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THE SILVER BILL. SPEECH OF HON. FRANK E. BELTZHOOVER, O F P E N N S Y L V A N I A , DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 1892. " T h e overwhelming: preponderance of the educated financial opinion of the world inclines to the beliet that the proposed measure would simply result in stripping us of our gold, in upsetting our exchanges with the great trading and producing nations of the world, in bringing us down to the level of second rate financial powers only, such as China, India, and South America, and in involving our trade and production in all the inexpressible evils of a depreciated and fluctuating currency.*'—Gen. Francis A. WaIker. WASHINGTON, 1892. S P E E C H or HON. E R A N K E. B E L T Z H O O V E R . The House having under consideration the bill (H, R. 4426) for the free coinage of gold and silver, and f o r the issue of coin notes, and f o r other purposes- Mr. B E L T Z H O O V E R said: Mr. SPEAKER: There is nothing in which the people of the world are so deeply interested and ofwhieh they know so little as money. There is no subject on which the wisest have differed so widely and, on both sides of the contention, been so madly .wrong. There is no topic of discussion therefore on which all men ought to temper their most confident views with so much considerate regard for the opinions of those who differ from them. THE HISTORY OF MONEY. T h e word money is supposed to be derived from Moneta, a surname of Juno, in whose temple at Rome money was coined. In the language of Aristotle, " Money exists not by nature, but by law," as an invention of human society for its own convenience. I t is not necessarily of any particular form or substance, but Consists of anything which jpasses freely in exchange for the various objects of human desire. I t is as important to all the operations of commerce as steamships, railways, and telegraphs, and is the marvelous instrument to which the world is largely indebted for its progress and civilization. In the earliest periods that lie along the dawn of history, when the chase was the chief pursuit of men, skins were the money and medium of exchange, as they are of the Alaskan Indians today. W h e n the pastoral age set in sheep and oxen took the place of skins and became the money of commerce—ten sheep being equal to one ox. In the Iliad, when Glaucus exchanged his golden armor for that of Diomed, which was of brass, Homer says he gave an hundred oxen's worth for that of nine, and, therefore must have been " of judgment Jove bereft." The triod, the first prize for wrestlers in the twenty-third book of the Eliad, was valued at twelve oxen, and a woman captive skilled in industry at four. In that day, gold and silver and other metals were well known and used, but the money and unit of value was an ox. Pecunia, the Roman word for money, was derived directly from pecus, a herd, and the old English word fee comes from the same root. From the Agamemnon of iEschylus we learn that the figure of an ox was the sign first impressed upon coins and the same is said to have been the case with the earliest issues of the Roman 3 4 as. T h e live stock thus used to facilitate exchanges being counted by the head was called eapitale whence our term capital and the law term chattel and the common name cattle. T h e earliest record of values among the ancients is contained in Genesis, in the brief inventory of the estate of Abraham, when he returned from E g y p t " very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold," which were regarded as money in the order in which they were named. There were no coins then, but all metallic money was estimated by weight, so that when Abraham bought the field in Macpelah he " w e i g h e d unto Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver current money with the merchant." A shekel was worth about half a dollar, so that this famous field cost about $200. In Job we are told that " wisdom can not be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof." T h e Roman unit or standard of money value was the libra, which was a pound of copper or brass, and was shaped at first like a brick, but was subsequently made round.' T h e whole Roman coinage was of copper down to two hundred and sixty-nine years before the Christian era, when they began the coinage of silver, and half a century later that of gold. T h e Chinese used copper largely in their early general coinage, but also employed cubes of gold as their most valuable money. T h e Greeks coined copper, silver, and gold in the various stages of their history. T h e very earliest of their coins consisted of silver spikes, and an obolus or spike was the unit. A handful or drachm of these spikes was the next higher measure of value, but as there were some men in those days with very large hands, it became necessary to limit the handful to 6 spikes, which thereafter became the legal drachm. T h e Carthagenians made money out of leather, and Nurna, K i n g of Rome* made it out of wood. In the thirteenth century, Kublai Kahn, the greatest of all the Mogul kings, made the currency of his Kingdom out of the bark of the mulberry tree, and during his reign of thirty years issued to his subjects more than $600,000,000 of this bark money. I t was stamped with the mark of the sovereign, and it was death to counterfeit or refuse to take it anywhere in the Empire. T h e Spartans used iron for money, and Dionysius, the tyrant of Syracuse, made it out of tin. In innumerable cabinets may be found tin coins issued by the Roman Emperors. T h e K i n g s of England also coined tin, and in 1680 Charles I I had struck tin farthings with a copper stud in the center to prevent counterfeiting. Tin halfpence and farthings were also issued in considerable quantities in the reign of William and Mary. Russia for a number of years coined platinum. In 1618 the governor of V i r g i n i a ordered that tobacco should be received as money, at the rate of three shillings per pound; and we are told that when the V i r g i n i a company imported young women as wives for the settlers, the price per head was 150 pounds of tobacco. A s late as 1732 the Legislature of Maryland made tobacco and Indian corn legal tenders, and in 1641 Massachusetts made similar laws concerning corn. In Burmah the unit of value is lead; in the South Sea Islands, an ax; in India, cakes of tea; in Abyssinia, salt; and in Iceland, codfish. In 1694 straw money circulated in the Portuguese possessions in Angola,which consisted of small mats, called libongos, woven out of rice straw, and worth about 3 cents each. BEL 5 THE EVOLUTION OF GOLD, T h e