Front Page Titles (by Subject) EXCHEQUER BILLS 2 June 1819 - The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 5 Speeches and Evidence
EXCHEQUER BILLS 2 June 1819 - David Ricardo, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 5 Speeches and Evidence 
The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 5 Speeches and Evidence 1815-1823.
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First published by Cambridge University Press in 1951. Copyright 1951, 1952, 1955, 1973 by the Royal Economic Society. This edition of The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo is published by Liberty Fund, Inc., under license from the Royal Economic Society.
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2 June 1819
On the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s motion for a grant to pay off certain Exchequer Bills, Mr. Grenfell suggested that ‘as government were now on the eve of raising a large sum of money by loan’, the sinking fund should be taken in diminution of the loan. ‘This led him to another observation. A rumour was very prevalent to day, which he conceived was nothing but a calumny on the right hon. gentleman, and should continue so to conceive it, unless he had the right hon. gentleman’s own authority for believing it. It was a rumour, however, which every body had heard, namely, that the right hon. gentleman had communicated to certain loan-contractors, and to them alone, the amount of the loan which it was his intention to negociate. It must be perfectly unnecessary for him to observe, that if this rumour was true, the right hon. gentleman had given to those persons an undue advantage. It was most unquestionably the right hon. gentleman’s duty, when he made such a communication, to make it to the stock exchange, to the public—to make it general.’
The Chancellor of the Exchequer replied that ‘in the conversations which he had held with a number of persons on nature of the financial measures which it might be most expedient to adopt, he had of course spoken on a great many points connected with those measures; but he denied having made any secret or private communication of his intentions, of which any unfair advantage could be taken.’
Mr. Ricardo had heard a statement which set forth, whether correctly or not he could not say, all the particulars of the intended loan, the sum to be borrowed, and the days on which the several payments were to be made. These he understood had been made known to others by the chancellor of the exchequer, but not to him or to any one with whom he was connected. The usual course had been for the chancellor of the exchequer to give notice to the parties likely to subscribe to the loan, that on such a day he would expect them, and then when they attended him, to unfold his plan to them. To communicate his intentions to one party alone, was to give that party a great and manifest advantage over all the others. Whether such a communication had been made he did not know; but the rumour was so general, that he could not doubt the fact of some communication from the right hon. gentleman having been made.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer again denied that he had made any other communications except such ‘as he should be very happy to make to the hon. gentleman who had just spoken, and to receive his advice with respect to them.’