84.: malthus to ricardo3[Reply to 83.—Answered by 85] - 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 83.—Answered by 85]
E I Coll. March 19. 
My dear Sir,
Your letter almost entirely confirms me in my position. If in order to controvert it it is necessary to suppose that the same ten millions of quarters which formerly required 2½ millions of men, should on account of a greater demand for such corn, require for their production 3 millions, it may be considered as established; because no good reason can possibly be given for an increased number of men being required to produce precisely the same quantity of corn from precisely the same land.
Nor is it correct to reason from such assumptions as you have made, which dont at all approach towards the facts.
What would be the real process. Not such a jump as from ten millions to fifteen; but from ten millions to ten millions and a half; and I maintain that if half a million more quarters of corn were wanting either from the natural increase of population, or from restrictions upon importation, that the effect would be first a rise of price, which rise of price would increase the productiveness of all the capital previously employed, and awarding only 14 bushels instead of two quarters to the precisely the same number of men would leave a greater portion of the ten millions of quarters for the maintenance and encouragement of the manufacturing classes. In the mean time this increased cheapness in the instruments of production would occasion more poor land to be brought under cultivation, and more men to be employed upon the land; but still so as to leave a larger surplus for the manufacturing and mercantile classes, as it is impossible to suppose that the increased corn expences upon the new land should equal the diminished corn expences upon the old land.
The natural price of corn depends entirely upon the price of the last additions, and it does not matter whether with regard to the old land, a capital yields 50 per cent (rent and profit together) or 20 per cent. In either case the price of corn on such land has nothing to do with the cost of production.
I am not alarmed at what you say about the principle of population; as I can easily conceive that the addition of another labourer on the land would not pay his expences, although not more than ¼ of the population were employed upon the land. No pressure can destroy rents. This you know is what I have always maintained.
My present proposition however is certainly very important, and I wish it to have a full discussion. I write in the greatest haste.
Let me hear from you again.
Ever truly Yours
We expect Whishaw and Smyth saturday. I shall not be in Town at the Club.
I cant look over my letter