HC Deb 02 February 1808 vol 10 cc231-2
Mr. Tierney ,

as the propriety of the late bargain between the Bank of England and the government, with a view to the public service, was to be discussed on Monday, thought it right to move that copies of all correspondence between the governor and deputy governor of the bank and the chancellor of the exchequer, since the 1st of May last, relative to the management of the public debt, the application of unclaimed dividends, and loans from the bank to the public, be laid before the house. The propriety of having these written documents was suggested by the recollection of the failure of the memory of Mr. Pitt and the governor of the bank for the time, as to the particulars of a conversation relative to a matter of this nature, which had passed between them not a month before they were called to speak to it; a matter which afterwards turned out to be a very profitable speculation for the bank.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, the present case was very different from that alluded to by the right hon. gent.; there was no extension of the charter of the bank in this case; the advantage of the arrangement was all on the side of the public. The arrangement arose from the suggestions of the Report of the Committee of Finance, submitted to the bank by his majesty's Ministers, and acceded to with the usual liberality of that institution. In consenting to the motion, he acknowledged he saw no parliamentary ground for producing all the correspondence; many of the letters referred to conferences managed on the one part by himself, and on the other part by the governor and deputy governor. The substance of these conversations could not be stated.

Mr. Thornton

said the negotiation had proceeded partly by means of letters, and partly by means of conferences managed on the part of the bank by the governor and deputy governor, the substance of which was reduced into a connected form, and submitted by the governor and deputy governor to the court of proprietors, then the whole was made the subject of an ultimate letter. He supposed the information contained in this letter would be sufficient, as it contained in a substantial and connected form, the essence of all that passed verbally in conference and in notes, referring to those conferences.—The papers were then ordered; of which the following are copies

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