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A Dollar Equal iu Talue to Every Other Dollar.

OF N E W Y O R K ,


Friday, August 25,189S.

The House having under consideration the bill (H. R. 1) to repeal a part of
an act, approved July 14, 1890, entitled "An act directing the purchase of
silver bullion and the issue of Treasury notes thereon, and for other purposes"—

Mr. P A Y N E said:
Mr. SPEAKER: Representing, as I do, a portion of the State
of New York, after hearing the remarks which have been made
about New Yorkers as the " g o l d bugs of Wall street," and the
" agents of Lombard street," and " Shy locks ".and other like
things—after hearing so many epithets of that description applied so freely to the people of New York, I feel as though I
ought to introduce myself to the House before I commence iny
remarks upon the pending measure. [Laughter.]
I do not represent a Wall street district. Why, bless your
souls, gentlemen, if I should try to run for an office any where below High Bridge I would not get votes enough to be returned
even among the "scattering." fLaughter.] My district is 300
miles away from Wall street, and three-fourths of my constituents are tillers of the soil. They have the same interests that
the'farmers of the great West ha,ve. They get their living in
the s ime way, and they are as intelligent as the constituents of
members from the Western States are, and they know that their
relr.ti ns to the money centers of the world are as close as the
relations of the merchant or the manufacturer can be.
They can not move their crops, they c m not harvest their
crops, they can not reach the markets, unless the money comes
from the money centers. And these farmers, some of whom are
in debt because thejr are enterprising,men, because they are
not always content with the few acres that they can pay for when
they start out on the road to success, still realize that it is better for them to have a sound and stable currency, and they real*

ize it as fully as any man from the money centers of the world.
Mr. Speaker, we have had here two long, weary weeks of exhausting debate. There has been some argument and a great
deal of buncombe. There has been much of vituperation. We
have heard a good deal about the " surreptitious crime " of 1873,
when the Congress of the United States 1' secretly " passed an
act to demonetize silver—a measure, by the way, which had been
before Congress and the departments, and had been reported
from the office of the Secretary of the Treasury time and time
again for nearly three years. We have had stated, with great
circumstance and detail, the story of Punic faith, and themythican story about the drummer boy at Marengo, who taught Napoleon war, and christened him 4 * sire " before he had become
Emperor. [Laughter.]
The statement was given to the House with all earnestness, as
though the gentleman from Nebraska had made a new discovery
and was springing it on the House. But all this has little to
do with the question of the repeal of the purchase clause of the
Sherman act. I voted for the Sherman act in 1890 from a high
sense of duty. I shall vote on Monday next to repeal the purchasing clause of the Sherman act, also from a high sense of
public duty. [Applause.]
At the time when we considered the Sherman act we had upon
the statute book a law which provided for the purchase of $2,000,000 worth of silver every month, to be coined into standard silver dollars of 412£ grains each, and added to the circulation of
the country; and then, for fear that silver would not circulate
among the people, there was .a still further provision that the
Secretary of the Treasury might issue certificates for the deposit
of these silver dollars, and that such certificates should be taken
for all public dues, taxes, and customs duties of the United
Gradually that silver circulation, that silver coinage, WPS getting to a dangerous point. No dollar had ever been dishonored,
no dollar had ever b3en sold below its face value; but a point
was gradually being reached where there was danger in continuing the coinage. And then our friends from the silver States
who had studied the question of the production of silver, who
knew about their mines and their capacity to yield silver, assured'us that if we would purchase 4,500,000*ounces of silver each
month we would take the surplus silver not of this country only,
but of the world, and provide a market for it; and we could issue
certificates at the market rate upon that silver. And if this
were true, as they said with great reason, it would not be a great
while before silver would be on a parity with gold; the price
would advance, and then we could safely enter upon the free
coinage of silver.
There were other features of that bill which I will not stop to
refer to now., These were sufficient to induce me to vote for it.
W e got rid of the Bland bill, an infinitely worse measure, by
taking this compromise and truce of 1890. There has not been
a moment since that act was passed when I would not cheerfully
have voted to repeal the purchasing clause of it.
Mr. Speaker, in some quarters the distress under which the
country is now laboring has been attributed to this silver-pur143

