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teration of the coin in Spain and Portugal was a cheat; but the “ alteration here designed, he says, is not: but the reason he gives for it is admirable: viz. “ Be
cause they there altered in denomination near half," and here denomination is altered but five per cent. for so in truth it is, whatever be designed. As if fifty per cent. were a cheat, but, five per cent. were not; because perhaps less perceivable. For the two things, that are pretended to be done here by this new coinage, I fear will both fail, viz. 1. That “ to whomsoever an
ounce of silver is owing, an ounce of silver shall be “ paid in this money." For when an ounce of silver is coined, as is proposed, into 5s. 5d. (which is to make our money five per cent. lighter than it is now) I that am to receive 1001. per ann, fee-farm rent; shall I in this new money receive 105l. or barely 1001.? The first I think will not be said. For if by law you have made it 100l. it is certain the tenant will pay me no more. If you do not mean that 400 crowns, or 2000 shillings of your new coin shall be 1001. but there must be five per cent in tale added to every 100, you are at the charge of new coinage to no other purpose but to breed confusion. If I must receive 1001. by tale of this new money for my fee-farm rent, it is demonstration that I lose five ounces per cent. of the silver that was due to
This a little lower he confesses in these words, “ That where a man has a rent-sec, that can never be " more, this may somewhat affect it, but so very little “ that it will scarce ever at all be perceived." This very little is five per cent. and if a man be cheated of that, so he perceives it not, it goes for nothing. But this loss will not affect only such rents as can never be more, but all payments whatsoever, that are contracted for, before this alteration of our money.
2. If it be true what he affirms, “ That an ounce " of money doth equal an ounce of silver in value abroad, “ but not at home;" then this part of the undertaking will also fail. For I deny that the stamp on our money does any more debase it here at home, than abroad, or make the silver in our money not equal in value to the
same weight of silver every-wheré.' The author would have done well to have made it out, and not left so great a paradox only to the credit of a single assertion.
Rem. “ And for what is said in this bill to prevent
exportation, relates only to the keeping in our coin “ and bullion, and leaves all foreign to be exported “ still.”
Answ. What the author means by our own and foreign bullion, will need some explication.
Rem. There is now no such thing as payments in “ weighty and milled money."
Answ. I believe there are very few in town who do not very often ' receive a milled crown for 5s. and a milled half-crown for 2s. 6d. But he means, I suppose, , in great and entire sums of milled money. But I ask, if all the clipped money were called in, whether then all the payments would not be in weighty money; and that not being called in, whether if it be lighter than your new milled money, the new milled money will not be melted down as much as the old? Which I think the author there confesses, or else I understand him not.
Rem. “ Nor will this any way interrupt trade; for s trade will find its own course; the denomination of “ money in any country no way concerning that.”
Answ. The denomination to a certain weight of money, in all countries, concerns trade; and the alteration of that necessarily brings disturbance to it.
Rem. “ For if so be it occasions the coining more “ money."
Answ. He talks as if it would be " the occasion of
coining more money.” Out of what ? out of money already coined, or out of bullion ? For I would be glad to know where it is.
Rem. “ It may be some gain to those that will ven“ ture to melt down the coin, but very small loss (if
any) to those that shall be paid in the new : it is not “ to be denied, but that where any man has a rent-SEC, " that can never be more, this may somewhat affect it; “ but so very little, it will scarce ever at all be perceived."
Answ. As much as it will be gain to melt down their coin, so much loss will it be to those who are paid in
new, viz. five per cent. which, I suppose, is more than the author would be willing to lose, unless he get by
it another way
Rem.“ And if the alteration designed should have “ the effect of making our native commodities any
Answ. Here our author confesses, that proportionably as your money is raised, the price of other things will be raised too. But to make amends, he says,
Rem. “ It does at the same time make the land which produces them of more than so much more in value.”
Answ. This “ more than so much more in value," is more than our author, or any body else for him, will ever be able to make out.
