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continued in the accustomed manner, even
though the amount of public balances
should exceed the sum of ten millions.
No. III.-Copy of a letter from the Chan-
cellor of the Exchequer, to the Go-
vernor and Deputy Governor of the

to shew that circumstances may perhaps have occurred to render some encrease not unreasonable; but the event which would bring these circumstances most properly under consideration, is, I am afraid, removed to such a distance, that the court of Directors will, I hope, find no difficulty in agreeing with me to wave the discussion of this point for the present.-With respect to that part of their Resolutions, by which the Court of Directors agree to advance €3,000,000l. on exchequer bills, without interest, during the war, provided it is stipulated to be returned within six months after the ratification of a definitive treaty of peace, and under the complete understanding that all transactions between the public and the Bank shall be continued in the accustomed man

Downing-street, Jan. 15th, 1808. Gentlemen; The liberal disposition which has been manifested by the Court of Directors, to concur in the principal arrangements which I have thought it my duty to suggest for their consideration, has afforded me great satisfaction.-While I feel convinced that my proposal has not lost sight of the public interest, the manner in which it has been received by the Bank confirms me in thinking that it has not proceeded without a due consideration also of the fair and reasonable interests and ex-ner, even though the amount of public bapectation of that respectable corporation. lances should exceed the sum of ten milUnder this impression, I am strongly lions ;" the proposal to limit the repayinclined to give way to the suggestions of ment to six months instead of twelve, after the Bank in the minor part of the arrange- the ratification of a definitive treaty of ment, and will therefore accede to the peace, is an alteration in the arrangement scale of allowances therein proposed for from which I do not feel myself disposed the management of the public debt, so to dissent, as this abridgment of the term far as it applies to present circumstances, has probably appeared of importance to or to such as can be expected to occur the Court of Directors.-With respect to within any short period. In this view, the understanding under which the court therefore, I shall not object to the alter- is willing to lend the sum of 3 millions, ation by which it is proposed that the al- I have only to observe, that, subject to lowance to be paid by the public for ma- this advance, it never was my intention to nagement, shall be at the rate of 340l. per attempt, during its continuance, any almillion upon any amount of debt between teration in the course of business between 400 and 600 millions inclusive, instead of the Bank and the Exchequer, or to propose limiting that rate of allowance to any a- to withdraw from the Bank any account mount between 400 and 550 millions, as I now by law directed to be kept there. had intended; and according to this ar- This explanation will, I trust, be entirely rangement, the reduced rate of 300l. per satisfactory to the Court of Directors: million will be allowed upon any excess and I have only to add, that subject to the of debt now existing, or which may here- modification now proposed respecting the after be created, above 600 millions, in- management, I shall be ready to submit stead of commencing from the amount of to parliament, to sanction an agreement, 550 millions. But with respect to the founded in every respect upon those resoproposal for increasing the rate of allow-lutions. I have the honour to be, &c. ance for management to 500l. per million, in case the unredeemed debt should be reduced to 300 millions I am persuaded that upon reconsideration the Court of Directors will agree with me in the difficulty or rather the impossibility, of my proposing to parliament, at this moment, to grant a higher rate of allowance upon a debt of 300 millions, than was granted by law in 1791 upon a decreasing debt of 220 millions; and I trust that they will consent to withdraw this part of their resolution. In stating this, I by no means intend to undervalue the reasons which may be urged

SP. PERCEVAL. No. IV. Copy of a Letter from the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the Governor and Deputy Governor of the Bank.

Downing-street, Jan. 19, 1808. Gentlemen; Referring to the several communications which I have had the honour of holding with you, and to the correspondence which has passed between us, on the subject of an arrangement to be formed between the public and the Bank; and especially to the proposals which Í transmitted to you on the 11th instant; to

Mr. Ponsonby's Motion relative to [252 the resolution of the Court of Directors of in the general course of business between the 14th instant, suggesting certain alter-the Bank and the Exchequer, nor any reations in those proposals; and to my gulation introduced by which the accounts letter of the 15th instant, consenting in now by law directed to be kept at the part to those alterations ;-I think it pro- Bank, shall be withdrawn from thence. I per, in order to remove every possibility have the honour to be, &c. SP. PERCEVAL. of misunderstanding between us, briefly No. V.-Copy of a Paper, intituled, to recapitulate the terms of the arrange"Resolution of the Court of Direcment, which I have expressed my readi- tors, on Mr. Perceval's Letter of the ness to submit to parliament, in case it 19th Jan. 1808, and Recommendashould meet with the final concurrence tion thereof to the General Court." and assent of the Bank.-Under the three- At a Court of Directors, at the Bank, on following heads; viz. Thursday the 21st Jan. 1808, the following Letters, from the Chancellor of the Exchequer being read, viz. "Downing-street, Jan. 15, 1808. Gentlemen, The liberal disposition," &c."Downing-street, Jan. 19, 1808. Gentlemen, Referring to the several," &c.

