other class. having gone back, the manufacturers are not That it hegan about the month of October able to take tliem up; the capitals of the or beginning of November last : The Banks are therefore taken up also, and they cause of it appeared to him to be this ; are not able to give the regular accommodaThat a set of Merchants in London, Liver- tion which they had been used to do to pool, and Glasgow, conceiving that the their customers. In this situation of things, markets of South America would consume too, a want of confidence arises in the a vast quantity of our manufactures, en banks themselves, when they see people tered into a project of very extensive ex. breaking down around them, they become ports to those Countries and to the West timid and afraid of transacting any busiIndia Islands, chiefly intended for the Spa- ness; a want of confidence on the part of nish Colonies; these expeditions not meet the banks naturally creates distress among ing a ready market, those Exporters have the upper classes of merchants, who are

thus deprived of the usual accommodation | In some instances payments have been or means of negociation; that therefore much quicker, perhaps by the return of persons who are possessed of solid pro- the same ship, and he mentioned that perty bave not the same means of obtain there have even been instances of ships ing credit that they usually have had, and returning within four or five months. very far from it—this want of confidence The usual date of bills given by the merin the banks makesthem distrustful ofevery chant to the manufacturer is six or nine bodyand the merchants have felt great in. months, but in some cases it may be exconvenience in consequence. The witness tended to twelve months ; in cases where said, he understands that some of the the goods are sold by an agent in London, banks at Glasgow and in that neighbour- that agent interposes his credit, and gives hood do little business, they will rather an accommodation to the maunfacturer accomulate their capital, and wait the re-sooner, if he requires it, taking his chance sult of the present situation of things; this of payment from the merchant. That the want of confidence creates general distress distresses were immediately and in the among very respectable merchants.—That first instance occasioned by the want of the intercourse of credit among the mer- payment for those that were vended; but chants themselves, was much broken down at the same time the want of a market is by means of these circumstances, even certainly a part of the cause. The markets where the merchants are solvent.-- That of South America having been for a time shere is considerable injury to the manu- overstocked, there is no great demand at facturer, from being obliged to stop his present; and even though there were a work; his machinery gets out of order, demand, in the present situation of things his workmen get dispersed through the with the want of confidence and the want country, and he cannot collect them again, of credit, it would be difficult for the mabut at considerable trouble and expence; nufacturers to know to whom to sell with and when it is understood that his business safety ; that is chiefly occasioned by the is stopped, he loses his custom, and when want of payments for the goods sold : that he begins again it is almost the same as will in some measure come round in the beginning a new business ; it is therefore course of twelve months, and then the ma. extremely important that the manufac nufacturer will have his own capital again. turer should go on, though on a limited - That there has been a very considerscale. That in his opinion the demand | able supply of this sort of manufactures would in a great measure come round to sent to the peninsula, which was in them again; that the home trade and

a great measure with a view to their some other markets are still open to them; being sent to the Spanish colonies; that he has always seen in his experience that the same failure of payment hapof 30 years, that a glut in a market is fol pened in some degree, in respect of lowed by a brisk demand; for no person those goods, as those sent to South Amewill supply the markets or adventure at all rica; that one considerable house in Lonwhen they are overstocked ; hence the don connected with this trade, which stopmarket becomes exhausted, and of course ped or made a pause within the last two a very good demand arises afterwards. or three weeks, had sent a great quantity The markets of South America and the to Cadiz; and they informed the witness West India Islands are overstocked at pre- that the last account they had was, that sent, but they will naturally come round, the goods would all be sold in this and and the home trade always takes off a cer the next mouth, by which means they tain quantity, so that he had no doubt in should be able to make a handsome divisix or twelve months this increased de- dend to their creditors; but their bills mand will do more than take off what is having gove back on the manufacturers, on hand now, or what will be manufac- they are depressed in the mean time.tored in the mean time, which will be a That there had been a great fall in the very limited quantity indeed. That if price of the manufacture; that when he there was no particular glut in the market, left Glasgow, there were some articles of from the time of the shipping of the goods, manufacture which had fallen, perhaps till the payment could be comnianded in 40 or 50 per cent; but he understands this country, he should conceive would be from communications since that, the fall twelve or fifteen months; it may in some is greater, because the distress is become instances be sooner, but, generally speak. more general.-With respect to the fail. ing, he should conceive about that time. ures that had happened, there are several


