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10. Whether standard silver in coin and in bullion will not immediately be of the same value, as soon as the prohibition of carrying our money in specie is taken off?
11. Whether an ounce of silver the more would be carried out in a year, if that prohibition were taken off?
12. Whether silver in our coin will not always, during the prohibition of its exportation, be a little less worth than silver in bullion, whilst the consumption of foreign commodities beyond what ours pay for, makes the exportation of silver necessary? And so, during such a state, raise your money as much, and as you will, "silver in the coin will never fetch as much as "the silver in bullion," as Mr. Lowndes expresses it, p. 110.
As to the inconveniencies and damages we sustain by clipped money passing by tale as if it were lawful, nothing can be more true, more judicious, nor more weighty, than what Mr. Lowndes says, under his third general head; wherein I perfectly agree with him, excepting only where he builds any thing upon the proposed raising our coin one-fifth. And to what he says, p. 114, concerning our being "deprived of the use of our heavy money, by men's hoarding it, in prospect "that the silver, contained in those weighty pieces, will "turn more to their profit than lending it at interest, "purchasing, or trading therewith;" I crave leave to add, that those hoarders of money, a great many of them, drive no less, but rather a greater trade, by hoarding the weighty money, than if they let it go abroad; for by that means all the current cash being light, clipped, and hazardous money, it is all tumbled into their hands, which gives credit to their bills, and furnishes them to trade for as much as they please, whilst every body else scarce trades at all, (but just as necessity forces) and is ready to stand still
Where he says, p. 114, "It is not likely the weighty "monies will soon appear abroad, without raising their "value, and recoining the clipped monies:" I should agree with him if it ran thus: without recoining the
clipped, and in the mean time making it go for its weight; for that will, I humbly conceive, bring out the heavy money, without raising its value, as effectually and sooner; for it will do it immediately: his will take up some time; and I fear, if clipped money be not stopped all at once, and presently, from passing any way in tale, the damage it will bring will be irreparable.
"Mr. Lowndes's fourth general head is to propose "the means that must be observed, and the proper "methods to be used in and for the re-establishment of "the silver coins."
The first is, "That the work should be finished in as "little time as may be: not only to obviate a farther "damage by clipping in the interim, but also that the "needful advantages of the new money may be sooner "obtained for the service of the nation."
These, I agree with him, are very good and necessary ends; but they are both to be attained, I conceive, much sooner by making clipped money go for its weight, than by the method Mr. Lowndes proposes; for this immediately puts an end to clipping, and obviates all farther damage thereby. Next, it immediately brings out all the hoarded weighty money, and so that advantage will be sooner obtained for the service of the nation, than it can any other way besides. Next, it preserves the use of clipped money for the service of the nation, in the interim, till it can be recoined all at the Tower.
His second proposition is, "That the loss, or the greatest part of it, ought to be born by the public, and not by particulars, who, being very numerous, "will be prejudiced against a reformation for the pub"lic benefit, if it be to be effected at the cost of parti"cular men."
A tax given to make good the defect of silver in clipped money, will be paid by particulars; and so the loss will be born by particular men: and whether these particulars be not more numerous, or at least a great number of innocent men of them more sensibly burdened
that way, than if it takes its chance in the hands of those men who have profited by the having it in their hand, will be worth considering. And I wish it here well weighed, which of the two ways the greater number of men would be most dangerously prejudiced against this reformation. But as Mr. Lowndes orders the matter, every body will, I fear, be prejudiced against this reformation, when (as he divides it, p. 133, 134,) the owners will bear near one-half of the loss, in the price of his clipped money, and every body else his part of the remainder, in a tax levied on them for it. I wish a remedy could be found without any body's loss. Most of those ways I have heard proposed to make reparation to every particular man for the clipped money shall be found in his hands, do so delay the remedy, if not entail clipping upon us, that I fear such a care of particulars endangers the whole; and if that suffer, it will go but ill with particulars. I am not for hindering those who have clipped money from any recompence which can be provided and made them. The question here is not whether the honest countryman shall bear the loss of his clipped money, without any more ado, or pay a tax to recompence himself? That which, I humbly conceive, the nation is most concerned in, is that clipping should be finally stopped, and that the money which remains should go according to its true value, for the carrying on of commerce, and the present supply of people's exigencies, till that part of it, which is defaced, can by the mint be brought to its legal and due form; and therefore I think it will be the rational desire of all particulars, that the shortest and surest way, not interfering with law or equity, should be taken to put an effectual end to an evil, which every moment it continues works powerfully towards a general ruin.
