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FREE COINAGE OF SILVER.

SPEECH
07

HON. RICHARD COKE,
OF

TEXAS,

IN TEE

SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES,

Tuesday, April 26, 1892.




WASHINGTON,

1892.




SPEECH
OF

HON.

RICHARD

COKE

THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM.

Mr. COKE. I ask that the resolutions of the Senator from Alabama on the subject of silver coinage now on the table be laid
before the Senate.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The resolutions w^l be stated.
The CHIEF CLERK. Resolutions by Mr. MORGAN, directing
the Committee on Finance to make examination and report
to the Senate certain information in relation to currency and
coinage.
Mr. COKE. Mr. President,, the restoration of silver to the
right of free coinage in the mints of the United States on an exact equality and the same terms and conditions with gold and
its use as full legal-tender money by the Government and people
of the United States is, and has been since 1877, demanded by a
vast majority of the people of the United States in every form
in which their desires and wishes can find expression. Bills for
this purpose have repeatedly been passed through both Hpuses
of Congress, against all the power of the executive branch of the
Government exerted to suppress them; and the Executive veto,
when all other methods of opposition and obstruction have
failed, has been unhesitatingly interposed.
The Democratic party of this country is especially committed
to the support of this great measure through the action of the
State conventions in more than thirty of the States of the Union,
containing nearly two-thirds of the entire population of the country, and by the votes and advocacy of from three-fourths to ninetenths of the Democrats in the two Houses of Congress whenever, until this session of Congress, free-coinage bills have been
before them. In addition, there has always been a considerable
and respectable minority of the Republicans who have earnestly
cooperated and voted with the Democrats in behalf of the measure. This great preponderance of public opinion, desire, and
sentiment has up to this time been defeated and held in check
by the combined money power of Europe and America, which
finds in both countries the surest method of holding in servitude
the masses of the people and appropriating the avails of their
labor to be through a contraction of the volume of the circulating medium in which values must be measured.
Since 1873, when Mr. Ernest Seyd, a German-English banker
and an alleged agent of foreign bankers and bondholders in aiding to effect the demonetization of silver, was in this country,
401
3




4
and when Mr. Hooper, of Massachusetts, who had the bill for
this purpose in charge in the House, said: "Ernest Seyd, of
London, a distinguished writer and bullionist who has given
great attention to the subject of mints and coinage, is now here,
and after examining the first drafts of this bill made various
sensible suggestions which the committee accepted and embodied in the bill," the efforts of that class, then so efficiently served
in this country by^ Mr. Seyd, have been constant, unremitting,
and zealous in cooperation with the same class in the United
States in resisting, obstructing, and up to this time defeating
the remonetization and free coinage of silver so urgently demanded by the great body of the American people. The leading
papers of this country for months past have teemed with all
sorts of articles and arguments in opposition to free coinage.
Extracts from foreign papers against silver remonetization,
evidently printed in Europe to influence public sentiment in this
country, have been published and republished broadcast throughout the United States by our papers. The wires of all the telegraph lines have been burdened with every conceivable sort of
literature, without reference to its truth or falsity, in the same
interest. The mails have been loaded with printed and written
matter of both foreign and domestic production in the same line
of opposition to silver coinage. In short, Mr. President, we have
in the last twelve months witnessed the most powerful, exhaustive, and vindictive assault, becoming more intense every day as
this session of Congress has been approached, and made regardless of expense or truth by the concentrated capital of Europe
and America on the free-coinage sentiment of our people.
The great mass of the plain people of this country, whose labor
creates its wealth, whose valor sustains its flag, and whose patriotism preserves and perpetuates its institutions, dispersed in
the pursuit of their avocations over a continent, without organization or concentration, either of which in the very nature of
their surroundings seems impossible, are the victims of this unholy and wicked conspiracy to prevent the restoration of silver
to its ancient full money power; because to do this would break
the great gold monopoly, which gives to the comparatively in
significant number in possession of that metal absolute control
on their own terms over all the products of labor. Our people
vote right. They make good county and district and State platforms declaratory of their will, and elect State and Federal officials pledged to carry them out in administering their governments. They demand in every way they know how, and have
done so for fifteen years, the free and unlimited coinage of silver; yet through parliamentary legerdemain, legislative hocuspocus, and "ways that are dark and tricks that are (not) vain,"
they are defrauded of their rights, cheated out of the fruits of
their victories at the polls, and left naked in the hands of their
oppressors, until the time rolls around for another canvass and
election, when the same performance has been repeated and the
farce of " H o w not to do i t " has been reSnacted.
Mr. President, this thing has gone on until it has become decidedly monotonous. The people are not going to stand it always
without calling to an account not only individual legislators, but
the political party which, with a majority sent here charged
401




