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TranfaHions in Parliament relative to the Stoppage of Payment in Specie of the Bank of England.
Copies of all Communications between the Directors of the Bank and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, refpcfting Advances to Government fince the firjl of November, 1794.
(No. t.) Copy of a Refolution of the Court of Directors, the 15th of January, 1795.
Refolved, "PHAT the governor and deputy governor do take an early opportunity of informing the chancellor of the exchequer, that the court of dire&ors, defirous at all times to give every afliftar.ee and accommodation to the public fervice, think it proper at the prefent period, when a loan, under the guarantee of this country, for a foreign ftate, of the large amount of fix millions fterling, and alfo one for our own national wants of eighteen millions fterling, are about to be railed, to bring to his conlideration, that it is their wilh that he would fettle his arrangements of finances for the prefent year in fuch a manner as not to depend on any farther affiftance from them beyond
what is already agreed forj and particularly, that the ftipulatioa for the future advances to be made by them, if neceflary, for payment of treafury bills or exchange, be ftrictly adhered to, as they cannot allow that advance at any time to exceed the fum. of five hundred thoufand pounds.
In the Court of Directors, on the 16th of April, 1795.
THE governor and deputy governor were direct*: by the court to wait upon the chancellor of the exchequer, and to mention to him the tineafinefs which they have felt on being left, during fo long a period, in an advance of one and an half, to upwards of two millions of money, for the bills accepted by the treafury. That this mode of paying rhe treafury bills in advance was never meant to be carried to any great extent, at the moft to 500,000!. and that only as a tern* porary accommodation.
The chancellor of the exchequer did promife to the governor and deputy governor in December laft, and particularly in a converfation, on the 17th of January, that the amount of thefe bills paid at the (N) bank, bank, then exceeding the fum of 500,0001. fliould certainly be paid off after the receipt of the firll payment on the new loan; which promife hath not yet taken place. The court have' therefore come to a refolution, that they cannot in future allow of any difburfe on this account exceeding the fum of 500,0001.; and they do requeft, that the chancellor of the exchequer will be pleated to ordi:r the lame to be paid.
(No. 3.) Copy of a Note from the Governor and Deputy Governor, to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Bank, 5th June, 1795. ,THE governor and deputy governor of the bank prefent their refpe&ful compliments to Mr. Pitt; and take the liberty of Dating to him, that though he was pleafed to promife, the laft time they had the honour of an interview, that the amount of the treafury bills paid by the bank fhould immediately be reduced to the fum of 500,000!. '(beyond which fum, by a refolution of the c*.irt, it was not to pals); the bank are now in advance on that account 1,210,015!. 17s. 5d. and before the end of next week it will be increafed to 1,658,4671. They at the fame time beg to exprefs their concern at being fo repeatedly obliged to trouble him on the fubjefr, hoping ke will give fuch directions as may in future prevent it.
To the right hoti. Wm. Pitt,
(No. 4.) Refolution of the Court of Directors, 30th of July, 1795Refolved, THAT the governor and deputy governor of the bank be defired to
inform the chancellor of the «chequer that it Is the requeft of this court that he will either adopt fome other mode of paying the treafury bills of exchange, than by directing them for payment at the bank; or fo to arrange the furnishing of money for the payment of thefe bills, that the amount for which the bank fliould be in advance, (hall not at anytime exceed the fum of 500,0001. as this court is determined to give orders to the cafliiers, to refnfe payment of all bills, whenever the advance Hull amount to fuch fum of 500,000!. That previoufly the court is delirous of fixing on a certain day with Mr. Pitt, when fuch order fhall take place; but in the mean time depend on his former and repeated promife to reduce the prefent advance as fpeedily as potEble.
