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the Prince Regent was delivered down. They were therefore to to both houses of parliament, the consider, 1. what was the present purport of which was, that his actual price of silver; 2. what it Royal Highness, having taken was likely to be ; 3. at what price into consideration the present it should be taken in the new defective state and inadequate coinage. The present price was amount of the silver coinage, had 5s. lid. per ounce; at the rate given the necessary directions for of 62 shillings for the pound of providing a new and extensive silver, as calculated upon in 1773, issue of silver coins; and that he the price would be 5s. 2d. ; so relies on the assistance of parlia- that it was now below the mint ment, in enabling him to carry price, and therefore might be these directions into effect, and coined on the old principle. But upon their co-operation in any as the market price might rise, it further requisite measures. would be proper to prevent the
This message having in the melting down of the coin, by renHouse of Lords been referred, ondering it an operation of no profit, the 30th, to a committee of the which would be effected by fixing whole House, the Earl of Liver- upon the coin a small seignorage, pool rose, to propose an address or raising its value above bullion. in answer; previously to which, This security he thought would he said, it might not be improper be obtained, by raising its coined to state the general outline of value to 5s. 9d.; in which case the measures which government the difference between the mint had in contemplation on the sub- price of 62 shillings for the ject. After alluding to the ela- pound, and 68 or 70 shillings, borate work of his father on the would pay for the re-coinage. coinage, he remarked, that it The Earl then came to the diswas impossible for him to state cussion of the most important his views as to the silver coinage, part of the present measure, without saying something on the which was, the arrangements to gold coin ; and he laid down as be adopted in calling in the dethe foundation of the measures teriorated silver coin, and substiin contemplation, that gold was, tuting the new.
This process in fact, the standard or measure should be simultaneous; for if of property in this country. This the base silver should be suffered being the case, it was intended to circulate with the good, the to leave the gold coin in its pre- latter would disappear, since the sent state ; and it was a happi- temptation of melting it down, ness, that we had now arrived at to be converted into the countera period, when gold might be feit, would be irresistible. He again allowed to operate as a thought that 2,500,0001. of new measure of value on the old prin- coinage would be sufficient to ciple. With respect to silver, it supply the place of the shillings was only necessary to take care, and sixpences called in, or driven that there should be enough of it from circulation, which, from the for the purposes of change, and improved machinery of the inint, should not be liable to be melted inight be prepared in six or seven
months. With regard to the in- of silver had been directed, and demnity to be granted to the the principles upon which it was holders of the old coin, he was proposed to carry this measure disposed to adopt the most liberal into effect. In his speech, he enprinciples; and he would pro- tered more minutely into the subpose, that all the silver which ject than was done by the micould be considered as legal ten- nister in the upper house, partider, by having the proper marks, cularly with respect to the quesshould be received, when called tion, whether gold or silver was in, at the current value. Mere the fittest metal for a standard of counterfeits could not be received coin. With regard to the mode for more than their value, as de- of withdrawing the old, and subtermined by weight and fineness. stituting the new coin, he said He concluded, by moving an ad- he should propose, that no alteradress to the Prince Regent, thank- tion should take place in the coin, ing him for his message, and till two millions and a half of the assuring him of the desire of the new coin should be ready to issue House, to concur in its objects. from the Mint ; but while it was
The Earl of Lauderdale de- in progress, proper steps would clared his dissent from the doc- be taken to lodge it for circulatrines maintained by the noble tion. When all was prepared, a earl, and reasoned against the proclamation would be issued, principle, that gold was the best calling upon all persons to bring standard for the coin of the king- in their old coin to be exchanged dom. He stated the great ex- within a limited time, and he did pense which would accrue to the not doubt, that the transfer might public, by calling in the current be effected within a very few silver and issuing a new silver days. When the new coin got coinage, and expressed his ap- into circulation, it would of prehension, that the fluctuations course supersede the bank tokens, in the price of silver would oc- which would be brought to the casion the new coin to be nielted Mint to be re-coined. It had at down. On these grounds he pro- first been intended to send half a posed an amendment to the ad- million of the new coin to Iredress, consisting of a detail of land, but upon consideration, this objections to the plan of a new plan had been abandoned. In coinage, and an humble request, that country, the bank tokens in that it might be suspended. circulation were coined by go
The amendment was negatived, vernment, and by act of parliaand the original address was inent had been made a legal tenagreed to without a division. der till the expiration of the
In the House of Commons, the Bank restriction, when they were subject of the Prince Regent's to be received by the tellers of message was taken into consi- the Exchequer, and coins of the deration on May 30th.
