The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 14
The Bank of England Monopoly
The Bank of England Monopoly.
Money is the measure of all other commodities. A monopoly of money, therefore, must be the worst of all monopolies, whether men realize it or no.
Banking (or dealing in credit) is one form of trade. It should, therefore, on the face of things, be as free as any other form of trade : law and custom to the contrary, notwithstanding.
It is well to nail these, the true colours of the political economist, to the mast, before going into action on what are wrongly supposed to be the abstruse and complicated questions of banking and currency.
Under the Bank Act of 1844, as passed by Sir Robert Peel, England—the financial centre of the world—is still in durance, though her shipping has increased six-fold, and her commerce eight-fold, in the interval of 42 years since elapsed.
The provisions of that Bank Act are so contrived that in this country, with all its immense accumulations—
Its 642 million pounds' worth of annual imports and exports,
Its 5,511 million pounds of annual money transactions through the clearing-house,
Its 631 million pounds of profits yearly charged with Income Tax,
Its 134 millions of money annually paying death duties,—to say nothing of landed property—any foreign country may, almost any month, by arranging the weekly withdrawal of 2 millions of bullion, run up the rate of discount from three per cent, to four per cent., from four per cent, to five per cent., from five per cent, to six per cent., and so on, until credit—on which British trade lives and moves and has its being—is strangled, the trade and commerce of the whole world stunned, and irretrievable ruin inflicted upon multitudes of the most deserving and honest citizens, not to say taxpayers.
|1.||That after 1844 no new bank should be permitted to issue bank notes, and that no bank whatever should issue a note in London, or within 65 miles of London. There is monopoly with a vengeance.|
|2.||That banks enjoying the right of issue previously to 1844, should be forbidden to extend it, whatever might be the future expansion of business. Even James I. granted no monopoly to be matched with that.|
|3.||That a fixed amount of £14,000,000 in notes might in future be issued by the Bank of England, page 119 against a like amount lent to government by the Bank. All further issues to be covered by bullion in the Bank's coffers, of which bullion not exceeding one-fourth may be silver. (This last proviso has proved of none effect, as millions of silver may not pay one £5 note.) It will be seen that the Bank note, then, depends for its validity upon the validity of the Exchequer note. What a waste, then, is the payment of large sums annually to the Bank by Government for use of its notes! It is surely evident that the notes of the Exchequer, guaranteed by the whole realized property of the United Kingdom, must be superior to those of a small corporation whose paid-up Capital and Reserve funds do not altogether aggregate 20 millions of money.|
|4.||That beyond this limit the Bank should at all times enjoy the right of issuing to any further amount for which it held bullion specially reserved in its cellars. Perronet Thompson says: " It is a semi-barbarous notion of policy which cannot conduct a paper currency without saying 'Take these 20 million pounds' worth of gold and see them well casked and marked and lettered, and then let them be stowed away in a dry cellar, and only looked at now and then, to see that nobody has run away with them and that the casks have not gone to decay;' "and he further dryly remarks that deposits of that character are impolitic in a country that desires to hold out no encouragement to invasion or civil commotion, for 20 millions would be £100 a piece to 200,000 men, the finest prize-money offered since the Creation. The bullion reserve the Bank can always increase by raising the rate of discount, and as this process, costly and often ruinous to the trading public, is generally very profitable to the Bank (and to all bankers and capitalists), the directors resort to it freely on slight pretext. Witness the following record:—|
Movements of the Bank Rate and Price of Consols.
