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1. He says,
“ It may be some (as it is now) gain to those, that will venture to melt down the milled and “ heavy money now coined.” That men do venture to melt down the milled and heavy money is evident from the small part of milled money is now to be found of that great quantity of it that has been coined; and a farther evidence is this, that milled money will now yield four, or five more per cent. than the other, which must be to melt down, and use as bullion, and not as money in 'ordinary payments. The reason whereof is, the shameful and horrible debasing (or, as our author would have it, raising) our unmilled money by clipping
For the odds betwixt milled and unmilled money being now, modestly speaking, above 20 per cent and bullion, for reasons elsewhere given, being not to be had, refiners, and such as have need of silver, find it the cheapest way to buy milled money for clipped, at four, five, or more per cent. loss.
I ask, therefore, this gentleman, What shall become of all our present milled and heavy money, upon the passing of this act? To which his paper almost confesses, what I will venture to answer for him, viz. that as soon as such a law is passed, the milled and heavy money will all be melted down: for it being five per cent. heavier, i. e. more worth than what is to be coined in the mint, no-body will carry it thither to receive five per cent. less for it, but sell it to such as will give four or four and a half per cent. more for it, and at that rate melt it down with advantage: for Lombard-street is too quick-sighted, to give sixty ounces of silver for fiftyseven ounces of silver, when bare throwing it into the melting-pot will make it change for its equal weight. So that by this law five per cent. gain on all our milled money will be given to be shared between the possessor and the melter of our milled money, out of the honest creditor and landlord's pocket, who had the guaranty of the law, that under such a tale of pieces, of such a denomination as he let his land for, he should have to such a value, i. e. sạch a weight in silver. Now I ask, Whether it be not a direct and unanswerable reason
against this bill, that he confesses, that it will be "
gain to those, who will melt down the milled and
heavy money,” with so much loss to the public; and not as he says, “ with very small loss to those, that “ shall be paid in the new,” unless he calls five per cent. very small loss; for just so much is it to receive but fifty-seven grains, or ounces of silver, for sixty, which is the proportion in making your crowns 3d. lighter. This is certain, no-body will pay away milled or weighty crowns for debts, or commodities, when it will yield him four, or five per cent. more; so that which is now left of weighty money, being scattered up and down the kingdom, into private hands, which cannot tell how to melt it down, will be kept up and lost to our trade. And, as to your clipped and light money, will you make a new act for coinage, without taking any care for that? The making a new standard for your money cannot do less than make all money, which is lighter than that standard, unpassable; and thus the milled and heavy money not coming into payment, and the light and clipped not being lawful money, according to the new standard, there must needs be a sudden stop of trade, and it is to be feared, a general confusion of affairs; though our author says, “it will not any ways “ interrupt trade."
2. The latter part of the section, about raising the value of land, I take the liberty to say is a mistake; which, though a sufficient reply to an assertion without proof, yet I shall not so far imitáte this author, as barely to say things: and therefore, I shall add this reason for what I say, viz. Because nothing can truly raise the value, i. e. the rent of land, but the increase of your money: but because raising the value of land is a phrase, which, by its uncertain sense, may deceive others, we may reckon up these several meanings of it.
1. The value of land is raised, wlien its intrinsic worth is increased, i. e. when it is fitted to bring forth a greater quantity of any valuable product. And thus the value of land is raised only by good husbandry.
2. The value of land is raised, when remaining of the same fertility, it comes to yield more rent, and thus its value is raised only by a greater plenty of money and treasure.
3. Or it may be raised in our author's way, which is, by raising the rent in tale of pieces, but not in the quantity of silver Teccived for it; which, in truth, is no raising it at all, any more than it could be accounted the raising of a man's rent, if he let his land this year for forty sixpences, which last year he let for twenty shillings. Nor would it alter the case, if he should call those forty sixpences forty shillings; for having but half the silver of forty shillings in them, they would be but of half the value, however their denomination were changed.
In his answer to the fifth objection, there is this dangerous insinuation, That coin, in any country where it is coined, goes not by weight, i. e. has its value from the stamp and denomination, and not the quantity of silver in it. Indeed, in contracts already made, if your species be by law coined a fifth part lighter, under the same denomination, the creditor must take a hundred such light shillings, or twenty such light crown-pieces for 51. if the law calls thein so, but he loses one fifth, in the intrinsic value of his debt. But, in bargains to be made, and things to be purchased, money has, and will always have its value from the quantity of silver in it, and not from the stamp and denomination, as has been already proved, and will, some time or other, be evidenced with a witness, in the clipped money. And if it were not so, that the value of money were not according to the quantity of silver in it, i.e. that it goes by weight, I see no reason why clipping should be so severely punished.
As to foreigners, he is forced to confess, that it is all one what our money is, greater or less, who regard only the quantity of silver, they sell their goods for; how then can the lessening our money bring more plenty of bullion into England, or to the mint? But he says, “ The owners and iinporters of silver
will find a good market at th: mint, &c.” But always a better in Lombard-street, and not a grain of it will come to the mint, as long as by an under-balance Vol. V. K
130 Considerations of the lowering of Interest, &c. of trade, or other foreign expences, we contract debts beyond sea, which require the remitting of greater sums thither, than are imported in bullion. "If for above “ forty years after silver was raised, in the forty-third
year of queen Elizabeth, from 5s. to 5s. 2d. the ounce, uncoined silver was not worth above 4s. 10d.
per ounce;”--the cause was not that of raising silver in the mint, but an over-balance of trade, which bringing in an increase of silver yearly, for which men having no occasion abroad, brought it to the mint to be coined, rather than let it lie dead by them in bullion : and whenever that is the case again in England, it will occasion coining again, and not till then.
was in those days exported,” says he; no, nor bul. lion neither, say 1; why should, or how could it, when our exported inerchandize paid for all the commodities we brought home, with an over-plus of silver and gold, which, staying here, set the mint on work. But the passing this bill will not hinder the exportation of one ounce either of bullion or money, which must go, if you contract debts beyond sea; and how its having been once melted in England, which is another thing proposed in this bill, shall hinder its exportation, is hard to conceive, when even coining has not been able to do it, as is demonstrable, if it be examined what vast sums of milled money have been coined in the two last reigns, and how little of it is now left. Besides, if the exportation of bullion should be brought under any greater difficulty than of any other commodity, it is to be considered whether the management of that trade, which is in skilful hands, will not thereupon be so ordered, as to divert it from coming to England for the future, aud cause it to be sent from Spain, directly to those places, where they know English debts will make it turn to best account, to answer bills of exchange sent thither,