View original document

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.

EEPEAL OF SILVER PUKOHASIM OLAITSK OP AOT OF
1890 AND THE KEMONETIZATIOK OF SILVER
Above all things good policy is to "be used that the treasure and monies in a
state be not gathered into few hands. For otherwise a state may have a great
stock and yet starve.
And money is like muck, not good except it be spread.
This is done chiefly by suppressing or at the least keeping a strait hand upon
the devouring trades of usury, ingrossing great pasturages, and the like.—Francis
Bacon, Vol. XII, page 128.

SPEECH
OF

HON. WILKINSON CALL,
O F

F L O R I D A ,

IN THE

SENATE OF T H E UNITED STATES,

Wednesday and Friday, October 4 and 6, 1893.




WASHINGTON.

1893.




SPEECH
OF

HON.

WILKINSON

CALL.

Wednesday, October 4, 1893.
The Senate having under consideration the bill (H. R. 1) to repeal a part of
an act, approved July 14,1890, entitled " A n act directing tlie purchase of silver bullion and the issue of Treasury notes thereon, and for other purposes " —

Mr. CALL. Mr. President, the eloquent and beautiful address
of the Senator from Kentucky [Mr. BLACKBURN] furnishes a
very inconclusive argument for the termination of this debate. If
the repeal of this bill shall be attended with widespread destruction to the people of this country; if, as he depicted, it shall bring
sorrow and suffering and want into every home in this country,
then it ought not to pass.
If it is true that the Rothschilds and other foreign bankers
here in the city of Washington last April demanded of the Secretary of the Treasury the issue of $150,000,000 of gold bonds, or
the repeal of the silver-purchasing clause of the act of 1890, and
threatened if it should not be done to ship gold to Europe, produce distress and ruin, throw men out of employment, and compel Congress to submit to their will, we should not submit, but we
should defy them, and represent the people of the United States,
and make them independent of European bankers and of all banks
and bankers
We are the great representative body of the American people.
What is to hinder us from such legislation as will take care of
the two millions of laborers who have been made tramps, as the
Senator said, and been thrown out of employment? What hinders
the American Congress here assembled from such legislation as
will sweep the banks out of existence and establish new depositories for the public credit of this great and powerful people?
The proper conclusion of the Senator's argument is that we should
resort to legislation which will prevent this starvation and this
suifering and this want of employment of the people of this country. If there is not wisdom to do that in this age of advanced
thought, then civilization has failed, and the institutions of republican America are a failure.
Tne question, Mr. President, is, are the propositions which
the Senator from Kentucky has so eloquently portrayed true as
economic propositions? Is it true that the complete cessation
of the further coinage of silver money will produce the evils
which he has asserted here to-day V I am of those who are opposed to the passage of the bill reported by the Committee on
Finance without the substitution of the free coinage of silver at
the ratio of 16 to 1; and I think there are controlling reasons
56S
3




4
why that should be the policy of the Government and the action
of the Senate.
We are here before the American people, and they are not impatient in the determination of this great question in the light
of argument and reason and the experience of mankind.
I protest against the introduction into the discussion of this
question of personal detraction, of unfavorable criticism of persons and their motives. It has nothing to do with the subject; it
has nothing to do with the effect of this policy upon the American people.
The President of the United States and his Cabinet officers
have been assailed, the general policy of the Administration has
been assailed. Republican Senators and Democratic Senators
have been assailed. I regard the President of the United States
and his Secretary of the Treasury as amongst the most able and
intellectual men to be found in any country. I do not think that
there is in the world a greater financial minister than the present Secretary of the Treasury. I do not believe that there are
any two men who sympathize more entirely with the great mass
of the people of the United States than these two great men. I
believe that the President has surrounded himself with able advisers, with patriotic men. His Comptroller in charge of the
national banks and the circulation of the country is a man of
distinguished ability, and I believe of genuine patriotism and
true to the convictions which he entertains.
The President, his Attorney-General, his Secretary of State,
his Secretaries of War, Navy, and Interior, his Postmaster-General, the Secretary of Agriculture, and all his officers are men
of eminent ability, and have definite ideas of their own upon public questions. They are men too great to hesitate to enter into
the championship of their public action in intellectual discussion. They challenge investigation of their recommendations;
they have a right to recommend in their respective Departments
their best judgment and best opinions, and they submit themselves to the judgment of the piople of our country.
But shall we accept the opinions of others? Are we not here
charged, as thejr are, with a great public duty, to investigate the
propositions which are presented as measures for public relief?
That is our function and our duty. To say that in three months
this great question which is agitating the whole civilized world,
which threatens to overthrow governments, which threatens to
produce, according to the best opinions of the most learned men
in the world, the most widespread suffering and disaster—to say
that we in three months shall be compelled to exhaust discussion, to arrive at a conclusion upon that which has attracted the
attention and the profound thought of the ablest minds of this
generation for more than thirty years, is, I think, unreasonable.
If the people of the United States are suffering, as they are
represented to be, let us find out how to relieve them, not by
continuing the same system of oppression and wrongful legislation which has produced that suffering. Are we bound to any
set of bankers or banks or bound to any depositaries of credit, to
any one system? Can we not devise some measures to prevent
the people of our country from being without money to supply
the means of carrying on their business of agriculture, manufactures, and commerce? Are we bound to any one single set of
men and any one set of agencies?
5G3




5
Mr. President, in twenty-four hours this Congress can provide
by legislation new agencies which will start every factory and
every ship and every farm and every occupation in the United
States without the unconditional repeal of the act of 1890. The
credit of the Government should be used not for the benefit of
bankers, not be exchanged for Jihe bonds of the old governments
of Europe, tottering to their foundations, but to gather up the
energies of this great American people and to afford to them
the incentives to exertion, which we propose to give to foreigners and to those who manipulate the credit of foreign governments.
What is proposed to us in this legislation? It is proposed that
we shall prevent any increase in the further coinage and use of
silver as money. To what end? Because evidently for some
reason or other silver is not to be regarded by the law as a suitable metal money, a suitable method of exchange. By our laws,
as now construed, silver is token money, redeemable in gold. At
the same time that this legislation is proposed, another bill is
reported by the Committee on Finance to extend the national
credit to citizens who are engaged in national banking under the
chartered national banks as exclusive depositaries.
At the same time that it is proposed to prohibit the further use
or to prevent by this legislation an increase in the silver circulation of this country, it is proposed to extend the national credit
in the shape of notes, the privilege to issue bank notes to such
citizens as are members of the national banking corporations,
to increase the circulation of national banks upon the credit of
the bonds of the Government of the United States. The one
measure proposes to prevent the further increase of silver
money. Why? For the reason, and the only reason, that silver can no longer be regarded as a s ife medium of exchange
and a money metal for the people of this country. At the same
time paper money is to be provided. The security of the Government for the redemption of the silver token is the same as
for the paper token. It rests entirely upon the legislation of
the Government, ujjon its public credit. There is no difference
between the two; either is redeemable in gold under the policy
of the Government as now established.
We are therefore to consider how this system of paper money,
of gold coinage, of a single gold standard is related to the present
conditions and necessities of mankind, how it stands in its relation to commerce, how it stands in relation to the wants and
necessities of the people of the world. Is it safer or better that
the supply of money should be confined to the Rothschilds and
the kindred bankers of Europe and America? Is it better that
a limited class of citizens shall have by law and by the consequences of legislation, its inevitable consequence, the sole privilege of supplying the money which is to keep alive the enterprise
and the activity of the country?
What is the condition of the world in that respect? I venture
to say that in no period of the history of the world has there been
more suffering, more poverty of the great mass of the people in
every country in proportion to population than to-day. There
have been tyrants, there have been desolating armies, there have
been sco irges of disease, but at no period in the history of the
world have a larger proportion 6f the great mass of the people
been placed, even in the midst of the splendid inventions and
ms




6
progress of civilization, in conditions of greater suffering and
poverty than at present.
Suppose we look at the system which has been brought into
our country and imposed upon us, making due allowance for
those who entertain contrary opinions. Some of the foremost
men of the world, some of its leading financiers and economists,
the prevailing opinion of commercial people is in favor of a system which will be established by the repeal of the silver-purchasing clause of the law of 1890, with the view and having the effect
of preventing the further coinage of silver as money, and establishing as law the theory of a single money metal, a gold standard. The repeal of the Sherman act, having that effect, would
establish precisely the policies. prevailing throughout Europe
which have brought about the condition of things that has been
so clearly depicted.
Mr. President, I read from that most approved book on finance,
the Dictionary of Statistics, by Mulhall, published in 1891. I
find here that the public debt of the world, stated in pounds sterling, leaving out some of the oriental countries, amounts to
0,001,000,000 pounds sterling; that this debt was multiplied tenfold in ninety-six years; that the annual increase since 1870 has
averaged £118,000,000; that the increase since the treaty of
Utrecht, in 1817, as shown in these successive stages, were:
Period.

Public debt.

Annual
increase.

£164,000,000
327,000,000
1,039,000,000
87,000,000
2,140,000,000
2,244,000,000
One hundred and seventy-six years

£3,300,000
10,900,000
45,200,000
2,700,000
97,300,000
118,100,000

6,001,000,000

34,100,000

That is the increase of the national debt of the world, of the
great commercial countries of the world, leaving out China and
Japan and those regions that are now coming to increase the
aggregated national debts of the world. This national debt, as
will be seen in the further progress of my argument, by reference to the most minute and critical essay to be found upon this
subject, that of Chevalier, of France, will be found to weigh with
crushing force upon every ill-paid laborer and every family in
the countries upon which they are imposed, running up from $12
to $36 per head.
What do we propose by the establishment of this policy? The
Senator from Illinois [Mr. PALMER] only yesterday said that this
bill proposed nothing but the repeal of the silver-purchasing
clauses of the act of 1890. I take issue with him. It does a great
deal more. It declares upon the part of the people of the United
States their adhesion to the policy of establishing a gold standard in this country and throughout the world.
I am aware that the President of the United States does not
entertain that opinion; that he believes that there are other
methods by which this end shall be defeated, and by which silver may be established as one ofr the metals of the world. I have
the greatest respect for the President—for his eminent ability,
508




7
his sincere patriotism—and his disinterested administration of
his great office. But I differ with him. This same money power
which prevents from being established in every nation in the
world, free and unlimited coinage, either with or without ratio,
but with legal-tender properties —the same power which has prevented that and which has made gold with uncovered paper
money, issued and owned by a few individuals, the controlling
money power of the world, will prevent its being done in this country. If any advantage or foothold is obtained, that money power
which controls the public mind, which finds its way into the
sacred ministries of the church and everywhere asserts itself;
that power, by the destruction of public men who dare to oppose
its policies and its purposes, will make itself felt here with added
force of victory in this the preliminary contest between it and
the people.
W e heard the Ssnator from Kentucky [Mr. BLACKBURN] today describe in frightful terms the effect of a conspiracy to do
—what?—to increase the burden of this debt of $40,000.000,000, to
increase the burden of it twice—to $80,000,000,000; and yet he told
us at the conclusion of his remarks that there was no other remedy but to submit quietly to its imposition in the interest of a
few individuals; to make five or six thousand million pounds
of additional indebtedness upon the people of the world. Is that
true, or is it not? Is it true that this policy of making one single
subst mce the money of the world will have that effect? Can we
spend too much time in the investigation of that subject and that
question? And if true, can we not devise some remedy by which
this evil can be prevented?
There are great differences of opinion. Learned men entertain different opinions. Patriotic men have different judgments
in regard to it. Surely it is within the limits of human reason
to arrive at some just conclusion. Certainly the human mind is
capable, after its great progress, of ascertaining where the truth
lies; whether it has this effect; whether it will create or permit
a monopoly and control of the money of the world in the hands
of a limited number of people, or whether the creation of money
is a function of government to be exercised by government and
government alone. Surely we are capable of ascertaining the
truth in that regard.
It will be observed that there has been a period in the history of
the world, and not very far removed from us, which has attracted
the thoughtful consideration of the ablest minds, and that a period
where one of the two metals, because of the greater supply of
the one over the other, was rapidly losing its use as a money
metal in some of the countries of largest commerce and most diversified industries, where the value of the two metals had greatly
separated, as now, and the situation was in all respects the same
as now, except in this case the metal sought to be deprived of its
use as money is silver, while in the other it was gold. The
causes, however, which affected it, the consequences which proceed from it, can not be discriminated between. They are the
same. The course of reasoning must affect the one as the other.
With the responsibilities resting upon each one of us to the
great mass of the American people, for their happiness, their
comfort and prosperity, or their suffering and degradation, let
us, as Senators charged with this duty, te3t this reasoning and
see whether it is true or whether it is false. Let us hear what
538




