4 AUGUST 1866, Page 2

Mr. Watkin, a very painstaking and accurate member of Par-

liament, tried hard on Tuesday to obtain a Commission of Inquiry into the working of the Bank Act of 1844. He made out easily enough that 10 per cent. was a very high rent for money, and crippled trade in every direction, but he neglected, as we have shown elsewhere, to make his own demand clear. Sir Stafford Northcote opposed the commission in a very sensible speech, on the ground that the evidence would be imperfect, as no firm affected by the panic would reveal its affairs, and that the inquiry would extend over a vast range not only of facts, but of opinions. The French Government had instituted one of a pre- cisely similar kind, and it had occupied just two years. The Government, while believing in the principle of the Act of 1844, quite agreed that modifications in its machinery might be required, and would consider the subject during the recess. An inquiry as to the extent of the Bank's limit might be useful, though the Directors could give mast of the information required, but a com- mission on the principles of currency would in the present state of opinion be very like an official inquiry into the "philosophy of the Unconditioned."