chasing- clause. I think myself it has very little to do with it
beyond the imagination of men who believe that this is the
cause of the trouble. But had the Bland law been upon the
statute book at thistime, had the Sherman actnever been passed,
how much worse would have been the Bland bill in creating the
very disturbance which we witness now? There would have
been added to the currency from the time of the enactment of
the Sherman law within about $40,000,000 of what has been already added up to the present time. And now the price of silver
is so low that if we should substitute the Bland act for the
Sherman law we would get ai larger increase of circulation every
month from this time henceforth. For this reason I should vote
to repeal the silver-purchasing clause. .
Mr. Speaker, we must have some standard * for the measure of
values. There must be some yardstick, some base from which
we can calculate values. Since the civilization of man there has
been chiefly one metal used as money. Other metals have been
used, but this one metal seems to have had a stable character as
to its value. It is light and convenient to handle. It is the only
inetal out of which you can make a five-dollar piece that you can
carry about without a horse and wagon to help you. It has
seemed to be adapted the standard of money.
When I say that this metal has been stable in character* and
value you may say that other commodities have depreciated, or
that gold has appreciated. But you fail to take into account that
every other commodity is produced with less human labor and
less cost to-day than ever before in the history of the world. Go
to your farms and you find that a bushel of wheat is raised' at
much less expense than formerly. Instead of the old-fashioned
sickle, you now have the reaper; you have safe, convenient, and
easily operated machines to assist in the operations of farming,
so that a boy of 12 years of age can now do the work which formerly required half a dozen men.
Follow the product to market, and you find the same thing.
You have cheaper means of transportation—not the old ox team,
not the horse and wagon, not even the slow and cheap canal boat;
but you have transportation by rail, which has decreased the
cost of transportation 75 per cent within the last twenty years.
Where it cost two and six-tenths of a cent to transport a ton of
grain one mile, twenty years ago, it costs to-day but six-tenths
of a cent. Not only can the wheat be raised more cheaply, but
everything made by the mechanic can be bought cheaper, because of the inventive genius not of the American people alone,
but of the whole world. But when you come to compare gold
with human labor, you find that the laborer can get more for his
work to-day than he could twenty-five years ago. Labor has
been appreciating in value in comparison with gold. And when
you come to borrow money, how much have you to pay?
Mr. B A N K H E A D rose.
Mr. P A Y N E . I can not be interrupted; I have not the time.
The rate of interest has been gradually and surely decreasing
all over this country. Why, sir, it was only a few years ago
when in my own State 7 per cent was the lowest rate at which
money could be obtained; but for the last five years the people
have been loaning all the money the farmers would take at 5 per