5
with the duty of passing a free-coinage bill, lacks either the wit
or the will to pass one. There are times when it is said '4 patience
ceases to be a virtue," and that time may be unfortunately nearer
at hand than some seem to suppose. Certain it is that for fifteen
years the great majority of the people of this country, with the
most zealous and strenuous efforts they could make for the passage of a free-coinage bill, have been repeatedly balked and defeated by a combination small in numbers but powerful in wealth
and resources and influence.
The executive department of the Government, in all its
branches, from Hayes's Administration to Harrison's, including
Cleveland's, has been most thoroughly and completely under the
control and influence and dictation of the great capitalistic combination which has just scored another victory against the people on the silver issue. All these administrations made bitter,
savage war on silver, and left no means untried to discredit and
break it down and debase it. Nobody knew how Mr. Cleveland
stood on the silver question until after he was elected, and he
commenced to war on it before his inauguration in a letter addressed to a committee of members of the House of Representatives (one hundred of them) who were deputed to confer with him
on the subject.
All of these administrations, from the President down to the
lowest reporting official of the Treasury Department, in messages and reports denounced silver coinage, urged its abandonment, denounced the $346,000,000 of legal-tender notes as a debt
of the Government which should be paid and the notes taken out
of circulation, retired and cancelled, although not a cent of interest runs on them; advising the country that gold and national
bank notes should be our only circulating medium, with subsidiary silver coin for purposes of change. This is the feast to
which our people were invited in response to their oft-repeated
demand for free silver coinage, for a perpetuation of the legaltender note issue, and such other increase of circulation as could
be made in view of the money famine under which they were suffering.
No bolder or more audacious defiance of the popular will has
ever occurred in the history of any government, whether Republican or monarchical, than for nearly fifteen years has marked
the course of the executive department of this Government in
its dealings with the silver question. The power of the BritishAmerican syndicate of bankers and bondholders, which in 1873
accomplished the demonetization of silver, and since that time
has fought its restoration with all its tremendous resources, has
proved stronger than the people. Secure in the renomination
of President Harrison by the Republican party, and of his hostility to the free coinage of silver, if he should perchance be reelected, this combination is now giving its undivided attention
to placing at the head of the. Democratic ticket a name which,
like that of President Harrison, is backed by a record which of
itself is a guaranty that free silver coinage will be an impossibility if he should become President.
All the powers and resources of this great combination are being strained to their utmost tension for the accomplishment of
this great purpose. Democrat, Mugwump, and Republican in
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6
this combination meet and cooperate with the utmost heartiness
on common ground for the attainment of this end. It would seem
that Republicans ought to be content with dictating the nomination of their own party; and when they insist on participating in
the selection of a Democratic candidate that Democrats should
remember that the rule is good in politics as in war, that what
their adversaries desire them to do is exactly what they should
not do.
With the moral force inherent in the Presidential office, the
veto power and that which comes from executive patronage, all
secured against free coinage of silver, whether the President to
be elected in November next be Democrat or Republican, the
work commenced in the demonetization of silver in 1873 will be
secure at least for four years more from the 4th of March next.
This accomplished, the victory of the banking and bondholding
syndicate of Europe and America will have been won, and these
underground workers and manipulators of our politics will be
content, with their grip tightened on the throats of the agricultural people of the country, to rest from their political labors
utterly indifferent as to whether a Democratic or Republican
President is elected, to give to each party a liberal campaign
fund, and to retire to Europe and enjoy their vacation. Those
Democrats (and it is to be hoped there are but few) who propose
to seek relief through the organization of a third party are pursuing an ignis fatuus.
I can imagine no worse or poorer disposition a Democrat can
make of himself than to abandon his party to go into such an
organization. There is no room and never has been room in
this country for but two great political parties. All efforts (and
there have been many) to organize third parties have been
miserable failures. Whenever they have attempted to be anything more than mere political guerrillas, hanging on the flanks
Of the two great contending parties which have controlled this
Government since its foundation, they have been crushed out of
existence in the shock of battle between the two; not one has
ever survived a brief and profitless and troubled existence; their
membership has disbanded and been absorbed in one or both of
the two great par ties. There has not in the history of the country
been but one solitary exception.
All have gone that way, leaving no monument in the institutions or policies of their time, and are remembered only as temporary and evanescent disturbers of normal political conditions.
The Democrat who leaves his own to join a third party because silver has not been remonetized andfinancialstringency has not been
relieved, neutralizes and destroys himself as a political factor;
and, to the extent that his action can do it, weakons and breaks
down the only party capable of resisting the Republican policy
of perpetuating the single gold standard, destroying silver as
money, and investing national banks with the power and privilege of furnishing the country with its paper currency subject
to expansion or contraction at their will.
A Democrat who desires to accomplish these results by strengthening and building up the Republican party can not do so better
than by making a political nonenity of himself in the so-called
third party. The American farmer, of all the men in this coun401




