ePub 版

Stion of its paper; and it is the policy of the paren/ apply, without expense, wherever, and whenever,

board to encourage the indiscriminate use of the its wants or its service required. *notes of the bank, reserving for imperious cir. Another convestion took place immediately af* cumstances, and inevitable occasions, the exerter, highly advantageous to the government, and,

cise of the legal right which it possesses, of I must be allowed to add, extremely unfavorable . declining to receive or pay, except at the respec. to the bank. With $13,398,438 03, part of the . tive places where payment is promised on the $24,746,641 26, which had thus been appreciated,

face of the notes." The experiment has been and rendered available to the government, by the made; experience has condemned the attempt; assumption of the bank, the government, on the kimperious circumstances" have compelled the 31st July, 1817, redeemed, at par, 13,393,438 dolbank to exercise the right it possesses; and I am lars 02 cents of the public debt, belonging to the glad to find that the report of the committee ap. bank, which had been paid in by the subscribers, proves the cbange, and admits that it was made in the report speaks, in terms of censure, of what the manner least exceptionable and inconvenient. it styles the "unfouniled and unnecessary complaint.

There must be an end now to the complaint that by the officers of the bank, against this very prudent has been made about this act of the bank.

measure;” meaning the redemption of the deb, I will now ask the attention of the committee That it was the right of the government to redeem, to another branch of the public management of the I do not deny. That the olhicer at the head of the bank--that which regards its duties towards the treasury, whose first duty is to the government, government. Of the manner in which these duties was justified in the measure by a proper regard to have been fulfilled, no one can be better qualified the interests of the government, I shall not at all to judge than the secretary of the treasury; no one question. I will admit, too, that as the governwould more promptly feel the inconvenience of the ment clearly had the rigbt, and chose to exercise smallest failure, as they are all intimately connect.it, complaint by the officers of the bank was altoge. ed with the fiscal arrangements confided to his care.ther useless. But, that the operation was preHis testimony, therefore, ought to be of the greatest judicial to the interests of the bank, and miglit weight with the committee, if, indeed, it be not reasonably cause some dissatisfaction in those to quite conclusive; for distrust and suspicion must whom the interests of the bank was confided, I have acquired a most unreasonable and excessive deem most prefectly evident, and altogether coninfluence in our deliberations, if they can incline sistent with the zeal for the real welfare of the us for a moment to question or doubt the state. institution, in which some other parts of the report ments of that high and distinguished officer. In seem to suppose them to have been wanting. 'By a letter of the secretary, during the last session of the original plan, a large proportion of the capital congress, the words of which I cannot quote, but was to consist of public debt, bearing an interest, to which every member may refer on the files of with liberty to sell in small successive portions. the house, he expresses, according to my recollec. The value of such a possession, to a new institution, a general approbation of the conduct of the tion, which the report supposes ought to have bank, as having exceeded his expectations. In his "proceeded gradually, growing with the growth, letter of the 4th December, 1818, to the select and strengthening with the strength of the nation," committee of this house, (Documents, p. 95,) hel(page 7) it requires no great financial skill to states in detail how the specific duties of the bank estimate. It was a sore resource for obiaining the towards the government have been performed. I means of extending their business, when that appeal to that letter to shew that they have always should become expedient; and in the mean time been faithfully performed.

