Front Page Titles (by Subject) Advice of his Majesty's Council of Trade, concerning the Exportation of Gold and Silver in Foreign Coins and Bullion. (Concluded December 11. 1660.) - A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money
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Advice of his Majesty’s Council of Trade, concerning the Exportation of Gold and Silver in Foreign Coins and Bullion. (Concluded December 11. 1660.) - John Ramsay McCulloch, A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money 
A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money from the Originals of Vaughan, Cotton, Petty, Lowndes, Newton, Prior, Harris, and Others, with a Preface, Notes, and Index (London: Printed for the Political Economy Club, 1856).
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Advice of his Majesty’s Council of Trade, concerning the Exportation of Gold and Silver in Foreign Coins and Bullion.
To the King’s most excellent Majesty.
The opinion and humble advice of your Majesty’s Council of Trade concerning the free Exportation of Gold and Silver in foreign Coins and Bullion.
May it please your Majesty,
The balance of trade (by which we understand the proportion that the commodities exported have in value to the commodities imported) being the sole or principal cause of the Exportation or Importation of Bullion:
If, upon the balance, money is to be exported, the strictest of laws (as by the experience of all ages appeareth) cannot stop it.
But if, upon the balance, money is to be imported, that same law that could not, in the other case, prevent the carrying of it out, hinders, in this, the bringing of it in; for the merchant will rather send his money to Livorne, Amsterdam, &c., (where he may remove it at pleasure) than bring it hither; whence he cannot export it in pursuance of any advantage in trade, without hazarding the loss of it.
However, it evidently gives a greater interruption to the English Merchant, and keeping foreigners (upon the same account) from lodging their money here (as otherwise they would) this being a place so much more convenient than Amsterdam, does consequently lose the great benefit that would arise to your Majesty in your mint and revenue, to the nobility and gentry in their estates, and to the merchant in his trade, by the plenty of Gold and Silver in your Majesty’s dominions.
And though the prerogative your Majesty’s royal predecessors anciently had and exercised of the whole change, exchange, and rechange of Money, Bullion, &c., (which must needs have been invaded, if any other had had the liberty of exporting Gold and Silver) was in those days a sufficient and principal (if not the only reason) for making the several statutes against the Exportation of Money, &c., without the King’s licence; yet, that reason now ceasing, we most humbly propose to your Majesty, as our opinion, and advise (upon the weight of those other preceding reasons, of which your Majesty, by the annexed paper, may receive more full satisfaction) that your Majesty would be graciously pleased, for the better advancing of trade, (and for the general good of your Majesty’s subjects) to dispense with the present penalties upon the Exportation of Gold and Silver in foreign Coin or Bullion for some certain time, and by such public act, as (being without any trouble or charge to traders) may give both encouragement and assurance, unto merchant-strangers, as well as natives, in the importing of Gold and Silver, unless upon public notice, given a year before, your Majesty shall think fit to recall the same.
All which we most humbly submit unto your Majesty’s most gracious will and pleasure.
Reasons aud arguments for the Free Exportation of Gold and Silver in Foreign Coin and Bullion.
The council of trade appointed by your Majesty, having taken into consideration the tenth article of the instructions given unto them by your Majesty, ordering to advise how Bullion may be best drawn into these kingdoms; and having had many days’ examination and debate, of and upon the several ancient laws, forbidding the Exportation of all manner of Gold and Silver in Coins, Bullion, Plate, &c.: After comparing the present course of trade, with that of those ages wherein those statutes were made, and observing the inconveniences growing upon these kingdoms through such prohibitions, and the advantage which other princes and nations make by letting the Exportation thereof free; have drawn up their sense and apprehension upon the whole matter, which they humbly offer to your Majesty as followeth:—
And first, It hath been observed, out of these and other statutes, that all Money and Bullion, once imported, was to be put into the hands of the King’s exchangers, which course is now antiquated. That some of those statutes seem more to intend religious persons, and clerks, than merchants; and all imply, or particularly except, some cases wherein, by the King’s licence, Money and Bullion might be Exported, without being in danger of the forfeitures in those laws. And therefore, finding these dispensations to be your Majesty’s prerogative, preserved entire to the Crown, through so many of your royal progenitors, we have not thought fit to touch any further upon this matter, as being humbly confident that your Majesty’s subjects shall (upon all occasions) be indulged the like, if not more ready relief, and accommodation for their trade, from your Majesty’s royal grace and bounty: only, because the observation was obvious, that, perhaps, all former Parliaments purposely left this door open to the people by the grace of the King, to be relieved by these dispensations as foreseeing how difficult, if not impossible, or how inconvenient, at least, it might be in future times, altogether to restrain the Exportation of Money and Bullion, we could not omit the same in this place.
