Front Page Titles (by Subject) 58.: Letter to Richard Cobden - The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics
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58.: Letter to Richard Cobden - Frédéric Bastiat, The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics 
The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics, translated from the French by Jane and Michel Willems, with an introduction by Jacques de Guenin and Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean. Annotations and Glossaries by Jacques de Guenin, Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean, and David M. Hart. Translation editor Dennis O’Keeffe (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2011).
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Letter to Richard Cobden
Paris, 2 April 1846
[vol. 1, p. 130]
My dear sir, as I told you, your reply to the address of the Société d’économie politique will appear in the next issue of Le Journal des économistes.134 I hope it will produce a good effect. However, in view of the extreme susceptibility of our fellow citizens, it was deemed appropriate not to publish it in the daily press and to wait until our Paris association was on a firmer footing.
What we lack above all is a mouthpiece, a special journal, like the League. You will tell me that this must be a product of the association. However, I firmly believe that, to a certain extent, it is the association that will be the product of the journal; we do not have the means of communication and no accredited journal can provide us with one.
For this reason, I have thought about creating a weekly journal entitled Libre échange. I received the estimate for it yesterday evening. It can be established for an expenditure of 40,000 francs for the first year and receipts, based on one thousand subscribers at 10 francs, would only be 10,000 francs; a loss of 30,000 francs.
Bordeaux will, I hope, agree to bear part of this. But I must envisage covering the total cost. I thought of you. I cannot ask England for an open or secret subsidy as this would result in more disadvantages than benefits. But could you not obtain for us one thousand subscriptions at half a guinea? This would mean receipts of 500 pounds sterling or 12,500 francs, or 10,000 francs net once postage charges have been deducted. I think that London, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Edinburgh would be enough to take these thousand copies in genuine subscriptions, which your agents would facilitate. There would then be no subsidy, but faithful encouragement, which could be acknowledged openly.
When I see the timidity of our so-called free traders and how little they understand the necessity of adopting hard and fast principles, I consider it essential—as I will not hide from you—to take the initiative of starting this journal and managing it, for if, instead of preceding the association, it follows it, and is obliged to take on its spirit instead of creating it, I fear that the enterprise will be still-born.
Please reply as soon as you can and give me your frank advice.
[134 ]Bastiat is referring to Cobden’s articles “Lettre à la Société des économistes de Paris,” vol. 14, 1846; and “Discours au banquet de cette société,” vol. 15, 1846.