HC Deb 08 April 1811 vol 19 cc738-9

On the motion for the House to resolve itself into a Committee of Supply,

Lord Folkestone

rose, to call the attention of the House to a subject in which the country was at present very much interested. He did so on this occasion for two reasons. In the first place, he considered it as a great and important privilege of a member of Parliament, at the time the Supplies were voted, to enter upon and discuss any measure or circumstance connected with the state of the country. It was of the greatest consequence that this privilege, founded in practice and no less in the fundamental principles of the constitution, should be frequently exercised, and never permitted to fall into disuse. It was the more necessary now, since the business of the House had been cramped by the new Regulation with regard to Notices, The importance of the subject itself, to which he alluded, was another, reason for taking the first opportunity to call the attention of the House to it. Every one knew how difficult it was at present to procure small specie for the common transactions of life. Not only bankers and tradesmen, but every gentleman must have experienced this difficulty. It. was not only felt with the utmost severity in the metropolis, but also in the country. He had lately received a letter from a person in the vicinity of the place where he lived, who went to a fair in the neighbourhood to settle some small bills. He had occasion to pass through a town in which there was a bank, but was not able to get change for a one pound note. He went all over the fair to get change, but with out success; and at last he was enabled to settle only a small bill of twelve shillings and six-pence, with one who gave him the difference in silver, stating that this was all the change he had. The people at the fair found it almost impossible to sell or purchase goods, owing to the want of silver; and it was not unusual to see three, four, or five persons clubbing together to buy some things for which they had occasion, in order to bring up the amount to a one pound note. He could not but regard this want of silver as a severe calamity; and he mentioned it with a view to draw the attention of gentlemen to it, that they might turn it in their minds, and endeavour to devise a remedy. This was the more imperiously demanded, as the evil was not upon the decrease, but likely to advance in a rapid proportion.

Mr. G. Vansittart

said, he had received a letter from the country of a similar nature with that to which the noble lord had adverted. The Speaker then left the chair.

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