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F r e e Coinage of Silver and Repeal of the Sherman A c t .

S P E E C H

or

WILLIAM
OF

M.

I N T H E H O U S E OF
Friday,

SPRINGER,

ILLINOIS,
REPRESENTATIVES,

August

25,1893.

The House having under consideration the hill (H. B. 1) to repeal a part of
an act, approved July 14,1890, entitled " A n act directing the purchase of
silver bullion and the issue of Treasury notes thereon, and for other purposes1'—

Mr. SPRINGER said:
Mr. SPEAKER: Congress has been called together in extraordinary session by the President of the United States for the
purpose of considering the present financial condition of the
country.. This session has been called in midsummer, at a time
when legislative bodies are rarely convened, and when ordinary
avocations are suspended, and those whose circumstances will
permit it take a vacation for rest and recuperation. The time
fixed for our convening suggests an extraordinary occasion, an
emergency imperatively demanding remedial legislation.
Now that we are assembled as representatives of the people in
this body and as representatives of the States in the other Chamber, it is our duty to consider calmly and dispassionately the
present condition of the country, to take into consideration the
cause of the present financial depression, and to apply, if possible, a remedy. It is our duty, as the chosen representatives of
the people, to afford such relief as may be in our power to grant.
It remains to be seen whether we will rise to the importance of
the occasion, meet fully the expectations of our constituents, and
afford the fullest measure of relief that legislation can bring to
bear.
We have already devoted in this House, when our day's deliberations have concluded, fourteen days continuously to general debate upon the financial condition of the country. The
present depression, amounting at times to a panic, and at present
to a complete paralysis of business, demands and should receive
a most patient, careful, and patriotic consideration. Mere partisan considerations should be laid aside; all selfish ambitions
should be discarded, and the people's representatives should
arise to the high plane of statesmanship which such an emergency demands.
Since I have been in public life no such condition of things as
now exists has been experienced. Whatever may be the causes
of the present depression—and I shall refer to them later on—
the evu hour is upon us; the disaster is widespread, the ruin almost universal. It is not a financial crisis affecting the capitalno




2
ists of the country alone; it is not a Wall street panic; it is not
the throes of Lombard street when the house of Baring- Brothers
tottered to ruin.
The business interests in every part of the country are prostrated, and even paralyzed; thousands upon thousands of'men
are out of employment; factories are closed; riots are threaten:d,
and the red flag; of the anarchists isflauntedin the presence of
public assemblies. Workingmen are demanding- employment
in all parts of the country. Those still retaining positions are
subjected to great reductions in compensation. In the city of
Chicago the newspapers inform us that one hundred and fifty
thousand men are out of work; and the suffering is great. Mass
meetings are being held to take measures for relief. At Milwaukee a mob of two hundred men marched through the street
to the courthouse and called for the mayor, but a few days ago,
and demanded work, amid cries of "Bread."
In New York City the number of the unemployed is increasing daily, and are now estimated at over 200,000. The papers
inform us that bloody riots are threatened. Fully 3,000 longshoremen, are idle, striking against reductions of pay. Hundreds of banks have failed, the liabilities aggregating many
millions, and the assets insufficient to satisfy the demands of
the depositors. Since July 14, 1892, more than 150 national
banks have failed. Others are trembling upon the brink of
ruin. In fact, so far as banking is concerned in the great cities
of the country, there is an actual suspension of currency payments.
Only a few days ago a member of this House having over
$13,000 on deposit in a New York bank was refused at the
counter of the bank $200 in currency on his own check. Whether
these conditions be fancied or real; whether they are due in part
to the fault of those who would coerce legislation by threatened
financial disaster; whether they be the result of conditions
brought about by legislation heretofore, or merely imaginary,
still, they do exist, whatever the causes may be, whatever the
objects may be, and we are called upon as representatives of
the people to afford such legislative remedies as may be in our
power to do.
Much has been said during this debate as to the causes of the
present financial depression. It has been attributed to nearly
every fact which has occurred in the history of the country dur ring the past thirty years. I attribute the actual condition which
now exists in the country to three controlling and fundamental
causes. Others have contributed collaterally, but these three
are enough of themselves to have produced the result: First,
the tariff legislation since the war, the protective tariff laws
which are imposing enormous burdens upon the people of the
country to protect favorite interests.
These enormous burdens have aggregated hundreds of millions
of dollars every year, which have been extorted from the toil,
from the sweat, from the labor of the producers and turned over
to the favored few, the capitalists and the money power of the
country. This drain upon thevpeople's resources * this making of
the rich richer and the poor poorer has been going on, year after
year, for more .than a quarter of a century, and it would be
strange, indeed, if it could go on continually without impoverishing its victims. I estimate the burden upon the people dur140




