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Should the Act of July 14, 1890, Be Repealed Conditionally or
Unconditionally ?

" M o n e y h a t h its v a l u e in v i r t u e o f l a w , a n d l i a t h n o t b y n a t u r e ; h e n c a a n a l t e r a t i o n
o f t h e c o n s e n s u s b e t w e e n t h e m t h a t use i t h a t h p o w e r t o d e s t r o y the v a l u e w h i c h a s
m o n e y i t poseesseth t o meet m e n ' s wanIB."—Aristotle.


OP W E S T V I R G I N I A ,



Friday, September 8, 1893.






Friday, September 8, 1893.

Mr. President, for the first time in thirty years the Democratic party
has been intrusted by the people with the control of the executive and
legislative branches of the Government, and has been instructed to use
the power delegated to it as a party in carrying out those principles and
policies which, after a most elaborate discussion upon the stump, have
been approved by the country.
By an overwhelming vote in the Electoral College, and by a large
Democratic majority returned to the popular branch of Congress, the
principles and policies of the Republican party, which have guided and
controlled the destinies of this country for so many years, were condemned by the popular verdict rendered on the 8th of last November.
The full scope and meaning of that decision is clearly understood by
those who participated in that memorable contest, and who came in
contact with the sentiments and feelings of the American people.
Three great principles of governmental administration were passed
upon in that election:
First. The electors condemned the system of class legislation which
conferred upon a favored few privileges denied to the great body of the
people, and which was the most striking feature of Federal legislation
during the administration of the Government by the Republican party.
Second. With a unanimity and emphasis rarely equaled, they uttered
their condemnation of the attempt to interfere with that American doctrine of local self-government or heme rule, which was championed by
the Republican administration and a Republican Congress, and the success of which was only defeated by a Democratic minority in the Senate,
after one of the most remarkable parliamentary contests ever known,
with the aid and assistance of a small minority of Republicans whose
patriotism elevated them to a plane above even allegiance to party
organization, Administration influence, or caucus dictation.
The decision of the American Senate, that the American people
could be trusted, was approved by the free electors, the final arbiters in
our political system of government.
Third. That the financial policy which for twenty years had been

controlled and shaped by powerful agencies, with a view of increasing
the values of property held by those depending upon annuities and fixed
incomes and depreciating the values of all property in the hands of the
producers of wealth, should be radically and effectively changed.
Mr. President, we occupy no longer the attitude of a minority party in
the formulation of legislation in the interest of the people. The responsibilities of government have been transferred to our shoulders, and in the
consideration and action upon the great questions which affect so directly
and immediately the development and growth of our country, and the
prosperity and happiness of our people, we should see that our conclusions
are guided by sentiments of the highest patriotism; by principles of
conservatism, equality of rights and equitable laws, leaving to our citizens,
upon the plane of absolute equality, the privilege of a fair and unhampered
opportunity in the great battle for individual success in life.
To carry into effect the commands of the people and the pledges of
our party, we should be willing to make personal sacrifices of comfort or
inclination. We should endeavor as members of a great political organization to whom have been committed the destinies of our country, to
harmonize our differences as to details without in any degree sacrificing
those principles to carry out which our States have commissioned us as
their representatives.
In this spirit and with this hope, I shall approach the discussion and
consideration of all measures which may be brought before the Senate
seeking to redeem the pledges of our party, and to carry out, in good
faith, the declarations of its authorized representatives.
Mr. President, in the exercise of his constitutional power, and in
obedience to a great popular demand, the Executive has convened Congress in extraordinary session, thus placing the responsibility upon the
legislative branch of the Government to inaugurate such relief as will
avoid the imminent perils which threaten the country, to formulate such
measures as, in its wisdom, will relieve the burdens resting upon the
people, and place it beyond the power of any future Administration, by
Federal interference at elections, to shape and dominate the political
complexion of the legislative branch.
The proper committee of the House of Representitives is now engaged
in a consideration of the revision of the revenue laws; the Judiciary
Committee of this body has promptly reported a bill to repeal those sections of the Revised Statutes which made possible a career so distasteful
to the American people as that of John I. Davenport. The House of
Representatives has passed a bill repealing the purchasing clause of the
act of July 14, 1890, and the Committee on Finance of the Senate has
reported a substitute which is engaging the attention of this body.
Sir, thfc Democratic party in both branches of Congress, with promptness, but yet, at the same time, with proper deliberation, is proceeding to
redeem every pledge it made to the people, and to relieve the business
stagnation and financial stringency resulting from causes for which it is
in no way responsible, and over which it had no control.
When, on the 4th of March last, the Democratic party assumed power,
it was met at the very threshold of its administration of the Government
with serious problems for its solution. The conditions were entirely different from those which confronted Mr. Harrison when, in obedience to