7
try, has the most direct and vital interest in the free coinage of
silver and the expansion of the volume of our circulating medium.
They of all living men are the greatest sufferers from the Republican financial policy of contraction. Western and Southern
Democratic representatives in the two Houses of Congress are
now and have always been practically a unit in favor of the free
coinage of silver. To give free coinage and full money power to
silver means to double the metallic basis for paper and all credit
money, to double the coin basis for all banking purposes, and
make possible double our note and paper circulation, every dollar
of it redeemable in coin at the will of the holder. It means to
make silver float all paper and as much of it as gold floats,
whether Treasury and bank notes, or checks, drafts, or promissory notes. It means a per capita circulation of money equal to
all the requirements of this country, its business, and commerce.
And these results mean a return of prosperity to the country, good
prices for crops, good wages for labor, and a fair valuation for
all the products of labor.
One hundred millions of dollars of gold are stored in the national Treasury as a redemption fund for $346,681,016 of legaltendetf greenback notes, and has proved ample for the purpose.
Speaking in round numbers, $1 in gold thus floats $3.50 of legaltender paper money. On the 1st day of April there was in the
Treasury $354,063,617 of standard silver dollars, standing as a redemption fund for $325,141,186 silver certificates in circulation,
being more than $1 in silver for every dollar of outstanding paper. Every dollar of this silver is full legal tender. It will pay
debts, buy property, and perform all the money functions performed by gold.
Silver certificates are preferred to gold coin because more convenient to carry and equally acceptable in business transactions;
yet the policy of our Government, forced upon the country and
maintained by the Republican party, makes the gold dollar float
more than three and a half times as much paper as the silver
dollar is permitted to float. When silver was demonetized in
1873 it outvalued gold 3 cents on the dollar—it took 103 cents of
gold to buy 100 cents of silver. With free coinage we will have
no more of the much derided "70-cent dollar." Silver bullion
will become exclusively a money metal, will be no longer a mere
commodity, and will go to the mints and be coined into legaltender dollars. The gold monopoly will be broken.
Gold, now increased in value 33 per cent by legislation against
silver, will by the undoing of that legislation fall, and for the
same reason silver will rise, and the two metals will come together in substantial parity. These are the results which Western and Southern Democrats are endeavoring to achieve, and
which will be imperilled to the extent they can do it by such
Democrats as leave their ranks to go into a third party. If'
Western and Southern Democrats and the minority of the Republicans who are laboring with them for the accomplishment of these
great ends, will stand firm and continue to wage an aggressive
and energetic war on this line against the domination of the
British-American syndicate which through the power of money
and overshadowing wezrtth is aiming for their own aggrandize401




