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of revenue of 25,965,5391., there has been charged, during the same period, in the annual finance accounts, the sum of no less than 124,779,340/., purporting to have been applied to the reduction of the debt.
10. That during the nine years, 1817-25, loans have been raised and Exchequer-bills funded to the amount of 98,760,920/.,3 for which there has been capitals created of various denominations, to the amount of 126,536,037/., and an annual charge of 4,074,022/.; in addition to which there has been added 7,122,9641. of capital by the conversion of 149,449,290% of 5 per Cents. into 156,921,713/. of 4 per Cents.; also 2,365,655. of 3 per Cents., by compromise of a disputed account with the East India Company, at an annual charge of 70,970/; and 322,9617, by conversion of 968,8851. of 5 per Cents. of 1797 and 1802 into 1,291,8471. of 3 per Cents., and 47,767. of 4 per Cents. dissentients since assented to, making an aggregate increase of capital in the nine years of 136,395 381., and an aggregate increase of
To which add Life Annuities by 48 Geo. III.
11. That out of the 124,779,340/. charged in the annual finance accounts as applied to the reduction of the national debt, the commissioners of the sinking fund acknowledge to have received the sum of only 116,022,1427., which they have applied as follows, viz.
For purchase of Stock in Great Britain'
Ditto ditto East India Company
Ditto ditto 4 per cents.
Total sum accounted for by commissioners £116,006,939 4 12. That with the sums (and in the preceding resolution) applied to the purchase of stock, there has been cancelled in Great Britain various capitals to the amount of 144,480,680. The dividends on the same being 4,465,073/., and in addition to the above there has also been cancelled of 4 per Cent. dissentients by Exchequer-bills £3,807,013 And various capitals amounting to 6,934,285
Making a total of
£10,741,298 of capital. can
1 Vide col. 5. Appendix C.
2 Vide col. 1. Appendix D.
celled; the dividends on which capitals amount to 379,8097.,
13. That in addition to the sum of 4,844,8821. of annual
14. That if the increase of annual charge of 4,146,6647. as per 10th resolution, and 323,114/., the increase of life annuities, be deducted from 6,707,7891. the decrease, as specified in the preceding resolution, it leaves a net diminution of annual charge of 2,238,0112. on the funded debt, instead of 2,190,997., as exhibited in the 5th resolution, showing a difference of 47,0147. per annum to be accounted for.
15. That although by resolution No. 7, there appears to have been in the nine years, 1817-25, a disposable surplus revenue of 25,965,5991. (exclusive of 6,917,5691.,' received from the Bank for annuity, in the three years 1822-5,) there has only been a reduction in the capital of the funded and unfunded debt, during the same period, of 20,393,495l.; whilst the finance accounts, as per resolution 5, do not show any decrease of annual charge, that would not have been effected by annuities fallen in, cancels, conversions, and diminution of interest in unfunded debt, as per reso lution 6, without reference to the surplus revenue.
16. That the increase of life annuities, over and above the amount of perpetual annuities cancelled, will account for about 130,000l. of annual charge; but there is an obvious loss of 186,7037. of annual charge, by redeeming stock on less advantageous terms than creating it; as, for example, 4,074,0221. of annual charge was created for 126,536,0371. of capital, whilst the proportion of annual charge redeemed by the same amount of capital was only 3,887,3197
17. That the loss arising from the complicated system of the sinking fund and the public accounts, is further proved by the statement, Appendixes G. and H., which exhibits the result that would have taken place if the surplus revenue, and other resources (exclusive of loans), had been applied, year by year, to the purchase of stock, at the average rates of the respective years; and if further proof is wanting of the ruinous system of finance, so fatally per sisted in of supporting a sinking fund by loans, the following result of the last loan from the Bank in 1823, avowedly for that purpose, will furnish the most indisputable evidence.
1 Vide Resolutions 18 and 19. 2 Vide Resolution 4.
18. That there has been paid into the Exchequer by the Trustees of Naval and Military Pensions, between the 5th of April, 1823, and the 1st of January, 1826, the sum of 6,917,569.,' part payment of a loan from the Bank of England, for which an annuity was granted for 45 years, equivalent to an annuity in perpetuity, at the rate of interest of 41. 2s. 1d. per cent. per annum, or 731. money for every 100%. of 3 per Cent. stock; whilst the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund, during the same period, have expended a corresponding sum in the purchase of 3 per Cent. stock, at an average of 881. for every 1007. of such stock, being at the rate of interest of only 3l. 8s. 2d. per cent.
19. That by the said loan the public debt was increased in 1823, equivalent to the amount of 9,476,110l. of 3 per Cent. stock, and the annual charge of 284,2831. in perpetuity; whilst the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund applied a corresponding sum to the purchase of 7,808,188/. of 3 per Cent. stock, at the rate of 887. of money for 100l. stock, cancelling an annuity in perpetuity of 225,745l., by which transaction there has been actual loss, or addition to the debt of the country, of 1,617,9221. of 3 per cent. capital, and 58,5391. of annuity in perpetuity.
20. That although the complexity of the finance accounts, and the loss to the nation by such a system is clearly manifest by the preceding resolutions, yet the magnitude of the evil inflicted on the country by the ruinous and absurd sinking fund system, still persevered in by His Majesty's ministers, can only be known by an attentive examination of the series of finance resolutions submitted to the consideration of this House in 1822, and by the result of its operations, as exhibited in the five following Resolutions.