the will of the people, the executive authority was entrusted to his guidance. Mr. Cleveland and a Democratic House of Representatives had,
after paying annual and permanent appropriations and largely reducing
the public debt, left the Treasury in possession of a handsome surplus.
Four years of Republican administration, during which time it sought to
destroy international exchanges of products, by enacting a prohibitory
tariff averaging 60 per cent upon imported articles, and by the wildest and
most reckless expenditure of the public money, had left the Treasury of
the United States in a condition which, but for the courage and firmness of the distinguished gentleman who presides over its management,
would have made it the football of the money-changers of the great financial centers of the country.
By the laws enacted under the influence of a Republican Congress
and a Republican Administration the revenues of the Government were
reduced, while at the same time the annual appropriations were increased,
thus burning the candle at both ends. On the 4th of March, 1889, the
Treasury showed $96,245,580 of free gold. On the 4th of March, 1893,
the Republican Administration turned over but $3,284,218 of free gold.
On the 4th of March, 1889, the Democratic Administration turned over
a Treasury full to overflowing, while on the 4th of March, 1893, the Republican Administration turned over a Treasury that had been gutted
and looted of its surplus, even after covering into the Treasury, to be
used to discharge the currcnt expenses of the Government, over fifty
millions of dollars used as a trust fund to redeem national-bank notes ;
and yet, during the Jast year of that Administration, only $9,001,137.98
of the public debt was discharged.
Further than that, taking the receipts of the first two months of the
present fiscal year as a basis of comparison for the next ten months, with
the annual and permanent expenditures of the Government for the present year fixed by law, instead of a surplus, we will be confronted with a
probable deficit of over fifty millions of dollars. This is the legacy
bequeathed to us by the Republican party.
In addition to this condition in which we find the Treasury, and
which calls for the wisest exercise of statesmanship on the part of the
leaders of the Democratic party, we are further embarrassed in assuming
control of the Government by the condition of financial anxiety and
prostration of all our business interests.
Mr. Cleveland, with a lucidity of expression rarely, if ever, excelled
in the public utterances of any of his predecessors, has accurately
described in his message convening Congress the paralysis of our business
industries, and the want of confidence on the part of the people, resulting
in the withdrawal of the circulating medium from active employment.
On the free circulation of our currency the country must depend for the
prosperity and vitality of its industrial system, the profitable movement
of our crops, the employment of labor, the price of our products, and
general business activity. The President assumes that the purchasing
clause of the act of July 14, 1890, is, to a large extent, the cause of this
financial disarrangement, and that its prompt repeal will result in rieleving the situation and restoring confidence.
Mr. President no member of this body has a higher appreciation of
the distinguished abilities, the sterliug integrity, and the unflinching