2d. Allow

1st. Unclaimed Dividends. ance for Charges of managing the Public Deḥt. 3d. Public Balances kept at the Bank.

I have proposed;-1st. That the Bank shall now advance out of the Unclaimed Dividends in their hands, the sum of 500,000l. for the use of the public, in addition to the sum already advanced out of that fund pursuant to the Act 31 Geo. III. cap. 33, and under similar conditions; provided always, that the amount of such dividends remaining in the Bank shall not be reduced below 100,000l. 2dly. That for the management of the public debt, the Bank shall henceforward be allowed as follows: 3401. per million per annum, upon the whole of the unredeemed debt, whenever it may amount to 400 millions, and not exceed 600 millions.-300l. per million per annum, upon the whole amount of any excess of Debt unredeemed above 600 millions; the said 600 millions continuing in such case to be managed at the aforesaid rate of 3407. per million per annum.-4501. per million per annum, upon the whole unredeemed debt, whenever it may exceed 300 millions, and not amount to 400 millions. And that with respect to the rate of allowance which it: may be proper to fix for the management of any debt less than 300 millions, it has been deemed advisable to defer the consideration of that subject until the actual diminution of the debt may be such as to require some determination upon it. 3dly. That the Bank shall, on or before the 5th of April next, advance for the public service in the present year, 3,000,000l. by way of Loan, without interest; the principal to be secured by exchequer bills, to be deposited in the hands of the Bank, payable at the expiration of six months after the ratification of a definitive treaty of peace. And it is understood that during the continuance of this advance by the Bank, no alteration is to be proposed

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The governor acquainted the court, that the committee of treasury having considered the said letters, recommend, that the terms proposed in the letter of the 19th inst. be complied with. The court agreed thereto.-Resolved, That the chancellor of the exchequer's letter, of the 19th inst. be laid before the general court; and that the governor be authorized to inform the proprietors, that this court is of opinion, that the proposals contained in the said letter be acceded to.

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No. VI.-Copy of a Paper, intituled, "Resolution of the General Court on Mr. Perceval's Letter of the 19th Jan. 1808."

At a General Court of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England, held at their public Office in Threadneedle street, on Thursday the 21st Jan. 1808, the following Letter from the Chancellor of the Exchequer being read, viz.

"Downing-street, Jan, 19, 1808. Gen tlemen, Referring," &c.

The governor further acquainted the court, that the court of directors, having taken the said letter into consideration, are opinion to recommend to this court to comply with the proposals contained in the said letter. The question was then put, That the proposals contained in the above letter, be complied with on the part of the Bank? And carried in the affirmative.

