Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors]

before us.

tional Debt in that year was, £30,093,447 | Rights of Man, the means of saving Eng(exclusive of Irish loans.) Now let this land in the way of finance. That work be tried by the Rule of Three, and you was written in 1791. So early as that he will see with what exactness the amount of foresaw and foretold what we have now the bank notes keeps pace with the amount before our eyes, and what we have daily of the interest upon the national Debt, to expect. He there pointed out the sure commonly called the Dividends, which and certain means of effectually putting a many poor creatures in the country look stop to the further increase of the Debt, upon, or, rather, used to look upon, as of insuring a real diminution of it, and, something of a nature almost divine. Let at the same time, of doing ample justice to us put this down a little more distinctly. the fund-holders. For this pamphlet he

was prosecuted, and, having gone out of In 1798, the Dividends amounted to £.17,750,402 the country, he was outlawed. A Royal The Bank Notes out in circu

Proclamation was issued principally for lation ...... 13,334,752

the purpose of suppressing his work, scores In 1809, the Dividends amounted to... 50,093,447 of pamphlets having been written in answer The Bank Notes in circula

to him in vain. He was burnt in effigy tion

21,249,980 in most parts of this his native country;

and his works were suppressed by the Here we have the real cause visibly arm of the law. Well, our government

What folly, what madness, is had its way; it followed its own counsel it, then, to talk of lessening the amount of and rejected that of Paine; he was overthe notes while we are continually aug come by it, and driven from the country; menting the amount of the Dividends, those who endeavoured to cause his prinwhich are the cause of the notes? Here ciples to have effect were punished or we have before our eyes proof that the silenced, or both : and, what is the result? Dividends (by the use of which word I That result is now before us, and fast apmean to include all the annual charges proaching us; and, in a short time, in all upon the Delt) and the Bank Notes have human probability, events will enable us gone on increasing together for the last ten to form a perfectly correct decision upon years, and I had before shown that they the respective merits and demerits of the had done so theretofore ; and, with this then conflicting parties. fact before our eyes, we, the people of this “ most thinking nation,” hear some of Now, Gentlemen, if you have attenour legislators propose to lessen the amount lively read the Letters, of which I now of the paper, while not a man of them address to you the XXVth, you will have seems to dream of lessening the amount no doubt at all, that the cause of the in. of the Debt. We hear them propose to flux of paper and of the consequent denarrow the stream, while they say not a preciation of all money first, and then of word about narrowing the spring whence the paper itself alone as compared to the it flows. They have seen, or, 3;ou, at least, money; you will have no doubt that the have seen, Gentlemen, that the bank-paper real cause of all this, is, the increase of arose out of the national Debt; you have the national Debt; and, yet, in all the seen that the Bank was created in a short parliamentary debates upon the subject, time after the Debt began; you have you have heard of scarcely any man who seen the increase of the paper keep an ventured to mention this cause.

It was a exact pace with the increase of the Debt; thing too tender to touch. It was what and, is it not, then, to war against facts, we call a sore place; and, ihe old proverb against a century of experience, against about the galled horse applied too aptly. the nature of things, to propose to narrow If the depreciation had been traced to the the issues of the paper without previously national Debt, as Mr. Horne Tooke once narrowing the bounds of the Debt and its traced it while he was in parliament; for Dividends? If the authors of this propo. he then foresaw and foretold what has now sition had read the work of Paine, they come to pass, and told the House, that, if would never have offered such a proposi- they continued the then expenditure, the tion. Read his work they may, but they fundholder would not get, in a few years, have not duly considered its arguments, or a quartern loaf for the Dividend upon a they have shut their eyes against the clear hundred pounds of stock; if the depreconviction that it is calculaied to produce. ciation had thus been traced back to its He pointed out, in his Second Part of the real efficient cause, it would have awak


ened reflections of an unpleasant ten- , they mean by setting the maller at rest ? dency; it would have set men to consider Is it possible, that they could imagine, what was the cause of the increase of the that this matter was to be set at rest; Debt; to look back and inquire whither that this great question of paper-money ; the money was gone; for what purposes that this subject in which every human it had been borrowed ; who were the per. creature in the country is so deeply intesons that had profited from that borrowing; rested; is it possible that they thought who, in short, it was that had swallowed this matter would be completely set at all that money the interest of which the rest by a vote of their majority ? No, no! nation was paying, and had so long This is one of the things that that House been paying. These reflections it was cannot do. They can do a great deal; not the desire of either party to awaken; they can do more than I dare to trust mybut, they belong to the subject, they na self to describe; but, they cannot set this turally present themselves to every one matter at rest, nor have they, and all the who looks only a little beneath the sur branches of the government united, the face, and I venture to say, that, in the power to stay the progress of the paper end, they will become familiar 10 every money only for one single hour. he man in the kingdom. If this real cause of Minister and his people have now the evil had been acknowledged, it would what rest they insured for the subject ! bare saved a great deal of time; for, I always said, that the “ first man of then, men would not have amused them. “ landed property who openly made a selves with talking about such REME “ distinction between paper and gold, DIES as that of Mr. Horner; and all “ would put the whole system to its the talk about the narrowing of discounts trumps, and compel the Bank notes to and the purchasing of gold and the improving " sue for the power of the government for of the exchange would have been heard like “ their protection.” This has now been the twice told tale of an ideot. The short verified, and the remainder of my predic, and the only question would have been tion, which I need not here repeat, is not this: ean , by any means, diminish the far from its accomplishment. amount of the Dividends ? And, if that question had been answered in the nega