courage of Mr. Cleveland than myself. Placed by the Democratic party
in the exalted position of Chief Magistrate, I gladly acknowledge his
leadership, and if consistent with my own sense of duty to the high trust
committed to me, it would alford me unbounded pleasure to sustain any
policy which he, as the head of the administration of the party to which I
owe allegiance, would suggest for my guidance. But, sir, if after a full,
fair, and respectful consideration of the views of the President, I shall
honestly differ with him in his conclusions, and find myself unable to
follow to the full extent on the line he may have indicated, I could not
surrender my convictions and blindly pursue the path that my judgment
did not approve without being deeply sensible of the fact that I was
unworthy to occupy a seat in this, the most august deliberative body in
the world, and feel that the time had come when I should surrender the
trust which the partiality of a confiding constituency had placed in my
keeping, that some one of the true and manly sons of which my State is
justly proud might occupy the place which my weakness had forfeited and
my duplicity had dishonored.
Mr. President, it is not my purpose at this time to detain the Senate
by entering into a minute description of the causes which have led up to
the business paralysis and lack of confidence upon the part of the people
so universal throughout the country, but which is at last yielding to that
wiser, sober second thought and the patriotic impulses and national courage characteristic of our people.
Many of the causes which have been gradually undermining public
confidence, and which have naturally produced a disturbance of the financial equilibrium, may be traced, in my judgment, to events which have
occurred and policies inaugurated beyond the boundaries of our republic.
The development in methods of transportation and the intimate relations
of the business and commercial world have been so marvelous in this the
latter part of the nineteenth century that any great and serious financial
disturbance in any part of the world will necessarily affect, in a more or
less degree, all commercial nations.
The terrifTic shocks which have prostrated business enterprises in
other parts of the globe, in their circles have expanded until we have felt
their perturbations. A wild speculation in Argentine securities and in
Australian stocks ; extravagance in governmental expenditures, resulting
in annual deficits ; the change * f thefinancialsystems of great commercial nations from bimetallism, or the silver standard, to the gold standard;
the unparalleled scramble by the rich and the poor nations of the world
to possess their share of the limited supply of the world's gold; the
shrinkage in values of all products and property, resulting partly from
the demonetization of one-half of the debt paying metallic money in the
world—these causes have exerted a potential influence in demoralizing
the hopes and confidence of our people, and undermining the stability
and integrity of our business enterprises. To these influences must be
added the persistent croaking and continual predictions of misfortune
which have been heralded throughout the land by the press, as the exponents of certainfinancialelements in our commercial centers.
Mr. President, the causes which 1 have enumerated have been more
influential in producing the results to remedy which Mr. Cleveland was
induced to convene this extraordinary session of Congress, than the pur-

chasing clause of the act of 1890. Whatever may be my action on the
questions involved in the repeal of the first section of this act, I desire
that the reasons which will control and influence my vote shall not be
left in doubt.
Mr. President, let us examine with 6alm impartiality the operations
of the Treasury under the act of 1890, and see whether the financial
stringency and universal distrust, which all admit to exist, had their origin in or have been promoted by its enforcement.
No one can assume that the execution of this law tended to produce
a stringency or scarcity of money in the cnannels of trade. Its operation
has been the reverse. Under its provisions the circulation has enlarged,
during the last three years, to an amount aggregating $151,804,177, by
the purchase of silver bullion, for which Treasury notes were issued. In
eight years the national banks had reduced their circulation $144,608,577,
and Treasury notes took its place in the volume of our circulation. In
this respect, at least, the law in its operation has been beneficial.
It is asserted and believed by many that the purchase of 4,500,000
ounces of silver has been the chief disturbing element in our financial system. If so, what evidence is furnished that this diagnosis of the
disease is accurately made. Is it maintained that the American people
doubted the ability of their Government to carry out "the established
policy of the United States to maintain the two metals on a parity
with each other upon the present legal ratio, or at such ratio as may be
provided by law" to the extent of the purchases which had been made
by authority of said act ? This cannot be the cause of the distrust upon
the part of the people. Experience has shown that the hoarding which
has resulted in the scarcity of money is not confined to any one of the
several classes of obligations of the Government, but that all of its obligations, and every description of its currency has been withdrawn from
ourfinancialinstitutions with a view to its safe-keeping by individuals.
Unrest, doubt, anxiety and want of faith are clearly apparent; but
is not the opinion of the people plainly indicated as to the object of their
distrust and want of confidence by their action ? They have done nothing by which they have expressed a fear as to the ability of the Government to redeem every dollar of its obligations either in gold or silver, not
even at the pleasure and discretion of the Government, but at the pleasure and in accordance with the wishes of the holder of those obligations.
Confident of the solvency of the promissor and relying upon the willingness of the United States to redeem at par its currency, all classes of its
notes have been the subject of withdrawal from the circulation of the
country, causing a shrinkage of the volume of its currency, the prostration of its business interests, the suspension of payment by its banks,
and completefinancialstagnation.
But, sir, there is no evidence that these results are attributable to
the purchasing clause of the act of 1890. When you analyze the motives
and seek to ascertain the reasons which have influenced this withdrawal
of the circulating medium, is it not clear that the feeling of distrust and
apprehension which has seized the public mind is directed at the solvency
and integrity of our financial institutions ? If so, on whose shoulders
should fall the responsibility for the financial distress which has swept
over this country from sea to sea ? Does it n6t rest upon the financial

