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had by the republican members of congress; in less power than was intended by the contractin order to agree upon principles-to determine upon parties-that this result might be produced from a charter which would be acceptable to the then the want of sufficient accuracy and precision in the president of the United States. Before this com terms used. promise of opinion could take place; before a new Such a charge, he presumed, could scarcely exist and unexceptionable charter could be manufactur in reference to the constitution of the U. States. ed, the messenger of peace came, with healing in He denied that by a fair and clear deduction; that his wings. Nothing more was done at that session by any rational construction, this power could be of congress, on the subject. The nation's joy was derived from the constitution. It did not belong testified, at the seat of government, by illumina- to any of the enumerated powers. Nor was it tions and bon fires. The solemn farce was per- fairly referable to any of the implied or resulting formed, of illuminating the monuin ents of our dis. powers of the government. He did not mean to grace, the evidences of the vandalism and barbarismenter on the discussion of the constitutional powers of our enemy. Every window in the city was gaily of the congress of the United States to create illuminated, and the ruin and desolation of the corporations, or to charter a national bank. But, capitol and other public buildings and edifices he demanded of those who held the affirmative proreidered more strikingly conspicuous by this ex-position, to establish, by clear and indisputable travagant evidence of joy at the return of a peace reasoning, that the bank had been constitutionally which the powers of the nation had achieved. established or, that the faith of the government
But, Mr. Madison's objections produced at the could be pledged by an act not sanctioned by the succeeding congress another experiment, which constitution. The act of incorporation, he said, proved more fortunate, not for the nation, but for was a dead letter; it was worse-it was an act of The interests of speculators. The charter to the usurpation. It was idle to talk of the faitb of the existing bank was obtained. Nothing, Mr. J. said, government being pledged to sustain it. did he more sincerely regret than that Mr. Madison How, then, Mr. J.asked, did the question present should have put his signature to such an act. That itself? The supreme court, as he had before rehonest, that respectable, enlightened and patriotic marked, had declared the common law not to be statesman, who had so long and so faithfully served the law of the United States; and, consequently, his country, had, in this single instance, cast a in making the enquiry, whether a forfeiture had shade on the hitherto bright and unclouded orbit, been incurred by this corporation of its charter, in which he had moved. Mr. J. said it was extremly the question could not be tested or settled, by the painful to bim to refer to any act of that distinguish application of the principles of this system of law. ed statesman, who had retired to private life, in According to the settled and well established prin. any other terms than those of respect and approba-ciples of the common law, settled by frequent tion. Nor would he on this occasion bave done adjudications, no doubt can exist that the charter so, except from a sense of duty; and with a view to of the bank of the United States is forfeited. In the history of the banks in the United States, which support of this doctrine, he begged leave to refer he felt himself bound to give.
to the case of the king against the city of London, When the question first arose in this country, and the cases there cited. And, said Mr. J. after continued Mr. J. as to the powers of congress to the disclosures which have been made, will the incorporate a national bank, the wisest men in the house permit this violated act to remain on the nation differed in opinion on the constitutional statute book a disgrace to the nation? Are we, powers of the government to create such corpora. said he, not sworn to support the constitution; and tion. General Washington himself, as appeared can the immaculate and patriotic gamblers in this from the bistory of that day, laboured under great bank induce us, for a single moment, to prolong an difficulty-hecalled for the opinions of his secreta. act which violates this instrument ? ries, and doubted, and doubted, until the time had Mr. J. said, if his proposition to repeal the char. almost elapsed, which would have made the act ter should be negatived, he could not vote for the of incorporation a law, without his signature. The bill reported by the bank committee, as he should, difficulties and doubts which at that time surround-by so doing, recognize the legal existence of the ed the mind of the chief magistrate, produced a bank. This, according to his most solemn convicmost eloborate and able investigation into the con. tions, would amount to a violation of his oath. He stitutional powers of congress to create corpora- trusted there would be neither difficulty nor hesits. tions. We have not only the opinions, but the tion in putting down this corporation. He hoped testimony of two of the most enlightened men of in God his country would not present the melanany age or country, Mr Jefferson and Mr. Madison, choly, the degraded picture, sketched by the mas. on the constitutional question, whether congress terhand of Byron, when surrounded by the gloom has the power to incorporate a national bank? Mr. resulting from a view of the glorious decay and Jefferson's opinion and testimony will be found in splendid ruins of Rome: the written opinion given by him to gen. Washing: “There is the moral of all human tales, ton on the question. In the year 1791, Mr. Madi. "Tis but the same rehearsal of the past, 8on, in a very eloquent speech delivered in con “First freedom and then glory-when that fails, gress, stated the following important fact, speak. “Wealth, vice, corruption-barbarism at last." ing of the power to incorporate a bank. "This We had enjoyed the blessing of freedom. We power was