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of this kingdom; and that for more by divers acts of parliament, and the than a century past, the said governor exchanges became still more unfavourand company were at all times ready able, and the price of bullion higher, to discharge such promissory notes in during the scarcity which prevailed for legal coin of the realm until restrained two years previous to the peace of from so doing on the 25th of February, Amiens. 1797, by an order of council, confirm- 6. “ That the unfavourable state of ed by act of parliament.
the exchanges and the high price of 3." That the promissory notes of bullion, do not, in any of the instances the said company have hitherto been, above referred to, appear to have been and are at this time, held in public es- produced by the restriction upon cash timation to be equivalent to the legal payments at the bank of England, or coin of the realm, and generally accept- by any excess in the issue of bank ed as such in all pecuniary transactions notes ; inasmuch as all the said instanto which such coin is lawfully appli- ces, except the last, occurred previouscable.
ly to any restriction on such cash pay4. “That at various periods, as well ments : and because, so far as appears before as since the said restriction, the by such information as has been proexchanges between Great Britain and cured, the price of bullion has frequentseveral other countries have been un ly been highest, and the exchanges favourable to Great Britain ; and that most unfavourable, at periods when during such periods, the prices of gold the issues of bank-notes have been and silver bullion, especially of such considerably diminished, and they have gold bullion as could be legally export- been afterwards restored to their ored, have frequently risen above the dinary rates, although those issues have mint price; and the coinage of money been increased. at the mint has been either wholly 7. “ That during the period of suspended or greatly diminished in nearly seventy-eight years, ending with amount; and that such circumstances the 1st of January, 1796, and previous have usually occurred, when expensive to the aforesaid restriction, of which naval and military operations have period accounts are before the house. been carried on abroad; and in times the price of standard gold in bars has of public danger or alarm; or when been at or under the mint price twentylarge importations of grain from fo- eight years and five months; and above reign parts have taken place.
the said mint price forty-eight years 5. “That such unfavourable ex- and eleven months; and that the price changes and rise in the price of bullion of foreign gold coin has been at or occurred to a greater or less degree under 31. 185. per ounce, thirty-six during the wars carried on by King years and seven months, and above the William the Third and Queen Anne: said price thirty-nine years and three and also during part of the seven years months; and that during the remainwar, and of the American war; and ing intervals no prices are stated. during the war and scarcity of grain And that during the same period of in 1795 and 1796, when the difficulty seventy-eight years, the price of standof procuring cash or bullion increased ard silver appears to have been at or to such a degree, that on the 25th of under the mint price, three years and February, 1797, the bank of England two months only. was restrained from making payments 8. " That during the latter part, in cash by an order of council, confirm- and for some time after the close of ed and continued to the present time the American war, during the years
1781, 1782, and 1783, the exchange “ That the exchange with Hamwith Hamburgh fell from 34. I to burgh was in January 1798, 38.2; 31.5. being about eight per cent.; and January 1799, 37.7; January 1800, the price of foreign gold rose from 32; January 1801, 29.8; being in the 31. 178. 6d. to 41. 2s. 3d. per ounce, whole a fall of above 22 per cent. and the price of dollars from 5s. 4d. In January 1802, 32.2; and December per ounce, to 5s. 11 d.; and that the 1802, 34; being in the whole a rise bank-notes in circulation were reduced of about 13 per cent. between March, 1782, and December, 12. “ That during all the periods 1782, from 9,160,0001. to 5,995,0001. above referred to, previous to the combeing a diminution of above one-third, mencement of the war with France in and continued (with occasional varia. 1793, the principal states of Europe tions) at such reduced rate until De- preserved their independence, and the cember 1784 ; and that the exchange trade and correspondence thereof were with Hamburgh rose to 34.6, and carried on conformably to the accus. the price of gold fell to 31. 175. 6d. tomed law of nations ; and that aland dollars to 5s. 14d per ounce, be. though from the time of the invasion fore the 25th of February 1787, the of Holland by the French in 1795, amount of bank-notes being then in the trade of Great Britain with the creased to 8,688,0001.
