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FOR THE YEAR
HISTORY OF EUROPE.
State of the Country-Meeting of Parliament-King's Speech and the
Address—Measures proposed for relieving the Commercial Distresses-Prohibition against Štamping small Notes-Mr. Hume's Motion for Returns of Bankrupt Country Banks Bill brought in to prohibit the Circulation of small Notes after Feb. 5th, 1829.--Exception in favour of the Bank of England--Mr. Hume's Motion to require Security from Country Banks--Reasons for limiting the Bill to England Scottish Banks.
present year was marked by country, continued to multiply, a continuance of that depression though much less rapidly, than in in manufactures and commerce, the end of 1825; and the univerwhich had prevailed at the close of sal distrust which existed, by the preceding. The demand for limiting the facilities of obtaining the labour of the artisan had not discounts and advances, deprived yet revived ; and want of employ- commerce of its natural aids, and ment, and its concomitant misery, increased the difficulties of the were the results. Neither had trader. The ship-owners, likeprivate credit been yet restored ; wise, were suffering from the inthe failures of private bankers, ability to procure freights, an ins VOL. LXVIII.
ability occasioned by the foreign embarrassment which has occurred markets being glutted, and by in the pecuniary transactions of there being, therefore, a scarcity the country, since the close of the of employment for ships, because last session of Parliament. there was a cessation in the de - This embarrassment did not mand for the articles which ships arise from any political events, were to convey. There was thus either at home or abroad: it was throughout the whole community not produced by any unexpected a great deal of pecuniary embar- demand upon the public resources ; rassment, of comparative privation, nor by the apprehension of any and of positive suffering. No man, interruption to the general tranindeed, who looked impartially at quillity. the causes which had led to such « Some of the causes to which consequences in the mercantile and this evil must be attributed, lie manufacturing world, could see in without the reach of direct parliathem reason to doubt the solid rei mentary interposition, nor can sesources, or the public credit of the curity against the recurrence of country; and, except that the them be found, unless in the exship-owners ascribed their difficul- perience of the sufferings which ties to the changes lately intro- they have occasioned. duced into the navigation laws, “But to a certain portion of this and that the unemployed artizans evil, correctives, at least, if not of Lancashire rose riotously, on
effectual remedies, may be applied, one occasion, for the destruction of and his Majesty relies upon your machinery, there was no spirit of wisdom to devise such measures as discontent, nor any tendency to may tend to protect both private disturb the public peace. The and public interests against the lower classes, in particular, bore like sudden and violent fluctuatheir sufferings with a quietness tions, by placing on a more firm and resignation which ensured foundation the currency and ciruniversal sympathy; in every quar- culating credit of the country. ter of the empire, liberal subscrip “ His Majesty continues to retions were cheerfully made to al ceive from his Allies, and, geneleviate the distress of the poor : ally, from all foreign princes and still this distress existed widely states, the strongest assurances of and severely, and doubts and diffi- their friendly disposition towards culties threw a gloom over the his Majesty. His Majesty, on his manufacturing, the trading, and part, is constant and unwearied in the monied interests of the country, his endeavours to reconcile con
Such was the state of things, flieting interests, and to recomwhen Parliament was opened on mend and cultivate peace, both in the 2nd of February, by commis- the old world and in the new. sion; temporary indisposition hav His Majesty commands us to ing prevented his majesty from inform you, that, in pursuance of attending
in person. I'he Speech this policy, his Majesty's mediation from the Throne was as follows:- has been successfully employed in
“My Lords and Gentlemen ; the conclusion of a treaty between “We are commanded by his the crowns of Portugal and Brazil, Majesty to inform you, that his by which the relations of friendly Majesty has seen with regret the intercourse long interrupted be
tween two kindred nations, have for improving the condition of
“ His Majesty loses no opportu- has the satisfaction of acquainting nity of giving effect to the
princi- you, is in a course of gradual and ples of trade and navigation, which general advancement- an advancehave received thesanction of parlia- ment mainly to be attributed to ment, and of establishing them as that state of tranquillity which far as possible, by engagements now happily prevails throughout with foreign powers.
all the provinces of Ireland. “His Majesty has directed to “ Gentlemen of the House of be laid before you, a copy of a
Commons convention, framed on these prin “ His Majesty has directed the ciples, which has recently been estimates for the year to be preconcluded between his Majesty and pared and laid before you. the king of France; and of a “ They have been framed with similar convention, with the free an anxious desire to avoid every Hanseatic cities of Lubeck, Bre, expenditure beyond what the nemen, and Hamburg.
cessary demands for the public “ His Majesty has likewise di- service may require. rected to be laid before you a copy “ His Majesty has the satisface of a treaty of amity, commerce, tion of informing you, that the and navigation, concluded between produce of the Revenue in the his Majesty and the republic of last year, has fully justified the Colombia, the ratifications of which expectations entertained at the have been exchanged since the commencement of it. close of the last session. For the “My Lords and Gentlemen, carrying into effect some of the “His Majesty deeply laments stipulations of this treatý his Ma- the injurious effects which the late jesty will have need of your assist- pecuniary crisis must have entailed ance.
upon many branches of the com“His Majesty regrets that he merce and manufactures of the has not to announce to you the United Kingdom. termination of hostilities in India : “But his Majesty confidently but the operations of the last eam- believes, that the temporary check paign, through the bravery of the which commerce and manufactures forces of his Majesty and of the East may at this moment experience, India company, and the skill and will, under the blessing of Divine perseverance of their commanders, Providence, neither impair the have been attended with uniform great sources of our wealth, nor success, and his Majesty trusts impede the growth of national that a continuance of the same ex prosperity.” ertions may lead, at no distant The Address was moved in the period, to an honourable and satis- Lords by earl Verulam, and, in the factory pacification.