8

Mr. Chevalier says and consider his reasoning upon the facts as
stated in the history of that time:
Whilst in France the coinage of gold takes this unexampled development,
the like process with regard to silver is diminishing, and bids fair to cease
altogether. In the period of forty-eight years, from the 18th Brumaire,
year 8, to 1848, there had boen coined 3.891,000,000 francs in silver (£155,640.000),
or a yearly average of 81.005,000 francs (£3,242,600). During the eight years
terminating the 31st of December, 1837, the coinage has only amounted to
323.600,000 francs, or a yearly average of 40,457,000 francs (£1,618.280). It
should, moreover, be observed that the coinage of silver during the latter
years has only taken place in consequence of the great influence exerted in
that respect by the government upon the directors of the mints. Left to
themselves, they would not, perhaps, have struck a single live-franc piece
since 1853. [Page 60.1

We see, therefore, that the conditions are the same. We
perceive at once that if left to private interest, to commercial
opinion, to the dealers in money, if left to the demonetizing
effects of the act of 1873, without aid or assistance from the Government, silver would have disappeared. Why? Not as in
France, because the increase of gold in the world had taken its
place and become the metal of common use, and silver had become
of great value as compared with gold for commercial needs as distinguished from monetary uses, because of the greater abundance
of gold and the lesser quantity of silver. But with us we find
reversed, not the conditions of the problem, not the just reasoning upon the subject, but the specific acts upon which it operates; we find silver the abundant metal and gold the scarcer one.
Let us see then how this subject is treated. Mr. Chevalier further says:
The merchant possessing ingots of gold has only to carry them to the mint
to obtain the same amount in pieces of 10 francs or 20 francs, weight for
weight, and fineness for fineness, save only the small charge to cover the
expense of coining. In this wajr every kilogram of gold introduced into
France enters into the circulation on the footing just described, of an
equality with 15J kilograms of silver. The creditor is obliged to take it in
dischar e of his claim on that basis.
From the very fact of the parallel circulation of gold and silver, on the
footing of 1 of the former to 15| or the latter, it is easy to withdraw the.sil*
ver coins from circulation and export them, giving gold in exchange.

Bear in mind now that the market value of gold and silver was
not
but that
of silver would buy more than that quantity of gold.
From the moment that numbers of persons devote their time and capital
to the carrying out of this substitution, we must conclude that it is a profitable trade, for, if the relation of 1 to 15^ were not advantageous for the
holders of gold, they would take good care not to carry on the operation upon
the large scale on which they have proceeded.

W e perceive, then, that at that period of time gold had depreciated and silver had appreciated; that silver had become more
valuable than gold at the rates then prevalent; and then it was
that Belgium and the nations of Europe demonetized gold, and
it is upon that state of facts that discussion arises here. In
France gold entered into the circulation: and, being cheaper
than silver, or silver being dearer than gold, the ratio of
to 1
was greater than was warranted by the market value of the two.
Silver and gold then had the advantage of recognition by government, and it was claimed that gold should not have the
advantage of recognition by government, because this difference existed.
Now, we have the discrimination by law against silver. We
have it upon that disadvantage, but we have, as then, its daily
LG$




9
use and the favorable traditional opinion of the people for it, and
we take the argum :nt as it was presented at that time. Now
the question arises as to the remedy to be provided for that state
of things. The author says:
In states, like France, where the law acknowledges only a silver standard,
and where of right gold QUs in the monetary system tout a subordinate
rank-

Just as here, gold being our standard, silver is a subordinate
use. Although the actual use of it is greater than that of gold,
this is the peculiarity the world over, that silver, subordinated
by the terms of the law, is in practical daily use far greater in
the volume of its daily use than the metal that has the privilege of the law. With all the discrimination against silver, it
retains its use; although, as we shall see in the course of this
argument, by making gold the standard that metal is appreciated in the same degree and to the same extent as silver, limited
and prescribed in its use by being made redeemable in gold at
a fixed valuation to silver is now depreciated.
Another and more simple expedient might be adopted provisionally until
the new coinage was determined upon and which would change the state of
things instantly and without expense.
*
A law might be passed declaring that henceforth the piece of 20 francs shall
only be 19 francs.
This is what was done in Russia, where the edict of 1810 offers a great analogy to the French law of Germinal, year 11. * * *
I do not see why the same process should not be resorted to in France and
in the countries where the monetary legislation is the same.
Whenever a reciprocal change between the two metals should be manifested the gold currency should undergo a modidcation. (Page 165.)

This able and astute reasoner goes on to point out why that is the
remedy. Another remedy worthy of much consideration would
be the abolition of a ratio and the unlimited coinage as legaltender money of both metals without any fixed ratio, leaving it
to the option of the debtor, or by a multiple standard, to provide by some public authority for discharging the debts and obligations in both of the metals according to value, as compared
with articles in use and of necessity, thus giving to each metal
its commercial value and superadding to it the uses of money by
law.
Let us consider, then, the conditions which now exist of the
relative abundance of silver in proportion to gold and the relative greater use of gold created by the laws of the great commercial nations of the world. Great Britain alone has £800,000,000 of paper money nominally redeemable in gold. If it be true
that the great mass of the money of the world is token money,
impossible of redemption, and is left to be created or destroyed
at the will and pleasure of a few great bankers who manipulate
the national securities of the world, is there not enough manhood and thought in America to devise a better system? If the
money of the world is not in its great mass fictitious and only
the credit of a few great bankers and the corporations which
they own as their private property, let us have it proved here.
If it be not true that the $40,000,000,000 of national indebtedness is in the hands of a few great bankers and brokers in Europe and America, and has been and is used for the purchase and
control of a large part of the gold in the world, and its storage in
the vaults of the banks of which they are the owners, and in the
military chests of the great military powers of Europe, and if
this is not the money power of the world which closes our banks
568




10
and starves our people; if it be untrue that there are two millions of American citizens who are tramps upon the highways of
the country—if that be untrue, let us have it disproved here,
and if true, let us consider some measure looking to unlimited
coinage and use of both metals as a means df relief.
In Doubleday's Financial History of England, page 277,1 find
a statsment of the fluctuations of the ounce of pure gold in that
country from 1810 to 1820 as compared with the present standard
price by the Peel act of 1843. • It ranged from £5 8s. in 1812 to
£3 17s. l(Hd. in 1820; and yet upon this metal as the sole standard
for the expression of value or price, and the sole representative
of value, this variable metal, always ascending in value because
of its control by bankers and despotic governments for military
purposes, this great mass of paper or token money rests.
In a pamphlet, by Henry Carey Baird, on " The Silver Dollar,'*
date 1883, he shows that the same bank credit is the kind of currency which our national banks furnish to our people for the
greater part of the large operations of business. May 1, 3883,
their capital, surplus, and undivided profits—their net possessions—were $392,477,951, and they had loaned $1,257,448,487;
from which resulted private deposits of $1,067,962,238. These deposits,which are the oif spring of the loans of the banks, serve as a
chief source of currency for monetary transactions on a large
scale throughout the country, and had b jhind them of fractional
currency, specie (including gold and silver certificates), legaltender notes, certificates of deposit for legal-tender notes, and
funds with the United States Treasurer, but $198,227,747, or
less than 20 per cent of the d3posits.
You perceive then. Mr. President, that by this system of loans
of a credit in the banks and the use of the credit loans as deposits in the banks by the system of banking throughout the
world, if this system of leaving out of use the actual money of
the world shall be continued, if the bonds of the great nations
of the world shall constitute the gold basis of the banks, and
this system of paper money be issued upon it, it is entirely practicable, by means of credit, without the payment of money,*
by a system of interchangeable credits in these great institutions, to absorb and monopolize the money supply.
Until after expansion limited only by the acquisition of all
the valuable properties, and after contraction limited only by
the interest of the money-lenders, there shall be universal revolution imminent.
Is that the condition to which we propose to bring our country? W e perceive now that there can be no denial of the statement that there is a great body of intelligent opinion that this
will be the condition of Europe and America unless we can
change this system. W e will also perceive by an examination
of the tables that the paper circulation of the great banks established by every government in Europe, the Bank of France,
the Bank of Russia, the Bank of Austria, the banks of Germany,
is based upon gold reserves necessarily subject to the call and
demand of their respective governments for military purposes.
Mr. Balfour, in his late address upon the subject of bimetallism,
said:
But is it not true that at the present moment tho3e who have command
over the great gold reserves of the Continent are, in the last resort, the governments of the Continent?
568




11
You propose to establish that basis for us. You propose that
gold shall be the only metal, the standard of value, as it is in
England, as it is in France, as it is in Russia, as it is in Germany.
These statistics show that gold is reserved, that it is not the
money in use. What is the money in use? It is the paper
money of corporations, created by governments, based upon the
public securities of governments, and we are asked to exchange
the bonds of this Government, resting upon this free, enterprising, and prosperous people, for the bonds of the old cffete governments of Europe about to fall, and to accept their currency
bassd upon gold held for military purposes as the system upon
which to model ours.
We are to have the same select, moneyed, aristocratic influences here as there, for the control of the money of the country
is the control of its political power and its social rank and position, and it has the unfortunate effect that it finds its profit in
the suffering of the great nnss of the people. Mr. Balfour, who
certainly is a man of whom England may be proud whatever
may be his political party, because of his ability and his accomplishments, says:
But am I not right in saying that at the present moment the great military powers of the continent have over their gold reseryes a control of
which in this country we have no notion?

Speaking of England—
But let us suppose for a moment that this happy state of things between
the nations of Europe were to alter, and let us suppose that one or more of
these great governments on the continent were to think they could obtain
a political or even a military advantage by depriving you of the necessary
stock of gold, I confess I can not see ttiat it would be a difficult operation. I
may be quite wrong; I am speaking to those who are far better acquainted
with the actual working of the financial machine than I can pretend to be;
but I can not see that if a foreign government determined to produce a disaster In the city of London, there would be anything to prevent it from doing so—

Upon the gold monometallic standard.
Mr. President, is that true? If it is true, is there any portion
of the people of the United States of any political party who
propose to subject this country to the domination of a foreign
power in its commercial affairs, to create distress and panic, to
deprive it of a safe and sound medium of exchange at their will
and pleasure?
We are told that there has been a great excess in the production of silver as compared with gold; of silver, that it is parting from the value of gold in all commercial needs and uses as
distinguished from money uses; that in the relative value of
silver and gold, bscause of the great abundance of the production of silver, there has occurred a decided variation in the
standard, and therefore an injury is being done to all business interests; that it will increase; that it will finally drive out the
gold of the country, and that we shall be reduced to the sole use
of silver money.
Let us examine this proposition. It is based upon the theory
that there is a great difference now between the production
of the two metals and an apprehended greater future difference.
W e will not look at the conditions which existed when gold was
produced in far greater proportions than silver is now produced,
but let us see in the light of the opinions of learned men who
were conversant with this subject, and who examined it at the
568




12
time of this disparity of production, what would be the proper
remedy for this condition of things. Let us sse if it is the remedy
proposed by the unconditional repeal of the silver-purchasing
clause of the act of 1890, the cessation of silver coinage, and the
increase of paper money redeemable in gold. Says Chevalier:
Toward the commencement of the eighteenth century the monetary system of England underwent a perturbation, of which the most apparent phenomenon was the same as has been repeated in France since the discovery of
the mines of California and Australia, the silver was either sent abroad in
coins or was cast into the crucible to be exported in bars, and gold took its
place.in the circulation. The British Government, alive to this state of
things, asked the advice of the great Newton, who was then director of the
mint, and who brought to the performance of the duties of his office the same
care, the same acuteness in the observation of facts, and the same earnest
spirit of analysis to which he owed, in the progress of science, the admirable
discoveries which have immortalized his name. To the question which was
submitted to him, the 12th August, 1717, to determine the causes of the exportation of silver, and to indicate a mode of putting an end to it, Newton replied, the2ist September, in terms which I will shortly explain.
After having passed in review the value of gold and silver in the different
States, and having shown that in England the legal relation gave too much
to gold to the detriment of silver, he argued in the following manner: If silver leaves the shores of England in crowns or in ingots, the produce of coins
remelted, and gives place to gold, it is because the value which the monetary
legislation assigns to it in relation to gold is not correct. The law supposes,
in fact, that the relation between gold and silver is that of 1 to a little more
than 15J, whilst in the general market of Europe it is barely 1 to 15. That,
let the legal relation between gold and silver be reestablished upon the true
basis, and by that act weshall have destroyed the temptation to export from
England silver in preference to gold. To effect this, nothing more need be
-done than to withdraw 10 or 12 pennyweights from the value assigned to the
guinea in silver money.