history of money shows a plain and unmistakable evolution from the ancient commodities of barter down through skins, sheep, and oxen as money to tin, iron, copper, silver, and gold. This evolution has kept step with the march Of civilization, and its inevitable and inexorable trend is to the ultimate and exclusive use of gold, which is the most valuable, the most compact, the most enduring, and the most convenient of all the products of nature. T h e hunter age, the pastoral age, the military acp, and the mediaeval age have dawned into the great commercial age, in which there can only be in money, as in all other things, the survival of the fittest. In his exhaustive report on the establishment of a mint, Mr. Hamilton, in 1791, set the pace for this consummation in this country when, among other things, he says: As long as gold, either from its intrinsic superiority as a metal, from its greater rarity, or from the prejudices of mankind, retains so considerable a preeminence in value over silver as it has heretofore had, a natural consequence of this seems to be that its condition will be more stationary. The revolutions therefore w&ieh. may take place in the relative values of gold and silver will be changes in the state of the latter rather than of the former. T h e struggle for the supremacy of gold may be the great civic battle of the century; but there can be no doubt about the result. T h e opposing armies may be inspired equally by selfishness or worse; but the motives that actuate the contestants can not change the vital, progressive principle involved. T h e large creditor class, who have money to lend, are interested in making it valuable and limited in amount, because it promotes their fortunes. The still larger debtor class, who must borrow, believe they will unload their burdens easier by making money out of anything and in unlimited quantities. T h e vast proportion of those who are now shouting for free coinage of silver w i t h all the fervor of patriotism, were just as enthusiastic for the unlimited issue of greenbacks. W h a t they manifestly want is something to shut their creditors' mouths,whether it is paper or silver. THE CLIPPING OF COINS, This is no new thing under the sun. In every age of the world those whose debts embarrassed them, from kings down to peasants, have striven by every means in their power to clip and cheapen the money of their country so as to make it as plenty as possible. T h e Greeks did* it under Solon and later when the strain of the P e l o ponnesian war was upon them. T h e Romans began i t early in their career and continued it on down to the expiring days of the empire. T h e as was at first equal in weight to a Roman pound, but it was rapidly lessened so that at the epoch of the first Punic war it did not exceed 2 ounces, and by the time of the second Punic war it had sunk to 1 ounce. Augustus fixed t^e aureus, the unit of gold coin, at forty to the pound. Nero reduced it to forty-five. Trajan still further debased it until under Seyerus it was more than half alloy. Caraealla introduced a new silver coin called the argenteus as a unit and fixed its value at sixty to the pound. T h i s also was alloyed from time to time until under Gallienus it contained no silver at all. In this state of the money of the empire in the reign of Heliogabalus all the taxes were required to be paid in gold, while the government paid out nothing but this depreciated silver, w h i c h had to be used by the taxpayers to buy gold. BEL 6 T h e English followed the example in almost every period of their history, for in. the year 1066 a pound of silver made 20 shillings, while in 1600 it made 62, and since then i t has been still further stretched until now it makes 66. From the standard pound of silver the following number of shillings and pence were coined at successive periods: From the Conquest, 1066 to 1300, 20s.; from 1300 to 1349, 20s. 3 d.\ from 1349 to 1356, 22s. M.; from 1356 to 1421, 25s.; from 1421 to 1464, 30s.; from 1464 to 1527, 37s. 6d.; from 1527 to 1530, 40s.; from 1530 to 1543, 45s.; from 1543 to 1549,48s.; from 1549to 1551, 72s.; from 1551 to 1600, 60s.; from 1600 to 1717, 62s.; from 1717 to 1792,66s. From this we see that the amount of money coined from a standard pound of silver was at every change increased, until 66s. was coined in 1792 from the identical standard nound that made 20s. in 3066. T h e history of gold coinage is the same. T h e coinage from the standard pound of gold 23 carats 3£ grains fine, which was at times reduced to 22 carats, of £13 3s. 43., continued to increase until at the beginning of the present century £46 14s. was coined from the same pound, as will bo seen from the following: From 1344 to 1349, £13 3s. 4cZ.; from 1349 to 1356, £14; from 1356 to 1421, £15; from 1421 to 1464, £16 13s. 4c7.; from 1464 to 1465, £20,16s. Set; from 1465 to 1527, £22 10s.; from 1527 to 1530, £24; from 1530 to 1543, £27, £25; from 1543 to 1546, £28 16s.; from 1546 to 1549, £30; from 1549 to 1552, £34; from 1552 to 1604, £36; from 1604 to 1626, £37 4s.; from 1626 to 1666, £41; from 1666 to 1717, £44 10s.; from 1717 to 1800, £46 14s. There is a natural tendency among ail people to depreciate the currency. T h e y always try to g e t the best of everything which they are going to keep and use, but money is made to go and they want it, not to keep as a rule, but to pass off on their neighbors, and the cheapest and worst money they can compel their neighbors to accept, the greater the profit to themselves. T h e effort in behalf of the unlimited coinage of cheap silver dollars in this country is only a continuation of the same enduring contest. It is not a whit more honest in the people who advocate i t than it was in the Roman Emperors and English Kings. If cheap money is the best, then the cheaper it is the better, and while a 70-cents silver dollar on this principle is better than a 100-cents gold one, a paper dollar that costs practically nothing is for the same reason better than asUver one, and Kublai Khan's mulberry money was, on the same principle, better than either. T h e idea that clipping the coins and cheapening the currency of a country can help the people is founded on an utter fallacy as to what money is and what are its functions. T h e error probably arises largely from the general belief among the masses that gold and silver alone constitute money, while money in fact includes everything that does the work of money, coin, bank notes, checks, drafts, bills of exchange, etc. THE UNIT OF VALUE. In illustration of this theory there are a t least two hundred thousand millions of dollars' worth of commodities that change hands in the world's Commerce every year. In the transfer of this enormous ag*gregato of values, less than 1 per cent is paid in coin, less than 5 per cent in bank notes, and more than 95 per BEL 7 cent in checks, drafts, etc. The overwhelming preponderence of the world's useful money is not, therefore, gold or silver. W h a t , then, is the proper function of gold and silver in the monetary world? Incontestably to fix the standard and unit of value. The absolute weight or magnitude of the unit of money is a matter of little or no importance, provided that all people agree upon the same unit, and that it "be permanently and exactly defined and afterwards adhered to.