NAVAL AND MILITARY PENSIONS 3 June 1822 - 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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NAVAL AND MILITARY PENSIONS
3 June 1822
On the report stage of the revised measure, Mr. Hume having again moved his amendment [cp. above, p. 191], Mr. Grenfell said that should the amendment be rejected he would propose a clause empowering the Commissioners for the National Debt to purchase the proposed annuities. The Chancellor of the Exchequer acquiesced in this suggestion.
Mr. Ricardo said, that the plan was neither more nor less than sending one set of commissioners into the market to sell stock, and another set into the market to buy stock; and even the chancellor of the exchequer now understood that fact so fully, that he was about to support a clause which would enable these two sets of commissioners to deal with one another. And here he would remind the House of an expression used by the right hon. gentleman on first bringing forth his plan. The right hon. gentleman then assured the House, that he was not so young in office, as to make a proposal to parliament unless he had good ground to believe that he could make a bargain upon the terms which he stated. And what had the right hon. gentleman done since? Why, he had been forced to tell the House, that there had been an error in his calculations—that he had never supposed that he could make a bargain with any body for 2,800,000l., but that the bargain would cost considerably more. Then look at the present situation of the country. The chancellor of the exchequer said, that the sinking fund was 5,000,000l. Yes; but he had for a long time maintained the delusion of its amounting to 16,000,000l. Now, as he had tardily acknowledged that the 16,000,000l. was a delusion, and that the real fund was only 5,000,000l., so he might hereafter acknowledge that the 5,000,000l. was a delusion, and that the fund was in reality only 3,000,000l. The plan of the hon. member for Aberdeen, was simple and easy to be effected; then why not adopt it, in place of such a complicated operation as that proposed by the chancellor of the exchequer?
Mr. Hume’s amendment was negatived. Mr. Curwen then moved as an amendment that the whole duty on salt be repealed. The Chancellor of the Exchequer opposed it and said that if the salt tax were repealed, either some new tax must be imposed or ‘the integrity of the sinking fund must be invaded [A laugh!].’
Mr. Ricardo said, it was asserted by ministers that the annuity scheme was no infringement on the principle of the sinking fund. If so, instead of forty-five let the period of that scheme be extended to fifty or sixty years, and that would afford a sufficient sum to enable parliament to remit the whole of the salt duty.
Mr. Curwen’s amendment was negatived and the original motion agreed to. The bill was then passed.
[See further below, p. 281.]