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cellor of the exchequer. He tells us, that | tute, in their room, two others, expreshe never thought that any thing beyond sive of that justification and approbation the mere peccadillo of improvidence is of the chancellor of the exchequer's conimputable to that right hon. gentleman, duct, which the unwarranted attack upon and he concludes the resolution which he it has, in my mind, rendered necessary, desires the House to adopt, by pronounc- both for his sake, and that of the public. ing, that the public agent, the depository The general, heads on which the conof the national faith and honour, the trus- tract for the loan has been arraigned are, tee and guardian of its financial concerns, think, as follows: That 'the chancellor " had, in every part of the transaction of of the exchequer has, by concluding with the late loan, sacrificed the public interest, Messrs. Boyd and Co., done a manifest in favour of a contractor palpably pre- and voluntary injury to other respectable ferred, and immoderately benefitted, by individuals; to Mr. Morgan and his friends the gift of a loan of 18 millions, on such who have complained, and to Messrs. terms, and accompanied with such ar- Mellish, who have not complained. That rangements, asi to create a profit of this injury has arisen by his departing un2,160,0001." What a mockery must it necessarily from his own favourite princiappear to this House, to find such a pro- ple of competition. That he affected to position prefaced by such professions, and yield to groundless and idle claims of how vain must be the hon. gentleman's preference by Messrs. Boyd. That, in hope, if he thinks he can, in such a man- truth, he gave that preference as the rener. “ lenitate verbi rei acerbitatem mi. ward for a great service rendered to him, tigare.”
as chancellor of the exchequer, by a large Sir, although only, the first resolution advance of money, under circumstances is before the House, yet, as they have all extremely censurable. That the terms been opened, stated, and printed, and of the loan were, in themselves, grossly form one chain of assertion, argument, or advantageous to the contractor, and injuinsinuation, leading to the conclusions in rious to the public, and were entered into the two last, I hope I may take the liberty at a time when there were other persons to answer them all together, and I shall ready to have taken it at a much smaller begin by declaring, that I think every profit. That the chancellor of the excheone of the hon. gentleman's 39 articles, quer contrived to sink the value of the 3 [this being supposed to allude to Mr. per cent funds, by an unusual operation of Smith's religious persuasion as a Dis- the commissioners for the reduction of the senter, produced a general laugh], which national debt, and then gave nothing but were framed for the sake of establishing 3 per cents for the loan (except 6s. 6d. the 40th, is either founded in misappre- long annuity), which was, in truth, a hension, suppression, partial statement, or scheme to enhance the value of the loan perversion of the evidence contained in to the contractor, at the expense of the the Report, and mixed up with so much public. That he postponed the delivery false argument, unfounded insinuation. of the king's message concerning peace and misapplication of principles, and, till after the bargain was concluded, and above all, so obviously offered to the thereby occasioned an enormous advance House as the ground-work of a most un- in the funds, " which it was impossible just, and therefore, under the circum- not to foresee"- '-an advance whereof the stances, a most dangerous accusation of public must have had the benefit, if the one of its members, that I find it my duty message had been delivered on an earlier, to object to all of them, and to state, be. or the bargain concluded on a later day forehand, that before 1 'sit down, I shall and at a time nearer to that on which the move such an amendment on the first, as budget was opened, agreeably to general I think necessarily called for, in order at practice. From all these heads of charge once to assert the principle contained in the hon. member infers, what his speeches it, as now worded, and to vindicate the call “ improvidence," and his resolutions chancellor of the exchequer's departure translate " a sacrifice of the public intefrom that principle in the present in- rest” in order to benefit a favoured conKance : and, if the House shall concur in tractor and his friends, to the amount of this amendment, I shall propose to them 2,160,0001. out of the public pocket, and to dispose of the 57 next resolutions by what other gentlemen have stated as the previous question, and of the two last such palpable corruption as must clearly by a direct negative, in order to substi- appear, if the lists of the contractors, and the subordinate lists of the sharers in the the exchequer had, from sound reasons loan, should be produced. The hon. of public advantage, departed from a pochairman, indeed, has always declared, sitive engagement with individuals, the that, in his view of the subject, the