continent was in part circumscribed 9. “ That the amount of bank-notes and interrupted, it was carried on in February 1787, was 8,688,0001, freely with several of the most con. and in February 1791, 11,699,0001.; siderable ports, and commercial corand that during the same period the respondence was maintained at all times sum of 10,704,000l. was coined in previous to the summer of 1807. gold; and that the exchange with 13. “ That since the month of No. Hamburgh rose about three per cent. vember 1806, and especially since the
10. “ That the average amount of summer of 1807, a system of exclusion bank-notes in the year 1795, was about has been established against the Bri, 11,497,0001. ; and on the 25th of tish trade on the continent of Europe, Feb. 1797, was reduced to 8,640,0001, under the influence and terror of the during which time the exchange with French power, and enforced with a Hamburgh fell from 36 to 35, being degree of violence and rigour never about 3 per cent, and the said amount before attempted: whereby all trade was increased to 11,855,0001, exclu- and correspondence between Great Bri. sive of 1,542,0001. in notes of 11. and tain and the continent of Europe has 21. each, on the 1st of February 1798, (with some occasionalexceptions, chief during which time the exchange rose ly in Sweden and in certain parts of to 38.2. being about 9 per cent. Spain and Portugal) been hazardous,
11. “ That the average price of precarious, and expensive, the trade wheat, per quarter, in England, in being loaded with excessive freights the year 1798, was 50s. 3d. ; in 1799, to foreign shipping, and other un67s. 5dd. ; in 1800, 113s. 7d ; 1801, usual charges : and that the trade of 113s. 3d.; and in 1802, 67s. 5d. Great Britain with the United States
" The amount of bank-notes was of America has also been uncertain At and above 51. Under. Together and interrupted; and that in addition in 1798, 10,920,4001. 1,786,0001. 12,706,4001. to these circumstances, which have in 1799,12,480,7901. 1,162,1101. 13,674,9061. in 1800, 13,421,9201. 1,831,8201. 15,253,7401.
· greatly effected the course of payments in 1801, 13,454,3701. 2,715,1801. 16,169,5501.
between this country and other nations, in 1802, 16,139,9801. 1,364,1701. 17,554,4501. the naval and military expenditure of
the united kingdom in foreigo parts the amount of gold coin in circulation has for three years past been very great; was greatly diminished. and the price of grain, owing to a de. 15. “ That the situation of this ficiency in the crops, higher than at kingdom, in respect of its political and any time, whereof the accounts appear commercial relations with foreign counbefore parliament, except during the tries, as above stated, is sufficient, withscarcity of 1800 and 1801 ; and that out any change in the internal value large quantities thereof have been im- of its currency, to account for the unported.
favourable state of the foreign exchan14. " That the amount of currency ges, and for the high price of bullion, necessary for carrying on the transac- 16. “ That it is highly important tions of the country, must bear a pro- that the restriction on the payments portion to the extent of its trade and in cash of the bank of England should its public revenue and expenditure; be removed, whenever the political and and that the annual amount of the ex- commercial relations of the country ports and imports of Great Britain, on shall render it compatible with the an average of three years, ending 5th public interest. of January, 1797, was 48,732,6511. 17. “ That under the circumstances official value; the average amount of affecting the political and commercial revenue paid into the exchequer, in relations of this kingdom with foreign cluding monies raised by lottery, countries, it would be highly inexpe16,759,1651.3 andof loans 18,409,8421. dient and dangerous, now to fix a demaking together 37,169,0077. ; and finite period for the removal of the the average amount of the total expen- restriction of cash payments at the diture of Great Britain, 42,855,1111. ; bank of England, prior to the term and that the average amount of bank. already fixed by the act 44 Geo. 3. notes in circulation (all of which were c.1. of six months after the conclusion for five pounds, or upwards) was about of a definitive treaty of peace.” 10,782,7801. ; and that 57,274,6177. had been coined in gold during his majesty's reign, of which a large sum was then in circulation:
Earl Stanhope's Resolutions, “That the annual amount of the exports and imports of Great Britain, on 1. “ That an internal circulating an average of three years endifig 5th mediuin, which shall be a legal meaof January, 1811, supposing the im- sure of the relative value of different ports from the East Indies and China, commodities and things, is essential for in the year ending 5th of January, 1811, transacting the private affairs of indito have been equal to their amount in viduals, and the public concerns of the the preceding year, was 77,971,318l. ; state, and for enabling debtors to make the average amount of revenue paid to each of their respective creditors a into the exchequer, 62,763,7461. ; and legal tender in satisfaction of his or of loans, 12,673,5481. making together her just demands, without any unjust 75,437,2941.; and the average amount loss to any debtor on that account, of the total expenditure of Great Bri- 2. “ That it is most highly expeditain, 82,205,0661. ; and that the aver, ent that such internal circulating me. age amount of bank-notes, above 51. dium and legal measure of the relative was about 14,265,8501. and of notes value of different commodities and under 51. about 5,283,3301. ; and that things, be so contrived as not to be
VOL. IV, PART II...
unsteady, fluctuating, and variable ; trict, and likewise free from any loss but to be fixed and invariable so far as that might arise from the accidental or the nature of things can possibly ad. intentional destruction of any dwelling. mit.
house, banking-house, or other build. - 3. “ That two or more circulating ing, by fire or otherwise ; and, moremediums, which, under any given cir- over, free from any loss of interest on cumstances whatsoever, can vary con- any quantity, however considerable, of siderably in their relative value when circulating medium, which shall or compared to each other, cannot, under may hereafter exist, and be transferasuch given circumstances, exist toge- ble in any of the various ways abovether, so as to form together a fixed, mentioned, and (above all things ) free invariable, and proper circulating me. from being affected by the course of dium, and a proper legal measure of all or any of the foreign exchanges. the relative value of different commo- 7.“ That neither gold nor silver dities and things.