proposed to be vesied in congress, in had had a reasonable share of glory. Our arms bad the original plan reported by the committee of been triumphant on the land and on the ocean. All the convention, among the enumeration of powers seemed animated, now, by the desire to accumulate which now form the 8th section of the 1st article, wealth. He hoped the nation would still pause, but, that, after three days ardent debate, on the and retlect, seriously reflect, on the consequences special subject, in that body, the power was re-Jof changing the pursuit of a national character, jected and stricken out, upon the principle that it distinguished by liberality, magnanimity, and was a power improper to be vested in the general honor, for the sordid pursuit of wealth, at the ex. government.” Mr. J. said, that he was aware that pense of vice and corruption. Mr. J. said, he had an instrument of writing might convey more or hoped much from the fair destinies of this nation, but those would be marred and destroyed, if a la policy might provide. It was the instrument by miserable corporation could hold the government whose itse we hoped to secure the resumption of in check, influence its operations, plunge it into specie payments constructed, not for its own sake, corruption, or cover it wilk vice and shame when but for ours. The act of the legislature and the ever it should please,
I proceedings of the treasury department would Mr: Lowndes said, that the gentleman from show how incompatible with the objects of its in. Virginia, (Mr. Pindall,) who had last addressed stitution would have been that postponement of its the committee, had discussed the policy of the law operations, or that gradual commencement of them, which chartered the bank, the motives of congress which was recommended now, when the difficulties in passing it, and those of the executive govern- of the time were forgotten. The fourteenth con. ment in the measures which had been adopted for gress was aware that a narrow view of its exclusive carrying it into effect. He would not enter into interest might induce the national bank to adopt these topics. The subject was large enough, with the policy which the committee had described. out digression, to occupy their wbole attention for The act which they passed provided that, as soon the time which it would be reasonable to appro- as the amount of the first subscription (88,400,000) priate to this debate. If the reputation of the four. should be received, the bank should thenceforth teenth congress, or of the late administration, could commence and continue its operations. The twenty be inpaired by observations or circumstances like second section reserved to congress the power, if those which had been adduced, he would say of it should not go into operation before the first Mon. both, that they were not worth defending. In the day in April, (at which time the third instalment course of his remarks, indeed, it was not improbable was not due,) to declare its charter void. This that he might advert to facts wbich would repel was the measure of the legislature to secure the the conclusions of the gentleman from Virginia, early operation of the bank. Those of the treasury but he would not deviate from the strict line of his department were in entire consonance with its prinargument, to engage in so useless a controversy. ciple.
The committee, of which he had had the honor to He must ask the indulgence of the house while be a member, bad expressed an opinion, in respect he read some extracts from two letters of the to the first operation of the bank, correct enough, secretary of the treasury. In a letter to the com. perhaps, in its general principle, but erroneous, as missioners for receiving subscriptions, (dated Aug. it seemed to him, in its application. They say, 15, 1816,) the secretary says, "Ii is, indeed, of high “that the bank could have proceeded gradually, importance to the people, as well as to the governgrowing with the growth, and strengthening with (ment, that the bank of the United States should the strength of the nation, as it emerged from the be in an organized and active state before the 20th evils of the flood of paper issued from the local of February next, when the paper of the state banks institutions. The bank could have felt its way, and which have not returned to metallic pay ments must increased its means with the increasing demands be rejected.” Again; “It is believed that the bank of the country. Such a cautious proceeding would of the United States may be in operation before have enabled it to render invaluable service in the first day of January next,” (before the receipt checking the issue of state banks, and bringing of the second instalment.) them to the alternative of avowed bankruptcy, or. Mr. Crawford (wbo, after the date of the last to the permanent resumption of specie payments.” letter, had succeeded to the office of secretary of He was not disposed to deny, that, while a distbe treasury) writes, on the 29th of Nov. 1816, to credited currency was circulated through the coun. the president of the bank, that “if the state banks try, while the excessive issues of bank paper (of do not make a simultaneous effori, it is manifest that, which the war had been the cause or the apology) without their co-operation, a national currency: continued to resist the introduction of real money, equal to the indispensable demands of the comthe committee were right in supposing that it was munity, cannot be obtained by the 20th of February the interest of the national bank to commence its next.” He asks whether “it is possible for the operations slowly, or to postpone them. It was its bank to supply the demand of the commercial cities interest to leave it to the government to fight the which the collection of the revenue, arising from battle against depreciation, and to come in after. imports and tonnage, will create in the interval be. wards as a partaker of the victory. Even after the tween the 20th of February and the 1st of July." 20th Feb. 1817, the bank might have pursued the He suggests that it may be necessary to employ cautious policy of withholding its accommodations "a government paper of some description" in that from the