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stated, that in order to avoid the evils | public annuities in such order and course which must follow from a diversion of the of payment as they shall deem the most new Sinking Fund, he had drawn up a expedient: plan for that purpose : that he should say * And whereas it would be highly adnothing about that plan, because he had vantageous to holders of stock below par already submitted it to the judgment of to acquire a right of priority of redemption; the public; but that if ministers (alluding inasmuch as the repeated application of to a speech of Mr. Pitt in the House of large sums of public money to redeem any Commons) were of opinion, that that plan particular stock which is below par, would of his was either nugatory, or (when com- (cæteris paribus ) raise the value of such pared with the plan of the minister) une- stock in the market higher than any other conomical; that, if that were the opinion stock bearing the like interest : of ministers, they would do well to main- “ And whereas it would be much for the tain that opinion in that House, where interest of holders of stock bearing interest they should find a person prepared to give at 31. per centum per annum, to give up them a complete answer. That if those to the public a part of their present capital were the weak and shallow grounds upon in order to obtain from the public the said which that plan of his had been rejected, right of priority of redemption : it only proved, that ministers had rejected It might therefore be enacted, that that plan, because they did not under- books be opened at the Bank, in order to stand it. He challenged ministers te enter receive the names of such holders of stock into the discussion of that plan in that bearing 3 per cent. interest, as should be House. He knew that he stood upon willing to signify their consent to accept such strong ground, that he would venture, of 901. for every 100l. of their present with confidence, to throw down the gaunt- capital, whenever the public shall be delet upon that subject; and he called upon sirous of redeeming the said capital at ministers, either on that, or on any future such price. And that the said books do day, to dare to take it up. His lordship remain open for the space of six calendar then stated, that he had a new plan, months from a given day: founded on the same general principles on “ And in order that those holders of 3 which his other plan was founded, but ex- per cent. stock, who might have neglected tremely varied as to the mode of applica- to signify such consent within the said six tion. He then stated to the House the months, might have an opportunity to do said new plan, which was as follows: it afterwards, a farther time of three ca. Proposal of Earl Stanhope for rendering end of one year after the expiration of
lendar months (to commence from the the Reduction of the National Debt the said six months) be allowed for that permanent.
purpose; provided always that those per“ Whereas, in order to establish a persons only be permitted to subscribe their manent 'Plan for the Reduction of the names within the said latter period (namely, National Debt, and to make a lasting pro- the said period of three months) who vision for the maintenance of the public should forth with pay to the public 1 per credit, it is essential that the monies to be cent. upon the amount of their capital. set apart for the redemption of redeemable " And that all holders of this new 3 public annuities, be invariably and un- per cent. stock should be entitled to be alienably applied for that purpose : paid off before any part of any other
“ And whereas effectually to insure the public stock whatsoever should be reReduction of the National Debt, in time deemed ; and should moreover be entitled
in , essential that the public faith be fully namely, by an annual surplus of not less pledged by a compact being made between than one million; to which shall be added, the state and the creditors of the public; all the public annuities for terms of years and that it be an express condition of that or for lives that may fall in, and likewise compact that given sums of money to be all dividends now payable on the principal set apart for the gradual redemption of or capital stock of such public annuities the national debt, be applied towards such as shall at any time hereafter have been a redemption, by a fixed course of pay redeemed; and that the whole of the said ment, and to no other purpose whatever : fund be invariably and unalienably applied
“ And whereas the public have the un- to the gradual redemption of the said new doubted right to redeem the redeemable 3 per cent. stock, at ihe prices which the
said stock shall successively bear at been borrowed as aforesaid, in order to market. And that the aforesaid fund be pay off any stock bearing an higher intepermitted to accumulate without limit, as rest; and that it might likewise be enlong as there shall remain any of the said acted, that the compact to be entered new 3 per cents unredeemed.
into as aforesaid with the holders of 3 per " But when all the new 3 per cents cent. stock, should be made subject to the shall be redeemed, then the aforesaid new clause in Mr. Pitt's Bill, for the refund shall no longer continue to accumu- duction of the national debt, (proposed in late; but, from that time shall become the House of Commons by Mr. Fox, and limited so as never to exceed two millions assented to by Mr. Pitt) namely, that the per annum, and shall thenceforth be ap- commissioners should be empowered to plied, first to the redemption of the pre- subscribe to any public loan, any of the sent 5 per cents, then to the redemption monies placed to their account in the of the present 4 per cents, then to the books at the Bank. redemption of all public debts which shall Earl Stanhope desired their lordships have been contracted after the 1st day of to take particular notice, that this plan April, 1786, on account of any war or did not pledge the public to redeem the 3 wars, or otherwise : and which shall bear per cents at 901., but only to give the interest at 3 per cent. per annum, or at public a right to redeem the new 3 per cents more than 3 per cent. per annum; and, at a new par of 901., as the public have now lastly, to the redemption of the present 3 the right to redeem the present 3 per cents per cents, if any such should then exist; at the present par of 1001. And that and that the surplus of the said fund above the commissioners appointed by Mr. Pitt's the said two millions shall be disposed of Bill would, under this plan, be empowered as Parliament shall direct.