ever did possess, or ever can possess, the 4. “ That it is, therefore, highly various important and requisite qualiexpedient, that whenever (for the sake ties which are above particularly speof more convenience different internal cified ; and that, not only each of those circulating mediums shall be by law precious metals (technically so called,) either established or allowed, some one but likewise every one of the other aronly of them be made the permanent ticles of merchandize, by means of legal standard measure of the relative which British debts to foreign nations value of different commodities and can be discharged, is (from the irrethings.
mediable Auctability of their value, 5“ That it is therefore expedient arising from the necessary fluctability that such permanent legal standard of the course of foreign exchanges) measure as aforesaid, be so contrived an improper and unfit legal standard as to be divisible into such parts as to serve as a fixed, invariable, and permay bear to each other any requirable manent measure of the relative value proportion, in order not only that all of different commodities and things round sums, but likewise that all frac. within the country itself, which is the tional sums whatsoever, may be paid grand and essential end and object of and satisfied by means thereof. an internal circulating medium, whe
6. i. That it is moreover expedient ther the same be imperiously wanted that such permanent legal standard for the use of individuals within this measure, and circulating medium as realm, in order for them to purchase aforesaid, be so contrived as to be from each other, either the objects of easily, rapidly, and safely transferable, luxury, or even the necessaries of life, without expence, from any one person or whether such internal circulating to any other person, and from any one medium be required for the indispenpart of the country to another, either sable services of the state. for the use and benefit of the same in- 8. “That the want of gold in cir.. dividual, or of any other individual, culation, in this country at present, free from any depreciation, defalcation, prevents bankers and other persons, or discount, and free from any loss by who may have large payments to make, forgery, or by wear and tear, and also from making, in any such case, any free from any danger of loss that might legal tender to the amount of the sum arise from housebreakers, highwayrob- of money so due and payable, and in bers, mobs, insurrections, or even from discharge thereof; and that the same is foreign invasion in any particular dis- a grievance of such an immense magni. tude, that it requires a wise, speedy, or any other kind of circulating paper radical, and efficacious remedy, which whatever. shall completely prevent the possibili- 11. “ That, in order to satisfy the ty of this nation being ever again de- public respecting the solvency of the prived of its proper internal circula- bank of England, and to prevent all ting medium, either from the circum- future apprehensions upon that importstances of the balance of payments, in ant subject, it is expedient, that the respect to foreign countries, being at governor and company of the bank of any time against us, and which must England be by law compelled to lay ever of necessity tend to order our gold before both Houses of Parliament, in to be exported, in order to make such the first week of every session of parbalance, or from the circumstance of liament, a full, clear, luminous, and saany temporary alarm which may in- tisfactory account of the state of their deed cause our gold to be hoarded; affairs; and that a maximum be always or even any other circumstance or com. fixed by law with respect to the num. bination of circumstances ; and that ber and value of the notes which may parliament should take into its most be issued by the said governor and serious consideration this important company, and which may at one time subject, and must adopt such measures be out in circulation. as shall effectively prevent the return 12. “ That it is expedient, that the of so intolerable a burden.
bank of England shall establish vari9. “ That it would be an act of the ous branches throughout the whole greatest injustice, and an act like country, and in many parts of the me. wise both impolitic and rash, if par. tropolis, and shall cause books to be liament were to make, by law, either opened in each of those places; and bank-notes, or any other paper circu- that persons possessed of bank-notes lating medium, a regular legal tender, shall be entitled, upon depositing such on account of this curious circumstance, notes, to have a credit in the bankviz. that the person to whom such a book at the place where such deposit tender may be made, may not be cer- is made, equal to the value in pounds tain that such note or other paper cir-r sterling, which is specified in such culating medium is not forged. notes to be payable to the bearer on
10. « That for the various weighty demand ; and that every person having reasons aforesaid, it is highly expedient, such credit so entered to his account that a permanent mode of making pay. in any one place as aforesaid, shall be ments be established, by means of entitled to transfer the whole of such which mode, legal tenders, even to the sum so accredited, or any part thereof, largest amount, may be made, without either to his own account or to that gold, as gold ought never again to be of any other person, at any place where relied upon for that legal and necessa- any such book is opened. ry purpose, on account of the impos- 13. “ That for the perfect security sibility of procuring gold at all times of all persons who shall at any time be in sufficient quantity; and by means possessed of any such credit as aforeof which same mode, legal tenders for said, it is expedient that triplicate corfractional sums may be made, without responding entries be made, the first either silver or copper, and by means of which shall be on the bank-book at of which same mode also, legal tenders such place, the second of which shall be may be made in all countries, without delivered to the person who shall have, tendering in payment either bank-notes brought the bank.notes as a certificate