pro- consequence would have been only, that duction of the lists was unnecessary and they would have been entitled to have useless ; but other members, as eager for received a compensation from the public, the inquiry as himself, have expressed adequate to the injury they could have themselves very differently, and have ren shown themselves to have sustained. dered, as far as it could be obtained, such The most positive engagement cannot be production absolutely necessary, either more inviolable than the right to the ex. for the exculpation, or detection, of the clusive enjoyment of private property; persons charged as the agents in the cor- yet it is oflen both wise and just in the rupt distribution, and who, it was hinted, legislature, to possess itself of such promight be found by looking round the perty, when the public good requires it, chancellor of the exchequer in this House. without the consent of the owner; com
I proceed to consider, first, the supposed pensation, in such case, being all that he injury done to Mr. Morgan. That gentle can fairly claim or expect. The prayer, man had been treated in all the previous de- therefore, of the petition of Mr. Morgan's bates as the principal dramatis persona. subscribers, that the bargain with Mr. His evidence was first called for in the com- Boyd should not be sanctioned, because mittee ; and occupied much more of our of the injury they supposed themselves to time than any of the other examinations. have sustained, was absurd. The gravamen of which he complains is, But what is Mr. Morgan's evidence on that, on the faith not only of the general this subject? I will read it from the reknowledge of the chancellor of the exche- port. “On Friday, the 23rd of October, quer's adoption of the principle of com- I understood from a conversation with petition, but also in consequence of direct Mr. Godschal Johnson, that it was his communications from him, through the opinion Mr. Boyd would have the loan. governor of the bank, by which he de- In consequence of this, I told him I had clared his intention that there should be no intention of forming a list, nor had an open competition in the present in- made any kind of arrangement.” After stance, he (Mr. Morgan) had determined this he states himself to have fluctuated to become a bidder, had opened a list, in his intention, and in his conjectures, conand had induced a number of persons to cerning the preference that might be the amount of about 400, either to ad- given to Boyd. On the 26th of that vance large sums of money to him, or to month, he saw the governor of the bank, keep their cash unemployed at their ban- and also on the 27th and 28th. On each kers, in order to be prepared to make the of those days he stated, on the one hand, usual deposit, in case he should be the the general rumour concerning Boyd, and successful competitor; and that not till on the other, the fact that Messrs. Mellish the 25th November, the day when the were forming a list, which seemed to condifferent competitors, consisting of three tradict the idea of a preference to Boyd, parties, himself, Messrs. Mellish, and Mr. and also that he himself had been much Boyd's party, went by appointment to applied to to open a list. The governor of Downing-street, to hear the usual preli- the bank, he says, told him, on all these minaries stated, he learned that the rule three days, that the chancellor of the exof competition was to be abandoned, and chequer had always said “competition," a preference given to Mr. Boyd ; that this whenever he had spoken to him on the measure of the chancellor of the exche subject; but that still he (the governor) quer had occasioned a great injury to him had great doubts on his mind—“ there and his subscribers, as they had not made was a something, he did not explain that any provision for the re-investment of the something, that Mr. Boyd and his party money which they had necessarily called seemed to be confident.' On the 27th, in to make the usual deposit, and such he told the governor of the bank he payments as might be fixed for an early should make up bis mind positively by period. Such is Mr. Morgan's complaint, the next day. On the next day, the goand that of a number of his subscribers, vernor expressed, in a very strong manner, as set forth in their petition to this House. his doubts and that the loan would
go And I must here observe, that if the case to Mr. Boyd, and he (Mr. Morgan) had been as stated, and the chancellor of would be disappointed. “ There was something or another-he never men- duct; and, if it is to be credited, what tioned what, that would be brought for injury has been done to him? If we are ward to prevent its going to a competito credit his recollection, in opposition to tion." This is taken from the narrative that of the governor of the bank, he was which he at first stated to the committee, warned by that gentleman “ that he would and which was afterwards deliberately be tricked," to which, he says, he replied, read over to him, that he might correct
