HC Deb 13 December 1830 vol 1 cc1068-9
Mr. Attwood

took that opportunity to ask the noble Lord (Althorp) whether it was the intention of the Government to propose any inquiry into the public distress, in connection with the change of the currency, or to adopt any measure of legislation to heal the wounds occasioned by the mischievous tampering with the currency by the Legislature since 1819.

Lord Althorp

replied, that it was not the intention of his Majesty's Government to propose any inquiry into the expediency of altering' the present plan of our currency. The hon. Gentleman would be perfectly right, with his view of the subject, to bring it forward for the consideration of Parliament; and whenever he did so, it was to be hoped that he would state explicitly what his object really was, and on what grounds he and his hon. friends were of opinion that the existing system of our currency could be advantageously altered: and whether it ought to be done by an increase of paper, by a restriction in the amount of cash payments, or by any new regulation with reference to the value of the metallic currency. For himself he would say, that, after having considered the subject long and attentively, he was perfectly satisfied that it would be utterly impossible to alter the value of our money, without producing an effect on the commerce of the country, that with reference not only to our exchanges with foreign countries, but to our domestic affairs, must be, in the highest degree, mischievous and destructive. It was of the utmost importance that the measure of value should remain fixed, and he, for one, therefore, would not consent to any further alteration in our monetary system.

Mr. Attwood

expressed his regret to hear that it was not the intention of his Majesty's Government to bring the subject of the currency under the consideration of Parliament, as he was convinced that to the state of that currency the severe distress which existed throughout the country was mainly attributable.