That was silver, then, which was the more scarce and the more
valuable for all purposes except monetary uses in the relations
fixed by law.
For greater prudence Newton advised the reduction to be made in two
operations, and to commence by an abatement of 6 pennyweights.
The note of Newton is a model of logic and precision, W e recognize in it
that firmness and justness of mind which laid hold of the foundation of
questions, threw aside accessories and extraneous or indifferent objects,
and went straight to the end in view. The reasoning of his note applies
word for word to the problem which our commission had to solve. Here
is in effect what may be said in our day: For several years silver has been
leaving the shores of France, in crowns or in ingots, the produce of coins
remelted, and giving place to gold, because the value which the monetary
laws assign to it in relation to gold is not correct.
v The law supposes, in fact, that the relation between gold and silver is that
of l to 15J, whilst in the general market of Europe, it is sensibly less. Let
the legal relation between gold and silver be reestablished upon the true
basis, and by that act we shall have destroyed the temptation to export from
France silver in preference to gold. To effect this nothing more need be
done than to withdraw from the value attributed to pieces of gold in silver
money a given quota, certain to retouch periodically this relation, so that
it shall always be in harmony with the real state of things.

Now, we perceive that if it be true according to these propositions that owing to a great abundance of this silver metal when
it is remonetized, when the money function is given to it, when
the mints are laid open to it, there is a divergence between these
metals*at a fixed ratio established by Government, with the coins
coined upon the system of metrical weight, the decimal system,
there is no difficulty whatever in the Government providing by
law some authority by which the weight and value of these metals
corresponding with each other may be determined.
Newton proposed that the dearer metal should be reduced, if
the ratio of value, comparatively permanent, was varying, so
533




13
that at different times there were inducements and profit for
the exportation of the metals and their melting into bars for
use for commercial purposes, a result which can not be regarded
as an evil because it became then a commercial product. Being
more valuable for commerce than for money it was welcomed in
the exchanges of the country in which it was needed; but for the
purposes of preser ving the money and coinage among the people
he suggests an easy, practicable method, and I think one which
addresses itself to the judgment of all, by reducing the value of
the dearer metal.
He considers the effect upon existing debts. It would have no
injurious effect upon immediate transactions. He exhibits the
proposition in a clear light, that a debt, like everything else,
must have its market value as it has now in the commerce of Europe. A debt expressed in terms of money must always be said
to be subject to the sovereign power of the country, not to degrade it, not to debase it; but, if in the course of public affairs it
becomes necessary to make the currency of the country, gold or
silver, for some purposes bear a particular relation, it would be a
great deal better to reduce the value of the dearer metal, because
the whole present condition of affairs and society demands it.
The whole range of present commercial transactions requires it.
Justice to the debtor requires it. In the scale oE all these considerations the-difference in the substance of definite merchandise and commodity in which the debt was to be paid having
changed, the creditor had no right to impose upon the debtor
severer terms than would have existed if the condition of things
had continued as it was when he made his contract.
It has been stated that the Government of Portugal in changing the standard remitted what was supposed to be the definite
increase of the burden of debt. Other countries have done the
same. Free coinage of the two metals and the adjustment of a
ratio being demonstrably susceptible of easy adjustment on a
basis entirely equitable to all the relations of debtor and creditor
there can be no other objection to a coinage which furnishes
money free, which enables it to circulate throughout the country
every minor coin? In the old days of Rome every family,
every man had a right to coin money according to prescribed
standards of fineness, of weight. Why not now? Government
has established the seigniorage of the mintage for public purposes. What other purposes are there for which government
should say to the man who digs precious metals from the mines,
"You shall not have it stamped? You shall not have it tested
for fineness."
Why should not the Go Vermont say, we will stam^ it and we
will certify it, and we will deliver it to you, and we will say that
because of its qualities and its adaptation to the uses of society
it shall be legal tender in proportions fixed by its correspondent
value to the necessaries and commodities of life. Is it preferable
that we shall give the monopoly of money service to gold in the
hands of military governments, in the hands of chartered institutions owned by the brokers appointed by them, and that we
shall exchange the credit, public and private, of this country:
for that of the effete monarchies of old Europe?
I often hear of the coming of capital to this country. I often
hear that we may stop the advent of foreign money to this country, of capital, as it is called. What capital? The bonds of Rus568




14:
sia, of France, of Prussia, the credit between the great international banking houses to be exchanged for the bonds, the taxing
power of the great railroads through this vast and increasing
country, over our industrious and growing people, for that is
what it means. It does not mean that either the gold or the silver would come to our country. It means the system of interchangeable credits established in these great institutions based
upon public securities. It can not mean the gold, because the
gold is not in the world. Gold for free circulation amongst the
people is not to be had. Find us the weight of learned and
critical opinion which asserts it.
The assertion is that credit in the great commercial centers,
amounting to 95 per cent of the entire business, bank deposits
made up of bank credits, clearing-house certificates, the draft on
the products of wheat, cotton, and corn, the credits of the country,
constitute the great basis and means of its exchanges; in other
words, perform the functions of money, but still perfornr-it not
on the basis of money, with a reasonably certain relation to the
value of commodities, but with a constantly appreciating and increasing value increased by a monopoly of money by those whose
interest it is to increase its purchasing power. It is very proper
that credit transactions shall exist; but what'shall we say of the
interest of the great masses of the people of this country? Let
the story of rates of interest tell of the*absence or the presence
of money, not now, but in all time, both now and in former times.
I want to show, by the prevailing rate of interest throughout
the world, the effect of the presence or the absence in abundance of money amongst the people. I assert here that within
the past few years you could not get money in the greater part
of this country without the most oppressive rates of interest, and
now not at all, the rates charged being 8 to 20 per cent. I think
it needs no argument to show that if money was in abundance it
would be loaned for lower rates than that.' But let us see what
it has been in all periods of time.
In 1333 Florence borrowed money to carry on the war against Mastino
della Scala, and paid 15 per cent interest for it. Genoa paid from 7 to 10 per
cent on its public debts. The Florentines opened money-lending houses in
numerous places: their usual rate was 20 per cent, and not infrequently 30
and 40 per cent. At tho present day the usual charge of the second-class bill
brokers for discounting a tradesman's bill is a shilling in the pound for three
months. This is S per cent discount, which we have shown is 25. per cent
O
interest.

What do you think of that? This book was written but a few
years ago. Twenty-five per cent interest!
Mr. PE^FER. From what book is the Senator reading?
Mr. GALL. I read from MacLeod's Economical Philosophy,
volume 2, page 90. I repeat what this author says:
At the present day the usual charge of the second-class bill brokers for
discounting a tradesman's bill is a shilling in the pound for three months.
This is 20 per cent discount, which we have shown is 35 per cent iuterest.

What sort of a charge is that upon the great miss of the laboring people? That is in England. That is where your system of the gold money standard prevails. The usual charge is
25 per cent interest, for what? ' For the bank credit, for credit
upon the books of the b ink. This book is by a very careful
writer. It was published in 1875 in London.
So yon perceive that this condition is not peculiar. The ex563




15
amples are taken from many nations. It would,appear that
about 20 per cent per annum is a fair average profit which must
be paid for transactions in money which are perfectly safe. Do
you suppose, Senators, that you can preserve government over a
people with such oppression—20 per cent of their labor for credit
money, the privilege of credits in banks?
That is the system which it is proposed shall be established he re.
The bill reported by the Committee on Finance is a bill, not in
terms, but in effect, to discredit silver money by preventing increase in its coinage and circulation and the use of silver as a
money metal. In doing that' it becomes a bill to declare the
policy of this Government and fix it by law, not only for the use
of gold as the only standard, but its compulsory use. The sheriff
is to stand and demand gold or the sacrifice of property. In
Doubleday's Financial History of England the effect of the compulsory use of gold as a single standard, and its limited supply, is
shown in the experiences of that policy in England by the result
of the sheriff, the process of law, sacrificing the homes of the people and their transfer to the creditor for a mere trifle, because
the money could not be had with which to pay judgments.
This is a statement to the House of Commons in England of
individual cases where under this single gold standard the
debt had to be paid in gold, and the gold could not be had,
and valuable estates were sacrificed upon which a lifetime of
labor had been bestowed, after years of economy by the English
yeomanry, by that class of people who have accomplished more
than all other people in the world save our own American people, who have done so much to make England the light of civilization. I am not of those who propose to decry or censure the
civilization of England. It is a great, bright light, and it has
been so for centuries. But, Mr. President, it is for us, with this
vigorous American mind of ours, to redress the evils of her civilization, whether in her social, her political, her financial policy.
I listened with pleasure to the Senator from Kansas [Mr.
P E F F E R ] the other day, discussing the advancing problems of
social and ( political improvement. ^ We should all strain our
minds to give attention to the coming time and to the policies
which may make the burdens of life easier and bring happiness
and contentment to all the people.
Now, suppose we leave this question for the moment and enter
into the consideration of money in its abstract functions. The
Constitution,of the United States, the organic law of this country, says, "Congress shall have power to coin money and regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coins."
What is money? Money is a definite something. It is a definite merchandise or commodity. It must have some certain uses.
What are those uses? They must be to express value and
to transfer or represent value. How represent value? Store
value. You can not store a house in a gold dollar or a thousand
dollars. In what sense, then, is it true in the Constitution that
Congress shall have power to coin money?
Congress shall " regulate the value thereof." Regulate the
value of that which shall transfer a house, a horse, an estate, an
annuity? Congress does not pretend to do that. The Constitution does not suppose it. In what sense shall Congress have the
power to regulate that thing which performs the function of rep568