was productive. It was redeemed at pur, when But the manner in which the bank has performed the market price was considerably higier. But, its duties towards the government, the services it passing by this loss on the redemption, the mee has rendered to the government and nation, can. circumstance of withdrawing at once thirteen milnot be more plainly evinced tban by a statement lions of stock, and throwing suddenly upon the extracted from the documents furnished by the bank thirteen millions of money, for which they select committee. The bank commenced its opera, were to find immediate employment, must lave tions about the 1st January, 1817, excepting a loan materially, and most injuriougiy, interfered with to the government, of $500,000, made in Decem. their arrangements. There can be no doubt that ber, 1816. The public deposites on the 31st Janu. it led directly to some of those measures (the ary, 1817, amounted to Si,147,772 97; in the fol. extension of loans on stock, for instance) which the lowing March they had risen to $11,615,017 62; report most strongly disapproves. But, be that as the 30th April, they were $11,345,796 75; and on it may, none can question the advantage of it 10 the 29th July, $24,746,641 26. This, sir, was the government. when the bank had been in operation but 6 months. By the redempion of the public debt, and pasThat this immense amount of $24,746,641 26, was menis of the government, the public deposites in the saving of the revenue received during that time, October, 1817, were reduced to $7,743,899 74 no one will pretend. It was the accumulation of in October last, (1818) the government reileemed revenue previously collected, distributed through- a moiety of ihe Louisiana debt, exceeding live mitout the United States, in credits of state banks, lions of dollars, and this, too, was done through the variously depreciated, and of which the govern agency of the bank. ment could not be said to have the command be. Looking back to the period when the bank was cause they were local, and of course applicable only established, considering the state of things at the where they happened to be, and where the public moment when it came into existence, considering service did not require their expenditure. By how short a time it had been in operation and the this single operation, twenty-four millions were difficulties it had to surmouni, the eitect is wonder. thus converted by the bank from depreciated, local ful, and, to all unprejudiced minds, would seer currency, into specie, or, what was equivalent to to indicate a steady and faithful attention to all its specie, of universal circulation, and which the go. public duties. Sir, that institution has been a ser vernment, through the agency of the bank, mightlvant, I had alınost said a slave, to the public; a


faitbful servant, always forward, even at some ex., well reasoned memorial from Richmond, with pense to itself, and zealous to promote the public deserves the attentive perusal of every member of interests, in all their various and complicated rela- the house. If their interests have been icjuriously tions. This is the spirit in which its affairs have affected, they have, on that account, a stronger been administered. It still continues to perform claim upon us.-After we had gained so many ob. all its public duties, without affording just cause, jects of great national importance at their expense, in this respect, cither of complaint or of reproach, would it not be iniquitous, yes sir, a national I might add to this list of benefits, received by iniquity, now to deprive them, by a wanton exer. the government and nation, the decided improve. cise of unjust power, of all the hopes of an equita ment that rapidly followed in the public credit of lent, founded upon the public faith pledged to the country, both at home and abroad. If gentle induce them to embark their property in this con men doubt, let them consult the price current of cern! Can you restore them to the state in wbich stock here and in England.

you found them? Will you return that part of The only allegation, indeed, of any thing even the bonus which has by this time become due, and approaching to a default in the public duty of the I presume been paid? Will you restore to them bank, is that contained in page 10 of the report, their stock and coin? Will you, finally, indemnify where it is stated, "that the amount done under the subscribers, and the purchasers, who have that resolution (to discount notes for those who bought upon the assurance of tbe charter, for the had revenue bonds to pay) was small, &c." This losses they will sustain ! A gentleman from Vir. is certainly a mistake, as has been already shown ginja, a member of the committee, (Mr. Tyler,) from the letter of the secretary of the treasury, seems to have intended to anticipate some of thos from the evidence of major Builer, and from the enquiries, by saying that the bank, after paying fact that there has been no complaint. Such has all its debts, could now return to every stock been the inclination to censure, ihat you may rely holder “dollar for dollar.” A most honorable con. upon it no well founded cause would have been cession, undoubtedly, as it respects the manage Buffered to escape. It is a mistake that arose from ment of the bank, and one that goes far to answer the circumstance, acknowledged by a member of every complaint against it. For, if the public set. the committee, (Mr. M'Lane) that the enquiry was vice has been punctually performed, and the banks exparte. If they had asked for information, they (afier dividing eighteen per cent. in two years and would have learned, that at every discount day the an half) could now wind up its concerns, and pay directors had before them a list of the bonds that every stockholder “dollar for dollar," no man wiko were coming due, and that they uniformly gave a bas the slightest acquaintance with the matter can perference to those who were to pay them, as far deny, that it must have been well managed. But as they could do so consistently with the interests how long would it require to gather the funds that of the bank, of which I beg leave still to say they have been scattered over the United States, so #5 were the exclusive judges.

