Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER III.: COMPARISON OF THE PROPOSED, WITH THE EXISTING GOVERNMENT SECURITIES, &C. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 3
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CHAPTER III.: COMPARISON OF THE PROPOSED, WITH THE EXISTING GOVERNMENT SECURITIES, &C. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 3 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 3.
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COMPARISON OF THE PROPOSED, WITH THE EXISTING GOVERNMENT SECURITIES, &C.
Features possessed in common with other securities.
1. Rate of interest low, inferior to that afforded by money laid out in the purchase of stock annuities. Exemplified in the notes of country bankers.
FORM OF A PROPOSED ANNUITY NOTE, ON THE SEVERAL PLANS OF HALF-YEARLY AND YEARLY INTEREST.
BACK OF THE NOTE ON THE YEARLY PLAN.
By Statute NA Geo. III. c. NA, counterfeiting the Portrait of any Public Officer on an Annuity Note is Forgery. The having in one’s possession, without special licence, any Drawing or Plate, &c. designed to represent such Head, is presumptive evidence of such Forgery: Punishment Death. Like provision in respect of the counterfeiting this type.
PORTRAIT from an engraving on wood: THE AUDITOR OF THE EXCHEQUER, WITH THE EPIGRAPH.
Daily Interest, or Augmentation Table:
Showing the Value of this Note for every Day in the Year, as the same is increased by the addition of daily Interest. No Interest for the last day of any Year: Nor for the 29th of February in a Leap Year: Nor for the day on which the Note is passed.
Underneath is the Register of Yearly Payments of Interest:
In which are set down the several Years of our Lord (if any) for which Interest upon this Note has been paid by the Government:—
If upon the face of the above Register, the Interest on this Note, for any number of Years, appears to remain unpaid, to find the total value of it, add to its value for the Day, according to the above Table, the amount of the Interest for the aforesaid number of unpaid years, according to the following
Yearly Interest, or Augmentation Table.
FACE OF THE NOTE, NEARLY THE SAME ON BOTH PLANS.
This Note, price and value Twelve pounds sixteen shillings, besides interest, entitles the Bearer to a Farthing per day, from the first of January last for ever, out of the Consolidated Fund; but subject to redemption, on payment of the above sum, with interest.
The above interest is paid half-yearly; and the interest of each half-year may be received any time not earlier than [NA] days after the last day of such half year, through the medium of any Local Annuity-Note Office in town or country; previous application having been made at the same office not less than [NA] days, nor more than [NA] days before such last day, and such conditions being observed as may be seen at every such office.
Issued at the General Annuity-Note Office in St. Margaret’s Street, Westminster, this __________ day of __________ 18 by order of me _______________ Auditor of his Majesty’s Exchequer; and by the hands of me _______________ Issuing Clerk.
PORTRAIT from an engraving on wood: THE KING CROWNED, WITH AN EPIGRAPH ON THE SCEPTRE, “FOR SECURITY AGAINST FORGERY.”
Issued at my Local Annuity-Note Office in _______________ this __________ day of _______________ One thousand eight hundred and __________ by me _________________________ Office-Keeper,
By Statute NA Geo. III. c. NA the faith of Parliament is pledged, that no Annuity Note, conveying a perpetual redeemable Annuity payable to Bearer, shall ever be issued at such price as to give a higher rate of interest than is given by this Note; and that no such Annuity Note shall ever be paid off without the consent of the holder, while any redeemable Stock Annuities continue unredeemed.
For security, in cases of Trust, Conveyance by Post, &c., the Head-piece of this Note may be separated from the body by cutting it across through the waved line. An account of the uses and purposes of such division may be seen at the said several offices.
By Statute NA Geo. III. c. NAcounterfeiting, &c., the Portrait of any Public Officer on an Annuity Note is Forgery; the having in one’s possession, without special licence, any drawing or plate, &c. designed to represent such head, is presumptive evidence of such Forgery, — punishment Death. Like provision in respect of the counterfeiting this Type.
BACK OF THE NOTE, ON THE HALF-YEARLY PLAN.
Daily Interest, or Augmentation Table:
Showing the Value of this Note for every Day in the Year, as the same is increased by the addition of Daily Interest.
No Interest for the last Day of any Year: nor for the 29th of February in a Leap Year: nor for the Day on which the Note is passed.
Register of Half-Yearly Payments of Interest:
In which are set down the several Years and Half-Years of our Lord (if any) for which Interest upon this Note has been paid by Government.
N.B.—The Figures 1 and 2 distinguish the First and Second Half-Years of each year.
If, upon the face of the above Register, the Interest on this Note, for any number of Half-years, appears to remain unpaid, to find the total value of it, add to its value for the Day, according to the above Table, the amount of the Interest for the aforesaid number of unpaid Half-years, according to the following
2. Perpetuity, of the mass of interest granted, subject to redemption.—Taken from stock annuities;—agrees with Irish debentures and India bonds;—differs from Exchequer bills.
3. The principal not demandable.—Taken from stock annuities;—agrees with Irish debentures and India bonds: also with navy, victualling, transport bills, and ordnance debentures;—differs from bank, bankers, and private notes and bills.
4. Interest without special fund, over and above the general consolidated fund.—Taken from Exchequer bills;—differs from the former practice in the creation of stock annuities;—agrees with all the other above-mentioned government engagements.
