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craft-perhaps some portion of the latter may not have been so much affected as the other two, but will any one say, that reckoning the reduction of wages, and the numbers which have been entirely thrown out of work, the derangement in the money market for twelve months has not been a loss to each of those families in Great Britain of at least Is. 6d. per day?- This would be equal to 9s. a week, which many single workmen have suffered in their individual wages-it therefore appears not too great an estimate for an entire family, one or two members of each having been very generally out of employ, and the wages of the remainder reduced 20 to 25 per cent.
Taking therefore 1,434,873 families, at Is. 6d. per day, we will suppose for only 300 working days in the year, it amounts to .. ..
£32,284,575 And taking 249,359 families, the number returned in Ireland at 9d. per day .. .. .. .. ..
We have a total loss of this sum * .. £35,089,863 in one year, owing to the effects of the late derangement of the monetary system, to which is still to be added a loss of 20 to 30 per cent. on the entire stock of goods on hand in the whole united kingdom, admitted to have taken place by Mr. Palmer, in his pamphlet, page 23, from the same cause-the refusal of discount on the part of the
* This calculation is evidently far below what the actual loss of wages would amount to in the manufacturing classes, and takes no notice of the reduction which has taken place in the wages of agricultural labourers ; but the amount is withal far above what is necessary to prove my representations, and the calculation is made merely for one year.
Bank of England—the monstrous amount of which loss I confess myself wholly unable to estimate, and great as these respective losses evidently are, yet the prejudicial effects arising from the causes which produced them, have by no means yet been entirely removed, although money has latterly become more plenty. I leave to others having more accurate information than I am possessed of, to enter into the calculation more minutely, and form a more correct estimate of the value of all the raw material of wool, cotton, and silk, &c., in the united kingdom-and all the goods manufactured therefrom-all the foreign and colonial produce and property of all kinds on hand, which cannot be considered less than 150 million sterling, and the per-centage on which would amount to more than 30 millions, in addition to the above calculation--but the statement of loss ought not to be confined to the foregoing.
- Landed and fixed property of every kind are affected likewise, the increase of interest from four to five per cent. makes £100 yield the same return per annum that £125 did before; whatever is added to the annual produce of money is so much deducted from the value of land when monied men can make five per cent of their money in discount or interest, they will not lay it out at three per cent. in land, and if the monetary derangement remains long enough, so as to make any permanent change in prices, agricultural produce must generally fall, and the rent of land in like manner, so that there is no saying where the general derangement might stop. I merely form an estimate in a general way, being perfectly aware, that if onethird, or even one-half of my calculation was objected to, enough would remain fully to confirm the importance I have attached to it, and I confidently rely, that whoever has read attentively the foregoing statements, will be convinced that this loss might have been saved to the nation, had it been protected by an inconvertible national paper currency from the effects of the derangement of the mopetary system in the United States.
But there are other items in the calculation of loss, which ought to be included — for the expenditure of this money, had it come into the possession of the operatives, would have been a source of profit to all who supplied their wants, and would have likewise greatly contributed to increase the revenue, by the great consumption of taxable articles it would have occasioned.
These are losses which I think may be fairly chargeable against the present mixed circulation, if the preceding view taken of its operation is correct.
It is true, indeed, that the pecuniary difficulties of other countries may, and must affect their capability to purchase our manufactures, and in the present instance something should be allowed for the natural decline in our exports to America, even supposing that our circulating medium had been in no way affected by the derangement of the monetary system there existing—but even in this respect, the freedom from all alarm in England would have materially tended to mitigate these embarrassments, whereas the pressure from England, under the present system, has been the cause of greatly increasing them. This may be easily understood by any one who considers the alarm produced by the denial of discount, to the great American agency houses here, which had an immediate effect upon commercial credit throughout the United States, whilst the great fall it occasioned in the price of cotton and other produce, in an equal degree lessened the means of meeting their engagements, which the American merchants were previously possessed of.
64. But the advantages to be obtained by the proposed measure are not confined to averting those losses to which allusion has been made. There are others of a more positive character, to a very large annual amount.
The present bank note circulation of the United Kingdom is stated by Mr. Palmer, at page 41 of his pamphlet, to amount to forty-five millions, and considering that no bank notes in England can be issued for a less sum than £5, and the large sum of specie which this must occasion to be kept in circulation, together with the quantity reserved by the Bank of England, and other banks in England, Scotland, and Ireland, for the payment of their notes, it would seem that the entire amount of specie employed in the united kingdom could not be taken at less than twenty-five millions, making in all a mixed currency of seventy millions; the whole of which would be displaced by the proposed plan of issuing a national paper—and supposing this done at an interest of three per cent., the annual saving to the state would be £2,100,000 per annum.
But even this advantage is far short of what might be expected to arise from extending the same system to all the British colonies and dependencies. It is impossible almost to set bounds to the enormous sum which might be held in circulation by our East and West Indian possessions, were our national paper received there with entire confidence, for accomplishing which the existing state of things in those countries seems peculiarly adapted. *
* The introduction of the bank note system
in the former would be The paper currency being made receivable in all debts due to government, and the revenues of the state in the East Indies being paid chiefly by the occupiers of the soil, this alone would give a general circulation to the proposed paper currency, but when aided by the efforts of the collectors at the different stations, and the influence of the executive over the native princes to induce them to adopt similar measures, it cannot be doubted that finally the introduction of a national note circulation would be successful, though perhaps in the first instance it might be prudent to make the notes convertible into the specie of the country, in order to give confidence to the population, and accustom them to its use. This, however, would be matter of detail, subject to the opinions of persons with local and practical experience—but supposing this part of the plan to succeed in a country of such immense extent, population, and wealth, the absorption of the circulating medium in our Indian empire alone could scarcely be rated under eighty-five millions sterling, to which being added, as an allowance adequate to the wants of all our other colonies, a further sum of fifteen millions, a further gain upon the issue thereof of three millions per annum might be looked forward to-and the universality of this national currency would by degrees facilitate an uniform mode of keeping accounts, as well as a regularity in the exchanges with our
greaty facilitated if it was accompanied by the universal introduction of money rent and leasehold interest, in place of seizing on a proportion of the produce, which now, in many and extensive districts, discourages industry by making the cultivators pay more the more they exert themselves, and keeps them in a kind of Egyptian bondage.