— Jevons. In every age and nation there has always been something, some chattel or some one of the coins, that was the measure of all the rest as well as of all values in their commerce and business. W h e n Homer wanted to tell posterity of the foolish trade of Glaucus in exchanging golden armor for brass, he estimated it, as all his countrymen did, by the ox. In the same way the gold dollar is that which measures the two hundred thousand millions of the world's commerce, although it does not actually enter otherwise into more than 1 per cent of i t . W h a t are the essential characteristics of standards and measures? Of bushels and pecks, of pounds and ounces, of yards-and feet, of all kinds of measures? Uniformity, certainty, durability, convenience. The whole business world would be thrown into chaotic confusion if a bushel sometimes contained 4 pecks and sometimes 3; if a pound sometimes weighed 12 ounces and sometimes 11; if a yard was sometimes 3 and sometimes only 2 feet in length and if all were equally lawful. B u t the measures of quantity, weight, and distance do not differ in these respects from the measures of value. If there is any difference the measures of value dominate all other measures in importance, and must, of an inexorable necessity, have all.these qualities of certainty, uniformity, durability, etc., and must have them all in the highest attainable degree. In a note to his edition of Adam Smith's " W e a l t h of Nations" (page 502), Mr. J. R . McCulloch says: Money is not a mere commodity, it is also the standard or the measure by which to estimate and compare the value of everything else that is bought and sold, and if it be, as it undoubtedly is, the duty of Government to adopt every practical means for rendering all foot-rules of the same length, and all bushels of the same capacity, it is still more incumbent upon it to omit nothing that may serve to render money, or the measure of value—a measure which is undoubtedly of the greatest importance—uniform or steady in its value. Skins and sheep hnd oxen gave way, as money, to tin and iron and copper, and these in their turn to silver and gold, because these precious metals met all the requirements of the money unit and measure of value better than anything that had preceded them. Must the progress of the world stop and stand still on this subject while it goes forward with the stride of a giant in everything else? Must the inflexible law, which decrees the survival of the fittest in all things, and which has thus far solved the problem of the measure of value satisfactorily, cease henceforth to operate? T h e farmers of tho country would greet with indignant derision the demagogue who would propose two standards of the bushel measure, one of which would contain four pecks and the other three, i h e proposition, however, would not be more unreasonable and absurd than to have two standard dollars current in our business to-day, one of which is worth one hundred cents and the other only seventy. BEL 8 THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE UNIT. There cannot, consistently and honestly, be two such standards. T h e universal testimony of the experience, intelligence and common sense of mankind has shown that the attempt to establish and maintain two such hostile umpires must lead to a war of extermination, in w h i c h one must g o down. Robert Morris, the great financier of the Revolution, advocated the use of silver alone, because as he said, gold and silver could not be used as a standard on account of the variation of the ratio between the two metals. In all civilized countries the genius and industry of statesmen and scholars have been exhausted in years of futile efforts to establish the equality of gold and silver in the currency of the world. In all the discussions in Congress and elsewhere in this country, from the report of Mr. Hamilton, to which we have referred, and in which he hoped to succeed in the attempt, down to this time, the great object has been to obtain the equality of these metals, but all the most earnest and laborious and persistent efforts have signally failed. From the first coinage act, in 1792, down to 1834, the nation was upon a silver basis, because the ratio fixed by law subordinated gold. In 1834 there was another desperate effort made by legislation to correct the inequality, but it only succeeded in putting us on a gold basis, because the ratio established subordinated silver. In 1831 Mr. Campbell P . W h i t e made the following sound statement: There are inherent and incurable defects in the system which regulates the standard of value in both gold and silver. Its instability as a measure of contracts and mutability as the practical currency of a nation, are serious imperfections; whilst the Impossibility of maintaining both metals in concurrent, simultaneous, or promiscuous circulation appears to be clearly ascertained. In a report made the following year he writes: The committee can not ascertain that both metals have ever circulated simultaneously, concurrently, and indiscriminately In any country where there are ,>auks or money dealers, and they entertain the conviction that the nearest approach to an invariable standard is its establishment in one metal, which metal shall compose exclusively the currency for large payments. T h e first experiment of the United States with the free and unlimited coinage of gold and silver closed in 1834. In that year, what is known as the act of 1834, changing the ratio, was enacted. In a speech, delivered on the floor of the Senate in 1834, Thomas H . Benton said: The false valuation put upon gold has rendered the Mint of the United States, so far as the gold coinage is concerned, a most ridiculous and absurd institution. It has coined, and that at a large expense to the United States, 2,262,177 pieces of gold, worth 811,852.890, and where are the pieces now? Not one of them to be seen, all sold,^nd exported, and so regular is the operation that the Director