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as he did on certain points from the sentiments of the majority of that Committee, he felt himself called upon to explain the grounds upon which that difference of opinion was founded. He felt it to be a talk which his public duty likewise imposed to submit to the House resolutions of a criminatory nature against the Chancellor of the Exchequer, founded upon the proofs collected by the Committee and contained in their Report, and which amounted to a charge of guilt and of misconduct, which the House could not suffer to pass with impunity. He was aware that the duty of an accuser was always a painful and invidious task, and more especially it was unpleasant to those on whom the necessity was often imposed. In the line of conduct which he felt himself obliged to pursue, he was conscious that he was actuated by no improper or dishonourable motives, and that he gratified no private views. Nothing but an imperious call of public duty could induce him to arraign, as he now did, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, of a great and criminal misconduct, by which he had contributed to bring the Bank of England, and along with it Public Credit, into that situation in which it was placed by the Order of Council, and on account of which, had that never happened, he would contend that he was equally deserving of censure. In a question which depende ed so much upon evidence, and upon considerations of a very extenfive nature, he was defieous to abstain from preliminary matter to avoid any discussion unconnected with the subject, and in what he had to urge, rather state facts for the judgment of the House, reserving that privilege usually allowed of reply, in order to supply what might be requisite of explanation or of comment. Before he proceeded to open the nature of his propofitions, he ihould state the difference of opinion between him, and, he belicved, the whole of the Committee.
The object of its investigations comprehended two points, ist, the neceslity of the Order in Council, and 2d, the causes by which it had been produced. It was upon the first point that the difference alluded to existed. He had thought, and in this he did not know that any one in the Committee agreed with him, that the Order of Council was not proper, and was not necessary. This opinion was founded upon the closest observation of the state of the Bank, and from a thorough conviction that the interference of power was not the remedy by which its embarrassments could be obviated; that this mode in its operation tended to enhance the evil and to increase the difficulties of repairing it; at least he was sure that he would encounter less opposition when he asserted that the interference of power ought to have been applied but in the last extremity. The exact account of the cath in the Bank had not been before the Commit.
tee, tee, but from the documents it possessed, it could be seen that though the run upon the Bank had continued for another month in the same proportion as during the same period before, that the cash of the Bank would not have been so low as in the year 1783, when no application to Government had been thought neceflary; but when even in the accelerated proportion of the last week preceding the Order, and the two last days of that week, the cash of the Bank might have been sufficient for another week, and afforded room for employing expedients to procure farther fupplies and to prevent altogether the necessity of the application, he could not admit the necessity in which the Committee had concurred.
His opinion of the mischievous tendency of the interference of Government in the affairs of the Bank was so strong, that he could not subscribe to the opinion of the necessity for the Order in Council; and the inconveniences which might have arisen from rejecting this expedient were more ealy to be repaired than the fatal effects which he conceived to arise from the principle of the interference of Government to suspend the functions of the Bank. So much in explanation of his differing from the rest of the Cominitt'e. The Committee stated, that whatever might be the effects of other causes, whether progreílive or likely to cease, the dread of invasion occasioned the drain which reduced the Bank to the neceflity of suspending their money payments. What he imputed, however, as an article of serious charge against the Chancellor of the Exchequer was this, that prior to this period the affairs of the Bank were so reduced, that a drain, which, in other circumstances would not have produced this effect, had, in this instance, occafioned the immediate necessity of stopping payment. InItead of taking measures to counteract this danger, instead of exerting himself to provide a remedy for the evil which he had rendered probable, he complained that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had aggravated and accelerated the causes by which the event was ultimately produced. To support this heavy and important charge, he called the attention of the House to the evidence on the table. In the end of 1794 and beginning of 1795 the Bank feeling the bad effects of the drain by foreign remittances which they had already experienced, became seriously alarmed at the consequences which might ensue from a new Loan to the Emperor, and they made strong representations to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the subject upon the 15th of January, 1795.
