Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

but Persian and Arabic (though they tion being made over to his Majesty's would certainly still be a great ac- Ministers, whose attention, while in quisition in every judge) have little office, must be chiefly turned to other more connexion with these dialects, matters, and their continuing there than English has with Chinese. very uncertain. This is the more peces.

Moreover, it ought to be part of sary, from the fact, that in the House the Company's plan to make the na of Commons, men who have returi tives of India Christians, and they ed from India without much knowcannot be Christians, except in name, ledge of the natives, and others, who, till they know something of the his- from the way in which they speak tory of Europe, and of the west of of India, scarcely know as much of Asia; and this they can only do, with its inhabitants as I know of the people out much difficulty, by the means of in Lapland, are ready to legislate for the English language and literature. the millions of Hindoostan, as if their

Do not suppose from what I have concerns were not of more importjust said, I have the least wish to see ance than those of half-a-dozen sansBritish laws introduced generally in- culottes in a village in the county of to India. They have been tried at Clare. In confirmation of this rethe Presidencies, and certainly have mark, I refer to the reports of the not been found to answer. Hundreds discussions on the “Elephant Letter," of families at Calcutta and Madras, the ground-work of which is correct, which were, forty or fifty years ago, in my opinion, though the style of it comfortable and contented, have since certainly is not in its favour. then been set by the ears, brother I have met a great many men here against brother, in the King's courts, well acquainted with every thing and, after years of litigation, have concerning India; but people genefound they have spent twenty times rally care, I think, less about our inthe amount of the sum originally in terests after they return from Hindispute in law charges. The great doostan, than you would expect. It est misfortune that has happened to must be well known, for instance, to India in the last twenty years, is the all who have been in India, that there large importation of attorneys which is often great delay in obtaining jushas taken place during that period. tice in the Zillah Courts; yet, when In Calcutta, in 1811, there were eleven the Company's affairs come under or twelve attorneys on the list; now review, no one will probably attempt there are, I hear, upwards of sixty!! to effect an amendment in the pracDuring all that time, the population tice of these Courts, though there and wealth of the place has been sta- will be many ready to advocate the tionary, if it has not retrograded; interests of the merchants of Eng. while in the mofussil* generally, I land and those of the Company; the think, there has been some improve- Directors' patronage, too, will not be ment. Such are the effects of British lost sight of, nor will there be wantJustice, or rather of what lawyers ing many who would give the natives call the glorious uncertainty of the of India“ the blessing of great price law.”

-British laws;" but reverting to the I confess I do not see how this evil practice of the Zillah Courts, I may is now to be remedied: the natives, mention, as you have not had much I hope, will get wiser ere long, and to do with them, that, shortly before come to think, that a suit in one of leaving India, I obtained probate of the Supreme Courts neither adds to the will of a deceased friend, part of their respectability nor comfort. whose property consisted of debts

It appears to me indispensable to due from sundry persons residing in the good government of India, that a the Zillah of

On writing to majority of the Direction should have my correspondent in that Zillah, he been in Hindoostan, where only they informed me that the deceased had could become well acquainted with already commenced his actions for the character, and institutions, and the recovery of these debts, but that customs of the natives; and this cir- if I did not make interest with the cumstance is a great bar to the Direc- judge to have the matters in dispute

• Interior of the Country.

however, is notorious and undeni- mitted by all who have candidly and able. Thus the most important deli- fairly examined the arguments on berations which occupied the atten- either side, but that the people also tion of the House of Commons in begin to see through the misrepre1822, presenting, as given in Han- sentations by which they have been sard's Debates, a body of detailed deluded, and to attribute their proand ample information, accompanied tracted sufferings to this the chief with sound and clear argumentative cause capable of producing them. statements, fully elucidating this There is a general and increasing disa much agitated question, were never position to refer to the mal-adjustfully or fairly reported in those chan- ment of the standard of value in nels of information to which only 1819, and to the measure of abolishthe public have access. Nor did those ing the Small-note circulation, as inwhose knowledge was equal to the timately connected with the disasters task, develope and explain their views of the country. And as notice has to popular apprehension, by other been given, that in the course of the publications. Consequently the Cur- present month the subject of the Currency has been exclusively a Parlia- rency will be brought forward in the mentary question.