16
resenting value so that when I sell a house and receive $1,000 in
silver the silver shall he the equivalent of the house? In what
sense do we use the word equivalent? If we can measure these
ideas, if we can follow them up as these great financial writers
have done, we may perhaps do something else beside indulging
in mere declamation and description; we may reason upon this
subject.
In what sense, then, are the thousand dollars the equivalent
of the house? It is because somebody wants it; because it is in
demand; because I know that I can dispose of it to some person
who has the same use for it that I had in taking it. In selling
the house I wished to get something else, and I knew there would
be hundreds who would want it, and why should they want it?
Because of use or custom or law, and liw is not law unless it
makes use and custom, it would be a mere barren enactment. It
is only valuable as it produces use and custom, because custom or
law or use have given to the thousand dollars the demand, the
use of being exchanged for what? For taxes, for debts, for property. Use whether by law or otherwise has given to it a function, made it of universal demand, of universal use.
As a mere standard for the expression of value it might be as
weight and measures are, a written sign or chart, but so far as it is
money it must have the function of transfer and to be transferred
it must be a definite merchandise or commodity. It must have
certain natural faculties and adaptation to this use. You can not
make the air money and transfer it as a value. You can not make
the sea money. You can not make the dirt of the earth money.
It will be worth only the labor which will compress the one into
some tangible form, the earth by removal or the salt water by
lifting and transportation. You must have some definite thingwhich has some kind of adaptation to use, adaptation by reason
either of natural or of artificial qualities.
All people have found that in the two precious metals, gold
and silver, lies a great power which legislation, or custom, or
contrivance may control. After the use has become established
and deposited in anything, whether it be wheat, or leather,
or corn, that thing by common consent has the value of being in
demand. To give it to me is to give me the power of the world;
if I have all the gold in the world, and the law says to every person that they shall pay their taxes in gold, they shall pay for
their transportation in gold, they shall pay in gold for everything that they have, or that being subjected to debt their property shall be sacrificed for it unless paid in gold, that their credit
shall depend upon it. If the law says that, and I have the gold,
and you come to me, I am your master. I say, u Yes; I am not
obliged to let you have this gold/*
You are obliged to have it. You must pay your debts. The
judgment is against you on a matured debt and you must meet
it, or you must sacrifice your labor and your property- You
must buy the necessaries of life with it. I say, "No; I have my
gold. I need not part with it. I say give me half, two-thirds
of your labor and of your life." Such is the power of the creditor over the debtor; shall we increase the burden unnecessarily,
unjustly, by making gold, the money most easily subjected to
monopoly, the sole legal tender.
I have a speech here, made by Mr. Fairchild, a, very distin568




17
guished man, who has occupied the high position of Secretary of
the Treasury. He speaks as follows:
I have of ten spoken of this question of legal tender, and I venture to say
that a great proportion of the people within this community at first sight
imagine that the Government has the power of giving a value to something
by investing it with a legal-tender quality—the power to pay debts, and
yet the history of mankind has shown that governments from the beginning down have failed to do this, however powerful those governments
might be.

Why, how is that? Here stands the sheriff; there is -the
debtor. Here is the money-lender demanding the gold which is
the only legal tender. The Government and the law say your
property shall go, and it gives to the money-lender the right to
say. having the gold, I will not let you have it except upon my
own terms. Give me two-thirds, four-fifths of your property, and
you can haye it.
The proposition that there is no power in the law to create a
debt-paying use can have no proper consideration as a logical
and reasonable proposition. The Government has a great power.
The question is. How will it exercise it in making a legal tender?
I am inclined to the opinion that to make gold and silver
legal tender by weight and value corresponding to their relation to the great products of life, the necessaries, ought to be and
will be the final solution. Silver has its prerogative by nature
in its adaptation to the uses of man, in its greater adaptation to
the common use than gold. You can not make a gold coin small
enough to answer the daily necessities of ninety-nine out of a
hundred of the human race. All the silver in the world will
not supply more than enough for the daily uses of mankind.
The baker must be paid for his loaf of bread, and all the other
minute services of life must be paid for in minute money.
In China they pay it with a token redeemable by .the Government. In other countries they pay it with a debased piece of copper, a mere token. In others, with a greasy, dirty piece of paper,
as was once the case in this country, carrying disease everywhere, and all this token money, whether copper, base metal, or
paper, is the subject of monopoly. Why is not silver, adapted by
nature, convenientin size, easily made, the proper and reasonable
money for use? Can any man tell why silver shall not supply the
universal, daily, momentary recurrent uses of mankind? Let us
try the experiment.
Mr. President. I was speaking of a compulsory gold standard.
W e may say that all these uses are compulsory. It is just as
much compulsory upon a man to get a piece of bread for his
starving family, and more so, than it would be to save his property, if he had any, from being sold under process of law. What
is the reasonable argument for discussing in this body the question of a gold standard for money when we have the proof here
to show that Russia, a great and powerful despotism over hundreds of millions of human beings, absolutely appropriates their
labor, and is gr isping for the gold of the world and shutting it
up in her military chests? What of France, a great industrial
people, of wonderful thought and invention and of natui^al
sprightliness, economy, and industry, with her Government preparing for a death struggle and gathering the gold of the world?
What of Austria and Germany and their kings grasping this
gold? Will you talk now about its being subject to the law of
supply and demand «/hen this artificial demand is being made,
568

i




IS
and the supply for all present purposes of commerce or money
cut off by shutting- it up in their military coffers?
Mr. President, it seems to me the strangest of ideas that we
should seek here now to repeal the act of 1890, stop the further
coinage of silver, recognize the primacy of this exclusive gold
metal throughout the world, enter into competition with Europe,
with Prussia, with despots and kings, and give the labor and
the credit of this virgin America to buy gold in competition
with nations that-are demanding it for their life, for their military preservation. There is no law of commerce there. ^ There
is no natural commercial demand. There is no certain increasing supply. It .is nothing but violence, force, interfering with
and suspending the law of demand and supply. In 1822 and 1823,
when this subject of the effect of the single gold standard and
its adoption in England was before the people of that country
and occupied the attention of all thoughtful msn of the country,
a presentation was made to the House of Commons by Lord Folkstone a*nd to the Lords by Earl Stanhope. It is termed an extraordinary document, and states that:
The distress, ruin, and bankruptcy which now took place were universal,
affecting both the great interests of land and trade; but amongst the landlords. whose estates were burthened by mortgages, jointures, settlements,
legacies, etc., the effects were most marked and out of the ordinary course.
In hundreds of cases, from the tremendous reduction in the price of land
which now took place, the estates barely sold for as much as would pay off
the mortgages, and hence the owners were stripped of all and made beggars.

Mr. STEWART. This was after the resumption of specie
payments on a gold basis?
Mr. CALL. Oh, yes, England was on a gold basis. You will
remember the mortgage debt upon this country. You will remember the billions upon billions of dollars to which it has risen
within the last ten years.
1 was myself personally acquainted with one of the victims of this terrible measure. * * * The estate was purchttsed, I believe, about the year 1812
or 1813, for £80,000, one moiety of the purchase money being borrowed on
mortgage of the land bought.
In iH22-'23he was compelled to part with the estate in order to pay off his
mortgage and some arrears of interest; and when this was done he was
left without a shilling, the estate bringing only half of its cost in 1812. Thus,
without imprudence or fault of any kind, was this amiable man, together
with his family, plunged in irretrievable and inevitable ruin by the act of a
Legislature which ought to have protected both. * * * My readers must not
suppose that this was either an exaggerated or uncommon case. On the
contrary, the country teemed with similar examples; and on the commencement of the session of 1823 the tables of both Houses were loaded
with petitions, detailing scenes of hardship and destitution appalling in the
extreme. As a sample of the whole, I have selected one, which most fully
exhibits the dreadful effects of this infatuated measure upon the welfare and
happiness of the community. # * * The substance of this very extraordinary document, was as follows. It was presented to the Commons by Lord
Folkstone. and to the Lords by Earl Stanhone.
It sets forth—
1. That the petitioner, having contributed both in purse and person to the
maintenance of the State, had a right to expect protection of persons and
property in return; but that, instead of this, he is ruined by an act of the
Parliament.
*

#

*

•

*

•

#

3. That the petitioner's ruin, as well as that of thousands of other persons,
arose from Peel's bill for returning to cash payments; but that few cases
can exceed his in hardship.
5. That they bought the estate of Norfchaw, in Herefordshire, for £62.000, and
laid out £10.000 more in Improvements. Investing in all £72,000, and lost it
all for a small balance of the debt left unpaid.

568




19
That isj according to this statement, the history, of England
upon the resumption of specie payments upon the gold basis.
The debts of the country ruined the people. Property sold for
nothing. How can it be otherwise? You propose a system of
incorporation, and what is it? A system of bank charters. Private citizens obtain these charters. They are required to have,
what? A gold deposit of some kind or other, or a public security, if you choose; and what then? They are allowed to make
the money of the country, the token money, which will be in
common use, and which they withdraw from circulation and put
in circulation at their pleasure, and holding all the gold, which
will be the only legal tender when the gold policy prevails, they
alone can buy property when sold under judgment, and they
alone can furnish the legal-tender money with which to pay
debts.
Here under our system of the credit of the United States, attached in the shape of bon£s to this monopoly of privileges
granted to national banks, we find that the liabilities in the
shape of the money of the depositors is 20 for 1. as stated in this
pamphlet by Mr. Baird at that period of time. You propose to
use that system in place of what? In place of an abundance of
money, limited in amount only by the commercial uses, demands,
and necessities of the day.
Can there be any other effect of this policy than to build up a
monopoly of money in the hands of a few people? Is not that the
reason now in large part why all our great avenues of transportation are owned abroad and in the great cities of the country
where these banking interests reside? Is not that the reason
why the entire agricultural interest of this country, which was
formerly one of dignity, of independence, of abundance, and of
political power, is now of no significance whatever in the financial
world? Producing all the great values and products, the farmer,
the landowner, is now no longer a man of great financial, political, or social importance. He has his personal character and
his personal worth, which give him weight and consideration,
but he derives nothing from his pursuit. He is poor; he is mortgaged; his family, though not without the necessaries of life,
because they grow them, are without the luxuries, except upon
borrowed money, and borrowed at enormous rates of interest.
In Dun's British Statistics, London, 1876, page 125,1 find the
following:
Credit is the rotary force of our financial system. So long as this force
is unimpaired, the system spins merrily on, but when it fails, the insufficiency ofthe small, metallic basis becomes only too apparent, and the fabric
topples to its fall. Metaphor apart, the case stands thus: Bankers hold a
certain amount of deposits which I have estimated at about £600,000,000. The
Bank of England, whose deposits are thus composed in a great measure of
bankers* balances, trades with these balances, maintaining a reserve of
notes to meet liabilities; and this is the sole ultimate legal-tender reserve
of the entire country.
563




20
Mr. President, I have endeavored to show, not only by argument but by reference to a condition of things which formerly
existed, in which there had been a great variation between
the value of fcke money metals of the world and by the observation of men of great wisdom and experience in those matters, that wherever there was a departure in the market value
as distinguished from the monetary use of the money metals
of the world the remedy was not in the cessation of the coinage of the cheaper metal, but in a diminution of the coinage
value of the dearer metal. This conclusion seems to be supported by reason. It is further supported by the experience of
all commercial countries in the adoption of the single gold
standard.
I endeavored to show that the limitation of the money use to
the dearer and scarcer metal of necessity creates the use of public and private credit as a substitute for money, and that private
credits are without limit, are without control; they are the property of private individuals under charters of incorporation. I
endeavored to show that the money use of the world to-day is
not in gold but in paper, in public and private credits; and that
while the price of'money and of commodities and the transactions of business are regulated upon this artificial standard, increasing always by the multiplication of money uses by law, it
resulted entirely to the benefit of the individuals who acquire
under this system a perfect monopoly of the money use of the
world.
Mr. President, this debate, prolonged as it has been, and prolonged as it may well be, is not without great public value. This
body, however indifferent we may be to these questions, represent^ the American people. They are listening to us with energetic and thoughtful mind, with a degree of acumen which surpasses anything that has existed in the history of the world; and
the great public thought of the American people in every schoolhouse and"every community is considering and discussing these
problems, discussing them intelligently, reading these debates
with attention. We have here the great function of sitting in
judgment upon their thoughts and upon the intelligent consideration of this subject throughout the world. I protest against
all the criticisms which have been made upon the Secretary of
the Treasury and upon Senators on both sides of the Chamber
for their opinions upon this subject. I think the Secretary of
the Treasury, Mr. Carlisle, was right, in the midst of the agitation of the public mind and the contrary opinions upon this subject of the continued purchase of silver, in not taking the responsibilities of continuing a condition which in his judgment seemed
to threaten disaster.
I justify him in not purchasing and coining this money if, in
his judgment, upon its continuance a great public evil impended.
When the moneyed powers of the world controlling this monopoly
are arrayed and consolidated, threatening and insisting, as they
d > now, that the legislation of this country and its public policy
£
shall submit to them, it is a serious question, and none but the
constitutional power of this body properly exercised is capable
of resisting it.
568




