312.: ricardo to trower1[Reply to 311] - David Ricardo, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 8 Letters 1819-June 1821 
The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 8 Letters 1819-1821.
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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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ricardo to trower
[Reply to 311]
London 28 May 1819
My dear Trower
I take advantage of a little respite in the business of the House to acknowledge the receipt of your kind letter, and to inform you that I am every day rejoicing with increased satisfaction at the triumph of science, and truth, over prejudice, and error. You will perceive by the Newspapers that Parliament has at length decided that we should revert to a sound currency. The feeble resistance, in point of argument, of the Bank Directors, was easily overcome. I had the courage to set myself foremost in the battle, and was amply rewarded by the support of the House, which enabled me to get to the end of my speech without any great degree of fear or trepidation. I hope that during the next fortnight we shall give the death blow to the theory of an abstract pound sterling. The alarm that prevailed in the City is incomprehensible: —it must have been occasioned by the imprudent remonstrance of the Bank to Government setting forth the great danger which would attend the reduction of the currency. I regret that the Committees have not adopted the measure of obliging the Bank to buy gold at £3 17. 6, whenever it is offered to them at that price—the reverting to specie payments appears to me unnecessary, and not likely to be attended with any advantage.
I sent you by the coach the Lords Report, as I had two, one from the Lords as a witness who had given evidence before them, the other as a member of the House of Commons, but I have only one copy of the report from the Commons’ Committee which I will lend you with pleasure, but which I must keep as a valuable document. Tell me whether I shall send it to you.
There were I think very serious objections against the Poor Law settlement bill.—It would have borne very heavy on the towns, particularly on some that are in the neighbourhood of the mines. Why is not a more efficient measure proposed? The fact I believe is that no party in the House dare take upon themselves to propose or support any plan which may make them unpopular. This is one of the ill effects of party; the public interest is neglected.
I agree with you that we ought not to add to our debt by loans, we should have the firmness to raise taxes for any deficiency that may now be wanted. Our sinking fund is gone, and I am not disposed to raise a new one, for the purpose of placing it again at the disposal of ministers. Do what you will, they will not respect it, and after a few years we should be as much in debt as ever. I am for a vigorous system of taxation, if it is for the purpose of paying off debt once for all, but I am sure that ministers will never respect any fund, which is to accumulate at compound interest. With the slightest pressure on the finances such a fund would be diverted from the employment to which it had been destined.
Mr. Elwin is in London—I saw him for a moment on tuesday—he is looking very well.
Mrs. Ricardo unites with me in kind regards to Mrs. Trower.
Believe me ever My dear Trower Very truly Yrs
I have omitted saying that your name will be remembered when we prepare our list.—I have not sold any stock against the loan for I have been thinking the price low ever since they were 74—