網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

........ 45 _.- . ,

been written or dictated by the person •,'rom wnorn it was ssid to have proceeded, that person having ueen for three days, in a stal* nf i'i*eusi/biliti/. The letter, therefore, is clearly afcgery; r.nd yet, on »u. h evi V«ce.»5 this, do a set of tayltns and humt^lt lauyers pn uine ti> cast iiij.uriuu* reflections upon noblemen of high birth, falcnts, and virtue; and to viiity the national character in India, which contains ,as much honesty, zeal, an.; public spirit, as this country display*, and where such .patriots as Mr. P.ul! and sir T. Turton v.re fuliy understood ; and, 1 can also assure them, where they are thoroughly dispi-ed.

, , , , , _—_

THEORY OF MONEY, CONTINUED.—Part 3rd.

To show the nature and properties of paper money, and its connection with the

standard unit.

The theory of paper money appears to be founds J on ihe existence of a standard unit; for, if coins are only symbols, or tokens, of the standard unit of a country, it is certainly by no means absolutely requisite, that each of these coins contain in it a proportion of metal equal to the value it passes for: were all the people of a country perfectly honest, the government of that country might, with great safety and advantage, give a cheaper medium of circulation to the pubhc, by issuing copper, lead, or iron tokens, in place of, and for the same value, as the gold and silver ones, provided only that the government bound itself to give value again for them, or to take them at the same value; but, in the present state of society, any country doing so would be immediately overrun with counterfeits. This inconvenience is, in a great degree, obviated by the use of paper money, which is of the least intrinsic value, and at the same time more difficult to be counterfeited, and much easier detected when so.

Paper money may be defined "an obligation to account for a certain proportion or quantity of the'standard unit of the country, granted by a person or persons, in whose responsibility the people of a country have confidence, which obligation passes from hand to hand as a symbol, or token, of the standard unit, according to the proportion expressed therein."

When paper money was first introduced, its nature and properties were not well understood, and many erroneous doctrines were advanced; in this country these are now mostly corrected in practice,. but it is very extraordinary, that, in theory, great part of them are still kept up; the writers on t^iis subject continuing to persevere in support of many maxims, which in practice have been long ago abolished; one great cause of this appears to be, that there have existed two species of paper inoney perfectly separate and distinct in their nature, properties, and effects, but which have,been hitherto confounded together by all these writers. It is therefore proposed, after stating what is conceived to be the true principles upon which paper money should be issued, to describe these two kinds, and to examine them by these principles.

The true principles upon which paper-money can be issued, so as to support its Credit, and be of advantage to a country, appear to be,

1st, That the quantity issued shall not exceed the real demands of .the country for a medium of circulation.

2dly, That the issuer always receive in return, at issuing the real value, not in perishable commodities, or in unconvertible funds, such a,.s lands, houses, &c. but in funds again convertible into tlie medium, at a short distant period, and which he retains in his hands until the notes are withdrawn from circulation.

3dly, That the issuer be always ready to give value for them, either in other me* din ins of circulation, or in the funds for which they were originally issued. . The two kinds of paper money proposed to be described may be distinguished by the appellations of forced and free.

, Ry furcpfl pupor mmipy is meant that paper currency which is forced upon the people of a country, and which they are. obliged to ta-9, whether they will or not; being given in general for debts already contracted, and which the issuers of that paper have, at the time, no other mode of liquidating; this can only be done by

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

1001. for S years, received only 701. for it, and paid 5 per cent, per annum of irrtftest, he pa.ti a'ji.ut 20 per cent, per annum, of interest tor the loan; if he had it on the same terms for 5 years, he then only paid 1 j per cent, annual interest. Now whe:i it i> cimsK.ered, that the great proportion of the first settlers in America were penile who had expended what little money they had in the purchase of lands, or ■who, caving no mo/icy originally, had either got grants of land for nothing, or had engaged to pay for them at some future distant period; and, that these lands in general produced very great returns upon being cultivated, it will not appear at all extraordinary, that these settlers were, induced to borrow capital on those term?, rather than forego the advantages to be derived from labouring rheir lands and improving them. Had these governments continued to exist, the whole of these issues would in time have been redeemed at the same value they were issued for; and although individuals might have suffered, the country would have been no loser: but the revolution in that country completely put a stop to their circulation, and tras the cause of the production of an issue of paper money, which might more literally and truly be called^/brcfrf. When the Congress began their operations, they found a pressing want of funds to carry them on with, and having no means of immediately procuring these funds, they had recourse to the issuing paper dollars, payable at the end of the war; these, they forced the people, from whom they got the articles required, to lake in payment, and with these they paid their soldiers and sailors: and they made an arbitrary act, ordering them to pass and be taken at all times the same as silver dollars. Two circumstances tended to their very quick depreciation; being issued in great quantities to supply urgent necessities, the circulation was soon completely overstocked, and their payment in the end, depending entirely upon the ultimate success of congress, every person pressed to get quit of them for fear of their producing nothing at all at last; in consequence they fell to almost nothing in value, and were passed in quires.