Commons, by Mr. Stuart Wortley. “His Majesty's attention has In neither house did it encounter been directed to the consideration any serious opposition, although of several measures, recommended much discussion took place on in the last session of Parliament, every topie to which it alluded,
and on some to which it did not land, or by any private banker : allude.
secondly, to increase the stability In the House of Peers, lord of private banks, by enabling them King, after ascribing our pecu- to augment their capital; and, niary embarrassments to over-issues with that view, 'to of paper by the Bank of England, clause in the charter of the Bank attacked the Corn-laws, and urged of England, which made it unlawthe necessity of immediately effect- fúl for any private banking estaba ing in them a complete alteration. lishment io consist of more than six With this view he moved an partners. amendment to the address, pledg In the Commons; the concuring the House to revise the Corna rence in the address was equally laws in the course of the session. unanimous. Mr. Brougham, reLord Grosvenor, and the marquis serving for himself and his friends of Lansdown, without denying freedom of opinion on the various that it might be desirable and neces« topics of the Speech, when they sary to agitate the question at a should be specifically brought forfuture period, resisted so hasty a ward, believed, that the distress, proposal, and the amendment was which now existed, proceeded from negatived without a division. The causes much more complicated than principal object, indeed, of the those to which the Speech ascribed peers who spoke, was, to obtain it. He believed it, however, to from the minister some general be universal; and of that univerdescription of the measures alluded sality he dexterously took advanto in the speech, as likely to be tage to combat the opinion of those proposed for the
who derived it from the late introventing the recurrence of such pe- duction of more liberal principles cuniary embarrassments as now into our commercial policy. : « If,” existed. Lord Liverpool ascribed said the learned gentleman, "the these embarrassments to the mad embarrassment were confined to spirit of speculation which had any one branch of our commerce, raged during the last two years--a for instance, to the silk trade, then spirit rendered doubly mischievous an argument might be raised, and, by having extended itself to the without any great violence to facts, country, and so affected the issues the distress might be attributed of the country banks, that they had to our new commercial policy. increased in a far higher proportion But when it is observed that not than those of the Bank of England. only silk, but wool, cotton, and In 1823 the issues of the country linen, are equally affected, it is in banks had amounted to only four vain to deny that the nature of the millions; in 1824, when specula- facts rebuts the assertion of any tion commenced, they rose to six connection between the present millions; and, in 1825, to eight distress, and the principles of free millions, having doubled in the trade.' course of two years. The pallia The Chancellor of the Exchequer tives, or correctives, which govern- followed the same course which ment intended to apply were, first, had been pursued by lord Liv to prohibit the circulation, after a pool in the House of Peers. While certain period, of notes under 21., he maintained that many of the whether issued by the Bank of Eng- causes by which our commercial
difficulties had been produced, sioned by want of knowledge on were, in their own nature, in« the part of individuals by whom evitable, and beyond the con- banks were managed; but those trol of any government, he al- which had been conducted with lowed that some of them were prudence and good sense, had exwithin our reach, and that their perienced little difficulty in weainfluence might, at least, be modi- thering the storm. If the existing fied. The principal of these he system were to be altered suddenly, held to be the great increase of the or without due deliberation, and issues of the country banks, and the if the country banks were driven weak foundation, in point of capi- to call in precipitately the loans tal, on which many of these estab which they had made upon morte lishments stood. The latter was gages, an effect would be produced the consequence of the exclusive upon the country which no one privileges of the Bank of England; anticipated, and an alarm would and, looking at the immense extent be excited, the consequences of of our transactions, he was per
which no one could foresee. Mr. fectly satisfied that a single com- Smith, likewise, though favourable pany was by no means adequate to to the removal of the restriction on the banking purposes of the country, the number of partners in private especially in districts remote from banks, foresaw, that the new comthe metropolis. The result in such panies to be formed would necesdistricts was, that banks sprung up sarily lessen the public confidence conducted on views widely remote in all the ancient establishments; from solid principles of banking. and therefore urged that the time ... Mr. Hume denied that the
when the proposed measure was cuniary distresses of the country to come into operation should be were to be ascribed to the banking stated, in order that the ancient system, and maintained that their establishments might be prepared true causes were to be found in the against the powerful competition pressure of taxation, and the lavish of the new Joint-stock companies. expenditure of the government. Mr. Maberly, and Mr. Baring, The whole empire, in the opinion spoke in terms of high eulogy of of the honourable gentleman, pre the conduct of the Bank of Engs sented one scene of extravagant land during the dangers of the misrule, from the “gold lace, and crisis which had just gone by. absurd paraphernalia of military “Their conduct" said the latter decoration” of the Guards, up to hon. member, “had been what the mismanagement of the Burmese every one must applaud. It was war; and it was a farce to attribute impossible for any public body, for the distress of the country to the any set of men, to have acted with banks, or the banking system. more honour, promptitude, or good
Mr. Cripps defended the country sense, than the Bank evinced upon banks from the imputations which that emergency." In regard to had been cast upon them. He
the measures now proposed, he had said that only those could judge long been convinced that the exfairly of their merits, who were istence of the one and two pound deeply interested in the subject. notes was a nuisance; but the The failures, which had taken place withdrawing of them from circuamong them, had been chiefly occa- lation required much caution, and