21
So, Mr. President, I say let us consider whether we are not in
that condition of things in which, as Mr. Balfour said, the money
power of despotic governments dictates the money policy of our
country, the price of money, the price of labor, takes away from
each man within the limits of the United States so much of his
labor as it chooses, and determines the degree of comfort that
shall belong to every family of our great country of 70,000,000
people. I say facts which can not be contradicted demonstrate
that the money of this country now, and of the world, is a private
monopoly in the hands of a few individuals. Upon that proposition I challenge discussion and intelligent consideration.
Let us consider the most prominent example which, if prop
erly regarded, is conclusive upon this subject. If so, certainly
we should pause in urging the passage of the pending bill without some qualifications and conditions. Let us consider the example of France. I read from MacLeod's Economical Philosophy, printed in London, page 327:
By the definitive treaty of peace between Germany and France, signed at
Frankfort, May 10,1871, France became bound to pay to Germany the sum of
five milliards of francs, equal very nearly to two hundred millions sterling,
.at the following dates: Five hundred millions thirty days after the restoration of order in Paris; one thousand millions in the course of 1871; five
hundred millions on the 1st day of May, 1872; and three thousand millions
on the 2d March, 1874, together with 5 per cent interest on the last three
milliards.
Besides the indemnity payable by France, the city of Paris had to pay an
indemnity of 200,000,000 of francs; fifty millions in specie; fifty millions in
notes of the Bank of France; thirty-seven and a half millions in two-month
bills on Berlin, at the exchange of 3.75 francs for the thaler; and sixty-three
millions in bills upon London, at six and fifteen days' sight, at the exchange
of 25.20 francs for the pound sterling.

Let us see how this vast amount of monej; was paid. Let us
see if it was paid in the gold which is established by law as* the
money of the world.
The debt was finally liquidated in the following way : By compensation—

That is, by the railroads in Alsace, belonging to France, which
had been agreed to be taken at the price here stated—

Francs.
B y compensations
325,098,400.00
By bank notes and German money
742,334,079.00
By bills of exchange
4,248,326,374.26
To effect this stupendous operation all the great bankers In Europe were
Invited to assist, and in June, 1871, a London agency was opened to assist
and to receive subscriptions and bills. Other agencies were opened at Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfort, and Hamburg. The Treasury gave its
correspondents one-fourth to one-half per cent commission on its first loan
and on the second 1 per cent at first, which was reduced to one-half and onefourth.

Now, let us see.
M. Leon Say then gives some details of the commercial operations undertaken to support these gigantic payments.
"There were all sorts of bills, from less than a thousand francs to more
than five millions; some mentioned the purchase of merchandise; others
appeared only to be fabricated for the purpose, and destined themselves to
be covered at maturity by bills which were to be created to pay real transactions.
" Bank credits, the paper circulating between head offices and branches, circular exchanges, payments for invoices, the remission of funds for the ultimate purchase of merchandise, the settlement of debts abroad to France
under the form of coupons, shares, and commercial obligations, were all in
these effects, making up the most gigantic portfolio which was ever brought
together.
" F i f t y years ago there were no other international operations than merchandise and money; merchandise, gold, and silver were the only subjects
563




22
of export and import; the balance of commerce was settled in gold and silver. Everything which was bought from the foreigner was paid for in gold
and silver, if not in merchandise.
" There has appeared, especially within the last twenty-five years, in international commerce, what may be called a new article of export, an article
which in every country has acquried a greater importance than any other, and
which has had the result of completely distorting the meaning of customhouse returns. This new article is securities; it is transmitting across the
frontiers of different states the property of capital, by representation, which
is easy to transport, viz. these capitals of the form of bills of exchange, public funds, shares and obligations of railways and other companies.
" T o understand the real course of international business, it is necessary
to know not only the imports and exports of merchandise, the imports and
exports of specie, but also the imports and exports of securities; and this
last class, which is the most important, and which is the key to the two
others, escapes all kinds of returns."
W e will give, however, the final result of the operations, showing the
pieces in which the debt was liquidated.

I will not read the table; but he goes on:
Now, we observe that the whole of the above sum that was paid in French
specie was two hundred and seventy-three millions in gold and two hundred
and thirtfy-nine millions in silver, being somewhat over twenty millions
sterling, whereas four and one-quarter milliards or one hundred and sixty
millions sterling were paid by bills of exchange.
M. Lieon Say notices, as one of the results of the war, the liquidation of the
famous Bank of Hamburg, founded in 1619 in imitation of those of Venice
and Amsterdam, for the purpose of securing a uniform standard of mercantile payments, by means of credit in its books, which was called the marc
banco.

Mr. President, what does that mean? It means that gold is
not the actual money metal used in that transaction, it means
the use as money of a system of credits which are private property, credits which are unlimited by law, credits which may be
expanded to suit the interest of the individual possessing them,
and contracted to suit his interest as a money-dealer or moneylender.
It seems to me that is a dangerous condition of our moneyed
affairs and those of the world and should settle all theories
which are based upon the idea that a departure and a variation
in the value of the two metals creates an evil that can be rem 3died only by the cessation of the coinage of the cheaper metal,
and increasing the supply of paper credits, irresponsible, uncontrolled, unknown as to its value and its amount, and subject to
fluctuation and to panic and disaster of every kind.
Mr. Balfour may very well observe in his address that it is
within the power of citizens of European governments, the men
controlling the financial methods and European policies, to produce at any time a panic which would be ruinous to even the
great commercial nation of England.
I wish to pursue that discussion a little further. I have here
before me an observation made in a very valuable pamphlet which
I shall present to the consideration of the Senate in a short
time. It is a statement of our banking system and a discussion
of the question whether we have the legal-tender money of the
Constitution, whether our transactions and our whole system of
prices are in possession of the European bankers and our own
bankers connected with them.
I have no question of fault-finding with these men. They are
pursuing legitimately their own occupation. They are, many
of them, men of bright minds, of earnest patriotism, and they are
pursuing the methods which are legitimate to their occupation;
but it is not for us to submit the destinies of the American peo56S




23
pie to the interest of any class of men whether foreign or domestic.
Let us see what the condition of oar country is in that respect.
I find here in this pamphlet a statement showing the total
amount of deposits held by our national and other banking institutions in 1891-J92, compiled from the annual report of the
Comptoller of the Currency, December 5, 1892. I read from a
very valuable pamjjhiet called " The Silver Question Settled,"
by Roderick H. Smith, of New York, from page 40:
Banking institutions.
National banks

—

State banks
Loan and trust companies.
Savings banks
Private banks

Number.
3,773

3,191
168
1,059
1,161

Character of deposits.

$1,765,422,984
Individual deposits
9,828,144
United States deposits
4,'044,734
Deposits of United States
disbursing officers
648,513,800
Individual deposits
411,650,000
do
45,560,592
do
1,712,769,026
Savings deposits
93,091,148
Individual deposits

9,352

Total

Amount.

Total deposits

4,690,890,433

Now. let us see where the money was which constitutes the
nearly "$5,000,000,000 of deposits entered as money upon the books
of these institutions. Let us perceive if it was money, the gold
money of the country, and if not, let us ask what function does
that single gold standard perform in the transactions which constitute the deposit of this great sum of money.
National
banks
(3,759).

Classification.
Gold coin
Gold, Treasury certificates
Gold (clearinghouse) certificates
Silver dollars
Silver, fractional
Silver, Treasury certificates „__>. ....
National-bank notes
Legal-tender notes
United States certificates of deposit
for legal tenders
Fractional currency
Specie, not classified
Cash, not classified
Total

.

Other (5,579)
banking
institutions.

Total.

$96,723,083
$8,889,370 $105,612,453
85,530,100
85,530,100
8,498,000
8,498,000
7,466,596
14,971,085
5,579,302 J 1,925,187
25.523,399
25,523,399
21,325,840
21,325,840
113,915,016 ""*46~812,~692~ 160,727,708
23,115,000
939,383

388,615,719

22,11*9,226
118,042,909

23,115,000
939,383
22,119,226
118,042,909

197,789,384

586,405,103

•Including national-bank notes and coin certificates.
The relation between the amount of the money of commerce and the
amount of Government money held by the banks is as follows:
Total deposits of the banks of United States
$4,690,890,433
Total Government money available for payment of deposits.
586,405,103
Percentage of Government money to deposits
12£

There is the whole banking business of this country—$4,690
890,433 of deposit money in these banks upon less than $600,000,00 ) of actual monsy. What is the significance of this fact? Has
it none? Are we considering here the ratio between gold and
silver upon the theory that th3 cessation of the silver coin as
563




24
money of this country is to b3 a calamity, when we have exhibited the fact here that the money of the country to-day is neither
silver nor gold, but the personal credits of the individuals who
have the function and power of making the money of the people
out of their own credits. How can you explain the fact, be it
wise or unwise, that it should be an economy of business?'
If so, what do you want with money at all?" Why not have the
whole exchanges of the country and its .transactions conducted
by transfer upon the books of some accredited institution? Only,
it would be a good thing to be a member of that institution,*if
you wanted to be rich, because you could take everything everybody had, all the labor of the country, all the products of labor;
you could bring want into every family and degradation upon
every citizen, and deprive him of the bsnefits of education and
the comforts of life. Says this pamphlet:
That is to say, that if all the Government money held by the banks of this
country should be distributed pro rata among the depositors of these banks,
each depositor would receive 12£ per cent of his deposit, If this is true that
the total amount of Government money of all kinds held by the banks is
sufficient to pay only a dividend of 12£ per cent to the depositors of these
banks, what is the balance? What does the 87J per cent of deposits represent? There is, I think, but one rational view to take of this matter; the
balance of the deposits consists of the money of commerce, which money is
based upon collateral other than gold and other than silver, expressed in
terms of the standard.

Upon commerce.

You know what that is.

This collateral consists of wheat, corn, oats, pig iron, copper, tin, petroleum, salt, wool, cotton, sugar, lumber, chemicals, cattle, hides, horses, ships,
railroads, cars, engines, and a multitude of other valuables, expressed in
terms of the standard, and which in trade are exchanged, one for the other,
In terms of the standard, that is, at their market price.

That is, the gold appreciating standard carried up higher and
higher by every dollar hoarded. W e hear much of the hoarding of money by the people, but what of the hoarding of money
by Russia and Prussia and Austria and France? What kind of
hoarding is-that which grasps its $300,000,000 of gold at a time
and locks it up in the military chests of each great nation of
Europe. Yet we talk about the hoarding of money by an individual, putting in his stocking a dollar, when the whole taxing
power of these great despotisms is taking at the rate of from $12
to $36 to the head, men, women, and children, from their labor
every year, and putting it in gold and locking the gold up. That
is hoarding; for what is the difference between gold being in a
stocking and in a military chest? ' Perhaps that is a difficult
thing to explain.
Now, I will consider this matter a little further. There have
been some great men in this country who have looked into this
condition of things, one in particular, who sympathized most
with the great mass of the people; to whom the prosperity of
the great laboring poor was dearer than to any other man; an
accomplished gentleman, a cultivated scholar, a man of refined
tastes, and of an aristocratic lineage, if that counted for anything. If that was of any value it was because it opened his
heart and sympathies to the sufferings of the great mass of the
people, a man who wanted a system of policy in government that
should result in beneficence, that is, in comfort, in joys, in material blessings to every man, woman, and child throughout the
world. A man of most accomplished learning and mind and
568




25
genius was Thomas Jefferson. .None will dispute his wonderful
intellect, his great power of analysis, the wide range of his accomplishments. He says in his letter to John Taylor, in the
sixth volume of his published works, page 605:
The system of hanking we have both equally and ever reprobated. I contemplate it as a blot left in all our constitutions, which, if not covered, will
end in their destruction, which is already hit by the gamblers in corruption,
and is sweeping away in its progress the fortunes and morals of our citizens.
Funding I consider as limited rightfully to a redemption of the debt within
the lives of a majority of the generation contracting it, every generation
coming equally by the laws of the Creator of the world to the free possession
of the earth He made for their subsistence unincumbered by their predecessors, who, like them, were but tenants for life.

