Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Fisher to his fellows who does not rejoice We begin, therefore, to perceive that the from the very core of his heart at the alli- great, lasting, and most important conseance of the Western Powers, — nor that any quences of the war will be the closor union one can dread it who does not secretly cherish of the West and the East, a further interiniquitous designs which will not bear the change of their mutual advantages, and the light.

extension of civilization in both. These great The second cause of the un-English sym- effects, though accomplished by our instrupathies of the United States to which we mentality, are not what we propose to ourhave alluded, has been very clearly and suc- selves, nor what we send our armies to the cinctly stated by a writer in the last number East for ; - yet they are what the most of the North British Review. We give it, philanthropic desire, and what all politicians therefore, in his words. — [See “Significance in the main strive or hope to accomplish. of the Struggle," Living Age, No. 605.] They bring distinctly into view the principle

to which we have continually endeavored to

attract attention, and which is quite as true From The Economist, 24 Nov.

of all our own internal political regulations UNEXPECTED EFFECTS OF THE WAR. as of our wars abroad, viz., that collateral

or unintended effects are always of more perOx Wednesday the Times dwelt with some manent importance than the intended effects, earnestness on some of the unanticipated and to which in general political writers confine unintended consequences of the war in the their attention. The unintended effects of East. We copy a paragraph for general in the war in the East on our institutions and struction:

minds are already, to some extent, obvious,

and are quite as important - though of a “Al over the East there is such a demand for different characteras the unintended efprovisions of all kinds as never was known be- fects abroad. It can, indeed, only be necesfore. A huge voracious monster must be fed, sary to remind our readers of what has and many nations and tribes are only too happy already taken place as to administrative of brilliant speculations, incredible profits,

mirac- reform, as to the organization of the army, ulous changes, and unprecedented activity. It as to our relations with France, and in the is the West gone to visit the East, and all Eng- public mind generally on all these points, for land could not make a greater stir on its visit to them to be convinced that consequences the the French Exhibition than the Western Powers most important will in the end result at by their protracted sojourn in the Euxine. It is home from the war. It is clearly not merely true their primary object is simply to protect the Russian empire which will be curbed and Turkey from Russia, but incidently they have brought probably to a conviction that it can conferred upon her a more substantial boon. only again endanger the peace of Europe at

“. As much as a year ago we gave our readers the cost of ruin and dismemberment, but the an inkling of what was going on, and invited institutions, military and civil, of this counmen of enterprise to follow the new market. Of try which will be improved and purified. course, we now know a good deal more about it. Benevolent and philanthropic men, who have All round Constantinople, the shores of the Dardanelles, the Coasts of Asia, the Islands of the war, will now begin to see that the

doubted and distrusted the consequences of the Archipelago, Candia, and Greece, are verdant with unwonted cultivation. Immense prof- instincts of the people which hurried it on its are made out of crops that were once hardly have been rightly directed to bring forward worth reaping. Even in Syria whole districts more social and political advantages in a are being transmuted from rock and waste into short time than could have been accomplished the likeness of fertile Belgium or the picturesque by any political contrivances.

We regard Black Forest. As early as last spring we all the observations of our contemporary as heard what was doing at Heraciea. There the calculated to impress a great lesson on the working of the coal seams had created roads, a whole people, and especially to moderate very railway, a canal, & port, villages, - in fact a much the present furor for improving society new county of Durham, with everything but a by regulations, of which the unintended good bishopric and four golden prebends, on the effects are always of more consequence than shore of the Black Sea. The same process is the effects intended. The place where the going on everywhere. Market stuff is almost as remarks appear make them the more valuwhere in the East a line of road as direct and able ; for no journal so intemperately, vehewell metalled as that which conducts the produce all the schemes now proposed - we must say

mently, and indiscriminately urges forward of Turnham Green to Covent Garden. So water-carriage is first sought for, but roads to the in complete ignorance of what will be their port soon follow; and even as you coast along consequences — for improving our municipal, the shores of the Levant you can easily detect political, and social condition. everywhere an unusual stir."