" that he should do bis utmost to be well any mistakes he or the clerk, in taking it prepared for competition, and, if he was down, might have fallen into. On the precluded, it should not be his fault." question, however, whether, on that very With a clear persuasion that it was de28th of October, the governor alluded to termined to preclude him, what possible any other motive, as operating with the motives can we assign for his preparation, chancellor of the exchequer, exclusive of or what effect could he possibly expect the last payment on the preceding loan from it, except a pretext or clamour and not having been completed, he answers, complaint against government and a pe« beyond all doubt whatever, and that tition for redress to the House of Comwas no part of it; particularly it was mons ? But if he was not, were his substated by the governor of the bank to scribers injured? If he did not commume, that there had been an important money nicate to them his conviction, or the negotiation, amounting to 900,0001., in grounds of it, and they were not otherwhich it was understood that Mr. Boyd wise apprized of them, they were. But had greatly assisted the chancellor of the by whom? Not by the chancellor of the exchequer, and that on that ground Mr. exchequer - he had no communication Boyd would have the loan. This was with them—Most assuredly by their prinstated not once, but repeatedly." Here, cipal, Mr. Morgan. He inscribed their Şir, the House will perceive a strange names in his list, encouraged their preparacontrariety between Mr. Morgan's narra- tions, received 5 per cent. on the suptive and bis answers, on which I wish to posed amount of the loan from some of make no harsher remark, than that he them" and yet there were undoubtedly appears to be of so feeble and incoherent abundance of them, to whom he made no a memory, that little reliance can be communication of the impression on his had on his testimony, in the investiga- mind, that there would be no competition. tion of the facts in question. But let us • To some,' says he, it is very likely I see the opinion he ultimately formed on did communicate it, but in general, l'obthe subject of the supposed exclusive served as a rule, to say but little to any preference, and the resolution he came to body, but to hear all from every body." with regard to his own list. “ I had That he did not communicate his impresprivate intimations, confidensial ones, that sion to his principal subscribers, or even Í could rely on, that Mr. Boyd's party betray to them any thing like a doubt of were constantly assured of having the intended competition, is confirmed by the loan. The result of the several conver- remarkable testimony of the governor of sations with the governor of the bank, the bank on this part of the case; who was an impression on my mind, that cer- tells us, he was more on Morgan's, than tainly and positively there would be no on either of the other lists. We collect competition. From the 26th of October, from him, that as he had never declared when I first had the communication with any opinion of his to Mr. Morgan, purthe governor of the bank, until the 23rd porting that Mr. Boyd would have the of November, I never had an abatement preference on account of the money ne. of that impression.” Here is therefore a gotiation, so Mr. Morgan not only never positive conviction, that no competition expressed to him that such was his own was to be expected, and, of course, that opinion, but so treated the subject of all preparation by Mr. Morgan would be the loan in their conversations upon it, idleness and folly. How extraordinary that he thought, to the last, that Mr. must his conduct appear after this, when Morgan never suspected that Mr. Boyd he tells us, that he determined, on the would have a preference at all. « I be. 28th of October - not to relinquish ali lieve," says he, “he always thought it idea of becoming a bidder-no-to make would be by competition." Let us now, a list, which he opened publicly on the on the other hand, suppose, that the be29th. This is Mr. Morgan's own history lief, of no competition and of preference of his own opinion, and of his own con- to Mr. Boyd, was as strongly impressed on the minds of Mr. Morgan's subscribers plicable principle, if he had not really as on his own. This he strongly insi- intended an open competition. It is clear nuates. “I did hear generally from all he had no recollection of any thing which persons that that idea was understood.” | could bear the construction of an actual In that case they are as little injured as engagement to Boyd's party; and that, himself; and have nobody but themselves from the manner in which their argumentato blame, if, from want of reflection, or tive claim had been cursorily urged to him other causes, they really acted as if that he did not thing himself obliged, and did had been to happen, the contrary of which not mean, to act upon it. Is it possible, if they believed to have been determined the case were otherwise, that on the 23rd upon. But, in truth, I must be permitted of November, he would have commissioned to say, that I cannot believe Mr. Mor the governor of the bank to tell the three gan's account of his own conduct on this parties, that an open competition was in. subject.