leaders in the great commercial centers, who, during the closing hours of
the former Administration and the existence of the present have, in season and out of season* been predicting that, unless the Treasury surrendered to their views and increased the public debt by the issue of gold
bonds, financial depression with all its attendant evils would result?
Their predictions were verified. The people caught the alarm and promptly
sought to protect themselves by hoarding their accumulations. The financial leaders of the great money centers of the country " have sown the
wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind."
Mr. President, it would be unfair to the bankers and other financial
authorities to assume that the results of the operation of the act of 1890
during the last three years would have produced the condition which is
now prevalent throughout the country. They had in their possession
accurate information of the aggregate amount of silver purchased by the
Government and the amount of coinage under the act of 1878, and must
be presumed to know that in the transaction of the enormous business
of the country this amount of coin, or its representative, could easily be
absorbed. Even if they were of the opinion that there was a redundancy
of circulation, under the thorough organization of the national banks of the
country it was within their power to reduce the volume by the retirement
of unprofitable circulation.
Mr. President, although our coined silver, including its substitute in
notes based upon bullion, is only about §600,000,000, we are gravely and
seriously informed by the press of the country that the use of silver to the
extent of one-third of our circulation has produced all the evils which
now afflict the body politic, including the shattered confidence of the
masses; the suspension of payment by the banks; the stoppage of the
wheels of industrial progress; the want of sufficient employment for labor ;
the fall in the price of the products of the husbandman below the cost of
production ; the scarcity of money, and that the cry for bread in some of
our large cities, threatening the stability of organized society, is the direct
and immediate result of the use in our monetary system of this limited
amount of silver.
With all due defference to those who entertain a different opinion, I
must be permitted to say that, in my humble judgment, the attempt to
appeal to the credulity of the American people, and ask the repeal of the
purchasing clause of the act of 1890 upon the assumption that the execution of the authority contained in its first section has produced the con*
ditions which all recognize is, in the light of our experience of the past
two weeks, unwarranted, unjustifiable, and the conclusion reached cannot
be legitimately demonstrated by any known process of human reasoning.
It will require more potent arguments than have as yet been advanced to
convince sixty-five million people, whose foreign and interstate commerce
^nd whose business transactions reach the magnitude of that of the American people, whose resources are recognized by mankind as almost unlimited, and, whose patriotic impulses have been equal to every draft which
the exacting demands of over a century have drawn upon them, that the
purchasing clause of the act of 1890 is responsible for the conditions
which confront us to-day. Such an assertion is beyond the limits of
what, in parliamentary language, might be designated as "imprudent

Mr. President, while I am not one of those who believe that the act
of 1890, with its present limited purchase of silver bullion, has caused the
condition in which we find the country to-day, yet I am sensible of the
fact that influences have been put in operation, by agencies the most
powerful, to induce the people to believe that its repeal would result in
the re-establishment of the normal condition of financial credit, restore
confidence, and release the circulation now hoarded by the people. I will
go a step .further^ and admit that the delusion has been so successfully
encouraged that I believe the people, to a very large extent, would feel
relieved of the incubus which they suppose rests upon them should that
act be repealed, and that through the ingenious manipulations of the same
agencies by which this condition was brought about confidence would be
again restored and the circulation of the country return to the active
channels of trade.
The country is convinced that it is sick, when, in truth, its condition
is simply that of a hypochondriac, and, as no legislative medicine can
reach this abnormal condition, our only hope for the full restoration of the
patient to a healthy frame of mind and active physical condition will be
to yield, upon reasonable conditions, to his hallucination, and rely upon
the faith that is in him to eifect a ctire.
Mr. President, as an humble member of the Democratic party who has
been taught as a part of his political creed that gold and silver constituted the only legal-tender money authorized by the Constitution of his
country; who represents m part a State that when, in 1873, the political
crime of the century was consummated by the Federal Congress in the
demonetization of silver, exercised its clear constitutional power by
clothing the white metal with all the functions and powers of full legaltender within the boundaries of its territory, the representatives of whose
Democracy, in every State and Congressional convention, with an enthusiasm and unanimity that would brook no opposition, have again and
again given the pledged faith of the party to the final restoration of
silver as a standard of value, and who, personally, upon every stump, in
every county of that State, in the two bitterly contested campaigns of the
recent past, indorsed the principles announced in those platforms, and
gave his promise to redeem the pledges, made in good faith by the representatives of an intelligent and earnest Democracy, cannot with honor
entertain the suggestion that he should not only decline to vote for the
full and complete rehabilitation of silver, as provided for by the platform
adopted at Chicago, .but that he should go a step further, and refuse to
cast for any amendment to the bill pending before the Senate
that would recognize, even in the most limited form, silver coin as a
standard of value.
Mr. President, the condition which faces us to-day, and which bears
directly upon the instructions given me by the Democracy of West Virginia, may fairly and with truth be admitted to have somewhat changed
from the condition which confronted the country at the time those instructions were given.
The action of the Indian government in closing her mints to the free
coinage of silver, has suggested serious and grave doubts to my mind,
s&d, for the first time, has caused me to question the ability of the United
States, single-handed and alone, to open the mints of this country to the

