146.: malthus to ricardo1[Answered by 150] - 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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First published by Cambridge University Press in 1951. Copyright 1951, 1952, 1955, 1973 by the Royal Economic Society. This edition of The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo is published by Liberty Fund, Inc., under license from the Royal Economic Society.
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malthus to ricardo
[Answered by 150]
E I Coll Decr. 22. 1815
My dear Sir,
I see your name in the papers today as a speaker among the Proprietors of Bank Stock, from which I think I fairly infer that you are in Town. I fear I have no chance of seeing you on saturday here, but I expect to be in Town tuesday or wednesday next for some days, and I shall be much pleased to hear that you are not leaving Town immediately, and that I shall have a chance of meeting you, before you [leave] , particularly as I am apprehensive that it will not be in my power to reach Gatcomb this vacation.
I should have written before but have been overwhelmed with College business and able to do nothing, on account of these foolish disturbances, and the necessity [of] constant councils, Reports &c: The term is ended now, and I can breathe again; but I have latterly done little to my Edition.
I think the principal difference between us relating to the subjects we have last discussed, is, your opinion that General Profits never fall from a general fall of prices compared with labour, but from a general rise of labour compared with prices. I own, I can see no reason for this opinion. It is only true in reference to the working of the precious metals, and in no other case. In purchasing them from a foreign country, if labour and stock fall in the purchasing state, more labour and more produce will be given for them, and labour will fall in price instead of rising or remaining stationary.
I believe I assented in pa[rting] to the proposition that in the successive cultivation of poorer land, the price of labour would rise as well as the price of corn. When however the rise in the price of corn is occasioned solely and exclusively by the necessity of cultivating poorer land I am now convinced that the rise must be very small, and as the real price of labour must fall, I see no reason why the nominal price of labour should rise. How can such a country purchase the precious metals so as to occasion a general rise in the price of labour. Of course I suppose that it has no peculiar advantage in manufacture. If it had, its corn and labour might both rise from a different cause. This, if true, would make an alteration in your view of Profits.
I hope you succeeded to your satisfaction in your speech. I was sorry to see it given so short.
How goes on the pamphlet. I hope that you have found it again, and that it is ready for the press. Mrs. M desires to be kindly remembered.
Ever truly Yours
T R Malthus