HC Deb 25 June 1819 vol 40 cc1376-7
Mr. Peel

, on rising to move, that the House should accede to the amendment introduced by the Lords into the Cash Payments' bill, observed, that in the alteration of their lordships was involved no departure from the principle of the clause upon which it was founded. By that clause, the option was left to the Bank of resuming the payment of their notes in the current coin of the realm on the 1st of May 1821, and the only change made by the amendment of the Lords was, to defer that option until the 1st of May 1822, this change being deemed necessary to enable the Bank more effectually to prepare for the complete resumption of cash payments.

Mr. Ellice

said, he thought it ought to be left to the discretion of the Bank to return to payments in specie as soon as it might be deemed expedient; that it should be allowed to proceed as early as convenient, from the price of bullion or other causes, to discharge imperceptibly (if he might use that expression) the one and two pound notes, the bulk of which ought to be taken out of circulation previous to the entire resumption of cash payments. He would agree to the amendment, although it fell short of his views, rather than risk the clause altogether. Another reason for pressing the principle of that amendment was this, that in case the Bank should contract its issues of paper, while bullion should fall in price below the rate at which the Bank was to pay its notes, he could not conceive how the transactions of the country were to be carried on, if the Bank was prohibited from paying in specie, especially as gold in ingots was not a legal tender. Besides, any gold coin paid into the Bank could not again be issued, until the period mentioned in this amendment, and thus the currency of the country would be limited. Another reason for the adoption of the clause referred to was this, that although it was provided by the bill that the Bank should pay certain notes in ingots of gold, there was no provision that those ingots should be again received in payment by the Bank.

Mr. Manning

expressed his concurrence in the views of the hon. gentleman, with regard to the expediency of leaving it to the discretion of the Bank to determine at what time, and under what circumstances, it would be proper to commence the payment of its notes in the currrent coin of the realm.

The amendment was agreed to.