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mate success of that measure, by as- degree of distress than the public Etui signing to it the earliest period with- could well bear-who look to the

in which, according to such opinion, cessation of those temporary causes, it might be safely practicable. The to which they attribute the largest measure had better not be begun at share in producing the unfavourable all, unless there be a determined pur- state of exchanges and the high price pose to carry it to its completion, as of gold, as the natural remedy for the

an ineffectual attempt might create evil-and who expect, that in no pieds great mischief and distress, and would long space of time the favourable ba

not leave any beneficial result to re- lance of payments (the usual result pay the country for what it may have of the extent and nature of our comsuffered.

merce) will, without incurring any From thus extending the period, distress by taking measures for the it seems to the Committee that con- forcible production of such a change, siderable advantages would arise. lead insensibly, but with sufficient Those who think that the object is to certainty, to the attainment of the be accomplished only by the means object in view—all persons who enof a considerable reduction of the tertain these opinions must feel still notes of the Bank of England, and more anxiety for the extension of the that the inconveniences, which they period. acknowledge to be the necessary re

There are, however, some measult of such redu on, would be am- sures of preparation which, whatever ply compensated by the restoration time may be fixed, appear desirable, of the ancient metallic standard, feel if not indispensable. considerable anxiety to diminish the It is well known that the Bank has extent of these inconveniences. always been in the habit of making Those who expect little or no incon- large advances to the Government venience to arise from the measures for the public service. These adnecessary for the attainment of this vances are partly made under special object, are nevertheless sensible of acts of Parliament, upon securities the difficulties which are opposed to therein provided. There is another its early accomplishment by the pre- species of accommodation which has sent state of the Bank treasure, and also been afforded by the Bank, viz. by the existing (though as they hope the purchase of Exchequer bills to a temporary) commercial pressure. large amount. For the state of the They are on this latter account par. law upon this subject the Committee ticularly desirous to allay even those beg to refer to a paper which has apprehensions which they deem un- been laid before them, and which is founded or exaggerated, and are sa

inserted in their Appendix. The a. tisfied that, provided the ultimate ob- mount of the Exchequer bills and oject be secured, the intermediate ther Government securities, either pressure, whatever may be its degree, held or purchased by the Bank at would be materially lightened by be- different periods, will also be found ing spread over a greater length of in the account which is there inserttime.

ed. The different applications made Those, on the other hand, who feel by the Treasury to the Bank for acless confident in the effect of such a commodation are fully detailed in the reduction-who think that, even were

annexed accounts and correspon. its effect certain, it could only be pro- dence. The principles upon which duced by the creation of a greater the Treasury has acted in making

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these applications during the last four preparing for a resumption of casi years are explained in a memoran- payments, is evidently to crampit dum delivered to the Committee by operations, by placing a large prothe first Commissioner of that Board; portion of its issues beyond its coand important information respect. trol. The advances made directly to ing these transactions will be found Government are only repaid at the in the evidence of Mr Harman, who, period fixed by law. The Excheqer during the greatest part of the period bills purchased by the Bank coud last referred to, was either Governor not be sold in large quantities with or Deputy Governor of the Bank. out reducing them to a considerable

The Committee think it proper to discount ; and this discount sound remark, that whatever effect the ex. bring them into the Exchequer in tent of the advances here referred to payınent of the taxes, to such an er. might have had upon the power of tent as might materially derange the the Bank, at any given moment, en- provisions for the public service. As tirely to resume cash payments, sup- understanding, therefore, without posing other circumstances had not express agreement, appears to bare intervened to prevent such resump- prevailed, that, when thus puro sed, tion, they do not appear to have had they should not be sold by the Bank. any influence in diminishing the ex- On the other hand, the issues of notes tent of the accommodation received upon discount revert to the Bank at by the public for commercial pur- periods so short, that any redactie poses. In the opinion of most of the of the paper so issued, which cirwitnesses who have been exainined, cumstances may render necessary, is the abundance of circulation produ: always within their reach: with this ced by the liberal issue of Bank-notes, control over their issues, they are es upon whatever securities they were abled to feel their way, and to restrict issued, has produced indirectly as or enlarge them, either as the wants great facilities to commerce as if they of the country may permit or demand, had been directly issued in commer. or as the staie of the exchanges and cial discounts. A transfer, to a con. the price of gold may appear to residerable degree, of the discount quire. trade from the Bank to private bank. It appears, therefore, to the Comers and merchants is stated to have mittee to be highly expedient, that taken place ; but the facilities afford. means should be taken to repay to ed to commerce were at least as great the Bank a large amount of these in the latter case as in the former, as advances at an early period. the discounts made by the Bank were In considering the means of pro. more restricted in point of time, were viding for the future a safe and suflimited by the necessity imposed up- ficient circulating medium for the on the applicant of bringing two and country, the Committee were natosometimes more securities, and were 'rally led to make inquiries as to what granted only at five per cent. at a had been its amount, previously to time when private merchants and the Bank restriction, when it conbankers were discounting at a lower sisted partly of gold coin, and partly rate.