|Highest||Lowest.||Average for 12 months.||Changes in the Year.|
|1842||5 Jan., Feb., and March||4 8 last months||4¼||Three|
|1844||4 Eight first months||2½ 4 last months||3½||One|
|1845||3½ Nov. and Dec.||2½ first 9 months||2¾||Two|
|1846||3½ 1st 8 months||3 last 4 months||3¼||One|
|1847||7¾ November||3½ January||5¼||Seven|
|1848||5 January||3 Nov. and Dec.||3¾||Four|
|1849||3 1st 10 months||2½ December||3||Two|
|1852||2½ Jan., Feb., and Mar.||2 last 8 months||2 1/12||Two|
|1853||5 3 last months||2¾ January||3½||Four|
|1854||5½ May, June, and July||5 1st 4 & last 5 mos.||5||Two|
|1855||6 Nov. and Dec.||3½ July and August||4¾||Six|
|1856||6¾ November||4½ July, Aug., Sept., &||5¾||Four|
|1857||9¾ November||5½ Aug. & Sept. June||6¾||Seven|
|1858||5 January||2½ December||3¼||Three|
|1859||4 May||3½ 1st 4 & last 5 mos.||2¾||Four|
|1860||5 Nov. and Dec.||2¾ Tanuary||4¼||Five|
|1861||7½ Feb. and March||3 Nov. and Dec.||5¼||Eight|
|1862||3 June, Nov., and Dec.||2 Aug., Sept., & Oct.||2½||Five|
|1863||7½ December||3½ May||4½||Six|
|1864||9 Sept. and Oct.||6 March||7½||Nine|
|1865||7 October||3¼ Tune and July||4¾||Eight|
|1866||10 June and July||3¾ December||7||Ten|
|1867||3½ January||2 last 5 months||2½||Three|
|1868||3 December||21st 10 months||2¼||Two|
|1869||4½ May||2½ Sept. and Oct.||3¼||Seven|
|1870||5 August||2½ last 3 months||31/8||Four|
|1871||4½ November||2 August||27/8||Ten|
|1872||6[unclear: ?] November||3 first 3 months||4[unclear: ?]||Nine|
|1873||8[unclear: ?] November||3¼ Aug. and Sept.||4¾||Nine|
|1874||6 December||2¾ June||3¾||Nine|
|1875||4½ January||2 September||3¼||Eight|
|1876||4[unclear: ?] January||2 May to Dec. inclus.||2[unclear: ?]||Four|
|1877||4[unclear: ?] November||2 January to Apl.,||2[unclear: ?]||Eight|
|1878||5[unclear: ?] November||2 February||3¾||Ten|
|1879||4½ January||2 May to October||2[unclear: ?]||Six|
|1880||3 Jan. to May inclusive||2½ July to Nov.||2¾||Three|
|1881||5 Nov. and Dec.||2½ may, June & July.,||3½||Seven|
|1882||5 13/16 February||3 Apl., May, Jne., & Jly||4[unclear: ?]||Seven|
|1883||4¾ January||3 Ma., Ap., & last 3 ms.||3 9/15||Eight|
|1884||5 December||2 July, Aug., & Sept.||2 19/20||Eight|
|1885||5 Jan. and Feb.||2 June to Oct. (in.)||3||Six|
|Highest.||Lowest.||Average of 12 months.|
|92[unclear: ?] May||87 October||90¼||1840|
|90 April||88[unclear: ?] October||89[unclear: ?]||1841|
|94[unclear: ?] December||89[unclear: ?] February & Jan.||92||1842|
|96¾ April||93[unclear: ?] June||95¼||1843|
|100[unclear: ?] December||97¼ January||99[unclear: ?]||1844|
|100¼ January||94[unclear: ?] December||98[unclear: ?]||1845|
|96¾ June||94¾ December||95¾||1846|
|92 January||82 October||87¼||1847|
|87[unclear: ?] January||82 March and April||85½||1848|
|96½ December||91½ March||92½||1849|
|97¾ December||95[unclear: ?] February||96½||1850|
|98¾ November||96½ March||97[unclear: ?]||1851|
|101¼ December||96½ January||99[unclear: ?]||1852|
|100[unclear: ?] May||92 October||97¾||1853|
|95¼ September||87½ April||91[unclear: ?]||1854|
|93 March||87[unclear: ?] October||90½||1855|
|95[unclear: ?] July||91 February||31[unclear: ?]||1856|
|93[unclear: ?] June||89 October||99[unclear: ?]||1857|
|98[unclear: ?] October||94¾ January||96[unclear: ?]||1858|
|96¼ November||91½ May||95[unclear: ?]||1859|
|95 June and January||93 October||94||1860|
|93[unclear: ?] November||89[unclear: ?] June||91½||1861|
|93¾ Oct. and Nov.||91[unclear: ?] June||93||1862|
|93½ May and September||91 December||92[unclear: ?]||1863|
|91½ April||88 September||90[unclear: ?]||1864|
|91 April||87½ December||89½||1865|
|89¾ November||86¼ May and June||88||1866|
|94[unclear: ?] September||90¾ April||93||1867|
|94[unclear: ?] June||92[unclear: ?] December||93[unclear: ?]||1868|
