Thursday, October 27.
[A Bill for regulating the making of Cloth was read the second time.]
Colonel Birch.] Would have that Bill general, that
trade being not in corporations. The Committee to peruse the several Laws, already in being, concerning cloth,
they being very many.
The House then took into consideration his Majesty's Speech,
Resolved, nem. con. That the King be supplied proportionably to his present occasion.
[Debate on a List of the King's debts being ordered in, and
the charge of the Navy.]
Sir Thomas Clifford.] The debts on interest in the Exchequer are upon record, and in that we cannot err; the
rest there shall be an account of. The present farm of the
Custom-house is 400,000l. per ann. This year the farm
ended. Besides that of the Customs full charged, 130,000l.
advanced upon the new farm, at interest. The King's
officers are content to take their payment at the latter,
and without interest. In Exchequer register, not above
130,000l. Assignments have been given upon the Ordnance. When they entered, the Treasury had no money;
since they came in, no man was paid before another;
the rule they inviolably performed. They knew what
straits particular men were put to, and the current of
moneys came all to London. Merchants would have largely; therefore they took up money at 10 per cent. Asserts
that money will never be plentiful, till this trade of
Bankers be spoiled. Though Bankers have done great
hurt, yet they have done some good; rather than the
King should take up wares at 40 per cent. Gentlemens
money lies sometimes four or six months dead; they let
it at 10 per cent. Believes that 2 per cent. is the most they
have got, reckoning Clerks fees, and ill money; eight
months since they could not borrow at 10 per cent. 'Till
the Commissioners of Interest can make out their account,
we can inform you no farther. The debt of the Navy
is upon the Wine Act; that is at 6 per cent. The Feefarms charge, and chimney-money, all upon record.
The debt at interest is 1,300,000l, nine is at 10 per cent.
the rest at 6 per cent. The now charge of setting out
the Navy 800,000l.
Sir John Duncombe.] Cannot add more than has been
said upon present memory. Hopes by Saturday the whole
may be brought in ready.
Sir George Downing.] When he brought in the Bill for
sale of Fee-farm rents, he told you the debt was about
two millions; when the Commissioners entered first, it
was three millions; the Commissioners, by God's goodness, have reduced it to two millions. Notwithstanding
this year of peace, the Navy and the Ordnance alone
have had, from Michaelmas 1667 to 1670, by assignments, 691,000l. victualling and all. A very great part of
this money borrowed in the Exchequer, where the interest
runs over and above what has been. With this sum
the Commissioners of the Ordnance can give you an account of the ordinary of the Navy, 400,000l. per ann.
besides stores, and repairs upon hulls. Thinks the charge
the best bestowed money of the two, and the best an
Englishman can do. As to interest, 600,000l. the Exchequer will show you. Will say no more, but that it is
a convenient fashion now abroad, to take away a man's
country, and then to give all Europe the reason of it. The
French have brought up that fashion, and hopes we shall
take notice of it.
Sir Thomas Littleton.] Would have an order for the
several officers to bring you in an account, and then
would be glad to hear any man's objection, and hopes
to give an answer.
Colonel Birch.] Would have also the number of men,
at the old calculation of 4l. the head.
[Adjourned to Monday.]
Monday, October 31.
[The House proceeded in the consideration of his Majesty's
debts, a list of which was brought in.]
Mr Seymour.] What makes men carry all their money
to London, but the gain by the Bankers? So that one way
of removing the scarceness of money in the country, is
the suppressing the Bankers, and the payment of the
King's debts will suppress them. The insolence of the
Algiers-men is the apprehensions of the King's weakness.
Much of our misfortunes lie upon the great Statesman
[Lord Clarendon] that your displeasure has been upon.
[A Committee was appointed to inspect the Estimate, &c. and
consider how the debts were contracted.]
[Adjourned to Thursday.]