government and the people, until the interval, but adds, that "it is most ardently desired reduction of other paper had loadeits issues neces. by the government, that the necessity of resorting sary and safe. It might have preferred its interest to the issue of government par r may be avoided to its duty. The state banks, unable to comply by the resumption of specie payments by the state with the requisitions of congress, which demanded banks, on or before the 20th of February." from them the resumption of specie payments, The first ohject which the government expected must have lost their credit with the community to be attained by the national bank, was that of The government, indeed, might have been em-throwing into general circulation, by the 20th of barrassed, the public debtors distressed, and the February, an amount of notes sufficient to enable state institutions have been brought "to the alter the public debtors to comply with their engage native of avowed bankruptcy," but these comments. When it appeared impracticable that the petitors for public favor and employment would amount or dispersion of these notes should provide have been removed, and the national bank would for the object, the next resource was to give, to have entered into the full enjoyment of the mono- those of the state banks a credit which should poly which the ruin of every other institution would enable the treasury to receive them under the have prepared. This might have been its interes:. resolution of congress. These banks had refused But there were other interests to be consulted- every proposal for the resumption of specie pay. those of the government and the people. The ments. He would not say they were unwilling, but bank had not been established for the purpose of they were afraid to adopt them. The remonstrances giving to its stockholders the barvest which such and encouragement of the government were
unavailing. It was then that the national bank, compact, which had been carried into effect Fitta certainly not in the spirit of narrow jealousy, enter- out objection by either party, was best ascertained ed into that compact with the state banks which by its execution. had been referred to by the gentleman from Vir. Among the errors of the bank, in its first operaginia. It was impossible to do justice to the con tions, one of the greatest, as it appeared to him, duct of be national bank, at least for the first year had not been censured by the committee. He of its operations, without attending to the new alluded to the attempt to pay the notes of the bank, obligations in which this compact involved them. and its branches, at any office at which they should Proposed by the executive government, and sanc-lhe presented. The committee bad said, that "the tioned by it-required by the interests of the peo- relinquishment of this attempt was involuntary and ple, and necessary to the credit of the local institu. reluctant;" but the atienpt itself, though directed tions, there could be no other objection to the act to the promotion of the public convenience, and than that it accorded better with the public interest urged by the public wish, had produced so much than with that of the stockholders. Under this einbarrassment and injury, that any exposition of compact, the bank became bound to discount six the conduct of the bank must be very defective in millions (exclusive of revenue bonds) before the which the effects of this injudicious scheme were 20th April, and to sustain, with its unbroken credit omitted. He hoped not to be suspected of enlarg. and its whole capital, every bank which joined in ing upon ibis subject for the purpose of supporting the arrangement. The effect of this compact was a favorite theory. Its eximination was necessary, not only to force the bank into earlier operation because it bad produced much of the mischief than a selfish policy might have recommended, but bich had been attributed to other causes. He to oblige it to renounce the resource which the bould not have to argue that the bank was not state banks might have afforded for the supply of bound to pay its notes indiscriminately at all its specie. South of New E' gland there was no specie offices. He believed that nobody now contended in circulation. Tbe national bank had engaged to that it was. He should not enquire how far it support the credit of the state banks, and, if i could be practicable so to pay them-his proposi. produced a demand of their specie, it was bound tion was, that the attempt, while the situation of to aid thern by the loan of its own. He made these the country made it practicable, would even then observations very much with a view to the conduct be embarrassing and injurious. of the bank in affording facilities for the payment In every system of bank circulation, the regula. of the instalments upon its stock. But he did not ton of :he amount of discounts and issues is a point mean yet to engage upon that topic. A necessary of the utmost importance. In banks which redeem consequence of this compact, the committee would their paper by specie, the restraint upon excessive see to have been, that, if a large amount of specje issues consists in this, that the superfluous paper was necessary to the operations of the bank, it is thrown back upon the bank and its specie with. could be obtained only from foreign countries. Its drawn. The directors of a bank, with very little importation might have been trusted to the graduan kuowledge of the principles of circulation, and contributions of trade, and he believed it would lit:le information as to the currency of other siates, have been better to have been so. But the error are in this way controlled in all their operations, of judgment, if it was one, which consisted in the by a principle which proportions the circulating bank's importing specie from abroad, had no charac. money of the country to its real business. He did ter of bad faith. Perhaps it was unnecessary. If not mean to enquire whether other or better reit were necessary, it resulted exclusively from a gulations of the annount of paper in circulation compact which interdicted all reliance upon the might be adopted. We had no other. But how specie of the state bank's.