|93 November||92[unclear: ?] December||92[unclear: ?]||1869|
|94[unclear: ?] May||90¾ August||92[unclear: ?]||1870|
|93½ May and August||91½ February||92¾||1871|
|93[unclear: ?] May||91[unclear: ?] December||92½||1872|
|93½ May||92 December||92½||1873|
|93¼ May||92 March||92½||1874|
|94¾ August||92[unclear: ?] January||93¾||1875|
|96 7/12 August||93[unclear: ?] January||95||1876|
|96 11/16 November||94¼ May and June||95[unclear: ?]||1877|
|96 3/16 May||94¼ October||95 3/16||1878|
|98¾ May||96¼ February||97½||1879|
|99 15/18 November||97½ August||98[unclear: ?]||1880|
|100 13/16 April||98[unclear: ?] January||100||1881|
|102 1/16 November||99¾ August||100½||1882|
|102[unclear: ?] April||99 13/16 July||101 3/16||1883|
|102[unclear: ?] April||99[unclear: ?] December||101||1884|
|100½ November||96¼ April||99[unclear: ?]||1885|
5. Under government supervision the Bank was divided into two departments; one of issue, the other of banking; and a certified statement of the transactions in both such departments was to be published weekly by the government.
6. That all notes of the Bank should be legal tender except at the Bank's own counter.
7. For the facilities and monopoly thus conceded, the Bank should pay to the government annually £180,000 and the profits upon all issues above £14,000,000. How these profits are estimated does not appear. While in consideration of the Bank undertaking the entire management of the Public Debt, government agreed to pay the bank annually a percentage amounting then to £248,000, but now only to £201,594.
8. In case of private banks ceasing to issue notes, the Queen in Council may authorize the Bank to increase its issues by two thirds of the amount so withdrawn. In 1855 this power was exercised, and further note-issues of £475,000 against stock were sanctioned—such being two thirds of the amount of then discontinued private issues.
Let us review the operation of the first four of these stipulations, premising that a somewhat similar arrangement followed with regard to the Bank of Ireland, and special provisions were permitted for Scotland; but in both countries the amount of circulation was closely restricted. No new banks of issue were permitted, and in consequence no new bank has been established in either country since, as far as we know.
1. Since 1844 the extension of joint stock enterprise, and the growth of confidence in the limited liability banks having become great facts, we find, forty years later, the following anomaly, viz.: that while the Bank of England has a subscribed paid-up capital of £14,553,000, with a reserve fund of £3,022,492, some 73 banks founded since 1844 have a subscribed capital of £75,100,000 (£33,030,000 of it being paid up), and a combined reserve fund of page 120 over £10,000,000, but these banks dare not issue a single £5 note, though all f them should unite to guarantee its payment. A a sample of the wisdom and of the motives of thoe who framed the Peel Act, we might here quoe the words of Lord Overstone in the House of Lords on 3rd. December, 1857. Speaking then upon he subject of Joint Stock Bank facilities this prominnt upholder of Monopoly in Credit said,—"There lad grown up in this country, and had been raplly developed within the last ten or fifteen years, a also system of credit and of holding deposits at call arrying interest, a system which had grown up to an enormous extent, and which was still growing, and if that evil was not corrected, it would certainy overturn our monetary system altogether. That ws not an isolated opinion of his own; but there was scarcely a man, of enlarged views and experience, in the city of London, who did not entertain the same views. It was indispensable that the attention of Parliament should be directed to that subject."
