56.: malthus to ricardo1[Reply to 55.—Answered by 58] - David Ricardo, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 6 Letters 1810-1815 
The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 6 Letters 1810-1815.
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malthus to ricardo
[Reply to 55.—Answered by 58]
E I Coll August 19th 1814
My dear Sir,
I have delayed writing longer than I intended; and now write in a great hurry that I may not miss you in Town. It would give me great pleasure to pay you a visit at Gattcomb, but it is quite out of my power at present and I fear will remain so for a considerable time. Should your business in Town leave you an idle interval of a day or two, while waiting for any particular event or period, you know we shall be most happy to see you at Haileybury for as long a time as you can spare. This state of the omnium is a strange and sad business, and I fear will be a serious loss to you. Iamtruly sensible of your kind offer about a future loan, and if you are sure it would not be inconvenient should like to have about £5000.
The alteration that has taken place in the price of bullion and the exchanges is certainly greater than one could have expected, and proves in my opinion that a greater part of the difference between gold and bank notes, arose from the dearness of gold, than we were aware of. I always thought that much of it was so occasioned, but not so much as it has turned out. The stoppage of the great drains of Spain and the Continental armies I was prepared to expect would produce a considerable effect, and to these causes are added at present our great exports 3 or 4 months ago, and perhaps some approach to a restoration of confidence in the commercial transactions of Europe. Probably also there may be an influx of the precious metals, from the great efforts which government has made within the last five years to obtain them.
I always meant to say that the actual quantity of demand would diminish from an increased difficulty of obtaining corn, as it does in all cases of scarcity; but that the proportion of demand to supply would increase, which seems to be almost as invariable a consequence. I still think that high profits have a strong tendency to produce saving; but when I speak of a retrograde capital, it is absolutely making the supposition that this tendency has not its probable effect; and such cases unquestionably occur in fact. There are countries where the interest of money is 12 per cent, and yet the capital is not increasing. In these countries however the demand for produce compared with the supply is very great, and is in truth the reason of the high profits.
I can by no means agree with you in thinking that if the capital of this country were diminished one half “demand as compared with production would diminish”. Precisely the reverse would I think take place. You do not certainly take sufficiently into your consideration the natural desires of man, which are after all the foundation of all demand. When corn is scarce there is a greater demand for corn than for labour, for produce, than for population.
Remember me kindly to Mrs. Ricardo
Ever truly Yours
T R Malthus