3
lug- the last thirty years, caused by the protective-tariff system
of this country, at more than $500,000,000 a year.
This legislative bounty to the favored classes has unnaturally stimulated production in many directions, and caused enormous enterprises to be entered upon, only in the end to disappoint the expectations of their promoters. There has been
overproduction by this unnatural stimulant; there has been
overborrowing, over trading, overdrawing, and thus inevitable disaster. It is therefore the duty of this Congress, and
among the first and the greatest of its duties, to apply the remedy which can come by the repeal of all the laws which have
contributed to these conditions and to establish, as the Democratic party has pledged to bring about, a policy of tariff for
revenue only. That the Democratic party will keep th at pledge
I have not the slightest doubt; and the sooner thfe country is
advised of the details of that great measure, the better it will
be for all concerned.
The second cause, in my judgment, for the presentfinancialcondition is found in the demonetization of silver in 1873; and the
third cause, the authority given by the Sherman act to purchase
4,500,000 ounces of silver each month, and issue Treasury notes
thereon, which Treasury notes, under the ruling of the Treasury
Department, were redeemable in gold. The collateral thus held
for the redemption of these notes, namely, silver bullion, was
discredited even as a collateral, and the sole basis for the new
issues of Treasury notes was the faith of the United States for
their redemption in coin: and when presented for redemption,
they become a charge upon the $100,000,000 of gold reserve funds
for the redemption of greenbacks.
The operation of this law caused an apprehension in the minds
of investors, both in this country and In Europe, that if it were
continued as a part of the policy of the United States, it would
inevitably result in precipitating silver payments and bring our
country to a silver-bullion basis. This apprehension, whether
well founded or not, has contributed largely to precipitate the
present financial crisis, the conditions for which were made possible by the other causes to which I have referred. There are,
of course, other causes which might be referred to, but these
three, it seems to me, are those most responsible. The effect of
the act of 1873, which demonetized one-half of the money of the
people, was not realized until 1878 when the United States resumed specie payments.
From early in the war until 1878 the Government of the
United States was neither on a gold basis nor a silver basis nor
a bimetallic basis. Our sole currency was paper, depending for
its ultimate redemption upon the faith of the United States.
After the resumption of specie payments in 1878, it became apparent that one-half of the money of the people had become
obliterated by acts which took place at a time when the people
scarcely knew that such a thing was contemplated. In fact, it
is charged that the act of demonetization passed both Houses
of Congress without the knowledge of more than half a; dozen
of its members; without the knowledge of the Speaker of this
House or the then President of the United States who approved
the measure.
Gentlemen, since this debate began, have often stated that we
must not demonetize silver; that to demonetize silver would
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produce this and that direful consequence. This statement is
misleading. Silver has been demonetized for twenty years, and
the acts that have been passed since that time have had but little
or no effect as measures of remonetization. The first act passed
authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to buy, at its market
value, not less than $2,000,000 worth or not more than $4,000,000 worth of silver bullion, and to coin the same each month into
silver dollars; and provided for the issue of silver certificates
upon the deposit of such dollars in the Treasury.
Each Secretary of the Treasury since that time has exercised
his discretion by causing1 the lowest amount of silver which the
law provided to be purchased and coined. This act remained in
force until it was repealed by what is .known as the Sherman law
of July 14,1890. The number of standard silver dollars heretefore coined under the acts of February 28, 1878, and of July 14,
1890, up to August 16,1893, amounted to $419,332,450. On the
same day there were in the Treasury, purchased under the act of
July 14,1890,133,161,375 ounces offinesilver, which cost the Government $121,217,677. On the 1st of August, 1893, the Secretary
of the Treasury reports that there were in the Treasury 363,*
108,461 silver dollars and $2,843,114 in silver certificates. He also
estimated that upon that day there were 56,000,000 standard silver
dollars and $64,000,000 in subsidiary Bliver coins and $330,000,000
in silver certificates in circulation.
These statements will serve to show the important results
which have been brought about by the passage of the BlandAllison act of 1878. Let us contemplate for one moment what
would be the present condition of the countryfinanciallyif these
silver certificates now In circulation, amounting to $330,000,000,
and the standard silver dollars, amounting to $56,000,000, were
withdrawn from the money of the country. In the midst of the
present currency famine, who can estimate the extent to which
it would be aggravated and the enormous depression which
would result if nearly $400,000,000 of money, now in circulation,
were withdrawn from the channels of trade and destroyed?
It must be remembered, however, that this enormous addition
to the circulating medium of the country has had no effect upon,
and has in no way conduced to, the remonetization of silver as a
part of the money of the country. The price of silver bullion
has continually fallen in the market until it reached its lowest
depth on the 24th of July last, when it sold at 69 cents an ounce.
This enormous depreciation can only be realized when we remember that silver at a parity with gold on a ratio of 16 to 1 is
worth $1.27 ah ounce. The currency which has been furnished
to the people by the Bland-Allison and Sherman acts could have
been issued as currency, as the greenbacks have been, without
the intervention of silver, and based upon the faith and credit
of the United States.
The fact that silver is held as a collateral for their redemption
has added nothing to the face value of the silver certificate, it
passing at par with the paper obligations of the Government and
depending for its money power and purchasing capacity on the
pledge of the United States that its parity should be maintained
with gold, and that it should be received for all dues to the Government and be a legal tender in the payment of debts. These
acts, therefore, were not the acts of remonetization. They have
not given us a bimetallic standard. We are still, and have been
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since the resumption of specie payments, upon a gold basis, and
all the silver which has been purchased and coined was purchased
at its value in gold in the markets of the world; and till of our
values in this country, since the resumption of specie payments,
have been gold values and based upon a gold monometallic standard.
If, instead of the Bland-Allison act of 1873. we had remonetized
silver, instead of $330,000,000 in silver certificates and $5(3.000,000 in coin in circulation, the coinage of the silver dollar ana the
maintenance of its parity at the existing ratio of 16 to 1 would
have enormously increased the money of the country, and would,
in my judgment, if passed at that time, have maintained silver
at par with gold at the then existing ratio. The demonetization of silver by this country and the other countries of the world
has deprived the people of one-half of the money which would
otherwise have been obtainable in the payment of debts. Hence,
1 reiterate that the three great causes of our present depression
were, first, the protective tariff laws, which have exacted millions of dollars of tribute from the people; second, depriving the
people of one-half of the money which they otherwise would have
had for bearing these burdens and paying these exactions; and,
third, the Sherman act of July 14, 1890.
I have voted for every measure which has passed this House
in the direction of free and unlimited coinage of silver. I voted
for the original free-coinage bill, which passed this House in 1878.
I voted for the Bland-Allison amendment, which b2Came a law
during that year; I voted for its passage over the veto of the
then President of the United States. Since that time, whenever
an occasion has presented itself, I have stood with those upon
this floor who have demanded the largest possible use of both
silver and gold as a part of the money of the people. I voted also
against the Sherman law, as did every other Democrat upon this
floor. No law ever passed by Congress has degraded silver more
than has that act.
The demonetization of silver in 1873 did not destroy silver as
money as much as has the Sherman act. The average price of silver bullion for the fiscal year 1890 was $0,968 per ounce, and the
value of the bullion in our silver dollar was nearly $0.75. Since
the passage of the Sherman act, July 14,1890, silver has steadily
declined, until in July of this year it sold for $0.72 an ounce, and
the value of the bullion in the silver dollar was only $0.56. This
shows that the depreciation of silver in the three years since the
passage of the Sherman act has been greater than it was during
the sixteen years which cover the period from the time of demonetization until the passage of the Sherman law.
The depreciation during the first period of sixteen years was
24.4 per cent, and for the second period of three years it was 25
per cent. The Sherman law is in no respect an aid'to remonetization of silver. Its continuance upon the statute book is not only
a menace to the business of the country, but an insurmountable
obstacle in the path of perfect remonetization.
Mr. Speaker, I stand unequivocally upon the seventh section
of the Democratic platform, adopted at Chicago in June, 1892.
That section is as follows :
SEC. 7. We denounce the Republican legislation known as the Sherman
act of 1890 as a cowardly makeshift, fraught with possibilities of danger in
the future which should make all of its supporters, as well as its author,
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anxious for its speedy repeal. We hold to the use of both gold and silver as
the standard money of the country, and to the coinage oftoothgold and silver, without discrimination against either metal, or charge for mintage; but
the dollar unit of coinage of both metals must be of equal intrinsic and exchangeable value, or be adjusted by international agreement, or by such
safeguards of legislation as shall insure the maintenance of the parity of
the two metals and the equal power of every dollar at all times in the market and in the payment of debts; and we demand that all paper currency
shall be kept at par with and redeemable in such coin. We insist upon this
policy as especially necessary for the protection of the farmers and laboring classes, the first and most defenseless victims of unstable money and a
fluctuating currency.