A similar lesson, indeed, is taught by all

history. The kings and nobles who set out actually determines its course, by examining, on the crusades, the hermits who stimulated as he best can, all the consequences, intended the enterprise, and the popes who blessed and and unintended, of all his acts. encouraged it, were quite as unintentionally the means of importing the use of windmills,

From The Examiner, 17 Nov. and a knowledge of the Arabic numerals,

CRIMINAL BREACH OF TRUST. and all the civilization of the East into the West, helping to overthrow the power of That very useful and meritorious body, Rome and of feudality, as we are now un- the Law Amendment Society, has under its intentionally the means of weakening fanat- consideration a proposal for a very necessary icism in the East, and imparting to that amendment of a gross defect, submitted to it quarter the arts and civilization of the West. by the most distinguished of law reformers, Neither the founders of Spanish nor of as he is still the most active and vigilant. British colonies in America ever intended to At the first meeting of its new session make that country supply Europe with the materials of clothing, with sugar or corn, or

“ The Chairman read a letter from Lord

Brougham on the subject of breaches of trust, to spread from it over all the world the use in which his lordship says, “I hope the attention of a narcotic herb, the parent now of far of the Criminal Law Committee of the Society more trade than ever enriched Genoa and will be directed to a matter which, in moving the made Venice the mistress of the Mediter- resolutions of March last on procedure, I glanced ranean. Neither the Governments which at as one of the grossest defects in our law (not have in our time encouraged trade, nor the in our procedure) regarding breach of trust, individuals who have carried it on, ever however gross, as no offence, but merely ground intended it to be a means of making nations of debt. I gave the instance of a trustee leavmutually serviceable, and establishing being his infant wards on the parish and dying tween them such binding relations of friend-insolvent, but had he survived he was not punship and interest as to make it necessary

ishable. The line is easy to draw. Let the for every Sovereign to take them into his trustee, who for his own benefit appropriates

trust-funds, be treated as a criminal - not for especial consideration. In promoting trade - as one after another almost

error, though hurtful.'» Govern

every ment in Europe has, however awkwardly, What a discredit to our criminal legislaendeavored to promote it- no Government tion that a remedy has still to be provided intended to raise up an interest and a power for wrongs like this! But it is the old story that should give laws to States, and influence, of immunity for the rich. Not till a very if not control, their policy, both domestic few years ago does it seem to have occurred and foreign. Governments may determine to the legislature that so respectable a man what they will undertake, as Mr. J. S. Mill as a banker might play the thief with trusts says, they may determine what institutions committed to him, and even then it so bunthey will establish ; but they can no more gled the remedy as to leave still an outlet of determine the consequences of their under- escape to fraud, by which many & guilty takings, than determine how the institutions man might easily profit, and the innocent they establish shall work. Not only by their suffer ruin. It was but accident, after all, resolves, but by the consequences of their that tripped up Messrs. Paul and Strahan. undertakings and institutions, which they We have turned to that able speech of cannot determine, and which are far more Lord Broughain's on criminal law procedure important than their intentions, their under for the examples to which he alludes in his takings and institutions are tried and their letter. Certainly they are bad enough merits ascertained. The State at one time but not worse than must flow incessantly made a law to put every forger of a one from a state of the law in which deliberate pound note to death, and the numerous misappropriation of trust money is regarded executions which followed excited a strong but as a ground of debt, and the only check sentiment against capital punishments, led upon it is a chancery suit to be maintained to a rigorous investigation into the assumed against the wrong-doer by the ruined person, right of the State to take away life, to a frequently a helpless girl. Here, as in so conviction that the assumption was un- many other cases, the Scotch law is more just warranted, and to the weakening of that than our own, and to this our own must be power of the sword in the hands of rulers on brought into agreement, if we would clear which all their authority ultimately rests. it of a defect nothing short of disgraceful. The State did not intend any such great The case of the trustee mentioned in Lord change. The course of society, in fact, is not Brougham's letter is referred to in his speech determined by the intentions of man, and as that of a “not undistinguished member he only learns and knows whether' he have of the legal profession, who, when guardian fulfilled the intentions of the Power which of two orphans, spent the whole of their