Mr. GEORGE. What is the date of the letter?
Mr. CALL. The date of the letter is May 26,1816.
ferson says again:

Mr. Jef-

And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more
dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money
to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity
on a large scale.

Mr. President, we majr make light of these declarations, we may
repose in fancied security to the American people, but the people of the world, the young men growing up of masculine vigor
of thought ask themselves the question, shall we be destined to a
life of poverty, of degradation and want, to pay the great national
debt heaped up in past ages for the luxury of kings or for purposes which have no benefit to the present generation? W h y
shall we suffer, and our lives be lives of want and poverty and
degradation because hundreds of years ago there was squandering and dissoluteness and obligations created which standing
armies of twenty and thirty million men withdrawn from the
uses of industry are to force upon us? If these things are to be
done, we must not lend aid to them by giving right to private
individuals to make the money of the country out of their personal credit.
Now, Mr. President, let us see how this matter stands related
to the questions we are now considering in another respect. W e
are now considering the question of the coinage of the country.
W e are told that you must repeal the act of 1890, because the act
of 1890 is putting upon the country a silver, coinage which is less
in value than the gold coinage of the country; and that under
the law which is dignified by the term of Gresham's law, but
which is a very natural thing and only means that where there
is a use for a thing in one place and not in another, or a greater use
for a thing in one place than there is in another, the opportunity in the sagacity of men will induce them to carry that thing,
whether it is gold or potatoes or corn or whatever it may be,
from the place where there is no use for it to the plac3 where
there is; and that, therefore, if in this country silver can be
made to bear all the purposes and uses of life then gold will go
abroad. Suppose it did, what harm will that do to the $4,690,000,000 of deposits which there is no gold to pay or no silver to
pay?
What practical relation has that proposition to the present
condition of our country? Are we reasoning men; are we here
to reason? No one can explain how less than $600,000,000, partially of silver certificates, partially of gold, partially of silver,
all being taken into account, can pay nearly $5,000,000,000 of de568




26
posits? Unquestionably not, but we sit here with indifference.
We do not attempt to explain that which is the natural and just
relation of commerce, which demands actual money in the hands
of the people, obtainable by all persons on fair terms.
Mr. President, I have shown that—admitting the proposition
that the departure in the value of the two metals will make a
difference in the coin use—I have shown that the remedy was not
to cease the coinage of the cheaper metal; that it was not to deprive the country of money of some kind of value and take for
it paper at no value whatever but the personal credit of the individual who gave it; that this would be to take away money,
which, although cheaper than some other money, or some other
metal, still had a value and was capable of limitation in quantity, and substituting for it a credit which was incapable of limitation; that in the very necessity of these ideas, which are logical, true, and undisputable, you could not find this remedy by
the cessation of the coinage of the cheaper metal.
Admitting what is said to be true, if you wish to preserve the
equivalence of ratio as stated by Chevalier and Newton, where
is the ground on which disputants can stand who are proposing
to impose upon this country the European system of banks, sustained by public securities and a small amount of gold, the
greater amount being hoarded for military purposes and an
unlimited credit money, paper monejr? Who can meet the
proposition? If the equivalence of ratio is necessary and it is
departed from notwithstanding the artificial use created by Government, what is the remedy? Diminish the legal value or
ratio of the dearer metal. Is it not wise to keep the two in circulation? You have token money, you have debased money, for
the use of the people at home. You wish to pay your baker for
his loaf of bread, your merchant for the small uses and necessaries of life, for your street-car fare, for the millions and billions expressed in terms of value of the daily necessities of life.
How unreasonable, if we may reason about these things, to say
no, we must accept the status as it is; we must lie down blindly;
we are not here to perform the function imposed upon us by our
duty of reasoning, of representing the best thought of the world,
of considering it, of meeting it, but we are here to rest in calm
indifference; we must rush through a bill repealing the only
method by which there can be an increase in the currency of the
country, without condition, qualification, or amendment. The
country is suffering, the people want money. The banks will
not allow business to continue unless we allow them to use their
own credit as money, and themselves make all the money and
use it as they please. We must rush through a bill repealing
the only method by which there can be an increase of the metal
currency of the country. Let us see. There is one remedy.
Here are two others.
If this debate had no other purpose, if every member of this
Senate slept in his }>ed at home and few came here to study and
consider these problems, if these seats we are always empty, and
this duty too irksome to be performed, still the great American
people are everywhere considering and discussing these problems.
But I have here a pamphlet, which I wish to bring to the
notice of the Senate, accompanying which is this letter, which I
568




27
suppose has been sent to every other member of the Senate. It
is as follows:
WELCKER'S HOTEL, Washington, D. (7., October 3,1893.
HONORABLE SIR; This silver question can be solved; so think usch authorities on finance as Mr. George S. Coe, president of the American E x change Bank, New York; Mr. Washington Connor, New York; Mr. Dan. P.
Eells, president of the Commercial National Bank, Cleveland, Ohio. J. Edward Simmons, president of the Fourth National Bank, New York, when
asked, Is there any other way out ? " replied, lkI don't know of any; your
project is very, very good." J. Pierpont Morgan assures me that he will help
me forward with this matter. Mr. Garland, of the First National Bank; Mr.
John W . Mackay, Mr. H. O. Wolcott, and many others favor the project set
forth in the accompanying pamphlet. I believe that this is the thing to do
here and now.
Unconditional repeal is a blunder. Says Mr. George Williams, president
of the Chemical National Bank, New York, speaking of the demonetization
of silver: " T h e calamities, commercial and social, that would follow such
a step would be beyond calculation^ even beyond imagination." Unconditional repeal leaves the question unsolved and violates the pledges of the
platforms.
Unconditional repeal means starvation and ruin to thousands of Americans, and even if it should bring temporary relief how can we escape from
a crisis later on?
Congress and the Executive have it in their power to give to the people of
these United States a national currency, based upon gold and silver, every
dollar of which shall be always and everywhere equal.
The interests of the plain people of this country in this question are far
greater than are the interests of the gold or silver party. As Mr. J. Edward
Simmons said to me the other day, " The thing to do is that which is best
for all the people."
The objects accomplished in the accompanying bill are as follows:
First. Provision is made for an increase in the currency, but only by depositing an equivalent of gold or silver therefor. The gold currency is redeemable in gold coin or bullion. The silver currency is redeemable in silver bullion at its gold value or in silver coins (see coinage bill, page 17). The
gold and silver currency is at all times of the same commercial value at
aome and abroad.
Second. By reorganizing the notes of 1890 (see section 17, page 16), the Government is instantly relieved of the gold liability now practically existing on
them (over $150,000,000). The necessity for a bond issue is thus obviated.
The silver which has been purchased with these notes and which now lies
idle, useless, unpaid tor, and unconsumed, is rendered available for their redemption, removed from the fear of sale in the market and consumed, for,
after reorganization, this silver belongs to the note-holders and not to the
Government. The other classes of the currency can be reorganized later on.
The chapter on Present Situation (page 46) will show the present condition
of the currency.
The plan presented is comprehensive, simple, safe, and honorable, in accord with constitutional provisions, the platforms of the Democratic and Republican parties, the rules of business practice, and the dictates of common
sense. It should be made a law.
Respectfully yours,
RODERICK H.

SMITH.

These are propositions that commend themselves to my judgment. No one has answered them. No one has shown or pretended to show why this is not a safe and proper solution of this
question.
The Senator from Kentucky [Mr. BLACKBURN] introduced an
amendment here to-day which comprehends some of the provisions in this pamphlet, but not so accurate, not so thorough in
my judgment, not so well adapted to the situation. It is proposed to have a fund, not based upon public credit but upon the
value of gold and silver. It is proposed to create a fund of the
cheaper metal, whichever that may be, either now or hereafter,
for the purpose of preserving the equivalency of values. It is
proposed to redeem in all parts of the world with either coin.
These notes are to become the property of the depositor of gold
or silver bullion, and to have by law money uses in this country.
568




2S
I should like very much to hear some discussion of that question. I should like to hear from some of the Senators who are
such enthusiastic believers in the gold standard, who'believe in
token money, for all money is token money which has to be redeemed in something- else. It depends for its value upon redemption alone. I should like to have this question considered.
But, Mr. President, there is another plan that has been proposed by the American people, by these intelligent and thoughtful people, and we may be sure if we do not represent them they
will send people here who will.
This debate has been valuable. The time has not been thrown
away, because the debate has provoked not only study and
thought here, but it has provoked study and thought on the
part of the people throughout this country and throughout the
world. In our country particularly, where we have not yet become subordinated entirely to great corporations, where although
greatly reduced in our fortunes and the mass of the paople are
reduced in their comforts at home, although upon the road that
Rome followed to destruction and ruin, we have not yet progressed very far in that direction.
We have yielded the power of taxation in every form and
shape to municipalities, to county organizations, in the shape of
issues of bonds to aid great railroad corporations, having the
power to impose taxation without representation by the increase of their capitalization until they have now a capitalization of $60,000 to the mile whiuh did not cost $20,000; and when
we get up to a population of 100,000,000 we shall probably have
it at the rate of $200,000 to the mile.
Although we have allowed them often by fraud to acquire the
ownership of over 200,000,000 acres of the public domain consecrated to the only policy that is possible for a free country, free
homes to the American people; although we have allowed every
species of brazen fraud and intolerable outrage to be carried into
effect through our public officials in respect of this public domain, still we have not arrived at the absolute degradation of
the great masculine, intellectual, vigorous thought of this
American people.
I have another pamphlet here called the Alpha of Money,
heing a reply to Mr. Carnegie's A, B, C of Money, by Mr.
George Reed.
It is a very powerful, very learned, and a very able presentation of this whole question, and one which is well worthy of the
study and the consideration of this body and of every American
citizen. He says:
Mr. Carnegie says in tlie North American Review of June, 1891, page 748:
" I w o u l d rather give up the 'McKinley bill' and pass the 'Mills bill' if for
the exchange I could have the present silver bill repealed and silver treated
like other metals. " That is quite a significant statement.