of the Mint, in his latest report to Congress says that the new-coined gold frequently remains in the Mint uncalled for, though ready for delivery, until the day arrives for a packet to sail to Europe. He calculates that two millions of native gold will be coined annually hereafter, the whole of which, without a reform of the gold standard, will be conducted like exiles from the national Mint to the seashore and transported to foreign regions. In another part of the same speech he says that he must bring out certain facts— To enable the friends of gold to go to work at the right place to effect the recovery of that precious metal which their fathers once possessed, which the subjects of European kings now possess. Which the citizens of the young republics to the South all possess, which even the free negroes of San Domingo possess, but which the yeomanry of this America have been deprived of for more than twenty years, and will be deprived of forever, unless they discover the cause of the evil, and apply the remedy to its root. Far. 9 I t is rather amusing-, in the face of the present cry for the " silver dollar of the daddies," to listen to thife cry of 1834 for the gold dollar of their daddies. T h e coinage act of June, 1834, fixed the legal ratio of gold to silver as 1:16. T h e commercial ratio was nearly 1:15|. B y the act of 1792 silver was overvalued. B y the act of 3834 gold was overvalued. T h e framers of the act of 1792 thought that they were bimetallists, but they were, in fact, silver monometallists. T h e framers of the aet of 1834 thought that they were bimetallists, but they were, in fact, gold monometallists. T h e learned gentlemen who are supporting the measure now under consideration, for the purpose of securing the parity of gold and silver in the commerce of the country and the success of bimetallism, would become the most complete silver monometallists if their views should ever be enacted into law. . T h e report of the minority of the Coinage Committee of the House on the free-coinage bill of 1891 and the report of the majority of the same committee in'1892 put the whole issue in a single sentence when they say: u T h e whole theory of bimetallism is, that it links the two metals together, and holds them there." B u t this is absolutely untrue in fact, for all the efforts of the bimetallists by legislation and otherwise, for more than a century, have not held the two metals together. T h e exact ratio between gold and silver can not be maintained by legislation, unless you change the coinage laws every twenty-four hours. T h e race between gold and silver has been from the earliest period a progessive triumph for gold. A t the dawn of the Christian era it stood as 1 to 9. In 1500 it was 1 to 11. In 1700 S i r Isaac Newton, who thoroughly examined the question, reported to the English Government that " b y the course of trade and exchange between nation and nation in all Europe fine gold is to fine silver 1 to 15." In 1892 it is about 1 to 23, T h e relative values of gold and silver have, therefore, varied in every age, and vary now, and will continue to do so until the commerce and progress and wealth of the world, paralyzed bysome mysterious power, shall stand still like the marvelous petrifications of the ancient Ishmonie. It is an idle and delusive dream, or worse, to hope to establish a certain, unvarying and inflexible standard by linking together gold and silver. T h e laws of nature and trade and common sense are against it. T h e constant irritation of these efforts arid failures destroys the security and stability of the business world. W h y not then patriotically settle the question once and forever in conformity with the great preponderance of the opinions of intelligent business people who have studied the subject in our day, and in obedience to the uniform teachings of the past? A l l these are in favor of gold. (a) It is the most concentrated, the most certain, the most uniform, the most durable, the most convenient, and the most universally acceptable form of intrinsic value in the world. (b) It is the sole measure of value in those markets of the world where the great bulk of our surplus wheat, corn, pork, and cotton are sold, and it therefore not only pays for them, but also fixes the prices of our enormous product of the same staples retained at home. I t is a bold robbery of the farmers of this country to value their products on a gold basis and make them take depreciated silver in payment. BEL 10 W i t h gold as the unit of value, silver may be freely coined and kept substantially on a parity with gold, under a statute which shall provide that a dollar's worth of silver shall g o into every dollar so coined, and whenever a disparity above a certain per cent occurs, free coinage shall be suspended until a new adjustment of the ratio is made. W e should do everything in our power to promote the usefulness and value of silver as one of our principal products, but the demand that the Government shall by its stamp and fiat declare that 70 cents are 100 cents embodies sufficient heresy to defeat what m i g h t otherwise be just requests of the free silver advocate. WHO WILL SUFFER? The pending bill is for this reason an assault on the business stability and prosperity of the country, and its enactment into law would unsettle all values, wreck all commercial calculations, and sow a more disastrous crop of discord and distrust in the business world than ever grew from the fabled teeth of dragons. I t would stop the flow of the millions of capital to this country from Europe, w h i c h for the last twenty years have been seeking investment here in railroads, mills, mines, furnaces, ranches, breweries, and hundreds of other enterprises which tend to swell the currency and expand the industries of the nation. It will drive abroad the other millions of conservative capital which is in our savings banks, and among our people and which otherwise seeks employment here. T h e great creditor class which the free-coinage advocates are so anxious to mulct into a loss of one-fourth of their property, consists largely of wage-earners, widows, orphans, trustees, and the humble masses of our population. T h e thousands of investors in building associations, life insurance policies, and other rewards of frugality and industry would suffer to a great extent. Pensioners would find their allowances docked by 20 to 30 percent; the laborers to whom, throughout our country, $100,000,000in arrears of wages are always due, would suffer a dead loss in equal proportions; their employers would be able moreover to hold them to the same nominal figures on their rolls long