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What would Thomas Attwood have said about banking today?

August 3, 2011
Lord Liverpool

A recent post asked what Thomas Attwood would think of our Pensions Act.

In April 1833, he spoke in a parliamentary debate opposing a proposition to ‘enable and induce’ the labouring classes to invest their joint money in the public funds. 

A month later Hansard records that he expressed misgivings about the new savings banks instituted by Lord Liverpool:

  

SAVINGS BANKS ANNUITIES’ BILL

HC Deb 07 May 1833 vol 17 cc1031-2

§ Mr. Thomas Attwood

expressed his disapprobation of these Savings’ Banks.

He believed they were instituted by the late Lord Liverpool and the Government at the time, not for the good of the people, but for three different purposes:

  • the first was to draw capital to London, in order to bolster up the funds;
  • the second was, to give the Government the power of putting their hands into the pockets of the people;
  • and the third, to enable them to scourge the people.

[“Oh! Oh!”]

Hon. Members might express disapprobation as much as they pleased, and the noble Lord might laugh, but his firm belief was, that the great object of Lord Liverpool in this transaction was to get a claw on the people.

 What would Thomas Attwood have said about banking today?

 

 

 

 

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