And secondly, Supposing that it were of absolute necessity to restrain all Money and Bullion, once imported, to be kept within the kingdom. It then came under consideration, whether either the laws hitherto made in that behalf are, or that it be possible to make a law, adequate to prevent the exportation thereof.
And here we were convinced, by experience, that the laws of this kingdom (hitherto made) have been of no effect to the end thereby designed; and looking abroad, as there are no where more strict and severe laws against the Exportation of Coin and Bullion than in Spain and France, we found all to be to as little purpose.
We then, thirdly, enquired, What loadstone attracted this Metal by force of nature to itself, against all human providence or prevention? and soon found, that it was alone the present course of trade and traffic throughout the world, and quite altered from that in former ages when those statutes were made, which hath converted all action into the Commodities which the earth and sea produce, is in continual circumrotation, embraceth all things, and hath enforced at last money (which in former times was only used as the measure to value all Commodities by) to become now itself to a Commodity, subject to rising and falling in price and value as any other merchandize, and to be the only employment of thousands of merchants that deal in nothing else; yet it cannot be denied, that the surest way to bring in money, and to keep it (were there no laws of restraint at all) were to be more sellers than buyers, and to make up such a balance of trade of this kingdom, as it might be judged whether the produce of native goods did exceed the consumption of the foreign; for then the overplus would be found in Money, and remain in the land.
But this point we found would require a vast expense of time, both in council and action, both at home and abroad; and that the result at last would be no more but what experience hath already taught, that Money and Bullion have always forced their way against the several laws; that the trade of the world will not be forced, but will find or make its own way free to all appearances of profit; and that, although there be a method in trade, yet it is held impossible to describe the same.
For Spain hath the mines of Gold and Silver; yet enjoyeth the least part thereof, and for three parts of the year hath scarce sufficient to serve its own ordinary occasions.
On the other side, neither Venice, Tuscany, Genoa, nor the Netherlands, have any mines at all of their own, nor are at all careful to keep in Money or Bullion, by any restraint of laws; yet they are always masters thereof, and some of them abound therein.
But it is true, that Venice once did fall upon the course taken by Spain, France, and England, to keep Money and Bullion within their country by strict laws; but they soon found they had the less thereof by this restraint, and as soon relinquished the same, and have never since complained of any want.
And therefore, in the fourth place, we discovered that, as it is impossible by any laws to restrain Money and Bullion against the use that traffic finds for the same; so also the adhering to this principle of restraining thereof discourageth, as well all natives as foreigners, to Import any Money or Bullion into those lands, where the Exportation thereof, at their own pleasure, is forbidden them; and that this hath been the cause that even the English that lived in Spain, when they had acquired Money and Bullion there, would not transport it hither, but either lodged it in Genoa, Venice, or Livorne, for the trade of the Mediterranean, as those of Holland do for the trade of the German Ocean.
From whence, fifthly, the many advantages (thereby given away clearly to the stranger from the English) present themselves; for the stranger, knowing we must be furnished in one of those places for our occasions, make us pay dearly for our accommodation; and besides, to seek the same there, we are often hindered in our voyages outward, put upon double adventures, and oftentimes hindered of our market.