free and unlimited coinage of that metal at any ratio, and to preserve
and maintain the same on a parity with gold. Sufficient time has not
yet elapsed since this action-on the part of the government of India, and
the effects which must flow from it have not sufficiently developed to
justify a final conclusion as to its permanent effect upon silver, but if tho
purpose of that government, as has been publicly declared, is fully carried out, its effect upon this question, I fear, will be more far-reaching in
its consequences and results than any act which has occurred during the
For these reasons I have hesitated to advocate the free and unlimited
coinage of silver by the United States, and I think it should be the controlling sentiment of those who believe and hope for the restoration of
bimetallism that the measure now supported by its friends should be on
the line of conservatism, and in character purely tentative, that the timid
may not be repulsed, nor those who, upon principle, honestly seek to
re-establish the double standard become separated and their energies
dissipated by division.
Mr. President, we should not seek to deceive ourselves or mislead
those who have placed confidence in the declaration of our platform and
in the honor and integrity of our pledges. We face to-day a condition
that demands of every true friend of silver the closest circumspection,
and the most careful consideration of every measure which can in any
way affect, temporarily or permanently, the use of silver as a money metal.
We cannot afford to repeat the blunder that some of the friends of
bimetallism fell into when they voted for the passage of the act of July
14, 1890. A step in the wrong direction at this time would be of incalculable injury to the white metal. We must act from the standpoint of
the present and not of the past. Prejudices should not be permitted to
influence our action, nor unreasoning hopes to control our judgment. The
situation should be analyzed with the calmness of the unimpassioned
lawmaker, and every obstruction to a fair and correct conclusion should
be removed with the cool and nerveless scalpel of the surgeon.
We cannot and must not ignore the facts of history. In the consideration of this momentous question we cannot disregard the fact that
since 1873 every commercial nation of importance has closed its mints
to the free and unlimited coinage of silver; that the CFnited States has
been upon an absolute gold basis since 1879, and that gold has been the
single standard of value in this country since 1873. It is impossible for
us to indulge in the hope that we can restore silver at a single bound to
the place it occupied in our monetary system prior to,tho crime of 1873,
unless we are willing to adopt silver monometallism.
Speaking for myself, I am as earnestly opposed to a single standard
of silver as I am to a single standard of gold. The wants and necessities of the world require the use of both on terms of perfect equality
before the law as to their coinage and legal-tender functions.
Mr. President, in the doubts which I have expressed as to the ability
of the United States Government to maintain free and unlimited coinage
of silver at a parity with gold, at any ratio, I think I may say with perfect
sincerity that the wish is not father to the thought. I as fully realize and
as deeply deplore as any Senator here can what an accumulation of
sorrow, privation, distress, and misery, and what a shrinkage of property

