420.: ricardo to trower1[Reply to 419] - 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 419]
London 2 March 1821
My Dear Trower
Before I address you on any other subject, I must express the great pleasure I have felt, from hearing from all quarters, and from all parties, commendations of your impartiality and talents, on the occasion of the County meeting in Surrey, at which you presided. Before the meeting I was sure that the part you had to perform would be done in a way to reflect credit on you, but I confess I did not expect that the opportunity would have been so favourable for the display of the good temper, moderation and talents which so certainly belong to you.
I was disappointed in not seeing you on your late short visit to London. I hope that you will soon be disposed to take another trip to this busy scene, and that then you will not forget the satisfaction you will afford me by giving me your company as often as you may find it convenient.
Mr. Malthus has now had my notes for 5 weeks,—he has been interrupted in the examination of them by the death of Mr. Dalton, a friend of his in Lincolnshire, to whose funeral he was obliged to go. I expect to see him in London next week at which time he will no doubt return me my MS. I am glad that you speak with approbation of the spirit in which I carry on the contest with Mr. Malthus—I always wish him to see what I have to say against his opinions before I publish them, that I may be sure that I have not misunderstood him, and therefore not misrepresented him. He certainly has not done the same thing to me, and has, I am sure, without intending it, misrepresented me in many important particulars.
A writer in the Times of this morning appears to have adopted some of Malthus’ principles, and the conclusions he draws from them are so wild and extravagant, that if we had no other reason for suspecting their fallacy, these would afford them. This writer recommends that we should raise loans now instead of the taxes with which we are burthened, and for this sagacious reason, because it will promote expenditure and take off the superfluity of our productions.
In my dispute with Baring the House listened to me with great attention. The subject of the two standards will again come under discussion, and I shall be prepared to shew from Baring’s evidence that there are insuperable objections to the alteration which he proposes. He, I am sure, ascribes too much to the rise in the value of money and I am prepared to shew that even measured by silver, that is to say by the exchange with France, or Hamburgh, the rise in our currency has not been more than 10 pc. in five years,—he may answer that silver itself has risen in value,—that may be, but then it is common to all countries that use silver as a standard, and I should be glad to know what security we can have against such an inconvenience, whilst we use the metals as a standard, and by what means he would guard us against it. Would he give us the paper system again unchecked by a fixed standard?
I am sorry that no security can be found against the forgery of Bank notes,—the recalling of the one pound notes cannot fail to enhance the value of the currency.
You speak of the landholder most justly—he is an interested being seeking unjustly to load the other classes of the community with his share of the public burthens. I am however disposed to concede that if we are to have restrictions on the importation of foreign corn the most eligible mode would be by a fixed duty, not more operative in excluding corn than the present restrictions; for I think it is better to have a steady price of corn, rather than one which must alternate from low to high and then from high prices to low ones again. On the present plan we are either overwhelmed with foreign corn, or totally deprived of it.
Mr. Plunkett’s speech the other evening was a very fine one —I thought Peel tame and feeble. Surely no reasonable man can apprehend danger to the United Kingdom from according the catholic claims in Ireland—I believe that the church establishment in Ireland would be more secure, but I should not see much to regret if Ireland had a catholic establishment, in the same way as Scotland has a presbyterian one. If there be an established religion it should be that of the greatest number. In this I do not expect you to agree with me. Fare you well my dear Trower, and believe me ever Yrs.
Mrs. Ricardo begs to join with me in kind remembrances to Mrs. Trower.