cent per annum. In your Western States, where you at one time
paid 10,12, and 15 per cent, you now get money for 7, and even
G per cent.
Mr. H ENDERSON of Iowa. In my own county the farmers
loan money to each other at 5 per cent,
Mr. PAYNE. As my friend from Iowa suggests, the farmers
in his county do not exact more from each other for the use of
money than 5 per cent. Money, you say, has been appreciating in value all this time; yet it can be hired in the markets
of the world at a less per cent than ever before.
Mr. Speaker, there is a substantial reason why we should have
another standard of value than gold, and that re • son turns on
the question whether there is enough gold in all the world to
do the business of the world as a money basis. I believe there
is not. I believe that of this matal which can stand the test of
fire, which is light and convenient to be carried about, there is
not enough to do the business of the world. There is another
that appeals strongly to me as an American. There is another
metal, the white metal, one-third of which is produced in our
own co an try; and for this reason I am all the more in favor of
honoring silver also as a standard of value.
I would like to see both metals, side by side, travel together as
the standard of value in this country of ours. If I believed it to
be possible I would vote to-day for the free coinage of silver or
for the free coinage of both metals in order that they might go
forward side by side at a parity. But, alas! Mr. Speaker, the
history of the past shows us that this is not a possibility. There
has not been in a civilized country the free coinage of both metals existing for a period of years where one has not become
cheaper than the other.
So it was in France; so it was in our own country. Up to 1834
silver was the cheaper metal with us, and after that, at the ratio
of 16 to 1, silver was a dearer metal. It then passed out of circulation. We were on a gold basis from 1834, practically, down
to the present time. They did not travel at a parity. It is not
in the nature of things that they should. Why, gentlemen give
us as an illustration a couple of cisterns partially filled with water
and connected together by the same pipe, and tell us that the
water stands on a level in the two cisterns. And so it does. But
the trouble with your cistern of gold and your cistern of silver
is that they are not exactly alike. One is heavier than the other
in the markets of the world. They do not stand on the same
When water in one cistern and oil in another cistern, connected by the same pipe, will stand on the same level, then gold
and silver will do so, and not until then. They say also that they
are like two metals in the pendulum, one expands and the other
contracts, and so regulates the motions of the pendulum that it
neither loses nor gains time. But the trouble with silver and
gold is that you can not put them into the same pendulum.
When you invent some process by which they can be put
together in the same coin, and you c m detect the counterfeits,
you may have them traveling together, as in the pendulum, and
the shrinkage of the one may counterbalance the gain of the
other. But not until then.

Mr. Speaker, until all the civilized and commercial nations of
the world resolve upon international bimetallic coinage on the
same standard—at a common ratio—I do not b lieve that silver
and gold can travel on exactly the same basis on any ratio.
Why, the value depenis on supply and demand. Supply is affected by the difficulty in getting one metal or the other.
Thsdem tnd is affected somewhat by the amount of either metal
used in the arts; and as this varies, the price will necess irily
vary, not largely perhaps; but it does not require a very large
amount in a single n tion's coining of the metal to drive the one
or the other out of existence. If the metal broker can buy the
cheaper metal and put it into coinage and exch nge it for the
dearer metal, 1 per c.nt will be a sufficient margin to pay him
well for the trouble, and in this manner the dearer metal would
gradually disappear from circulation.
But if all of the nations were engaged in the system of bimetallic coinage it would riot make so much difference if the dearer
metal does disappear from circulation and the cheaper metil
remain, because the cheaper metal becomes the universal standard of value between all the nations trading with each other and
there is nothing to disturb the commercial r itio between them.
And so wh:n you can get the commercial nations of the earth to
unite themse ves together in the coining of both these metals,
then we shall have a bimetallic coinage that will be as enduring
as the nations in which they are used.
If we continue purchasing silver at the ratio now fixed, we put
off the day when the nations shall come to an agreement. England has stopped the coinage of silver in Indian the commsrcial
nations of the earth have nearly all stopped the coinage of silver. Let us stop too, and let us show the world that there is not
enough gold in existence to transact the business of the world,
and the world will come to our standard and we shall have then
international bimetallic coinage.
So, Mr. Speaker, I am in favor of the repeal of the purchasing
act to hasten the time when the white metal, produced in our
own mines, furnishing labor to our own miners, shall enter into
the world's supply of money and with a steady market, and shall
find and bring peace, happiness, contentment, and comfort to
those sturdy miners of the West.
But they ask us can we show any instance where a silver dollar has not passed current at 100 cents. No; we have not yet
reached that point. But go on with this purchase of silver to
an indefinite extent; go. on to the point whei-e the people will not
believe that the good faith and credit of the United St tes, with
the means at their disposal, are sufficient to redeem it in the
coinage of the world—the gold coin ige of the world—and then
you will find the silver at a discount.
Why, my friend from California [Mr. BOWERS] the other day
brought in a Mexicau dollar, and said he bought it for 60 cents,
while he had to give 100 cents for the American dollar with the
eagle on it. Now. did the e°gle on the coin make the difference? It was not so much the coin or the inscription upon it as
the nation which was back of it; because the people know when
they see the American eagle on the coin of the United States
that the faith and the fortunes of 65,000,000 people stand be143

