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ticularly as from the uniform practice in that country, of registering all deeds and devises, respecting landed property, they should be exempt from the danger of being entangled in the confusion and expense of law proceedings. Ireland, however, is at present bereft of the advantages to be derived from the expenditure of capital ; the capitalist is debarred from a beneficial means of employing his surplus money, and England is cheated of the additional strength and security she should enjoy, from freely and liberally cultivating the resources of that great portion of our empire.
But not in Ireland alone would the beneficial results of the repeal of the usury laws be felt in promoting the agriculture of the country; throughout the extent of Great Britain, the means are presented of employing with advantage many millions of money, in forming canals, making roads, building bridges, draining land, reclaiming mountains, inclosing commons, and improving by labor, the general character of the soil. In works like these consists the real and permanent prosperity of a country; and when we consider the rapid progress made in both islands during the late war, in consequence
of the facility given to the employment of capital, by an increased circulating medium, we may indulge our fancies to the utmost, without the fear of entering the regions of extravagance, in conjecturing what the magnificent results to the empire might have been, had those sums been employed within the kingdom, in promoting useful labor, which have been driven abroad by the impolitic provisions of the usury laws, to seek for employment in other countries, or to be consigned to the faith of other governments.
It may, perhaps, be objected, that this new sphere of action for the employment of capital, will exercise an injurious effect upon the government funds, and lower their price. This, to a certain extent, cannot be denied; but the operation will be felt more in foreign funds where British capital is engaged, than in those of our own government. Every individual naturally prefers to have bis money employed at home, should other circumstances co-operate with his desires: the repeal of the usury laws, therefore, will draw British capital from abroad, and give it a more profitable employment among our fellow-citizens. This circumstance will be likely to neutralise the effects of the repeal in the state of the funds at home; besides, that the same reasons of security and convenience which have his therto induced capitalists to let their money lie in the funds at a low rate, in preference to active employment, with the chance of a much
greater, will still operate with a great many. But even should the price of the funds fall to some extent, I should, in the present state of the country, be far from regarding such a circumstance as a disadvantage. The price of the funds must be regarded with very different eyes, according as we may happen to be a borrowing or a 164 Mr. E. Cooke on the Repeal of the Usury Laws. [26
paying country. At present we are, or at least boast to be, the latter; and the lower the rate at which we pay, the more available the produce of the sinking fund becomes in the hands of commissioners, for liquidating the national debt. If the chancellor of the exchequer funds at fifty-eight, and pays at eighty-two, the consequences to the country are sufficiently obvious.
This and the preceding objection are founded on the supposition, that the rate of interest, or the value of money, will be exorbitantly raised on the removal of the mačimum by law established. But experience proves that this supposition must be erroneous. The rate of interest in the market does not, in general, amount to the maximum, and since the thirty-seventh of Hen. VIII. the decrease in the market uniformly preceded the law for reducing the legal rate. This proves that usury is restrained, not by law, but by the competition of the capitalists, and the ordinary profits of stock. Where the principal and the regular payment of the interest are secured, money may now be had at four and four and a half per cent. Bankinghouses discount good bills at three and three and a half, and the treasury, issues exchequer bills at three per cent., that also bear a premium of eighteen and twenty shillings. This rate will be altered very little to the same classes of borrowers, and when accommodation may be required by others, the increased demand will be met by a proportionate increase of disposable capital in the market. The nature of the security will, in every bargain, form the chief consideration, and for the prudence of the engagement, the legislature may confidently trust to the discretion and self-love of every individual.
FRENCH WORKS AND NEWSPAPERS,
THE BARON DE VASTEY,
SECRETARY TO THE KING, KNIGHT OF THE ROYAL AND MILITARY ORDER
ROYAL OF HAYTI, &c.
Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes,
AT SANS-SOUCI, FROM THE KING'S PRINTING-OFFICE,
1817, THE 14TH. OF INDEPENDENCE.
Translated exclusively for the Pamphleteer.
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS
PRINCE VICTOR HENRY,
CROWN PRINCE OF HAYTI,
GRAND CROSS OF THE ROYAL AND MILITARY ORDER
OF SAINT HENRY, COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF
THE ARMIES OF HAYTI,
&c. &c. &c.
When I took the liberty of dedicating this work to Your Royal HIGHNESS, I considered, that political remarks, written solely with a view to promote the happiness, renown and prosperity of the people of Hayti, on principles that tend to secure the safety, freedom and independence of the state, could not fail of becoming acceptable and in a peculiar degree interesting to Your ROYAL HIGHNESS.
In submitting to the inspection of Your Royal HIGHNESS a picture of the injustice, crimes, and oppressive measures of the French, and exposing the perfidious subtlety of these Greeks of modern times, I was aware I should open your wounds afresh, and deeply affect your sensibility. But I have been urged reluctantly, by a stronger and more powerful motive, to awaken painful recollections. It has been an object with me, on the one hand, to guard my country from the artifices which a cruel, unrelenting and insidious enemy, had it yet in his power to practise ; on the other, to breathe into the hearts of the people of Hayti, the sacred fire of freedom, independence, and immortal hatred of the French. The instances of zeal, patriotism and love, discovered by Your Royal Highness in behalf of your native country, are well known to us: as you advanced in age, they became habitually rooted and more firmly fixed. Your ROYAL HIGHNESS will be able ere long, to assist your great and illustrious Father in his councils, and will endeavour to tread in his footsteps.
Deign, Sir, to regard, with a favorable eye, my feeble essays ; and accept the dedication of them, as a public testimony of the profound respect which I entertain for you.
I shall ever continue, during life, with inviolable attachment and veneration,
YOUR Royal HIGHNESS's
humble and devoted Servant,
BARON DE VASTEY.