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lation upon which the loan was grounded. The unclaimed dividends, according to the report of the committee, amounted on the 8th of July to 986,5737. and at the lowest period of some antecedent years they had not fallen below 900,000l. This calculation had been taken on the day before payment, whereas it ought to have been taken on the day after. In demanding 500,0007. for the public in addition to 370,739. advanced under the act of 1791, provision was to be made that the balance ready for the payment of the public creditor should not be reduced below 100,000l. and according as any reduction below that sum should take place, a proportion of the 500,000l. should be refunded from the
The definition of an unclaimed dividend was one that had lain in the bank undemanded from the day of payment of dividends before the last. The bank in agree
this species of dividend would have exceeded the amount of the precise fund; and therefore the governor and directors would not undertake to go so far without the consent of the proprietors of bank stock in general courts. It was impossible to ask the bank to make the advance. out of such a fund on its own authority. But when the power of the public came to be considered, with respect to the money due to its creditors, it appeared that the public provided sufficiently for the secu
how it operated upon a balance of 10,000,000l. By the former advance of 3,000,000l., at 3 per cent. when the legal interest was 5 per cent. the public gained an advantage of 60,000l. a year, which was equivalent to a capital of 1,200,000l. which was to be computed towards the amount of the total benefits realized at present. In addition to that ought to be taken also the amount of balances then in contemplation, according to Mr. Thornton's evidence, which was 2,500,0007. This amount of balances was to be deducted from 10,000,000l. and left 7,500,000l., which was the amount upon which the present arrangement was to be calculated. The arrangement now entered into, gave to the public, besides the 500,000l. of un-exchequer to make up the deficiency. claimed dividends, one-half of the reduced balance after the arrangements made by Mr. Pitt. Then there was to be added the 1,200,000l. in consequence of the arrangement entered into by the noble lording to pay 500,000l. out of the surplus of opposite, which made the advantage to the public considerably more than a moiety of the benefit derived by the bank. If some would say that the 2,500,000l. arranged for by Mr. Pitt, according to Mr. Thornton's evidence, should not be deducted from the total balances of 10,000,000l. he submitted, that on the full consideration of all the circumstances, the agreement now proposed was as fair a participation of the profits of the bank, as the public could expect, under the Report of the Committee of Finance.-Having sta-rity of all demands, when a constant bated these circumstances, as to the manner of reforming the allowances of management, it remained for him only to say, that the precise benefit to be given to the public was an advance of three millions without interest, during the war, and till six months after a definitive treaty. Thus far the bank had given its full sanction to the arrangement. On the next head, the bank had acceded so completely, that what he had to submit would be found so fair and equitable between the public and its creditors, and so perfectly competent to the right and powers of the house, that there could be difficulty of arranging and agreeing to it without the consent of the bank. He alluded here to the unclaimed dividends. This, like the other parts of the present arrangement, originated in the Report of the Committee of Finance. But the manner in which the account of unclaimed dividends had been called for by that committec, had rather produced an increase in the calcu
lance of 100,000i. was reserved, never to be reduced below that amount, without a constant reparation of the deficiency. These were two of the three heads of arrangement completely sanctioned by the bank; the third was sanctioned in principle; and though the house had to make the arrangement between the public and the public creditor, without the intervention of the bank, there was no doubt of the equity of the arrangement, and, therefore, the house could have no difficulty in acceding to and confirming it. On the first head, the public would have an advantage of 3,000,000l. on account of management, which would be an annual saving of 65,000l. This was so obviously beneficial, that there was no necessity to expatiate on it.
The public, he was sure, would receive this, as well as the other parts of the arrangement, with satisfaction. He was sure the more the whole was considered, the more it would be found just and advantageous. There was no room
tor. He applauded him for his perseverance in that point, upon which the bank seemed to be somewhat perverse; namely, to take such a part of the unclaim
for complaint on the part of the proprie- | fringing the faith due to the public creditors of bank stock, as if the governors and directors favoured government, nor any ground of complaint on the part of the public, as if the government shewed favour to the bank. It was not to be pre-ed dividends as would never leave the basumed, that in taking this money the country took the profits and savings of the bank, which the bank alone was entitled to touch. The money taken was a portion of the profits of the public money, which the public might dispose of otherwise, if it suited its convenience or its interest. Many modes had been shown to the managers of the bank, by which the public money might be economically employed for the public out of the bank. It was on a mutual consideration of the convenience and advantage derived on both sides that the arrangement was framed. The public was at liberty to take advantage of the deposits to save interest incurred in other quarters; but from motives of regard to general convenience, this arrangement was mutually agreed to. He now submitted it in the hope of obtaining the full sanction of the house. The agreement while advantageous to the public was fair and equitable to the bank. Others might look to greater advantage to the public; but he was sure the public interest would be found to be fully attended to on a fair consideration of the whole of the circumstances. The right hon. gent. concluded with moving, "That the sum of 500,000l. being part of the balances arising at the bank of England from the dividends of the public debt due and not demanded, and of the balances of unclaimed lottery prizes, be paid into the exchequer, provided that if at any time the balances remaining in the hands of the cashier of the bank on both these accounts, shall be reduced to a less sum than 100,000l. exclusive of the said sum of 500,000l, and of 376,7391. to which the sum of 500,000l. paid into the exchequer by the said governor and company, in pursuance of an act passed in the 31st of his present majesty, hath been reduced, then and in such case so much of the said first-mentioned sum of 500,000l. shall be repaid to the said governor and company as shall be equal to the sum by which the said balance shall be less than the sum of 100,000l."
Mr. Bankes agreed with the right hon. gentleman, that it was most just that the country should avail itself of the profits arising from its own money, without in
lance left at the bank lower than what had
siderable benefit from the public balances | right hon. gent. might smile, but he conremaining in their hands. To suppose otherwise, would be to suppose that the bank were ignorant of that with which every common banker was conversant. He did not like any thing that drew the bank into too close a connection with the ministry. He wished them to feel mutual good will, but to be perfectly independent of each other. Were he asked, however, would he adopt the bargain such as it was, or change the mode of managing the debt, he would answer, that so many difficulties and inconveniences must result from such a change, that inadequate and disadvantageous as the terms were, if they were the best that could be obtained, he would acquiesce in them rather than set the whole business afloat.
tended that they would then be on the footing of every private banker. We left ten millions in their hands, and we wished them to do that which would cost them 100,000l. What private banker was there that would not be very happy to have a customer on similar tems? The right hon. gent. seemed particularly desirous to have a capital advanced by the bank; a thing in his opinion unjustifiable, except by the strongest necessity. There ought not to be the most distant implication that the public gained by the restriction on the payment of specie. By a participation of profit between a government and a bank, other countries had at various times been most deeply injured. In the present state of Europe, it was most desireable to shew the enemy that our resourses were such as enabled us to meet him with confidence. It was on this principle that he admired the plan of his noble friend near him (lord H. Petty), which professed to put the finances of the country upon a footing that would allow of a continnance of war for many years. Could an advocate of Buonaparte's have better materials for depreciating the means of England, than by a reference to the bargain made by the right hon. gent.? Desirous of avoiding a public loan,the influence of government had been exerted on the bank to procure a loan of 3 millions without interest. The right hon. gent. after this step, would find it difficult to convince a Frenchman that we were not driven to shifts and subterfuges. In recent times similar expedients had been resorted to in France, which at the period of their occurrence had met with the reprehension of this country. The Caisse des Comptes, in particular, had furnished a similar loan to the French government, the principle of which transaction had been here very generally condemned. Besides, never was there a period so advantageous for the negociation of a public loan as the present, owing to the great stagnation of
Mr. Tierney observed, that the right hon. chancellor of the exchequer, seemed to think it a matter of course, that provided the nature of the bargain, as to the public gain derived from it, were approved, no other objection could arise to it. In the outset he would state this vital objection, which he confessed was not new; that while the public restricted the bank from paying in specie, it was at least highly indelicate that the public should derive benefit from that restriction. But could the right hon. gent. have asked for a loan of 3 millions had it not been for that restriction? Would any bank directors tell him, that the loan would have been granted with so much composure, had it not been for that restriction? The right hon. gent. concluded that this was no advance from the bank, but from the public money. How? There were certainly large public balances in the bank, but they were all appropriated to specific purposes. The bank lent this money for what purpose government pleased. If that were not a Joan from the bank, what was it? He alowed that the public ought to derive some advantage from the bank, but he differed from the right hon. gent. with regard to the manner in which those advan-trade, and the great quantity of money tages should be derived. He would agree with him, that in consideration of the large public balances held by the bank, the bank should furnish the public with the interest of 3 millions; or instead of a loan of 3 millions, that they should pay an annual sum of 150,000l. With regard to the rate of allowance charged by the bank for the management of the national debt, in his opinion the bank ought to do that business without any allowance whatever. The
necessarily afloat, and for which no employment could be discovered. The right hon. gent. seemed to think, that the bank agreed very cordially to this loan of 3 millions. By a reference to the Papers, it would appear that this was not the case. It was said by them, that it would be highly imprudent in the bank to make to the public an advance, amounting to half the public balances in their hands. He agreed with the bank in this respect; it was very
imprudent, and it was very extraordinary for this purpose? If so, it was a strong arthat the bank should have put out of their gument against the step; and he certainly own reach such a sum as 3 millions of did recollect, although he would not draw money. Whence did this sum proceed? any inference from the circumstance, that Parliament ought to know; for if they about the time of the renewal of the bank took it, they would subject themselves to charter, a report was prevalent that above be responsible for any inconveniences a million of small notes had been issued that the bank might sustain in consequence. from the bank beyond the ordinary cirIn 9 years the bank had advanced six culation. If they did not mean to enmillions to the public. Since the restric- crease their notes, did they mean to distion upon the payment of specie, they had tress the trade of the country, by refusing shared no less than 4 millions in bonuses to discount the bills of the merchants? among themselves: they had increased This would also be a strong argument the dividends on their capital from 7 to 10 against the step. On the face of the affair, per cent. If their profits had been exten-there appeared a clear profit resulting to sive enough to justify all this, then the the bank on the management of the naright hon. gent. had not made half so good tional debt of about 100,000l. Why a bargain as he ought to have made. At this, in addition to the advantages they any rate, it was material to the honour and derive from the use of the public bathe interests of the country,that parliament lances? He knew that the bank was at a should ascertain the truth. It was wrong great expence for clerks, for buildings, to take this loan from the bank while the &c. but this expence ought to be defrayed restriction on the payment of specie exist- from the last mentioned profits. He reed; it would be worse to take it, if by peated his wish that the subject should be doing so the taking off of the restriction referred to a committee. He believed no would be retarded. Would the right hon. committee could be found which would gent. say that the bank had communicated not tell the right hon. gent. that he had to him their situation, and that the step not taken half enough in interest, and that proposed to be adopted would not retard he had taken too much in principal. With the taking off of the restriction? Let the respect to the unclaimed dividends, there house know this then-let the subject be was a great deal of truth and justice in referred to a committee--the Committee of what the right hon. gent. had stated. Finance for instance, by which such an Perhaps it was politic that the bank direcable report had been already presented tors should make a show of resistance on upon it. What would the world say to a this point, lest the public should suspect merchant, who, after a stoppage, should set that they had got too good a bargain on up his carriage, and extend his expences the other points. He thought they owed before his creditors were satisfied? The great obligations to the right hon. gent. bank ought to have secured their profits who had certainly granted them what no for the period when they should again other man would have done; but he would open, and not have been so eager to divide take another opportunity of expressing them among themselves. He generally his sentiments on this business, not having observed, that in transactions between the yet had time duly to examine the papers directors of the bank and chancellors of on the table. It was a most important subthe exchequer, the one party or the otherject, and deserved the serious attention of got a mauling. He could remember the parliament. period when even Mr. Pitt came off but Mr. S. Thornton declared, that