PP/GC/LE/104 Letter from Sir G.C.Lewis to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, concerning deputations about the Bank Charter Act, the state of the financial markets, and relations with the East India Company, 8 November 1857
Letter from Sir George Cornewall Lewis, second Baronet, [Chancellor of the Exchequer], Harpton [Court, Radnorshire, Wales], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: he will be in London the following day to attend the Lord Mayor's dinner. He expects to see Palmerston there. Buchanan, Member of Parliament for Glasgow, has requested a deputation on the Bank Charter Act. They will be in town on Monday evening [9 November]. He understands from the newspapers that Palmerston is threatened with a similar deputation. "The alarm and uneasiness is so great at present that public interviews on this delicate question ought not to be unnecessarily multiplied, and if you have no objection, I would propose to you that I should be present at your deputation, in which case it would be unnecessary for me to receive them separately." The best day for the meeting would be Wednesday [11 November]. "It seems to me that the only thing we can do is to hold firm, until the storm blows over. The Bank [of England] rate of discount is undoubtedly high, but it is not higher than it ought to be, compared with the demand for bullion in other countries, and if steps are taken for lowering it, in order to afford relief to trade, the only effect will be that all our bullion will be shipped for the continent and America. It is fortunate that the government cannot be blamed for having caused or aggravated this crisis. "We have had no demand for bullion - for the quantities sent to India have been hitherto trifling and our balances are and have been large for sometime, so that we have not pressured the Bank [of England] for advances, or curtailed their power of giving assistance to trade. Neither can any blame be thrown on the Bank, which has lately, in circumstances of great difficulty, been managed, as it seems to me, with remarkable prudence." Recently, and "without overstepping the law", Lewis has been able to make a temporary loan of half a million pounds to the E[ast] I[ndia] Company. He will explain the arrangement to Palmerston when they meet; he hopes Palmerston thinks it a proper arrangement. 8 Nov 1857
Two papers
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Walter Buchanan, Member of Parliament for Glasgow
Newspapers and the press
Finance; trade
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