Front Page Titles (by Subject) MOTION FOR PAPERS RESPECTING THE BANK OF ENGLAND AND EXCHEQUER BILLS 22 December 1819 - The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 5 Speeches and Evidence
MOTION FOR PAPERS RESPECTING THE BANK OF ENGLAND AND EXCHEQUER BILLS 22 December 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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MOTION FOR PAPERS RESPECTING THE BANK OF ENGLAND AND EXCHEQUER BILLS
22 December 1819
Mr. Maberly moved for ‘an account, showing how the sum of five millions voted for the purpose of paying off debt owing to the Bank of England on the 5th July 1819 had been applied.’ The Chancellor of the Exchequer opposed the motion.
Mr. Ricardo said, it appeared to him that the House would act very unwisely by interfering as to the arrangements entered into by government for the repayment of the 5,000,000l. of advances to the Bank. At the same time he was at a loss to conceive what danger could arise from giving any information upon the subject. It had been objected, that the production of that information would lead to extensive stock-jobbing. He thought it would have just the contrary effect; for stock-jobbing was always best assisted by secrecy —by the circumstance of some individuals possessing certain information, which the other parties, with whom they transacted their bargains, were ignorant of. Now, supposing the statement required were made known, no jobbing could take place; because every one would then know all that had occurred, as to the repayments. With regard to what had fallen from the chancellor of the exchequer, that the state of the exchanges afforded a means of knowing what capital was going out of the country, he thought very differently. Supposing he wished to invest a sum of 50,000l. in France, or any other country; might he not order his correspondent to invest the produce of the goods he had sent out (50,000l. for instance) in the public funds, or in other goods, or in lands? No alteration could take place in the exchanges, unless there was a bill negociated. The official accounts annually laid before the House, relative to our exports and imports, were such, that it was impossible to draw any correct or practical inference from them. He remembered to have heard it stated, that at the time of the union with Ireland, each of the two countries gave a relative and comparative statement of her exports and imports; when Ireland made out that she had exported the larger quantity of commodities to England, and England appeared to have exported the larger quantity to Ireland. No correct information, therefore, could be derived from such returns. He should vote for the motion of his hon. friend.
The motion was negatived.