Page:The Real Cause of the High Price of Gold Bullion.djvu/28

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these 50 millions are taken from the existing capital, and the advance of such a sum will also require additional currency; but the profit made by the individuals concerned in advancing and spending these 50 millions, does not come into activity till one, two, or three years' interval. It seems then to follow, that the circulation now in the market not only ought not to be lessened, but to be increased and extended to the full demands of the whole increased capital of the country.

As the objection I have been answering had no respect to the circulation of the Private Banks, but merely to the circulation of the Bank of England, the Notes of which are or ought to be, the criterion of the issues of Private Banks, I have not adverted in my discussion to the state of their paper. Whether their paper has increased since 1810, when it was at its highest, I have no means of knowing, and can therefore make no founded remarks respecting them. It appears however, by the Report of the Committee of 1810, that their amount had augmented 3 millions in a short period anterior; and it is said they afterwards sunk considerably in amount.

It will be still insisted, that if taxes and levies have decreased, currency ought to decrease proportionably;—and if taxes and levies were the sole criteria for the just amount of our currency, the conclusion cannot be resisted: but the true criterion of the amount of a currency is not the mere amount of levies and taxes, but the amount of the whole income of a country, and its whole exchangeable value in labour, produce, and manufacture.—The Question then is, has the national income increased or decreased since the diminution of taxes and levies? Is it the tendency of levies and taxes to increase or decrease national income? or do government levies and taxes merely divert the existing incomeof