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From The Spectator 23 Nov. brought against it in 1847, of having stimuTHE BANK OF ENGLAND'S BANKING. lated speculation by maintaining a low rate
We suspect that the more closely the con- of discount in the face of a drain of gold. duct of the Bank of England during the From the commencement of the Russian war monied difficulties preceding the late practi- to the present time, the conduct of the Bank cal suspension of the Act of 1844 is exam- as regards the rate of discount has been ined, the more questionable it will appear ; prudent. Its error lies in the conduct of its and that one of the main points really at own banking business—in having used its issue will be the continuance of the Bank's customers' deposits to discount bills at a privileges as a manager of the circulation. high rate of interest for its own profit, in It is quite proper that the public should be utter disregard of its means of paying the thoroughly possessed with the difference be checks of its depositors from the money in tween a national bank of issue, which the its possession, except by frightening the MinDirectors are in one of their capacities, and a istry into suspending the Act, and enabling mere bank of deposit and discount like any the Bank to issue paper under the nation's other great joint-stock bank, which is an- guarantee without a corresponding amount other business of the Directors. Equally of bullion. right is it that the principles of currency and This is a charge which requires to be supthe practical causes of the late financial de ported by facts. Before adducing those facts rangement should be investigated, and that however, the reader must distinctly bear in Parliament should inquire as to the conspir- mind, that in the issue of bank-notes under acy (intimated last week by the Times,) to the Act of 1844 the Bank of England has no compel the Government to suspend the Act more power or discretion than he has. It of 1844, in order to bolster up the credit of was assumed by Sir Robert Peel that fourmercantile gamblers, whose monied confed- teen millions was an amount below which the erates uphold them, expecting that in the paper circulation would never fall. The last resort the Bank of England will influ- value of notes to that amount rests on a racence the Government to break in upon the uum, secured, or supposed to be secured, by principle of the Act.
that amount of public securities. For every These topics, we say, cannot be too well note issued beyond fourteen millions, an ventilated. It will be mischievous if the ex- equivalent must be deposited in the form of position of economical principles, or the ex- bullion or sovereigns. The suspension of amination of particular forms of money de- the Act simply means that the Bank may
disrangement, should succeed in diverting pub- regard this provision, and issue notes ad libilic attention from the examination of the tum, without any other base than its own conduct of the Bank of England as a bank prestige and the national credit. of deposit and discount, but a bank endowed But while is a mere machine in the “ Isby the State with peculiar privileges and very sue Department” til the Act is suspended, profitable advantages. For it seems proba- it is absolute in the common banking departble that the Bank, whether unconsciously or ment,—that is, as absolute as any other joint consciously, has abused the powers granted stock or private bank. If the Directors will to it for public purposes, and has repeated, not restrain themselves by the established though in a more subtile form, and possibly laws of banking, there are no means of rein a less degree, the course which aggra- straining them. We believe that they have vated the panics of 1825, 1837, and 1847. not complied with the established laws of
On the present occasion, at least up to the banking; that they have gone on increasing 12th of November, no charge could be their amount of discounts without any appabrought against the Bank that in pursuit of rent care as to their means of honoring the shareholders' profits it risked the converti- checks of their depositors, to an extent which bility of the note and then “put on the no other solvent bank would have dared to
to save itself from being unable to venture upon, but which the Bank of Engpay in gold. The Act of 1844, by separat- land risked with the knowledge that Governing its functions as a bank of deposit from a ment would never let them stop as bankers. bank of issue, prevented that danger. Their intentions may have been as good as Neither is the Bank obnoxious to the charge those which are said to pave a certain place ;
Total Liabilities to the cus
tomers of the Bank
Gold and Silver Coin Total available Assets
they may never have thought of the profit to the Bank in twice as many weeks suffered be derived from seven, eight, ten per cent three successive reductions of its available rates : but they have contributed as much as assets to meet the demands of its banking in them lay, not only to the suspension of the customers to nearly the same amount as the Act, but to the encouragement of the unex- money (£1,462,153,) remaining in its coffiers pressed conviction that Government will the night before the suspension. It will be never let the Bank stop, which animates the seen, that in the week-ending the 31 October money dealers who supply the speculators, the available assets were diminished by moro whose conduct has chiefly rendered the sus- than £1,400,000-being a reduction of nearly pension a necessity.
the same amount as the Bank had in its
posThe main facts that prove the mismanage- session when it "received the assistance” of ment of the Bank lie in a nutshell. The day Government. The week before the suspenbefore the issue of the letter of suspension, sion took place, the decrease was £1,372,485 the banking liabilities to the Government and —within £90,000 of the sum they finally individuals, and the means of meeting those closed with. In the very week of tlie susliabilities in available assets—that is, money pending letter, their available assets were re-stood as under.
duced by £1,243,882-leaving them with Liabilities in the week ending the 11th November 1857. only £1,462,153. Another week of a simiPublic Deposits
£5,314,659 Other Deposits
lar reduction would have brought the Bank 12,935.344 Seven day and other Bills 853,075
within £120,000 of stoppage, even if we sup
£19,103,078 pose that no distrust had been caused by the Available Means of meeting these Liabilities.
publication of such an account. And all
these reductions took place notwithstanding, 1,462,153
it had sold stock to increase its means. Liabilities beyond avail:ible Means the
The same table shows that this was not an. night before the Suspension
“ accidental” proceeding, but a course reguIn other words, the withdrawal of less than
larly persisted in. During the seven weeks a million and' a half of money from the commencing the 19th September and ending banking department would have compelled the 11th November, this reduction of the the Bank to decline paying the checks of its customers—that is, to stop and have in- five millions and a quarter, spite of additions
company's available means extended to nearly. volved a panic and wholesale destruction, made by the sale of securities. This crain. coni pared with which 1825 would have been of course varied week by week, but with one is nothing.
'exception it was continuons. The money. Nor can it be said that this reduction of as- thus reduced was applied to increasing the sets, though a theoretical possibility was in
discounts, which rose between the 26:4 Seppractice improbable ; or that the Bank was tember and the 11th November from £19,driven into a sudden error through the news 719,700 to £26,113,453 ; being an increase of the American crises. The subjoined table* in round numbers of £6,400,000. will show, that on tlıree separate occasions,
These proceedings of tlic Bank are not * Table showing the amount of Assets in the exceptional. The same risk of stoppage as Banking Department of the Bank of England available to meet the demands of their Custom- bankers was run in 1847, though not to so ers, from the week ending 26th September to great a degree. Two days before the then the week ending 11th November 1857, as well as letter of suspension was issued, the liabilitics the weekly Decrease of those Assets.
and means of the Bank stood thus, Gold & Sil- Total As- Weekly
Liabilities in the week ending the 23 1 October 1847.
Public Deposits September 26 16,014,160 594.808 6.608,968
8,530.509 4,606.040 584,377 5,190,417
Seven ay aud other Bills 947,013
1,418,551 Total Liabilities to tho custo4,024,400 570,433 4,594,833
Available Meaus of meeting these Liabilities.
1.372,485 Liabilities beyond availablo Moans in October
mers of the Bank
There are people who think the Bank | A Government department-Board—Comcould escape stoppage at the very last mo- mission, or what name you will—seems the ment by an unscrupulous use of its powers only resource : but there is the obvious oband resources. Lord Overstone inclines to jection that the Board would be influenced this opinion. He did not speak positively by the Government, as Government in its before the Committee of the house of com- turn would be influenced by “pressure from mons, but he conceived that the Bank, by the without.” If, however, the Bank is subject sale of securities, by discontinuing all dis- to influences of an equally potent but of a counts, and by letting the bills already dis- less patent and therefore a more mischievous counted “ run to maturity,” might save itself. kind, and pursues a line of conduct that comThe authority of Lord Overstone is perhaps pels the Government to tamper with the curthe highest that exists on currency, more es- rency law, there does not seem much differpecially as regards any act of practical bank- ence between them. A Government Board ing; but we cannot help doubting the sound- would have this advantage, that the responness of this notion. If the Bank were to sibility would be distinctly limited and fixed. deluge the Stock Exchange with public se- At present it is divided so that nobody is recurities, to suspend instanter all discounts, sponsible. However, all we, now say is and ruthlessly enforce payment,-everybody inquire. knowing its position,-a panic might arise
From The Spectator 28 Nov. among depositors, which all the money to be THE NEW TRADE IN NEGROES. raised by these methods could not meet; or The French Government, it is understood, if it did, the panic and convulsion would be is rather in a “fix"; it has received reprealmost as ruinous as stoppage itself.
sentations from this country which show that The first conclusion from all this is, that it has connived at a real infraction of the Peel's Act has secured a(up to this time) the Slave-trade Treaties. The plan of M. Régis convertibility of the note, which, considering may be technically legal; it may not violate the financial strain of the last four years, and the letter of the treaties; but there is no the deviation of the Bank on the only point doubt that it violates the spirit, and that in where it could deviate, might without that sanctioning the measure the French Governact have been in jeopardy. The second con- ment has placed itself in direct antagonism clusion is, that the proceedings of the Bank, to the Government of England. Perhaps and their reasons for them, should be very there may be another reason why the Impesearchingly examined during the inquiry rial Government is not altogether satisfied which it is assumed will take place as regards with its position : nobody understands the the suspension of the Act. If found culpa- African emigration as conducted by the Marble, a further inquiry should be entered into seilles contractor to be a very complete sucas to the propriety of removing the manage- cess. France has in this principally played ment of the issues from the Bank of Eng. the jackal for Spanish, Portuguese, and land, and leaving it to stand before tlie world Yankee speculators—that semi-piratical tribe like
any other joint-stock bank, with perhaps who have always been carrying on a smugsome curtailment of its power and privileges gling of Africans in breach or evasion of in other directions. Theoretically, this should treaty law. Thus the Imperial Government have been done in 1844 to render the mea- has placed itself in a position of antagonism sure complete, but practical and inherent dif- to that of England without getting any very ficulties intervened. The real differences be- great profit by the deviation ; and we can tween a bank of national issue and a simple well understand the feclings with which the bank of deposit and discount were not popu- l'astute and practical Napoleon would contemlarly understood; many of those who under-plate the tangible results of the scheme that stood them after a fashion had prejudices as he has sanctioned. It is altogether very disto the hocos-pocus power of the Bank on agreeable; but how can he retract? He has money and the money-market, which the conceded on the Principalities ; is he to conpeople at large partook of in a superstitious cede every thing to Great Britain ? Is the degree. These notions are to a great extent Napoleonic Jupiter Tonans to place liis head dissipated: the main inherent difficulty re- under the heel of Britannia ? Moreover, if mains—the difficulty of finding a substitute. Napoleon were to retract, could lie induce
the aforesaid Spaniards, Portuguese, and is not English to buy our laborers, but it is Yankees, to waive their privilege ? France African : "the African will be bought and has played the jackal for that tribe, and al- sold; it is the fashion of his country,” the though she desist , from the prey will they betters, with whom the slave-hunt is like the
revenue of his prince, the amusement of his do so? It is most improbable. M. Régis fox-hunt with us. At any rate, do not let has shown a method by which a coach-and
us, for a resultless experiment, go on “sacrisix may be driven through all the slave-trade ficing English pith, toil, and money, to treaties;. he has in fact rendered them void quashee," nor in the attempt "reduce other and of no effect; and if we are to maintain Tropical colonies to the condition of our our blockade of the slave-trade, effectually, own.”. In the view which we have thus comwe must obtain a completely new edition of pressed, Expertus completely adopts the the slave-trade tr zaties—we must begin de Expertus. This is a new phase of the con
philosophy of Régis, and the Times adopts But could we do so? Would the troversy. United States, who have resisted the right It is scarcely changed in its character by of search-would Spain, Portugal, or any the argument of “Olim Africanus," who inEuropean country except France, our best structs Expertus and the Times that all Afrially-so far assist us as to reconstruct an en
cans are not idle. The besetting difficulty of
England in her Tropical possessions, he says, tirely new system of slave-trade treaties, for has been to find laborers who can endure the express purpose of blocking out M. Régis a vertical sun and who are also willing to and his imitators? It is very doubtful; and work. Now there are African races that the doubt is the greater, since even in this meet these two requirements. The Kroocountry the forcible slave-trade suppression man is of this stamp. In most American appears to have received a serious shock whaling-vessels the harpooner is a Krooman;
he rises even above the White races to posts from the experiences of this new movement.
of trust and energy: and discoverers in The Times gives prominent and large Africa have found that there are other Black print to a letter on Negroes and the Slave-tribes that partake the characteristics of the trade, signed by “Expertus," showing how Krooman. "Napoleon might assist in getting futile that suppression of the slave-trade has these African recruits through friendly underbeen. We do not succeed in suppressing the idea is a new outlet from the Anglo
standing with Senegal. Perhaps so; and the traffic, which continues as fervid as ever, French difficulty. If M. Régis has been in Cuba, the Carolinas, and Louisiana. What
permitted to destroy the slave-trade treaties, we do succeed in is in rendering the Transit Napoleon may assist in a new plan of filling from Africa to America painful in the ex- the British West Indies, and America genetreme for the Negroes. By our West Indian rally, with industrious Africans. failures we have shown how little suited to Long years since, it was shown in this working for wages is the freed Negro; who, journal as well as in the Colonial Gazette, cultivating his little squatting, sneers at the lish West Indies was the true means of illus
that an industrious recruitment of the Engindustry of the race which has emancipated trating the capacity of the African race for him. Some one in twenty of the Negro industry at wages: subsequent years have population may be found to be civil and in- been consumed in the endeavor to stop the dustrious,-highly so; but “almost without slave-trade by forcible means, with the only exception, they are old freed slaves—men practical effect of using the squadron as who were formed in regular habits under means of protecting the African smugglinggood masters.” This plan of keeping up at- trade, that profitable traffic. Perhaps if the tempts to suppress the slave-trade in spite twenty years or so had been employed in of constant failure, and of suddenly emanci- filling the British West Indies with free Afripating the Negro from compulsion without cans, however obtained, the vaunted superisubjecting him to the compulsion of unlim- ority of free labor, even in the Black race, ited competition, has proved abortive. If might have been exhibited. For the mothe Negro is to be made to work at wages, ment, however, we are less anxious to press it must be by filling the place with abundance this very ancient argument, than to point of labor, as in Barbados. A short cut to out the entire change in the style of the dissuch a process would be, to buy the Africans cussion. The leading organ in the English and free them. By that means, we should press has abandoned the old Anti-Slavery get plenty of the race, and could establish ground, and has taken up the new Freed Afthem in complete freedom, always excepting rican ground. The very change in the forma the compulsion of unlimited competition. It of the discussion constilutes an event.