values must result from the demonetization of one-half of the metallic
legal-tender money oi the world.
I recoil from the contemplation of the disastrous effects which have
in the past and will in the future follow the depreciation of values which
will hereafter be measured by a standard that has appreciated by reason
of the increasing demand for its use, and the failure of an increase in its
production. Study and reflection have caused me to appreciate the material losses and the industrial crises through which other great nations
have passed in seeking to establish a single gold standard by which to
measure the value of exchanges, and I fear if the principle of gold monometallism is finally triumphant in this country, history will repeat itself,
and we will be forced to pass through a period of depression the like of
which-has never been experienced on this continent.
Sir James Graham tersely and forcibly describes the effect upon the
English people of the demonetization of silver in 1816, when he says :
"One class flourished, and that was triumphant—the class of annuitants—
and the tax-enter rejoiced in the increased value of money, in the sacrifice of
productive industry to unproductive wealth, in the victory of the drones over
the bees."
It is estimated by Mr. Tidman that the action of Germany in 1872
and the United States in 1873 in demonetizing silver caused a shrinkage
in the value of the exports of England of 20 per cent in four years.
Mr. Goshen said at the conference of 1878 that "the scramble to get
rid of silver might provoke one of the gravest crises ever undergone by
commerce," and Baron Rothschild in 1881 indorsed the views of statesmen and statisticians when he declared that—
"The suppression of silver would amount to a veritable destruction of values
without any compensation."
If such have been the effects resulting from the action of two countries, and such the predictions in case of the suspension of silver coinage
by silver nations, how will you measure the loss to the husbandman, the
effect upon the productive energies of the people, the increase of burdens
to the debtor, and the ultimate influence upon the wages of labor, when
you realise the fact that, with but a few minor exceptions, every nation
of Europe and the government of India have declared in favor of the
single gold standard, leaving not a single nation of prominence or commercial importance upon the face of the globe that has not by law dishonored the white metal and denied to it the right of free coinage ?
Aristotle truthfully says:
"Money hath its value in virtue of law, and hath not by nature; hence an
alteration of the consensus between them that use it hath power to destroy the
value which as money it possesseth to meet men's wants."
Mr. President, a study of the monetary changes which have been
going on throughout the world must convince any reflecting mind that
the policy of gold monometallism, which has now become almost universal, h^s, in many instances, been adopted through necessity and not from
choice. The action of Germany compelled France and other nations of
the Latin Union to follow in her footsteps, and their action in turn has
compelled other nations, in self defense, to follow the path marked out for
them by the selfishness of that class that now rules the destinies of
nations. The thought I seek to conyey is best expressed in the language

of the Italian delegate to the Paris conference, when he gave utterance to
the reasons which would control his country in the adoption of a gold
standard, He said:
"Because she [I?aly] sees silver depreciated by the suspension of coinage in
the Latin Union; by the gold monometallic legislation of Germany; because
she is obliged by «he most elementary prudence not to expose herotlf to serve
as a reservoir of debased metal, aud as the finance minister said in the Italian
parliament, *'to bccome the monetary India of Europe."
Statesmen of every nation have been appalled when contemplating
the results which must flow from the universal adoption of gold monometallism. No less a financial authority than Mr. Goshen said at the
conference of 1878:
"If all nations should resolve on the adoption of the gold standard, the
question arose, would there be sufficient gold for the purpose without a tremendous crisis."
Did not his experience and reflection enable him to correctly foreshadow the results of the policy that the selfishness of a few powerful
Nations, including our own, has at last succeeded in accomplishing ?
The last few years have verified his prophecy, and we have been witnessing throughout the world the rising tide of monetary troubles and financial upheavals. The recent perturbations have been partially manufactured to order, but from the opinions expressed by the ablest writers, and
from conclusions drawn from the teachings of history, I fear the American people are destined to pass through many scenes of individual
misery and to experience many national perils before that "tremendous
crisis" is past.
When the value of labor, as measured by the price of the product, is
reduced one-half by reason of the appreciation of the standard which
measures its value, we will be confronted by a national danger far greater
than that through which we are now passing. The issue then presented
will not be whether the money of the Constitution shall be established
by law as the standard of value, but the sufferings and miseries entailed
npon the producing classes of the country, by the reduction in thd value
ot their labor, will arouse a great public sentiment, that, looking only to
immediate relief, without counting the sufferings that the future may
entail, will demand the issue of paper based upon an insufficient reserve
that will gorge the channels of trade, and which will finally result in the
financial and industrial collapse which inevitably follows a redundancy of
irredeemable paper.
Sir, I do not seek to be an alarmist, but when the hour is reached
that the wages of labor are reduced and the shrinkage in the value of
property has been forced to the lowest notch by this cruel and inhuman
policy, the results which I have suggested are as certain to follow as day
is to follow night. Then those who have worshipped at the shrine of
gold monometallism will at last realize the dangers that threaten the
national prosperity and individual happiness of our people which will
not be averted by the boast that we possess a land of boundless resources
inhabited by a people of unparalleled business enterprise and energy.
Mr, President, assuming the premise to be true that the great commercial nations of the world, including the United States, are to-day
committed to a single gold standard, every hour of study or reflection