houses which will probably pay very been any failures among the more cont large dividends; and indeed there are se siderable and best established houses of veral of the houses in Glasgow that he al. nufacture in Lancashire, yet that great die ludes to which stopped payment, have un- tress and embarrasment must already be felt dertaken to pay their creditors in full, in by many, and that some parliamentary asa a certain time; one who had more than sistance would be of most essential advan200,000/ of bills out, has undertaken to tage.-Your Committee think it right to repay his creditors in 3, 4, 8, 12, and 16 | fer to the returns of the export of the Colton months, and probably he will do it; but Manufactures in the following years, to in the mean time, the manufacturers can shew the state and progress of the trade not command;a shilling of this money; in this article of manufacture, op to the that the failure of those houses, before he period when this distress began to be so left Glasgow, had amounted to from one strongly felt. The official value of cotton to two millions; one house (the same to manufactures exported from Great Britain, which the witness alluded before) has in the year ending 5 January, 1808, was failed since that time for 519,000l. they 9,846,8891.; in the year ending 5 January have undertaken to pay in full. That the 1809, 12,835,803l. ; in the year ending 5 failures of the export houses certainly January, 1810; was 18,616,7231.; and in arose from their having gone greatly be the three quarters ending 10 October yond their capital, having exported goods 1810, 12,761,1361.--It appeared to your to a far greater extent; but he under- Committee, that there had been no want stood many of those houses were not with of a disposition on the part of the Banka out capital, and some even had large ca in Scotland to give their accommodations pital, but being disappointed in the markets, that they had liberally applied it as far as it was found that they could not make was possible ; but that it was impossible their returns so quickly as their bills be- they could continue their aid, as they had came due : there are houses of that descrip- their capital already locked up in an im tion in Liverpool, and some in Glasgow.- mense number of bills, the payment of Being asked, as to the amount of failures which was suspended.-Your Committee on the present occasion, as compared with also found, that great distress was felt in a those in 1793 ? he said, “ The proportion quarter which was much connected with of failures will be always something in this trade, namely, amongst the Importers proportion to the extent of the trade, (which of Produce from the foreigu West India has increased wonderfully since 1793) ; Islands, and froin South America. That and of course the failures now are to a great parts of the relurns for the manuinuch larger amount than they were at factures which were exported to those that period.”-Your Committee having parts of the world, came home in sugars given this full extract from the evidence and coffee; which not being entitled to of Mr. Garden, have to state, that it was sale in the home market, there were no in general confirmed by the evidence of immediate means of realizing their value. Messrs. I. and R. Mackerell, and Mr. Henry --These representations of the distress Fulton, muslin-manufacturers at Paisley; experienced in the trade of the Cotton and that evidence in a great degree Manufacturer and Exporter, and from the to a similar import was given to the Com- want of market for foreign colonial promittee by Sir Robert Peel. With re duce, were also confirmed by respectable gard to the state of the manufactures in merchants and traders in London'; who Lancashire, he stated, that the price of also stated, that the embarrassments were goods had fallen 40, 50, and in some in felt in other branches of trade, not constances 60 per cent.: that the greatest nected with foreign commerce or colonial manufacturers had been obliged to reduce produce.--It also appeared-lo your Comthe quantity of their work by one third, mitteę, that one cause which might be others one-half