The grounds of LORD STANHOPE's protive, there was no course, for those who position were stated by himself very exwished to support the Pitt system, to pur: plicitly, in moving, the 2nd instant, the sesue but that of letting things take their cond reading of his Bill. He said, that he own course, and aid the paper with their had long thought upon the subject and had wishes.

long eniertained the opinion, that some le

gislative measure wasnecessary to preserve So much for the REMEDY of the Bul- the bank notes system from total ruin; that lion Committee; but, our attention is now a notice recently given by LORD King to called to another, founded on more im- his tenants, signifying that he would no perious circumstances. I allude to the longer receive his rents but in gold or in proposition of Earl STANhops, which was a quantity of paper equivalent in powers on the 27th of June, brought forward in of purchase to gold,* had convinced him the shape of a Bill, and which is, in that shape, now actually before the House of * “By Lease, dated 1802, you have Lords, where it has undergone a second “ contracted to pay the annual rent of reading. Compared with this proposi-" £. 47. 58. in good and lawful money of tion, all that has been said and done be " Great Britain. In consequence of the fore is mere child's play. This Bill brings“ late great depreciation of paper-money, the matter home to the public mind ; it “I can no longer accept any Bank-notes, shows the most credulous that even those, “ at their nominal value, in payment or on whose stoutness they rested their faith, " satisfaction of an old contract. I must begin to quiver. It cries, a truce with all “ therefore desire you to provide for the pretensions. It puts the sense and the sin payment of rent in the legal gold cerity of every disputant to the test. The “ coin of the realm. At the same time, minister told us, that he wished the debate “ having no other object than to secure on the Bullion Report to come on, that the payment of the real intrinsic value of matter might be set at rest. Set at rest! " the sum stipulated by agreement, and Mercy on us! Set at rest! And so said " being desirous to avoid giving you any OLD GEORGE Rose too. But, what did “unnecessary trouble, I shall be willing


One person


that there was no time to be lost, and that, letter stated that a Lady, who was a Landthe measure in contemplation ought to be owner, had insisted upon her rent in gold, adopted before the parliament rose. He and that the tenant apprehended a seizure said, that the Ministers having declared, of his goods, and was ready to verify the that their only objection to the measure facts if called on. Another informed arose from an opinion, that they thought him, on the part of an Attorney, that the no measure of the kind necessary, being practice was become very common to persuaded that nobody would be found to sell guineas and then pay debts with the follow the example of Lord King, it was paper. only necessary for him to shew them that there were others to follow that example, These were the grounds, stated by LORD in order to convince the ministers, that the STANHOPE, of the measure that be proBill was entitled to their support. Having posed; and, upon his stating these grounds, made these preliminary observations, he the Ministers, who had, at the first read. said, that he had a bundle of instances of ing, said that they did not see any necesthis sort, and he only wished that a great siiy for the measure, or any measure of the many other persons would declare their kind, allowed that there was such vecesintentions at once, and then the House sity, and supported the second reading ac. would proceed to prevent the evil. He cordingly. then produced a number of letters, from which he read extracts.

Now, Gentlemen, before I offer you wrote, that his landlord had said, “ what any observations upon this measure itself,

one landlord can do, all can do, and if or upon the conduct of Ln. King, whose “ Lord King succeed, I will do the same.” notice to his tenants seems to have given Another letter related a recent transaction rise to it, it may not be amiss for me in Hampshire, where a man bought an to say, that, from all that has ever estate for 4001. and paid down 1001. of the came to my knowledge, there is not money, and afterwards laid out several more disinterested man, or a truer hundreds of pounds upon the premises, friend to freedom and to his country, and when the time of payment came, the breathing, than LORD STANHOPE, whom I seller, insisted upon having payment in trace through the parliamentary proceedguineas, which the buyer could not ob- ings of the last twenty years, always tain, the seller, however, would have it, standing nobly forward in the cause of or have his land back again, and the only justice, liberty, and humanity, and, but consolation left to the buyer was an inti too often sianding forward alone. His mation from a friend of the seller that he protest against the Antijacobin war, which could inform him where he might obtain began in 1793, and which has finally led the guineas at 27 shillings each. Another to our present calamities, will live when