which I have devoted to the consideration of this momentous question
strengthens my conviction that it would be as unwise as it would be
impossible for the United States, at this time, to attempt to establish free
and unlimited coinage of silver at any ratio, and at the same time preserve the parity between the two metals. Gold and silver, although
stamped with the sovereign seal of the nation, are governed and controlled by the same principles that influence other commodities. It is as
impossible, by statutory enactment, to alter the laws of trade as applicable to either as it is to prevent water from seeking its level.
The truth of this principle has been illustrated throughout our own
monetary history. If, therefore,
establish a ratio for silver greater
than the value of the bullion as a commodity, every spare ounce of the
world's supply would, by the inevitable laws of trade, seek a market
where the price was highest, until the accumulations not of a year or a
hundred years, but of centuries, would be turned into this country. If
a ratio was established less than the commercial value of the bullion,
under the same law, every ounce of silver would seek the market where
its price was the highest.
Believing that this law has no exception, whatever amount of coinage
shall be determined upon as equaling the domestic demand, should be
maintained at the present ratio. We cannot legislate for the present
from the standpoint of the past. The monetary systems of the world
have changed ; the demand for the white metal is lessening annually.
Should we adopt free and unlimited coinage at a ratio that would draw
the surplus silver to our mints, there are no channels through which it
could pass from this country, except to South and Central America,
China, and Japan. Would they absorb enough to prevent a glut in the
home market, which would so effectually depreciate the price as to destroy
silver as a standard of value? With an increased production and a
continual decrease in the demand, would it be wise for the true friends
of bimetallism to seek at this time to place silver in the position it occupied in our monetary system prior to 1873 ?
Mr. President, I can see no solution of this problem except in international bimetallism. The stability of silver, which has been overthrown
by yicious and selfish legislation, can only be restored in this way. I
still hope that at no distant future the nations of the world will be compelled, if not from choice, certainly from necessity, by a public sentiment
that will find its origin in the present financial disturbances, resulting
from the contraction of the metallic basis of credit and the miseries and
sufferings which will mark the pathway of monetary and economic derangements, to yield to the views of this country in the establishment of
an international ratio for the coinage of both metals on terms of equality.
England has always been, and is to-day, a stumbling-block to the
inauguration of international bimetall;sm, but England has to face to-day
a condition that has never before existed. It was comparatively easy
for her to maintain a good monometallic standard when all the other great
nations of the world were measuring the value of their exchanges either
by the bimetallic or silver standard, but now, sir, when, through her example, the statesmen of other count' ie*, not appreciating the wisdom of Lord
Beaconsfield when he said "her gold standard is not the cause of her commercial prosperity, but the consequence of her commercial prosperity,"

have followed her example, it will be very difficult for her to corner and
hold a sufficient gold reserve to meet the demands of her business interests.
Competition, to a degree she has never experienced, will result from
all the great and powerful nations entering into the markets of the world,
in a "wild scramble for the yellow metal," the supply of which will be
found to* ally inadequate to meet the demands of all and necessities of
each, and as the volume of business increases and the commerce of the
world expands i his competition will be rendered even more desperate and
bitter. Her sfa'esmen and leaders of public thought will then, as they
are now beginning to, realize that an annual production of $130,000,000of
gold will not sufficient meftallic currency, even if all of it was
minied, T meet the demands of mankind in the marvelous expansion of
the volume of trade.
England, once convinced that her national interests, including in that term
her vast colonial possessions, demanded the adoption of the double standard,
would at once remove the only objection to the accomplishment of international
bimetallism. The financial fabric erected by the gold monometallists in Australasia has been shattered to its foundation before the tempest which this policyhas evoked, and the economic and industrial systems builded upon it, in their
prostration furnish a warning that will tend to crystallize public sentiment in
England in favor of the use of silver as a standard of value, and from the experience of other nations it is fair to presume that this sentiment will be strengthened by the result of the experiment in the demonetization of silver in India.
Sir, it will be impossible for the nations of the world, except from motives
the basest and most selfish, to perinaneii'ly dishonor either of these metals. An
advancing civilization and the wanes and necessities of mankind will demand the
restoration of silver upon an equality with gold. No financial system will be
able to meet the demands of the marvelous expansion of trade that does not rest
uipon both metals. A distinguished writer, in referring to the elimination of
either, has happily described the effect in the following language:
" T a ' x e any one o f the selected types o f money. I s It t h e w i n g s of c o m m e r c e ? O n e wing
Has been cut off, and yen c o m plaiut is n?ade that tue bird will not fly. I s U t i l e vehicle iu which
c o m m e r c e is c o n v e y e d ? Oue wheel is oft', and y e t we grumblo that the c h a n o t d r i v e s heavily.
1 s It the breath or c o m m e r c e ? T h e o x y - en in it has been withdrawn, ai:d is i t matter for astonishment tuat the a i r b e c o m e s s t i l l i n g ? "