8
ment to reduce our agricultural people to the level of European
serfs, victory will crown their efforts.
Pertinacity, constancy, and courage are always 'necessary to
the accomplishment of great reforms. Faint-heartedness, indecision, factional divisions, and impatience never yet won a victory; while determined purpose and unity of action in pursuit
of the right never fails. Our achievements since 1878 give assurance of ultimate success. Over the most determined resistance of the executive branch of the Government, and in spite of
the utmost efforts to prevent it of the same class of people who
are opposing us now, we arrested the cancellation, retirement,
and destruction of the greenback notes and saved to the country
$346,681,016 of that currency, which is admitted to be the best
paper money in the world.
W e have now in the Treasury and in circulation or represented
by silver certificates $412,535,360 of coined standard silver dollars, issued under the Bland act of 1878 and the act of 1890, with
a monthly addition under the latter act of 4,500,000 ounces of
silver of the coinage value of nearly $6,000,000, represented by
Treasury notes which go into circulation. The greenback notes
and the silver thus saved to the circulation of this country, together constitute a full half of all the money in circulation on
the first day of this month (April), as shown by the Treasury report of that date. The Bland act of 1878 was passed over the
President's veto, and the act of 1890 was thrown as a tub to the
whale by the opponents of free coinage in order to appease popular clamor when hotly pressed by the advocates of that measure. They would gladly have escaped without making any concession at all.
With a President friendly to free silver coinage, or, if not
friendly, who would not have used the power of that great office
to suppress and defeat the will of the people, there has not been
a session of Congress since 1877 which would not promptly have
passed a free-coinage bill. The Western and Southern Democrats, with a patriotic band of Republicans (the same who saved
the South from the odious and infamous force bill), have moved
and engineered this progress toward the restoration of silver and
the expansion of the volume of our circulation. No other or
greater difficulties or obstructions can confront us in the future,
in advancing^ on the same line than have been overcome in the
past in securing what we now have.
What must the people of the South and West do? Must they
sit supinely and see all the products of agriculture falling every
day when they are already below the cost of production, without
making some effort to save themselves from ruin and bankruptcy?
In 1872 cotton was worth 19 cents; to-day it is worth only 6 cents.
Wheat was worth $1.47 per bushel; to-day it is worth 85 cents,
notwithstanding crop failures throughout Europe and famine in
Russia. Corn was worth 70 cents per bushel, and to-day is worth
41 cents; these great staples having fallen regularly with silver
since its demonetization in 1873.
I read here a short table prepared from official statistics of
foreign commerce for 1891, and the report of the Director of the
Mint for 1890 on Production of Metals, by Hon. Jo ABBOTT, of
Texas, and used by him in an able speech on the silver question
401




9
delivered in the House a few weeks ago, which shows beyond
doubt or controversy the relation between the fall of silver and
the fall in the prices of our great agricultural staples, and will
add that I have verified the figures and find them absolutely correct:
In the home markets.
Fiscal year ending June 30—

1875
1876

1885
1886
1887
1888
1889
1890
1891 (at close of)

Cotton
per
pound.

Corn
per
bushel.

Cents.
19.3
18.8
15.4
15.0
12.9
11.8
11.1
9.9
11.5
11.4
11.4
10.8
10.5
10.6
9.9
9.5
9.8
9.9
10.2
6.0

Cents.
70
62
72
85
67
54
56
47
54
55
67
68
61
54
50
48
55
47
49
41

Silver per
fine ounce
Wheat (calendar
per
year).»
bushel.
$1.47
1.31
1.43
1.12
1.24
1.17
1.34
-1.07
1.25
1.11
1.19
1.13
1.07
.86
.87
.89
.85
.90
.83
.85

$1.32
1.29
1.27
1.24
1.15
1.20
1.15
1.12
1.14
1.13
1.18
1.11
1.11
1.06
.99
.97
.93
.93
1.04
.90

* The coining value of an ounce of pure silver is $1.29.

There is no controverting figures like these. Since 1873 the
circulating money of this country has been based on the single
gold standard, while prior to that time it was based on both gold
and silver, these two money metaJs being practically equal in
volume. All paper money, notes, checks, drafts, bills of exchange, in a word all forms of paper representing credit, having been ultimately redeemable in gold and silver, and the
value's of all property, labor, and the products of labor having
been measured by the combined volume of the two metals and
the paper and credit superstructure they would maintain; when
silver (constituting one half of the metallic basis on which this
great paper and credit system was built) was demonetized and
the whole system was left standing on gold alone, the paper
money and all the forms of paper representing credit, the values
of all property, of labor and the products of labor, naturally
and necessarily had to undergo a process of contraction in order
to be adjusted to the new and narrower basis of credit and the
new and shrunken measure of value.
Silver deprived of money functions and debased to a mere commodity, fell in value, and with it went down all other commodities, while gold went rapidly up, so that 66 cents of gold will
now buy as much of anything, especially of agricultural products, as 100 cents of that metal would have bought before silver
was demonetized. The holders of gold and bonds, whether national, State, railroad, or municipal, and those having fixed in401




10
comes, thus reaped enormous profits in the increased value conferred on gold; while debtors who had to pay in gold, and owners
of all other property values, were correspondingly oppressed.
This is the work of the European bond and gold holders and
bankers, aided by their American allies, who prate and talk and
bellow in chorus about the dishonest silver dollar, about inflation and repudiation, and characterize as revolutionary and communistic the honest efforts of the people to undo, as far asi't now
can be done, the robbery which has been perpetrated on them.
I read here from the Economic Crisis, an able work on economic
subjects, by Mr. Morton Frewen, of London. He says:
It may Indeed be affirmed without fear of contradiction, tlie legislation arranged in the interest of a certain class, first by Lord Liverpool in this country, and again by Sir Robert Peel at the instigation of Mr. Jones Loyd and
other wealthy bankers, which was supplemented recently by simultaneous
antisilver legislation In Berlin and Washington at the instance of the great
financial houses. This legislation has about doubled the burden of all national debts by an artificial enhancement of the value of money.
The fall of all prices induced by this cause has been on such a scale that
while in twenty years the national debt of the United States quoted in dollars has been reduced by nearly two-thirds, yet the value of the remaining
one-third, measured in wheat, in bariiron, or bales of cotton, is considerably
greater; is a greater demand draft on the labor and industry of the nation
than was the whole debt at the time it was contracted.
The aggravation of the burdens of taxation Induced by this so-called " appreciation orgold," which is no natural appreciation, but has been brought
about by class legislation to increase the value of gold which is in few hands,
requires but to be explained to sm enfranchised Democracy, which will know
how to protect itself against further attempts to contract the currency and
to-force down prices to the confusion of every existing contract.
Of all classes of middlemen, bankers have been by far the most successful
In intercepting and appropriating an undue share of produced wealth.
While the modern system of banking and credit may be said to be even yet
in its infancy, that portion of the assets of the community which is to-day in
the strong boxes of the bankers would, if declared, be an astounding revelation of the recent profits of this particular business; and not only has the
business itself become a most profitable monopoly, butjits interests in a very
few hands are diametrically opposed to the interests of the majority. By
legislation intended to contract the currency and force down all prices, Including wages, the price paid for labor, the money owner has been aole to
Increase the purchase power of his sovereign or dollar by the direct diminution of the price of every kind of property measured in money.

For twelve years the prophecies of the authors of silver demonetization, that ruin and disaster would follow a renewal of
silver coinage, prophecies reiterated time and again by our Presidents, their Cabinet officers, and especially the Secretaries and
other officials of the Treasury Department, have been falsified
and disproved; yet these same people continue to croak them
in as dismal a key as ever. They predicted that $50,000,000 was
all the country would absorb, and we have now $412,535,360, either
in certificates or actual silver coin in circulation. Silver, they
said, would drive gold from the country, and we have by official
estimate $500,000,000 more gold in the country than we had when
coinage of our silver dollars commenced in 1878.
If any other experience is needed, France with her $700,000,000
of silver and $900,000,000 of gold, the two interchangeable and
circulating without friction at parity, presents a conclusive refutation of the argument that free coinage would drive gold out of
the country or raise it to a premium. And it will be remembered
that the relation of silver to gold coin in France is that 15£ of
the former to 1 of the latter, while in this country it is 16 to 1—
a difference of 3 cents more silver in our dollar than that of France.
1711.




11
The nations of the earth which use concurrently gold and silver
money, according to Mr. Edward Atkinson's report to the State
Department in 1887, had in circulation in 1885 $2,463,002,000 of
gold, and by the sido of and at parity with it, $1,738,114,000 of
silver. British India and the Asiatic countries using silver alone
are not included in the estimate.
In these facts is found a complete answer to the argument that
with free coinage our country would become the 1 'dumping
ground " for all the silver in the world. The ratio between silver
and gold in France is the same as throughout Europe, and the silver coin throughout Europe passes interchangeably and at par
with gold. European silver coin could not be brought to this country except at a heavy per cent of loss in addition to the 3 per
cent discount it would meet here in competition with our own
silver coin. Why bring it here to be discounted when it is as
good as gold at home in Europe and doing duty and needed there
as money?
The alleged overproduction of silver is purely imaginary.
The silver production of the world is estimated to be annually
from $135,000,000 to $150,000,000, and of gold from $90,000,000 to
$110,000,000. The Director of the Mint estimates that $18,105,901 of gold and $9,231,178 of silver, went into the industrial arts
in the United States alone during the year 1890, and reports that
the amount of these metals going into the arts is increasing rapidly every year. According to this statement, the aggregate
of gold and silver going into the arts annually and increasing
each year is $27 ,-337,079 in this country. I have no estimate as to the consumption of these metals in the
balance of the world in the industrial arts, but of course it must
be very much greater in the aggregate, possibly many times as
much as that used in our country. Some idea may be found from
these facts of the annual addition to the world's stock of money
after the demand of the industrial arts for gold and silver has
been supplied. It was estimated in 1886 by the Director of the
Mint that $46,000,000 of gold were consumed in the arts, leaving
only fifty or sixty millions for money purposes to meet the increasing annual demands of the business of the world. And it
may be added that by common consent and admission the gold
production of the world is now and has been diminishing for
some time.
Secretary Windom, in his report to the Fifty-first Congress,
stated that there is no known accumulation of silver bullion anywhere in the world, and that all the silver coin in Europe is
needed and employed there for money purposes. Our own country produces more than 40 per cent of all the silver mined in the
world. This great product has been deliberately sacrificed, and
the interest of the mass of our people, in opposition to their repeated and almost earnest protest, subordinated to a European
policy, which was adopted for the purpose of maintaining there
an aristocracy in the power to hold in subjection the common
people through the influence of wealth in the hands of a few.
Republican France, of all the European powers, stands most
firmly by silver, and gives the most splendid illustration of its
virtues as the money of the common people.
Like the other arguments against free coinage, the charge of
401




12
overproduction falls to the ground when confronted with the
facts of silver production and consumption in the world, the necessity for it in view of the dwindling and decreasing production of
gold, and the increasing necessity of the world for money. Instead
of the ruinand disaster so confidently predicted as a consequence of
the partial coinage of silver we now have, only the most beneficent
results have followed; and it is frankly and freely admitted by
some of the ablest opponents of silver coinage in the United
States that our silver saved us in the recent perilous crisis from
which we are just emerging, arising from scarcity of gold and
an enforced contraction of the volume of money.
When gold left the country silver remained with us. And it
is always true when we have both metals in circulation that one
of them always remains; both never leave. When one flows out
the other comes in to take its place and fill the vacuum. The
two metals are the complement of each other. Neither performs
its proper functions except when the other is also ready to perform its part. Either one of these metals enthroned alone as
money becomes a despot—an instrument of monopoly. The other
is needed to hold it in check and reduce what otherwise would
be a destructive power to a condition of conservative beneficence.
These two metals during allt the ages have been joined together in the service of civilization, commerce, and progress, and
have never been divorced, except when greed for gam and lust for
power by the few over the great mass of the people has prompted
it. The production of these metals from the earliest times of
which we have records has been varying, silver sometimes predominating and at other periods gold. Tables of the Director of
the United States Mint show that from 1801 to 1820 the average
yearly yield was 4 of silver to 1 of gold; from 1821 to 1840 the
average annual yield was 2 of silver to 1 of gold; from 1841 to
1860 the annual average was 2£ of gold to 1 of silver; from 1861 to
1880 the average was nearly 2 of gold to 1 of silver; from 1881 to
1889 the average was one-sixth more of silver than of gold.
'Ehe most remarkable fact in the history of these metals is that
an excessive production of either one of them has, in due time,
invariably been corrected by an enlarged production of the other,
so that, as stated in the speech of Senator JONES of Nevada, delivered in this body May 12,1890, " the stock of both existing in
the world (the product of all time) is estimated to be about equal,
the production of the past five hundred years being set down as—
gold, $7,240,000,000; silver, $7,455,000,000." If we accept the experience of the world from the beginning of time as the test of
truth on this subject, we need not fear for the maintenance of
the desired equality in the production of the two precious metals.
England found her great opportunity* and with the sagacious
and far-reaching statesmanship for which her rulers are more
distinguished than those of any other country on earth, seized
and improved it, in the great crime of silver demonetization by
the United States, the leading silver-producing country in the
world. Her great dependency, British India, containing more
than one-seventh of the entire population of the globe, of which
by the recent census more than 40 per cent are engaged in agriculture, uses silver almost exclusively. Silver is the sole metallic money of India, and is unaffected in value by the fluctuations
401




13
of the prices elsewhere of silver bullion; and it is the current
money, at its face value, in all business and commerce throughout
that great and enormously populated empire.
British India produces largely both cotton and wheat. The
cost of labor wages is lower in India than in any other country
of the world, amounting to only a few cents per day, so that the
two great staples named are produced at much smaller cost than
in any other country. London is the great silver market of the
world/as it is the world's market for wheat and as Liverpool is
for cotton. Our own Government mattes its monthly purchases
of silver under the act of 1890, as it did those under the Bland
act of 1878 until its repeal, by London quotations.
Silver, debased and cheapened by American legislation, flowing into the great London market, where it is the policy of the
English Government to depress its price to the lowest possible point for the benefit of India, whither it goes and is absorbed in that great population within a small fraction of being
four times as numerous as that of the United States, has given
-tremendous development to the production of wheat and cotton
and the manufacture of the latter, indeed to all the business and
commerce of India. The Suez Canal, shortening and cheapening the export route to the markets of the world, has also been
a factor of importance in this advancement and progress of
India.
Our great war tariff, superseded in 1890 bv the still greater
and almost prohibitory McKinley tariff law, being regarded as a
declaration of commercial war against all the nations of the earth,
they have banded against us and in a spirit of retaliation have
for twenty years been striving in every possible way to render
themselves independent of us. Of our exports to foreign markets 76 per cent are agricultural products, and it is upon these
that this war of retaliation has been made with most crushing
effect. Our cotton, wheat, corn, beef, pork, and all other products of the farm, are now met in the markets of the world with
similar products from other countries raised by the cheapest
labor in the world, with which they must compete, because the
nations of the world have been compelled to foster these productions in other countries which will exchange and trade products
with them rather than with the United States, which, by a prohibitory tariff, excludes foreign goods from our markets.
Thus our farmers, while being robbed in all they buy at home,
at the same time are having the foreign market for their surplus well nigh destroyed by the tariff. Hear the advice given
the wheat-raisers of the Northwest by the Finance Committee
of the United States Senate. I read from Part I, Tariff Testimony Finance Committee, United States Senate, page 21, as follows:
The competition in wheat-growing which has been developed in India,
South America, Australia, and In the British Possessions in North America
is likely to make unprofitable the production of this cereal for exportation
by our people, and to cause the wheat-grower of the Northwest to look to an
enlargement of the certain and remunerative home market. This enlarged
and profitable market can only be secured by increasing the number of people engaged in other than agricultural pursuits, and by furnishing to all increased employment without diminution of wages. To cripple our manufacturing interests and reduce the purchasing power of our workingmen will
result in augumenting the number of competitors in the field of agricultural production, and the increased supply could, in that event, only find a
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market in Europe bv enforced competition with India at ruinous prices.
Wheat can now be laid down in Liverpool from the central provinces of India at as low a cost for transportation. as from Chicago, and Indian wheat
can be delivered in New York at less cost for transportation than from the
wheatfieldsof Dakota.
It is for the highest interest of the American farmer that the number of
our food consumers rather than of food producers should be increased, and
that the general prosperity of all should be secured. It is true that the decline in prices of agricultural products has been very great, but the value of
these when measured by the value of clothing, farming utensils, or other
necessaries of a farmer's life, is much greater now than in any of the years
preceding 1860.

Our tariff legislation furnished the incentive, indeed the compulsion, for the great development of wheat-growing in the
countries named, and the demonetization of silver under the inspiration and manipulation of the British-American combination of bond and gold owners, furnished to India and South
America, which use only silver money, cheap silver to infuse
life and energy and enterprise into the business and agriculture
of those countries by giving them an abundant money circulation. Wheat,t says this committee, can be laid down in Liverpool from India at as low a cost of transportation as from^ Chicago, and can be delivered in New York from the same country
at a less cost of transportation than from the wheat fields of Dakota.
Wheat is raised in India with labor costing only 7 or 8 cents
per day; and if the cost of transportation is no greater from India
to Liverpool than from Chicago to that point, and is less from
India to New York than it is from Dakota to New York, it is
very plain that the Finance Committee, if correct, has shown
that we have not only lost our great foreign market for wheat,
but are in danger of having our home market invaded; for we
all know that our wheat-growers have to pay many times 7 cents
per day for the labor which produces it. Cotton stands on precisely the same footing with wheat in respect to its production
in and transportation from India and South America. That
wheat is not so low as cotton in proportion is due entirely to the
accident of short crops throughout Europe and famine in Russia,
which usually is the source of large wheat supplies for Europe.
Before the demonetization of silver the wheat and cotton
growers of the United States met no competition in European
markets with India. India had never exported one bushel of
wheat to England prior to 1874. The United States was at that
time exporting to England 150,000,000 bushels yearly, and receiving for it usually $1.20 per bushel. In 1889 the wheat exports of
the United States to England had fallen to about 45,000,000
bushels, and the price to 90 cents, while those of India had risen
from less than 200,000 bushels in 1874 to 50,000,000 bushels.
An authority now before me states that while it had taken
England fifteen years to increase her spindles from 150,000,000
to 250,000,000, India, with the aid of cheap American silver, has
added 100,000,000 spindles in ten years. This of course was to
spin India cotton, to the displacement of the same amount of
American cotton. Sir R. N. Fowler is represented by the same
authority to have said in a speech before the Colonial Board of
Trade in London, in speaking of the British India silver policy:

If we continue this policy a few years longer we can ruin the wheat and
cotton industry of the united States and buildup India as the chief exporter
of these staples.
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Cheap breadstuffs and cheap cotton is what England above all
else desires. Our farmers and planters have heretofore furnished English markets with these indispensable products; but
our own Government has in its antisilver policy surrendered our
high vantage ground to England and enabled her to hand Over
to her great dependency, British India, the export market for
cotton and wheat, which under all the laws of trade, should have
remained ours.
Mr. President, British India pays annually to the British Government a little more than $72,000,000 on account of the expenses
of the British Government in India. This is a debt which must
be paid in gold or its equivalent in silver. It is always paid in
silver, and is increased from 30 to 40 per cent by reason of the
discount on silver when valued in gold; making the debt, when
liquidated, amount to the neighborhood of 105,000,000 silver dollars. The greater the discount on silver, the larger the amount
paid to the British Government every year in liquidation of it.
British merchants every week and month make payments of
millions of dollars in India for purchases there, all in silver, and
the cheapest silver brings to them, as it does to the British Government, the largest profits. British interests, which control
the great London silver market, and the commerce as well of all
the silver-using countries of the world, all find their most lucrative business with India in the cheapest silver; because when
sent to that country and coined the money is of full face or coinage value and is the current money of the country. Besides, to
cheapen silver cripples the productive power of the United
States, the great rival of England, while building up and increasing the capacity of British India for the production of cotton and
wheat for English consumption.
England will never surrender her power or her advantages in
respect to this silver question voluntarily or unless forced to do
it. She refuses now and has always refused to treat with other
powers for a basis for bimetallic coinage. She knows her advantages and proposes to hold them. The other powers of Europe decline peremptorily all propositions looking to an international agreement for bimetallic coinage unless England joins,
which it is admitted on all sides she will not do. So, Mr. President, the man who tells the country he favors free coinage of
silver under an international agreement simply adopts a circuitous method 6f declaring that he favors the single gold standard
and is opposed to silver coinage, because he knows that an international agreement is an impossibility.
Confined to the narrow and, as we have seen, diminishing margin of gold for the measurement of values since the destruction
of silver money in 3873, the fall of prices which then commenced
has been going on ever since, and continues yet day after day,
and month after month. In many sections of the country, desperate efforts have been made to arrest this fall by means of
"booms," which have always ultimately reacted with the most
destructive effect. Our only hope of extrication from this condition (and nobody has proposed any other) is to reform the tariff,
reduce it to a strictly revenue basis, and establish the freest trade
possible between our country and the other nations of the earth,
consistent with the collection of a sufficient revenue for the sup401




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port of the Government; and to retrace our steps on the silver
question, undo as far as can now be done the crime of its demonetization, and restore silver to free coinage and full money power,
making it the equal before the law in all respects with gold.
These two great policies go hand in hand, are inseparably
connected and bound together, and the success of both is indispensable to the national prosperity. We can expect no aid from
Europe in restoring silver except from republican France. Aristocratic and kingly power, with the aid of its American dupes
and allies, decreed for its own aggrandisement the destruction
of silver money both in Europe and America, and will never voluntarily surrender what it has gained. The United States,
when not half the power among the nations of the earth they
now are, struck the blow which demonetized silver, and, if silver is to be restored, must lead the way with a bold and aggressive free-silver policy. This will accomplish what we desire,
and nothing else will. If this Government will adopt free coinage, and boldly and honestly enforce it, Europe instead of ourselves will be begging for an international bimetallic agreement.
The solicitude of European gold and bond owners and brokers,
which prompted them to send Mr. Seyd over here to aid in procuring the demonetization of silver when our unsuspecting people
knew nothing about what was going on, and the fight they and
their capitalistic brethren on this side of the ocean have been
making ever since to retain the power then obtained, is conclusive
proof of their opinion that this Government can control the silver
question. No man has ever doubted this who is not an advocate
of the single gold standard per se, and opposed on any terms to
silver coinage. The power of this Government is fully equal to
the greatest requirements of the occasion, and the highest and
*best interests of the people demand that it be exerted. Let our
people be but true to themselves, continue without ceasing the
agitation of this question, and exact the most rigid responsibility
from all their representatives, State and national, for their action on this subject, and success is assured.
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