416.: ricardo to mcculloch2[Reply to 412.—Answered by 417] - 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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ricardo to mcculloch
[Reply to 412.—Answered by 417]
Gatcomb Park Jany. 17th: 1821
My Dear Sir
I leave this place to morrow for London where I shall remain in all probability for the next 6 months. I shall be much disappointed if I do not witness many warm debates in Parliament, in which all the talents of that assembly will be called forth, and I am not without hopes that the ministers may be obliged to quit the places which they so unworthily fill. Lord Grey, Lord Holland, and several more of the Whigs, have lately spoken a little of reform in the representation, at the public meetings; but I very much fear that if they were possessed of power, they would not propose, or sanction, such a reform as could, or ought to satisfy the rational friends of freedom. The party are in possession of a number of boroughs themselves, but what they would be most loth to part with is the influence which they possess over the electors in consequence of their being great proprietors of land and other property. They will not consent to let the real unbiassed choice be in the people, or in that part of the people which may be considered as having an identity of interests with the whole.
Soon after I sent you my papers, Mr. Malthus, whom I despaired of seeing here this season arrived, and stayed with me a few days. He was sorry not to see my observations.—I told him how I had disposed of them, and promised to pay him a visit on my arrival in London, and to take them with me. I hope therefore I shall not be hurrying you too much if I request you to return them to me in the next week. Mr. Malthus and I had a great deal of discussion, and on some points understood each other’s objections better than before, but yet there remains the greatest difference between us. He frequently I think advances one proposition and endeavours to prove another, and afterwards refers to the one advanced as settled beyond dispute; and argues from it accordingly. I never knew a man more earnest on any subject than Mr. Malthus is on Political Economy—I follow him pretty closely—and yet after the many hours that we have passed in trying to convince each other we appear to have made very little progress. One or other of us must be very much in fault.
I do not know whether I have ever told you that Mr. Mill is engaged in writing an elementary work on political economy. You know I believe that he agrees with you and me in the principles which we think the correct ones, and consequently it is those principles which he will endeavor to explain and elucidate. When I last saw him it was his intention to steer clear if possible of the difficult word value, and meant to shew the effect that would be produced on rents, profits, and wages from the different proportions of the commodity produced which would under different circumstances be allotted to the 3 classes of landlords, capitalists, and labourers. I hope Mill will succeed.
There was a very good paper in the Scotsman on the mistaken view which farmers take of their own interest in their endeavors to keep the price of our corn so enormously above the level of the price of other countries. I wish I could speak on that part of the subject in parliament.
The correct views on the bullion question, and on some other points of the science of Polit. Economy are neatly explained in a small work which the author has just sent to me, but which in his letter to me he said he did not mean to publish, though he had printed it. The author is quite unknown to me, but I have advised him to publish it in the usual way, and from the answer which I have received from him I think he will. His name is Bassett and his letter is dated from the neighbourhood of Ilfracombe. —
I hope I shall soon hear from you. I am always glad to know that your pen is employed in the dissemination of just principles both on politics and political economy. I hope your article on accumulation is in progress. You are engaged to furnish one on Interest and an other on the Combination Laws, this is as it should be. Believe me
Most sincerely Yours