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charges of the present year will add £600,000 or £700,000 to the account. I therefore conclude we shall be obliged to pay them about a million out of the vote of credit of this year, and I think the Navy, from the great expense of paying off ships, to which long arrears of wages are due, will require at least another million, both which sums must be deducted from our estimated resources for the year. I still, however, allowing for them, have not any apprehension that it will be necessary for Parliament to meet before Christmas. I enclose a Memorandum of the grants of Parliament under each of the principal heads of expenditure, and of the sums issued to the 18th of September, from which you may form some judgment, though a very imperfect one, of the time for which our funds will hold out. There may, indeed, be another difficulty of a very serious nature, for which the liberality of our grants affords no remedy. The prevailing scarcity of money has for a considerable time rendered it impossible to raise money on Exchequer Bills; and we have, on the contrary, been obliged to support their credit by redeeming considerable sums. If this stagnation should continue after the 10th of October, we shall have no means of procuring the necessary supplies of cash but by applying to the Bank for increased advances—a measure always objectionable, and at the present time peculiarly inconvenient, for a variety of reasons. I hope, however, before that time, the uncertainty which exists respecting political arrangements, and which presses heavily upon public credit, will be removed, and that we may then be in possession of at least the ordinary facilities of supply. Since I began writing, your important despatch (No. 54) of the 14th has come to my hands. As we are not making war for conquests, and much less for money, I think the nation will have great reason to be satisfied, if peace can be concluded on the terms you suggest. As far as pecuniary arrangements are concerned, the great point for us is to secure a liberal provision for the fortification fund, and proper security for its due application. But I remember the fable of the bear-skin too well to discuss questions respecting the French contribution, till we have greater certainty of receiving it.
Your German financiers seem to make much lighter than I do of the difficulty France will have to raise large sums of money. If I thought the finances and internal economy of France in a sound state, I should agree with them ; but I see so many elements of disorder and confusion, that I do not believe (whatever Baron Louis may estimate) that he will realize 500,000,000 a-year for a considerable period to come. Bonaparte's system of finance was admirably organized, and most rigorously enforced. The King, on his return, found it in full operation, and, preserving the same instruments, its operation continued without much relaxation. But those instruments all proved traitors, and co-operated with the defection of the army in his overthrow; and, if they are continued in power, the King will be exposed to a repetition of the same perfidy. If, on the other hand, he makes great changes, I apprehend a degree of weakness and counteraction will be introduced, of which it is not easy to calculate the effects.
Even with the limited ineans to which I suppose France to be reduced, much may be done by means of credit; and, if internal tranquillity is preserved, credit will gradually revive : and I should think an addition of £1,000,000 or £1,500,000 to the national debt so far from an evil, that I believe it would be one of the best means of security both to France and her neighbours. It would create a moneyed interest connected with the Government, and whose natural element would as much be peace and good order as that of the army and Jacobins is war and confusion. On the part of the Government, strict economy and punctuality in its engagements would be equally indispensable, and the co-operation between these parties would equally tend to the prosperity of France and the quiet of Europe.
It is true that, at the beginning of the Revolution, the
moneyed interest was by no means well disposed, but it was irritated by the vanity and pretensions of the noblesse, and alarmed by some real and much imputed bad faith in the Court; and it has suffered too severely by its folly not to be now convinced that, in all confusion, it must of necessity be the first sacrifice. I do not of course speak of a few active, intriguing capitalists, who, however, seldom ultimately escape, but of the body of the national creditors and moneyed men.
Believe me ever, &c., N. VANSITTART.
(Enclosure.] Account of Sums granted for the services of the Army, Nary,
and Ordnance, for the year 1815; showing uchat parts thereof have been issued to the 18th September, 1815.
Lord Liverpool to Lord Castlereagh.
Fife House, September 19, 1815. My dear Castlereagh–I received yesterday your despatches of the 14th instant, together with your private letter of the 11th, relative to the restoration of the works of art. Upon the former I have little to say in addition to what has been already communicated to you in my former letters. I think your negociation is proceeding as well as we could desire, and I only hope that the objections of the Prussians will be speedily overcome, and that you will be able, without further loss to France, to bring your propositions before the French Government. I am satisfied that the pretensions of the Prussians on the score of contributions are so unreasonable, that, if persisted in, they will defeat their own object.
The idea you have suggested of stipulating for seven years' temporary occupation of the fortresses, with a power to reconsider the question at the end of four years, so as to make the occupation cease at the end of five, if the security of Europe will then allow of it, is, in my judgment, a great improvement, and far preferable, upon the principle on which we profess to act, to a simple stipulation for seven years' absolute occupation.
Now, as to the works of art, I differ very much from Arbuthnot as to the expediency of any consideration of the French feelings on the subject. I think it is very just and natural to consider these feelings, and to give them all due weight upon the question of the integrity of their territory, the dismantling their fortresses, and even upon that of the temporary occupation of them ; because their feelings on all these points are natural and laudable, and should be consulted as far as is consistent with the security of their neighbours. But I confess I have no regard whatever for their feelings with respect to the plunder they have taken from other countries. The feeling is altogether one of vanity, and of the worst description; and by permitting it we are only encouraging a sentiment which will hereafter prove hostile to the just rights of other countries. You will have observed that, amongst the very different opinions which prevail on other points, there is but one sentiment amongst all parties in this country as to the justice and expediency of the restoration of the works of art. I think the King of the Netherlands is quite right in pressing for the restoration of the pictures taken from the churches in Flanders, in preference to those belonging to his own family. I wish you to consider whether, if the King of France can be brought to no agreement upon the subject, and it shall be necessary therefore to take away the works of art by force, it is not less dangerous to take away the whole which have been plundered than only those belonging to our Allies. It appears to me that the first proposition would rest upon a general principle, and that it would be too much for France hereafter to engage in war for the purpose of recovering all her plunder; but by leaving any part, you acquiesce in her right to a certain degree, and you furnish her with a pretence for endeavouring to recover the remainder, and make the attainment of the object less difficult. With these observations, I am contented to leave the matter in your hands. I quite agree with you that, if the treasures of the Vatican are to be restored, this country ought to give every facility for transporting them in
safety. Believe me to be, &c., LIVERPool.
Mr. Charles Denis to Lord Castlereagh.
My Lord—I hope before your lordship receives this letter you will have seen Mr. Cooke, and that he has acquainted you with the final instructions he gave me, to put myself in relations with this Government.
In the month of March, Dr. Milner, an English Catholic bishop, came to me, and represented, at the desire of several