Front Page Titles (by Subject) 165.: trower to ricardo1 - The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 7 Letters 1816-1818
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165.: trower to ricardo1 - David Ricardo, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 7 Letters 1816-1818 
The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 7 Letters 1816-1818.
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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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trower to ricardo1
Unsted Wood—Godalming—May 24—1816—
I conclude you have by this time become acquainted with the provisions of Mr. Rose’s Bill, for the protection of Provident Institutions,2 I am desirous therefore of comparing our views of that proposed Act, in order that if we see that measure in the same light, we may exert our efforts in preventing what appears to me its mischievous tendency.
The whole Bill proceeds upon the principle, that the Depositors whom the Bill designates Members shall exercise a control over the Institution. All authority exercised by any Committee is to proceed from the Depositors, by whom such power is to be delegated. Now, the principle on which these Institutions proceed and ought to proceed, is that the Depositors shall have no voice or control whatever over the management of their concerns—These Institutions are established for the express purpose of doing what the poor are unable to do for themselves—to take care of their money. It is essential therefore they should have no power of interference in its management. This Bill gives to the Depositors the appointment of the Officers of the Institution. So that those Gentlemen who have come forward to assist their poorer neighbours are to owe their continuance in Office to the nomination of their laborers and servants. Under such a system we may rest assured the management of these Institutions will not long remain in the hands of the Gentlemen with whom they originated.
The Depositors too are to have the power of inspecting the Books; thus laying open the concerns of every Depositor to the curiosity of his neighbour, and depriving the Institution of the benefits derived from a persuasion that the amount of Depositors Shares will be known only to the Managers. All this proceeds upon a misconception of the real object and character of the measure—It is no joint stock purse in which Individuals are collectively interested, and therefore cannot establish any pretence for the interference here proposed to be allowed—
There are many minor points open to objection which of course will not escape your notice—And it is remarkable, that the Bill is totally silent respecting the deduction for the payment of expences, which required the sanction of legislative enactment at least as much as any other part of the subject. If I have taken a correct view of the provisions of the Bill and you concur in it, do exert yourself in endeavouring to prevent the mischief, which in its present state it c[annotf]ail1 to produce. Explanation and interfe[rence] may lead to a proper understanding and obtain the alterations necessary to make the measure useful.—How does your Institution in London proceed. I shall be desirous of hearing of its progress.2 We go on tolerably well—and have purchased 500. Stock—the principal part of this however arising from the funds of a Benefit Society, which have been deposited with us.—
I conclude you will remain in Town for some time to come although the Country is getting into high beauty. Make our united Compliments to Mrs. Ricardo and family and believe me
Yours very sincerely
[1 ]Addressed: ‘To / David Ricardo Esqr / Upper Brook Street / Grosvenor Square’. London postmark, 27 May 1816.
[2 ]George Rose had brought in his bill ‘for the protection and encouragement of Provident Institutions or Banks for Savings’ on 15 May 1816 (Hansard, XXXIII, 841 ff.).
[1 ]MS torn here and below.
[2 ]See Joseph Hume, An Account of the Provident Institution for Savings, established in the Western Part of the Metropolis..., London, Stockdale, 1816 (a copy presented by Hume to Ricardo is in the Goldsmiths’ Library of the University of London). Ricardo, Trower, Malthus, Hume, Torrens were amongst the managers.