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4. Exports. The average annual amount of the ex
ports of the Company in 17 years, viz, from 1793-4
to 1809-10 inclusive, are .. 5. Contributions. The contributions from the Com
pany to the public from 1768 to 1812, amount to
As the privilege trade, that is, the trade carried op between England and India by individuals entirely unconnected with the Company, is a subject of inuch national importance, and one upon which the public are not generally informed, the following particulars may prove useful. Until the last charter, or the act of 1793, no British subject, either abroad or at home, could enbark in the India or China trade; and the commerce of neutrals was wholly interdicted till the passing of another act in 1795. Since 1793, the public have been furnished with as much tonnage for carrying on the trade with India as they have required. The tonnage engaged in this privilege trade from 1795 to 1810 amounts to 148,967 tons, or an annual average of 9,310 tous. And the loss incurred by the company in consequence of providing this tonnagc, amounts to 444,2931. making an average annual loss, during the above period of 16 years, of 27,7681.
4. Hudson's Bay Company. It was incorporated in 1670, and trades to Hudson's Bay, and adjacent places; hence the company's name. They carry on a moderate trade, by exporting woollen goods, haberdashery wares, knives, hatchets, and other hard ware; and in returi, bring back skins, beaver, and furs.
5. South Sea Company. During the long war with France, in the reign of queen Anne, the payment of the sailors of the royal navy being neglected, and they receiving tickets instead of noney, were frequently obliged, by their necessities, to sell their tickets to avaricious men, at the discount of 401. and sometimes 501, per cent. By this, and other means, the debts of the nation unprovided for by Parliament, and which amounted to 9,471,321l. fell into the hands of those usurers. On which Mr. Harley, at that time chancellor of the exchequer, and afterwards earl of Oxford, proposed to allow the proprietors of these debts and deficiencies 61. per cent. per annum, and to incorporate them, in order to their carrying on a
trade to the South Sea; and they were accordingly incorporated under the title of “ The Governor and Company of Merchants of Great Britain, trading to the South Seas, and other parts of America, and for encouraging the fishery, &c.” The fatal South Sea schemes, transacted in the year 1728, were executed upon the last mentioned statute. The company had at first set out with good success, and the value of their stock, for the first five years, had risen faster than that of any other company; and his majesty, after purchasing 10,0001. stock, had condescended to be their governor. Taking advantage of the above statute, the South Sea bubble was projected. The pretended de sign of which was, to raise a sum for carrying on the trade to the South Seas, and purchasing annuities, &c. paid to the other companies; and proposals were printed and distributed, showing the advantages of the design. The sum Becessary for carrying it on, together with the profits that were to arise, were divided into a certain number of shares, or subscriptions, to be purchased by persons disposed to adventure therein. And the better to carry on the deception, the directors engaged to make very large dividends; and actually declared, that every 100l. original stock would yield 50l. per annum: which occasioned so great a rise of their stock, that a share of 100l. was sold for 8001. This was in the month of July; but before the end of September it fell to 1501. by which multitudes were ruined, and such a scene of distress occasioned, as is scarcely to be conceived. But the consequences of this infamous scheme are too well known; most of the directors were severely fined, to the loss of nearly all their property. Some of them were not concerned in the deception; but it was agreed that they should have opposed and prevented it.
6. Bank of England. In the year 1694, the Bank of England was established by a number of persons, who advanced a loan of 1,200,0001, to governinent, and by that means obtained a charter. To this, various loans have been added, and at different periods, suins have been given for the renewal of the charter. This debt, which is called the permanent debt, amounts in the whole to 11,686,8001. ånd for it, various interests are paid by government,' making together about 3 per cent. per annum. The amount of the bank stock is 11,642,4001, and for this, dividends
are paid to the proprietors, from the profits of the institution. It is transferable like government stock, and its value fluctuates from the same causes, as well as from the supposed success of the company.
The profits of the bank chiefly arise from discounting bills, keeping cash for others, issuing notes, dealing in bullion, and making temporary advances to the state. It also acts as banker and agent to government, in whatever relates to the public funds, for which it receives 4501. per million; but for the contributions on new loans, the bank is paid 8051. 155, 10d.
million. The manuer of keeping cush at the bank, and the terms for discounting bills
, are the same as at a private bankers, except that no cash account is begun here with less than 5001. nor is any discount account opened without the approbation of the court of directors. They discount no bill of less than 1001. or that has more than 65 days to run; and each bill must be approved by the committee, who allow or reject it without assigning any cause for so doing. The bank issues no paper without an equivalent, either in cash, bullion, approved bills, or government securities. Its notes are made payable to the bearer on demand, and were paid at sight, until the year 1797, when, on account of the state of public affairs, cash paynents were suspended, by order of the privy coupeil. This restriction, except in certain cases, has since been renewed by Parliament; and, though bank votes have not been made an absolutely legal tender, they bar a civil action.