House of Lords by Earl Stanhope, In the absence of any fair explana- and in the House of Commons by Mr tory statements, all those worthy per- Attwood, this appears to be not an sons who shrink from the labour of unsuitable opportunity for executing independent enquiry, and are gene- a long contemplated plan,—to exrally willing to adopt the opinions plain the present position of the promulgated by certain men whom Currency Question,' (distinguishing they are disposed to recognise as the two questions which, as before authorities, have been imbued with stated, pass under that name, and notions hostile to the Adjustment of applying ourselves mainly to the Adthe Standard of Value. Though the justment of the Standard, that being supporters of Adjustment have con the question coming before Parliafined their exertions to Parliament, ment,) and to offer a brief sketch of their adversaries have taken a differ- the leading arguments which bear ent course, and have profited by the upon the subject. The increasing inactivity of the adjustment party, importance which this question as. misrepresenting most flagrantly their sumes, will excuse the devotion of views and objects. The people have some space to such an object. And been taught to look upon the “Cur- from this statement our readers will rency Question ” as pregnant with be better able to comprehend the evils of a deep and fearful descrip- ensuing discussions. Many will tion. “Unlimited circulation,” “in- doubtless be not a little surprised to solvent bankers," assignats, find the real proposition, and its contional bankruptcy;" these are a few sequences, if acted on, totally difof the calamities which were averred ferent from the deformed creature to be lurking at the bottom of that of their imaginations. Pandora's box, the “ Currency Ques Laying aside, as immaterial to our tion.” Who would venture to lay present object, all controversy as to open this repertory of mischiefs ? the policy or impolicy, the justice or Discussion even was deprecated as injustice, of the original Bank Redangerous on such a subject; enqui- striction Act, it is for us to consider ry was condemned as destructive. that measure only in its effects. But By means such as these the under- in so doing, we wish by no means to standing of the public has been abu- convey any idea of our concurrence sed. Assailed, directly and indirectly, in certain animadversions which by ridiculous falsehoods, and base have been directed against that meainsinuations, Truth herself might sure by several of the mercenary for a time be obscured by the arts of politicians of the day, (the applicaher interested enemies. And it is tion of this phrase will scarcely be no slight proof of the soundness of mistaken,) who, while Mr Pitt conthe opinions entertained by those trolled the energies, and directed the who advocate the adjustment of the policy, of this country, moved in the standard, that, not only has the jus- subordinate situations adapted to tice of their chief positions been ad- their several capacities. These men,

[ocr errors]

the clerks and under secretaries, the constant augmentation of price; when statesmen of talent and inde- and the success of this operation inpendence filled the important offices duces him to repeat it upon a still of the government, having risen, in larger scale. In such a state of things ministries composed of clerks, to se credit becomes extended, and a gecretaryships and presidencies, cavil neral and well-founded confidence at the bygone ministers at whose or- in pecuniary engagements prevails. ders their pens were formerly mend. There is a ready sale, and the manued, and their votes regulated. The facturer and merchant can depend character of the Bank Restriction on disposing of their goods or conAct, when that Act shall become a signments, to provide for their liabiquestion for the historian to submit lities. It is true, that the rise in to the judgment of posterity, must prices is produced by the depreciabe adjudicated upon considerations tion in the currency; but the money of high and general importance. We which the dealer, or merchant, rehave observed with much pleasure, ceives, is such as is available to disin a recent speech of Sir R. Vyvyan's, charge his engagements, and the high a just appreciation of the leading price is required to enable him to principles by which that judgment pay the higher taxes required for the will be directed.

service of the state. Such was the To return to the more immediate operation of depreciation. subject. „During the period of the The Ministers who were in power Bank Restriction, the currency be