French Assignsts are another very complete example offirced paper money. After the revolution in France, in 1793, the convention having exhausted all the funds they could command, had recourse to the sale of the lands belonging to trie church and to the ex-nobles; not finding immediate purchasers for. these, they issued paper money, which they bound themselves to receive back in payment of those lands when sold, and they obliged the creditors of the state-to take the same in payment of the debts due to them : this paper money, commonly called assignats, being issued not in proportion to the demands of the people for a circulating medium, or even to the value of the lands to be sold, but to the wants of the convention, soon came to be depreciated, and this depreciation was accelerated by the convention themselves breaking faith with the public; for when the latter came forward to make purchases of the lands in question, and tendered these rtssignats in* payment, the agents of the convention refused to take them at the value they were issued for, they would only receive them at the value they then passed for, whilst at the same time the convention were continuing to issue fresh quantities, until their valne was sunk almost to nothing, and at length a counter-revolution swept them into oblivion.

From these instances, the nature .of forced paper money will be seen, it appearing,

1st. That in the issuing of it, no attention whatever is paid to confine the. amount to the demands of tbc country for a circulating medium.

2nd. That the issuer really receives no retainable value for it at issuing.

And 3d. That the issuer has no funds to give for it again; it may be concluded, that forced paper money is issued in direct contradiction to what have been stated as the just principles upon which paper money ought to be issued.

(To be continued. J

Printed by \V. Merchant, 3, Grcville-Street, Hatton-Garden; and published by
H. R. Yorke, 412, Strand, opposite the AJetphi; and sold also by
H.T. Hodgson, Wimpolc-Strcet, and by all the News-venders iii Town an!
Countrv. • *

[graphic][graphic]
[graphic]

49

NOTICE,

It would certainly have been more regular for me to have announced at the commencement of a new volume, any alteration respecting the mechanical arrangements of the Review; and I should have done so, if it had been possible to have completed them in due time. But the state of my health, and the gloom which has overspread my mind, in consequence of the aspect of public affairs, have altogether incapacitated me, until the present week, from paying any attention to matters of this kind. The whole being now settled, it remains for me to state, briefly, the plan upon which wa are hereafter to regulate our proceedings.

The fatigue and anxiety which I had undergone while superintending what is called "the bushiest department" of this Review, will henceforth be removed, as I have confided to Mr. Sidney, who printed it at its commencement, the whole management both of the printing and publication; so that I shall be enabled to keep my mind abstracted from every other consideration, except the literary department of the work* My readers will not be dissatisfied at this change, especially when they are informed that Mr. Sidney has shewn the greatest zeal and interest for the success of the Review, notwithstanding that it had been removed, for reasons with which the public have no concern, from his office. It is also a comfortable reflection to me, that his principles and mine are the same, and that the loyalty of those principles has induced him tot reject advantages, which, as a printer, he might have derived from the management of publications.of an opposite tendency. I request, therefore, that the following particulars may be attended to by my readers and correspondents >

The Review will be regularly published, after this day, at the Usual hour, by MVw Sidney, No. 1, Northumberland-street, Strand. Orders for the Paper, as-well asf all letters relative to its pullication, are requested to be addressed f» him; and those jr/entiamen who may thiuk proper to favour the work with their communications, •will have the goodness to addresj their letters to me, at Mr. Sidney's, and tin y will be immediately forwarded to me.

On Thursday next, the volume containing all the numbers-, from January fo the end of June, will be ready for delivery, at the office, No. 1, Northumberland-street, Strand, and the price of each volume, half-bound in Russia, will be one guinea.

ON THE STATE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.

Tt would be the height of folly to conceal from the public view, the imminent dangers with which the nation is threatened j and it would betray the height of cowardice to affirm, thai they are not vincible. We have lately been so much occupied with domestic altercations, that we have scarcely had time sufficient to contemplate the magnitude of the evils which are pressing upon us; and, therefore, the near approach of unexpected calamity, creates the greatest possible confusion it> our minds, and bereaves us of that sobriety which we ought to possess in all extreme eases. For my own part, I am resolved to pursue that line of conduct, which duty and patriotism prescribe to every man who wishes sincerely lor the welfare of his country, without regard to those party politics by which, it has been agitated for the last twelve months. Accordingly,I seize the earliest opportunity ot acquainting the leaders-of this Review, that it will not be compatible with our objects, to admit any controversial article? relative to the late election; nor, generally, any article of a personal or party nature Tub Country Must Be Saved j and the surest method of accomplishing this end, is by unanimity.