I think so, too. I think the power of monopoly, the power of
extorting from the labor of every man in this country so much
of his labor as will barely leave him the means to procure the
necessaries of life, is contained in the power to make money
out of credit without limit. That is the result of treating silver as a discarded and degraded "metal, of relieving it of its
money function, while you give to gold by law the compulsory
use of the payment of debts, of taxes, of recognition in every
transaction; for it is not that you leave the two metals together,
5(8




29
each to find its own use, but you give to the one a power of compelling-its use.
Mr. Reed proposes in his pamphlet to do what? He proposes
to take away the compulsory usage from gold, and to have the
mints of the country thrown open to the coinage of the two metals
in such forms and such proportions and denominations as may
suit the public convenience, and to allow every man to contract
fo rso many ounces of gold or so many ounces of silver as merchandise, leaving it to the natural demand and uses of the two
metals to find the place they are to fill in the monetary system
of the world.
Why shall that not be done? Why shall men having silver
not be allowed to contract for the sale of it, as is the case with
those who have gold? Why shall we compel the use of gold
that belongs to one, instead of the use of silver that belongs to
another? Why not allow each one its own privilege, and allow
every man to contract to sell his house for so much gold or so
much silver, by weight, refined and stamped?^ The reasons
which are given for that amount to a demonstration. They are
that the legal-tender character may thus be preserved to both
of the metals without a fixed ratio established by law. I think
the legal tender should be preserved in gold and silver at the
ratio of 16 to 1, which has existed for years, and will be permanent if allowed to depend on natural causes, but I can very
well see that that might be dispensed with, and the legaltender power be preserved to the two metals at the option of
the debtor, by weight, or according to the multiple standard of
Jevons, of which we have heard nothing here. This is a
standard of value fixed, according to the value of a number
of standard articles of commerce or necessaries of life at the
time when the contract is to be performed, or at the time
fixed by the contract, either the present date or some future
time; just exactly as the University of Oxford or Cambridge, in
England, has, under its original charter, had its rents payable
in grain, which has proved more stable and valuable than any
money. That provision has been in the grants to that university
for hundreds of years. But let us look at Mr. Heed's able presentation of this question:
*

*

*

*

*

*

*

W e will now define what we mean by money, or will try to give a definite
meaning to the word as used ih this discussion; however, we may use the
word in different senses at times, but this is the sense in which we are arguing: Money is that definite thing commonly used as a standard of price.
Thus the gold dollar is the money of the United States; that is, the unit of
value according to law and therefore arbitrarily established; the pound sterling is the money of England; the Mexican dollar is the money of Mexico.
The word " definite " will apply to the money of every advanced people.
Where metal is used it will be a well-known weight of the same. If it be oil
it will be an exact measure. If it be tobacco or wheat it will be a definite
amount, for trade will not deal in doubt as to quantity.
If it be a piece of cotton cloth, as has been in Africa in places.there will be
a standard length, breadth, and quality; and so with wampum, etc. In fact
it will amount to measured merchandise. Therefore we may have Chinese
money, English money, German money, etc. The word commonly applies
to a community, small or large, and it may embrace part of a country or
more than one country. Some one will say that the above is a good definition of what some writers call " m o n e y of account," and so it is, but the
phrase t4money of account" is often used as if to intimate that any other
money would be of no account. Our single standard gold writers often use
this phrase it would almost seem with such implication, but the truth simply is, that it is not of account or computation when any definite quantity
of gold is the standard by which all other things are priced.

568




30
The argument upon this subject you will easily see is that coin,
although it has monetary uses prescribed by law, stamped, divided, certified, the ratio fixed, and made a legal tender (which
is an arbitrary, artificial use) is yet a merchandise. When wheat
is scarce the price rises; when abundant it falls. So with every
other commodity. It has its commodity value, although stamped
with extraordinary and artificial uses. That is true, unquestionably. What is the result?
The same couldtoesaid of gold where silver money is the price standard or
unit of value. A money, therefore, under any true and logical idea of trade
is merchandise, and moneys, therefore, are merchandise. A money is none
the less merchandise because it happens to be a price standard, notwithstanding certain governments have taken it upon themselves to arbitrarily
designate certain metals and command that they only shall be used as the
raw material out of which money or units of value or standards of value or
price units shall be made.
Some of them haye commanded that certain amounts of a certain metal
shall be used as money and have even prohibited or prevented the use of
certain valuable or high-priced metals as money in the true sense at all, allowing them only to be minted as token coins. Paper money, under the
above conception, is not money at all, but is the representative of money, and
is used in place of money under the belief that money could be gotten for
it if wanted, or that it is as "good" as money. It stands in place of money like
an " a " or an " x " stands in place of a quantity in algebra.
*

*

»

#

1

*

*

*

Trade, custom, and use make money, and should be allowed to operate unimpeded by arbitrary intervention or direction.
•
*
*
*
•
•
*
In the case of the silver dollar the silver in the token itself may be worth,
say, 70 cents in gold, while the coin goes in trade for $1 in gold, because the Government has promised to make it good to that amount. It is the representative of a gold dollar; it is a share in a stock of gold somewhere, and its
great office is to facilitate the circulation of gold, increasing thereby its use,
enhancing its price, and placing it, at its own expense, at an artificial altitude unwarranted by justice and true commercial welfare.
*

*

*

*

•

*

#

I refer to the attempt at the complete and universal demonetization of silver, or the adoption of the universal gold standard, or the despotic recognition of gold only as the metal out of which the various standards of value or
money units shall be made; leaving commerce thus at the mercy of the.
owners of the metal gold, driving the metal silver, as money, out of the
markets of the world, in spite of the fact that it is sorely needed, and would
be a respectable rival to gold, so much so that were there not an ounce of
gold in the world its money business could be done upon silver. Is there,
therefore, any good reason why they might not each be used upon their own
merit as money ? If the ideas here advocated were carried out, silver money
could be borrowed and lent, labor could be paid in it, and it would become
thereby a storer of force, of wealth, of energy, as is gold.
£

*

»

*

#

*

*

The demonetization of silver has been successful in England by virtue of
despotic commercial legislation by which the single gold standard is forced
upon her commerce and people, and silver prohibited from use as money in
the true sense at all, being only coined as the tradesman's token of the British Government in representation of gold, and made legal tender at its nominal value for a limited amount thereof.
Nearly the same thing has been done in this country. The only difference
is that we have made the silver tokens of our country legal tender for a
larger amount of gold money, except where otherwise expressed in the contract. Therefore, we have need for a greater proportionate amount of silver tokens. That is, our legal tender is possibly a little less tough.
*
*
*
*
«
#
*
It is only sustained by the fact that a large part of the world to-day still
use silver out of which to make money, or their " definite thing commonly
used as a price standard."

Now, Mr. President, here is a man who is able, an American
of thoughtful mind, intelligent, patiently studious, who has carefully investigated this question: he is in favor of abandoning
the compulsory legal tender for both metels. He is in favor of
568




31
opening the mints of our own country, in defiance of the world, to
the unlimited coinage of gold and silver, to meet the demands
of commerce, to he the property of those who take the bullion
there to be stamped, minted, divided into coins to be fixed and
regulated by law. It has its commercial value as a money use,
and this can not be taken away except by law.
Rome had 140,000,000 of people. That was her custom for hundreds of years. She governed the world. Rome had her policies. No one who will read the letters of the younger Pliny today will say that our civilization has far advanced beyond theirs,
except in the wonderful progress of invention. In dealing in
money, in questions of commerce, in questions of law, in the
elegancies of society, in the beauties of architecture, in the refinements of life, no one who reads the letters of Pliny will doubt
that their civilization was in some respects near to ours.
Yet that great empire, with all its learning, with all its elegant scholarship, with all its refinement of culture, with its
great history of past transactions, with its rates of interest upon
gold and silver, for many years and centuries it was allowed to
every Roman citizen to mint his own coin according to the regulations of law. It may be said that in our day of greater enterprise and adventure we should be likely to have coin adulterated. Then our public mints will answer this purpose. But
there is no need of tying the destinies and happiness of this
great American people to the men who are so fortunate as to
acquire the gold. That is the proposition.
What else? Here is the report of your Comptroller of the Currency that shows that to-day you have not 12 percent to redeem
your promises, without taking into account the tens of billions—
yes, I may say the $30,000,000,000 of indebtedness that is resting
upon the people of this country to be paid in coin, largely to be
paid in gold. You have not even 12 per cent to pay $5,000,000,000
of obligations in the shape of deposits entered upon the books of
the banks which control all your productions, your cotton, your
corn, your wheat; which furnish the money for your internal
transactions between man and man.
Now, we are told here that there is a panic, that money has
been hoarded, and that is the reason why we should not have
any more silver. Mr. President, I can very well perceive why the
President and his Secretary of the Treasury, who are men of
unquestioned integrity, men of extraordinary ability, men as
entirely in sympathy with the people as we are, administering
this their great public trust, should have hesitated to do more
than they have done. "Why? Because this money power is capable of bringing disaster upon the people of this country.
Every country merchant deals in credit, and he is here to-day
obeying the interest that commands him to say: *i Continue our
power over the productions of the country or you will not have
credit; your business will be ruined:"
Mr. Jefferson was right. Banks are useful, but they must be
controlled by the intelligence of the people's Representatives.
Corporations are useful in their place, but they must not be allowed to exercise their power of taxation without limit; they
must not be allowed to acquire the ownership of all the real estate of this country, and in the shape of rents and rates of transportation* take from the people an undue share of the products
of their labor.
568




32
Here we are to-day in this situation, with the fact exhibited
that the money power of the country, in the control of a few
hundreds of men, to-day is capable of ruining this 70,000,000 of
American people. Why, Mr* President, I say repeal here and
now every charter of every national bank unless it opens its
vaults and continues its business. Coin money, issue certificates, use the public credit, make new depositories, continue
all our public works, if it is necessary to increase the money
supply, rather than that the people should be out of employment. The able Comptroller of the Currency has the will, the
vigor, and the independence to execute our laws. It is not for
the President and his Secretary of the Treasury to make the
laws, and no fault should be found with them. It is for them to
administer their public trust with conservatism, for the money
power, without our action, is strong enough to overwhelm the
country with ruin. It is their policy to deal with it tenderly.
I find in this letter of Roderick H. Smith the name of Washington Conner, one of the great New York bankers. Mr. Conner is interested in my own Stat 3. I know of him by reputation. I am glad to see his great business sagacity, his great integrity, in sympathy with the people of the country, which, I
am informed, is accompanied with large wealth. He is here to
testify—if this letter be correct, of which I have no other evidence than the publication in this pamphlet—what unconditional
repeal will bring upon us unless something is attached to it to
increase the money, to create a solid metal currency (gold and
silver), and to furnish a practicable plan to do it.
What is the trouble? The Senator from Kentucky [Mr.
BLACKBURN] has introduced an amendment which is similar to
a part of this plan, which is fully developed in this pamphlet:
Treasury notes issued upon deposits of gold or silver bullion to
be the property of the depositor in the Treasury, the market
value of either metal to be the basis; the difference between
the market value and the notes to be held by the Government
as the depositor's property, for a common fund, to be sold at its
value when suitable values can be obtained by the Government;
to redeem, in whatever form the money may be coined in any
country of the world, the note which is given to the depositor.
Suppose we were to try that system. Is it not better than to
allow a national bank to take another form of the credit of the
Government and pay that bank interest ujjon it, and at the same
time give it a note which the Treasury is bound to redeem in
gold? Is it not better than that? It is the man's labor; it is
his gold or his silver: it is deposited in the public vaults. The
note which the Government gives it is obligated to see paid in
its coin denomination or value, and not out of the taxes, not out
of the sweat of labor, not out of the poverty and degradation of
the great mass of American people, who, under a proper system
and a happier policy, under a system of transportation adjusted
upon the basis of reasonable profits to the owners, which would
be useful throughout the length and breadth of this broad land,
and would enable poor men with their wives and children to
travel in comfort, instead of having to pay in rates of transportation for watered stock three, four, five times the value, or perhaps upon that which never cost a cent to anybody.
This American country should have cheap transportation,
with abundant money, with its national debt taken away, with
568




33
no more of foreign credit fmported here and called capital—800,000,000 British sterling, the paper circulation of Great Britain,
imported here to be exchanged for a power of taxation upon the
labor of our people.
Why, Mr. President, it is a strange idea. It has no proper
place here. We have no need of such capital. How can the oppressed, the poorly rewarded labor of Europe compare with our
people upon our virgin soil with its vast productions, if it were
not that we gave the power of taxation to any persons who,would
get up a railroad corporation and tell them you c?m issue bonds
payable in tixes upon the people for $5 for every dollar of value?
We should not have this system of credit imported into this
country if we did not have a system of national banks and a
limited coinage of the money metals.
National banks are very good things. There is nothjngto object to about a national bank except the giving to it of the function of issuing paper money on the nontaxable interest-bearing
bonds. I know nothing to object to with reference to a State
bank but the power of issuing unlimited money. The systems
may, perhaps, be well harmonized, but in some way the public
supervision should be extended over it.
But, Mr. President, here are all these alternatives, and we talk
as if there were some magic power to be given by law compelling
the use of one single metal and to compel everybody to use that
particular metal.
Now, Mr. President, I have here, which I propose to notice
very briefly, the argument of a man who is one of the most distinguished monometallists to be found in the country, Mr. David
A. Wells, a marl of clear and discriminating mind, a cle:ir reasoner, a student of public and private economy, and certainly a
man of patriotism and disinterestedness. How strange is the
fact of the influence this gold power has to cloud the intellectual
vision of people, surrounding them somehow or other with an
atmosphere and tendencies like those affecting the aristocracy
of the Old World, the old patricians of Home.
This power seems to be kindred only to the exclusive wealthcreating social class distinctions, which separates them not only
from sympathy with republican institutions, but also creates for
them opinions in regard to public economies.
Mr. Wells says:
In 1881 investigations instituted by the United States Comptroller of the
Currency showed that of all the receipts of 1,966 national banks in one and the
same day, 95 per cent were made up of forms of credit, exclusive of circulating notes, and at all the banks the proportion of gold coin to the whole receipts was only .65 of 1 per cent. An analysis of the international trade of
the United States—exports and imports—which is conducted on a gold basis
exclusively, furnish the following instructive results. During the years
from 1864 to 1873 $1 in gold was sufficient for the transaction of 813.91 worth
of foreign trade; but from 1883 to 1892 represented 831.83 worth.
In short, as civilization has increased, and as new and quicker and cheaper
means for the interchange of thought and commodities have been invented
and adopted, the function of gold as a medium of exchange—the one that
necessitates a large and increasingsupply and entails the greatest wearand
loss—is rapidly diminishing in importance; while on the other hand the
function of gold as a measure, or verifier of values, by reason of its exemption from value fluctuations to a greater extent than any other product of
labor, is becoming of greater and greater importance, and more especially
siuce silver has become uncertain and fluctuating in value.