The price of things will always be estimated by the quantity of silver given in exchange for them. And if you make your money less in weight, it must be made up in tale. This is all this great mystery of raising money, and raising land. For example, the manor of Blackacre would yesterday have yielded one hundred thousand crowns, which crown pieces, let us suppose número rotundo to weigh each of them an ounce of standard silver. To-day, your new coin comes in play, which is five per cent. lighter. There is your money raised: the land now at sale yields one hundred and five thousand crowns, which is just the same one hundred thousand ounces of standard silver. There is the land raised. And is not this an admirable invention, for which the public ought to be at above one hundred thousand pounds charge for new coinage, and all your commerce put in disorder ? And then to recommend this invention, you are told, as a great secret, That, “ had not money, “ from time to time, been raised in its denomination, “ lands had not so risen too :” which is to say, Had not your money been made lighter, fewer pieces of it would have bought as much land as a greater number does now.
Rem. “ The loss of payments, there spoken of, will, “ in no sort, be so great, as if the parties, to whom these “ debts are owing, were now bound to receive them in “ the money that now. passes, and then to melt the same down ; so at this they will have no cause to “ complain.”
Answ. A very good argument! the clippers have robbed the public of a good part of their money (which men will, some time or other, find in the payments they receive) and it is desired the mint may have a liberty to be beforehand with those, to whom debts are owing. They are told, they will have no reason to complain of it, who suffer this loss, because it is not so great as the other. The damage is already done to the public, by clipping. Where at last it will light, I cannot tell. But men who receive clipped money, not being forced to melt it down, do not yet receive any loss by it. When clipped money will no longer change for weighty, then those who have clipped money in their hands, will find the loss of it.
Rem. “ It will make the customs better paid, because 6 there will be more money.'
Answ. That there will be more money in tale, it is possible : that there will be more money in weight and worth, the author ought to show. And then, whatever becomes of the customs, (which I do not hear are unpaid now) the king will lose in the excise above thirty thousand pounds per annum.
For in all taxes where so many pounds, shillings, or pence are determined by the law to be paid, there the king will lose five per cent. The author here, as in other places, gives a good reason for it: for, “his majesty being to pay away this money
by tale, as he receives it, it will be to him no loss at
As if my receiving my rents in full tale, but in money of undervalue five per cent. were not so much loss to me, because I was to pay it away again by tale. Try it at 50 per cent. the odds only is, That one being greater than the other, would make more noise. But the author's great refuge in this is, That it will not be perceived.
Rem. “ If all foreign commodities were to be pur“ chased with this new species of money sent out; we
agree, That with 1001. of it there could not be so “ much silver, or other commodities bought, as with
“ 1001. in crown-pieces as now coined, because they “ would be heavier; and all coin, in any kingdom but “ where it is coined, only goes by weight; and for the “ same weight of silver, the same every where still will “ be bought; and so there will, with the same quantity “ of goods. And if those goods should cost five per “ cent. more here in England than heretofore, and yield “ but the same money (we mean by the ounce abroad) “ the same money, brought home and coined, will
yield the importer five per cent. more at the mint “ than it heretofore could do, and so no damage to the
trader at all.”
Answ. Here truth forces from the author a confession of two things, which demonstrate the vanity and uselessness of the project. 1. That upon this change of your coin, foreign goods will be raised. Your own goods will cost five per cent.' more. So that goods of all kinds being thereupon raised; wherein consists the raising of your money, when an ounce of standard silver, however minced, stamped, or denominated, will buy no more commodities than it did before? This confession also shows the falsehood of that dangerous supposition, That money, " in the kingdom where it is coined, goes not by “ weight,” i. e. is not valued by its weight.
Rem. “ It is true, the owners of silver will find a good “ market for it, and no others will be damaged; but, “ on the contrary, the making plenty of money will be “ an advantage to all.”
Answ. I grant it true that if your money were really raised five per cent. the owners of silver would get so much by it, by bringing it to the mint to be coined. But since, as is confessed, commodities will (upon this raising your money) be raised to five per cent. this alteration will be an advantage to nobody, but the officers of the mint, and hoarders of money.
Rem.“ When standard silver was last raised at the “ mint, (which it was from 5s. to 5s. and 2d. the ounce, “ in the 43d of Eliz.) and for above forty years after, 66 silver uncoined was not worth above 4s. 10d. the
ounce, which occasioned much coining; and of money, none in those days was exported : whereas silver