HL Deb 15 June 1860 vol 159 cc500-1

DISSENTIENT: Because no Evidence or Argument has been adduced to prove that the Restraint imposed on the Bank of Ireland, prohibiting the Loan of Money on Mortgage or other Landed Security, has been productive of Injury to that Establishment, or of public or private Inconvenience, and has thus justified its Repeal. Because this Restraint forming a part of the original Constitution of the Bank of Ireland, and steadily maintained to the present Time during a Period of about 80 Years, has been shown to be consistent with a System of successful and prudent Management, upholding public and private Credit, not only in prosperous Times but during Periods of Commercial Pressure and of Political disquiet. Because even during the Crisis which produced the Bank Restriction that Measure was recommended, adopted, and condemned in Ireland less in reference to Dangers or Exigencies affecting Irish interests, than as a Consequence of the Suspension of Cash Payments enacted by the Legislature of Great Britain. Because the Repeal of this Restraint upon Loans and Mortgages of Land, which has so long subsisted, cannot but he interpreted as giving the Sanction of the Legislature to the Investment in Landed Securities of the Capital of Banks issuing Promissory Notes payable on Demand; a Practice which has been condemned as contrary to sound Principle, and therefore open to serious Objection. Because the ultimate Security of the Promissory Notes payable on Demand is insufficient for the Public Interests, unless their immediate Convertibility is also provided for, and for this reason the practice of locking-up Capital thus rendered unavailable to answer pressing Demands is inconsistent with the true Theory of Banking, or with its safe Application. Because if this Repeal of the wholesome Restraint of the Irish Bank Charter Act, 21 & 22 Geo. III. Cap. 16, had taken place during the existence of the Agricultural Distress consequent upon the Failure of Crops, it can hardly be doubted that a Pressure so urgent would have been cast on the Bank of Ireland as would have led them to unwise and dangerous Advances, adding to the existing Agricultural Distress the further Risks attendant on an imprudent Extension of the Circulation. Because the Danger of the Principle involved in the Bill becomes greater when it is proposed that it should be applied to the central and most important Bank in Ireland, which, as holding the Public Accounts of the Treasury and Exchequer, as paying the Dividends, and intrusted with the Public Remittances from England, stands in all these important respects in the Position of a National Bank, and is liable, if deviating from its present more prudent Course, to risk the certain Convertibility of its Notes by Investments not available in the immediate Discharge of its legitimate Banking Engagements.