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in price was promoted by the relied for our destruction, than it excessive issue of paper.
was on the ruin of our finances; The state of the exchanges too, which they calculated would no has been adduced as an adequate less effectually and, as they because, together with the high price lieved, certainly accomplish the of bullion, for the state of things end they had in view. But what which we have contemplated, and must be their surprize? To what, as a sufficient answer to the argu- in the history of present or of past ment for the depreciation of bank times, could they look for a parallel? paper. But, it may be asked, And how could they believe the how could the balance of trade, existence of the fact, when they when we had the dominion of the learned, that instead of ruin, foreseas, and when our goods were in seen as it had been by the best so great estimation where they calculators of that period, we are could be obtained, have produced rising from a state of depression an effect like what we have seen? to one of comparative prosperity ? The answer we think will readily The scale has, happily, turned in occur. It could not happen that our favor; the trade of the country the circulating medium of the has improved; the exchanges are country could have suffered so in our favor, and the price of bullion considerable a revolution from that has fallen. We are, therefore, in cause, as the commerce of specu- a condition to attempt a restoration lation, during part of the period of the currency to its state previin which the gold was above the ously to 1797, that is to return to paper circulation, was almost at a metallic circulating medium, or its acmé. The cause must there to have our paper convertible, at fore be sought in the long and pleasure, into gold. ruinous war in which the treasures The influence of the high prices of this country were sent to the of provisions, induced by the paper continent to support our armies circulation, was felt particularly on and to pay the foreign subsidies. our manufactures, and the articles It is in this source of misfortune of British growth or manufacture, and calamity that we shall see could not compete in foreign marsufficient reason to account for the kets with articles produced in those deterioration of the paper, and to countries where provisions were establish the positions we have cheap. This consideration, in a attempted to lay down.
commercial nation, was, of course, To men of science and reflection, of the first importance. It was the both in our own country and abroad, recommendation of the bullion the circumstances of Great Britain, committee, therefore, that the Bank with regard to her political eco should resume cash payments; but nomy, must be an object contemp- in that event, either the Bank must lated with high admiration. It was contract their issues, or, if the every where expected, it was even notes were paid at the current confidently predicted, and held to price of bullion, the loss to that be inevitable, that we were in rapid establishment must be immense. progress towards national bank- Now, as it would be supposed that ruptcy; it was, indeed, not more on a legislative measure of that exmilitary prowess that our enemies tent, affecting so deeply the vital 1821.
interests of the Bank, could not be into effect. The fractional sums adopted without their concurrence; under five and between five and so it would be supposed that that ten pounds in the dividends, too, body would withhold its consent were paid in cash. From such a to a plan by which it was itself so measure, guarded by such peculimaterially to suffer. The propriety arities, little that is injurious could of returning to cash payments, have been anticipated. Yet, howhowever, seemed to be acknow. ever remarkable it may appear, a ledged on all hands; the only bill was brought into parliament question remaining related to the and passed, to prohibit the bank period at which they could most from paying in specie, even to the safely be resumed. On one side limited extent of the plan just reit was viewed as the panacea for ferred to. The alleged ground of all our political complaints, and on this legislative proceeding was the the other, if immediately adopted, obstruction which it offered to the as a measure fraught with infinite complete resumption of cash paymischief. Of this opinion was sir ments, which, although to the John Sinclair, whose pamphlet on general reader it may seem parathe necessity of an extensive cir- doxical, was considered by the culating medium, takes this side of legislature as good and sufficient. the question. It was argued, too, At this period several respectable and no doubt with great propriety, pamphlets on the subject appeared, that if the circulation of the country to none of which, however, was were contracted, every article must more attention paid than to those proportionably fall in value. By of Mr. David Ricardo. To the This circumstance every class of sentiments of this gentlemen on traders would necessarily be af- subjects connected with political fected; but on the agriculturist it economy, the minister, it is well would fall with peculiar weight. known, has paid great deference. It was, therefore, incumbent on the He proposed that, in restoring the legislature to devise a plan for re- metal circulation, the Bank should storing the currency to a healthy be allowed to pay gold in bars incondition, in which, too, the inte- stead of coin, and it is not improrests of the different classes in the bable, that from this gentleman's state, as far as might be, should be suggestions the secret committee considered. The Bank expressed were induced to frame the resoa wish to be permitted to pay in lutions which were adopted with cash, and had declared that they some others, and on which Mr. were prepared to do so; but the Peel's bill was brought in. The minister fearing the consequence substance of the resolutions is, that of a rapid change of the currency, the Bank should from 1st February felt disposed to adopt a partial and 1820, be compelled to pay gold in progressive system of restoring the bars, of standard fineness, in return inetal circulation. In an experi- for their notes, provided that porment of this description, the Bank tions of not
less than 60oz. be dehad given notice of their intention manded. The price was fixed at of paying off all notes of one and 41. ls. per oz. two pounds value, of a date prior On thelst November, 1820, they to 1817. This plan was carried were to pay in the same manner
at 31. 198. 6d. per oz.