were the discounts of a branch bank restrained, * If the committee, then, should determine that under the system wbich provided that the notes the early operation of the bank, and its importa. which it issued sliould be redeemed at every office tions of silver, were both of them injudicious-at throughout the United States? If the balance of least they would say, that neither was criminal. exchange were unfavorable, (and a profuse discount Perhaps the effect of both was injurious to the might at any time make it so, it would be the stockholder-the country had no right to complain interest of every man who got possession of a of them. But the second article of the compact branch note to send it to a state where the eshad drawn down the severe animadversions of the change was high. A bank note is an order for the gentleinan from Virginia, (Mr. Pindall.) He had payment of money; and if the holder has the option considere: it as obliging the state banks to pay of drawing this money at d fferent places, he will interest for public balances transferred from thein draw it there where money is most valuable. If to the national bank, although the national bank the discoun's of Lexington were larger than the had not undertaken to pay these balances to the business of the place required, and the notes which government in its own noies or specie. 11 other were issued there were redeemable no where else, words, he had supposed that the national bank the bank at that place would immediately discover received interest from the state banks on what had its error by the drafts upon its specie, and its dis. been called the special deposites of the govern counts would be accordingly contracied, But if ment. He had admitted it to be fair and rigit that the notes of the Lexington branch are payable at the bank should receive interest on all balances New York, however profuse may be its discounts, transferred to it, for which it gave a general credit, te directors themselves discover, within the and which might at any moment be drawn from it probable limits of their observation, no inconin coin. Now, Mr. L. said that he did not hesitate venience from their liberality. They have lent only to affirm, that these were the only balances on to those whose possessions tre sufficient to secure which interest had been received or clained.- the payment of their debts, the specie in their There was, in the sentence which had been read, vaults remains untouched, and the income of the a little ambiguity, (which would have been avoid. institution is increased by the large amount of their ed by introducing the parenthesis before the five loans. In New-York, indeed, if we suppose the words which now preceded it, but this error in exchange to be in favor of tha place, the operation style was no serious crime; and the meaning of a 'of the system is quite different. There, however Prudent may be the bank in limiting the amount, quirad a balance against the other banks; but this of its discounts, the increasing demands of the only induced a call from the state banks on their bolders of Lexington paper exhaust its resources, debtors, the result is that, as they operate upon
and force a still further reduction of its discounts. their whole system, they have a remedy. But this -:1. Wherever the state of exchange is nnt vorable, branch has the mass of paper thrown out at an
wherever the just principles of banking require a opposite extreme to provide for, which it cannot, reduction of discoun s, there, unler this system of in any case, have the wished for information, On indiscriminate payment of its notes, the bank hes Monday last, the bank made ng discount to be nothing to fear from a draft of specie, and is mentioned, nor had they so done for many weeks encouraged to lend to every applicant. Wherever previous. They had a balance of $93,000 against the state of exchange is favorible, and, on the sound the ther banks in town, and in specie about principles of banking, an enlarged accommodatio: $23,000. Tuesday took from them about $30,000. might be given to he community, there the flow an! Wednesday about $50,000, and it followed of notes, from every state whose exchange is un. that as a great propori ion of this is in southern favorable, contracts or suspends all the operations bills, produced by the scarcity of money here, this of the bank. Thus, wherever discounts should be must produce a demand which the specie of the enlarged, the tendency of this system is to reduce bank, and its balance against all the other banks in them, and to enlarge them wherever they should the town, would not half discharge.” be reduced.