2. That the number of English banks enjoying the petty right of a fixed issue in 1844 has become small by degrees and beautifully less, until in 1885 their combined note issue was 2¾ millions, while 42 years ago it was 9¾ millions. On the other hand the Bank of England, whose note issue was 15¾ millions in 1840 (i.e., 6 millions above theirs), was 24½ millions in 1885 (i.e., 21¾ millions above theirs). The following table traces the progress of these changes, and shows the facts concerning Scotland and Ireland.
|England and Wales.||Scotland.||Ireland.|
|Month ended. Dec.||Bank of England.||Private and Joint-Stock Banks.||Chartered and Joint-Stock Banks.||Bank of Ireland.||Joint Stock Banks.||Totals. for United Kingdom.||Months ended. Dec.|
3. On three occasions, viz., 1847 (when the issues were not exceeded), 1857 (when they had to be exceeded by two millions), and 1866, the operation of the Act of 1844 has been illegally suspended by government—not to relieve commercial distress, but—to save the Bank from stopping payment. Immediate relief and cessation of panic has followed in every case, showing that the crises were artificial and unnecessary: created, in fact, by a bad law badly administered.
4. To ascertain the practical working of this portion of the Act the following table will be useful. Note especially the column headed "Bullion,"
|Liabilities of the Bank.||Assets of the Bank.||Rates of Discount.|
|Quarters ended||Notes in Circulation.||Deposits.||Total.||Securities||Bullion.||Total.||Average for the month.||Average for the year.||Quarters ended|
|Dec. 1840||£16,440,000||£6,337,000||£22,733,000||£22,078,000||£3,511,000||£26,589,000||5 per cent.||5 per cent.||Dec. 1840|
|Dec. 1841||16,972,000||7,369,000||24,341,000||22,768,000||4,486,000||27,254,000||5 per cent.||5 per cent.||Dec. 1841|
|Dec. 1842||19,230,000||9,063,000||28,293,000||20,560,000||10,330,000||30,890,000||4 per cent.||4¼ per cent.||Dec. 1842|
|Dec. 1843||19,098,000||11,751,000||30,849,000||21,067,000||12,855,000||33,922,000||4 per cent.||4 per cent.||Dec. 1843|
|Dec. 1844||21,166,000||13,661,000||34,817,000||23,500,000||14,466,000||37,966,000||2[unclear: ?] per cent.||3½ per cent.||Dec. 1844|
|Dec. 1845||22,151,000||16,112,000||38,263,000||27,770,000||13,742,000||41,512,000||3½ per cent.||2¾ per cent.||Dec. 1845|
|Dec. 1840||21,380,000||15,993,000||37,379,000||25,771,000||15,090,000||40,861,000||3 per cent.||3¼ per cent.||Dec. 1846|
|Dec. 1847||20,058,000||15,574,000||35,632,000||29,492,000||9,798,000||39,299,000||6 per cent.||5 per cent.||Dec. 1847|
|Dec. 1848||18,744,000||15,310,000||34,054,000||23,630,000||13,886,000||37,516,000||3 per cent.||3¾ per cent.||Dec. 1848|
|Dec. 1849||19,391,000||17,548,000||36,939,000||24,059,000||16,045.000||40,104,000||2½ per cent.||3 per cent.||Dec. 1849|
|Dec. 1850||20,386,000||18,391,000||38,777,000||25,968,000||15,951,000||41,919.000||2½ per cent.||2½ per cent.||Dec. 1860|
|Dec. 1851||20,752,000||17,085,000||37,837,000||25,103,000||15,915,000||41,018,000||3 per cent.||3 per cent.||Dec. 1851|
|Dec. 1852||24,295,000||19,461,000||43,756,000||25,562,000||21,367,000||46,929,000||2 per cent.||2 per cent.||Dec. 1852|
|Dec. 1853||23,369,000||18,232,000||41,601,000||29,402.000||15,462,000||44,864,000||5 per cent.||3½ per cent.||Dec. 1853|
|Dec. 1854||21,003,000||14,758,000||35,761,000||25,328,000||13,619,000||38,947,000||5 per cent.||5 per cent.||Dec. 1854|
|Dec. 1855||20,430,000||16,257,000||36,687,000||28,620,000||11,301,000||39,921,000||6 per cent.||4¾ per cent.||Dec. 1855|
|Dec. 1856||20,728,000||15,601,000||36,329,000||29,484,000||10,105,000||39,589,000||6¼ per cent.||5¾ per cent.||Dec. 1856|
|Dec. 1857||21,070,000||19,296,000||40,366,000||35,025,000||8,788,000||43,813,000||8½ per cent.||6¾ per cent.||Dec. 1857|
