Title:
PP/GC/LE/35 Letter from Sir G.C.Lewis to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, about the state of bullion, the Turkish loan and the merits of calling a general election, 18 September [1855]
Date:
18/09/1855
Content:
Letter from Sir George Cornewall Lewis, [second Baronet, Chancellor of the Exchequer], Harpton [Court, Radnorshire, Wales], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: he is glad Palmerston approved Pressly's promotion. Lewis is convinced it is the best arrangement for the public. "With regard to Mr Roberts, I have nothing to say but to lament the necessity under which you have been placed by the improper and unusual order in council, passed at the Duke of Newcastle's instance." The state of the bullion in the Bank [of England] causes unease. "But `forewarned is forearmed', and the government securites, both funded and unfunded, maintain themselves very fairly in the face of heavy drains. The account of the revenue on the first of October next promises to be favourable." Muserus has forwarded to Spearman Rothschild's demand for the 280,000 pounds advanced to the Porte at a rate of six percent on credit for a five million pounds loan. Lewis has written to Clarendon stating that the money ought to be paid. Spearman shares this opinion. Lewis hopes Palmerston agrees. "If Gladstone has agreed to form a coalition with Dizzy upon the subject of peace, or upon any other subject, I can only say that the coalition is quite as suprising as that between Fox and Lord North. I feel sure that from various expressions which fell from Gladstone soon after his resignation, his feelings to Dizzy were at that time pretty much what Burke's were to Lord North, when he said that he should be sorry to be alone in a room with him. I can't understand how any compact can be made upon any peace principle, until we know what the results of the capture of Sebsatopol, in a military point of view, will be; how the armies will stand to each other, and whether Russia thinks that she can maintain herself in the Crimea, after the loss of her fleet, her arsenals, and the chief part of her fortress. The recent success raises the question of dissolution in a practical point of view. The harvest will soon be over, and the time of year is suitable. The government stands well with the country, and none of the other three parties, the Derbyites, the Peelites, and the Manchesterites, are in good odour, or in good condition. The two latter are unpopular, the former is divided. The prices of agricultural produce are high, and the farmers as contented as they ever are. There would be no danger of a revival of the protection cry, with effect, even in the counties. Whereas I remember Lord John after the last election told me he was satisfied that the liberal party would not get over the corn law cry in our generation. Ireland is quiet, and there is nothing at present that could be used with effect at the hustings against a moderate supporter of your government. Trade is good and employment abundant." The conduct of the House [of Commons] during the last session in multiplying votes of censure and on the Turkish loan provides justification for dissolving Parliament. It is a Parliament elected when the government's opponents were in office and has sat three sessions. These are arguments in favour of a dissolution. But the House, like former Houses, shows a strong disposition to follow the changes in public opinion. It does this without reference to the circumstances under which it was elected. Lewis believes that the government has no good reason to complain of the treatment it has received from the House last session. This is despite they might think of the conduct of the leaders. "By dissolving now, we deprive ourselves of a great card which may be played next session, if the House proves intractable, or some unseen crisis arrives. We cut down a stone which may be kept hanging over their heads until a real exegincy arises." On the whole, the arguments in favour of not dissolving predominate. The question remains in balance. "I quite agree in the propriety of a thanksgiving, when the written despatch arrives. But I think it is a dangerous practice to act upon the brief telegraphic notices, which the French government had adopted." 18 Sep [1855] [Postscript] Lewis asks that Palmerston instructs his private secretary to inform him of the day cabinet is to meet the following week. 18 Sep [1855]
Extent:
Four papers
License:
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Subject:
Charles Pressly, deputy chairman of the Board of Inland Revenue
Henry Roberts, formerly private secretary to Henry Pelham Pelham Clinton, fifth Duke of Newcastle as Secretary of State for War and the Colonies
Henry Pelham Pelham Clinton, fifth Duke of Newcastle, formerly Secretary of State for War and the Colonies
Bey Muserus
Sir Alexander Young Spearman, first Baronet
Baron Lionel Nathan de Rothschild, head of Rothschild's bank, London
George William Frederick Villiers, eighth Earl of Clarendon, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
William Ewart Gladstone, Member of Parliament for Oxford University
Benjamin Disraeli, later first Earl of Beaconsfield, Member of Parliament for Buckinghamshire
Charles James Fox, deceased
Frederick North, second Earl of Guildford, deceased
Charles James Fox and Frederick North, styled Lord North, later second Earl of Guildford: parliamentary political coalition #Bdate=00/04/1783
Edmund Burke, deceased
Crimean War, 1854-6
Agriculture; crops
Derbyites: parliamentary supporters of Edward George Geoffrey Smith Stanley, fourteenth Earl of Derby
Peelites: parliamentary supporters of the policies of Sir Robert Peel, second Baronet, deceased
Manchesterites: parliamentary supporters of the `Manchester school' policies exemplified by Richard Cobden and John Bright
Lord John Russell, later first Earl Russell $
Turkish loan: loan to 500,000 pounds to Turkey to be guaranteed by Great Britain and France
Thanksgiving day for the capture of Sebastopol, Ukraine, Russia
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