The effect of the system of paying the notes of It may indeed be said, that the directors of a the branches every where; in reducing discounts branch bank, where the exchange is unfavorable, where the exchange is favorable, and enlarging may contract the disco'ins, although no specie is them where it is adverse, is exemplified by a comdrawn from them, because they well know that parison between the discounts of New York, and they might oiher vise proluce a pressure upon those of Kentucky and Ohio. In Nov. 1818, the distant banks. This is to suppose that calculation discounts in New York, were. $1,685,874, of inconveniences to a distant branch will produce
those in Kentucky, 3,221,450, the same result which the sense of them, in their
and those in Obio,
3,383,790, own bank, would produce. It may be said, that including in the two last states, the debts which the parent board, at least, will discover and correct were due from banks which paid interest for them. the error, and that when the excessive issues of Thus, the two agricultural states of Kentucky one branch have forced those of our states to re- and Ohio, have discounts from the national bank deem their notes, the controlling board will direct to the amount of more than six millions and a half, a transmission of specie frorna the debtor bank which or excluding stock notes from the calculation, will restore the balance. And all this the parent about one fourth of all the discounts made by the board will attempt to do. They will endeavor to bank throughout the United States. remedy the irregularities which a better system It could not be necessary to enlarge upon the would have avoided; they will direct, as the direc- objections to this unequal distribution of the capital tors at Philadelphia have continually done, what of ihe national baik But a notion has prevailed, the amount of discounts for their distant branches that, in respect to the western states, the capital shall be their orders will often be injudicious, and employed there has been only that which has been oftener ineffectual.
furnished by the deposites of the government. He It was no unfair account of the practical opera- regretted that the directors of the national bank, tion of the system of whict, he was speaking, to who had it fully in their power to remove this say, that it gave to the brancbes, where the ex- prejudice, had hitherto neglected to do so. Mr. change was unfavorable, the entire disposition of L. read many extracts from the report of a comthe specie of those branches where the exchange mittee, lately made to the house of representatives was favorable. Uwards of six millions of specie of tbe state of Ohio, in all of which, the assertion have beea sent to the branch of New York, besides was made that the national bank bad carried no the amount which has been paid by the subscribers capital to the state, but had been supported princiof the bank there, but, in issuing notes, which ihe pally, and almost entirely, by the deposites of the bank of New York has been obliged to redeem, government. Very different was the fact. He had every branch throughout the country has drawn on his table a calculation (deduced from statements upon a furd, with whose condition, at the time, it contained among the documents which had been could not be acquainted.
published) by which he endeavored to infer the Such a system might be expected to produce in amount of drafts and notes from the offices of convenient changes in the distribution of bank Kentucky, and Ohio, which had been paid in the capital, an extreme facility in obtaining loans at A lantic cities, beyond the amount which those one time, and unexpecied contractions of discount ffices had paid on Atlantic drafts. This amount, at another. But it had been 18 months in opera he was confisent, exceeded five millions and a half. tion, and if his views were ai all correct, the ex. He would be glad if any gentleman disposed to perience of the bank must exemplify and prove enquire into the subject, would examine the paper. them.
Bui no specie, it is said, was carried to Ohio and The embarrassing effect of the system was Kentucky. If the branches in those states had developed in Boston, as early as March 17 h, and ivaggoned five and a half millions of dollars across in less than three months after, in New York; but the mountains, and then lent them to individuals, he bad not time to trace its history. An extract, who had sent them out of the state for the purpose from the letter of the president of the Boston of merchandize, or the payment of debts, it would branch (March 19, 1818,) to the president, Mr be admitted that a capital to that amount could Jones, would confirm some of the observations have been transferred to the western country. The which he had made. “When the state banks were bank did not do his. Iostead of carrying the discounting here, though not largely, this bank specie 10 Obio and there lending it, the specie called in, from its debtors, but 30 per cent, re remained in the Ailantic states, and the citizens gularly; this placed them in a better state; by reduc-of Omo obtained, not indeed silver in the first ing their sums discounted, considerably, they ac. instance, but drafts and noies, which were sent to
the Atlantic cities, and there drew out silver. Iftry, one of the most useful operations in which a it had been proposed to the directors at Philadel. national bank can be engaged its appropriate duty. phia, at the establishment of the bank, to employ | It would do very well, the committee seem to think, this enormous capital in the western states, they if it were not for “the possible loss” in the transacwould not have consented that a fourth of it should tion. And in exchange operations there is certainly be so engaged. But the unfortunate system which some risk. In the case of the bank, the sale of bills he had endeavored to explain, had led gradually, implies the purchase of them, and bills may be pro. and almost without observation, to a distribution tested. But the risk of the transaction was as good of capital which otherwise could not have been a reason against discounting notes as purchasing granted nor even asked. The directors of the bills. He could not think then, with the committee western branches bad not incurred the imputation bat it was unjust to oblige the American stock. of speculation or of collusion with speculators- holder to contribute to "the possible loss," while the amount of stock pledged and even owned there, be was to share in the probable gain “of paying was not large, and yet it was there that the amount dividends to those abroad.” of discounts was most excessive. The discounts But were the terms unreasonable? If the bank of Kentucky and Ohio he had stated as amounting, deals in exchange, is the sale at par of its bills, in November, to more than six and a half millions; where they are payable six months after date, or those of Baltimore, at the same time, were less four months after sight, a sale for too low a price! than nine and a balf millions, a much less amount Let an examination of the usual state of exchange than the other, comparing the business of the two. decide the question. An examination of exchange, These . western discounts were the greatest im- since the bank had gone into operation, might be pediment to tbe successful administration of the objected to as furnishing no fair criterion of the bank. One of the most important duties which it prudence of the measure. Its state might have behoved the directors to fulfil was that of making been accidentally favorable. But he held in his a better distribution of their capital. But many hand two statements of the annual gain and loss years must elapse before the discounts of the two by exchange in the payment of our debt in Europe states which he had mentioned, could be reduced by the one of which, it appeared that the wbole within their proper limits.