[ocr errors]

patrimony in riotous living, and, dying in-act, and solely with a view to their own sesolvent, left these two female wards on the curity and their own profit. parish.” We suppose there can be no harm The other fallacy is that the Bank of Engnow in saying that this man was Sergeant land — that is to say the Bank of Deposit Bearcroft. The other case is hardly better. and Discount, of which the Issue DepartIt was that of a clergyman deprived of a ment is quite independent -- can raise or large fortune by the villany of a trustee, who lower the rate of interest at pleasure. left him no compensation beyond the decis This also is an error, as far at least as it ion in a civil court that the fortune undoubt- relates to the average permanent rates of inedly was his (“ we tried it on appeal from terest, which are governed solely, like the Ireland in this House," says Lord Brougham, prices of all commodities, by the laws of “ on a somewhat remarkable day, the morn- supply and demand — the proportion of ing after the Reform Bill was rejected”). buyers to sellers, and borrowers to lenders. the fruits of the crime having already been This fallacy, however, would not have takremoved beyond the civil judge's jurisdiction. en deep possession of the public mind if it

We have seen how narrow was the race did not contain some element of truth. between criminal and civil procedure in the Mercantile men see clearly enough that, case of the banker thieves —and how easily however little the Bank of England can afthe shelter of laws for defence of commercial fect average permanent values, its operations credit is convertible into an Alsatia for pro- have an immediate and powerful effect on the tection of commercial robbers. But the pub- rates and prices which prevail at the molie is keenly alive to the whole question just ment; so much so that at times, if the fate at present, and Lord Brougham has well of the nation depended on the decisions of chosen his time to point attention to a scan- the Bank Parlor, they could not be watched dal which is but a part of the same defective for with more intense anxiety: branch of the English criminal law. The Law To account for this we should observe that Amendment Society have promptly taken it the demand for capital is of two kinds :up, and in the success of their agitation in that which is governed by consumption, and this matter, as in 80 many others, all honest that which arises from apprehension. men are directly interested.

If there were never any other demand for capital than that which is governed by con

sumption, or the ultimate need of capital, THE BANK OF ENGLAND.

we should never see any sudden changes in

the rate of interest from one extreme rate to To the Editor of the Economist (27 Oct.):

another. A rise or fall in the rate of interSir, -The disturbed state of the money est would always be gradual, because conmarket bas revived the currency question, sumption, even in a time of war, is always a and with it two popular fallacies on the gradual process. operations of the Bank of England. It is otherwise with a demand arising out.

One of them is the notion that the Act of of apprehension ; to the rapid and extreme 1844 imposed on the Committee of the Bank fluctuations of which, between a state of conParlor the duty of watching the exchanges, fidence and one of fear, especially as affectand of adopting such measures as they might ing money capital, it is hardly possible to asdeem expedient for checking a rapid drain sign a limit. of gold.

When confidence is felt, a very small The readers of the ECONOMIST need hardly amount of notes or coin suffices for the daily to be told that this is an error ; but, for the transactions of business. Money circulates information of others, the fact requires some- freely, because paid away as fast as it is retimes to be restated.

ceived. Where distrust is excited, or an exWhat is now called the Bank of Issue is pectation of coming difficulties, payments are practically a department of Government, deferred. Every one seeks to increase his issuing notes only in exchange for gold, and reserves. Even a small tradesman will keep on the security of £14,000,000 of its own by him the hundred pounds he could otherstock; and, how, in an extreme case, gold wise spare; and assuming that in commeris to be found for these £14,000,000 of notes, cial Europe there are a million of persons in practically inconvertible, is an affair for the a not less anxious position, this alone repreconsideration of a Cabinet Council, not for sents a demand for £100,000,000 sterling that of the Governors and Company of the more than would be required if no apprehenBank of England. An efflux of gold, like a sion existed. rise in the price of corn, is to the Committee No wonder, then, that in such circumstanof the Bank Parlor only one of the indica- ces we should see the rate of interest suddentions that capital is becoming scarce ; upon ly doubled, and six per cent. become a miniwhich they act as other commercial bodies mum of discount where the experience of a

long series of years had shown that it could 1. Without denging or affirming the pronot be permanently maintained as high as priety of issuing fourteen millions of paper four.