whether second best in the conflict. In the year they gave a loan of 3 millions, or an an1795, the bank took panic, and wished nual sum of 150,000l. to the public, would their money to be instantly repaid them. be immaterial to the bank, but, in his They talked very much of the terrible opinion, from the former, the public would advances they had made, and of the im-derive the greater advantage. He denied possibility of continuing to make such ad- the possibility of supplying the loan by vances; and yet those advances were no- an issue of notes. Let the right hon. thing to the advances which they now gent. look at the quantity of notes at agreed to make with the utmost tranquil-present issued, and then let him look lity. The bank directors consented to lend to the quantity issued subsequent to the country 3 millions, which in his ap- the payment of the loan. The conjecprehension would not cost them threepence. tural opinion contained in the report of Did they mean to encrease their notes the Financial Committee on the expences
attending the management of the national | future, that in proportion to the balances debt was unfounded. The rate of allow- in the hands of the bank, must be the adance now fixed, if he were called upon vances made by the bank to the public. to decide as between man and man, he As to the rate of allowance for managing would say was fair and reasonable. Much the debt, the bank had repeatedly dehad been said of the profits of the bank; he clared, that they were not disposed to would say something of the profits which admit the truth of the report of the Comthe public derived from the bank. In mittee of Finance on this subject. He the first place, the capital of the bank had been an humble assistant at the conwas lent to the public at 3 per cent. by ferences between his right hon. friend which the public gained 2 per cent. On and the directors of the bank, and he was the 3 millions paid on the renewal of convinced that if a less sum had been ofthe bank charter, the public gained 2 per fered for the management, the bank would cent. The bank advanced the annual have said, take the conduct of the debt malt duties, amounting to 2 millions, at upon yourselves.' The inconvenience of 4 per cent. by which the public gained the expence arising from such a change 1 per cent. For the last two years the in the management would have been inbank had collected the property tax, by finite. It was a mistake that the ten milwhich the public gained 47,000l. By lions of public balances were left in the adding these various sums together, it hands of the bank to remunerate them would appear that the public derived a for the management of the debt. They profit of 595,000l. per annum from the were left there for security; they would bank, exclusive of what they paid for still be left there, were the management the property tax on their own capital. of the debt removed to another quarter. The ground on which the bank declined The only balances remaining in the hands to consent to the arrangement proposed of the bank consequent on their managewith respect to unclaimed dividends had ment of the national debt,were the unbeen mistaken. As the trustees for the claimed dividends. public creditors, they did not believe that Mr. H. Thornton expressed himself tolethe balance of unclaimed dividends would rably satisfied with the bargain, that had admit of having such a sum withdrawn in this instance been made for the public. from them as that proposed: and with- He agreed with his hon. friend (Mr. out having previously ascertained the opi- Bankes), that the rate of allowance for nion of those public creditors, they could management might have been reduced not consent to it. It ought to be recol- farther, had it not been for the acts of lected, that in 1791, it was determined parliament that stood in the way. But that 500,000l. should be drawn from those taking these into consideration, he bedividends, upon the express condition that lieved the right hon. the chancellor of 600,000l. were in the hands of the bank the exchequer had reduced it nearly as at the end of the penultimate quarter. much as the law allowed him. With reIt was now proposed to extend this to the gard to the 3 millions, he thought, that last quarter, although since 1791, the debt the public would derive a greater advanhad very much encreased, and a larger tage from them than from the allowance balance of unclaimed dividends was there- of the interest recommended by some. by rendered necessary to be left in the The inconvenience to the bank would not hands of the bank. Until dividends re- be much. They would merely lose the mained for half a year, they had never interest of 3 millions of exchequer bills. been considered by the bank as unclaim- All this, he said, did not diminish the ed: it was running them much too close. duty of parliament to look with jealousy Mr. Huskisson defended the proposition to the amount of bank notes in circulaof his right hon. friend. The hon. gent. tion. It might happen too, that the comopposite had maintained, that an annual missioners of the sinking fund might find payment would be a permanent advan- it convenient to become subscribers to tage, a loan only a contingent one. A the loans; and the balance in the bank loan, however, would not be rendered would, by this means, be diminished. He contingent even by peace, were large wished it, therefore, to be clearly underbalances still to remain in the hands of stood, that the commissioners might be at the bank; for, by the transaction now liberty to become subscribers to the loan under discussion, a principle had been if convenient, without its being consider established, which would be acted on ined as any infringement of this agreement.