gain, after deducting occasional losses in remit. He had just received a copy of the memorial of tances for the Dutch loans, from 1791 to 1809, delegates from the banks of Ohio, to the legislature inclusive, was upwards of $260,000, and by the of that state, and was glad to find that they began other, that the gain, after the same deductions, to understand the mischiefs which the indiscri- under the operations of the commissioners of the minate payment of the national bank notes was sinking fund, from 1802 to 1817, inclusive, was ape calculated to produce in the states whose exchange wards of $350,000. The average price then, which was unfavorable. [Mr. L. read a paragraph from the government had paid for its bills, in a period the memorial which explains the injury which that of twenty-six years, had been considerably below practice occasioned, as it supposes, to the state of par. If the bank then, had engaged to sell bills at Ohio.) If the bank bad refused payment of the par, it would have had reason, from the experience notes of its branches, from the commencement of of twenty-six years, to think that the arrangement its operations, the memorialists insist that more of would be a prudent one, but upon a fair estimate its paper would have circulated in the country. He of the time which it gained, its price must be con. hoped the committee would excuse him for having sidered as being about one per cent. above par. so long dwelt upon a topic hardly noticed in the But the committee suppose that the able rea. repori, but he had thought it important to shew sons" assigned in tbe report of the committee (of how large a part of the complaints against the bank the bank) against the measure “should have pre. resulted from a practice which must be considered vented its precipitate adoption.” Mr. L. said that as an error, not a fault, which had been entirely there were but two sentences in the report, which abandoned, and which it was extremely improbable referred at all to this subject. He read them, and that any future board of directors would renew. asked whether the intimation that the existing
Mr. L. next adverted to that part of the report of unfavorable balance of trade alone influenced the the select committee which condemns the arrange. "committee to decline the unqualified recom. ments which were made for the payment of the mendation of such an agency," was considered as dividends upon bank stock in England. The com. furnishing the able reasons in condemnation of the mittee "do not undertake to decide how far it was measure? In truth, there was no reasoning in the objectionable to afford inducements to foreigners report. But the authority of the committee was to become interested in our stock.” “But, thus decidedly favorable to the general propriety of the to compel American stockholders, and the govern. measure which had been adopted. ment, to contribute to the possible loss of paying Among the objections urged by the committee, the dividends to those abroad, appears (they say) of which he had had the honor to be a member, “to be unjust.” He thought that a very short en against the conduct of the bank, some of the most quiry would lead the committee whom he addressed serious were those which regarded the amount and to a different conclusion.
character of its discounts. He concurred with The arrangement in question involved two consome of the views of the committee upor. this sub. siderations. Ought the national bank to deal inject. He did not now mean to speak of discounts exchange, and were the terms on which it sold bills given to enable the discounter to pay his instal. to "the stockholder abroad" fair and advantageous ?ments upon stock. But, without reference to the It was very plain, that, to make an arrangement object for which they were employed, the discounts, with the foreign stockholder, by which it was with a pledge of stock, were many of them, as the stipulated to make the payment in England at par, committee had stated, "excessive in amount.” six months after the dividend was declared, was While a pledge of stock is fairly employed as a substantially to sell them at par bills payable six mere substitute for personal security, he would not months after date. Ought then the bank to deal say that even when valued at 25 per cent advance, in exchange? It is the business for which the char it might not be safe to the bank, as well as con. ter specifically provides; it is perhaps for the coun. I venient to the merchant. As a mere substitute for