after those figures had lost a quarter of their real significance; and the injury that must be suffered by these classes would transcend, a hundredfold, all that could be visited on the richer creditors. Can any Democrat, glorying in his party's mission, as a friend of the common people, contemplate such an act without shame? These will be the ones to suffer from the clipping of our coins and the depreciation of our currency, and not the bloated bondholders and money magnates, who will all get from under in time to avoid the storm. T h e capital of the world, which is justly timid and cautious, will shrink from all the channels of trade and business everywhere before the menace to their interests by this bill. W h e t h e r silver was fraudulently demonetized by the act of 1873 or whether that law only crystallized the inexorable logio of events is wholly immaterial in this discussion. W h a t e v e r baneful consequences, if any, may have ensued from silver demonetization, are long since irrevocable and irremediable. T h e patience, industry and energy of almost a score of years have brought us out again into the open seaof business, confidence and prosperity. W e were ground for years between the millstones of inflation and BED—-2 11 contraction when, like the unfortunate victims in Mohammed's hell, we passed from the lurid heat and glare of war times to the frigid times of peace, and none should want to repeat that experience. W e have more money now than we had in the most prosperous days, for while our population has only increased twofold since 1860, our money has increased fourfold. T h e existing legislation, with amendments which can readily be devised, will give us a large, steady, and expanding currency. T h i s increase is sure to keep pace with our growth in population and property, and this is all intelligent and honest people should ask, and all that prudent policy could provide. T h e safest rule of human conduct is to let well enough alone, and the status in quo, if reasonably satisfactory, is always wiser and better than wild experiment. HONEST DOLLARS OF SILVER. B u t if free silver coinage must come, and if we are bound to float all the immeasurable stock and product of the world, why not demand that one hundred cents' worth of the metal shall be required per dollar, and thereby give us a respectable dollar of the daddies, which can stand on its own legs, and be the equal in dignity and power with the gold dollar? W h y should this great Government, like the barbarous kings of the olden time, clip 30 per cent from everjr silver dollar which it issues and cover this penalty for their existence into the Treasury as a sort of conscience fund? W h y not give the people a dollar's worth of silver for a dollar? W h y not emancipate our poor cropped silver coins, so that they can go abroad like their golden brothers and enter the commerce of the world? T h e people are r i g h t in their demand for an abundance of money for all the legitimate demands of trade and that thero shall be a steady increase in the volume of the currency in exact ratio with the growth of the country. W i t h this demand, however, should be inexorably linked the requirement that all our money should always be equal to the best, so that there can be no discrimination between classes, the h i g h and the low, the rich and the poor. T h e Government should see that in the matter of money the dollar which the laborer gets for his toil should be equal in all respects to that which the millionaire gets for his dividends. THE POWER TO REGULATE. T h e power of the Government on this subject is a h i g h and equitable one, and consists beyond all doubt solely in the r i g h t to regulate the value of all coins which it issues. T o regulate means to adjust by rule, and it is a gross absurdity to talk of establishing by rule that 70 cents worth of silver shall be worth 100 cents of gold. This is exactly what is contended for, however, by the most distinguished of the advocates of free coinage in this country when ho declares that, " it is the legal-tender function that constitutes money." This is not true in law or in fact under our Constitution. T h e Government by its fiat can make a worthless piece of paper, or 70 cents worth of silver, a legal-tender for the payment of a dollar, but it does not thereby make it a dollar in the sense on w h i c h the whole commercial world understands it. I t is a mere arbitrary exercise of power in defiance of reason and justice and the public welfare. It is not such a regulation of the value of the coins of the country as was contemplated by the founders of the Government. SEX. 12 T h e power of the Government back of its fiat can make its citizens take these alleged dollars just as Kublai K h a n compelled his submissive subjects to accept his chips of mulberry bark. T h e whole operation is based on the same principles and made effective in the same way, but when the old arbitrary Mogul king closed his eyes his bark money went up in smoke and his people were rid of it, but behind the stamp and guaranty on these short dollars stands the solemn pledge of honor of the nation for their redemption in gold dollars or their equivalent. These dollars do not pass by any intrinsic merit in themselves or by virtue of the fiat of the Republic, but because of the sacred promise that the sovereign people, out of their pockets and property, will see that they are each made worth one hundred cents. WILL SILVER GO TO 16? This promise is a mortgage as irrefragable as the national debt itself upon every dollar of wealth and capital in the nation. T h e promoters of this measure tell us, however, that upon its passage silver will rise to par with gold; but we have seen the utter futility of such promises,which were made the bases of the acts of 1878 and 1890. W h e n the act of 1878 was passed silver was under 18; when the act of 1890 was passed it had risen to 22, and now, with both acts, under which almost all the silver in the country is absorbed, we have the ratio over 23. W h y should silver increase in price? T h e silver output of this country is growing steadily greater— it was more than $70,000,000 last year—and it is realized that the argentiferous regions of the W e s t have but begun to be drawn upon. Bonanzas of fabulous treasure remain y e t to be discovered, of which a mere suggestion is afforded by the recent finds of gigantic ore masses at Creede and Aspen. One of these, called the "Molly Gibson Mine," has yielded rock worth $12,000 a ton. A single carload produced $75,000. Silver composed one-half of the mass, mixed with arsenic and antimony, a rare combination. W o r k i n g in this kind of stuff is almost like digging for wealth in the vaults of the Treasury at Washington. A pocket in the " P a r k Regent," at Aspen, as big as a good-sized room, struck nine week ago, held $100,000. T h e European nations saw many years ago that silver must depreciate, and therefore they began to demonetize it as far back as 1869, and fully completed it in 1873. There i s not a nation of Europe to-day who coins silver for legal tender, and even in the countries which have nominally a silver standard they coin no new silver and are very anxious to dispose of what they have. T h e trade of the commercial world is carried on on a gold basis everywhere. T h e bushel of wheat which we export to England governs the price of every bushel consumed at home, and so through all the list, and hence these European and other nations, who are practical, try all in their power to get to a gold basis, and for that reason they dispose of all the silver they can as fast as possible. T h e report of the Director of the Mint shows that the world's coinage of silver during the year 1888 was $149,000,000, and that Europe coined less than $14,000,000 of that amount. T h e balance was coined by such nations as India, some $51,000,000; the United States, some $31,000,000; Mexico, some $27,000,000; Japan, $10,000,000, etc., indicating plainly that Europe has got through with BEL 13 silver as money. The question of a double standard was brought up in the Reichstag at Berlin some time ago, but it was promptly squelched. Since the demonetization of silver by these nations, and since we have passed the acts of 18T8 and 1890, our Government has bought about $500,000,000 of silver, and y e t i t has depreciated in the world's market as metal 30 per cent, and were i t not for the continuous agitation, and the hope that it will become money again in our country, and by the continuous boosting and booming it gets from our silver producers and speculators, it would to-day be worth below 80 cents an ounce. T h e whole effort for free coinage is a bold and dangerous experiment, in defiance of the judgment and practice of the civilized countries of the world. T h e marvelous resources of the Republic have withstood without disaster thus far the strain of carrying by mere force our own entire silver stock and product, but who can predict the peril of loading the thirty-five hundred millions of silver unwillingly held by other nations that may be dumped upon us? T h e bill, according to the statement of its distinguished author, who laughs at all predictions of danger, will only add 30 cents per capita to the circulating medium of the country, and the leaders of the Farmers' Alliance, among those who ought to know, declare that this will afford no relief to the people. If its results do not go beyond this and do not afford the relief its promoters hope for, then it is clear the uncertainty and doubt it will cause in all the channels of business will far outweigh its usefulness. If it should flood the country with all the surplus silver of the world, and stimulate its production enormously here and elsewhere, and drive out our gold and unsettle the foundations of our national credit, the measure would be the monumental blunder of our history, beside which the demonetization of silver would sink into insignificance. A MISCARRIAGE IN STATESMANSHIP. T h e consideration of this measure at this time is a miscarriage in statesmanship, which, if it results disastrously to the great party which will be held responsible for it, will be reluctantly forgiven. W h i l e we are figuring and scheming to make 70 cents of silver into a dollar we are losing sight of a great crying issue on which all the people of the nation are awake and informed and ready for action, and through the neglect of which we are losing millions. W e have more of everything to turn into money in the markets of the world, more raw materials, more railroads, more seacoasts, more harbors, more genius, and more enterprise than any other people on the earth, but we do nothing toward getting the benefit of these great advantages. W e ought to produce and export $1,000,000,000 worth of manufactured articles every year, instead of only a little over onetenth of that amount. W e manufacture for only 65,000,000 of people and leave to a few nations the great field of supply for 1,400,000,000 of population outside of us. T h e result is that we do not even pay for all the manufactured products which we must have from foreign countries with our manufactures, but we pay the balance with the products of our farms, were we raise wheat in competition with the half-starved Indians, and Russians, and the barbarous Hungarians. Our farmers have behind them ages of inherited development BEL 14 and intelligence, y e t they are p u t by our laws on a level w i t h these barbarians in t h e g r e a t struggle of existence, instead of being in the workshops and becoming inventors and skilled laborers and producers of those things w h i c h are far beyond the capaci t y of these downtrodden people w h o have been slaves for centuries. W e squeeze the last dollar out of our consumers and pay debts by t h e exactions w h i c h are not due for twenty years, and pay on top of this twenty millions of premiums for the p r i v i l e g e of payi n g in advance. T h i s is a form of contraction w h i c h free silver people do not r e g a r d . T h e y abuse t h e national bank3 for contracting the currency, but never t h i n k of our p a y i n g $75,000,000 a y e a r on a national debt w h i c h had not matured. T h e y declare t h a t more people on e a r t h use silver than gold, but t h e y n e v e r tell t h e i r followers that the 350,000,000 of people who use g o l d had an e x p o r t and import trade last y e a r of $12,000,000,000, w h i l e t h e 382,000,000 of people w h o use silver had only a similar trade of $225,000,000. T h i s is a g r o a t national question, w h i c h involves all the essential economical interests of t h e country, and its proper solution demands intelligent, honest, manly discussion and consideration, but this is not the proper time for its agitation and decision. I t o u g h t not to have been permitted to oust or e v e n interfere w i t h a g r e a t e r and more imperious c r y for reform in legislation w h i c h is robbing our people and p a r a l y z i n g our industries and progress. W e h a v e money enough, and its quality is good enough f o r all our present wants. W h a t we should demand is t h a t our people shall be permitted to k e e p i t i n t h e i r pockets and use i t in t h e i r business without unjust restraint or the