314.: mcculloch to ricardo4[Reply to 310.—Answered by 315] - 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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mcculloch to ricardo
[Reply to 310.—Answered by 315]
Edinburgh 30 May 1819
My Dear Sir
Allow me to congratulate you on the signal triumph which the sound principles of political economy have obtained in Parliament—I regret the Committees should have countenanced the idea of reverting to specie payments; but I have no doubt that if the Bank gives your plan a fair trial it will be found so advantageous as to gain a general concurrence in the propriety of excluding gold coins from circulation—As far as I have an opportunity of ascertaining the public opinion, your plan is almost universally approved of both here and in Glasgow—It is indeed so well established in your pamphlet, and is so simple in its mechanism, and so obviously beneficial that I am astonished it should have been opposed by persons pretending to any acquaintance with the science—I read the report of your speech in the Times and Morning Chronicle with the greatest satisfaction; not so much because it showed the futility of the objections which had been stated against the measure, and gave a wholesome lesson to the Directors, as because I conceived it to be a proof that you had conquered any little difficulties you might have at first experienced in addressing the House—
In looking over the accounts annexed to the Commons Report, I do not observe any statement of the average annual amount of Bank notes in circulation since the restriction—At page 271 there is an account of the number in circulation on 26 February and 26 August each year; but I presume the mean would not give the true annual average—I think it would be very desirable to have such an account, and if you concur in this opinion, I imagine it could be easily procured—I think it would also be desirable to have an account of the average annual advances to government, and of the average annual discounts—Perhaps some of these accounts may be given in the Lords Report, but this I have not seen; and I have to request as a particular favour that you would be so good as to send me a copy of it—It will I believe come without any expence by the Mail—
I still am of opinion that with a view to the ultimate success of your plan it would be of importance to obtain an account of the entire expence of the gold and silver currency and of the expence of the Mint establishment from 1695 down to the present period—The accounts relative to the Mint in the Commons Report do not convey this sort of information.
I am getting very slowly and I fear but very indifferently on with my article on Exchange —I think the theoretical part of it may do, but I can make no such supposition relative to that which is practical—If it were not encroaching too much on your valuable time, I would sollicit you to send me a short statement of the manner in which the buying and selling of bills of exchange is actually conducted in London, or that you would have the goodness to say where I could find this information—
I beg leave to return you my best thanks for the honour you have done me in noticing my article on the Corn Laws in so flattering a manner in your second edition, and for the copy of it which you have sent me—I have no object more at heart than to obtain your favourable opinion and to deserve it—
You will regret to learn that our celebrated novellist Scott (for of his being the author of Waverley &c. there is not the shadow of doubt) has been of late very much indisposed—At present however he is, I understand, a good deal better—He has a new novel just about ready for publication —Were works on political science to bring the same price with works on imagination there would be rather more inducement to cultivate it than at present.
Pray have you as yet taken a peep at Sismondis book? —It is the most extraordinary production I ever had in my hand—I think your townsman Dr Purves is the better economist of the two—
Forgive me for troubling you with this letter; and believe to be with the greatest respect
Yours most faithfully
J. R. McCulloch