Front Page Titles (by Subject) FIRST REPORT FROM THE BANK OF ENGLAND COMMITTEE— CASH PAYMENTS BILL 5 April 1819 - The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 5 Speeches and Evidence
FIRST REPORT FROM THE BANK OF ENGLAND COMMITTEE— CASH PAYMENTS BILL 5 April 1819 - David Ricardo, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 5 Speeches and Evidence 
The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 5 Speeches and Evidence 1815-1823.
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First published by Cambridge University Press in 1951. Copyright 1951, 1952, 1955, 1973 by the Royal Economic Society. This edition of The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo is published by Liberty Fund, Inc., under license from the Royal Economic Society.
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FIRST REPORT FROM THE BANK OF ENGLAND COMMITTEE— CASH PAYMENTS BILL
5 April 1819
Mr. Peel, the chairman of the secret committee, presented their first report, which recommended that cash payments, which had been partially resumed, should be suspended until the final report of the committee had been received and a legislative measure passed thereupon; he moved for leave to bring in a bill to that effect. Mr. Tierney, a member of the committee, opposing the motion, said that the only effect of the bill would be to save a little expense to the Bank whereas ‘any sacrifice ought to be made rather than that good faith should not be preserved.’
Mr. Ricardo began by requesting the indulgence of the House, which he hoped he should experience, especially as he was about to dispute the opinions of the right hon. gentleman who had just spoken with so much eloquence. It appeared to him very extraordinary, indeed, that the Bank should be called upon as the right hon. gentleman argued, to issue gold at 3l. 17s. while they were obliged to pay 4l. 1s. for that very gold. Those who obtained the gold upon such terms must, of course, profit by the difference, and they could only derive that profit by acting contrary to law—that was either by clandestinely exporting the gold, or by melting it down. Would parliament consent to allow such a class of persons to obtain profit at the expense of the Bank? Such a class was, indeed, he apprehended, the very last to which parliament would consent to grant any peculiar favour or protection. That the resumption of cash payments by the Bank must be preceded by a reduction of its paper issues, was quite obvious. But then that reduction ought to be gradual, and in order to enable the Bank to resume its cash payments, such a measure as that now proposed appeared to him essentially necessary. He approved of the views of the right hon. gentleman as to the provision of an adequate guard against the repetition of the dangers, hitherto resulting from the improvident conduct of the Bank. He also agreed, that before the Bank could pay in gold, it must take measures to replenish its coffers, and that to replenish its coffers by providing an adequate supply of gold, it must reduce its issue of notes. But, with a view to enable the Bank to resume its payments in cash, he was decidedly of opinion that the proposed measure was essentially necessary, and was sorry that it had not before now been adopted.
Leave was given to bring in the bill, which was then passed.