to purchase up, at market, the new 3 per “ Provided always, nevertheless, that if cent. stock, just in the same manner" as all the holders of the present 3 per cent. the commissioners were now empowered, stock shall have signified their consent in by Mr. Pitt’s Bill, to purchase up at manner aforesaid, that then, and in such market, the stock (whatever it was) which case, the aforesaid fund, instead of becom- was below par ; that is to say, to purchase ing limited to two millions per annum, shall stock at the then market price. His continue to accumulate without limit until lordship then stated to the House his reaall the present 5 per cents, and also all sons for having proposed, in the aforesaid the present 4 per cents shall be re- plan, that the stockholder should give up deemed.
to the public a part of his nominal capital, " And that it be enacted, that if at any and that the public should give to the time a gain of one eighth per cent. upon stockholder the right of priority of rethe interest of any fund or funds which demption. He stated, that the stockholder shall then by law be redeemable, can be had three things, which he might give to obtained by opening books to receive new the public, and that the public had four subscriptions, in order to apply the money things, which they might give the stockso subscribed to the redemption of stock holder. First, that the stockholder might bearing a higher interest, that then, and give the public a sum of ready money; in such case, books shall be opened at the but, that this the stockholder would not Bank for such purpose, and that all inte- choose to give : secondly, that the stock. rest so saved shall be added to the afore- holder had to give to the public a portion said fund to be applied to the reduction of his dividend; but that this was what of the national debt; and that the new the stockholder would also be unwilling to subscribed stock shall have the same right relinquish: and thirdly, that the stockof priority of redemption, as the higher holder had to give up a part of his nominal interest stock had, which should have been capital, which would not be to him any paid off in consequence of the said new present loss, and which he would not subscription.”
consider as any material sacrifice. That Earl Stanhope observed, that it ought the public, on the other hand, might give also to be enacted, that the aforesaid fund, the stockholder, either ready money, or instead of becoming limited to two mil- an increase of his dividend, or an augmenlions per annum, should continue to ac- tation of his nominal capital, or the right cumulate without limit, whenever the said of priority of redemption. Of these four fand should come to be applied to redeem things, it was evident, that the right of any new subscribed stock which shall have priority of redemption, was that which would best suit the public to give, inas. | new 3 per cents, inasmuch as the much as it was that which was no loss to 50,619,9931. of new 3} per cents would the public to dispose of, but which was a have been lent to the public under the material advantage to the stockholder to express condition of being redeemed, in receive. His lordship then stated his a given course of payment, by the annual : reasorts for having proposed two periods application of the whole of the new sinkfor subscribing, with a year's interval being fund. tween them; he said, that either much Earl Stanhope then read to the House stock would, or much stock would not, be the following letters, which he had resubscribed in the first period. That if ceived from some of the first monied mene much stock were subscribed in the first in this country, and some of the most period, it became immaterial whether any knowing men in the city. He paid the were subscribed in the second. But that, highest compliments to each of the perif much stock were not subscribed in the sons whom he mentioned; and said, that first period, the price of the new sub- such great authorities proved that this scribed 3 per cents would be considerably plan was practicable. higher than the price of the unsubscribed Note from Mr. Harman, partner in the
per centsduring the year between the two subscriptions; and that the inevitable
capital house of Gurnell, Hoare, Har
man, and Co. to earl Stanhope. consequence would be, that people would flock to subscribe, as soon as the second “ Mr. Harman, with his respectful period of subscription should arrive. The complimenis, acquaints earl Stanhope, reason, he said, for making persons pay that the best reflection which he is capable one per cent. upon their capital, who of making upon the subject; has confirmed should delay subscribing till the second his opinion :- That it is essential to the period, was in order to induce the more advantages proposed by the Bill for propersons to subscribe in the first instance. viding a fund for the reduction of the na
Earl Stanhope then stated the reason tional debt,' that the best possible security for not permitting the new sinking fund be given for the faithful and unalienable to accumulate beyond two millions per application of such fund to those objects. annum, in the particular case stated in – That the most effectual means of prothe above-mentioned plan, and for throw- viding this security, will be to institute a ing the unsubscribed 3 per cents remote compact between the public and indivi. from. redemption. It was in order to duals. He also thinks that the plan which create the stronger inducement for the earl Stanhope has done him the honour to holders of 3 per cent. stock to accept of consult him upon, would obtain that obthe terms offered to them. His lordship ject, and that a very considerable number then explained that part of the plan by of the holders of 3 per cent. annuities which it was proposed to receive new sub- would be induced to assign to Government scriptions to pay off stock bearing an the option of redeeming them at the price higher interest. That part