When this Review commenced, I stated to my readers, that I belonged to no party; and that the predominant passion of my-mind was, to contribute my endeavours ia promoting the honour and independence of our country. At that time we stood alone;; and had 10 contend, singly, against onr inveterate enemy. The change of men, which also brought about a change of measures, called upon every honest man to ba vigilant} and I was compelled to enter into discussions, which i would rather have avoided. It was impossible for me to advise the public to reposs confidence in men)

VOX.. III. NO. 4.

[ocr errors]

_ who had not afforded to their country the smallest test of capacity—whose previous political career had been marked by an uniform opposition to all the measures devised for the re-establishment of public independence, and whose principal qualifications for office were inexperience and pride. Their progress we have sufficiently traced; and persons who, like myself, disputed their pretensions, must, naturally, rejoice at the recal of those intelligent, experienced, and faithful counsellors of the crown, who were the colleagues and supporters of Mr. Pitt. But the. time is come, when our partiality must be laid aside, and every consideration give way to the public.safety. The overthrow of the continent of Europe has not only strengthened die hands of the enemy," but it has also contributed to aggrandize the sense of his power. We arc the only people remaining, who possess the'spirit, courage, and virtue, to resist his authority; consequently, we must expect, that the war which he is about to wage against us, will be bitter in the extreme, and cruel and unrelenting. We ought not, however, to be intimidated on this account; for, so long as we can look our dangers in the face, there will be a reasonable ground of confidence in our own means and resources. To point out fte paths that lead to safety, is now become a personal, as well as public duty ;<and therefore, I shall not make any apology for the plans and suggestions which will appear in every future number of this Review. The objects which require our immediate attention, are—the organization and discipline of the volunteers, the state of the army, and the mode of improving the condition of both of them. These aic primary objects; and next to them in importance, arc topics connected with our internal economy. All these matters should now be investigated, not accordins; to their own abstract qualities, but according to their politi. al relation to our present circumstances, engaged, as we are, in a war with an enemy, who is, by the power of the sword, the undisputed master of the continent.

If we really mean to meet our difficulties with manly fortitude, we must adopt bold, vigorous, and comprehensive measures. Above all, we should make up out minds, that peace it mampatitk with the present system and power of France. War has its chances ;—but peace with France brings with it, as sure as the unerring aart of death, the ruin of Great Britain. We ought, therefore, to form some estimate of the probable duration of war—and, in our arrangements, our measures should have a reference to it; that is, all our plans should he built upon the probability of a war that shall last tnoatty yea's. If, indeed, the peoole of Grat Britain were resolved to put forth the genius and visrour of jhc state. Buonaparte would be compelled to sue for pence in less than twelve months; but as there is not virtue enough remaining amongst us to atithorise-anT'ejB'Ntation of the kind, we must endeavour to effect the most that our relative circumstances will admit of. Upon these considerations I shall devote the greatest part of my ncit niiniber to the examination of this subject, and endeavour to point out the line of policywhi hour present state requires that we should adopt. If my political opinions should appear to be too bold, let it be recollected, that the contest in which we are engaged is for life or death; and that half measure!, and temporary expedients, can never maintain a country, which is menaced with the deferred revenge of the most ferocious passions, wi.lding in their support, the collected fragments of a subjugated world.

PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS.

The Shipping Interest.—This most important subject has been so fully and frequently discussed in the former volumes of this Review, that I can have but little to add to the general ground of argument which I have assumed; but as it is likely to be revived, in consequence of Mr. Eden's motion on the 30th of July, for a return of the British and foreign ships in the British trade, for the kist three years, it is right to call the attention of my readers to it. Mr. Eden avowed his object to be, for the purpose of ascertaining how far the_shipping interest had l-ecn affected by the measures of the late administration; and he ventured to assure the House of Commons, that the British ships Had increased l-6th in the course of the last year, while the foreign vessels had diminished in nearly the same proportion. It may prove extremely satisfactory to Mr. Eden, and the friends of the late ministers, to make it appear, that they did not effect as much mischief, while they retained their situations, as the public expected from them; but what have we now to do with these party questions5 What benefit will the nation derive from the production of documents exculpatory of a former government? The people, collectively, are not a body of Hsjtoriaas, whoso time must be expended-in collating and marshalling evidence relative to the wisdom or folly of past transactions, in order to form an estimate of the ability of public men. They have higher interests to attend to, which press upon their immediate attention; and if the opinion of the mass of the community could be collected, there can be no doubt, that with the exception of the parlizans and dependants oi the late administration, every one is perfectly indifferent about their personal altera

[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »