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F R E E C O IN A G E O F S I L V E R . S P E E C H OF HON. JUSTIN R. WHITING, O F M IC H IG A N , IK T H E H O U SE O F R E P R E S E N T A T IV E S , W ednesday, March 23, 1892. W A S H IN G T O N , 1892. SPEECH OP HON. J U S T I N E. W H IT IN G . The House haying tinder consideration the bill (H. R. 4436) for the free coin* age of gold and silver, for the Issue of coin notes* and for other purposes— Mr. W H ITING said: Mr. S p e a k e r : I believe that the great controlling power w hich demonetized silver in 1873 and w hich is now straining every nerve to defeat its remonetization comes from wealth wrought unjustly from the toil and sweat of labor. A ll the threatened evils which it was claimed would follow the lim ited use of silver have not only proven false, but it is now certain beyond the shadow of a doubt that if the country had not been supplied with the silver money w hich the Bland act of 1878 secured th at we should have had a repetition of panics un til now, and it is also equally apparent that the policy of the Government since 1878 in coining the minimum amount of silver permitted under that law has resulted in robbing agriculture of Its just earnings, and has practically confiscated over one-third of all agricultural investm ents. No class of men know this botter than do the farmers them selves, and no class of men are better qualified to judge of their loss or the cause of it than they. W hat botter evidence do the members of this House want of the extrem ity to which agricul ture is reduced than their vigorous organizing all over the land —North, South, and W est—for the purpose of d evising some plan of immediate relief. Many of them do not believe that free coinage of silver w ill furnish sufficient relief to avert disaster, and many plans are being seriously and vigorously discussed as of immediate and vital importance. Mr. Speaker, I am well convinced that the failure to grant to American silver bullion its full coined value has resulted in far greater injury to this country than if silver had never been dis covered or mined here at all, for since 1873 down to 1890 we have sent more than one-half of our entire product to foreign countries and sold it at less prices than they would have been able to buy a t had we not been in the market as sellers, and they have coined It into silver money having equal purchasing power w ith ours, w hile the corresponding pieces to our dollar in European coun tries contain 11.3 grains less, and in A siatic countries 22.6 grains less,than do ours. Does not this account for the wonderful growth and activity in India during the last ten years? W e have sup plied India w ith an increasing medium of exchange more boun tifully than we have our own people. England prefers to buy 410 3 4 her wheat and cotton in India rather than here, for. India pays her in interest and rents over $50,000,000 a year. The Rev. D. Downie, D. D., of Nellore, India, in the Boston Baptist Magazine for November, 1890, says “ that the planters, merchants, and bankers of India ‘devoutly hope’ that the United States w ill not adopt free bim etallic coinage, and thus discour age exportation of wheat and cotton from India into Europe.” Mr. Speaker, the bankers there seem interested in agricul ture in India. The bankers here would be w illing to loan to farmers, if they had a larger supply of money; but the present lim ited supply, lim ited compared with our great resources, finds its way into the cities, where speculation in all kinds of stocks ■ pays the higher rate of interest. In yesterday's New York Daily Tribune appears an article headed “ B etter than banks,” which I w ill not take the tim e to read, but w ill print in my remarks, not for the purpose of adver tising the business, but as a striking illustration of why farm lands are not considered good enough collateral upon w hich to loan money: BETTER THAN BANKS—TIIE LEADING AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL DECLARES AN OTHER DIVIDEND—AN UNUSUAL OPPORTUNITY i'OR WIDE-AWAKE INVEST ORS TO SECURE SnAUES IN A COMPANY WHOSE STABILITY AND EARNING POWER ARE UNEQUALED. H. H. Warner &Co., Limited, having declared an interim dividend of 4 per cent on the preferred and 5 per cent on the common stock, dividend checks will be mailed to the American shareholders on April 5, by the Central Trust Company, of 54 Wall street. • In November last this company declared a dividend of 4 per cent on the pre ferred and 10 per cent on the common stock. The end of their fiscal year will be July 31. In order to secure for our readers some idea of the amount of dividend that will then be declared, our reporter called upon Mr. Warner, at 50 Broadway, as also to ascertain anything further in regard to the recent report that H. H. Warner &Co. were about to double their common stock. In reply to the scribe's question Mr. Warner said: “ The dividend which the company has just declared is merely an interim one. Such a dividend is liable to be declared at any time. The company has a very large reserve, and I suppose the board of directors are desirous of get ting rid of some of the company’s accumulations. They therefore declared this dividend regardless of the one to be declared at the expiration of our fiscal year.” “ Well, Mr. Warner, what do you estimate will he the amount of dividend the company will pay at the close of the present fiscal year.” “I cannot give any exact figures, but, as near as I can approximate, the company will have about $400,000 to distribute at the end of this fiscal year, in addition to the amount that will have been previously distributed in the course of the year, and I have every reason to believe that the next dividend will be at the rate of at least 30 per cent on the common shares. In fact, after paying the regular dividend of 4 per cent on the preferred stock, I believe that the company will be able to pay, if they choose, at the rate of 40 per cent on the common stock; but the company may conclude that it is wise to pay but, say, at the rate of 30 per cent dividend on the common stock and use a large amount of their surplus to cancel the remaining debenture bonds, which now amount to less than £i25,000, over J300.000 of these debentures hav ing been canceled last year, besides paying 17$ percent on the common stock. You will see by these figures that the company will make even a better show ing this year than ever before.” “So, Mr. Warner, the prediction that was made by you a few days ago to the effect that you believed the company would shortly double its com mon shares is likely to come true sooner than you anticipated?” “ No, I can not say that. I do believe, though, that thecapital stock of the common shares will be doubled during the next fiscal year, commencing August 1. “I can not see what is to become of our surplus, unless we either pay extra ordinary large dividends— which I do not think wise— double the common or Btock of the company. You see, our business is growing better continually, and our common shares only amount to $1,700,000. There is a bright possi410 5 bility of being able to make half as much as that In the future from the bak ing powder alone, which we are now putting upon the market in addition to our present business, which would permit our paying over 50 per cent divi dends on the common stock. “These facts, figured in connection with the regular profit which has for years been derived from Warner’s Safe Cure and Warner’s Safe Yeast, almost warrant the belief that we will earn a net profit of over $1,000,000 per year. If so, this vast sum would all go to the common shareholders, after paying the comparatively small dividend of 8 per cent on the preferred stockand the interest on the remaining debentures if not cancelled. With the business continually improving, and its record since being capitalized into a company of a net profit from Warner's Safe Remedies alone, of over a million dollars in two years, my prophecy becomes almost a reality.” “Are you still selling your shares, Mr. Warner?” “I shall sell a few more shares to our patrons, at the rate of $75 apiece for the common and $50 apiece for the preferred, the par value of the shares be ing £10, or about $50. each.” “Are you willing to continue to sell your shares at this price, the purchas ers to have the dividend which has been declared of 5 per cent on the com mon and 4 per cent on the preferred? ” “Yes, I shall sell a few more shares, up to the time the dividend is actually paid, at the prices I have just given you, the purchasers to have the dividend. After the dividend shall have been paid, I do not expect to sell many more shares, but if I am satisfied that I can benefit the business by using this means of advertising it, I shall sell a few but at an advanced price.” “ Is there anything further you wish to say about the business?1 1 “No; there is nothing further to say, and in fact I do not care to say any thing. Iam willing that the business should speak for itself. I claim that it has a dividend*paying record for the past twelve years that very few, if any, businesses can excel. When the revenue sure to result from Warner’s Safe Baking Powder is added to that already derived from Warner’s Safe Cure and Warner’s Safe Yeast, I do not see what there is to prevent it from being one of the largest dividend-payers of any legitimate business in this or any other country.” ' I am not disposed to criticise enterprises in the cities, provided they do an honest business; but when we see the enormous in vestm ents of money all over the country in street railways, elec tric-light plants, and many new and useful conveniences, we should remember that the country needs a much larger per capita circulation than at any time in the past, and unless Con gress furnishes the law for this increase the money w ill continue to flow to the cities and great profits w ill be realized there and but little money w ill seek investm ent upon the farms until a volume greater than the demands of the cities and greater than the demands of the manufacturers, who can pay higher interest because the protective tariff law enables them to g e t compara tively higher prices than the unprotected farmer can. I repeat that, until a volume greater than these demands is furnished, a farmer, if able to borrow at all, w ill have to pay a rate of inter est greater than the earnings of his business w ill warrant. Mr. Speaker, in the last speech made by the late ex-Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Windom, he recommended in connection w ith the lim ited coinage of silver the issue of an interconverti ble bond drawing a low rate of interest, the object, as I remem ber, to g ive elasticity, as he said, to the currency. In other words, after the money from the great money centers which had gone W est to buy wheat, wool, and farm products, and performed its mission found its way back to New York, a portion of it could be converted into these bonds and thereby prevent capital lying idle. Mr. Speaker, the boldness of asking the people to pay interest upon a Government bond in order to allow the owner of money to exact high er rates of interest for the very money w hich buys 410 6 and moves their crops Is astounding, but the interest charge is not as serious a feature of scarce money as the power it furnishes the buyer to hammer down the prices of all farm products. It is practically authorizing the buyer to compel the seller to ex change abundance unequally for scarcity, and it even goes farther than that. Take, for instance, the present condition of the cotton market. Raw cotton lower in price than ever known before in the history of the country, and yet there is nothing lik e a corresponding de cline in manufactured cottons; in fact, the decline is scarcely ap preciable, and in some instances, recently, prices have been marked up. How can this be done, is asked? It is not difficult. Manufacturers lim it their production to demand at the prices they fix, and in the very lim iting further depress the price of raw co t ton. W hat is the sure remedy fpr this? It is to build and operate factories in the South. How can you do this? Make money of the w hite m etal which nature has so abundantly supplied us w ith. R elegate to the rear the men who would longer uphold the con spiracy w hich now exists between W all street and the National Treasury to degrade and disgrace silver, and this money w ill flow all over the country for investment, and New England w ill no longer monopolize the country; and if, in an equal struggle for existence, many of the people of the overcrowded districts should find more profitable employment by reason of cheaper rents and cheaper liv in g in the W est and the South, they would bs cor dially welcome. W ealth and culture m ight lose some of its in fluence in legislation, but manhood and the permanency of our institutions w ill be advanced. Time, Mr. Speaker, w ill not permit me to apply the great ad vantage of more and cheaper money to the interests of the vast m ultitudes in this country who are sorely distressed and to whom the future is a matter of great anxiety. In a rich and new coun try like ours, present happiness and bright prospects should abound, and in my opinion greater general prosperity would fol low the enactm ent of this law. . I have not the tem erity to assert that it w ill result in injury to the workingmen in the. cities. They have organizations, and have carefully studied th is question and have declared in favor of free and unlimited coinage of silver and stand shoulder to shoulder w ith the workman on the farm. Mr. Speaker, the oft-repeated charge by the opponents of this bill, that no man need be poor in this country excep t by reason of his own choice, shows an ignorance or disregard of facts and conditions that should ever debar him from active participation in framing the laws of the country. Mr. Speaker, it is claimed by some^Democrats that the passage of this bill at this tim e w ill jeopardize Democratic success at the coming election. This is a scarecrow that should not deter us from m eeting our obligations. T he coward never succeeds. The methods used and the ar gum ents made against th is measure are so full of fallacies that th e opppnents so far have contradicted them selves in almost every Statement of fact or soared so far above fact as to have no bear in g upon the question. If they were to talk plainly and consistno 7 ently they wouldsay, “W hile we profess a desire for bimetallism w e w ill use every means at our command to preserve tho single gold standard, for it is through this means only that sufficient scarcity can be produced to exact h igh premiums and advance Interest on Government bonds.” i Mr. Speaker, they can not deny the fact that during the past four years over $20,000,000 have been taken from the taxes col lected from the people and paid in premiums and advance inter est to the holders of Government bonds on the plea that it was necessary in order to prevent a money panic. It is this, experi ence that sharpens the opposition to this bill, for there are still outstanding over five hundred millions of Government bonds, quoted now at 16 per cont premium, and on w hich the holders are anxious to g e t the premium, .but w hich they know would be impossible of accomplishment as soon as the policy of supplying silver money directly from the Government is once established. Mr. Speaker, the excuse that at various times in the history of our country the ratio by legal enactment has been changed in order to preserve a parity in the bullion value of the two metals w ill not suffice as a valid reason for refusing to restore to silver the exact right it had in 1873, when at a ratio of 16 to 1 it was selling at a slig h t premium over gold. N either w ill the bare Statement that no silver was produced in this country prior to 1873 answer, for in the table prepared by the Director of the Mint the amount of silver produced in 1862 in the United States is given at $4,500,000; in 1863, $8,500,000; in 1864, $11,000,000, and increasing each year until 1873 to $35,750,000, only being $250,000 less than the gold production of that year. And the same table shows that the bullion value of silver during the tw elve years from 1862 to 1873, inclusive, did not vary in all that tim e 5 per cent from the bullion value of gold. Mr. Speaker, the same table shows that it was not until after 1873, when the coinage of silver was stoppedjjy our Government and its legal-tender quality restricted to sums of $5, th at the bul lion value of the two metals parted company; and, Mr. Speaker, the claim th at the coined silver dollar is a 70-cent dollar can, in m y opinion, only be made by a prejudiced man. One word in conclusion,in answer to the injury w hich is claimed th at free coinage w ill entail upon the soldier, the holders of in surance policies, and the small depositors in savings banks. N inety-nine out of ahundred of the soldiers and sm all depositors are more largely interested in their more profitable employment which w ill surely follow a freer circulation of money than they are in the increased purchasing power of their pensions or their sm all accumulated savings under a restricted volume of money. T he soldier who fought to preserve h is country is not disloyal enough to desire now to disrupt it by laying unjust burdens upon his fellow man who is not receiving a pension. N or w ill they fellowship w ith those who changed the contract in 1873 in w hich all debts were payable, and who still in sist on retaining the un just advantage they then gained. U0 O