|Dec. 1858||21,435,000||20,490,000||41,925,000||20,098,000||18,985,000||45,083,000||2½ per cent.||3¼ per cent.||Dec. 1858|
|Dec. 1859||22,413,000||21,516,000||43,929,000||30,117,000||17,002,000||47,119,000||2½ per cent.||2¾ per cent.||Dec. 1859|
|Dec. 1860||21,482,000||18.750,000||40.232,000||29,433,000||14,009,000||43,442,000||5 per cent.||4¼ per cent.||Dec. 1860|
|Dec. 1861||21,180,000||13,124,000||39,304,000||27,993,000||14,653,000||42,646,000||3 per cent.||5¼ per cent.||Dec. 1861|
|Dec. 1862||21,129,000||21,985,000||43,114,000||30.961.000||15,351,000||46,312,000||3 per cent.||2 per cent.||Dec. 1862|
|Dec. 1863||21,730,000||20.805,000||42,535,000||31.777,000||13,934,000||45,711,000||7½ per cent.||4½ per cent.||Dec. 1863|
|Dec. 1864||20,771,000||19,070,000||39,841,000||29,670,000||13,636,000||43,206,000||6½ per cent.||7½ per cent.||Dec. 1864|
|Dec. 1865||21,819,000||13,365,000||40,184,000||30,613,000||13,601,000||44,214,000||6½ per cent.||4¾ per cent.||Dec. 1865|
|Dec. 1866||23,728,000||22,740,000||46,468,000||33,110,000||17,478,000||50,588,000||3¾ per cent.||7 per cent.||Dec. 1866|
|Dec. 1807||24,706,000||23,850,000||48,556,000||29,960,000||22,561,000||52,521,000||2 per cent.||2½ per cent.||Dec. 1867|
|Dec. 1368||24,336,000||22,409,000||46,745,000||33,935,000||13,981,000||52,918,000||3 per cent.||2¼ per cent.||Dec. 1868|
|Dec. 1869||23,910,000||21,305,000||45,215,000||32,373,000||18,827,000||51,200,000||3 per cent.||3¼ per cent.||Dec. 1869|
|Dec. 1870||24,539,000||24,196,000||48,735,000||29,513,000||22,311,000||51,824,000||2½ per cent.||3 per cent.||Dec. 1870|
|Dec. 1871||25,625,000||28,010,000||53,635,000||33,827,000||22,952,000||56,779,000||3¼ per cent.||2[unclear: ?] per cent. per cent.||Dec. 1871|
|Dec. 1872||25,983,000||26,645,000||62,628,000||34,468,000||21,379,000||65,847,000||5[unclear: ?] per cent.||4[unclear: ?] per cent.||Dec. 1872|
|Dec. 1873||26,219,000||25,079,000||51,298,000||33,633,000||20,869,000||54,502,000||5¼ per cent.||4¾ per cent.||Dec. 1873|
|Dec. 1874||26,877,000||23,740,000||50,617,000||82,679,000||21,023,000||63,707,000||6 per cent.||3¾ per cent.||Dec. 1874|
|Dec. 1875||28,356,000||26,267,000||54,623,000||34,134,000||23,579,000||57,713,000||3 per cent.||3¼ per cent.||Dec. 1875|
|Dec. 1876||28,565,000||33,043,000||61,608,000||33,440,000||31,272,000||64,712,000||2 per cent.||2 per cent.||Dec. 1876|
|Dec. 1877||27,762,000||25,188,000||52,950,000||32,953,000||23,128,000||66,081,000||4 per cent.||2[unclear: ?] per cent.||Dec. 1877|
|Dec. 1878||80,282,000||30,324,000||60,606,000||38,326.000||25,501,000||63,827,000||5 per cent.||3¾ per cent.||Dec. 1878|
|Dec. 1879||28,296,000||35,650,000||63,946,000||37,016,000||30,041,000||67,057,000||3 per cent.||2[unclear: ?] per cent.||Dec. 1879|
|Dec. 1880||26,829,000||31,350,000||68,179,000||34,839,000||26,406,000||61,245,000||2[unclear: ?] per cent.||2¾ per cent.||Dec. 1880|
|Dec. 1881||26,237,000||28,633,000||64,870,000||37,096,000||20,876,000||57,972,000||5 per cent.||8 per cent.||Dec. 1881|
|Dec. 1882||26,351,000||27,410,000||53,761,000||36,147,000||20,751,000||56,898,000||6 per cent.||4 per cent.||Dec. 1882|
|Dec. 1883||25,683,000||29,205,000||64,888,000||35,669,000||22,355,000||68,024,000||3 per cent.||3 2/15 per cent.||Dec. 1883|
|Dec. 1884||25,222,999||29,346,720||64,569,719||36,336,691||20,360,721||56,697,412||5 per cent.||2 19/20 per cent.||Dec. 1884|
|Dec. 1885||24,621,423||29,344,372||53,965,795||34,643,349||20,826,856||55,470,205||3 15/31 per cent.||3 per cent.||Dec. 1885|
The following table shows how far the Bank of England can contribute support to the fiction of a metallic currency when her last sovereign and her last shilling have been exhausted. The figures may be filled in from the official Bank Return of any date latest to hand. As an instance we give that issued for the week ending 23 Sept., 1885.