we shall all be in our graves. He there “ to receive payment in either of the man- pointed out all, yea all, that has now come

ners following according to your option. to pass. That protest, every sentence of " – Ist, By payment in Guineas ; --2nd, which is full of wisdom and of just senti. « If Guineas cannot be procured, by a ment, has these remarkable words : « Be“ payment in Portugal Gold coin, equal “ cause war' with France is, at present, “ in weight to the numbers of Guineas “ most impolitic, extremely dangerous to our " requisite to discharge the rent;-3rd, allies the Dutch, hazardous with respect “ By a payment in Bank-paper of a sum " to the internal peace and external power “ sufficient to purchase (at the present of this country, and is likely to be highly “ market price) the weight of standard injurious to our commerce

The “ Gold requisite to discharge the rent. “ war may, therefore, prove to be a war The alteration of the value of the Paper against our commerce and manufactures, “ money is estimated in this manner; the against the proprietors of the funds, against “ price of Gold in 1802, the year of your our paper currency, and against every de" agreement, was £. 4. an ounce. The scription of property in this country." How “ present market price is £. 4. 14s. arising completely has all this been verified ! « from the diminished value of Paper; in Lord Stanhope was abused: he was called “ that proportion an addition of £.17. 10s. a jacobin and a leceller, and now the nation “per cent. in Paper-money will be re is tasting the bitter fruit of the spirit that “ quired as the equivalent, for the pay. dictated that abuse. Every where was lie "ment of rent in paper."

to be found, in those horrible days, where

liberty was assailed. Not an act, which that opinion, I will now proceed to suh. ke deemed injurious to the rights of Eng- mit to you. A guinea is not to pass for lisbmen, escaped his strenuous opposition. more than 21s. There must be some peIn short, were I called upon to name the nalty to prevent the passing of it for more. peer, whom I thought to have acted the Lord. STANHOPE will propose nothing cruel; best and truest part in those times, and for but, for arguments' sake, let the penalty the whole course of the last twenty awful be death. What, then ? Why need any years, I should certainly name this very one risk any penalty, as far as a ready nobleman.

money transaction goes

? One of you go to

market with a pig for sale. • What do You will, therefore, Gentlemen, believe you ask for that pig, farmer?" Answer: that, if I dissent from the measure which Twenty seven shillings.

" I'll give you he has now proposed, that dissent pro “ a guinea.' " You shall have him." ceeds from my conviction, that the mea. Where is the possibility, then, of enforcing sure itself is not calculated to produce such a law ? The parties, in any case, that good, which I am certain its author have only to settle, before they deal, in wishes it to produce.

what sort of currency payment shall be

made, and then they will, of course, make The detail of the Bill I will not attempt the price accordingly. As to debis, indeed, to discuss. Its principles are what have wheiher book debts, or debts arising from struck me, and these I gather from its contract, in the payment of them, the chief provisions, which are, that, in future, gold and notes must, if this Bill pass, be the gold coins shall not be tendered or taken at their nominal value ; that is to taken for more than their nominal value, say, the paper must ; for, as to gold, who and that the bank paper shall not be ten- will be fool enough io tender gold in paydered or taken for less than its nominal ment at its nominal amount, when it is novalue. This is Lord STANhope's RE. torious that it will fetch a premium of six MEDY ; and this he appears to think will shillings upon the guinea ? If the Bill beprevent the possibility of a further depre- come a law, therefore, any lenant who bas ciation of the paper. We have seen the rent to pay, and who bas guineas in his cause and the progress of that deprecia- purse, will first go and purchase papertion ; we have seen how the paper pulled money with' his guineas, and with the down the coin along with it, 'till the coin paper-money, he will go and pay his rent. could no longer endure the society; we

This rent, for instance, is 1051. a year, have seen the time and the manner of and he has a hundred guineas in his chest. their separation ; but, LORD STANHOPE ap- But, be will not be fool enough to carry pears to think, that, by the means of this these to his landlord. He will go and buy Bill, he shall be able not only to restore 105 pounds worth of paper-money with that harmony which formerly existed be- sevenly eight of his guineas; and will then tween them; but, that he shall be able to go and pay his rent, and will return home

with 28 of bis bind them as it were in the bonds of mar

So riage, and to render the ties indissoluble. it appears to me that it will bear almost If he do this, he will do what never was exclusively upon landlords. done before in the world ; he will destroy all the settled maxims of political eco

I shall be told, perhaps, that, though nomy as far as they relate to finance; his guineas may now be bought and sold, in achievement will be a triumph not only consequence of the decision of the judges, over the opinions and experience of man which, in the case of De YONGE, has been kind, but over the very nature of man, promulgated since I began this Letter, * which incessantly impels him to seek his own interest, and, at the very least, * The following is the Report of this to use all thie means in his power to pro- Decision, as given by the Chief Judge, vide for his own preservation.

