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upon the baneful influence which high intereft and quick changes in the value of money have on the trade of the country; that the late rife in the value of money, and depreciation of paper, withdrew from circulation, and of courfe from the capital of this country, a fum equal to all the Company's paper in iflue, which, whilft at par, was nearly equal to money as a facile medium of exchange, but when at a difcount, as' we have lately feen of 18 per tent., was a lofing commodity, that the opulent locked up in their chefts to wait for a favourable change, and the merchant, contractor, or fervant, who had taken it from the Company as a money equivalent, prefli-d by their neceflities, fold to the ufurer as faft as poffible, at any lofs, to avoid a ftill greater, who of courfe withdrew it from circulation until he could fell it to advantage."
A bank, it has been before obferved, was eftablifhed in 1786* at Calcutta; its capital did not exceed 22 lacks} its fecurity and control not being defined by act of Parliament, became inadequate to its avowed purpofes and to the aid of the induftrious. The well-intended fupport of Lord Cornwallis to that inftitution was founded on an engagement of the bank to furnifh a fum not exceeding 8 lacks, at 8 per cent., weekly or monthly. The bank notes obtained circulation in the public offices and in the remittances of the revenue, which enabled them to collect the circulating fpecie, and whether it was exported by Government, or fent up to the higher provinces by the bank to be coined for its emolument, is immaterial, the fpecie was withdrawn from the feat of Government, in a degree ferioufly to affect both the merchant and the manufacturers. Specie lent to the favoured was at the rate of 12 per cent. for four months, under faleable fecurities, renewable three times in the year; and the orders of the Board of Revenue on the Collectors paffing into circulation as the merchants remittances of their advances to the manufacturer, if ever they proved anticipations of revenue, unlefs realized by difcount, they retarded the ad
* Page 388.
vances, on the early payment of which the whole of the merchant's fuccefs and profits depended: thefe and other circumftances counteracted the real utility of the bank, and terminated in its total failure.
It will be the fubject of ferious confideration of Commiflioners and Dii*ectors, under the prefent act, to afcertain in what degree a bank is necefiary, and under what regulation it may promote the intereft of the country and of Great Britain. I have ftated fufficient to mew that neither the capital nor inftitution of the late bank was adequate to the object propofed by Sir James Steuart in 1772; the opinion of the public fince that period has been attracted by different ftatements, and the control of Government has been directed to connect fyftems abfolutely irreconcileable,becaufe they tend to favour different interefts, and by different modifications to perpetuate defective principles. The prefent a«5t has confirmed the exclufive trade of the Company in articles heretofore of clofe monopoly; leaving therefore to others their own opinion, 1 (hall give the refult of my private
inquiries, both as to the object and extent of the Company's authorised preference, and hazard an opinion as to the beft arrangement under the prefent act to collec t the inveftment and maintain legalized monopoly.
Irrveftment of Piece Goods.
In the firft place, it is admitted univerfally, that without advances to the manufacturer no goods can be obtained; the money advanced to the weaver is in great part advanced by him to the fpinner, who cannot obtain cotton without advancing to the farmer; what is retained by the different people is to enfure fubfiftence by cropping their land, or by purchafing rice; thus the advance for manufacture, in fact, influences the general profperity of the country: when they are not made in time, the weaver cannot aflbrt his thread, which he would wifh to do by letters for warp and woof; and private merchants, Britijh or foreigners, wait the Company's advances, left the Company fhould feize from the
looms whatever goods they found, whether th'ey were begun on the Company's advances or not, therefore if they ventured to make advances, they ftrengthened themfelves on the privileges of foreign companies or on the privileges of Englijh fubjects; and thefe bickerings were often magnified by their tranfit to Europe into great national queftions, or became fubjefts of declamation or of crimination. The various fyftems of management by which the inveftment has been collected did not appear fo defective in principle as in practice; too much depended on the individual ability and honefty of the Company's agent. In the end of 1786, I was introduced to Mr. Smith, a gentleman who had managed a diftricT: of weavers according to his own way, and the hafty minutes of a converfation on that fubjecT:, he obligingly put on paper at the time, were literally as follows:
The advances are made in fpecie (nominal) of the diftrict, in which there is always a lofs; this might be rectified by eftablifhing only one coin throughout the