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cannot be hindered; but assuredly the false proportions may be amended by the legislature, and settled as the proportion between gold and silver is in other nations; so as not to make, as now is the case, our coined silver a merchandise, so much to be preferred to the same silver uncoined.

10. What has been said seems to be self-evident; but the following calculations made on the present current price of silver and gold may serve to prove beyond all doubt, that the proportion now fixed between gold and silver should be altered and fixed as in other countries.

By law, 62 shillings are to be coined out of one pound or 12 ounces of standard silver. This is 62 pence an ounce. Melt these 62 shillings, and in a bar this pound weight at market will fetch 68 pence an ounce, or 68 shillings the pound. The difference, therefore, between coined and uncoined silver in Great Britain is now nine and two thirds per cent.

Out of a pound or 12 ounces of standard gold, 44 guineas and a half are ordained to be coined. This is £3. 17s. 10d. an ounce. Now the current market price of standard gold is £3. 19s. an ounce, which makes not quite one and a half per cent difference between the coined and uncoined gold.

The state out of duties imposed pays for the charge of coining, as indeed it ought, for it is for public convenience, as already said, that coins are made. It is the current market price of gold and silver that must govern the carrying it to the mint. It is absurd to think, that any one should carry gold to be coined that should cost more than £3. 17s. 104d. an ounce, or silver more than 62 pence the ounce; and as absurd would it be to pretend, that those prices only shall be the constant, invariable prices. It is contended, that there


is not a proper proportion fixed in the value of one metal to another, and this requires alteration.

11. It may be urged, that should the legislature fix the proportion of silver to gold, as in other countries, by ordering 65 shillings instead of 62 to be cut out of a pound of standard silver, yet still there would be four and two thirds per cent difference between coined and uncoined silver; whereas there is but about one and a half per cent difference in gold.

On this we shall observe, that the course of trade, not to mention extraordinary accidents, will make one metal more in request at one time than another; and the legislature in no one particular country can bias, or prescribe rules or laws to influence, such demand, which ever must depend on the great chain of things in which all the operations of this world are linked. Freedom and security only are wanted in trade; nor does coin require more, if a just proportion in the metals be settled.

12. To return to gold; it is matter of surprise, that the division of the piece called a guinea has not been made smaller than just one half, as it now is; that is, into quarters, thirds, and two-thirds. Hereby the want of silver coin might be greatly provided for, and those pieces, together with the light silver coin, which can only now remain with us, would sufficiently serve the uses in circulation.

In Portugal, where almost all their coin is gold, there are divisions of the moedas, or 27 shilling pieces, into tenths, sixths, quarters, thirds, halves, and twothirds; of the moeda and one-third, or 36 shilling piece, into eighths, quarters, and halves.

13. That to the lightness of the silver coin now remaining in Great Britain we owe all the silver coin we now have, any person with weights and scales may

prove; as upwards of 70 shillings coined in the reign of King William, or dexterously counterfeited by false coiners, will scarce weigh 12 ounces or a pound troy.

14. All the art of man can never hinder a constant exportation and importation of gold and silver to make up for the different calls and balances that may happen in trade; for, were silver to be coined as above, 65 shillings out of a pound troy weight of standard silver, if those 65 shillings would sell at a price that makes it worth while to melt or export them, they must and will be considered and used as a merchandise; and the same will hold as to gold.


Though the proportion of about fourteen and a half pure silver to one of pure gold in neighbouring states be now fixed in regard to their coin, and it is submitted such proportion should be attended to in this kingdom, yet that proportion may be subject to alteration; for this plain reason, that, should the silver mines produce a quantity of that metal so as to make it greatly abound more in proportion than it now does, and the gold mines produce no more than now they do, more silver must be requisite to purchase gold.

15. That the welfare of any state depends on its keeping all its gold and silver either in bullion or in coin is a very narrow principle; all the republics we know of wisely think otherwise. It is an utter impossibility, nor should it ever be aimed at; for gold and silver are as clearly a merchandise as lead and tin, and consequently should have a perfect freedom and liberty,* coined and uncoined, to go and to come, pass

As a general principle this is unquestionably true; but it must be general or every nation with whom commerce is extensively carried on must alike adopt it, or the principle immediately assumes an exceptionable character, and nations liable to be affected by it must provide means to counteract the effects of a sudden drain of the usual circulating

ard repass, from one country to another in the general circulation and fluctuation of commerce, which will ever carry a general balance with it; for we should as soon give our lead, our tin, or any other product of our land or industry, to those who want them, without an equivalent in some shape or other, as we should gold or silver, which it would be absurd to imagine can ever be done by our nation or by any nation upon earth.

16. From Spain and Portugal come the greatest part of gold and silver, and the Spanish court very wisely permits the exportation of it on paying a duty, as in Great Britain lead and tin do when exported; whereas heretofore, and as it still continues in Portugal, penal laws were enacted against the sending it out of the country. Surely princes by enacting such laws could not think they had it in their power to decree and establish, that their subjects or themselves should not give an equivalent for what was furnished to them!

17. It is not our intention to descend into, or to discuss minutely, particular notions or systems, such as, that silver and not gold should be the standard money or coin; that copper is an unfit material for money; and, that paper circulating as, and called artificial money, is detrimental. Yet, as these doctrines seem to proceed from considering bullion and money or coin in a different light from what we apprehend and have laid down, we will observe,

18. That it matters not whether silver or gold be called standard money; but it seems most rational, that the most scarce and precious metal should be the unit or standard.

medium, because the absence of a great quantity of the medium alters the price of exchange, or relative exchange of current money for necessary labor and subsistence, and depreciates other property.-W. T. F.

19. That, as to copper, it is as fit for money or a counter as gold and silver, provided it be coined of a proper weight and fineness; and just so much will be useful as will serve to make up small parts in exchanges between man and man.

20. That, as to paper money, it is far from being detrimental; on the contrary, it is highly profitable, as its quick passing between mankind, instead of telling over or weighing metal in coin or bullion, is a gain of what is most precious in life, which is time. And there is nothing clearer, than that those who must be concerned in counting and weighing, being at liberty to employ themselves on other purposes, are an addition of hands in the community.

The idea of the too great extension of credit, by the circulation of paper for money, is evidently as erroneous as the doctrine of the non-exportation of gold and silver in bullion or coin; for, were it not certain, that paper could command the equivalent of its agreed-for value, or that gold and silver in bullion or coin, exported, would be returned in the course of trade in some other merchandise, neither paper would be used nor the metals exported. It is by means of the produce of the land and the happy situation of this island, joined to the industry of its inhabitants, that those much adored metals, gold and silver, have been procured; and so long as the sea does not overflow the land and industry continues, so long will those metals not be wanting. And paper in the general chain of credit and commerce is as useful as they are, since the issuers or coiners of that paper are understood to have some equivalent to answer for what the paper is valued at, and no metal or coin can do more than find its value.

Moreover, as incontestable advantages of paper we

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