That part of the plan, of 90 per cent. upon condition that the he said, related to the five per cents and monies to be raised by the before-mento the 4 per cents. He explained this by tioned Bill should be applied to the puran example. Suppose, said his lordship, chase of such new subscribed stock, and that in some years hence, the interest of to no other purpose whatsoever, till the money should be at 3 per cent. a gain of whole of it be paid off.—Mr. Harman is 11 per cent. might then be made upon however become more diffident of this opithe 17,869,9931. of 5 per cents which nion, from understanding that several would be 268,0491., and a gain of 11 per persons with whom he has conversed, discent. would also be then made upon the sent from it, considering the advantages 32,750,0001. of 4 per cents, which would of such preference so very remote as be 163,750l. ; and the said two sums added scarcely to compensate for the surrender together, would make 431,7991. which of 10 per cent. capital of the present anwould be annually to be added to the new nuities, however ideal the value of it may sinking fund. Independent of this prodi- be." gious advantage, the above regulation would also produce the following admi- Letter from two capital Brokers to earl rably good effect, namely, the rendering
Stanhope. the sinking fund unalienable during the “ My lord ; we conceive that it is whole period of the redemption of these highly essential, that the nation be come
mitted in an absolute bargain and com- for the clause in the new Sinking Fund pact with the public creditor, in order to Act, which directs that the accumulation make the plan of redemption permanent. by compound interest shall cease, after Without which commitment of the public the fund has increased to four millions, faith, much future advantage will not be including the million surplus, and the likely to be derived from the plan of re- lapsed temporary annuities. This will demption, as a war might otherwise in- happen in 27 years, and the fund will then terrupt its salutary operation. We like have paid about 57 millions; were the acwise think that a bargain formed upon the cumulating interests to be carried to the principles contained in your lordship's fund for 13 years more, it would increase manuscript plan, will effectually pledge to near 61 millions; and five millions in the public faith; and that by far the taxes might then be abolished; and the greater part of the present existing debt, remaining million and a half (reserved for bearing an interest of 3 per cent. per a new sinking fund) might possibly keep annum, will be converted upon the con- the public debts within the bounds of safety ditions mentioned in your lordship's plan for ever afterwards." We remain, &c.
EXTRACT of a Letter from an eminent Tho. ROBERTS and Son."
Merchant in the City, to earl StanEXTRACT of a Note from other eminent hope, dated 16th May, 1786. Brokers to earl Stanhope.
“ My Lord; I beg leave to return the " They clearly understand the whole of inclosed paper to your lordship, with my his lordship's ideas, and are upanimously earnest thanks for the perusal. As the of opinion, that the greatest part of the great difficulty in establishing a permanent 3 per cents would be subscribed in at 90, sinking fund, arises from the uncertain on his lordship’s conditions."
disposition of future parliaments; your Extract of a Letter from Dr. Price lordship’s plan will prevent any alienation, to earl Stanhope. Dated Newington the additional aids) having been pledged,
in consequence of the free revenue (with Green, May 15, 1786.
and even sold, to a part of the public cre“ My Lord; I agree entirely with those ditors, for a valuable consideration. The gentlemen in the city, who think that the object of rendering the sinking fund ungreater part of the 3 per cent. stock. alienable, is not only of the highest imbolders would consent never to be re- portance in itself, but is the sincere wish deemed at a higher price than 90, pro- of every true friend to his country, and vided such terms as your lordship pro- for which every proper sacrifice may be poses are offered to them; that is, provided made. The discount of 10 per cent. on a right is given them to be first redeemed the captital stock of the 3 per cents, for by a sinking fund, not capable of being the purpose of conversion, is also a subinterrupted or diverted. It is obvious that stantial and considerable benefit for the the larger this fund is, the greater will be public, provided the whole, or the greater the benefit which they will derive from part of the stock, shall be subscribed : but such a right, and therefore the more pro- it will not be for the interest of the public bable their general acceptance. I have to pledge the sinking fund, or rather the nothing to add to what I have said in my priority of redemption, to a small part former letters, with respect to the practi- only of the proprietors of the 3 per cent. cability of pledging the faith of Parliament stock.--I am not competent to give an to these stockholders in such a manner as opinion whether the subscription from the
to assure them of the unalienableness of holders of the 3 per cent. stock would be | the fund. - The plan which Mr. Pitt has general under such a plan, or otherwise : i adopted is that which I have been writing, if I must consider the subject as a person
about, and recommending for many years. endeavouring to procure every advantage It would be an unspeakable improvement for himself, I should subscribe in the first of it
, could a method be discovered of instance a part of the old 3 per cents; and making an interruption of it as much an if the new 3 per cents. sold at a higher injurious breach of faith with the public price than what I could obtain for the old creditors as seizing their dividends ; and I stock, allowing for the abatement of one beartily wish your lordship success in esta- per cent. ; then, but not
till then, I should į bisbing such an improvement.--I am sorry subscribe the remainder.”
