Page:The Real Cause of the High Price of Gold Bullion.djvu/13

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lamented, if a similar omission were to characterise the present inquiries, when our situation is to be considered in reference to the state of the Continent now resuming the ordinary operations and returning in their dealings to the ordinary level of peace.

When before the war our net taxes amounted, to about 17,000,000 l. We were nearly upon a level in that respect with the states of the Continent, which were taxed nearly in the same ratio; the general state of prices was nearly the same, and the price of gold about par. But from our immense exertions during the war, our taxes have been raised to such a height, that, excluding our Poors' Rates, we are taxed more than in the proportion of four to one.—The population of France is estimated at near 28 millions, and the amount of its taxes is nearly the same.—The population of Great Britain is about 13 millions, and the taxation above 50 millions, expenses of collection included, which makes a proportion of 4 l. per head; whereas the proportion in France is only 1 l. per head—and I believe the same or greater difference against us, exists in the other European States. Now, it is submitted, whether this circumstance alone will not naturally account for the price of Bullion being higher here than on the Continent, even when exchanges and remittances are balanced.—Will it not also account for the price of all other articles being dearer?—Under the circumstance of this superior weight of taxation, and the increased prices resulting from it, will not gold command a greater quantity of commodities in France and on the Continent than in England? I may venture to ask, whether 3 l. 17 s. 10½ d. will not go further in the purchase of all articles in France than 4 l. in England?—Will not bullion, the article which commands all others, naturally be sent where it can command the greatestvalue