His fourth proposition, "That no room must be left "for jealousy," I acknowledge to be a good one, if there can be a way found to obtain it.
I cannot but wonder to find the words, p. 124, "That "no person whatsoever shall hereafter be obliged to accept, in legal payments, any money whatsoever that
"is already clipped, or may hereafter be clipped, or diminished; and that no person shall tender or re❝ceive any such money in payment, under some small "penalty to be made easily recoverable, &c."
As if any man now were obliged to receive clipped money in legal payments, and there were not already a law, with severe penalties, against those who tendered clipped money in payment.
It is a doubt to me, whether the warden, masterworker, &c. of the mint at the Tower, could find fit and skilful persons enough to set nine other mints at work, in other parts of England, in a quarter of a year, as Mr. Lowndes proposes, p. 127. Besides, Mr. Lowndes tells us, p. 96, that the engines, which put the "letters upon the edges of the larger silver pieces, "and mark the edges of the rest with a graining, are wrought secretly." And, indeed, this is so great a guard against counterfeiting, as well as clipping our money, that it deserves well to be kept a secret, as it has been hitherto, But how that can be, if money be to be coined in nine other mints, set up in several parts, is hard to conceive; and lastly, perhaps, some may apprehend it may be of ill consequence to have so many men instructed and employed in the art of coining only for a short job, and then turned loose again to shift for themselves by their own skill and industry, as they can.
The provision made in his fourth rule, p. 136, to prevent the gain of "subtle dealers by culling out the
heaviest of the clipped pieces," though it be the product of great sagacity and foresight, exactly calculated, and as well contrived, as in that case it can be; yet I fear is too subtle for the apprehension and practice of countrymen, who many of them, with their little quickness in such matters, have also but small sums of money by them, and so neither having arithmetic, nor choice of clipped money to adjust it to the weight there required, will be hardly made to understand it. But I think the clippers have, or will take care that there shall not be any great need of it.
To conclude; I confess myself not to see the least reason why our present milled money should be at all altered in fineness, weight, or value. I look upon it to be the best and safest from counterfeiting, adulterating, or any ways being fraudulently diminished, of any that ever was coined. It is adjusted to our legal payments, reckonings and accounts, to which our money must be reduced the raising its denomination will neither add to its worth, nor make the stock we have more proportionate to our occasions, nor bring one grain of silver the more into England, nor one farthing advantage to the public: it will only serve to defraud the king, and a great number of his subjects, and perplex all; and put the kingdom to a needless charge of recoining all, both milled as well as clipped money.
If I might take upon me to offer any thing new, I would humbly propose, that since market and retail trade requires less divisions than sixpences, a sufficient quantity of four-penny, four-penny halfpenny, and fivepenny pieces should be coined. These in change will answer all the fractions between sixpence and a farthing, and thereby supply the want of small monies, whereof I believe nobody ever saw enough common to answer the necessity of small payments; whether, either because there was never a sufficient quantity of such pieces coined, or whether because of their smallness they are apter to be lost out of any hands, or because they oftener falling into children's hands, they lose them, or lay them up; so it is, there is always a visible want of them; to supply which, without the inconveniencies attending very small coin, the proposed pieces, I humbly conceive, will serve,
If it be thought fit for this end to have four-pence, four-penny halfpenny, and five-penny pieces coined, it will, I suppose, be convenient that they should be distinguished from sixpences, and from one another, by a deep and very large plain difference in the stamp on both sides, to prevent mistakes and loss of time in telling of money. The fourpence-halfpenny has already the harp for a known distinction, which may be fit to be continued; the five-pence may have the feathers, and the