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Repeal of the Sherman Act.






Thursday, August


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

Mr. C A R U T H said:
Mr. SPEAKER: Detained by the hand of sickness and restrained
also by the demands of duty, I stayed long a t the nation's capital
after t h e fall of the gavel t h a t marked the death of the Fiftysecond Congress. W h e n at last, sir, I returned to my home,
among the people I represent, instead of seeing the signs of prosperity I was accustomed t h e r e to see, I beheld the evidence of
disaster. Instead of finding t h e feelings of hopeful confidence
t h a t ever pervaded t h a t people, I saw signs of despair.
The air was laden with dismay. A man meeting his brother
man upon t h e street exchanged not cheerful greetings, but indulged in foreboding prophecy. Merchants looked ahead and
beheld only impending ruin. W h e r e v e r I went, at my home, in
my office, on the public streets, or in t h e cars, I was met everywhere by the anxious inquiry, " W h e n will the Congress of the
United States be convened? " and on all hands I was asked to use
what little influence I m i g h t possess with t h e President of t h e
United States to get him to convene this body in extraordinary
session in order t h a t the evils of legislation m i g h t be righted and
relief extended to our distressed people.
The call, Mr. Speaker, came none too soon, but a t as early an
hour as the wisdom of the President t h o u g h t the representatives
of the people would heed their demands. The call which convened us here vividly set forth our financial situation, which had,
in the language of the President—
Already caused great loss and damage to our people, threatening to cripple our merchants, stop the wheels of manufactures, bring disaster and privation to our farmers, and withhold from our w o r k i n g m e n the wage of

In obedience to the call which convened us here, I came. A t
t h a t desk I took the oath of office, determined that I could best
serve those who sent me here, not by speeches, not by set phrases,
but by my vote.
Never since the time when the life of the nation was imperiled
has the Congress of the United States been gathered together
under graver or gloomier auspices; and in the message the President sent he in strong and patriotic language set forth the common need of the hour. I came at his behest and at the command
of my people to do my duty as their Representative. I am not
here, Mr. Speaker, at this time to discuss the merits of either of
the metals that enter into the money of this country. I hold to
the views of the wise and patriotic President of the United States
as stated in his message to this Congress, that—
The people of tlie United States are entitled to a sound and stable currency
and to money recognized as such on every exchange and in every market of
the world. Their Government has no right to injure them by financial experiments opposed to the policy and practice of other civilized states, nor is
it justified in permitting an exaggerated and unreasonable reliance on our
national strength and ability to jeopardize the soundness of the people's

I asked the banker, I asked the merchant, I asked the rich
man, and the poor man what was causing this widespread desolation, what was causing the suspension of the banks, what was
causing these disasters to our mercantile interests, and from
every one came the answer, 4 ' I t is the purchasing clause of the
Sherman act."
Mr. SNODGRASS. Will the gentleman point out the way in
which that act has brought about this condition of things?
Mr. CARUTH. I have but five minutes, and I hope that my
friend from Tennessee will make his speech in his own time and
not in mine. He knows my time is very limited and he is using
it up, and he is also breaking the thread of my discourse.
The S P E A K E R . The time of the gentleman from Kentucky
has expired.
Mr. CARUTH. See that! [Laughter.]
Mr. McCREARY of Kentucky. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that my colleague [Mr. CARUTH] may be allowed
ten minutes more to complete his argument.
There was no objection, and it was so ordered.
Mr. SNODGRASS. I want to apologize to the gentleman if I
have interfered with the course of his argument, but his discourse was so extraordinary that I could hardly help it.
Mr. CARUTH. Mr. Speaker, 1 was saying t h a t from all sides
the answer came that the cause of this widespread and impending disaster was the purchasing clause of the Sherman act. The
people who suffer ought to know t h a t from which they sutler.
The President of the United States, who so keenly feels the responsibility of this hour, ought to know the cause of the disturbance. The great Secretary of the Treasury, who hails from the
State of my birth, and who is in contact with the ablest financiers of this country, ought to know the cause of the trouble
t h a t has come upon us.
I repeat, Mr. Speaker, from the banker, from t h e merchant,
from the President of the United States, and from t h e Secretary

of the Treasury comes to t h e same answer, t h a t i t is caused by
t h e purchasing clause of t h e S h e r m a n act. Nay, more, t h e people know it. They can not he led astray by t h e false a r g u m e n t
t h a t this depression is caused by a fear t h a t t h e Congress of t h e
United States will tamper with t h e tariff laws of this land. I
will read to t h e House a letter which I received a few days ago,
written by a manufacturing firm in my own city, none of t h e
members of which are in accord with t h e political views t h a t I
hold. Listen and heed.

L O U I S V I L L E , K Y . , August 12,1893.
DEAR SIR:-We are manufacturers of brass and iron goods in the city
which yon represent in Congress. Four weeks ago we employed over four
hundred men. When the prevailing financial panic struck this city about
two weeks ago, we were compelled to discharge three hundred of our employes. To-day we have discharged the balance, and have shut down both
our iron and brass works completely. Our reason for not being able to keep
running is that our banks here are not in a position to afford us the accommodations which heretofore they have always been glad to extend to us.
We believe with the majority of our fellow-citizens that the great cause
of all this trouble lies in the so-called Sherman silver bill. We appeal to
you, therefore, in the name of ourselves and other manufacturers of this city,
to use all your influence and energy toward an unconditional repeal of this
bill at as early a date as possible. It is our firm belief that if the present
strain under which we are laboring is not relieved in a very short time this
country will see the greatest panic it has ever witnessed.
Hoping you will give this letter your favorable consideration, we remain,
very truly yours,
T H E O . A H R E N S , J R . , General
H o n . A S H E R Gr C A R U T H ,

Member of Congress, Washington, D. C.

Mr. Speaker, the P r e s i d e n t of t h e U n i t e d States has discharged his duty. H e has convened us here. H e has convened
together 1 Congress which for t h e first time in a generation
has a Democratic majority in both t h e Senate and t h e House,
with Democratic control of the Executive Departments and which
for the first time in t h a t period can make or unmake laws. T h e
responsibility of legislation rests upon us, and I, for one, do not
desire to shun t h a t responsibility. I am ready to meet t h e
trouble t h a t confronts us, prepared to share in the f r u i t s of victory or to suffer my portion of t h e mortification of defeat. [Applause.]
I stand h e r e now in compliance with t h e advice of t h e President of t h e United States, in compliance with t h e wishes of t h e
people who have honored me by sending me here; I stand ready
here and' now to cast my vote without limitation, restrictions, or
conditions for t h e repeal of the purchasing clause of t h e S h e r m a n
act. [Applause.] Let others talk as they may, I do not fear for
the f u t u r e of my party. The g r e a t Democracy is founded upon
the principle of " e q u a l r i g h t s for all, and exclusive privileges
to none," and in t h e application of t h a t principle it matters not
w h e t h e r t h e suppliant for t h e nation's favor comes from t h e
manufacturing East or t h e mine-owning W e s t . T h e law is the
some for all. I feel t h a t when t h e time comes to appeal to the
people they will r u s h to t h e front, and seize and carry to t r i u m p h ant victory t h e banner of Democracy, on which is inscribed
" Honest money and tariff reform." [Applause.]