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country ; because gold now forms our standard of value; and in silver in other countries, because silver forms the standard of value in such countries. But the proportion between the exchangeable value of gold and silver as against each other is known, and can easily be estimated. Coin will never be taken in exchange for more than the quantity of the metal contained in it. The only use of coin is to show the quantity of metal in the coin without the trouble of weighing and essaying; and the par rates of exchange as between different countries have been fixed according to the quantity of pure gold or pure silver contained in the coins of each.
Our imports, like our exports, being stated according to certain official rates of value, the increase of our imports thus affords as unerring evidence of the increase of the products of our industry as the increase of our exports. Dividing the last thirty years into two equal periods, the imports, according to the amount every fifth year, appear to have been as under:
€ In the 15 years ending in 1815
120,421,417 As the exports in 1831 above the preceding year gave assurance of a continuance of an increase of export, so the increase of import in 1831 gives equal assurance of an increase of
INCREASE OF IMPORTS.
import. The imports in official value in 1831 were 49,713,8891., but in 1830 only 46,2451.
The amount of import has not always been correspondent to the amount of export. On the contrary, in the year 1815, when we had the largest export ever previously experienced, being 41,712,0021. in official value, the import in official value was only 31,515,222. But the explanation is, that the exchange of commodities is the exchange of equivalents; and an equivalent may be received by Great Britain in another country, as well as in Great Britain itself. In that
year, the equivalent was received abroad, in furnishings and otherwise to our troops; in satisfaction of which a larger export became necessary. The amount of the import, however, shows how much of the equivalent is received in this country; and an increasing import shows increasing means of consumption through the returns of home industry, whose products are given in exchange for foreign products.*
No doubt, therefore, can be entertained of the * Our older statistical writers, even down to the late George Chalmers (who had not been able to free himself from their delusion), confounded themselves about a balance of trade. Their error lay in not considering gold and silver as commodities which may be always purchased by other commodities. All trade consists in the exchange of equi. valents, and we receive an equivalent, whether we exchange commodities commonly so called for other commodities commonly so called, or whether we exchange them for gold and silver.
increase of our national industry, though that industry is depressed by legislative and municipal restraints in a manner to be hereafter explained.
RISE IN THE EXCHANGEABLE VALUE OF MONEY.
By means of our exports, the period of the rise in the exchangeable value of money can be ascertained with the most perfect certainty. In the year 1810, our exports were, in official value, 33,299,4081., and in declared value 47,000,9261. In 1811, they were, in official value, only 21,723,5321., and in declared value 30,850,618l. ; the proportion of which to 21,723,5321. is much less than the proportion which 47,000,9261. bears to 33,299,4031. the amounts in the preceding year. But the amount, as well as the period of the fall of prices,- in other words, the rise in the exchangeable value of money, — is still more strongly marked by our exports. It so happens that the amount of our exports, in official value, in 1800, was 22,831,936l., and in declared value 36,929,0071.; so that an amount of exports in 1811, only 1,108,4041. under their amount in official value in 1800, shows a difference of no
VALUE OF MONEY,
less than 6,078,3291. below the amount of declared value in 1811, being a fall of upwards of 20 per cent.
Whatever the cause of the fall of prices, therefore, may have been, it is certain that it began in this
year, and was to this extent. It is not less certain that, previous to 1811, declared value continued to gain upon official value; but that since 1811 official value has continued to gain upon declared value ; and the differences, while they mark the continuance, also show the amount, of the depression.
The amount of our exports in 1811, according to declared value, as already stated, was
which would be the amount of the depression, if there had been no increase of export.
But the amount of Exports in official £
The annexed table will show the differences between official and declared value in
every * Records destroyed by fire.
year since 1811 to 1831, both inclusive, and also the total amount of these differences : Difference of official value under Difference of official value declared value.
£ 1811 9,127,086 1820
2,251,216 1812 10,886,614 1821
7,381,591 1814 10,246,793 1823
8,576,629 1815 7,941,243 1824
10,424,931 1816 5,554,419 1825
8,375,692 1817 1,115,768 1826
9,485,326 1818 3,219,595 1827
14,884,285 1819 1,268,562 1828
25,437,429 Difference of official value under declared value, in 1811
£9,127,086 Difference of official value over declared value, in 1831
Total amount of differences from 1811 to 1831£34,564,515
The amount of the depression thus appears
to increase every year, and must therefore proceed from a cause which began to operate in 1811, and has continued to operate ever since.
Now, there is no cause of this description, but the defalcation in the supply of gold and silver, which was occasioned by the overwhelming of the South American mines, by the revolution in the mining districts in 1810; at which time the annual supply from these mines was nearly forty