, and others again had been considered as connected with and as at obliged to discharge their workmen alto present aggravating the existing distress, gether; and that even those which were was the extent to which the system of continued in employment, were continued warehousing the goods of foreigners as at a very reduced rate of wages, amount well as native merchants, for exportation ing to not more than one. half of their had been carried. On this point, the ordinary payment-that under these cir-Committee refer to the evidence of Mr. cumstances great distress. was felt amongst Cock, Commercial and Publio Agent for the workmen, and though there had not the Corporation of Liverpool, and General

Agent to the merchants of the town ; who , felt in a considerable degree in some other informed the Committee that," Since branches of trade ; but they have the sathe opening of the West India and Lon. tisfaction of stating, that from the evi. don Docks, Great Britain has under the dence of a very extensive and experienced provisions of the warehousing acts, be- merchant, it does not appear that they come a free port, into which foreign goods are felt in the woollen trade, to such an of almost every description may be extent as would at all justify a call upon brought and safely deposited, and from Parliament for any extraordinary relief.whence they may be exported again with. That your Committee are warranted in out payment of importation duties. This stating, that there appeared a general country possèssing peculiar advantages for concurrence of opinion amongst those of foreign commerce, the consequence of the witnesses who were examined, as to sach facility to introduce goods from all the expediency of affording Parliamenparts of the world has been, that the mer- tary relief in the manner in which it was chants of other countries, whether neu- afforded by the issue of Exchequer Bills trals, enemies or allies, have been eager to in the year 1793, although there was some avail themselves of every opportunity of difference as to the extent of benefit which sending their goods hither. From Spain might be expected to be derived from (for instance) such goods as have not such relief. And your Committee state it been imported on British account, the to be their decided opinion, that although Spanish merchants have been anxious to there are many circunstances at the send here for safety and for sale the present time affecting the state of trade same remark applies to Portugal'; in fact and commercial credit, which make a great we are now the exporters of Portugal difference between the present period and wines to that country—while importa- that of the year, 1793 ; yet the distress is tions from Europe, not the result of a de- of such a nature and extent, as to make mand for them, have thus been occasioned, such Parliamentary relief highly expedient the markets of South America, both and necessary; and that it promises to be Portuguese and Spanish, have been thrown productive of extensive and important beopen to us, and the greater part of the nefit ; that although in many cases such, immense productions of those places (from aid may not be capable of effectually rewhich formerly we received but little pro- | lieving the persons to whom it may be perty direct except bullion) now comes to applied, from great losses arising from the fill the warehouses, and for a time to ex state of circumstances; yet by affording. haust the capitals of the merchants of them time gradually to contract their this country.' Our conquests also have operations, to call in their means, to had the same tendency : in addition to withold from immediate sale articles which the produce of the old British Colonies, at present can fetch only most: ruinous we now receive that of Martinique, Gua- prices, and to keep up the employment of daloupe, St. Cruz, St. Thomas's, &c.; their machinery and their workmen, the greatest part of the produce of St. though upon a very reduced and limited Domingo also now comes here, From scale; it will divide and spread the presEurope, the importations from places sure of this distress over a larger space of from which the British flag is excluded, time, and enable them to meet it with con, have been immense these causes co. sequences less ruinous to themselves, and operating at a period when the situation less destructive to the interests of the of the United States has prevented their community.-That your Committee restrips from introducing inio Europe that ferred to the manner in which relief was large proportion of West Indian and South afforded in the year 1793, and have found American productions of which they would that the provisions of that measure which,. bave been the carriers, the effects have as appears by the report of the Commisbeen more seosibly felt by our merchants.” sioners appointed on that occasion, was -Your Committee, upon the whole, think attended with the happiest effects, and the themselves justified in stating, that the most complete success, are embodied in embarrassments and distresses at present the Act 33 Geo. III. cap. 29, and the experienced are of an extensive nature ; Committee are of opinion, that similar proand though they are most severely felt visions should be adopted with regard to the amongst the manufacturers and merchants relief at present proposed; that the amount in those trades which have been more par- of Exchequer Bills to be issued should not ticularly specified, yet, that they are also be less, nor would'the Committee re

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