of paper; what has been its amount The effect, however, of the extent during the interval, when there was of the advances to Government up- little or no gold coin in circulation; on the situation of the Bank, when and what is likely to be its amount,


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and what ought to be its composi- much higher a proportion to the tion, when a metallic standard is re- whole of the circulating medium, stored.

that the uncertainty which rests upUpon the first of these heads they on the remainder has less proportionneither found, nor indeed could they al effect upon the general result. expect to find any ground, from The details of these issues appear in which a satisfactory conclusion could the accounts in the Appendix. be drawn. The only certain data at The variations in the amount of any period are the notes of the Bank these issues, in the week immediateof England. The amount of coin ly preceding, and in that immediaterests only upon estimates formed in ly following the payment of the dia great degree upon conjecture; and vidend upon the national debt, are the official accounts offer little infor- so considerable (being from 3 to mation respecting the issues of Coun- L.5,000,000 in January and July, try Banks at that period, as the and from 2 to L.3,000,000 in April stamps upon these notes were not and October,) that in considering then sufficiently distinguished in the general circulation of the counthose accounts from other stamps. try, it seems better to take an aveIt is known that in 1792, those issues rage of the issues for six months, had been considerably extended; than to form any calculation upon a that after the commercial difficulties shorter period. Stated upon this of 1793, they were greatly reduced; principle, it appears that they did and in 1797, had not reached their not reach L.15,000,000 before the former amount.

first six months of 1800; that they Taking, however, the amount of never reached L. 20,000,000 before the gold coin in circulation at the first six months in 1810, in the lat. L.5,000,000 below the estimate made ter six months of which year they by the late Lord Liverpool, viz. exceeded L.24,000,000. The varia at

L. 25,000,000 tions for the next three years were The notes of the Bank

not considerable ; but the rise duof England at 10,500,000 ring the year 1814 was rapid, and The country notes, in

carried their amount, upon the avecluding Scotland, may

rage of the last six months, to above be conjectured to have

L.28,000,000. The lowest point to been

7,000,000 which they fell was between 26 and

L.27,000,000 in the first six months The amount of circula.

of 1816. The highest

which they tingmedium before the

rose was in the last six months of Bank restriction will

1817, when they were at their greatbe

L. 42,500,000 est average amount, viz.L.29,000,000, Exclusive of silver and other means and from that period they have of circulation.

gradually decreased nearly to Upon the second head, viz. the a. L.25,000,000, previously to the ismount of the circulating medium since sue of the last dividends. the restriction, there are undoubted. The amount, however, of Bank of ly, at least as to a portion of the pe. England paper actually in circulariod, somewhat better materials for tion is not always to be measured by calculation. That part which is cer- the extent of its issues. When credit tain, viz. the amount of the notes of is flourishing, the reserve of Bank of the Bank of England, has borne so England notes kept by country


1813 ...

1815 ..."

....... 1816

bankers will be considerably less in the Appendix. From these za than when any local or general diffi. terials two calculations have bees culties oblige them to make more drawn. The grounds upon which ample preparations against large and each of them rest are to be found in sudden demands; and this reserve the appendix. The Committee are must, in the present state of our cir. inclined to that of these two approx culating medium, consist of a great mating estimates, the second is the proportion of notes of the Bank of best adapted to their view of the England, into which their own notes subject; but they submit them both are legally convertible. It will con- to the House with a full sense of tbe sist also, to some extent, of notes of imperfection to which they are te other Country Banks, in exchange cessarily liable. for which they can demand from those Banks, notes of the Bank of


F. S. England. In a state of imperfect 21,374,000 1810

21,819,00 credit, the Country Banks will also 20,977,000 1811

21,455.000 reduce their own issues, and will ei. 20,047,000

19,944,000 ther never issue at all, or refrain 22,342,000

22,597,000 from re-issuing a larger proportion 21,672,000 1814 .... ... 22,700.000


19,01 1,000 of their own notes, which they keep


15,095,000 by them ready stamped ; so that,


1817 .......

