131.: malthus to ricardo2[Answered by 132] - 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
[Answered by 132]
E I Coll Octr 16th 1815.
My dear Sir
When I wrote last night I had the strongest impression that the afternoon coach went to the George and Blue Boar Holbourn. I found however this morning that I was mistaken, and that it went to the Saracens head Snow Hill, where I hope the person that you send will find it. I did not direct it to be sent to the George and Blue Boar from the Saracen’s Head for fear of some mistake, and thinking that your man not finding it in Holbourn, would probably call at the other Inn.
I conclude that you have no reason to care much for the resentment of the Bank. The publication will no doubt make the Directors very angry. By the by, may not the Proprietors claim the profits which have been made, and object to the participation of the government; but I suppose your views are prospective rather than retrospective. At all events the public ought to have some share in the enormous profits which the present paper system has allowed the Bank to make.
Pray has there been any account lately of the number of Bank of England notes in circulation. It has been said I understand that they have been much diminished lately, which is one great cause of the fall of prices. Is this so? I heard in Town that all home trade was most exceedingly slack.
Is it possible for above half the national income to fall very greatly in price, without affecting the demand and the other half. I confess I feel no doubt that the main cause of the present slackness of trade is the diminished incomes of the Landlords and Farmers. The actual produce of a country will always be sold, and the loss of the sellers will be the gain of the buyers; but it makes an infinite difference to a country whether its produce is sold at a price which will encourage production, or discourage it. During the period of a fall of prices it appears to me that all sorts of productions are prodigiously discouraged; and that at the end of 7 or 8 years of falling prices, or 7 or 8 years of rising prices, the state of a country will be most essentially different in point of wealth.
I agree with you in your definition of facility of production, but think that you have drawn wrong inferences from it. I agree with you also in thinking that in the progress of cultivation there is a regular tendency to a diminution in the productiveness of industry on the land, in the same manner as there is a regular tendency to a diminution in the real wages of labour; but it is quite erroneous I think to infer that the profits of stock may not, as will the wages of labour rise for periods of some duration during the course of this progress. In fact, profits on the land will always rise, when population increases faster than capital, independently of improvement &c.
Ever truly Yours
T R Malthus