|Deduct, held by the Bank||12,905,585|
|Seven days and other bills||166,244|
|(In the issue department) Gold Coin and Bullion||£21,489,120|
|(In the banking department) Gold and silver coin||891,106|
|Balance which the Bank could not pay that day, either in gold or silver||£35,032,274|
Now, no monopoly, excepting, perhaps, the Post Office, ever yet operated beneficially to the public, and this monopoly of the Bank of England, which is the foundation of a gigantic Trades Union of Money Lenders, is the most trade-destructive combination in existence. There will be no "fixity of tenure" in business until such an abomination is made an end of, and how to do this with safety to the public credit has been often suggested by sound economists.
Under the 1838 Banking Law of New York every bank was allowed to issue as many notes as it pleased on first depositing (with the Comptroller of the State) Stocks of the American Government, or of the State of New York, at not exceeding par value. Receipts for such deposits were stamped on the face of each note before it went into circulation, the breach of this proviso incurring heavy penalties. The notes were payable in hard money under all circumstances, and in case of any being dishonoured the public officer was required to sell Deposited Stocks to the full amount, and make good the payment.
For the United Kingdom we recommend a modification of this law, viz., perfect freedom of issues by anyone who first deposits (at the Mint) Bullion or Consols for the full amount, the Government receipt for the same being stamped upon the face of the note previous to issue, under heavy penalties. In case of failure to pay any note according to its tenor, the Master of the Mint to be required to sell securities by auction and pay the note within three days. On the other hand the securities and the interest thereon remain the property of the depositors, and may be reclaimed at any time on returning an equivalent number of notes.
One disadvantage incidental to the present restricted system has been that under its operation there is but one Gold Reserve, that one becoming unduly sensitive upon slight pressure. Under such a freed and improved system as is here advocated, many banks would be compelled to keep reserves, and the security for safe currency, no less than for extended facilities in trade, would be proportionately increased.
The Cheque System.
About the year 1772 the Banks of London discontinued the issue of promissory demand notes payable to Bearer, and thenceforward advanced to their customers by crediting in their books. To facilitate this reform they gave to such customers books containing a number of bills of exchange, drawn upon the Banker, payable to Bearer on demand. To obviate difficulties arising from the absence of any acceptance upon this new form of Bill, and to make the Cheque as like a Bank Note as possible, it was established as a custom among Bankers that possession of a customer's funds by a Banker should be equivalent to acceptance. Cheques became, therefore, a substitute for Bank Notes.page 122
Now, according to Macleod ("Mechanism of Banking," c.vii., "Princples of Economics,") everyone who really understands the subject has declared that banking advances practically augment the capital of a country—a doctrine, by the way, which Mill considered a doctrine of robbery—and if it be true, judge how far retching must have been the benefits of the Cheque System by means of which the ordinary business of London and other Banks has been simplified with "the daily creation of millions of promises to pay."