This platform has been so often quoted during this debate and
so variously commented upon that its terms have become perfectly familiar to the members of this House and to the whole
country. I will be pardoned, however, for calling attention to
the fact that the first obligation which it imposes upon the Democratic party, the first pledge which it gave and which it must
keep, is to repeal the Sherman act of 1890, which is denounced
as a "cowardly makeshift, fraught with possibilities of danger
in the future which should mike all of its supporters, as well as
its author, anxious for its speedy repeal." ,
We have promised, Mr. Speaker, in this platform a a speedy
r e p e a l . T h a t does not imply that we are to postpone repeal
until we can devise a comprehensive financial system for this
country which will meet the requirements of business for all
time to come. It does not imply that we are to incorporate in
this repeal bill any other provisions than that of naked repeal
itself. It does not require that we should, in the same act, remonetize silver, or incorporate provisions revising the tariff, or
repealing the 10 percent tax upon State bank circulation, or repeal the national election laws, or carry out any of the other
pledges of the Democratic party in the same act of legislation.
It is not the custom of Congress to incorporate in one bill all the
measures of legislation which it is incumbent upon Congress to
enact.
We have been called together by the President in extraordinary session for the sole purpose of effecting the repeal of the
purchasing clause of the Sherman act. The whole business interests of the country are demanding its immediate repeal. All
parties in this country, all parties represented upon thisfloor,are
agreed that the purchasing clause of the Sherman act should be
repealed. All propositions pending befpre this House include
its repeal, and it is the consensus of opinion throughout the
whole country that repeal is demanded. Shall we answer this
universal demand for repeal, a demand which meets with no negative response throughout the length and breadth of the land,
with the statement that we will not repeal the purchasing clause
of the Sherman act until Congress agrees to do something else
on some other matter.
Th<a matters especially pressing upon our attention to be incorporated in the same bill, are the various propositions which are
to be submitted by the honorable gentleman from Missouri [Mr.
BLAND]. Those proposed amendments provide for the remonetization of silver and its free and unlimited coinage at various
ratios, from 16 up to 20 to ,1. These measures, however meritorious they may be of themselves and in separate bills, were not,
in a parliamentary sense, even germane to the repeal bill, and
it was only by agreement of all parties upon the floor that they
were to be moved at this time. We are under no more obligauo