This corporation is not permitted by its charter to deal in
any kind of merchandize, except gold and silver bullion and foreign coins; but it enjoys exclusive privileges for banking and issuing notes. The business of the bauk is divided into two departments: the one under the chief cashier, and the other under the general accountant. The chief cashier trausacts all the receipts and payments of money, and issues the balik notes. The general accountant posts these potes as they are issued and paid off by the cashier ; he also keeps The accounts of the pr:blic funds, and manages the other concerns relating to government and the national debt. The chief management of the bauk is under a governor, deputy governor, and 24 directors, who are all annually chosen by the proprietors, Four ge
neral courts are held every year, and others may be convened at the request of nine or more of the proprietors. The qualification for a governor, is, to be possessed of 40001. bank stock ; for a deputy governor, of 3000l.; for a director, of 2000l.; for an elector, 500l. ; and these suins must have been possessed for six months previous to an election taking place, unless they come by bequest or insberitance. Foreigners may become proprietors of this stock, but no person can be elected a governor or director who is not a natural bora British subject, or who has not been naturalized.*
The Stocks, or Public Funds. The stocks or public funds, are loans advanced to government, for which interest is regularly paid from revenues set apart for the purpose. This mode of raising supplies by levying taxes for the payment of the interest is called “ The Funding System," and the loans thus raised, constitute “ The national Debt.”
The different funds or stocks, are variously denominated, according to the terms on which they were established, Thus, some are called the 3, some the 4 per cents. &c. and the manner of buying stock is to give a specific sum for a nominal hundred. if for instance, the price of the 3 per cents, is 601. this sum is paid for 1001. stock, wbich yields a dividend of 31. a year, that is, 51. per cent. per aunum.
,When stocks are low, the interest is high, and
New loans are paid by instalments of 10 to 15 per cent. at stated periods, and they generally comprehend different kinds of stock, which together are called Omnium. If these be disposed of separately before all the instalments are paid, the different articles are called Scrip, which is an abbreviation for Subscription.
In raising loans, a douceur is sometimes given by government of an annuity for a limited time; such are called Terminable and Irredeemable annuities; but the regular stocks on which the common interest is paid, are called Perpetual Annuities, and also redeemable. Loans are call ed a Funded Debt, when taxes are appropriated for paying the interest; but, sums raised for which 10 such provisicn is yet made, are called the Unfunded Debt. Of the
latter description are Exchequer, Navy, Victualling, and Ordnance bills, which are issued by these different offices, and which bear an interest until paid off. The interest is mostly 3d. or 3 d. per day, for every 100l. A plan has been adopted for payiug off or reducing the national debt by means of the Sinking Fund, which is a portion of the revenue set apart for that purpose, operating on the principle of compound interest. 'In 1786, it was raised to a million annually, and in 1792, to 1,200,000l. A grant was likewise added of i per cent. per annum, on every new loan that has been since raised.
The Sinking Fund, or, as it is now generally called, the Consolidated Fund,' is under the management of certain Commissioners, who constantly apply it iu buying up or redeeming stock; and the interest accruing op such redeemed stock goes immediately to the increase of the fund, together with all terminable annuities, as they become extinct. By the operation of this plan alone, near 150 millions of the public debt have been redeemed in 20 years, and it is coinputed, that if no new loans were raised, the whole of the national debt, which in 1808 was about 700 millions, would, in less than 40 years, be entirely rez deemed.*
Select Books on the History and Constitution of England.
Goldsmith's History of England, continued by Dr. Coote, 4 vols, 8vo. Mavor's England, to the present time, 2 vols. 18mo. Henry's History of Great Britain, 12 vols. 8vo. with Andrews' Continua. tion to the death of Queen Elizabeth, 2 vols. 8vo. Hume's History of England, continued by Smollett and Belsham is the only collection on a large scale, which is brought down to the present time. The History of Great Britain connected with the Chronology of Europe to the death of Henry VIII, 1 vol. 4to. by J. P. Andrews. Adolphus' History of the Reign of George III. 3 vols. 8vo. Custance on the Constitution of England, 12mo. may be read with advantage by those who have not leisure to peruse Delolme's admirable work on the same subject, in 8vo. to which it is an excellent introduction.
Select Books on the History of Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.
1. Wales. - Warrington's History of Wales, 2 vols. 8vo. Bing. ley's North Wales, z vols. 8vo. and Malkin's South Wales, 2 vols.