In this representation they likewise stated the inconvenience they felt from the amount of their advances to Government, elpecially upon Treasury Bills, a species of security new at least in the extent to which it had been carried during the present
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Administration. The Chancellor of the Exchequer thanked them for this communication, and particularly promised to res. duce the amount of advances on Treasury Bills, but that this. could not be done till after the first payment on the Loan. The mischief of advances on Treasury Bills had been felt by the Bank; they wished to be indemnified for the sums they had advanced contrary to their original constitution, and to the wise regulations of the statute of King William. Instead of an indemnification, however, a clause, repealing the whole of the existing limitation, was introduced into a Loan Bill without notice, without explanation, without any thing to direct the attention of the House to its nature and object. The sum to which the limitation was desired by the Bank was 500,000l. but instead of this, every restriction was removed by a clause, which in passing might have justified a charge of remissness against the House. Did they not find an excuse in the extraordinary manner in which the business had been managed. It was important, however, to observe the period at which the representation of the Bank for repayment of their advances was made. It was a month before the Chancellor of the Exchequer had made his arrangements for bringing forward his Budget, and when he had full time to settle every thing necessary to the accomplishment of the object which the Bank had folicited, and which he had promised to perform. Upon the third of February the Budget was opened. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, with the pompous parade of our resources, rested the hopes of success in the unfortunate and disastrous contest in which we are engaged, upon the rapid decay of the French finances. The arguments upon which he supported this conclusion, were drawn from statements of the cash and paper circulation in France, and the ruin which the disproportion would produce. The cash, at the utmost, he stated at 90 Millions, and the paper at 130 millions. When such were the reasoning upon which he proceeded in viewing the state of our enemy, he was particularly bound to attend to our domestic situation. The representations of the Bank were before him. On the principles and arguments he then employed it was more particularly his duty to have provided against evils which were held out to him, and which threatened ruin to public credit, upon the very reasonings which, with regard to France, he so strongly pressed. He did no such thing, however. Though in answer to the representation of the 15th of January, he had promised to pay off part of the advances due by Government; by a new representation, on the 16th of April, he was reminded of his promise of payment from the first instalment on the new Loan. What excuse then is he to make for this new breach of faith? It was contained in his written answer to the last repre
sentation, fentation. He admits the propriety of the demand, but he says, “ that in the multiplicity of business it was forgotten.” A promise so material as this, to an important body, fo repeatedly and earnestly urged, was forgotten! The Chansellor of the Exchequer, who boasted of more accurate estimates xnd more complete provision for the public expence than any of his predecesfors in office, quite omits an article of more than two millions ; he neglects the demands of the Bank; he exposes to hazard the intereits of the nation, and the excuse for all this is, that it was forgotten!
He begged to call the attention of the House to the minutes, containing the answer of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in conversation upon the subject with the Directors of the Bank. These minutes had been talked of in the House, as what were called the answers of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. They were taken indeed without his knowledge, after the conversation had taken place, but by those who were not likely to represent them to his disadvantage. That they were not evidence on a trial, was a plea that would be admitted; but would the Right Honourable Gentleman deny that they contained the subítance of his answers? Till this was formally denied, all the arguments on their informality would have very little weight. But it was unnecellary to dwell on this point, because the written answers were sufficient. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, writes that the demands of the Bank should be complied with out of hand, and that he should immediately give directions for partial payments to be made. The debt on Treasury Bills, however, continues to increase, and on the 5th of June, 1795, the Bank represent their Debt on this head amounted to 1,200,000l. and on the 30th of July they represent their determination to order their Cashier to refuse payment of these Bills when they exceeded a certain amount, but that they depended upon his promises to reduce its amount. In answer to this, the Chancellor of the Exchequer says, “ that the warrants are nearly ready.” Though the Bank represented on the 30th of July, that the drain upon them was such as made it delirable for them to reduce their Credits; with the danger of all this before him, and the assurance of the Bank that they would be compelled to narrow their accommodations, they receive a letter containing a new demand for advances on the Consolidated Fund. The Bank return an answer, stating the inconveniencies under which they laboured, in consequence of these advances, their determination to limit their amount, but agreeing to wait till November, on condition that meafures should then be taken for their repayment. To this the Chancellor of the Exchequer returned an answer, stating that
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he agreed to the conditions, and that he should take care they ihould be complied with. Notwithstanding this promise, the Bank were obliged, on the 8th of October, to repeat their complaint, as the sums due to them were not discharged. They stated the drain in gold and bullion which had taken place; that the last advances had been made with great reluctance ; and that if measures of caution were not pursued, the most fatal consequences were to be apprehended. They represented the Loan to the Emperor as a drain which could not be sustained; and when, in answer, the Chancellor of the Exchequer faid he had no intention to bring forward an Imperial Loan, the intimation was received with the utmost satisfaction by the Governor of the Bank, who said that if another took place it would go near to ruin them. The Chancellor of the Exchequer likewise added that the Bills from abroad would continue two months longer and no more.
Amidst repeated representations, renewed promises, and uniform breach of faith on the part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the meeting of Parliament on the 29th of October, 1795, arrived. The Bank again state their alarms, and press the neceflity of payment. In November they represent their fears from the drain which had taken place for foreign remittances, that they would be obliged to refuse any advances even upon the Vote of Credit. To this the Chancellor of the Exchequer answered, that there was no intention of any Imperial Loan, and that he should abandon every consideration that was inconsistent with their security. On the 7th of December, the financial arrangements for the year were brought forward. Again the distrelles of France are contrasted with our Aourishing situation. Upon that occasion, the Chancellor of the Exchequer justly observed, “ that our prosperity rested upon a steady adherence to the financial principles which our ancestors had established, and by accompanying the vigorous efforts we were bound to exert at prefent with salutary provisions for the future.” Was the Chancellor of the Exchequer then bound to make some provision for the demands of the Bank, and for the fecurity of our regular system of Finance, which his neglect threatened to overthrow? He had failed in his former pro mises of payment; here again he had neglected to make any provision for the Bank. In consequence of another application, however, he informs the Bank that he should make a payment of a surplus to a certain extent, out of funds which he had deftined for other purposes. Last year he had charged the Chancellor of the Exchequer with having diverted the grants of Parliament in contempt of the Act of Appropriation ; here, in answer to the Bank, he avowed his neglect in making provision,