7
tion to do this than to insist upon the incorporation of a general
revision of the tariff into this measure, and insist upon that before repeal shall be granted.
Why not incorporate the tariff into the repeal bill? Because
all will agree that it is a subject of infinite detail and should be
considered by itself and on its own merits. Is not the great question of the revision of the tariff as important to the people at
this time as the remonetization of silver itself? And shall we
leave one of these great measures out and insist upon putting
the other in? Or shall we leave them both to stand upon their
individual merits, and receive that due and deliberate consideration to wliich the magnitude of the subjects involved entitles
them? What is the pledge of the Democratic party in reference
to these two measures, the tariff and silver? I have already
read the platform in reference to silver. In reference to the
tariff our platform, passed in June, 1892, says:
We denounce Republican protection as a fraud; a robbery of the great majority of the American people for the benefit of the few. We declare it to be
a fundamental principle of the Democratic party that the Federal Government has no constitutional power to impose and collect tariff duties except
for the purpose of revenue only, and we demand that the collection of such
taxes shall be limited to the necessities of the Government when honestly
and economically administered.
We denounce the McKinley tariff law enacted by the Fifty-first Congress as
the culminating atrocity of class legislation; we indorse the efforts made by
the Democrats of the present [the last] Congress to modify its most oppressive features in the direction of free raw materials and cheaper manufactured goods that enter into home consumption, and we propose its repeal as
one of the beneficent results that will follow the action of the people In Intrusting power to the Democratic party.

Our pledges to carry out these two propositions are equally
sacred, and must be kept in both cases to the very letter. It is
just as parliamentary, just as reasonable, to insist that the tariff
bill shall be included in the bill for the repeal of the Sherman
act as to insist that the measure for the remonetization of silver
shall also be incorporated in that act.
In reference to silver, our platform declares that "we hold to
the use of both gold and silver as the standard money of the
country, without discrimination against either metal or charge
for mintage?" So far there is no difference of opinion anywhere
as to the meaning of the Democratic platform.
It is so clear and free from ambiguity that no one can misunderstand its meaning. But there is something else promised.
What is it? u The dollar unit of coinage of both metals must be
of equal intrinsic and exchangeable value." How can this be
secured? Two ways are pointed out. One provides that it may
be adjusted ".by international agreement;*'the other, "bjrsuch
safeguards of legislation as shall insure the maintenance of the
parity of the two metals, and the equal power of every dollar at
all times in the market and in the payment of debts." I have
already referred to the great disparity which exists at this time
between the bullion and coinage value of the silver dollar.
The depreciation of silver has, in my judgment, resulted from
two causes: first, its demonetization by the United States and
other great powers of the world; and secondly, by the enormous
increased production of silver bullion since demonetization took
Elace. I will incorporate in my remarks a statement, which I
ave received from the Director of the Mint, of the production
of gold and silver in the world during the past one hundred years.
Between 1792 and 1848, the estimates are given by periods of
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8
years; after that time, the production of each year is stated
separately.
This statement shows, so far as silver is concerned, the number
of fine ounces produced and its coining value in separate columns.
The coining value referred to is that which existed in the country where the production was coined. It will be seen that, during the past one hundred years, $5,600,000,000 worth of gold was
produced, and over $5,100,000,000 worth of silver, estimated at
its coinage value, or $500,000,000 more of gold than of silver.
The coinage value of the silver produced since 1873 would be as
much less, as is stated in this table, as was the difference at the
time between the coinage and the bullion value of the*silver. It
may be worth stating in this connection, by way of digression,
that if we were to draw from the world's supply of precious metals
during the past hundred years, and were required to choose between a gold basis and a silver basis for our money, the supply of
silver would be much less than that of gold.
But it is possible that more of the gold has been used in the
arts than silver. The Director of the Min t has furnished me a
statement, showing the stock of gold in the principal countries
of the world, and I have requested that the countries should be
classified so as to show the countries having the double standard
and those having the single standard. I will incorporate that
statement in my remarks. It will be seen that the aggregate
gold coinage of the world is over $3,600,000,000, while the aggregate silver coinage is about $4,000,000,000.
If we should remonetize silver in this country upon the ratio
of 16 to 1, one of two conditions would inevitably follow: Either
the United States would at once or within a brief period of time
pass from the present gold standard of values to the silver standard, or the price of silver bullion would appreciate in value to
the coinage value of the silver dollar. The coinage value of the
dollar would depend upon the ratio which would be established.
If the ratio should be 16 to 1, the coinage value of an ounce of
silver would be $1.27. If our Government should pass from the
present standard to the silver b^isis, there would result at the
same time a financial crisis in this country with which the present financial depression would be an evening zephyr to a western cyclone.
The hundreds of millions of dollars of foreign capital invested
in this country would be immediately withdrawn, or withdrawn as
rapidly as possible, from all the channels of our trade and industry.
Our credit would be destroyed and we would be remitted to the
condition of Mexico, of India, and China, and those other countries
now upon a silver basis. We would be thrown out of harmony with
the great commercial powers of the world, those nations that buy
nearly $800,000,000 of our products every year and froin which we
receive almost as great an amount of their produce in return. All
kinds of business would be prostrated; all classes of industry
would be crippled, and in a time like that the greatest sufferers
and the most defenseless victims would be the farmer and the
laboring man, who depend upon their own sweat and toil for their
existence.
Surely, no gentlemen upon this floor desires to take that leap
into the dark; desires to plunge our country into an abyss, the
horrors of which will tax the wildest fancies of the imagination.
The advocates of silver do not desire or expect such a result to
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follow. They believe that the remonetization of silver will result in its appreciation to its coinage value, if a proper ratio is
adopted. What that ratio should be presents a subject of vast
importance, and one which requires the most careful and exhaustive investigation. There is no doubt but that the present depreciation of silver bullion is attributable to two causes, as I have
heretofore stated, to its demonetization, and to its enlarged production.
In 1860 the value of the gold production of the world was $119,000,000. The coinage value of the silver produced was $40,000,000, and the number of ounces of-fine silver 31,556,000. In 1873,
when demonetization took place, the world's production of gold
amounted to $96,000,000 and the coinage value of the silver produced was $81,000,000, and the number of ounces of fine silver
63,267,000. In 1892 the value of the world's product of gold was
$130,000,000, the coinage value of the silver product of the world
$196^000,000, and the number of fine ounces aggregated 152,000,000.' In this large relative increase of silver production as compared with gold is to be found one of the causes of the depreciation of the bullion^alue of silver. I doubt whether, in view of
the present depression of silver bullion, the United States Government of itself could maintain its parity with gold, with free
and unlimited coinage at a ratio of 16 to 1.
There seems to be a general consensus of opinion in the country at this time that we can not maintain the free and unlimited
coinage of silver on that ratio. The advocates of free coinage
generally concede this fact, and in this House opportunity will
be given, when we take a vote upon the amendment submitted by
the gentleman from Missouri, to vote on separate measures from
16 up to 20 to 1. The minority. report in the Senate, submitted
by the distinguished Senator from Missouri, on the repeal bill
pending in that body contains a provision for free coinage on
the ratio of 20 to 1. At this moment I am not prepared to say
whether that ratio is the correct one or so nearly approximates
a just ratio, in view of all the conditions, that it could 'be maintained by this country alone without the aid of other governments.
The subject is one calling for careful and exhaustive considers
tion. We can not do it in the brief time in which a measure repealing the purchasing clause o* the Shermm act ought to be
passed. Let the friends of free coinags, therefore, and all others who desire to bring about by law the largest possible use of
both gold and silver as a part of the money of the country, unite
in securing the speedy repeal of the purchasing clause of the
Sherman act; and when that is accomplished, let us devote our
best efforts and energies and abilities to the passage of a measure through Congress which will crystallize into law the other
pledges of the Democratic party, the tariff pledge and the silver
pledge alike.
But we are told that if we allow this repeal bill to go through
without incorporating into it a provision for the free and unlimited coinage of silver that some of our Democratic friends upon
this floor and in the Senate, and even the President of the
United States, will desert us and call a halt upon silver legislation. I do not believe it. Who is prepared to say that the
Democratic party, as represented upon this floor and in the other
branch of Congress and as repres anted in the Chief Executive of
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the United States, will be recreant to the solemn pledge made
to the people of this country, the pledge upon which we secured
at the polls in November last an unprecedented majority of the
popular votes of the country.
There is just as much ground for stating that we will not carry
out our pledges in reference to the tariff or to the election laws
as there is for stating that we will not carry out all our pledges
in regard to silver. As soon as this repeal measure iB adopted I
trust that the lawmaking power of the Government will enter
upon the consideration of this subject, and the members of this
House will put forth every effort in their power to investigate
thoroughly, and afterwards to formulate properly, such a measure as will meet fully the expectations of the American people
upon this subject. He who falters in that work will receive the
just condemnation of his constituents.
If the faltering be upon this floor; if there be members who
shall be recreant to this trust, they will find very soon that the
places that now know them will know them no more forever.
Some have charged that President Cleveland will not co 5 per ate
with the representatives of the people upon this subject; that
he will not sign his name to a measure giving relief to the people and carrying out our pledge to make the largest possible use
of gold and silver as a part of the money of the country. If it
be that he will prove false to his trust, it were better for him
that a millstone were tied about his neck and that he were cast
into the sea.
No, Mr. Speaker, I do not believe that any gentleman upon
this floor contemplates such treason. I do not believe fpr a moment that Grover Cleveland would, in the slightest respect, prove
false to the pledges he has made. At no time in the past has he
shown a disposition to shrink from the responsibilities of his station or to go back on his solemn pledges to the people. I believe,
Mr. Speaker, that the representatives of the people upon this
floor, the Democratic party as represented in the Senate, and the
President of the United States will unite in making good the
promises that we made to the people, and upon which we secured
the election of a large majority of this House, a majority L the
n
Senate, and an unprecedented majority of the electoral college
in behalf of the candidates of the Democratic party.
I shall, therefore, vote for the pending bill, and in doing so
I want to say to this House and to the country, and especially to
the constituents that I have the honor to represent, and who
have so many years confided their interests to my charge, that
so far as I am concerned there will be no faltering step; there
will be no hesitation; there will be no step backward in the
cause of the people. They have demanded at the polls, and are
entitled to receive back the money of the people, the silver dolar. They are entitled to its largest possible use. I expect to
labor to the best of my abilities as a member of this House until
that end is accomplished.
Mr. PICKLER. If it would not interrupt the gentleman, I
would like him to state, before he sits down, in view of his high
party standing, what silver legislation he thinks the President
will sign?
Mr. SPRINGER. I would be very glad to enlighten my distinguished friend from South Dakota, but that is a subject that
140