(No. 5.) Report of the Governor, and Refolution of the Court of Directprs, 6th of Auguft, 1795. THE governor having laid before the conn a letter from the chancellor of the exchequer, which was received yefterday at four o'clock in the afternoou, containing a requeft for a farther accommodation on the credit of the growing furplus of the confolidated fund:
Refolved, That the confideration of this letter be poftpoiied; and that the governor and deputy governor be defired to wait on Mr. Pitt, and inform him, that this court cannot take his letter into confederation, until it has recei*ed fatisfaftion lefpe&ing the re-payment of the monies already advanced for payment of treafury bills of exchange, to reduce that account under the ftipu'ated faro o* 500,00-iL above which the bank was never to be in advance; and Ontil it has had lufficient fecurity held out, that it fhail not be called upon to farther advances on this account in future: and that they do requeft Mr. Pitt to enter into full explanations on this fubjeft, which is not even touched upon in his letter.
Interview with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, 7th of Auguft,
TH£ governor and deputy governor this day waited on Mr. Pitt at the hour he had appointed :— When the governor firft obferved to him, that his letter did not arrive in time to be taken into confideration by the committee on Wednefday; and that it was therefore of neceffity laid before the court on Thurfday, without much previous confultation on it in the committee:—And the governor then read to Mr. Pitt the following note, as containing the fubftance of what pafled upon it in the court.:
The governor having laid before the court a letter received yefterday afternoon from the chancellor of the exchequer, containing a requeft for a farther accommodation of two millions and an half, on the growing produce of the confolidated fund;
Refolved, That the confideration of this letter be poftponed; and that the governor and deputy governor bedefired to wait on Mr. Pitt, and inform him, that this court cannot fuUy take his letter into confideration until he has finally fettled the arrangement, notified to him laft week, relative to the reduction of the amount of the treafury bills paid by the bank, fo that the fum advanced may never exceed 500,0001. of which his letter makes not the Uaft mention.
(No. 6 ) Copy of a Letter from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Refolution *of the Court of Directors, 13th of Auguft, 1795. Downing-Street, 12th of Aug. 1795. Gentlemen, I H WE to requeft the favour of yeu to flute to your court, that if they think proper to afford the accommodation which I have requcfted in my letter of the jth inftant, by taking exchequer bills payable out of the growing produce of the confolidated fund, they may depend upon meafures being immediately taken for the payment of one million of the fum they have advanced for the payment of bills; and farther payments to the amount in the whole1 of another million may be made in the courfe of September, O&ober, and November, in fuch proportions as may be found convenient. But as frefll bills may be expected to arrive, X am under the neceflity of requefting that a latitude fhould be allowed for the payment of fuch bills to an amount not exceeding one million; in addition for which fum, payment fliail be provided before the end of February, or, if the court materially prefer it, of January. In order to guard againft any frefti difappointment, 1 beg leave to fuggeft that it may be ufeful, if from time to time you fend me notice, whenever the amount advanced comes within fif» ty thoufand pounds of the limit fixed,that warrants may be prepared without delay.
I am, &c.
(Signed) Wm. Pitt.
Governor and Deputy \
Governor of the Bank. J
IN the court held this day, after
reading Mr. Pitt's letter of the 12th
of Auguft, it was refolved, That
(N a) thii this court dd not accede to the pro* pofal contained in the faid letter. It was farther refolved, That the court do confeut to Mr. Pitt's requeft, in his letter of the 5 th inftant; namely, to advance two millions five hundred thoufand pounds on exchequer bills, on the fecurity of the furplus of the con* folidated fund,' to be re-paid as follows:
About eleven hundred thoufand pound* from the produce of the quarter ending the 10th of October next; and for the remainder tbey are willing to wait till the ending of the quarter of the 5th of April, 1796. And that the governor and deputy
fovernor be defired to inform Mr. itt, that the court Hill adhere to their former refolution, of infilling that the credit on the treafury bills be restrained to 500,0001. but that the court will wait for the re-payment of one million of the money already advanced beyond the faid fnm of 500,000!. until the latter end of November (if it is of efTential fervice to the government of the country that it fliould do fo), provided pofitive afliirance is given By the chancellor of the exchequer, that this additional million inall punctually be repaid at that time; and that in no cafe, if this propofition is acceded to, the bank is to be in advance beyond one million and an half for payment of the treafury bills, which by the end of November are to be reduced to 500,000).