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which he had given notice to the house. ence, and the threats of a formidable The object he had in view was, principally, neighbouring power," He had thereto ascertain how far his majesty's minis- fore framed a Résolution for the pur ters had been justified in advising his ma- pose of prócuring the substance or copies jesty to employ his naval and military of any communication received from the forces in the Expedition against Copenha- court of Denmark towards the close of the gen. That this was a subject which pe- last war, containing the apology above alculiarly demanded the enquiry of the luded to. He was desirous to propose this house, he was fully authorized to state on Resolution, because his majesty's Declarathe Declaration issued by his majesty him- tion charged Denmark with having entered self, in the first clause of which, his majesty intó an hotile confederacy agamst this declares that he owes to himself and to Eu- country, and with having defended that rope a frank exposition of the motives hostility by declaring that she was comwhich had dictated his conduct with re-pelled to do so by the threats of a great gard to Denmark. It was scarcely neces- neighbouring power. He had inquired sary for him to say, that in speaking of into this subject, and he had been told, the Declaration by his majesty and of the perhaps erroneously, that the court of speech from the throne, he meant to direct Denmark never did send such apology for his observations solely against his majes- the abandonment of its neutrality. He ty's ministers; and he must also be un- was desirous to know the truth of the fact, derstood in speaking of the subject to and he could not conceive what objection which he was about to call the attention could be made to the production of these of the house, to refer to his majesty's papers, if they actually existed. The ministers, and not to his majesty himself, transaction had taken place about six or to whose native rectitude and honour, he 7 years ago; there could be no apprehenwas convinced that the transaction was sion of disclosing any source of secret inas opposite, as it had been disgraceful to telligence; nor any thing could be discothe projectors of it, and disadvantageous vered which the Declaration had not asto the country. In order to consider the serted-that assertion he did not believe subject maturely, it would be necessary to to be founded on fact. He had shaped enquire; first, what the disposition of Den- another Resolution, for the purpose of asmark had been; next, what the conduct certaining what information had been reof Russia had been; and, lastly, what ceived by his majesty's ministers respectmeans France possessed of executing any ing the conduct of Denmark, with respect project hostile to this country in the Baltic. to its naval force. He was desirous, that It would be idle to enquire into the dispo- all the reports made during the last year sition of France, with respect to this coun- by the king's resident at Copenhagen, as try, for it was well known that the ruler of to the steps taken by the Danes for augthat nation was well disposed to unite all menting their marine, manning their fleet, the force that he could against Great Bri- &c. should be laid before the house; betain. But, to justify his majesty's minis- cause, if Denmark were really hostile to this ters for the steps that they had taken, it was country, and were disposed to unite with necessary to ascertain, not the disposition of France and Russia against us, she would France, but the means which France pos- unquestionably have exerted herself to sessed, of manifesting that di position in a put her naval force in a state of respectamanner dangerous to this country. In bility. The practice in Denmark with drawing up the Resolutions on which he regard to their marine, he understood to should found his motion for an Address to be this: the Danish sailors were obliged his majesty, requesting the communica- to inscribe their names in certain offices, tion of such papers, as, in his opinion, so that the Danish government knew at would elucidate the subject, he had gone all times, pretty nearly, the amount of pretty far back. In his majesty's Decla- sailors in their dominions, as, if the sailors ration of the 25th of Sept. 1807 (p. 115), quitted Denmark, they were obliged to an allusion was made to an apology stated state in what ship they went, and by these to have been received from Denmark at means, the government knew the number the close of a former war, for having en- of their sailors and their distribution in tered into a hostile confederacy against the different parts of the world, to which Great Britain, which apology "was found- they were carried by the mercantile maed on the avowed inability of Denmark rine of Denmark. The extent of Danish to resist the operation of external influ- commerce, and the distant voyages un

dertaken by the Danish sailors, rendered it impossible for the Danish government to man a considerable fleet at a short notice. It was not as in England, where, owing to the immense number of our sailors, and the extent of our commerce, we were enabled by impressment and other means, to fit out and man a powerful fleet in a few weeks. Denmark to do this must await the arival of her merchant fleets. If, therefore, Denmark had actually meditated hostility against Great Britain, it was impossible to conceive that she would not have demonstrated that lurking intention before the period of lord Gambier's arrival in the Sound. He asked therefore, if his majesty's resident at Copenhagen had sent any advices to this effect? His majesty's ministers had told him, that they meant to refuse an answer; he hoped the house would not agree with them. He also wished to know, if reports had been received by his majesty's ministers from any naval officer employed in the Baltic during the last year, relative to an augmentation of the naval force of Denmark. It was matter of public notoriety, that during the last year scarcely a week elapsed in which some naval officer of skill and reputation had not passed the Sound, in consequence of our intercourse with Sweden, with Russia, and even with Prus-likely soon to be forced into a state of sia, until the power of that country had been demolished. It was hardly possible that any extraordinary naval preparations could have been made at Copenhagen, without their having been noticed by the expert and experienced officers to whom he alluded. If this information were denied, why was it denied? because it did not exist; because his majesty's minister at Copenhagen did not send home any information of a preparation for hostility in Denmark, for he could not have done so with truth; because his majesty's naval officers had not noticed any naval exertions, in the ports of Denmark, for no such exertions had been manifested. The house would therefore be justified in concluding that no steps had been taken by Denmark, which had awakened jealousy or roused suspicion. He had made it his business to enquire what had been the conduct of Denmark with regard to their own ships, and their valuable cargoes, which were in the ports of Great Britain, at the very time that the Expedition against Copenhagen was fitting out. When admiral Gambier was preparing to sail, many of the Danish captains hearing,

amongst other rumours, that it was as likely that the British force was destined against Denmark as against any other place, consulted the Danish consul on the subject. The consul applied to the Chamber of Commerce in Copenhagen, a branch of the public administration of government. He received for answer, that there was not the smallest ground for anxiety or alarm on the part of the Danish mercantile interest, for that no such cir cumstances existed, which tended to disturb the neutrality of Denmark, or to place her in a state of hostility with Great Britain. At the time that this answer was received, there were 350 Danish ships. in British ports, with cargoes amounting to two millions sterling. Was it possible to suppose, that under these circumstances, when the Danish government declared to her commercial interest that they need not hurry themselves-that there was no fear of an interruption of the good understanding with Great Britain;-was it possible to suppose, that when a third of the commercial property of Denmark was in our hands, the Danish government meditated hostility against us? Such a thing was incredible. But it was said, that though Denmark herself might entertain no hostile disposition against Great Britain, she was