to be able to restore them to the stockholders! The next object of enquiry is, how the manage. Seven years have elapsed since the charter of the ment of the bank has been conducted in regard to late bank expired; its concerns were such less the interests of the stockholders. This is altogether extensive in amount, as well as in the space througte independent of the question of violation of charter, which they were spread; it expired, too, under cir. which shall be considered separately hereafter. cumstances highly propitious for drawing in its

In the progress of an institution like the bank, resources; and the management of its affairs has founded and established with a view to certain been uncommonly able and faithful. I believe they great public objects, perplexing questions might, are not yet closed. How long, then, I repeat, vouk. and would, occasionally present themselves. The it be, before this "dollar for dollari would be interests of the public might, in some instances, restored to the stockholders! It is matter of cobe at variance with those of the stockholders. jecture--but still, with so much of certainty be. Which were to yield ? If, upon every such oc. longing to it, that no prudent man would give a casion, the directors had allowed a paramount in stockholder any thing like "dollar for dollar fur duence to the interests of the stockholders, and his share of the proceeds. Sir, I cannot reflect had sacrificed the public objects to the profils of upon the mighty wreck, without astonishment at the institution, the public would then have bad the coolness witb which even the possibility of some right to complain. But, if every public duty it seems to be contemplated–The organization has been faithfully and fully performed, even destroyed, the fragmenis scattered over the whole beyond any reasonable expectation that could have United States, no longer obedient to any power but been entertained, it is certainly a very singular eo- the power of time and chance, which, like the winds quiry to be made by congress, whether the utmost and the waves, may drive them to the shore, or may bas been done for the interest and profit of the drive them where they can never be reached or stockholders. That is an investigarion that be collected. longs to the stockholders themselves, which they! The first topic of complaint is the too great are competent to conduct, with the means in their liberality towards the state banks. As a cbarge of hands of correcling errors, and removing griev- error, it may not be wholly without foundation. ances, by changing their officers. And what is to But, it answers, fully and authoritatively, and I be the consequence, if congress should be of opi. hope that the scquel will shew, satisfactorily, ore nion that the institution has not been well managed of the heaviest charges that has commonly beca for the interests of the stockbolders ? To alter made throughout the country against the bankthe charter--to take away the charter-or subject the charge, I mean, of having acted with oppres it to the wasting and destructive process of a pro- sive rigor towards the state institutions. I am tracted judicial examination by scire facias? Have glad the committee have cleared away this ground the stockholders made any complaint? Have they of accusation. At most, however, it proves only asked from us any relief? Not at all; on the con la mistake; a mistake on the right side, and a mos trary, they implore us to abstain. You have upon take that was almost inevitable. To bring about your table a memorial to that effect from Boston, the payment of specie, within any reasonable period, a memorial from New York, and an exceedingly and at the same time to avoid a severe pressure upes the state banks, and through them upon the com- tions of what was politic, for the rule given to them munity, it was indispensably necessary to treat by the law, they had pursued a different system, those banks with the most indulgent liberality, they would have made themselves justly obnoxious wherever they manifested a sincere intention to to censure and reproach. Now, sir, the resolution return to the payment of specie. This was the in question bad two objects-1. The payment, in inducement to the compact of the 31st January, London, of the dividends to foreign stockholders; 1817. Without such indulgence, the paper of the \2. The payment at the par of exchange. The first United States' bank, and that of the state banks, of these the report does not much object to. It could not have circulated together. A good and was done by the late bank of the United States, as a bad currency, or, if you please, a good and alto its own dividends. That bank also remitted to better currency, can never associate in circula- foreigners their interest upon the public debt of tion. They must associate upon terms of equality, the United States, I believe, free of charge. This or approaching to equality, or they cannot associate is powerful evidence that it was advantageous to at all. The continental money banished gold and the institution, for now that the whole history of silver. When assignats were used in France, the late bank is before us, its life and its death, I specie disappeared. When, by excessive issues, or suppose no one will deny that it was very fairly and from whatever other cause, the state bank paper skilfully managed. We have the example too, of was depreciated, coin was no longer used. Where the government, in the instances of the French and it is now, from the same cause depreciated, (as in Dutch loans. Why was the interest stipulated to soine parts of the western country) gold and silver, be paid abroad? Because it was favorable to the or notes of the bank of the United States, equiva. credit of the country; it enabled the government lent to gold and silver, are not to be found. They to obtain loans which it could not otherwise have will not be found there until either the better cur had, or to obtain them upon better terms. The rency shall obtain the entire ascendancy, by banish. mere convenience to the stockholder, the freedom ing the state bank paper from circulation, or, by s from charges of receipt and remittance, when he removal of ihe causes that have occasioned de has his interest, sent to him, instead of being preciation, the latter shall be restored to an equality obliged to send af er it, is a consideration of great in value with the former, which is on every account moment the same consideration wbich induces an most to be desired.