Mulhall, in his "Dictionary of Statistics," states that in 1839 the ratio of Cheques to Notes and Coin was 93.2 as compared with 6.8, but that in 1881 the proportions were relatively 98.9 to 1.1, This is, of course, for London only.
The Clearing House.
The new system had but been three years in operation before the Cheque-issuing Banks found the advantage of periodically adjusting their debts by mutual Releases, as had been done in the sixteenth century by the French Merchants, whose bills were all made payable at the Fair of Lyons, and as had already been practised in 1775 by Banks in Edinburgh. What is called the Clearing House was thus established, and until 1854 consisted merely of a meeting of private Bankers who exchanged Cheque claims with one another daily, and paid only the net differences in Cash or Bank Notes. In 1810 the thrty-six private banks that "cleared" had a total duly average of £4,700,000, and were able to settle ill their balances by some £220,000 in notes. In 1154 the Joint Stock Banks, rigidly excluded thus far from the Clearing House, were preparing to organise one of their own, when suddenly some half dozen of them were admitted to its benefits, from which, however, the Bank of England was shut out until 1864. It was stated in evidence to the House of Commons that, prior to the admission of Joint Stock Banks, the London and Westminster used to be compelled to keep £150,000 in notes to meet its daily "Bankers' charges" alone. What must have been the aggregate waste of trading capital forced thus upon the community?
|Year.||Annual Amount cleared in Millions.|
Summary of Banking Statistics, 1870-1880.
The following statement is calculated from a series of voluminous Returns published by the Board of Trade, and which were furnished to that Department by the Bank Managers of the United Kingdom. A few Banks refused to furnish information, including the Bank of Ireland and three other Irish Banks. Such English and Welsh Banks as did not send Returns, only represented, in 1880, a total of £4,000,000 Paid-up Capital. The Scotch figures are in every respect complete.
Movements of Bullion and Specie
|1 Africa, West Coast of||Imports||101,322||132,277||123,359||140,908||189,317||161,917||186,458||331,218||1|
|2 Africa, South Coast of||Imports||19,170||56,139||6,056||255,809||248,314||74,717||198,243||617,517||2|
|3 America, U. States of||Imports||4,792,582||4,534,560||10,380,785||11,438,891||1,253,932||8,022,249||7,701,410||3,713,556||3|
|4 America, Central||Imports||...||...||...||...||11,236||...||...||...||4|
|5 America, British North||Imports||36,393||139,837||709,405||12,434||3,823||18,498||23,492||39,949||5|
|6 Argentine Confederation||Imports||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||6|
|10 China (including Hong Kong)||Imports||...||...||543,401||454,399||38,069||41,071||68,521||1,191,660||10|
|16 Granada, New||Imports||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||16|
|18 India, British||Imports||...||474,758||578,137||213,502||194,355||77,682||54,853||850,910||18|
|19 Indies, Danish West||Imports||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||19|
|20 Indies, Spanish West||Imports||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||20|
|23 Mexico, South America (except Brazil), and West Indies||Imports||5,515,048||7,376,036||5,282,778||4,748,966||3,063,496||3,905,463||5,128,688||5,619,017||23|
|24 Portugal, Azores, and Madeira||Imports||255,603||806,018||46,331||16,415||6,010||472,283||67,228||92,676||24|
|26 Spain and the Canaries||Imports||11,715||26,751||18,011||51,856||53,847||277,738||399,158||657,275||26|
|28 Other Countries||Imports||19,425||30,917||420,913||...||1,349,920||179,156||145,196||160,340||28|
|29 Total Imports||22,978,196||21,402,211||29,455,668||33,264,789||16,253,883||23,619,484||20,377,903||22,810,166||29|
|30 Total Exports||25,534,768||15,092,524||18,919,690||27,628,042||18,889,503||20,989,258||21,999,222||21,783,105||30|