Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: Volume 1. Originally published by T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt, London, 1769.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Thursday, October 27.
Sir Thomas Clifford.] The debts on interest in the Exchequer are upon record, and in that we cannot err; the rest there shall be an account of. The present farm of the Custom-house is 400,000l. per ann. This year the farm ended. Besides that of the Customs full charged, 130,000l. advanced upon the new farm, at interest. The King's officers are content to take their payment at the latter, and without interest. In Exchequer register, not above 130,000l. Assignments have been given upon the Ordnance. When they entered, the Treasury had no money; since they came in, no man was paid before another; the rule they inviolably performed. They knew what straits particular men were put to, and the current of moneys came all to London. Merchants would have largely; therefore they took up money at 10 per cent. Asserts that money will never be plentiful, till this trade of Bankers be spoiled. Though Bankers have done great hurt, yet they have done some good; rather than the King should take up wares at 40 per cent. Gentlemens money lies sometimes four or six months dead; they let it at 10 per cent. Believes that 2 per cent. is the most they have got, reckoning Clerks fees, and ill money; eight months since they could not borrow at 10 per cent. 'Till the Commissioners of Interest can make out their account, we can inform you no farther. The debt of the Navy is upon the Wine Act; that is at 6 per cent. The Feefarms charge, and chimney-money, all upon record. The debt at interest is 1,300,000l, nine is at 10 per cent. the rest at 6 per cent. The now charge of setting out the Navy 800,000l.
Sir George Downing.] When he brought in the Bill for sale of Fee-farm rents, he told you the debt was about two millions; when the Commissioners entered first, it was three millions; the Commissioners, by God's goodness, have reduced it to two millions. Notwithstanding this year of peace, the Navy and the Ordnance alone have had, from Michaelmas 1667 to 1670, by assignments, 691,000l. victualling and all. A very great part of this money borrowed in the Exchequer, where the interest runs over and above what has been. With this sum the Commissioners of the Ordnance can give you an account of the ordinary of the Navy, 400,000l. per ann. besides stores, and repairs upon hulls. Thinks the charge the best bestowed money of the two, and the best an Englishman can do. As to interest, 600,000l. the Exchequer will show you. Will say no more, but that it is a convenient fashion now abroad, to take away a man's country, and then to give all Europe the reason of it. The French have brought up that fashion, and hopes we shall take notice of it.
Monday, October 31.
Mr Seymour.] What makes men carry all their money to London, but the gain by the Bankers? So that one way of removing the scarceness of money in the country, is the suppressing the Bankers, and the payment of the King's debts will suppress them. The insolence of the Algiers-men is the apprehensions of the King's weakness. Much of our misfortunes lie upon the great Statesman [Lord Clarendon] that your displeasure has been upon.