hind it, pledged in honor to redeem it. That is what made it
worth a dollar.
While, on the other hand, the Mexican dollar with free coinage, free silver coinage, has found the level of the bullion value
in it, and nothing more. But, Mr. Speaker, the American eagle
and the American people could not protect the silver dollar
were it not for the fact that the coinage of that American dollar is limited by law. They tell us that France has maintained
her coinage of silver at a parity with gold for many years. In
1873 there were presented at the mints for coinage 154,000,000
francB* worth of silver.
That amount came into the mints to be coined against 5,000,000 francs'worth in 1871 and 1872. It frightened the French
financiers, and they took steps to stop the free coinage of silver.
The Latin union was called together, and they limited the nations forming the union to a coinage of 120,000,COO francs; and
in 1876 France discontinued the coinage altogether and succeeded thereby in floating the six hundred millions of silver
which they had in circulation.
But our friends say, ' 'Adopt free coinage, return to the Bland
law, or leave this statute upon the books.'' Whichever you do
will frighten Europe; and the people who hold our securities
will dump them upon our markets, and they will demand the
gold and take from us the three hundred millions or four hundred millions of free gold which we now have in this country.
It will increase the distress and the doubt and the discomfort of
our own people.
. Why, Mr. Speaker, in August, in the city of New York, a
crowd of men willing to labor and earn bread for their families,
carry a black flag through the streets with the words " Work "
and " Bread." If this thing continues until the cold December,
what will the harvest be to those men and to our country? W e
are spending two,weeks in debate, fourteen days, when fourteen
hours would have sufficed: fourteen days, when every man upon
this floor had his mind made up and a verdict ready to render
on the first day of the session. Why not do something toward
Will the repeal of the purchasing clause doit? It may help to
do it? A wise physician often meets a patient who is sick only
in his imagination,, and he administers bread pills, or the patient
becomes a fit subject for the faith cure. Let us administer the
faith cure, and to those men who believe that the purchasing
clause is the only cause of trouble in this country, that will give
some relief.
There are other causes, of which I will not now speak; but I
have deprecated some thoughts which have been expressed by
gentlemen on the floor of this House. Why, they have railed at
bankers as though they were villains, fit only for the State
prison. The gentleman from Nebraska [Mr. BRYAN] wanted
the statute amended so that the man who stole a million dollars
would get more than five years in the State prison.
Well, if a millionaire stole a million dollars from another millionaire it would not make much difference to the people of the
country at large whether he went to the State prison for five
years or for more than five years; but when a man steals a


