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But, whatever our author means by “ making money go
for more when coined than its true value, or by keeping silver, when coined, of the same value it
was before;" this is evident, that raising their money thus, by coining it with less silver in it than it had before, had not the effect in Portugal and Spain, which our author proposes from it here: for it has not brought one penny more to the mint there, nor kept their money, or silver, from exportation since, thoughi forfeiture and death be the penalties joined in aid to this trick of raising to keep it in.
But our author tells us in answer to Object. 4. This “ will scarce ever at all be perceived.” If of 100 guineas a man has in his pocket, five should be picked out, so he should not perceive it, the fraud and the loss would not be one jot the less; and though he perceived it not when, or how it was done, yet he will find it in his accounts, and the going so much back in his estate at the end of the year.
To Object. 3. he says, The “raising your coin (it
may be) may raise the price of bullion here in Eng“ land.” An ounce of silver will always be equal in value to an ounce of silver every-where, bating the work, manship. I say it is impossible to be otherwise, and require our author to show it possible in England, or any where, or else hereafter to spare his “ may be.” To avoid fallacies, I desire to be understood, when I use the word silver alone, to mean nothing but silver, and to lay aside the consideration of baser metals that may be mixed with it; for I do not say that an ounce of standard, that has almost one twelfth of copper is of equal value with an ounce of fine silver that has no alloy at all; but that any two ounces of equally alloyed silver will always be of equal value; the silver being the measure of commerce, it is the quantity of silver that is in every piece he receives, and not the denomination of it, which the merchant looks after, and
values it by.
But this raising of the denomination our author would have pass, because it will be “better for the possessors of bullion,” as he says, Answ. 3. But who are they
who now in England are possessed of so much bullion? or what private men are there in England of that consideration, that for their advantage, all our money should be new coined, and of a less weight, with so great a charge to the nation, and loss to his majesty's revenue?
He farther adds, Answ. 3. It doth not thence inevitably follow, it will “ raise the price of bullion beyond
It will as inevitably follow, as that nineteen ounces of silver will never be equal in weight, or worth, to twenty ounces of silver: so much as you lessen your coin, so much more you must pay in tale, as will make the quantity of silver the merchant expects, for his commodity ; under what denomination soeve ceives it.
The clothier, thus buying his Spanish wool, oil, and labour, at five per cent. more in denomination, sells his woollen manufacture proportionably dearer to the English merchant, who, exporting it to Spain, where their money is not changed, sells it at the usual marketrate, and so brings home the same quantity of bullion for it, which he was wont; which, therefore, he must sell to you at the same raised value your money is at: and what then is gained by all this? The denomination is only changed, to the prejudice of the public; but as to all the great matters of your trade, the same quantity of silver is paid for commodities as before, and they sold in their several foreign markets for the same quantity of silver. But whatever happens in the rate of foreign bullion, the raising of the denomination of our money will bring none of it to our mint to be coined; that depends on the balance of our trade, and not on lessening our coin under the same denomination: for whether the pieces we call crowns be coined 16, 24, or 100 grains lighter, it will be all one as to the value of bullion, or the bringing more, or less of it into England, or to our mint.
What he says in his answer to Object. 4. besides what we have already taken notice of, is partly against his bill, and partly mistake.
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 inoney, 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. such 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 "a
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,
vi 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 imitate 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, when 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 received 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 them 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 importers of silver " will find a good market at the 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 K