For there are some trades, that in part, or in the whole, cannot be driven, or managed, to any profit or proportion of advantage with our neighbours, but by Exporting Money or Bullion, either together with their merchandizes, or wholly a merchandize or commodity of itself—Wherein are humbly offered these instances:—
To the East Indies—Though some English commodities be vended there, yet no considerable trade can be driven by us, or any others that buy the commodities of the natives, but with Money carried out of Europe. And if we Export 100,000l. per annum, that will purchase so much goods as do usually yield in England 300,000l., one-third whereof is paid, as the salary of ships, men’s wages, and for customs; and here is one considerable advantage, that redounds, as well to your Majesty’s revenue, as to the navigation of this kingdom; then one-third of the said East India commodities is as much as serveth for the consumption of these kingdoms; and that we have at the price it cost in India; the last third, as also the first third, reckoned to freight, mariners’ wages, and customs, are both exported to the Mediterranean, Spain, France, the Baltic, and other ports, where the proceed of them serves to purchase foreign commodities for us, and helps so far to balance our trade, as that it occasioneth the importation of at least 100,000l. per annum in Bullion, and prevents the Exportation of as much more; which would be wanted to purchase necessary commodities from abroad. Whereas, if we did not follow the East India trade, the Hollanders would drain from us at least 300,000l. per annum, for the East India commodities that we must have from them; for so much, at least, the same goods would cost at their hands, which we now bring home ourselves for 100,000l.
And all these mischiefs, we avoid, and all their advantages we gain, by the free exportation of 100,000l.
For the Norway trade, which gives a large employment to a great number of shipping, and furnisheth us with a very necessary supply of timber and tar; it cannot be carried on without the liberty of Exporting Money and Bullion, because the kingdom of Norway gives no vent to any of our native commodities, in proportion to the value of what we fetch thence, and therefore Money and Bullion must pay for it; and should the ships first go to Holland or Hamburgh to fetch the dollars, the very time expended in deviating from their designed ports of lading would make the price of timber twice as much as now it is; the freight of it being at least two-thirds of the value of it when it is imported.
The trade of Turkey cannot be driven to advantage, but with some part Money, because the consumption of our manufactures in those dominions, is not sufficient to make payment for what we have occasion to bring from thence; nor can those manufactures be put off, in the most advantageous terms, but by giving some part money with them, in the exchange for the Turkey commodities, which is a trade not to be neglected, because, whereas we now furnish not only our own country with many necessary commodities that are here manufactured, out of the product of that trade, to the great increase of your Majesty’s revenue, and employment of the poor, but other nations also; so that if we left that trade, the Hollanders would presently take it up, and then we must have all this supply from them, to the signal prejudice of our common capitals, and deduction of our manufacture.
And lastly, whereas it hath been objected,
1. That this liberty is the ready way to have no Money at all left in this kingdom, and to set open the door to the Hollanders, and others, to drain us of all Money and Bullion; we have considered, that when the merchants of this kingdom shall have like freedom here at home to Export Money and Bullion directly hence, for the ports of East India, Norway, and Turkey aforesaid, it will not turn to account for them, or any foreign nation, to Export the same hence to their own country; for then it will cease to be a community of traffic; they will have no advantage over us, to oblige us to seek our Monies that we have occasion for there; and Money, of all commodities, is the worst, if it lies still, and if the penny be not daily turned.
That it is all one mischief to the nobility, gentry, and freeholders of this kingdom, whether the Money or Bullion thereof, be drawn from them by the native or stranger merchant.
Herein also we consider, that this nation hath, of its own growth, manufacture, and product, always enough to oblige the importation of Money and Bullion upon all occasions, beyond any other nation whatsoever in Christendom. That Money and Bullion once imported is like a river, which, overflowing in its passage, doth always leave so much behind, as the neighbouring meadows for a long time after feel the benefit thereof.
And this nation hath had one notable experience, that when the Spaniard was permitted to export two-thirds of the Money he imported, and obliged to no more than one-third to be brought into the King’s mint, it commonly happened that the mint got the whole, as the Spaniard found the advantages here, to make better benefit to return the same into Flanders, or in the manufactures, or naturalized commodities of this kingdom.
So that, to wind up all that has been said, the result of the several reasons and arguments herein summed up seemed to be this: That time and experience instruct, and the present state of traffic throughout the world require, that, for the increase of the stock of Money in these your Majesty’s kingdoms, some way of liberty for the Exportation, at least of foreign Coin and Bullion, should be found out, and put in execution; which hath produced the humble advice offered in the preceding paper.
SIR WILLIAM PETTY
To the Lord Marquess of Halyfax,
Printed for A. and J. Churchill, at the
Black Swan, in Paternoster Row, 1695.