11
will occupy the time of the House for several weeks or months,
and I decline to enter upon its discussion at this time.
Mr. PiCKLEK. If we are to rely on that, we ought to know
what it is now.
Mr. KEED. Of course it will be satifactory.
Mr. SPRINGER. I hope my distinguished friend from South
Dakota will learn something upon the subject before the discussion is ended.
I have seen a letter signed by the Secretary of the Treasury,
Mr. Carlisle, addressed to the Senate Committee on Finance,
under date of August 19, in which he states that, without allowance for abrasion and loss incident to melting, the value of the
silver dollars heretofore coined at a ratio of 1 to 20 would be
$333,000,000 (I state the figures in round numbers for convenience), or $84,000,000 less than their present face value. He also
states:
To recoin these dollars at a ratio of 1 to 30 would require the addition ot
81,000,000 ounces ot new bullion, which, at the average price paid for silver
under the act of July 14, 1890, ($0.9325) would cost $75,883,000.

He then estimates the loss by abrasion at about $3,000,000, and
the cost of coinage at $3,500,000, including transportation, or an
aggregate loss for recoining the silver dollars of $89,000,000. He
also includes an estimated cost for recoining subsidiary silver
coins amounting to $23,000,000, making a total loss, if you include
the subsidiary coins, of $112,000,000. This statement is true as
far as it goes, but it is somewhat misleading. I have received
this day from the Director of the Mint the following letter:
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, BUREAU OF THE MINT,

Washington, D, 6'., August 24,1893.
SIR: I have to reply to your letter of the 22d instant as follows:
1. The number of ounces of pure silver which the Government has purchased since the passage of the acts of February 28,1878, and July 14,1890,
available for the coinage of silver dollars, is as follows:
Average
Fine ounces. cost per
ounce.
Act February 28,1878
Act July 14,1890_„„ _„
Act March 3,1891 (trade dollars bullion).
Total

_

...

29i,272t019
161,521,000
3,929,068
456,722,087

$1,058
.9328
1.2777

Cost
$308,199,262
150,669.459
5,020,362
463,889,083

2. The difference between the cost of the silver purchased and coined, under acts of February 28, 1878, and July 14,1890, to date, has been 176,944,599.
3. If the silver bullion on hand August 16, 1893—133,161,375 ounces, costing
$121,217,677—were converted into silver dollars at the present ratio the gain
would be $50,950,568, and if coined at a ratio of 1 to 20 the gain would be
$16,420,953.
4. If the silver dollars heretofore coined were recoined at a ratio of 1 to
20, without any allowance for abrasion, they would produce $333,222,162.
Adding to this the coining value of the bullion held by the Treasury (at same
ratio), $137,638,630, would make a total of 1470,860,792. The seigniorage on
the gross amount purchased would amount to $6,991,709.
I believe that at least $3,000,000 or $3,500,000 of this would be consumed by
abrasion, and loss in melting the silver dollars heretofore coined.
Very respectfully, ,
R. E. PRESTON,
Acting Director of the Mint.
H o n . WRLIIIAM SPRINGER,

House of Representative*.

It will be seen, Mr. Speaker, from the statement that has been
read that the Secretary did not take into consideration the actual
140




12
cost to the Government of the bullion now in the Treasury and
the bullion in the silver dollars which have been coined. It also
seems that he estimates the price per ounce of the silver which
it would be necessary to purchase to supply the difference in passing1 from the ratio of 15 to 1 to 20 to 1 at the average price paid
for bullion since the passage of the Bland-Allison act, namely,
$0.9325 per ounce. If the cost of the bullion which it would be
necessary to purchase had been put down at the average paid
during the month of July last, namely, $0,724 per ounce, the estimated loss would have been much less.
The new bullion necessary for recoinage would, at the latter
price, have cost only $58,916,000, or $16,966,000 less than Mr.
Carlisle's estimate. The Director of the Mint, in the letter
which has just been read, states that the seignoirage of the gross
amount of bullion purchased under the Bland-Allison and Sherman acts, if recoined on the ratio of 20 to 1, would amount to
$6,991,000. Thus it will be seen that if we should recoin all
our silver bullion in the Treasury and all the standard silver dollars heretofore coined, at a ratio of 20 to 1, the Government
would gain nearly $7,000,000 as between the coinage value on
that ratio and the actual amount paid for the bullion in the new
coins. This does not include the $5,500,000 which Mr. Carlisle
estimates for the loss by abrasion, cost of coinage, and transportation: but if this amount were deducted from the $6,991,000 the
Government would gain by seigniorage, it would still leave a
balance of $1,490,000 as a net gain to the Government by the
transaction.
It is possible that Congress may, before this session adjourns,
reach the conclusion that the United States Government, of
itself, can maintain free coinage upon a ratio of 20 to 1. I make
-this statement, therefore, to correct the impression which has
gone abroad that the Government would be largely the loser by
adopting that ratio.
Mr. BOATNER. Will it interrupt the gentleman from Illinois to ask him a question at this point?
Mr. SPRINGER. Probably not.
Mr. BOATNER. I would like to know of the gentleman from
Illinois how he can expect that such legislation as he has described would receive his support could be had in this House
when nearly every gentleman who has spoken on that side of the
question is advocating and supporting this bill, and is opposed
to the substitute on the ground that bimetallism and free coinage
in this country at this time is impossible?
Mr. SPRINGER. Well, Mr. Speaker, I can not enter into a
discussion of this at length. I will only state that I hope the
eloquent gentleman from Louisiana and my other friends upon
this floor will be able to convince them that when the Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures of this House and the
Democratic party as represented in the Senate, shall have agreed
upon a measure, that it is their duty as Democrats to act with
the party and not desert it in its hour of trial.
Mr. BOATNER. If you will excuse me, just one more question.
Mr. SPRINGER. Excuse me. I will trust my colleagues on
that subject as I have trusted them on every subject. I may be
an optimist myself, but I never distrust a gentleman until he
has shown himself unworthy of my confidence.
140




