93.: ricardo to malthus1[Reply to 92.—Answered by 94] - 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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ricardo to malthus
[Reply to 92.—Answered by 94]
London 21 April 1815
My dear Sir
I was sorry you could not join our party on wednesday. Mr. Smyth has left a pleasing impression on the minds of all those who met him, and I had every reason to confirm me in the favorable opinion which I had formed of him at our first meeting. Mr. Torrens is a very gentlemanly man. He had sent me his book on bullion before he came, and I fear that too much of the conversation was bestowed on the differences between his opinion and mine on the subject of paper currency and the exchanges. The latter he does not appear to me correctly to understand. I insisted on the consistency of your former and present opinions on the bullion question, and asked him from whence he had derived his knowledge of your views on that subject. He said that Dr. Crombie and you had met purposely to discuss the question and from him he had understood that you ascribed the whole effects on the price of bullion to the abundance of paper.
He as well as Monsr. Say finds it difficult to support his opinions and answer objections in conversation,—he says all such discussions should be carried on in writing.
We have just recd. notice that Mr. and Mrs. Clutterbuck will be in London on Monday, and as on saturday our boys come home and Osman is at present with us we are precluded from asking you and Mrs. Malthus to stay at our house. I very much regret it, and hope you will be with us as much as you can.
On saturday I shall meet you at the King of Clubs, to which I am invited by Mr. Whishaw, and on sunday I wish you and Mrs. Malthus will oblige Mrs. Ricardo and me with your company to dinner. If you can I will ask Mr. Whishaw and Mr. Smyth to meet you. Perhaps too you will breakfast with me on saturday or sunday morning.
It appears to me that my table is applicable to all cases in which the relative price of corn rises from more labour being required to produce it, and under no other circumstances can there be a rise, however great the demand may be, unless commodities fall in value from less labour being required for their production. It is not probable that the relative price of corn will fall so low with an abundant capital in the country, as when capital was very limited, but, if it could, the same effects on profits and on rent would follow, as it would demonstrate that land only of the best quality was in cultivation. You agree with me that if a large tract of rich land were added to the Island it would restore the state contemplated in my table. Though we agree in the conclusion we differ materially in our opinion of the means by which it would be brought about. You think that “before any fall of price had taken place capital would be removing fast from the old land, and from manufactures,”—I think that capital would go from the old land to manufactures, because a given quantity of food only being required, that quantity could be raised on the rich land added to the Island, with much less capital than was employed on the old, and consequently all the surplus would go to [manu]factures to procure other enjoyments for the society, and profits on the land would rise at the expence of the rent of the landlord, whilst the cheaper price of corn would raise the profits on all manufacturing capital. I confess it appears to me impossible that under the circumstances you have supposed the relative value of corn would fall, not from the facility of procuring it, but from a rise in the value of manufactures. You suppose that corn would remain at the same price whilst manufactures rose in price,—I on the contrary think that the price of manufactures would continue nearly stationary whilst the price of corn would fall. Is not this the natural consequence of more capital being employed on manufactures and less on agriculture? Have you not too uniformly supported the opinion that a fall in the price of corn will occasion a fall in the price of commodities? If they act on each other as you think but to which I do not agree, how can manufactures rise in price with a stationary price of corn? I should have thought that on your principles such an effect would be deemed impossible.
Ever truly Yrs.