million dollars he steals it from more than a hundred individuals, and commits a crime as against each one; and five multiplied
by a hundred would send a man to the State prison long enough
even to satisfy my friend from Nebraska.
But I have thought, when I saw gentlemen upon this floor trying to steal each other's demagogic thunder, that there ought to
be upon the statute book a law denouncing as a crime the larceny
of demagogy, and I would like to see that statute rigidly enforced, even if it vacated some seats upon this floor. [Laughter.]
But it is said that we are invited to follow the lead of England,
and to adopt the gold standard because England has it. Why,
we have had the gold standard since 1834, all the time. Now,
there are some gentlemen on this floor who are declaiming about
following England, who do want to follow England in tariff matters, in the direction in which England wants them to follow. I
am more willing to follow England in this direction of coinage,
a direction in which she does not want us to follow.
Gentlemen have talked about the price of wheat in India,
about English gold buying silver at bullion valtue and paying
for wheat in the cheaper metal. What is the remedy? Why,
they have stopped the free coinage of silver in India, and now
these wise friends of ours propose that the American farmer
shall take the place of the Indian farmer, and that England shall
buy our cheap silver with her gold, and pay our farmers for their
wheat with the silver thus purchased.
Then they talk about the debts of the farmer, and they want
cheap money to help tb e farmer to pay their debts. I have never
come across the farmer yet who was not willing to render dollar
for dollar of the money that he borrowed', just as good money as
he got when he borrowed it. But the farmers are not the debtors of the world. The debts of the farmers are as a bagatelle
compared with the debts of other classes.
The savings-bank deposits amount to more than $1,700,000,000;
deposits in other banks, $3,000,000,000; liabilities of insurance
companies more than $9,000,000,000., These debts are largely
owed to the poor people of the country, who deposited and paid in
their premiums in good, honest money on a gold basis. But beyond all this the toiling millions of our people, before the incoming of the present Administration, every week drew for their
wages more than $25,000,000, Who lias the hardihood to propose to scale the wages of the laboring men of the country with
a 60-cent dollar?
Mr. Speaker; pass a free-coinage bill at anyxrf the ratios and
you attract the surplus silver, for which there is little market
elsewhere; you stimulate its production here; you add untold
millions to our silver coinage; you fores upm us the single silver standard; by driving out all our free gold you contract the
currency by $300,000,00J or $400,000^000; you increase the cloud
of distress and doubt.
It has been often asked in this debate why it is that a silver
dollar is worth as much as any other dollar. Nay, it is claimed
that silver dollars bring a premium of 3 per cent in New York;
and one gentleman went so far as to claim that these dollars
brought a premium in gold. He did not stop to reflect that the
holder of gold coin in New York could go to the sub treasury

and get all the silver dollars for which he could pay, else he
would not have given currency to the statement.
It is true that a premium has been paid in New York for gold
and silver and paper currency, but the payments were made in
the certified checks of the bank, or the certificate of the clearing house. It was because of the scarcity of currency. By the
statement of the Treasury Department made on the first day of
the present month, it appears that there were outstanding greenbacks, $3i4,394,404; silver certificates under act of July 14, 1892,
$143,774,138; subsidiary coin,$64,007,129; amounting to $532,175,671; all of which is redeemable in gold coin.
The gold reserve on that day was $99,202,933. But there is
a still further draft on this gold reserve, because the silver certificates, amounting to $330,188,390, were receivable for customs
and taxes, and have been used almost exclusively for many months
in payment of governmental dues. With our small gold reserve
drawn upon at each end, how long can we stand an increase of
demands upon this reserve at the rate of $3,000,000 per month?
Other gentlemen will do as their judgment dictites, but to me
it seems extremely hazardous not to stop their drain at onpe.
Vote down the repeal of the silver-purchase clause and you
further paralyze industry and enterprise.
You add to the countless throng that is already on the way begging for work and bread in this fair land of ours. Is not the
threatened revision of the tariff laws, which unsettles values, distresses labor, closes factories, ruins business, and b. ings about the
41'change" from the prosperity, so truthfully described by a Republican President in December last, to the universal distress and
misery and want, so truthfully described by a Democratic President in this month of August, sufficient, without adding to it a
refusal to repeal the law which adds $3,000,000 monthly of uncertain value to our currency, threatening us with cheap and dishonestdoilars, ruining our credit abroad, and increasing the distrust
of our people at home?
Gentlemen upon this sidfe of the Hous3, the country, as always,
expects you to do your duty. Be not disturbsd by the taunt that
you are following in the wake of a Democratic President. Why,
the Republican party passsd an act January 14,1875, for the resumption of specie payment on the 1st day of January, 1879.
They fought the greenback craze in the campaign of 1876, and
stood firm as a rock against the oncoming waves of cheap money .
They were for honest money before our Democratic President
was born—politically! Yes, years before he was known outside
of the limits of the city of Buffalo by his own party. Because,
now, he desires to jump onto the band wagon,!, for one at least,
do not prcpos6 to give up my seat.
When the roll is called on this measure it will be found that
the great mass of the Republican vote is recorded in favor of
making everjr dollar of our money as good as every other dollar.
The attempt in this country to array class against class, section
against section/the South and the West against the North and
the East, will have proved a dismal failure. [Applause.]