individual to invest his money near to where be The next subject of complaint and censure is the lives, though he might take a greater profit by ina resolution of the 28th November, 1816, for paying vesting it further oft. Such an operation, however, the dividends of foreign stockholders in London, was inconvenient to the government, because it at the par of exchange. (Report, page 8–9.) I was not within the ordinary range of fiscal manageshall assume, for the purpose of treating this sub- ment; and, therefore, the government posposed to ject, a single maxim of justice, which every man exchange the foreign debt for a debt bearing inwill assent to as the only fair and reasonable rule terest, payable in the United States. As an induce. of human judgment. It is, that, where an act is ment, they offered to increase the annual interest right in iiself, the motives or reasons are not to be one per cent. France accepted the offer; the Dutch enquired into as a ground of crimination. They refused it, estimating the convenience of receiving may strip the act of its claim to merit, but they their interest at home at more than the annual can never expose it to criminal imputation. Charity, one half of one per cent. Such an operation though indeed, common charity, between man and man, inconvenient and burdensome to the government, that which the infirmity of our nature demands is precisely adapted to the transactions of a bank, to be continually exercised towards each other, auihorised by its charter to deal in exchange, and adopts and applies a much more comprehensive having established arrangements and credits for and benevolent rule-that, even where the act is tbat purpose. It can remit and pay abroad wilb wrong, yet it may be exemp: from censure, if the as much facility as it can pay at home. To my motives were just and good. Sir, without decid. mind, therefore, it seems that the measure, so far ing whether that resolution was right or wrong in as it regards the payment abroad, was not only itself, and admitting that it was one of those ge. justified by experience, by example, and by sound neral and abstract subjects to which the resolution calculation, but that the negleci of it would have of the house did not direct their attention," the re. betrayed ignorance and want of foresight. I might port condemns it as a measure adopted with a view instance, also, the Louisiana debt, which was taken to speculation, that is, upon what they suppose to by a single individual, or a single house, and sold be bad motives. It is true, they take, also, ado. at a profit, by stipulating to pay the interest abroad, ther ground, which I will examine presently, The second part of the resolution regards the rate namely, the possible loss to the American stock at which the bank would engage to remit, and at bolders and government. But they do not deny, which the stockholder would siipulate to receive, and I think they most clearly admit that the direc- the remittance of his dividends. For, we must tors had a right to make the arrangement. recollect that it was a milual contract, binding

