PP/GC/LE/100 Letter from Sir G.C.Lewis to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, regarding the management of the Indian relief fund, the probability of a money market crisis, and plans by the East India Company to raise money, 10 October [1857]
Letter from Sir George Cornewall Lewis, second Baronet, [Chancellor of the Exchequer], Downing Street, [Whitehall, London], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: the City committee wish to retain the management of the Indian fund and decline the government's offer of administration by a royal commission. They have had a distinct offer of assistance, which they have rejected; if anything goes wrong, the government cannot be blamed. There are signs of an impending crisis on the money market. The Bank [of England] raised their rate of discount on Thursday [8 October], and may do so again before Thursday next [15 October]. "The state of things in America and France, combined with the Indian events, is telling." He has had an interview with the two chairs [of the East India Company] and Vernon Smith. The Company has about three million pounds in Exchequer bills, bonds and consols, of which at least two million will be needed to be met before February next. "They wish to know how this can be done without affecting the market, and depreciating their securities - which is a simple impossibility. I am to see the Governor of the Bank on Monday, and will give Maughs an answer before Wednesday. If they hold securities, and want money, they must sell, and if they sell to any great extent, they must affect the market. But precisely the same effect would be produced by a loan, even with a government guarantee; therefore no good would be done by assembling Parliament - even if it were possible to assemble Parliament in December in order to save the E[ast] I[ndia] company 20,000 pounds. I see at present no ground for thinking that any financial mistake has been made with respect to the ways and means of the Company and its government." 10 Oct [1857]
Two papers
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Robert Vernon Smith, President of the Board of Control
Thomas Matthias Weguelin, Governor of the Bank of England
Indian mutiny, 1857-8
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