On the cannot, however, close this paper, 1st May, 1821, the payments without congratulating our fellowwere to be at 31. 178. 10 d. or countrymen on the comparative the mint price. By the bill, the success of a measure unparalleled Bank were not to pay their notes in the history of the world, and in coin till the 1st May 1823. the adoption of which will form
It was afterwards found, how an epoch in our annals as moever, that the Bank was accumu mentous as the change of a dylating bullion so fast that a cout- nasty. Where now are the progsiderable inconvenience to trade nostics of national ruin? Where occurred. Mr. Vansittart then the prophecies of bankruptcy and brought in a bill to enable the Bank dissolution? The evil day we to pay the small notes in cash, on believe is past, and we have now the 1st, May 1821. The adoption every thing to hope from the perof this measure has produced severing adherence to political effects so important, and to many integrity and public faith with repersons so injurious that having gard to the public creditor, and traced its history and narrated from the extension of our trade the circumstances that led to its and commerce with respect to the introduction, little will be required people, in the way of reflection. We
State of France. -Spain. -- Portugal. The Netherlands. - Italy
Greece. - Russia. - America.
THE French budget for the cludes, “The budget has even year 1821 presented to the cham- in its enormity something pleaber of deputies by the minister of sing to the national pride, in the finance, exhibits a statement high- thought that it could be mainly flattering to that nation. It tained at this elevation without was introduced with feelings of depriving the king of the power great exultation, if we may judge of remitting 34,000,000 of taxes. from the minister's words. The “ Such a result at the terminabudget, says he, “is no longer a tion of calamities, which in any task laborious to those who exe other country an age would cute it, nor disquieting to those scarcely be sufficient to' efface, who listen to it; the promptitude evinces among us resources triumwith which we present it proves phant over the most adverse situathat our affairs are in order, and tions. What other nation be, that little time is necessary to
sides France would be able, after state all that we have to pay, and what she has suffered, even up to all that we have to receive." 1818, by war and other unhappy And in a similar style he con- circumstances, to present in three
years the spectacle which she could hear no more of censorships this day offers? Her political of the press, which, in the course engagements punctually fulfilled; of seventeen months, have supher territory free and tranquil; pressed nearly one-fourth part of her commerce and industry in the matter composed for one of creasing in activity; her treasury the parisian papers. The change always full; her securities ad- of administration in France has vancing to par; all her capital in been the necessary result of the employment, whether to acquire, defeat sustained by ministers on to construct, to repair, or to give the address to the king. The an impulse to works of public ultras and liberals united in oputility. Finally, under the aus. position. The new ministers are pices of the royal government, all of the royalist party, but, with affairs both public and private two exceptions, are little known assume a firm position, the happy in this country. M. de Villele, result of a peace whereof all the who, from his superior talents, is world has felt the want, and will considered the leader of the new now reap the advantages. cabinet, was, with his friend Cor
“The spirit of order and good biere, a member of the ministry faith which governs our financial just dissolved: but neither he por legislation, the probity with which his friend took any decisive part public engagements of every na- in the measures of the administure are fulħlled, the abundance tration: they were, in fact, only of capital which it reproduces nominally ministers, not being incontinually in circulation, and the trusted with any distinct funcprogressive clearness of the public tions, but had been taken into accounts, inspire a confidence the cabinet from a notion that which descends to the direct cre their junction would have conditors of the state—from them to ciliated the royalist party, of all those with whom they have which they had been the leaders. transactions, and from these is Like all half measures, however, diffused through all classes of this coalition impaired instead of society. The general comfort strengthening the power of the which results from these amelia- late ministers: for MM. Vilele rations, and the satisfaction to and Corbiere were considered to you of having co-operated in be deserters from their party, doing so much good, is the gua- which, under a new leader, showed rantee of your perseverance in the itself more hostile than ever to same principles, and of the con the government; and the situation stant conformity of your senti- of the two friends, notwithstandments with the intentions of the ing their acknowledged talents, king."