If it had been the policy of congress to prevent upon both parties. The bank would pay abroad foreigners from becoming stockholders in the bank, upon no other terins but those that were prescribed. they would have expressed it by a prohibition in it cannot be denied that the directors had a right the charter. The matter was not overlooked; il fio arrange the terms. Dealing in exchange is one was considered and discussed in this house, when of their legitimate powers, expressly given by the the law was passed. If it was the policy of con-charter; and, as there is nothing which resiricis gress to permit foreigners to become proprietorshem to successive unconnected insiances, there of the stock and certainly the refusal to prohibit an be no valid objection to such an exercise of amounted to an invitation-would the directors the authority as is now the subject of discussion. bave been justified in adopting measures to thwart There can be no doubt, therefore, of their right and counteract that policy? It was their duty to 'o "compel the American stock!:olders to contri. execute the law in its spirit-to effectuate its inten-bute to the public loss” (Report, page 8,) upon tions-0 subserve, and not to defeat the policy of exchange operations; and ibere can be none of its the government. If, substituting their own concep-lespediency and propriets, provided there was e


[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

well grounded probability of profit instead of loss. upon, according to the state of the market for bills The directors had before them the experience of If this measure was right to be adopted at all, the past. From two tables before me, I can say it was right to be adopted at that time, and pre that, from the year 1791 to the year 1817, inclusive, cisely for the reason assigned in the letter of Mr. the average of exchange has been greatly infavor of Donnel.' If foreigners were to become the owners this country. Tlie first of these is a statement from of stock, it was for the interest of the American he treasury, of the annual gain and loss upon stockholder, as well as for the interest of the te remittances for payment of the Dutch loan, from tion, that the rise should take place before they 1791 10 1809. The gain is $409.197 20; the loss became purchasers, rather than afterwards. This is $103,377 06. The clear gain upon the whole is a proposition that no one will be inclined to disof the remittances, is $305,820 14. The other is a pute, and of course it cannot, with any color of rea statement of the annual gain and loss by exchange, son be denied, that if measures were in the comunder the operations of the commissioners of the templation of the directors, which would bare & sinking fund. There is an uninterrupted annual tendency to enhance the value of the stock, they gain, amounting, altogether, to $482,361 20, with were bound in duty to adopt them, in the early only an apparent exception in the years 1815 and part of the institution, so that the American stock 1816. The exception is only apparent, for it was holder might have the benefit of tbe rise, and not owing, not to the state of exchange, but to the the foreigner; and the nation have the advantage depreciation of the currency with wbich the bills of the increase of the exchangeable or market Falue were bought At the very time, and it is a con- of the stock. The prospect of the enhancement vincing proof,) exchange in Boston, where a sound of price was itself an equivalent to the American Currency was maintained, was at or about par. stocklolder for any possible loss on exchange. But, Deduct those two years, ($129,640 66,) there is while I agree that paying the dividends in England still a total gain of 352,720 dolls. 54 cts. As far as (which is not objected to,j was calculated to raise the past can afford us any light to look into the the price of the stock, for the reasons before stated, future,' this exhibition might be relied upon. 11 I am not satisfied that paying at the par of exchange was not of a year or years, but an unbroken series would necessarily have that effect. If it was likely of six and twenty years in succession. It was not to be advantageous to the bank, as I believe it was, of a period of uniform character, either favorable or it was for the same reason likely to be disadvantage unfavorable. It embraced the infancy of our go. ous to the foreign stockholder. What the one vernment, the arrangement of our finances, years gained on exchange, the other would lose. The of prosperous commerce, and years when com- materials for calculation were as open to the one merce was oppressed by formidable restrictions as to the other. The report seems to suppose, that and impositions abroad, and by prohibitions and it would raise the market in England, and that the embargoes at home. It embraced a long period of rise there would operate upon the market here. peace, and a sliort period of war, (a proportion The reasoning is incorrect--because it looks only which I bope our history may always present)--t at one side of the question. We may affirm, with embraced, in short, exactly such a variety of cir. equal truth, that, if it was disadvantageous to the cumstances as, in the ordinary course of events, American stockholder, it would depress the mar may be expected to happen, and, for that very rea-ket here, and that depression would affect the son, exactly such a period as a prudent man would market in England. The market abroad, for our select for the basis of his calculation. Experience stocks, is regulated by our own, rather than our since, I am informed, has given its sanction to the own by the foreign; though, doubtless, they do measure. I do not know the fact, but I am told somewbat affect cach other. The only question, there has been a gain upon exchange. The com- however, at last, is the one which I bave before mittee of directors, who reported against the mea. stated, and, I hope, satisfactorily answered-was sure--who are complimented, and deservedly, too, there a reasonable prospect of gain from this arfor their able reasons, were, upon general grounds, rangement? But ihe gentleman from Virginia, in favor of it, as the report will show; and gave who was one of the select committee, (Mr. Tyler,) very "able reasons," the same which finally decided has advanced an opinion, not the less extraordinary the board to adopt it, namely, "the effect which it and unexpected for the explanation of it given by • would have in reducing the rate of exchange, by the chairman. He thinks that even if there was a