Extract of a Letter from an eminent 1786, was not that prodigious surplus, was
Banker, to the earl of Stanhope, dated not that tempting morsel, and was not that 19th May, 1786.
seducing bait, which would induce any “ My Lord; I have considered the plan order to seize upon such a surplus. He
minister to involve this country in war, in your lordship did me the honour to communicate, and I see your great object is, that it prevented the commissioners from
said, it was a great advantage of his plan, to make the one million per annuin, with its increase, a permanent fund for the pur- gambling in the public funds ; and that pose of annihilating the public debt.I
the new 3 per cent. stock established by
his new plan, would be an bomogeneous confess I see no means of rendering it ab
stock. solutely unalienable, by any act of parliament, without a bargain taking place is the opinion of this House, that it is
Earl Stanhope then moved, “ That it between the public and its creditors. Your lordship's plan would effectually prevent as well as necessary for the welfare of this
highly important to the public creditors, the application of the new sinking fund to the interest of any future loan, as might for the maintenance of the public credit,
country, that a lasting provision be made be proposed, by some future minister in and that a plan for the reduction of the time of war; and I think it very likely, on national debt be rendered absolutely perthe terms proposed, that a great number of the holders of consolidated three per sure the permanency of such a plan, that
manent. And, in order effectually to incents will become subscribers.”
it is essential that the public faith be fully In addition to these weighty authorities, pledged to individuals, by an express comearl Stanhope stated, that he had often pact being entered into between the state conversed with another of the most capital and the creditors of the public, so that a bankers in the metropolis upon the sub breach of such a compact should be equiject of this plan, who declared it to be valent to an act of bankruptcy” of exceeding great consequence to the Earl Stanhope concluded his speeh in stockholders, as well as to the public, to words to the following effect: Our situainsure the invariable application of the tion with respeet to our finances is critical; new sinking fund to the purchase of stock but it is not that by any means which ought at market, and that in his opinion the to incline us to despair. Neither is it that greater part of the 186 millions of present which ought to make us over sanguine. 3 per cents would be subscribed in at 90, Despondency prevents men from taking
under the conditions of this plan; and the steps necessary for their good, and , that a very great number of them would that from a total want of confidence in
be subscribed in, even at 85. He stated, their success. An over-sanguine temper that it was a great advantage of his new produces (though from an opposite cause) plan, that it might another year, be grafted the same bad effect; because men are not upon Mr. Pitt's plan. That Mr. Pitt's was led to take steps for their security until not defective so much on account of what they perceive that there is some impendit did contain, but on account of what it ing danger. We ought to view our situaought to contain, but which it did not. tion (whatever it may be) with calmness That it was his wish that Mr. Pitt's Bill and decision; and our minds will then be should pass without a dissenting voice, in in a fit state to form a proper judgment.order to shew foreign Powers that, what. There is no situation, however unfortu. ever might be the differences of opinion nate, but which affords some species of in this country with respect to politics, consolation; and such has been the goodthere was one subject upon which we were ness of Providence towards mankind, that unanimous, namely, in our firm determi- circumstances of misfortune generally nation to reduce our debt and to redeem carry some consolation with themselves. our finances. He stated that people might The present situation of our finances affords wonder how he could reconcile it to his a striking instance of this. If we were conscience to vote for so defective and so rich, the nation might be haughty; and bad a bill; but that, as his principal ob ministers might be proud, and might be jection to Mr. Pitt's Bill was, that a mi- tempted to involve the nation in rash wars, nister might be induced to involve this from the facility with which they could country in war, in order to seize upon a obtain supplies. But, my lords, if the nalarge surplus, that objection did not now tion be poor, if it be deeply involved in exist : for, that the surplus of the year debt, if it be loaded with taxes, and if it