onerous exactions of the t a x g a t h e r e r . W h a t we should insist upon at e v e r y s t a g e of the proceedings from the b e g i n n i n g of this Congress to its close is t h e liberty to buy w h e r e we can do so cheapest and thereby save our money, and sell w h e r e we can g e t the highest, prices and t h e r e b y add to our accumulations the just rewards of enterprise and t h r i f t and industry. Increase our trade relations w i t h the world by s t r i k i n g down t h e infamous tariff laws; w i p e t h e stupid shipping statutes f r o m t h e books; place commercial agents in e v e r y city and port in t h e world, and l e t us assume our r i g h t f u l station among the nations of the e a r t h in commerce and manufactures, and our money matters will settle themselves without f u r t h e r t i n k e r i n g . A. Amount of gold and silver money in the world. Countries. United States,.... England France Germany Belgium.... Italy. Switzerland Greece Spain.... J.., Portugal ..... Austria-Hungary. Gold. $708,000,000 550,000,000 900,000,000 500,000,000 65,000,000 140,000,000 15,000,000 2,000,000 100,000,000 c40,000,000 40,000,000 Silver. $482, o n , 346 100,000,000 700,000,000 205,000,000 55,000,000 60,000,000 15,000,000 4,000,000 125,000,000 10,000,000 90,000,000 15 Amount of gold and silver moner in the world—Continued. Countries. Gold. Netherlands Scandinavian Union Russia Turkey.. Australia Egypt Silver- 25, 000,000 32, 000,000 190, 000,000 50, 000,000 100, 000,000 100, 000,000 fv000,000 - Mexico Central American StatesSouth America Japan India China.. The Straits Canada Cuba, Hayti, etc , 65,000,000 10,000,000 60,000,000 45,000,000 7,000,000 15,000,000 50,000,000 500,000 25,000,000 50,000,000 900,000,000 700,000,000 100,000,000 5,000,000 45, 000,000 90, 000,000 16, 000,000 20, 000,000 Total 3,733,000,000 2,000,000 3,880,891,346 B. Money in circulation in the United States January lf 1891. Gold c o i n , . $411,060,597 Standard silver dollars 67,547,023 Subsidiary silver 58,651,154 Gold certificates 144,047,279 Silver certificates 308,289,463 Treasury notes, act July 14,1890 21,896,783 United States notes 343,485,385 National-bank notes 173,938,259 Total Net increase 1,528,935,943 24,199,340 C. Money in circulation in the United Slates, March l, 1893. General stock, coined or issued. In Treasury. $606,661,364 1198,847,863 Gold c o i n . . . Standard silver dollars .. 412,184,740 352,920,220 77,096,549 14,787,832 Subsidiary silver 178,151,419 18,150,140 Gold certificates 328,421,343 3,280,157 Silver c e r t i f i c a t e s — Treasury notes, act July 85,236,212 9,517,659 14, 1890 346,681,016 34,549,328 United St&teB notes Currency certificates, act 29,440,000 90,000 June 8,1872 172,621,875 National* bank notes 4,792,427 Total 2,236,494,518 A m o unt in Amount In circula tion circulation March 1, March 1, 1892. 1891. 1407,813,501 59,264,520 62,308,717 160,001,279 325,141,186 75,718,553 322,131,688 29,350,000 -167,829,448 $408,752,874 63,560,553 57,345,638 147,119,129 303,822,259 28,871,279 | 340,274,851 168,692,736 626,935,626 1,609,558,892 1,518,439.319 Population of the United States March 1,1892, estimated at 65,049,000; circulation per capita, $24.74. Amount of money in circulation in the United States from i860 to 1892. Year. 1885 Amount. $435,000,000 723,000,000 1,292,000,000 1,609,558,882 Per capita. 813.85 20.82 23.03 24.74 16 D. Statement showing the changes in circulation during twenty years Jrorn October i,1870, to October 1, 1890. In circula- In circulation October tion October Decrease. Increase. 1, 1870. 1,1890. Gold coin Standard silver dollars Subsidiary silver and fractional currency Gold certificates Silver certificates Treasury notes, act July 14,1890 United States notes National bank notes Total 578,985,305 $386,939,723 62,132,454 1307,954,418 62,132,454 56,311,846 158,104,739 309,321,207 17,322,851 129,593,739 309,321,207 38,988,995 28,511,000 329,489,221 294,337,479 7,106,500 340,905,726 177,250,514 1117,086,965 770,312,000 1,498,072,709 7,106,500 11,416,505 117,086,965 844,847,674 Net Increase Average net increase per month Circulation per capita in 1870 Circulation per capita in 1890 _ _.. $727,760,709 3,032.336 19,978 23,969 E. Statement showing the changes in circulation during ten years from October 1,1880, to October l, 1890, In circula- In circulation Octotion October 1, 1890. ber 1,1880. Decrease. Increase. $261,320,920 $386,939,723 $125,618,803 Gold coin 22,914,07ft 39,218,379 62,132,454 Standard silver d o l l a r s . . . 48,368,543 7,943,303 56,311 846 Subsidiary silver7,480,100 158,104,739 150,624,639 Gold certificates 12,203,191 309,321,207 297,118,016 Silver certificates Treasury notes, act July 7,106,500 14, 1890 7,106,500 United States notes 329,417,403 340,905,726 11,488,323 National-bank notes 340,329,453 177,250,514 §163,078,939 Total 1,022,033,685 1,498,072,709 Net increase Average net increase per month Circulation per capita in 1880 Circulation per capita in 1890 _ 163,078,939 639,117,963 __ $176,039,034 3,966,992 20.377 23.969 Tables D and E exhibit the comparative amounts of the various kinds of money in actual circulation at several different periods. T h e various sums stated in the tables are all exclusive of money in the Treasury. T h e y represent, as nearly as is possible, the exact amounts of the several kinds of money in actual circulation among: the people at the periods named. Table D shows that during the last twenty years the net aggregate increase of money in actual circulation among the people was $727,760,709; average monthly increase during that period, $3,032,336; per capita increase, $4,991. Table E shows that for the last ten years the aggregate increase has been $476,039,024; average monthly increase for the same period, $3,966,992; per capita increase, $3,592. BKL 17 F. Money in actual circulation in England, France, Germany, antf United States. France. England. United States. Germany. 38.250,000 48,000,000 65,000,000 $550,000,000 100,000,000 60,000,000 $500,000,000 215,000,000 150,000,000 $567,814,780 384,405,706 657,338,406 1,701,000,000 Total 38,165,000 1900,000,000 700.000,000 104.000,000 Population Gold Silver Notes 710,000,000 865,000,000 1,609,558,892 Per capita: France, $44.55; England, $18.60; Germany, $18.02; United States, 324.74. G* jTA« relative values of gold and silver in the various countries of the world from the discovery of America to 1880. Year. 1497 1500 1551 1559 1561 1575 1623 1640 1665 1667 1669 1679 1722 1723 1724 1725 1726.. 1727 1728 1729 1730 1731 1732 1733 1734 1735..,. me 1737 1738 1739 1740 1741 1742 1743 1744. 1745 1746 1747 1748 1749 1750 1751 1752 1753 1754 1755 1756 1757 1758 1759 Ratio. Year. Ratio. 