inducing capitalists to invest their funds in the gain, it would not increase the dividends of the • stock, and thereby facilitating the resumption of American stockholder, because, if I understand especie payments." They were deterred by then him correctly, the remittance would not be made existing circumstances, which are now proved to Lill afier the dividend, and the loss or gain would have been temporary; and probably, among others, not till then be ascertained. What does he sup. by the doubt whether a sound currency could or pose would become of the gain? Would it not go would be very speedily restored. The remittance into the general profits of the bank? He did not of the dividends they recommended, without quali. recollect, that, though the remittance would follow fication. We are to recollect, also, that one of the one dividend, it would precede another, through terms was a delay of six months. The January the whole term of the charter. It might with equal dividend was to be paid in the following July, and correctness be affirmed, and for the same reason, the July dividend in January. Supposing three that the dividend could not be diminished by : mcntis necessary for making the remitance, there loss on exchange, and then, I suppose, we should would reinain three months, during which the bank arrive at a result exactly right, that the dividends inight bave the use of the money, equal at least would neither be increased or diminished. A moto one and a half per cent. and during which, too, ment's reflection will convince bim of his error. the bank would have the range for selecting the And now, sir, I may be allowed to ask, whether inost favorable moment to buy exchange: Iis range this arrangement is not what every man would for selection would, indeed, be much more exten. have made in his own case? Is it not what every sive-it would be almost unlimited; for, as it was merchant does habitually, and every planter too! authorised to deal in exchanges, it wouid always Why, then, should we impuse it to unworthy mohave funds or credit abroad, to be supplied or drawn/tives?

Another, and a heavier charge, in the estimation was 25,770,120 59 dollars. So that there were of the report, is that which relates to loans on the loaned on personal security about 20,000.000 dol* deposite or pledge of stock of the bank. It is not lars, and on stock about 5,000,000, which no one disputed, and it cannot be disputed, that the direc. can affirm to have been an undue proportion. If tors had a right to lend on any sort of personal the original by-law, and the resolutions made in secority not prohibited by the charter. It is equally pursuance of it, were right, there was no additional beyond dispute, that the stock was a good security motive for desiring to extend their operation--that The gentleman from South Carolina has stated, and is, to increase the loans on stock. It was originally the gentleman from Virginia has agreed, that, in designed, as I have already stated, that the capital the event of a dissolution, the stock loans at par of the bank should be composed in part of public would settle themselves. if that be so, the security debt, bearing interest, and :o be gradually conis unexceptionable. It is demonstrable, further, verted into active capital. The whole of it, exceed.' that, under the circumstances, the loans on stocking thirteen millions, and including two millions Vere judicious, and for the interest of the institu. which the bank had endeavored to convert into tion. These loans did not originate in occasional specie, for the benefit of the country, was redeemed resolutions; they had their origin in the fourth of at par on the 31st July, 1817, and in place of it the by-laws. adopted before the bank went into thirteen millions of money were thrown into the operation, in the month of December, 1816.-The bank, for which the directors were to find emplo;bülaw is referred to in the report. There were ment. If they were desiruus to place a part of it vices in the banking system, as it was then com- upon stock, upon a good security, bearing some monly conducted, which the directors of the bank resemblance to that which had thus been taken

of the United States were anxious, as far as possi. from them, rather than hazard it all at once upon •ble, to correct. Among them, was the use of ac- personal security, it was a natural, a prudent, and