on other than metallic securities, is it wise But if the principle be correct that all or expedient to give the use of them to a single rapid and extreme variations are occasioned, body? not by consumption, but by apprehension, 2. Is it possible thus to foster the existence it becomes a subject for very grave inquiry of a gigantic and irresponsible interest withwhether the action of the Bank of England out placing, at critical periods, the whole is not directly concerned in those we are now industry and prosperity of the community at witnessing.

its mercy? The Bank of England differs from other 3. Have there been no instances of the banks of deposit and discount in being allowed Bank, looking only to its dividends, acting a monopoly use of the £14,000,000 of notes against the Government, in the very crisis issued only on Government securities - an of a public loan? exclusive privilege to which there can be no In a word, would not the country be safer adequate counterpoise in private competi- than at present from mischievous vicissitudes tion. The leviathan influence thus erected, in the value of every description of property, on whichever side it may incline in the scale and periodical monetary convulsions, it free of commercial values, must always produce trade in corn were followed by free trade in violent oseillations.

banking, and Government interference with Monetary punics have lately been of fre- the circulating medium were confined to the quent recurrence; but the history of all of protection of the coins which form our them (those only excepted brought about by standard of value? - I am your obedient political revolutions) is nearly the same. servant,

W. E. HICKSON. There is first a slightly perceptible growing FAIRSEAT, WROTHAM, KENT, Oct. 18, 1855. demand for money, which excites but little attention until notice has been given that P.S. - The Bank returns published since the Bank have raised their rate of discount. the above was written confirm the fact that This, by the uneasiness it occasions, increases the drain of gold, upon which the attention the demand; upon which the Bank, when of the public has been too exclusively fixed, ill-advised, raises the rate again. The second is a mere coincidence of the existing moneadvance, following soon after the first, and tary derangement, and not its cause. rumors of a third in contemplation, operate The correct and well-understood principle as an alarm-gun at sea ; every vessel in Iler of banking management is to keep in hand a Majesty's fleet reefs topsails and prepares for reserve of cash equal to one-third the amount a storm. With a third advance the next of outstanding liabilities. The Issue Deweek or fortnight, rumors of a fourth, and partment would, therefore, have been safe if, the appearance of the Bank broker as a large on the 13th of October, with a circulation seller of Government stock, panic begins. of £25,205,855, its bullion had amounted to

Very mistaken is the notion that the Bank only £8,400,000, instead of which it was of England, by discounting largely at a time £11,205,855. of pressure, although at a usurious rate, Very different, however, is the case of the affords any relief to the public. It would do other department, governed, not by any 80, of course, if its capital were in hand ; fixed rules, but by the capricious policy of but when money, is cheap, that capital is the Bank Parlor. Its reserve, instead of invested in Consols and Exchequer bills, and being three millions in excess, was (and at these must be sold to procure the notes re dividend time) nearly a million deficient, quired for additional discount acconimoda- £5,104,056, against claims to the amount of tion. Consols and Exchequer_bills are a £17,239,643. barometer for all the stocks of Europe; and The crisis has been brought about by the to force them upon the market at an un- old fault of the Banking Department, favorable moment, for the sake of discount- overtrading. It first, to procure business, ing, is to kindle a conflagration with one discounts bills to any extent applied for band, and seek to extinguish it with the below the market rate, and then, suddenly, other.

wben it finds it has gone beyond its strength, The object of this letter is to invite you to makes a convulsive effort to sustain its own diecuss the remedy for such an evil.