ARTESIAN WELLS IN THE DESERT of the “ well of bliss.” The third was the OF SAHARA.
finest stream of all, yielding thirty gallons THERE are two well-known facts from a-minute, but of a slightly lower temperature. which it might have been inferred à priori Its situation was not far from that of the that Artesian wells were eminently practica- second, at a place called Tamelhat. Here ble in the Great Desert of Africa. The first the Marabouts, in the presence of the whole fact is, that the desert is bounded on its population, thanked the soldiers, and gave longest sides by high ranges of mountains them a banquet, and afterwards escorted the Atlas on the north, and the Abyssinian, them homewards in solemn procession. The Gebel Kumri, and Guinea Mountains on the fourth was at Sidi-Nached, an oasis that had south: the second, that there do actually been almost destroyed by the drought; and exist in many parts of the desert numerous yielding as it does more than ten gallons springs and fountains, which cannot be sus-a-minute, the emotions with which it was posed to have their origin anywhere but in welcomed by the inhabitants may be at least the mountains aforesaid, and which in their faintly conceived. The first rush of the water turn give rise to those spots covered with being announced by the shouts of the soldiers, luxurions vegetation known as oases. From the inhabitants flocked in immense numbers these two facts, it is easy to pass to the in- to the spot, and bathed themselves and their ference, that, if fissures or channels were children in what was to them a river of life. artificially made in the earth's crust, in the The aged Emir, with bended knees and more sterile parts of the desert, water would streaming eyes, in the presence of all the also issue forth through them; and that, by people, gave thanks to God, and implored repeating the process, the fertility of the soil his blessing on those to whom they were in. might be so prodigiously increased, that the debted for a boon so inestimably great. The desert should “ rejoice and blossom as the fifth was bored at Oum Thiour, and yielded l'ose."
about twenty-six gallons a-minute. ImmeDoubtless, somewhat similar reasonings diately on its completion, the neighboring were pursued by the French colonists in tribes took a first step towards the abandonAlgeria, who, as we learn from the " Moniteur ment of their nomadic life, by planting seveAlgerian," have recently been making some ral hundred date-palm-trees, at which spot a highly-interesting experiments in that neigh- village will soon spring up. The effect which borhood. Altogether, five wells have been the multiplication of these wells will erentubored, and others are in progress. The first ally produce upon the civilization of Africa was in the province of Constantine at Oued can scarcely be estimated. Anything that Rir, near Samerna, and was executed by a tends to withdraw nomadic tribes from their detachment of the Foreign Legion, conducted unsettled mode of existence, and induces
by the engineer, M. Jus. The operation them to engage in agricultural and mechani• lasted about a month; at the termination of ical pursuits, has assuredly an elevating in
which period, a splendid jet of water, yielding fluence. And nothing was wanted in the rather more than a gallon per minute, rushed neighborhood of the Sahara, to render such forth to bless the thirsty soil. Its tempera- pursuits possible, but water. In every part ture was 21° Réaumur (about 790 Fahren- of that sterile tract, wherever a spring of heit); and the Marabouts, at a solemn conse- water breaks through the soil, there vegetacration of the fountain, gave it the name of tion flourishes : and wherever vegetation the “well of peace.” The superstitious na- flourishes, and water can be found for man tives very naturally regarded the work as and beast, there the desert tribes begin to miraculous; and when the intelligence of the settle, and cultivate a home. A sense of affair spread towards the south, multitudes mutual interdependence soon follows, conflocked to witness it. A second well was cessions are exchanged, and peaceable dis
And there is no bored at Temaken, and yielded upwards of positions are cherished.
race of men so inhuman, as not to appreciate eight gallons per minute, of the same tem- the advantages which such a mode of life perature as the former. This was also cere
possesses over that of the wandering, fightmoniously consecrated, and received the name ing, precariously-fed nomad. - Titan.