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< where it ought not, the more the nation is involved in debts, the more secure will the present establishment be rendered :

whereas the very contrary of this appears to my plain under• standing ; for certain it is that the increase of the public debts “and taxes create clamours, discontent and heartburnings amongst the people; which, at length, terminate in a spirit of disloyalty; and those who are, by principle, diffaffected to the present government, take advantage of those discontents, and • leave no arts unpractised to spread their disaffection as uni6 versally as possible. Nor is there any thing that gives the

enemies of our happy establishment greater uncasiness than « measures that tend to the diminution of our public incum• brances, and the benefit of the public credit.'

In the fourth letter we meet with further considerations on the nature of public credit. He observes, that, « The use • which the state makes of its credit may be detrimental to the • subject's credit ; whereas the multiplied credit of the subjects,

if not carried too great lengths in point of time, can never be otherwise than useful to the credit of the state.

• The use which the state makes of its credit, may hurt the • subject several ways.

ist, By the load of charges it accumulates or perpetuates : whence it is reasonable to conclude, that all alienation of the • public revenues is a greater burden to the people, than an increase of imposts only temporary

• 2dly, Ways of subsisting without work, and in reality at the expence of the rest of the community, are introduced by

the means of public loans. The consequence is, that the i culture of the lands is neglected; money goes out of trade,

which dwindles, and at last falls, and with it perish manufac• tories, navigation, agriculture, the facility of collecting the • public revenues ; and in short, those revenues themselves by • degrees. If, however, the decline of commerce be suspended " by local circumstances, or a number of uncommon facilities “concurring, the progress of the disorder will be slow, but still it will be felt by degrees.

" zdly, From their being less trade and more wants in the • state, it follows; that the number of borrowers will be greater than that of lenders. The interest of money will therefore

• keep • keep up higher than is consistent with the plenty of it; and

that inconvenience becomes a new obstacle to the increase of 6 commerce and agriculture.

* Athly, The high interest of money induces foreigners to remit theirs in order to become creditors of the state. Ithall • not dwell on the puerile prejudice of those who call the acquisi• tion of that money an advantage : unlefs where the commer(cial interest of states are mutually connected. The rivals of • a nation unconnected in their trading-interests, have not a more certain way to ruin its commerce and enrich themselves, than by being concerned in its public debts.

• Sthly, Public debts are attended with extraordinary means or impofts, whereby immense fortunes are made very soon and without risk. Other ways of gaining are, on the con• trary, now and uncertain : for which reason men and money

will Ay from other professions. The circulation of such commodities as are of most general use is interrupted by that dis• proportion, and is not compensated by the increase of the • luxury of a few.

6thly, To let those public debts become money, is adding "a voluntary abuse to a necessary one. The effect of those multiplied representations of specie will be the same as that

of an increase of its mass: commodities will be represented o by a greater quantity of metals, which will lessen the sale of

them abroad. We have seen, in fits of confidence, before • the secret of those representations was known, the use of "them give such life to general credit, that the rate of interest • has reduced itself naturally: that reduction made some amends • for the inconvenience of the too great rise of the price of

things relatively to other nations who paid a higher interest, • It would be unwise to expect it now; and all forced reduce • tions are contrary to the principles of public credit.'

In the next letter he gives us the substance of a treatise intitled, Negotiant Anglais, to thew the opinion that some foreigners entertain of the national debts, and the public credit of the kingdom: “The plenty or scarcity of money, (says he) is indifferent in a coun

try abstractedly from its political concerns with its neighbours : • Sir William Petty and Mr. Davenant have thus calculated the • quantity of money necessary for circulation, Ff3

• Half

Half of the revenue of the lands in 1698,- 5,000,000 A quarter of the revenue of 1,300,000 houses in ditto

— 5,000,000 One week's expence of the people, ditto - 760,230 One fourth of the value of the exportations, ditto

1,500,000 Mr. Davenant adds to it one fourth of the value of manufacturers.


- 9,269,230 If inftead of fifteen millions in fpecie, which were in « England in 1698, there had been only seven millions and one half, and at the same time provisions had been at less than half the value, 'tis plain that instead of 9,269,230 1. deemed necessary for circulation, there would have been wanting but 4,634,615 l. without any prejudice to industry and commerce, the people would have been as much employed, and the rela

tive plenty of money, would have been in the same degree in (the state, and amongst its members.