credit. The subject is one quite distinct from that Seven per cent. discount means only that of the basis of our currency; which, with the Bank lends no more money till it has got £11,000,000 of gold in the Department of money to lend, and for which it must wait Issue, is at least in no immediate danger. the naturity of the bills it discounted at These are the questions I wish to see an-3 1-2 and 4 per cent. As these fall due, swered:

every one may see without mystifying him

self with the exchanges, that notes and gold people of England; her oppressor stood elatwill flow in; and, when they have done so, ed with success on the neck of the victim, the Bank will again lower its rate of dis- proud in the menacing attitude of the count, as it did in December, 1847, to get restored power of despotism, yet I found the back its trade.

curse of execration pouring down on his The popular theory, now is, that if the name from four millions of British lips. Committee of the Bank Parlor were allowed The conscience of the British people sat in to place their hands on the gold of the Issue judgment on the morality of kings. Was it Department nothing, of this kind would I who lured England into those prayers, into bappen; but it is obviously just as easy to that curse? 1% The flowers of sympathy overtrade with a capital of £30,000,000 as that grew up in my path from Southampton with one of £20,000,000.

to Winchester, and along the streets of LonThe remedy must be sought, not in sur- don, across the halls of the Mansion House rendering the securities we have obtained for and up to the mighty gatherings of bunconvertibility by the Act of 1844, but in the dreds of thousands of free Britons at Birabolition or restriction of all exclusive bank- mingham and Manchester — the flowers of ing privileges. The Banking Department sympathy that were conveyed to me by admust either be placed on the footing of a dresses and delegations from more than a private bank, or restrained from making the hundred localities where I never happened to same free use as at present of the Govern- be - were they the work of my words? I ment deposits.

have England for witness that they were not.

They were a spontaneous offering of the KOSSUTH ON HIS RECEPTION AND RESI- moral sense of the English people at the

shrine of justice and right. My task has DENCE IN ENGLAND.

been to gather the free offerings, and to The Briton with the soul of ancient times, thank for the noble gift in the name of my the words of whom I quote; he, who so well country as well as I could in the broken can imagine how the Brutuses may have accents of a language foreign to me; and felt, and how a Demosthenes spoke, he remem- staggering as I was under the weight of honbered the 6th of October. [M. Kossuth ors paid to me, sympathy for my country, refers to Mr. Landor.) I claim from bim and not my own desert, caused to reflect on the honor of being allowed to offer to him my own humble self. On my return from berewith the public homage of my heartfelt America, I secluded myself in the solitude gratitude. May the best blessings of Heaven of undying grief, and of undesponding hope, be with him! Amongst millions of free justified by the imperishable vitality of my Britons be alone remembered publicly the country, to which I trust, like as the martyrs day on which Francis Joseph of Austria of old trusted to their God, for the ultimate then yet a boy in years, but more than a triumph of their faith. It was on that vitalNero in cruelty — revelled with fiendish fero- ity, on the justice of the Eternal, and on the eity in the blood of the bravest and the best inexorable logic of events, that I rested my of my country, and gloated upon the agony hopes, and not on foreign sympathy. This of a heroic nation. It was a deed, rarely I did not court. I rather went out of the equalled in baseness, never surpassed. way of it. Nobody can charge me of obtruTwo years after the bloody day of Arad, I sively parading my grief. It was of too first landed on the shores of England, a sacred a character to be thus profaned. . . homeless wanderer, powerless and poor; and For nearly two years I lived a hermit, lonely I saw my landing become the signal for a and mute in this gigantic hive of busy miluniversal outburst of sympathy with my lions — to me a desert. At last came the country's wrongs, such as no people ever war, and with the war the consummation of experienced from a foreign nation. Hun- my prophetic words, that the fault of haygary, a couple of years before scarcely known ing permitted the ambition of Russia to interby name, I found a household word at every fere with the destinies of Hungary would British hearth; she lay prostrate under the fall back on the head of England with count iron hoof of foreigo oppression, yet her less sacrifices in treasures and blood. -- Kosname had a share in the prayers of the suth in the Atlas.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »