495.: mcculloch to ricardo1[Reply to 486 & 491.—Answered by 497] - David Ricardo, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 9 Letters 1821-1823 
The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 9 Letters 1821-1823.
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mcculloch to ricardo
[Reply to 486 & 491.—Answered by 497]
Edinburgh 17 April 1822
My Dear Sir
I avail myself of the opportunity afforded by my friend Mr. Stewart Ingliss going to London to send you three of my Lectures—Mr. Ingliss attended my Prelections last winter, and naturally felt desirous to be introduced to a gentleman to whom the science he has been studying is under such infinite obligations—I hope you will excuse the liberty I have taken in offering to make him acquainted with you—You will find Mr. Ingliss to be a very agreeable man, he has seen a great deal of the world, and is much esteemed by his friends here—
The Lectures I have sent you are on the accumulation and employment of capital—I had some more written but the subjects were not of sufficient importance to allow me to trouble you with such illegible manuscripts—But when I get the Lectures on value, wages, profits, &c written I shall, if you do not interdict me, send them to you—Although I trust there is nothing you will consider erroneous in these Lectures, yet I should not like you would estimate my Political Economy by them only—In order to give any chance of making the subject popular I must pass slightly over some of the more difficult parts, and must dwell on those that are more obvious and easily understood—I am also frequently under the necessity of stating propositions with fewer conditions than I would do were I writing a book on the subject; for, otherwise the general truth would not strike the mind of the listener with sufficient force to excite his attention or to make any durable impression—This is the reason why in speaking of exchangeable value in the Lecture you had already in your hands I did not like to encumber it with mentioning, what would not have been understood, the modification of the general principle occasioned by the different durabilities of capital—This, however, is not a subject which I have evaded; but on the contrary I have dwelt long upon it, and have endeavoured as well as I could to make my pupils comprehend it—
Accept my best thanks for your kindness in sending me the book on Bullion and in procuring the accounts respecting Ireland from Sir J. Newport—I have made considerable use of these accounts in the forthcoming No of the Review —When you see Sir John I beg you will have the goodness to mention how much I feel indebted to him for his attention—Perhaps if he approves of what I have already done he may be induced to send me some more statements of the same kind—I should especially like to be possessed of all the attainable information respecting Irish tithes—If I had a sufficient stock of raw materials I would endeavour to work them into a tangible and effective shape in the 73rd No of the Review —Perhaps Mr. Hume could supply me with some facts —If he does he may depend upon it I shall not throw them away—
I have written an article on the Corn Laws for the forthcoming Review ; and were it not that you will have the Review itself in a few days I would have sent you the sheets of it—I have done all that I could to render this article efficient; but perhaps the success has not corresponded to my exertions—Perhaps you will think I have exaggerated the pernicious effect of the corn laws; but I assure you, that if I have done this it was unintentional, my object was not to please any class of persons but to state distinctly what I conceived to be the exact truth respecting their operation—The Report of the Committee just published is disgraceful—it is discreditable not only to the House of Commons but to the country—it is in fact so miserably absurd as hardly to deserve to have its errors pointed out—
I have sent along with the Lectures a copy of a small Tract which I wrote with the intention of publishing in the Scotsman—I found, however, that it was too long; and that the million who read Newspapers would much rather have the space occupied by it filled with the accounts of murders, assassinations, and so forth—I only printed a dozen of copies of this Tract and it serves merely for the purpose of keeping as it were the main points in my view—The history of the different theories and opinions entertained respecting commerce has long been a favourite subject with me; and if I had got rid of some of my heavier tasks I should like to bestow a little attention on it.
Mr. Austin said to me that you had some thoughts of visiting Scotland during this summer—I trust you will carry them into effect—No stranger I am positive would be more kindly received: and I really think were it nothing else that you ought to come and see the country of Adam Smith—Say came from France for this purpose, and has in this instance set an example which I hope you will follow—
There is among the papers obtained in the Sentinel office a letter from the Lord Advocate expressing his approbation of the paper—This was just giving them a carte blanche to libel and abuse everybody—If his Lordship be not severely handled for this most improper conduct and for his partnership in the Beacon he will not be treated as he deserves—
Mr. Ingliss will bring back the Lectures—I remain with the greatest respect and esteem
Yours most truly
J. R. McCulloch
Permit me to say how much I was gratified by what you said respecting the Agricultural Report in the House of Commons —In the Article in the Review I have taken exactly the same view that you have taken of the effects of taxation, and have stated distinctly that it is impossible it can be the cause of the peculiar distress experienced by the agriculturists—Would it not be better to abolish the restriction at once? I incline to think that this would be preferable to a gradually diminishing rate of duties—