- 21. That by a return 3 made to this House, the total net revenue of Great Britain (exclusive of loans) for 24 years, between the 10th day of October, 1792, and the 5th day of January, 1817, appears to have amounted to 1,126,640,4177., and the total expenditure (exclusive of all sums paid to the Commissioners for the reduction of the National Debt) during the same period, appears to have amounted to 1,533,638,6311., being an excess of expenditure over revenue of 406,988,214.; but as three quarters of a year, from the 5th day of January to the 10th day of October, 1799, appears to have been stated twice, three-fourths of the excess of expenditure in 1799 require to be deducted, making the actual deficiency of revenue to be about 393,000,000%.
1 Vide Parliamentary Paper, No. 171, of 1823.
22. That although the actual revenue during the 24 years, from 1798 to 1816 inclusive, fell short of the expenditure only about 393,000,000, it appears, by a series of resolutions submitted to the consideration of this House on the 25th of July, 1822, that an amount of no less than 618,163,8571. of money was raised by loans and Exchequer-bills, during the said period of 24 years, viz. from 1793 to 1816 inclusive.
22*. That by the sixth of the before-mentioned series of resolutions, it appears, that whilst 618,163,8571. of money was raised by loans and Exchequer-bills, between the 10th day of October, 1792, and the 5th day of January, 1817, that 188,522,3481.1 only was paid to the Commissioners for the reduction of the National Debt, leaving the enormous sum of 36,641,5177. totally unaccounted for.
23. That by another account, presented to this House in 1822, it appears, that in the year 1815, annuities of different denominations, all in perpetuity, were created to the amount of 3,083,6217., equal to 102,787,3341. of 3 per cent. stock, for which only 53,819,7861. money was received, being at the rate of 1007. of 3 per cent. capital created for every 521. 7s. 2d. of money received.
24. That by another account, presented to this House in 1825, it appears, that between the 5th of January, 1824, and 5th of January, 1825, the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund have purchased 3,627,2251. of 3 per cent. stock, for which they have paid 3,416,031., being at the rate of 941. 3s. 5d. for every 100%. of such stock, at a loss of 411. 16s. 3d. of money, for every 1001. stock re-purchased, as compared with 1815.
24 a. That the 53,819,785. of money, for which the 3,083,620. of annuities were granted in 1815, as stated in the 23rd resolution, was paper-money of a mere nominal value only, whilst the 3,416,031/. of money paid for the 3,627,225/. of 3 per Cents. each, in 1824, as stated in the preceding resolution, was money of a fixed and determinate value, convertible into gold, on demand, at the rate of 3. 17s. 10 d. per oz.
24 b. That at the period of creating the 3,083,6201. of annuities for which the 53,819,7851. of money was received, as stated in the preceding resolution, the ounce of gold was not to be obtained for less than 57. 7s. of such money; consequently the total sum received was only equal to 10,597,229 oz. of gold, the 102,787,334. of 3 per Cent. stock created in that year, was therefore created at the rate of 100/. of such stock for a trifletless than 10 oz. of gold; whilst at the rate at which the 3,627,2251.
1 Vide col. 8. of Parliamentary Paper, No. 145, of 1822.
2 Parliamentary Paper, No. 145, of 1822.
Parliamentary Paper, No. 17, of 1825.
of 3 per Cent stock was purchased by the commissioners of the sinking fund in the year 1824, as stated in this resolution, it will require 26,525,764 oz. of gold to purchase the same amount of stock as was created in 1815, for only 10,597,729 oz.
24 c. That as the ounce of gold will now obtain as much (and in some cases double the quantity) of all the products of industry and labor, as it would when 51. 7s. of nominal money was demanded for it in 1815, as all taxation in its ultimate result falls exclusively on the products of industry and labor; the bill of 1822, which enacts "that five millions per annum shall be applied towards the reduction of the national debt, resolves itself into a tax on the products of industry and labor equal to a quantity of 1,290,323 oz. of gold per annum, to effect a forced purchase of the same amount of 3 per Cent. stock, for which only 507,000 oz. were received in 1815, being at the enormous difference in value of 155 per cent.
24 d. That by a return made to this House, during the session of Parliament, 1822, (Paper, No. 252.) it appears, that the total number of persons amongst whom the annuities, amounting to 7,091,503. due on the stock denominated the Navy 5 per Cent. stock, was divided, amounted to 94,181, of whom 45,988 received less than 20. per annum, and 34,472 others, less than 100/. per annum.
24 e. That the reduction of 1,211,4607. per annum, from the holders of Navy 5 per Cent. stock, instead of having diminished the pressure of the burthen of taxation, has virtually increased it, in so far as that reduction tended to confirm the act for purchasing 3 per Cent. stock, to the extent of five millions value per annum, and that as a consequence of making forced purchases to that extent, whilst money capital presses, seeking for secure and permanent investment, as is manifest from the enormous amount vested in loans, and other speculative adventures abroad,' the five millions per annum first collected in taxes, to enable the commissioners of the sinking fund to make their forced purchases of the 3 per Cent. stock, occasions five millions per annum,' to purchase only the same amount of stock, as 3,650,000l. would have purchased on an average of the year 1820, or as 3,350,000. would have purchased in 1816, or as 2,950,000/. ought to purchase, according to the average rate at which stock was created for the 618,163,8571. of money, as stated in the 22nd resolution.
That from the foregoing resolution, it is obvious, that the 1,211,460/. per annum, taken from the 94,181 holders of 5 per Cent. stock in 1823, and the 374,220l. per annum taken from the 34,512 holders of 4 per Cent. stock in 1824, affords no relief 1 Vide Appendix N.