realm exchanged. The right hon. Mr. Wellesley Pole (master of gentleman concluded, by moving thic inint) rose to explain the the following resolutions : grounds on which a new coinage “That it is expedient, that all silver coin, plate, or bullion, of silver coin shall have heretofore silver, in mass, molten, or alloyed, passed. or any manufacture of silver, be “ That provision be made for permitted to be brought to the defraying the loss arising from Vint, in pursuance to any pro- the deficiency and re-coinage of clamation, to be issue by his the silve coin of the realm, and Majesty, and melted and coined also the charges and expenses of into current silver coin of this melting down, casting, and askingdom, of a standard, in fine- saying, and re-coining the same, ness, of eleven ounces two penny and all other expenses incident weights of fine silver, and eigh- thereto. teen penny weights of alloy, in " That it is expedient, that the pound troy, and in weight, provision be made for regulating after the rate of sixty-six shillings, the currency of the gold and silver to every pound troy; and that coins of this realm." there be delivered a sum in silver After some observations from coins, after the rate of sixty-two different members, the resolushillings of the standard fineness tions were agreed to. and weight aforesaid, for every The silver coinage bill was pound of silver so bought; and brought in, and read a second that, for the defalcation or dimin time in the House of Commons nution, and for the charge for on June 7th. It is not necessary assaying coinage, and waste in to enter into the debate on this coinage, there be retained at the occasion, as it appears to have Mint, the sum of four shillings passed the House without oppofor every pound troy of such sition. silver, which shall be brought as The Earl of Lauderdale moved aforesaid.
in the House of Lords for a com“ That it is expedient, that the mittee on the state of the cursilver coin of the realm, hereto. rency, which was negatived. foré coined and now current, be The coinage bill being read a permitted to be brought to the third time on June 21st, the Mint, and exchanged for new noble lord entered a long protest silver coin, according to the de- against it. nomination for which such old
· Vol. LVIII.
CHAPTER CHAPTER VI.
HE House of Coinmons hav. stances, he thought most advisa
ing on May 27th, resolved ble, and furnish that general itself into a committee of Ways view of the subject, which, inand Means, the Chancellor of the deed, without a dereliction of his Exchequer said, that in rising to duty he could not omit, and submit to the committee the ge- which, from the situation he had neral provisions which he had the honour to hold, he might, thought it necessary to make for perhaps, be thought more comthe service of the year, he found petent to supply than any other it impossible to disguise the fact, person. In doing this, he had that the proposition with which the satisfaction to know, that the he should conclude, grew out of statement he should have to subthe circumstance of the House mit to the committee would be having judged it wise to take a upon the whole consolatory, as course different from that which he should not be under the neceshe had thought it his duty to re- sity of presenting to thein any commend. The nature of the discouraging view of the state of arrangements for the service of public credit, and as the country the year were necessarily much was amply possessed of the means altered by the rejection of the of meeting that expenditure which property tax; but whatever pain the public service demanded. he might feel that the House had Before he proceeded to take a determined against that line of general view of the supplies and conduct which in his opinion ways and means of the year, it would have been most beneficial would be proper for him to call to the country, it was neverthe- the attention of the committee to less his duty to bow to their de. the more immediate object of the cision, and to submit to them the resolutions which he should have ways and means which remained, the honour to submit to them, for meeting the supplies neces- which arose out of a proposition sarily demanded for the service communicated to him in a letter of the year. He should do this which he had received from the with the most sincere desire that Bank of England, and which had the result might be such as to been laid before the House. For leave the House nothing to re- the course pursued in this ingret. He should explain the stance two precedents had ocreasons which had influenced him curred within no great distance in making those arrangements, of time from each other. One which, under existing circum- was the proposition made by the
Bank, June 13, 1781, concerning large a sum is 3,000,0001. paythe renewal of their charter, ing only three per cent. interest. which had been referred to a It was only necessary to consider committee uf ways and means ; whether this proposition was acand the other was a communica- companieil with any condition tion, dated Feb. 19, 1800, res- that could be viewed as objecpecting the advance of a sum for tionable. The principal subject the public service, connected with for consideration was the proa similar proposition for the ex- posed augmentation of the catension of the charter for a fur- pital. To him, this appeared not ther term of years, which had only free from objection, but that been di-posed of in a similar way. which was in itself very desirable. The first resolution which le Since the capital of the Bank was should have to move was, that lised at cleven inillions and a the committee should approve and ball, a great increase of bank ilccept the proposition of the bank paper had taken place; it was of England, for granting an ad- iherefore proper what their ciltance of 3,000,0001. at three per pita! should be increased, to give cent. interest, accompanied with the holders of their notes addia condition, that the corporation timal security. Such an augshould be permitted to extend mentation of their capital as they their capital by an addition of now of themselves proposed, he one-fourth, or 25 per cent., with was of opinion, if not necessary, a further proposition that their was at least as desirable for the promissory notes should continue public as for the Bank. If this to be received in all payments was, as he considered it to be, made on account of the publie advantageous for the public, he revenue. The permission which did not see that any objection it was in contemplation to grant could be made to the mode in them, allowing them to augment which the Bunk proposed to emtheir capital, which was at pree ploy that sum.
If the corporasent fixed at about eleven millious tion lad (as it had been said they and a half, to between 14 and had) a large sum of individed 15,000,0001., was, in truth, only profits in their hands, he did not allowing them to divide some- know that they could do better thing less than 3,000,0001. of than divide it among their protheir own money among their prietors on equitable tems, and proprietors, on condition that add it to their capital. they should advance the sum of The second condition which ac3,000,000l. for the public service, companied their proposition, was, at an interest of three per cent. that the Bank promissory notes This was an advantage of consi- should continue to be received in derable importance to the public. Payment at the Exchequer. It When it was necessary that money
was well known that for many should be borrowell for the na- years their notes had been retion, it was not to be doubted ceived in payment, and he doubted that it was no inconsiderable he- not they would have continued nefit to be enabled to obtain so to be so taken, if this arrange