Mr. President, I shall vote for the repeal of the purchasing clause of the act of
1S90, not for the reason that I believe it is the cause of the prostration of our
business industries and our financial stringency, nor that it has induced a want of
confidence on the part of the people in the integrity and stability of our financial
system, but for three good and sufficient reasons:
First. The authority and direction it confers upon the Secretary of the Treasury to enter the markets and purchase 4,500,000 ounces of silver monthly, without any limit as to the time when this accumulation of bullion shall cease, presents a constant menace, and tends to depress the price of silver bullion. The
act is founded upon a false theory as to the proper functions of government in
its relations to money, and furnishes a vicious precedent for the future.
Second. In the execution of its provisions, especially in the storing of the
bullion and the issue of Treasury notes, it has been the fruitful source of the
strongest arguments against the use of silver as a part of our monetary system.
Third. The people believe, however erroneously, that the disturbances
thropgh which we are passing are mainly due to this act, and like any other
"faith cure,!' its repeal (which is proper in any event) will assist in restoring
confidence, the want of which is the chief obstacle to the restoration of business
Mr. President, although I shall vote to repeal the purchasing clause of the
act of 1890, 1 certainly hope I may not be called upon to do so without having
first secured an amendment to the bill now pending before the Senate, which
will, by law, and not by a mere declaration, give notice to the world that this
Government will exercise all its powers, employ all its resources, and throw the

weight of its influence in favor of the re-establishment of silver on an equality
with gold as a standard of value. It may not be the part of wisdom to attempt
to establish that result at this time, under the, conditions affecting the white
metal throughout the world, but provision should at least be made by an
amendment for additional coinage of full legal-tender silver dollars at the present
ratio to an amount that would be rapidly absorbed in the business transactions
,of this country, the aggregate amount, including that already co?ned and the
silver bullion in the Treasury, which should be direeted to be coined, not to be
less than $800,000,000, the coinage required to be not less than $3,000,000 per
month until it reaches the aggregate limit. The most conservative should not
fear the passage and execution of such a law. The limit being established it
would constitute no menace to financial stability, and the capacity of the country,
with its immense business interests, to absorb that amount, after the withdrawal
of notes of less denominati3n than $10, none who are familiar with business
demands can question. I hope at the proper time to submit such an amendment,
upon which the sense of the Senate may be taken.
Mr. President, although I have expressed with perfect frankness and sincerity
the opinions I now hold as to the course which it seems to me best to pursue in
the interest of future bimetallism, yet I have such confidence in the wisdom and
patriotism of those who have been friendly to the double standard that I shall
not hesitate to exercise my judgment, and vote as I may deem best for the public
interests upon any amendments that may be submitted during the consideration
ol this bill.
Mr. President, history is replete with instances in which "man's inliuma. ity
to m m " has made "countless thousands mourn," but a widespread public sentiment, awakening to injustice and oppression, has always redressed in time the
crimes, blunders, and follies of preceding years. Surrounded as we are by the
complications of the present and the uncertainties of the future, we can but hope
that we will see, at no distant day a conference of the nations, each member
animated and impelled by motives of the purest national aud universal patriotism, called to settle for all time, on a just and equitable basis, the re-establUhment of silver in the place of honor to which it is entitled, and to that end must
be directed our best energies, inspired by the unwavering faith that such a consummation will be a blessing bounded ouly by the confines of civilization.