13
Mr. BOATNER. But they have declared they will not do it.
Mr. SPRINGER. I believe in the principle of bimetallism. I
favor the free and unlimited coinage of both gold and silver upon
such a ratio that every dollar coined will be of "equal, intrinsic,
and exchangeable value," as we have pledged the country should
be done in the Chicago platform. There is not enough gold in the
world with which to du the business of the world. The honorable gentlemen from Maryland [Mr. Rayner], who first addressed the House upon the pending bill, declared that there was
not a "sufficient amount of gold in existence to supply the demands
of commerce and the necessities of the world's circulation." No
truer statement or one of more significance has been uttered
daring this debate. Let this fact be conceded and the duty of
this Congress is plain and unmistakable.
Mr CANNON of Illinois. I would like to ask my friend a very
important question at that point.
Mr. SPRINGER. I have no doubt several gentlemen would
like to ask me important questions, but I hope my colleague will
excuse me.
Mr. PICKLER. Since you are an authority on finances you
ought to give us your views.
Mr. SPRINGER. We must restore silver as a part of the
money of the country. I regret that some members upon this
floor have reached the conclusion that bimetallism is impossible
except through an international agreement. If we are to wait
until the great creditor nations of Europe agree to bimetallism,
the world's commerce and business must be transacted for many
years to come with insufficient money. The Chicago platform
does not concede that we must depend upon an international
agreement for bimetallism, but, on the contrary, clearly points
the way to remonetization through " such safeguards of legislar
tion " as Congress may enact.
If a proper ratio is fixed the United States Government, of
itself, can maintain the parity of the two metals upon that ratio;
and although other nations may refuse for a time to accept it,
our silver dollar, having behind it the faith and the credit of
the United States, whicn are pledged in the pending bill to maintain its parity with gold, will be universally accepted at its face
value. Let me remind gentlemen of the unparalleled wealth
and resources of the United States of America. Her faith and
credit having been pledged, there is no financial system which
can be devised, based upon the nation's faith and credit, which
will not prove successful.
Every promise made by our country will be kept in letter and
in spirit. Those trembling capitalists of this country and in
the Old World who may now be panic-stricken for fear that this
Government will dishonor its obligations may at once banish
their fears. There need be no apprehension of this kind at this
time, or at any time in the future. This Government, the richest in the world, will keep all its promises and maintain its faith
and credit at all times and under all circumstances. [Loud applause.]
I will have printed as an appendix to my remarks some tables
containing statistics of interest in consideration to the pending
question. [For tables see next page.]
140




u
Production of gold and silver in the world, 1792-1892.
Silver.
Calendar years.
1792-1800.

1801-1810.
1811-1820.
1821-1830.
1831-1840 .
1841-1848 .
1849
1850
185 1
1854.
1855
1856.,
1857.,
1858
1859

I860.,

1861
1862.,
1863 _
1864.,

1 6 I!
80

1867.
1868.,
1869.,
1870.
1871.
1872.
1873 _
1874.

SS:
1877 ..
1878.
1879.
1880.
1881.

Gold.
$106,407,000
118,152,000
76,063,000
94,479,000
134,841,000
291,144,000
27,100,000
44,450,000
67,600,000
132,750,000
155,450,000
127,450,000
135,075,000
147*600,000
133,275,000
124,650,000
124,850,000
119,250,000
113,800,000
107,750,000
108,950,000
113,000,000

120,200,000
121,100,000
104,025,000
109,725,000
106,225,000
106,850,000
107,000,000
99,600,000
96,200,000
90,750,000
97,500,000
103,700,000
114,000,000
119,000,000
109,000,000
106,500,000
103,000,000

102,000,000
95,400,000
101,700,000
108,400.000

1884.

106,000,000

1886.
1887 _
1890 "III " I

iIsb :::::::

105,77>,000
110,197,000
123,489,000
113,150,000

iRooo
5,633,908,000

140




Fine ounces. Coining value,
254,352,656
287,468,929
173,857,922
148,069,968
212,641,171
200,722,500
30,164,062
30,164,062
30,937,500
31,401,563
31,401,563
31,401,563
31,401,563
31,440,234
31,440,234
31,440,234
31,517,578
31,556,250
34,572,650
34,959,375
38,053,125
39.986.718
40,180,078
39,251,953
41,939,618
38,845,898
36,738,281
39,890,038
47,218,359
50,466,796
63,267,187
55,300,781
62.261.719
67,753,124
62,648,437
73,476,562
74,250,000
74,791,406
78,890,625
86,470,312
89,177,343
81,597,656
91,652,345
93,276,562
96,123,586
108,827,297
125,419,851
133,213,008
144,426,304
153,061,679