tended? What possible advantage could I will now proceed to examine the cir- he have expected from such a declaration, cumstances and nature of Mr. Boyd's if it had not been sincere ? In October, claims, as they appear from the Report. however, he had thought it due to Mr. In the month of October Mr. Boyd, who, Boyd's party, to tell them, that he would with his party (as it is called, had con- send to them before any competition tracted for the loan of the former year, should take place, to hear what they had to says, he first heard, that a new loan for say. With the impression he had of the the service of this year, was in contem- inadmissibility of their claim, amidst the plation; and that, about that time, he great variety of important occupations; stated to the chancellor of the exchequer. in which, during the interval he was ne. the right which he thought belonged to cessarily engaged, would it be extraordi. the contractors (not the subscribers), to nary to find, that he did not fully recol. object to the negotiation of the new loan. lect, or at least'not fulfil this promise, till he But he adds, that he did not state it, by was reminded of it by Mr. Boyd's letter of any means, so fully, as in the conversa- the 23d of the next month ? Could he postion on the 24th of November; and in the sibly have foreseen the trouble and incon. joint letter from himself and Mr. Ro- venience which have arisen to himself and barts of that date. Even in that conver- this House, from his not having taken an sation of the 24th of November, Mr. Boyd earlier opportunity of discussing their predoes not seem to have rested on any tensions, undoubtedly, it is to be supstrong ground or recollection of positive posed, he would have sent to them sooner. engagement; for, when the chancellor of But what difference that could have made the exchequer mentioned that he did not to the public, or in the terms on which the recollect any such engagement, Mr. Boyd loan was negociated, it is impossible to appears to have answered, that he under- discover. If he had taken th course, stood the engagement to have been“ either and had referred to the governor of the positive or implied." We may therefore bank, who had been present at the bar. presume, that, in what passed between gain for the preceding year, it appears, them, he chiefly founded himself on the by the testimony of that gentleman, when arguments which he thought'arose out of the he did refer to him, that he would have nature of the thing; and on that occasion been reminded of a circumstance, which he tells us, that the chancellor of the ex- does seem to have amounted, in the gochequer seemed “ positively determined vernor's opinion, to something very like a not to admit of the claim." From thence, direct engagement. For, in the confer. till the 23d of November, he thinks he ence between the governor, the deputymay positively affirm, that he had no far. governor, and chancellor of the exchether communication with the chancellor quer, on the 25th of November,—the of the exchequer on the subject. This chancellor of the exchequer having asked account corresponds both with that which the governor, if he recollected, whether at has repeatedly been given in this House, the meeting for the preceding loan, he and with the testimony of the governor had committed himself to any promise, of the bank, as well as with the whole conformable to Mr. Boyd's claim, theanconduct of the chancellor of the exche- swer was, “ He thought Mr. Pitt had quer. For it is clear, that he acted up till in some measure committed himself to the 24th of November, as he could not such a promise, for that, on adjusting the have done upon any intelligible and ex- days of payment for the then loan, one of (VOL. XXXII.)
the contracting parties had wished to have the direct evidence of the governor of the
“ custom,” which gentlemen seemed disMorgan, who tells us, that the governor posed to substitute for practice, which is mentioned to him, both the one circum- the word he does use; and his assertion is stance and the other, and that he treated not that there has been a constant practice, the money negotiation as the ground of when a new loan is brought forward bethe preference, and the other matter, fore the conclusion of the former to give “ neither as a pledge or contract on the a preference to the former contractors ; part of the chancellor of the exchequer, but that he and his party, as the former nor as of any weight to give Mr. Boyd a contractors, had a right from constant claim of preference.
practice, to say,
“ There must be no new But it is said that Mr. Boyd's claim, loan until the period assigned us for the when it did come fully before the chan- sale of our scrip shall expire,” viz. the cellor of the exchequer, was neither bot. 15th January. Now, the constant practice tomed in positive nor implied engagement, turns out to be exactly conformable to this nor in the reason of the thing; that Mr. assertion. As to the practice, the evidence Boyd's arguments drawn from the situa- of the governor of the bank is decisive. tion of the contractors, and from practice He expressly told us, that Mr. Newland and public opinion, were frivolous and un- had searched in the books of the bank, and Bustainable ; that he has shifted his grounds could find no instance whatever, since its on the subject, and is refuted by the tes establishment, when a new loan was made, timony of others delivered in the com- and the receipts came out, before all the mittee. As to the fact we have it from payments were made on the former. In