hostility, and that, therefore, we were justi-
fied in seizing her marine, without any pre-
vious notice to Denmark, and without any
previous behaviour on her part to provoke
us to that seizure. If our conduct could
be at all justified on this ground, it must
be on the necessity of anticipating the
views of the enemy with regard to the
Danish fleet. No writer on the law of na-
tions, or on any other law, or on common
justice, had ever maintained that one
power could be justified in taking from
another power what belonged to it, un-
less a third power meant, and was able,
to take the same thing. The justification
of this step, therefore, must rest on the
necessity of it, which would depend on
these circumstances: the weakness of
Denmark, or her indisposition to resist
compulsion; the strength of her enemy,
and the certainty that she must yield to
its force. Every shadow of proof that
Denmark must have yielded to a hostile
confederacy was out of the case.
It was
necessary to enquire what were the means
which France possessed of accomplishing
her object. One of his Resolutions went
to ascertain what information his majesty's

the Danes ? "Enter into an alliance with
us, declare yourselves against France, and
remain united to England; but first we
must deprive you of your power; for we
have so little confidence in your good
faith, that we will conclude no treaty
with you until you are dispossessed of the
means of infringing it. Say you are not
worthy of credence; ratify your own re-
proach, and we will allow you to be our
friends." To such a proposition, nothing
but absolute conquest could ever make a
nation submit. But what means did France
possess of compelling Denmark to join the
hostile confederacy against England, if
she were not inclined to do so? It had
been said, that France, having taken Jut-
land and Holstein, might have marched
an army across the Great Belt, when frozen,
and have seized the Danish fleet.
had consulted books, and other authentic
sources of information on the subject,
and he did not find that any considerable
force had passed the Great Belt on the
ice for above 150 years. It had rarely
happened that even individuals had been
enabled to cross in that manner.
It was
well known that the cold in most of
the European states was not now what
it had been. The draining of morasses,
the cutting of forests, and the general
cultivation and improvement of coun-
tries, had made great alterations in their
climates; so that not only had no troops
passed the Great Belt on the ice during
the last 150 years, but during the last
60 years no instance had occurred in
which that arm of the sea had been so


ministers had received respecting the power that France possessed of seizing the Danish navy. If his majesty's ministers knew the intentions of France on this subject, surely they were not so negligent as to omit informing themselves of her power to carry those intentions into execution. What was the relative situation of the two countries? At the time that admiral Gambier sailed, a great part of the Danish army was encamped in Holstein; a considerable French force was also in the same place. This disposition of the two armies shewed no intention in Denmark to yield to France. Had she entertained such an intention she would not advance a force against a French force. The question then came to be, Was the French force sufficient "to induce or compel" (such were the terms of his majesty's Declaration) Denmark to yield to the views of France ? In his opinion it was utterly insufficient. Let the house consider the situation of Denmark. She possessed considerable countries on the main continent of Europe: but she had still more valuable possessions in Norway, the Danish islands, (on one of which her capital was situated), and considerable foreign colonies. Had France, therefore, required Denmark to give up her fleet that it might be employed against Great Britain, what would Denmark have answered? "No, you have no right to make such a demand; it is a manifest usurpation on your part; if you make me choose between hostility with England and hostility with France, I prefer the latter; for, if I quarrel with England, Eng-bound up by frost, that a general would land can take from me all my foreign possessions; she can injure my marine, and employ Sweden to attack me in Norway. It is, therefore, better for me to keep that which you cannot take from me, than to sacrifice it by a war with England." This would have been the conduct of Denmark, if the rashness and precipitation of his majesty's ministers had not forced her into hostility against Great Britain. Were it asked, when we proposed to her to surrender her fleet to us and to maintain her alliance with us, why she did not accede to that proposal, he would answer, that we had never made any proposal to Denmark which it was possible for an independent state to accept. If, in private life, a similar proposal had been made to any gentleman of that house, would it not have been considered an insult? What did we say to VOL. X.

have ventured to march an army across it. But even had it so chanced that a very hard frost should have suggested to the French, the idea of marching across the Belt, what would have been the consequence? A noble lord had stated the other evening that there were 35,000 troops in Zealand, certainly there were 30,000 in Holstein: this amounted to 65,000 Danes. The Swedes were their allies, and so were we; and was it possible that France could have got a force over the Great Belt, in spite of the Danish force, and the Swedish force, and the British force united? Had the. Belt not been frozen over, the French would have no chance whatever of getting into Zealand. The Danes themselves could have kept them out; and therefore to imagine that the conjunct Danish, Swedish, and British marine could not have prevented


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