10.70 10.50 11.17 11.44 11.70 11.68 11 74 13.51 15.10 14.15 15.11 15.00 15.17 15.20 15.11 15.11 15.15 15. 24 15.11 14. 92 14.81 14.91 15.09 15.18 15.39 15.41 15.18 15.02 14.91 14.91 14.94 44. 92 14, 85 14. 85 14.87 14.93 15.13 15.26 15.11 14.80 14.55 14.39 14.54 14.54 14.48 14.68 14.94 14.87 14.85 14.15 1680 ... 1687 1688 168 9 169 0 1691. 1692 1693 1094 1695 1696 1697. 1764 1765 1766 1767 176S-—— . 1769 1770 1771 1772 1773 1774 1775 1776 1777 1778 1779 1780 1781 1782 1783 J1784 |1785 1786 1787 1788 1789 179017911792 1793 1794 1795 1796 1797 1798 1799 1800 1801 15.40 14.94 14.94 15.02 15.02 14.98 14.92 14.83 14.87 15.02 15.00 15.20 14.70 14. 83 14.18 14.85 14.*80 14.72 14.62 14.66 14.52 14. 62 14.62 14.72 14.55 14.54 14.68 14.80 14.72 14.78 14.42 14.48 14.70 14.92 14.96 14.92 14.65 14.75 15.04 15.05 15.17 15.00 15.37 15.55 J5.65 15.41 15.59 15.74 15.68 15.46 2 Year. 1698 1699 1700 1701 1702 1703 1704 1705 1706 1707 170 8 1709 1806 1807 1808 1809 1810 1811 1812 ttU3_„ 1814 1815. 1816 1817 1818 1819 1820 1821 1822 1823 1824 1825 1826 1827__ . . . 1828 1829 1S30 1831 1832 1833 1834.„. 1835 1836 1837 1838 1839 1840 1841 1842 1813 Ratio. 15.07 14.94 14.81 15.07 15.52 1». 17 15.22 15.11 15.27 15.44 15.41 15.31 15. 52 15. 43 15. O S 15.96 15.77 15.53 16.11 16.25 15.04 15.26 15.28 15.11 15.35 15.33 15.62 15.95 15.80 15.84 15.82 15.70 15.76 15.74 15.78 15.78 15.82 15.72 15.73 15.93 15.73 15.80 15.72 15.83 15.85 15. 62 15.62 15.70 15 87 15.93 Year. 1710 i7ii.: 1713 1714 1715 1716 1717 1718 1719 __ „ 1720 1721 . . . __ 1848 1849 1850 1851 1852 1853 1854 1855 1856. 1857 1858. 1859 1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 IS 66 1867 1868 1869 1870 1871 1872 1873 1874... 1875 1876 1877.'. 1878 „ 1879.: 1880 1881 1882 1883 Ratio. 15.22 15.29 15.31 15.24 15.13 15.11 15.09 15.13 15.11 15.09 15.04 15.05 15.85 15.78 15.70 15.46 15.59 15.33 15.33 15.33 15.33 15.27 15.33 15.19 15.29 15.50 15.35 15.37 15.37 15.44 15.43 15.57 15.59 15.60 15.57 15.57 15.63 15.92 16.17 16.59 17.83 17.22 17.94 13.40 13.05 18.16 18.19 18.64 18 57 19! 41 18 The relative values of gold and silver, etc.—Continued. Year. Ratio. 1760 1761 . 1762._____„ 1763 14.14 14.54 ' 15.27 14.99 Year. 1802 1803 1804 1805 Ratio. 15.26 15.41 15.41 15.79 Year. 1844 184 5 184 6 1847 Ratio. Year. 15.85 1886 15.92 1887 15.90 | 1888 15.80 1889 Ratio. 20.78 21.13 21.99 22.10 The causes of the recent rapid decline of silver were stated as follows by Mr. Leech, Director of the Mint, before the Coinage Committee of the House, in January, 1891: In December, 1865, a monetary treaty was entered into between France, Switzerland, Italy, and Belgium, to which Greece subsequently became a party. The convention prescribed the denomination, weight, and fitness of the coins that should in the future be struck by each of the contractinparties. By the terms of this convention the coinage of gold was unlimited in amount, and the coinage of 5-franc silver pieces of full legal-tender value was permitted without limitation in all of the States comprising the union, at the ratio of 15* ounces of silver to 1 ounce of gold. All other silver coins were made subsidiary and to be coined only on Government account. The treaty has been modified and renewed on several occasions, but the main objects have been preserved. In 1871 and 1873 laws were enacted by Germany by which gold was made the sole standard of value and silver demonetized. All silver coins which had previously been issued and received in the several states of the German Empire were called in. In order to procure the necessary gold for coinage purposes Germany was forced to sell from time to time up to 1879 large quantities of silver from its store of melted silver coins, including the lai'ge amount received after the close of the Franco-Prussian war from France in payment of indemnity. The effect of this legislation was the creation of a demand for gold in Germany and an increase of the supply of silver bullion or melted coins in other countries, followed by a depreciation of the price of the latter metal. In the mean time there was a large increase in the production of silver, which,with other causes, tended to further depreciate the price. Owing to the fact that it became profitable to brokers and exchange-dealers to purchase silver in Germany and send it to the states comprising the Latin Union for coinage into silver 5-franc pieces, it wTas decided ny the contracting parties in 1874 to limit the amount of 5-franc pieces to be coined by each. This, however, did not steady the price, and in 1878 the states of the Latin Union decided to close their mints to the coinage of full legal-tender silver, since which time this coinage has not been resumed. The action of Germany in demonetizing silver was followed in December, 1872, by Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. These States entered into a monetary treaty, formally ratified by Denmark and Sweden in 1873 and by Norway in 1875, adopting the single gold standard and making silver subsidiary, to be coined only by the states for change purposes. In 1875 Holland, which had been oh a silver basis from 1847, adopted the " double" standard nominally, at the anomalous ratio of 1 to 15 J, but in fact prohibited the coinage of silver, thus practically going over to a gold basis. By the law of September 9, 1876, Russia suspended the coinage of silver, except such as was necessary for trade with China. By the act of February 12,1873, the coinage of silver in the United States of full legal-tender quality was not provided for. Gold was made the standard of vaiue. Bui at me time this act was passed the United States was practically on a paper basis, so that the new law can not be said to have appreciably affected the price of silver. Moreover, silver was received from individuals for coinage into trade dollars up to 1878, and large purchases of silver were made for subsidiary silver coinage under the acts of 1873 and 1875, to take the place of fractional paper currency, which had been used for subsidiary purposes since 186&, S y the act of February 28,1878, the coinage on Government account of the silver dollar of full legal-tender quality was authorized. Silver for this purpose has been obtained by the purchase of some $24,000,000 worth each year. Notwithstanding purchases of such magnitude the decline of price has not been arrested The annual" supply of silver from the mines of the world has largely increased in the last fourteen years—the period covered by the great decline In the market price of silver—having doubled since 1872; that is,"from some $62,000,000 in that year to about 3124,000,000 in 1886. BEL C