The court alfo requeft, that the governor and deputy governor will exprefs to Mr. Pitt' the earned defire they have, that fome other means may be adopted, in the next fdfion of parliament, for the future
payment of bills of exchange drawn on the treafury. When the laft refaction was propofed, Mr. Winthrop moved the following amendment, and was feconded by Mr. Simeon, to be added after the words "Confolidated Fund," and to leave out all the remainder;
"Provided at lead two millions "of the fame (hall be applied "to the difcharge of the fum ** for which the bank is now in "advance, on account of bills *• accepted by the treafurv; it ** being the intention of this '* court to reftrain the amount "of fuch advance to the fum u of 500,0001, agreeably to "their former refolutions."' The faid amendment being put ta the vote, was negatived; 'and the refolution as firft moved was carried in the affirmative.
Augufl 14, r79$. THE governor and deputy governor,in compliance with the denre of the court held yefterday, waited this day on the chancellor of the exchequer, to fignify to him, that his letter of the rath inftant bad been duly confidered; and it was refolved, that the propofals which it contained could not be acceded to; and to communicate to him the farther refolution of the court refpecting his requeft in his letter of the 5th inftant, as minuted in this book yefterday. The governor put into his hands a copy of the two refolutions, which Mr. Pitt read attentively; and returned foon after with a letter, written by himfelf, at the requeft of the governor and deputy governor, Signifying his acquiefcence in the faid refolution, and promifing punctually to comply with the conditions ftipulated therein.
DroningDramiiig-Street, 14th Aug, 1795.
I HAVE to requeft the favour of you to inform your court, that I agree to the conditions fpecified in their refolution of yefterday, (fee the note of the 13th of Augilft,) for the advance of two millions and »n half on the credit of the coufolidareii fund; and will take care that they (ball be punctually complied with. I return the paper containing the refolution; and am, Gentlemen, &c. &c- &c.
Governor and Deputy 1
Governor of the Bank. J
Copy of a written Paper delivered to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Bank of England, Sth OS. 1795. THE very large and continued drain of bullion and fpecie which the bank has lately experienced, ariling from the effects of the loan to the emperor, and other fubfidies, together with the profpeft of the demand for gold not appearing likely foon to ceafe, has excited fuch apprehenfions in the court of directors, that, on the mod ferious deliberation, they deem it right to communicate to the chancellor of the exchequer, the abfolute neceffity they conceive to exift for diminifhing the fum of their prefent advances to government—the laft having been granted with extreme reluctance on their part, on his preffing folicitations and ftatenent that ferious embarraflTments would arife to the public fervice, if the bank refufed.
It muft occu'rto Mr. Pitt's recollection, that laft January the go»ernor and deputy governor of the hank did, by inftruitions from their
court, formally announce to him their apprehenfions of the confequences that were likely to enfue from the emperor's loan taking place; the events feem fully to juftify their fears, and to render every meafure of caution abfolutely neceflary for their future fafe
In addition to the above caufes, it may be proper to ftate, that large Aims are likely foon to be called for by the claimants of the cargoes and freights of the neutral fljips taken, and about to be re-imburfed; many of whom, as they are credibly informed, are inftructed by their owners and proprietors to take hack their returns in fpecie or bullion.
The prefent price of gold being from 4I. 5s. to 4I. 4s. per ounce, and our guineas being to be purchafed at 3I. 17s. iojd. clearly demonftrates the grounds of our fear*; it being only neceflary to ftate thofe facts to the chancellor of the exchequer. m
Ever ready as the court of directors have been to accommodate and, give their affiftance in the fervice of the public, they muft now exprefs their hopes, that Mr. Pitt will, on the meeting of parliament, fo arrange his plans of finance, as not to depend upon the immediate advance of the duties on land and malt, 1796; and that he will be pleafed to provide the means of reimburfement to the bank, conformably to his agreement of the million on account of the treafury bills, and the one million one hundred thoufand, part of theadvance on the product ot the confolidated fund, in cafe it ftiall not have been previoufly paid, and alfo to re-imburfe the remaining 1,400,000!. on the fame product in January or February, inftead of April.
(N 3) (No.