at the termination of the war, recame depreciated from 30 to 50 per garded the Bank Restriction Act as cent, estimating the depreciation by a portion of the war establishment, the increase in the average prices of to be laid on the shelf with other commodities generally. This is Mr supernumeraries, the necessity for Baring's estimate and mode of esti- its active services no longer existing. mation, as stated by him in the House No one ever considered, that the duof Commons in 1829, and on this ties, for the discharge of which this point Mr Baring's is an unexception- mighty machine was employed duable testimony. By the support and ring the war, did not cease with the animation given to productive in- war, but were permanent. Towards dustry by a gradual rise of prices to the close of the war, the aid of the this extent, the people were enabled Bank Restriction was requisite, not to sustain the burdens, of unprece- only to enable us to support increadented magnitude, imposed to sup- sing burdens, but to bear those alply the necessities of the war. It is ready fixed for ever on our shoulscarcely possible to overrate the im- ders. With our armed force we mense stimulus given to production might dispense, for our enemies in by the rising of prices consequent on the flesh were disposed of. But the an increasing circulation. “ We Bank Restriction was the powerful find,” says Hume, « that in every

and faithful ally, by whose assistkingdom into which money begins ance only we were rendered capable to How in greater abundance than of coping with a more inveterate eneformerly, every thing takes a new my, the National Debt. We mainface; labour and industry gain life; tained an equal contest against our the merchant becomes more enter- foreign foe and Domestic Debt, and prising; the manufacturer more dili- the former having ceded the field, had gent and skilful, and even the farmer our undivided efforts been applied follows his plough with greater ala to reduce the latter, we might have crity and attention."

hoped for speedy relief from our enThe tradesman, after laying in his cumbrance. The sum no longer reordinary stock of goods, meets with quired for the expenses of the war, a ready and a profitable sale; and might have been employed in the when he is about to replenish his reduction of the Debt. At the terstore, finds that he has to purchase mination of the war, however, meaat an advanced price. Again he meets sures of preparation for giving up with a sure demand; and again, when the Bank Restriction were taken, he replaces bis stock, the price bas and for restoring the currency, to been raised. He will now take a larger precisely the same state in which it quantity of goods, to provide against was before the adoption of the Bank

Restriction. It would appear a suffi- Parliament were appointed to

conciently plain proposition, that a re sider of the state of the Bank of turn to the ancient system of cur England, with reference to the exrency must of necessity produce a pediency of the resumption of cash fall of prices to the ancient rate. payments at the period fixed by law, And hence would naturally result and into such other matiers as are another point for consideration, connected therewith, and to report whether, with the prices of the last to the House such information relacentury, we could pay taxes four tive thereto as may be disclosed, times as great as were then levied without injury to the public inteWhether, when the price of wheat rests, with their observations.” was reduced to 40s. or 45s. per quar Of the House of Commons' Comter, farmers would be able to pay mittee, Mr Peel, in an hour when his rents fixed during the prices of the evil genius had an undue ascendency, Bank Restriction, when wheat was was appointed the chairman. The 80s. or 90s. per quarter? Whether committee was proposed by Miniother engagements of every descrip- sters, and appointed, after the mantion, entered into during the exist- ner of such committees, with a preence of high prices, and founded on dominant proportion of tame elethose high prices, could be fulfilled phants duly tutored. The committee in a period of low prices?

of the Upper House was concocted These questions did not appear to on similar principles, and worked have been considered by those who equally well. Mr Peel's committee were preparing for the immediate re- reported in favour of the resumption moval of the Bank Restriction; but of payments in gold, coined at the these preparations speedily produ- rate of L.5, 178. 10£d. from the ounce ced consequences which gave a prac- of pure gold, at a certain period; and tical answer of a conclusive nature on that report was founded the bill, to those questions-consequences notorious as Mr Peel’s Bill, providing such as always follow a contraction that cash payments should be so reof the Currency. In 1816, the Direc- sumed. tors of the Bank of England took ef To do the committee and their fective measures to reduce their cir- chairman justice, they were unconculation in quantity, and thus to re scious of the consequences which store its value, as a preparatory step the measure recommended by them to the return to cash payments. À could not fail to produce. They nefall of prices, and therefore great dis ver contemplated the possibility that tress among those who had purcha- they were effectuating an alteration sed goods, and made contracts on the in the value of money of from 30 to faith of the high prices, followed. 50 per cent. Five per cent, they All the classes called the productive were told, by such authorities as classes were subjected to the cala- they referred to, was the extent of mities necessarily resulting from the alteration which would be prosuch circumstances; and, in 1817, duced; and five per cent, although the termination of the Bank Restric even that was a heavy tax to impose tion was postponed, and the Mini- upon the country, they did not consters induced the Directors of the sider too bigh a price to pay for the Bank to increase, thereby deprecia- advantage of a settled Currency. ting, their circulation again. The Before we enter upon an examina, distress of the country was relieved tion of the arguments adduced to -1818 was a year of excitement, as shew the measures which ought to it is now called, of active and profit- have been adopted in 1819, with reable commerce, in the language of gard to the standard of value, we shall the Ministers of that day, of war- request the attention of our readers prices, and of prosperity. The re to the following extract, from a late turn to cash payments having been publication of M. Say, whom it is adjourned, the Bank Restriction, and scarcely necessary to describe as a its train of consequences, were as highly celebrated French writer on fully in operation as during the war. Political Economy. In 1819, however, the question of may well challenge an attentive percash payments was again agitated, usal; it displays an accurate acand committees of both Houses of quaintance with the intricate work