Lord Ellenberough, in the Court of King's

Bench, on the 3rd instant. “ THE KING After having said this I shall naturally against De Yonge.-Lord ELLENBObe supposed to be convinced, that the Bill ROUGH communicated the Judgment of would be utterly inefficient for the pur- “ the Court in this case, which along with poses it contemplates. Indeed, such is “ another case, the King v. Wright, commy decided opinion, and the reasons for “ing from the Assizes for the County of

yet, we are not to suppose, that the pre- that could be done, is any one mad enough sent Bill will not provide aguinst such traffic to suppose, that the guinea will still cirby making it penal to be concerned in it. culate at par with the paper ? Pass this Bill, But, 23 I have shown above, men may go or any Bill, that shall prevent men from on with all rendy money transactions, and passing the guinea for more than its nowith perfect safety, make a distinction be- minal worth, and the consequence will be, tween paper and coin, which amounts, to that a guinea will never again be seen in cirthe same thing as buying and selling the culation. Those who have them will keep coin or the paper. It will require but very them in their chests, waiting an occasion little ingenuity to discover the means of to export them, or more patiently waiting so managing the maiter that the landlord till circumstances have produced the reshall never see a shilling's worth of coin peal of the law which has driven the from the hands of the tenant.

guinea into the hoard. The cause that But, suppose that the coin should not

we see no guineas now in common circulabe permitted to be bought and sold ; does tion, is, as I said before, that they cannot any one believe, that any law will prevent been openly sold long enough ago, had

obtain their fair value. They would have a private traffic in the article? And, if there not been an opinion, that the traffic

Buckingbam, had been reserved for the was punishable by law. Now that obe “ opinion of the 12 Judges, on a point of stacle is removed; but, in all likelihood, “ law, Both causes had been fully and another will be erected by the present "ably argued before the Judges in the Bill. In that case the guineas will all e Court of Exchequer Chamber, and the either be hoarded or sent out of the coun" argument had occupied a number of try, and paper must and will be made to days. The question arising in the pre- supply their place. The Dollars, the “sent case was, the Defendant having new things of three shillings and eighteen w been convicted of purchasing 52 Gui- pence, now coming out from the Bank, a neas at the rate, in Bank Notes, of 22s. will also be hoarded, and to notes for « 6d. per Guinea, whether, in so doing he shillings and sixpences we must come, I os had been guilty of an offence punishable am convinced, in the course of the year, « under the Act of the 5th and 6th of if this Bill pass; so that the Bill, while « Edward VI. which prohibited the ex it will be wholly inefficient for the pure of changing of coined gold for coined pose of arresting the progress of depreer silver, or for gold and silver, the party ciation, will be efficient enough in pro. “ giving or receiving more in value than ducing a contrary effect. of the same was current for at the time ? All the Judges, except three, were pre

The Bill does not, the author of it says, or sent at the whole of these arguments, make bank notes a legal tender. It does 66 and at the last of them the whole of the not do it in words, but it appears to me « Judges were present. The Court had to do it in effect; and, that being once " no opportunity of knowing

what was the done, all the usual consequences of a legal « opinion of the absent Judges on that tender must follow. It was easy to see rs part of the case at the argument on that the system would come to this pitch ; " which they were not present, but they there is nothing in the state to which we " had no reason to presume that they dis are come that ought to surprize any one;

sented from the opinion of the other what has happened was to be expected, Judges who were present, all of whom and was, indeed, long ago foretold; but,

concurred in opinion that the Defendant what might reasonably surprize one, is, e in this case was not liable under the to hear this measure represented by the « Act of the 5th and 6th of Edward VI. ministers as necessary to the protection of « The Judgment, therefore, fell to be ar the fund-holder ! Can they be serious! Is rested ; and the Judgment was arrested it possible, that they can be serious when « accordingly.Thus, then, this case is they say this? If they are, nothing that decided as i always said it must be, unless they say or do can ever be a subject of all semblance of law was banished from wonder. Men, who are capable of bethe land. Many people thought and said, lieving, that the Bill of Lord Stanhope that the conviction would be confirmed; will operate as a protection to the fando but I never thought so for a moment. holder, are capable ........ Oh, no! The Judges knew a great deal but, really, I want words to answer my better than to do that!

purpose. Imagination can frame nothing

« ZurückWeiter »