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his corn from the foreign demand, must he, by a prohibition of exportation, be compelled to take a low price, not of the poor only, but of every one that eats bread, even the richest? The duty of relieving the poor is incumbent on the rich; but, by this operation, the whole burden of it is laid on the farmer, who is to relieve the rich at the same time. Of the poor, too, those who are maintained by the parishes have no right to claim this sacrifice of the farmer; as, while they have their allowance, it makes no difference to them whether bread be cheap or dear. Those working poor, who now mind business five or four days in the week, if bread should be so dear as to oblige them to work the whole six, required by the commandment, do not seem to be aggrieved so as to have a right to public redress. There will then remain comparatively only a few families in every district, who from sickness or a great number of children, will be so distressed by a high price of corn as to need relief; and these should be taken care of, by particular benefactions, without restraining the farmer's profit.

Those who fear, that exportation may so far drain the country of corn as to starve ourselves, fear what never did, nor ever can happen. They may as well, when they view the tide ebbing towards the sea, fear that all the water will leave the river. The price of corn, like water, will find its own level. The more we export, the dearer it becomes at home. The more is received abroad, the cheaper it becomes there; and as soon as these prices are equal, the exportation stops of course. As the seasons vary in different countries, the calamity of a bad harvest is never universal. If, then, all ports were always open, and all commerce free, every maritime country would generally eat bread at the medium price, or average of all the different


harvests, which would probably be more equal than we can make it by our artificial regulations, and therefore a more steady encouragement to agriculture. The nations would all have bread at this middle price; and that nation, which at any time inhumanly refuses to relieve the distresses of another nation, deserves no compassion when in distress itself.

We shall here end these reflections, with our most ardent wishes for the prosperity of our country; and our hopes, that the doctrine we have endeavoured to inculcate, as to the necessity of protection and freedom, in order to insure success in trade, will be ever attended to by the legislature in forming their resolutions relating to the commerce of these kingdoms.


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"THE clamor made of the great inconveniences, suffered by the community in regard to the coin of this kingdom, prompted me in the beginning of his Majesty's reign to give the public some reflections on coin in general, on gold and silver as merchandise, and 1 added my thoughts on paper passing as money.

"As I trust the principles then laid down are founded in truth, and will serve now as well as then, though made fourteen years ago, to change any calculation would be of little use.

"Some sections in the foregoing essay of Principles


This Preface was written entirely by Mr. Whatley.-W. T. F.

of Trade, which might in this Appendix appear like a repetition, have been omitted.

"I always resolved not to enter into any particular deduction from laws relating to coin, or into any minutiæ as to accurate nicety in weights. My intention was, and still is, no more than to endeavour to show, as briefly as possible, that what relates to coin is not of such a complex, abstruse nature as it is generally made, and that no more than common justice with common sense is required in all regulations concernng it.

"Perhaps more weighty concerns may have prevented government doing more in regard to coin, than ordering quarter-guineas to be made, which till this reign had not been done.

"But, as I now judge by the late act relating to geld coin, that the legislature is roused, possibly they may consider still more of that, as well as of silver coin. "Should these reflections prove of any public utility, my end will be answered."


1. Coins are pieces of metal on which an impression is struck, which impression is understood by the legislature to ascertain the weight and intrinsic value, or worth, of each piece.

2. The real value of coins depends not on a piece being called a guinea, a crown, or a shilling; but the true worth of any particular piece of gold or silver is what such piece contains of fine or pure gold or silver.

3. Silver and copper being mixed with gold, and copper with silver, are generally understood to render those metals more durable when circulating in coins; yet air and moisture evidently affect copper, whether by

itself or mixed with other metal; whereas pure gold and silver are much less affected or corroded thereby.

4. The quantity of silver and copper so mixed by way of alloy is fixed by the legislature. When melted with pure metal, or added or extracted to make a lawful proportion, both gold and silver are brought to what is called standard. This alloy of silver and copper is never reckoned of any value. The standard, once fixed, should ever be invariable; since any alteration would be followed by great confusion and detriment to the state.

5. It is for public convenience and for facilitating the bartering between mankind for their respective wants, that coins were invented and made; for, were there no coins, gold and silver might be made or left pure; and what we now call a guinea's worth of any thing might be cut off from gold, and a crown's worth from silver, and might serve, though not so commodiously as coin.

6. Hence it is evident, that, in whatever shape, form, or quality these metals are, they are brought to be the most common measure between man and man, serving to barter against or exchange for all kinds of commodities; and consequently are no more than an universal accepted merchandise; for gold and silver in bullion, that is to say, in an uncoined mass, and gold or silver in coin, being of equal weight, purity, and fineness, must be of equal value the one to the other; for the stamp on either of these metals, duly proportioned, neither adds to nor takes from their intrinsic value.*

7. The prices of gold and silver, as merchandise,

*There is an incidental value, which arises from the authority of the state, which is in the nature of a credit or assurance of value given by the state, that either issues or authorizes the issue of the coin. W. T. F.

must in all countries, like other commodities, fluctuate and vary according to the demand, and no detriment can arise therefrom more than from the rise and fall of any other merchandise. But if, when coined, a due proportion of these metals, the one to the other, be not established, the disproportion will be felt and proved; and that metal wherein the excess in the proportion is allowed, will preferably be made use of, either in exportation or in manufacture, as is the case now in this kingdom in regard to silver coin, and which in some measure is the occasion of its scarcity.

For so long as 15 ounces and about one fifth of pure silver in Great Britain are ordained and deemed to be equal to one ounce of pure gold, whilst in neighbouring states, as France and Holland, the proportion is fixed only 14 ounces of pure silver to one ounce of pure gold, it is very evident, that our silver when coined will always be the most acceptable merchandise by near five in the hundred, and consequently more liable to be taken away or melted down, than before it received the impression at the mint.

8. Sixty-two shillings only are ordained by law to be coined from 12 ounces of standard silver. Now, following the proportion above mentioned of 15 to 14, no regard being necessary as to alloy, 65 shillings should be the quantity cut out of those 12 ounces.

9. No everlasting, invariable fixation for coining can be made from a medium of the market price of gold and silver, though that medium might with ease be ascertained, so as to hinder either coined gold or silver from becoming a merchandise; for, whenever the price shall rise above that medium, so as to give a profit, whatever is coined will be made a merchandise. This in the nature of things must come from the general exchanging, circulation, and fluctuation trade, and

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