H

the clerks and under secretaries, the constant augmentation of price; when statesmen of talent and inde- and the success of this operation inpendence filled the important offices duces him to repeat it upon a still of the government, having risen, in larger scale. In such a state of things ministries composed of clerks, to se credit becomes extended, and a gecretaryships and presidencies, cavil neral and well-founded confidence at the bygone ministers at whose or in pecuniary engagements prevails. ders their pens were formerly mend. There is a ready sale, and the manued, and their votes regulated. The facturer and merchant can depend character of the Bank Restriction on disposing of their goods or conAct, when that Act shall become a signments, to provide for their liabiquestion for the historian to submit lities. It is true, that the rise in to the judgment of posterity, must prices is produced by the depreciabe adjudicated upon considerations tion in the currency; but the money of high and general importance. We which the dealer, or merchant, rehave observed with much pleasure, ceives, is such as is available to disin a recent speech of Sir R. Vyvyan's, charge his engagements, and the high a just appreciation of the leading price is required to enable him to principles by which that judgment pay the higher taxes required for

the will be directed.

service of the state. Such was the To return to the more immediate operation of depreciation. subject. „During the period of the The Ministers who were in power Bank Restriction, the currency be- at the termination of the war, recame depreciated from 30 to 50 per garded the Bank Restriction Act as cent, estimating the depreciation by å portion of the war establishment, the increase in the average prices of to be laid on the shelf with other commodities generally. This is Mr supernumeraries, the necessity for Baring's estimate and mode of esti- its active services no longer existing. mation, as stated by him in the House No one ever considered, that the duof Commons in 1829, and on this ties, for the discharge of which this point Mr Baring's is an unexception- mighty machine was employed duable testimony. By the support and ring the war, did not cease with the animation given to productive in war, but were permanent. Towards dustry by a gradual rise of prices to the close of the war, the aid of the this extent, the people were enabled Bank Restriction was requisite, not to sustain the burdens, of unprece- only to enable us to support increadented magnitude, imposed to sup- sing burdens, but to bear those alply the necessities of the war. It is ready fixed for ever on our shoulscarcely possible to overrate the im- ders. With our armed force we mense stimulus given to production might dispense, for our enemies in by the rising of prices consequent on the flesh were disposed of. But the an increasing circulation. “ We Bank Restriction was the powerful find,” says Hume,

and faithful ally, by whose assistkingdom into which money begins ance only we were rendered capable to flow in greater abundance than of coping with a more inveterate eneformerly, every thing takes a new my, the National Debt. We mainface; labour and industry gain life; tained an equal contest against our the merchant becomes more enter- foreign foe and Domestic Debt, and prising; the manufacturer more dili- the former having ceded the field, had gent and skilful, and even the farmer our undivided efforts been applied follows his plough with greater ala to reduce the latter, we might have crity and attention.”

hoped for speedy relief from our enThe tradesman, after laying in his cumbrance. The sum no longer reordinary stock of goods, meets with quired for the expenses of the war, a ready and a profitable sale; and might have been employed in the when he is about to replenish his reduction of the Debt. At the terstore, finds that he has to purchase mination of the war, however, meaat an advanced price. Again he meets sures of preparation for giving up with a sure demand; and again, when the Bank“ Restriction were taken, he replaces his stock, the price has and for restoring the currency to been raised. He will now take a larger precisely the same state in which it quantity of goods, to provide against was before the adoption of the Bank

« that in every

« ZurückWeiter »