HC Deb 13 May 1864 vol 175 cc460-1

said, in the absence of his hon. Friend (Mr. Heygate), he would beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether, taking into account the vast increase of the trade and commerce of England in the last thirty years, he is of opinion that the arrangement of 1844, limiting the Bank of England to an issue of fourteen millions of Bank Notes, without a corresponding amount of gold, is now commensurate with the daily monetary requirements of the country?


, in reply, said, the Question of the hon. Gentleman hardly admitted of an intelligent answer without a general statement on the subject of the currency. He might, however, refer to what he had stated a few days ago, that in his opinion the essential principle of the Bank Act of 1844 had been proved by experiment to be sound and necessary for the regulation of the monetary affairs of the country. But there was a subsidiary and second provision of the Act with regard to which he thought it would be convenient that the attention of hon. Members might be drawn. "With respect to the particular points alluded to in the Question, all he could say was, that he was a consenting party to the substance of that paragraph of the Report of the Committee of 1858 with regard to the issue of £14,000,000 of bank notes by the Bank of England on securities. There was a popular impression that the effect of an addition to the issue on securities would add to the practical available circulating medium of the country. That view the Committee declared to be entirely erroneous, and in that opinion of the Committee he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) entirely concurred.