$328,860,000
371,677,000
224,786,000
191,444,000
274,930,000
259,520,000
39,000,000
39,000,000
40,000,000
40,600,000
40,600,000
40,600,000
40,600,000
40,650,000
40,650,000
40,650,000
40,750,000
40,800,000
44,700,000
45,200,000
49,200,000
51,700,000
51,950,000
50,750,000
54,225,000
50,225,000
47,500,000
51,575.000
61,050,000
65,250,000

8,948,363.261

5,104,961,000

81,800,000

71,500.000
80,500,000
87,600,000

81,000,000

95,000,000
96,000,000
96,700,000

102,000,000
111,800,000
115,300,000
105,500,000
118,500,000

120,600,000

124,281,000
140,706,000
162,159,000
172,235,000
186,733,000
196,605,000

15
Stock of gold and silver in\the principal countries of the world having the doubU
standard.
Monetary system.

Countries.
United States
Belgium
Italy

Snaln ..

-

-

„

"NTAtbiftrlamlSTurkey
. ...

--

Gold and silver..
do
do
....do
....do
....do..,
do
__
do _ _
. ..do
....do

Total—

Gold.

Silver.

$654,000,000
$575,000,000
' 800,000,000
700,000.000
65,000,000
55,000,000
93. C O 000
O.
50,000.000
15.000,000
15,000,000
2,0000,00
- 4,000,000
40.000,000
158,000,000
25,000,000
65,000,000
50,000,000
45,000,000
90,000,000
50,000,000
1,834,600,000 1,717.000,000

Stock of gold and silver in the principal countries of the ivorld having the single
gold standard.
M onetary system.

Countries, i
United Kingdom
Germany . . .
...
Portugal
-Austria-Hungary
Scandinavian Union
Australia
. . . . . . - ___.._
Ecvnt. — • —
..
—
Canada .
...
...
Cuba, Haiti, etc

Gold
....do
....do...
....do
do
....do
....do
....do
....do

Gold.

$550,000,000
600,000,000
40,000,000
40,000,000
32,000,000
100,000,000
100,000,000
36,000,000
20,000,000
1,498,000,000

„

Total

Silver.

$100,000,000
211,000,000
10,030,000
90,000,000
10,000,000
7,000.000
15,000,000
5,000,000
2,000,000
450,000,000

Stock of gold and silver in the principal countries of the world having the
single silver standard.
Monetary system.

Countries.
Russia
Mexico
'
Central America
South America
India...
China .
—
The Straits
Total

-

Silver..t
....do
T_._do
do
....do
do —

.1....

Gold.

8250,000,000
5,000,000
45.000,000

$60,000,000
50,000,000
500,000
25,000,000
900,000,000
700,000,000
100,000,000

300,000,000

1,835.500,000

Total in the world, $3,633,600,000 gold; $4,002,500,000 silver.
Bubsau of the Mjnt, August 16,1893,
140




Silver.

16
Highest, lowest, and average price of silver bullion, and value of a fine ounce, bullion value of a United States silver dollar, and commercial ratio of silver to
gold byfiscalyears, 1874 to 1893.

Fiscal
years.

187&-'74_._
1874-'75...
1875-'70...
1876-'77...
1877-78...
1878-'79...
1879-,80.._
18S0-"81...

1881-'82...

1882-'83...
ISSS-^...
i884-'85._.
i885-'8e...
1886-'87...
1887-'88 —
1888-'89
1889-'90 —
1890-91 . . .
1891-92...
1892-n93...
July

Highest.

EquivaAverage lent value
London of a
price per ouncefine
Lowwith
ounce exchange
est.
standard at par,
.925.
$4.8665,

Pence. Pence.
571
595
585
55}
57i
50
58 J
.
501
52|
m
52fg
m
53$
51
52J
52rRa
50|
50
52^
50^
51|
50ig
48^
42
49
42
47 i
44±
49
64}
46$
40&
34|

4liS
42
43|
39
30^
32$

Pence.
58.312
56.875
52.750
54.812
52.562
50.812
52.218
51.937
51.812
51.023
50.791
49.843
47.038
44.813
43.675
42.499
44.196
47.7(4
42.737
38.3?5
33.060

$1.27826
1.25127
1.15184
1.20154
1.15223
1.11386
1.14436
1.13852
1.13623
1.11826
1.11339
1.09,62
1.03112
.98301
.95741
. 93163
. 96883
1.01195
.93548
.84123
.72471

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

Bureau of the Mint, August it 1893.
140




o

Equivalent value
of a fine
ounce
based on
average
price of
exchange.

$1.28247
1.25022
1.15954
1.20191
1.15257
1.11616
1.14397
1.13508
1.13817
1.11912
1.115.9
1.09226
1.03295
.98148
.95617
.93510
.96839
1.04780
.93723
.84263
.72037

Bullion
value of a
United
ComStates sil- merver dollar, cial
at average ratio of
price of
silver
silver, ex- to gold.
change at
par.
$0.98865
.96777
.89087
.92931
.89116
.86152
.88509
. 88057
.87880
. 86490
.86115
.84507
.79750
. 76029
.74008
.72055
.74932
.80588
.72430
,65Uo3
.56052

16.17
16.52
17.94
17.20
17.94
18.55
18.06
18.15
18.19
18.48
18.56
18.92
20.04
21.02
21.59
22.18
21.33
19.83
22.07
24.57
28.52