5. The quantity issued, incapable of exceeding the quantity demanded at the original price.—Agrees with bank paper, and in practice with bankers’ paper;—differs from stock annuities, Irish debentures, exchequer bills, and navy, &c. bills.
6. The evidence of the engagement consigned to a portable instrument instead of a fixed book.—Taken from exchequer bills;—differs from stock annuities;—agrees with Irish debentures, and the now disused navy, victualling, transport, and ordnance bills or debentures:—also with India bonds, bank notes, bankers’ promissory notes, and private promissory notes, and bills of exchange.
7. The paper, by its size, shape, texture, and thinness, particularly fitted for circulation.—Taken from bank paper;—agrees more or less with bankers’ paper, and with the French assignats—differs from all the other above-mentioned engagements, except from some late issues of exchequer bills, in respect of size.
8. Application of the profit of the measure towards the reduction of the national debt.—Taken from the sale of the land tax—i. e. the exchange of so many portions of the annual produce of that tax for portions of stock annuities;—differs from all the other engagements above mentioned.
Features altogether new.
9. Secure provision for the instant extinction of the debt created by it.
10. The amount of it incapable of exceeding the amount of the existing debt.
11. Funds, no other than those already provided for the existing debt; but the security better, in respect of the appropriation of the profit to the exoneration of the fund, by the continual redemption of a greater mass of the debt than the mass continually created.
12. Interest receivable, with scarcely any trouble or expense, wherever letters are receivable.
13. The note or instrument serving as security for the interest, purchasable of government with scarcely any trouble or expense wherever letters are receivable.
14. Ditto, receivable in the course of circulation, and with the interest, without any trouble or expense. N.B. Exchequer bills, India bonds, &c., are not obtainable in the course of circulation, without the expense of brokerage; to which is added, out of London, the expense of postage, and the expense of professional, or obligation of gratuitous agency.
15. Quantity obtainable, adapted to every purse, from the largest to the smallest.—Bankers’ notes, limited as they are, on the side of diminution by law, and in point of variety of magnitude by the narrowness of the market, &c., in the instance of each banking-house, share this advantage in an imperfect and inadequate degree.
16. Facility afforded for ascertaining by inspection, without calculation, the amount of interest due, &c.
17. Securities against forgery.—See Ch. II. Table II. Form of a note. [Notes 14, 22, and 24.]
18. Facility thence afforded for ascertaining the value in respect of genuineness—an advantage it has over gold and silver coin, and which is shared with it in but an imperfect degree by bank and bankers’ papers, &c., for want of the securities against forgery.
19. Means afforded of making compound interest, without hazard, trouble, or expense. Shared in an imperfect degree (being attended with hazard, trouble, and expense) by stock annuities—completely impracticable by any other means.
20. Security against depreciation.—The price can never rise, because any quantity may be had at the original price, so long as any portion of stock annuities remains unredeemed. In the ordinary state of things, no man need take an inferior price in the way of circulation, when men are giving the full price for it in the way of issue. As to the probability of any state of things so extraordinary as to produce a discount, see Ch. IV. Grounds, &c. Bank and bankers’ paper are incapable of rise; but, in several instances, the one has experienced a partial, and the other a total loss of value.*
[ ]The figures of reference refer to explanatory matter, the greater part of which has been thought not worth inserting in this compressed view.
[ ]The type (say) as tall again as the tallest ever employed, the dimensions to be fixed, and types more than half as tall again prohibited.
[ ]Insert here, or on the paper mentioned in Note [21,] “To make up the value of the Note for any odd day (i. e. any day which is not in the Table,) add a farthing for every day between such odd day, and the day next before it in the Table.”
[ ]Insert here, or in the paper mentioned in Note [21,] “When the blanks in this Register are all filled up, this Note, if not paid off, will be exchanged for a fresh one gratis.”
[ ]The wording of the engagement is grounded on that of an Exchequer Bill. The size may be exactly that of a Bank Note.
[ ]The yearly form, having been the first framed, is here inserted, to show its comparative simplicity; but (for the reasons mentioned in the Observations on the Plan) it is not proposed to be employed. Placed as it is, it saves the two other compartments from being covered by the leaves of the book.
[[5, 7, 8, 9, 10] ]These blanks cannot be filled up till the last hand is put to the official arrangement of the business. The filling up will depend on the number of Notes issued, the number of hands employed in the General Office, the number of office hours for each hand, and on the mechanism employed for giving dispatch to the operations.
[[14, 22] ]The object most difficult of imitation, to an ordinary artist, is a portrait engraven by a first rate hand. Imitation being a capital offence, the form must be such as no artist could possibly adopt, but with criminal views. The Epigraph should be so placed as that, in case of imitation, the intention shall betray itself at the earliest stage possible. A single plate, if multiplied according to the method invented by Professor Wilson of Glasgow, as described in his paper reprinted in Nicholson’s Philosophical Journal for May 1798, will serve for any number of impressions.
[* ]A government engagement couldnot, like this, have been rendered depreciation proof, but for the pre-existence of stock annuities, and its connexion with them as above. The exigencies of government not being susceptible of limitation, no species of engagement could be offered, of which the price should be fixed, and the quantity limited to what could be disposed of at that price, but for the co-existence of some other species of engagement unlimited in respect of the quantity offered at market, and thence exposed to an unlimited diminution of price.