HC Deb 24 March 1823 vol 8 cc682-3
The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, that, as the act of the last session had only given the trustees of naval and military pensions the power of making agreements for the sale of them from year to year, and as, by some inexplicable omission, it had not given them the power of making au agreement for the sale of them for a term of years, he now canoe forward, to ask for leave to bring in a bill to remedy that omission. He did not know whether, under such circumstances, it would be necessary for him to trouble the House with an account of the bargain which the trustees had recently made, for sale of part of those annuities; as, however, the hour was a late one, he would confine himself to merely moving for leave to bring in a bill "to confirm an Agreement entered into by the Trustees, under an act of the last session, for apportioning the burthen occasioned by the Military and Naval Pensions and Civil Superannuations, with the Governor and Company of the Bank of England."

Mr. Baring

said, that, as no agreement with the Bank of such a nature as that to which allusion had just been made, could be concluded without the sanction of parliament, and, as the first vote of the House in favour of it, was generally considered to give such sanction, leave to bring in the bill should not be given as a mere matter of course. He, therefore, suggested the propriety of introducing this bill in a committee of the whole House.

Mr. Grenfell

said, that, as this transaction went to raise money by way of loan, it ought to be introduced in a committee of the whole House. As to the bargain which had been made with the Bank, he should certainly object to it; not that he considered it at all unfair for the Bank to accept it; but he thought it would be more advantageous to the public, for the commissioners for the reduction of the national debt to take the management of those annuities into their own hands.

The Speaker

said, he thought there was no occasion for going into a committee of the whole House, for the purpose of introducing this bill. The present act of parliament enabled the trustees to make the bargain from year to year it was dear, therefore, that they had the power of making it for the present year. The bill which the chancellor of the exchequer now wished to introduce, was to enable government to make the bargain for five years; and was, therefore, only a bill to amend the existing act. The reason why the House went into a committee upon a loan, was, that the loan was generally raised for the service of the current year. Now, the trustees had received power to sell annuities for the present year; and, therefore, he was of opinion, that the bill might be introduced without going into a Committee.

Leave was given to bring in the bill.