commodation, or "credit the drawer" paper. Ano-a commendable desire, and it was in precise con. ther, and a very serious one, was the extensive formity with the original plan of the bank, as well practice of mutual endorsements. A man who as with the "gradual extension" which the report. wished to get a discount, was obliged to borrowl in one part, thinks was expedient. It was a desire, the name of a friend, and, by borrowing, came un. nevertheless, however prudent, not likely to be der a well understood obligation to lend his own gratified. The stock was then rising, and had name in return. A connection was thus formed reached somewhere about 140, as appears from the that involved both in the fate of either. If one failed, table of prices exhibited by the committee. They he dragged the other after him; and, indeed, it were not to expect stock to be deposited at par. often happened, that, by multiplied entanglements when its market price was 140. On the contrary, of this sort, the ruin of one man injured, perhaps with a rising market, there would be a constant destroyed, the credit of many. The fourth by tendency to escape from the deposite, and to disan. Jaw was intended, and honestly and prudently in- point the wish of the directors, which was to in. tended, to diminish these evils. It provided that crease and not to diminish this kind of security. accommodation paper should not be discounted; It was under the influence of views like these. I and, to limit, as much as practicable, the evil offshould suppose, (as stated by the late president. mutual endorsements, it invited persons applying in his examination, among the documents) that the for discounts to deposite personal security instead resolution of the 26th of August was adopted, com. of endorsers. The subsequent resolutions of the bining the two kinds of loan-on personal security, board, (excepting that of the 25th August, 1817, and on stock in order to increase ibe quality of the which shall be distinctly considered,) were evident. laiter. I repeat that I do not approve of this resolu. ly adopted only to carry the fundamental by-law tion, and for this simple reason, that, as in the disinto execution, by extending it to branches, and by counts upon stock, they regarded only the security, declaring the rates and other terms upon which and not the person, or the amount, I do not see the several kinds of stock should be received in how the two kinds of loan could thus be combined. pledge or deposite. They were thus, by a very without the temptation to lend more to individuale obvious reference to the original source, freed from upon the personal security, than was either prudent the suspicion of having been produced by occasion or proper; inasmuch as the loan upon the personal al motives of speculation, and placed upon their security was always to hear a fixed proportion to true founda!ion-which no one, I think, will deny, what was considered as lent upon the stock. But is solid enough to sustain them. Such was the the question is, whether it was sincerely adopted. chiaracter of the resolutions of the 18th December, for the reasons given, and not to promote a scheme 1816-(Documenis, page 65,) and of the 25th July, of stockjobbing. The board soun put an end to its 1817.

active existence, which must be regarded as some The resolution of the 25th August, 1817, au- evidence at least of sincerity. thorised the loan of 125 dollars upon stock, with What are the objections made to this kind of two approved endorsers, who, as the report ex- discount? Not that they were insecure or im. plains it, were only to be security for the 25 per prudunt, or unprofitable. No. To the whole of the cent. excess, beyond the par value of the stock loans on stock it is objected, that they inflated the deposited. This resolution, I have no hesitation price of the stock, in the language of the report, to say, I do not approve, for reasons, however, very “kept it constantly advancing, until it reached a difierent from those stated in the report. Sir, the point where it exploded and fell," (page 11.) The directors themselves did not long approve it. The first point to be established, in order to support resolution was acted upon but a very short time, this position, is, that the stock ever has been not more than a week or ten days, and the amount inflaied beyond its real value. What is its real loaned under it appears, from the documents, to value? Sır, it is (within certain limits) matter of have been small. Let us now for a moment examire opinion, matter of conjecture, depending upon a the operation of these measures. The amount of thousand considerations, and, among the rest, at discounts on stock remaining unpaid on the 30th the present moment, depending upon the decision July, 1917, was 5,221,267 60 dollars--(Documents, of this house. What will it rise to hereafter? No page 60 ) The total amount of discounts, then, one can tell. It is an institution of great resources,

Sur. to Vol. XVI,

[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »