Not only merchants but all persons under pecuniary liabilities–present or imminent–feel this wish to ‘strengthen themselves,’

on the Bank of France; and even after that aid the directors permitted their bullion, which was still the currency reserve as well as the banking reserve, to be reduced to 2,404,000 L. ) are lent out at present. The other two criticisms quoted above lead on to the general question of how the sterling resources should be held and how they should be divided between the several Reserves. The demands on this market for bullion have been greater, and have been more incessant, than they ever were before, for this is now the only bullion market. The lock–up of funds in silver and opium, and the freedom with which India was purchasing foreign goods, probably had something to do with it; and an important contributory influence was the dearness[127] of money in London combined with a sufficient expectation of cheaper money soon, to provide an incentive to delay, wherever delay was possible. But they would not often choose an extremely good man. It is not astonishing that the centre of power in these matters has tended to gravitate to the India Office and the India Council in London.

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