became insignificant and almost On the 20th of December the ridiculous, as they held no places king opened the session of the either of power or dignity. It chambers in the usual state, and has long been seen that they delivered a speech which contained would take the first opportunity a gratifying view of the internal of emancipating themselves from condition and external relations a situation so degrading to men of that country. We wish we of talent; and they have at length
succeeded in acquiring that im- sorship should continue but for portance in the state, to which one year. He has ever professed none will disallow their claim on himself a steady friend to the the score of knowledge and abi- charter. He belongs to one of lity. M. Peyronnet, the new the oldest families in France: he keeper of the seals, is a lawyer, is about 52 years of age. The and was lately procureur-general, duke de Belluno, the new war in which capacity he conducted, minister, is better known to the last summer, the state trial in the English reader by the name of chamber of peers. The viscount marshal Victor: he is one of Montmorency, the new secretary Buonaparte's marshals, and was for foreign affairs, was formerly the principal general under Joa deputy to the states-general, seph Buonaparte at the battle of and in that capacity was one of Talavera. He was, however, one the most violent of the revolu- of the earliest of the marshals who tionary party; but soon became adhered to Louis XVIII. after the disgusted with the projects of his first abdication of Napoleon, and brother reformers, and withdrew kept his fidelity unimpeached to Switzerland, where he had the during the hundred days: he has honour of the intimate friendship therefore been considered with of madame de Stael : the death particular favour at court, and of his brother on the scaffold has been trusted on several imabout this time threw a gloom portant occasions. Last year he over his character, which has was employed to repress the innever been entirely dissipated, surrectionary spirit which, during and till lately he has passed his the first successes of the Italian days almost entirely in seclusion. revolution, manifested itself so unBuonaparte banished him in 1811, equivocally in the southern departbut afterwards recalled him, taking ments of France. He completely care, however, to have him closely succeeded in his difficult mission, watched. He seized the earliest and without any measure of exopportunity of joining the Bour- traordinary rigour. He is celebons; and on their restoration brated for intrepidity, which is became a member of the house of united with great mildness of dispeers, where, for the last three position: but upon the whole is years, he has distinguished him- considered rather a man of inself by a strenuous opposition to flexible honour, than of extraorthe ministers. In 1818 he deli- dinary talent. The marquis de vered a speech against the pro- Clermont-Tonnere, the new miposed law of censorship, though nister of marine, is a man of prache declared himself a friend of tical knowledge, and of considersevere measures for the repression able ability: he was the chairman of the licentious character of the of the committee of peers which French periodical press, which, was appointed to examine the however, he thought offended propriety of abolishing the droit rather by its immoral and irre- #aubaine; and it was chiefly ligious, than by its political, ex- owing to his elaborate inquiry cesses. He was one of the mi- and earnest recommendation that pority which voted that the cen- the odious and unjust law was