For let us suppose a kingdom which has no foreign relastion, if all the parts and different clasles of its people lend s one another mutual assistance, it will be happy, tho' it has « little money

If it has a great quantity of money, the productions of art e and nature will be represented by a greater quantity of specie ; « but the labor will still be the same, consequently the people ( will not be a jot the happier.'

He finishes the letter with this reflection : « The great end { to be aimed at by any kind of regulation in our finances, is

that of the substantial support of the public credit, and of the ( advancement of trade and commerce in consequence thereof.

Tampering with the funds to answer other temporary purposes, has not only been a political amusement, but proved ? the means of increasing our public debts, and enhancing, in¢ stead of lessening our taxes: whereas certain it is, the original

pretence of reductions of interest was, in order to reduce the public debts, and in consequence thereof to reduce our taxes ; 4 and till we do this, we must lose the commercial dominion in e time of peace, however victorious we may be in time of war.'


- The ensuing letter contains a number of sensible queries, concerning the misapplication of the sinking fund; the bad consequence of lowering the interest of money ; the practicability of raising, if not the whole, at least part of the supply within the year ; and the national advantage that would arise from the government's imploying the different counties to furnish what they can afford for the service of the public.

In the seventh letter, he demonstrates that the raising the supplies within the year must lower the price of our manufacturés, and the better enable us to maintain a competition in trade with our rivals. Having explained the dangerous consequences of raising taxes on consumption, he observes with Sir Matthew Decker that in the tax upon leather, the price of shoes is charged with twelve augmentations, which

the leather has paid ; passing successively from the hands of & the grazier, through those of the butcher, tanner, and his 1o workmen, the leather-cutter, shoemaker, and his workmen, &c. Here are already seven proportional augmentations

of dearness for the shoes which themselves use, an expence « which every one of them must regain on the leather itself: • then there is the augmentation of the tax itself, and four 'augmentations in proportion to the profit which must be made by the butcher, the tanner, the cutter, and the shoemaker, out of the price thus swelled of the leather. .

• A like tax will operate the fame effect on the manufactures of candles, soap, beer, c. ' "

• But these graziers, tanners, shoemakers, &c. all con* fume for their own use, candles, beer, soap, and other the

neceffary commodities that are taxed. . Here then are again taxed twelve respective augmentations on the price of shoes, from every one of these articles.

• In like manner all do, who contribute to the fabric and commerce of cloth, or any other branch of our woolen manufacturies : for example; from the shepherd to the

wholesale merchant, all ufe shoes ; and every one of them #must charge the augmentation of the price of them upon

the wool, and upon the numberless operations it must undergo before it is made into cloth, &c. Thus the aug$mentations of the tax upon leather, and of all, and any Ff4


other tax on the consumption of necessaries, will be repeated, ad infinitum, till all these sums are ultimately paid • in a lump by the last consumer. It will not then be hard to « believe, that before coming to him, the tax will have been • more than doubled: especially, if it is observed, that the • tax is by every one of those who pay it, and receive it again

upon the merchandize, increased at least the interest of the " advance he has made; reckoning from the first, who pays - only the naked taxes thereon.

- If we add to all this, the sum of the customs and excise « duties thus doubled, the sum of the other taxes, as the land• tax, the poor's-rate, &c. it will be found, that the sum

total of these taxes is at least 31 per cent. of the annual ex• pence of the whole people of England. Now, where is • the nation with which we can enter into a competition of 6 commerce upon equal terms ? And what matter is the i or 62 per cent, advantage wę boalt over some of our rivals in

the interest of money, towards restoring the equality be• tween them and us?

In the following letter he shews how far the price of things may have arisen from the quantity of gold and silver ; and how far from the increase of the public debts and taxes,

The ninth letter treats of the increase and decrease of real money in a state, and of the price of commodities. Then hę draws a comparison between France and this country, which is a very humbling parallel to an English reader. National « turns of mind (says he, p. 219.) have great effects on the in* terest of commerce, As vanity is the general character of ( a Frenchman, so it conduces to the interest of a manufacturing

people, when it luxuriates in dress, equipage and furniture. « Profusion, drunkenness and debauchery are the faulty exubeorance of English easiness and spirit; the latter shortens the 6 time of labour, and hinders the perfection of it. One half.

of the lives of the English common people is loft to the

public'; and the other must be paid for so much the dearer, s which doubles the injury to the state. Those who are abso6 lutely idle do not prejudice the public so much as those who 4 work but half their time ; fince their being the greater


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