15,898,000 cven if the amount of stamped notes 20,044,000 .... 1818 .... 90,507,000 actually in existence in any given year could be ascertained with cer. These estimates must indeed be tainty, (which is very far from being not only far removed from accuracy the case), the proportion of such respecting any particular year, but notes at that time actually in circu- many causes of uncertainty attach 10 lation could not from thence be infer. them even if they were considered red with accuracy. A similar degree merely as affording data for calcuof uncertainty as to the amount of lating the relative circulation of difthe circulating medium must exist, ferent years. In this respect, how. as far as it arises from the varying ever, they derive confirmation, esreserves of all bankers, even when pecially the latter, from their corre. that circulating medium consists in spondence with the general tepor of part of gold, and will then equally the evidence of persons connected apply, which it does not now, to the with the Country Banks. The estireserve of the Bank of England. mates which these persons have form

With respect, however, to that ed as to the amount of the country part of our currency

which has con

notes, grounded upon local koor. sisted of Country Bank-notes, the ledge, and extended by inference to Committee have endeavoured, from the whole kingdom, will be found in such accounts as have been furnish- the minutes. ed them from the Stamp-office, to Much important information reform some estimate of their amount. specting the nature of this circulaThe difficulties of various descrip- tion will be found in the evidence

, tions, which throw a great uncertain. and particularly as to the diferent ty upon any calculations founded practice which obtains in different upon these accounts, are explained parts of the kingdom, more especialin statements delivered in by Mrly in Norfolk and in Lancashire. Sedgewick, which are to be found The calculations founded upon the

accounts from the Stamp-office, 1817: and that it has again risen in (which afford no distinct data prior 1818. to the year 1809,) would leave the Combining the accurate statements Committee to suppose that the a. of the issues of the Bank of England mount has varied, between 1810 and upon the average of each year, with 1818, from below 16 to above 22 the result of the inquiry into the ismillions; that it was at the highest sues of Country Banks, the account in 1814; at the lowest in 1816 and would stand thus :

1810. Bank of England,

Country Banks,

1811. Bank of England,

Country Banks,

1812. Bank of England,

Country Banks,

1813. Bank of England,

Country Banks,

1814. Bank of England,

Country Banks,

F. 7

F, 8. 22,541,000

22,541,000 21,374,000

21,819,000 --44,915,000

44,360,000 23,282,000

23,282.000 20,977,000

21,543,000 -44,259,000 --- 14,825,000 23,237,000

23,237,000 20,047,000

19,944,000 -43,284,000-

-43,181,000 24,023,000

24,025,000 22,342,000

22,597,000 -46,365,000

-46,620,000 26,901,000

26,901,000 21,672,000

22,709,000 48,573,000—- -18,610,000 26,886,000

26,886,000 20,378,000

19,011,000 -47,264,000--- -45,897,000 26,574,000

26.574,000 15,525,000

15,096,000 -42,099,000

-41,670,000 28,274,000

28,274,000 15,862,000

15,898,000 -44,136,000

-44,172,000 27,220,000

27,220,000 20,044,000

20,507,000 -47,964,000-47,727,000

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To this must be added about With respect to the numerical aL.271,000 for the average circula mount of circulating medium necestion of unstamped small notes issued sary to carry on with facility the by the three Chartered Banks in transactions of the country, whatever Scotland, which are not included in may be the composition of such cirthe Stamp-office accounts.

culating medium, it is evidently imThe result of this estimate would possible to form any judgment. be, that the circulating medium of The great increase of the transacEngland, as far as it consists of notes tions of this country in every part of the Bank of England or of Coun- of its home trade and agriculture ; try Bank-notes, between 1810 and the rise of the amount of its exports 1818, both years inclusive, has varied and imports (even according to the from about forty-two millions to a- official value, which is much below bove forty-eight millions ; and that the real value) from L.51,231,000, it was highest in 1814, and lowest in on the average of three years pre1816.

ceding 1797, to L 82,750,000, on

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