W h i t is it that Mr. Wells proposes? He proposes that the
entire product of the labor of every man in this country shall be
56;—3




3d
placed in the keeping of the few hundred citizens who own and
control the national banks of this country. If the entire money
of this country in all its transactions is to be controlled, if prices
are to be fixed and regulated, and we are to have abundance or
scarcity at their will and pleasure, how long will republican institutions stand? If such a thing is to be allowed the Senate
ought to be abolished and the owners of the national banks
should be here constituting the two Houses of Congress.
If this system is to b3 continued we have no function, for we
give the control of all the wealth of the country and all the la*
bor, which is the only wealth, all the production and the fixing
of prices to those who own railroads, and other great corporations, because these few persons own all the railroads, and the
people own none. The few great bankers and corporations own
to-day all the transportation and the taxing power, which says
to the American citizen what he shall pay of his labor and his
production for the transportation of it and for its exchange.
But this remarkable proposition in a free government is presented to the American citizen as the consideration for which
we are to abolish the traditional use of the cheaper metal which
serves the purposes of the great American people.
Mr. Wells goes on to say:
When the silver question is written up in the future as a matter of history,
full and complete, it will certainly be characterized as having involved more
of persistent and unsubstantial theory, and a greater disregard of substantial facts, than any other controverted topic which in modern times has received a large share of the world's attention.

All the writers and statesmen of the economic schools in modern days say the fact is that to-day silver has a wider use than
gold, that it performs ten times the function of gold both in
amount and in daily use and in performing the uses of society.
With all these facts before us, we have it gravely contended
by this able, economic writer that the entire business of this
country shall be performed by a system of finance based upon
promises to redeem in gold, when they have not the twelfth part
of the gold to perform the obligations they assume, resting entirely upon the confidence of the people that when this demand
is made they will be redeemed. If all the gold .in the world
shall find a superior use in the wars of Europe, will they redeem
the3e paper obligations? What are they worth? They are not
worth the paper on which they are written.
We had a bill introduced here by the Senator from Kentucky,
the distinguished Mr. Beck, which bacame law, in relation to
fictitious bank deposits. I voted against it, but it became a law.
It provided that no checks should b3 paid even to a Vanderbilt
or Gould or anybody unless there was an actual deposit in the
bank to meet it, and no checks to be certified. I said to him
the banks would not do any business if that law could be enforced. They will simply transfer upon their books a deposit.
That is all. Heve are nearly 5,000,000,000 of deposits and less
than 600,000,000 of money to pay^ them. I take it any private individual—and these are only private individuals—would be considered bankrupt.
Mr. Wells says:
The primary cause of the decline in the value and use of silver was undoubtedly a conviction that it is not the money metal suited to the conditions of high civilization.
568




35
This condition of " h i g h civilization" consists of banking deposits in the control of persons whose personal integrity may
be good or it may be bad, who may want all the property of the
country or who maybe philanthropists and not want any. That
is high civilization!
It is a principle generally overlooked by economists and students of
finance, and one winch does not seem to have been alluded to in recent discussions about silver, that the kind of money a country will have and use
depends upon and will vary with the value ot its transactions, the price of
its labor, and the rapidity and magnitude of its exchanges; and that when
the people of any country have once found out what metal or other instrumentality is best adapted to their wants, that metal or other instrumentality they will employ; and statute law can do little more than recognize and
confirm the fact.

If that is so, is it not true that the people everywhere use silver; that you can not make a gold coin which will answer the
great mass of the daily necessities of men? Why, then, cease its
coinage?
Mr. Wells goes on to say:
Thus in China and its dependencies, including more than a third of the
population of the globe, the Government provides only one form of money,
namely, a course, heavy disc, composed mainly of copper, and known to
foreigners by the name of "cash." It is made with a square hole in the
center for convenience of stringing in tens or its decimals, and has a commodity value of about an American cent. The question naturally suggests
itself, How can so intelligent people as the Chinese use a coin so heavy and
of such trifling value in making their exchanges ?
The answer is very simple, and illustrates the wisdom and not the foolishness of the Government of China. The wages of manual labor in China do
not", in general, exceed 15 or 20 cents per day; and the wage recipient obviously
requires that his daily earnings, when paid in money, shall be capable of ready
division into many multiples in order to be exchanged for the many necessities of himself or his family; 2 cash, for example, for rice, 2 for fuel, 3 for
fish, 5 for cloth or rent, etc. The equivalent of a day's wages at 20 cents in
gold would be too small to be conveniently handled.
*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Two-thirds of the population of the world have therefore no occasion lor
the use of gold as money. On the other hand, in countries of the highest
civilization, with high prices and wages, rapid financial transactions, and
extensive commercial relations, the natural tendencies favor the more extensive use of gold for money, without at the same time displacing from
their legitimate monetary spheres either copper or silver.

Suppose that to be so, what has that to do with the question?
Here is the great mass of necessities for a metallic money for
the millions and hundreds of millions of people whose fate it is
in life, under the forms of oppressive government which have
prevailed, to have not enough for their daily necessities. It is
token money, as the Senator from Mississippi [Mr. GEORGE] suggests to me. *
Mr. Wells says further:
On the other hand, not a single commodity that has notably declined in
price within that time can be named, in respect to which clear, abundant,
and specific evidence can not be adduced in proof that its decline has been
due to decreased cost of production or distribution, or to changes in supply
and demand occasioned by wholly fortuitous circumstances.

Mr. Wells goes on to show that there is no correspondence
between the decreased price of commodities and the decreasing
value of silver. He says:
The supply of these four great commodities, iron, wheat, cotton and wool,
controls the cost of bread and breadstuffs generally; of all cotton and woolen
fabrics, and of nearly ail tools, machinery, ships, cars, and buildings; and an
over supply of them in excess of current demand (and to a much less extent
than ha^actually occurred) will materially afreet the market price of products whose average annual value can not be less than 12,000,000,000.

568




36
But, Mr. President, all that can be seen to be an entirely
inconsequential argument, because the prices of commodities differ from various circumstances—from the reduced price of transportation, from the increased area of cultivation, from supply
from other quarters, from inventions, which have decreased the
amount of labor and cost. Because that is true, it has no connection with the other proposition, that money has become dear in
comparison with labor. Money has become dear because rents
are high, because in every community the agricultural laborer
pays the interest upon municipal bonds and upon United States
bonds and railway corporation bonds and many other new uses.
The rent of houses in the city of Washington is fixed largely
by the taxation which must first be paid out of the rent, and
whatever the demand for houses maybe, the necessary elements
of,cost must first be taken into account. It is so in the whole
range of this civilization of ours. Money comes in, and the
price of money is an element to be taken into the account which
enters into the cost of production and to b3 taken out of the
produot, because the uses of money, the demand for it, has* infinitely increased instead of decreased.
Without reading it, I shall insert in my remarks here a statement of the total taxation of the United Kingdom and other
great nations of the world, taken from the last edition of Mulhall's Dictionary of Statistics, published in 1892:
In 1890, total taxation:
United Kingdom
Prance
Germany
Russia
Austria
Italv .
Spain
Portugal
Sweden
Norway
Denmark
Holland

£88,500.000
121,800,000
154,700,000
88,880,000
74,800,000
72,000,000
35,400,000
8,400,000
4,800,000
2,400.000
3,000,000
10,100,000

i Belgium
„
! Switzerland i
j Greece
!
Europe
J United States
i Canada...
j Australia
India
; Argentina
1
j
'Total

£12,900.000
2,900,000
3,10J, 000
683,600,000
80,000,000
7,800,000
27,600,000
69,100,000
5,400,000
874,100,000

I think that table includes only the national taxation, notlocaL
It amounts to £874,100,000. The revenue of these countries in
1880 was £237,000,000. From 1881 to 1888 the revenue derived in
the way of taxes from these people was £910,000,000, and the public debt was £6,160,000,000. The debt has multiplied tenfold in
ninetv-six years. The annual increase since 1870 has averaged
£118,000,000.
Mr. President, that is the condition of the world, and that is
the condition by which a few individuals, under the system of
banking controlling these national securities, create not gold
money, not silver money, but paper obligations of their own, as
was shown in the settlement of the French debt. So the capital we have to-diy is neither gold nor silver money, but is the
personal obligation and credit of the few individuals of the world
owning great banking establishments.
A few words more, Mr. President, and then I am done. The
thought of the world is not progressing in the direction of "the
monopoly of money, nor in the direction of crystallizing the
powers of government in any form of aristocracy, be it money
or heredity. The great French writer and critic, Kenan, in
568




37
speaking of the destinies of nations, on page 166 of his " Religious
History and Criticism," says:
History demonstrates that there is in human nature a transcendent instinct that urges it towards a nobler aim. The development of man is inexplicable on the hypothesis that man is only a being with an already finished
destiny, virtue only a refined egotism, religion but a chimera. Let us work
on, then.
*

#

#

*

*

*

*

Prepare for our country generations ripe for all that makes the glory and
the ornament of life. Beware of rash enthusiasms, and remember that liberty is won only by earnestness, respect for ourselves and others, devotion
to the common weal, and to the special work that each of us in this world is
called upon to establish or to continue.

Human destiny is the most poetic of all, and it mutely appeals
tp Heaven for relief. The destiny which has heretofore been assigned the great mass of the people has been suffering and sorrow and degradation. That is the prevailing sentiment of these
great American people. We want earnestness, we want new
policies, we want, as Mr. Jeiferson said, a restraint upon the
tendencies which crystallize power in moneyed institutions, which
control even the organisms of republican government adversely
to the interests of the great masses of the people.
The September number of the American Journal of Politics
contains an article which is applicable to the present condition
of things, from which I read the following:
In commencing, we stated that the social problems of the day increasingly
center about the fact of the existence of corpora :ions, public and private; we
here modify that statement, by adding that the center is gradually shifting
from the fact of the existence of public corporations to the fact of the existence of private corporations. The term "private corporation " needs here
no formal definition. Railroad, banking, and insurance corporations are
familiar illustrations.
The religion and the philosophy of the day unite in the belief, at any rate
the hope, that the sum of human pleasure is continually on the increase, the
gum of human pain continually on the decrease. This involves the supposition that the sum of industrial activities is continually on the increase,
the sum of militant activities continually on the decrease. But if our previous conclusions are sound, it follows that the functions exercised by public
corporations, that is, political .governments, are, as a rule steadily on the
decline; that the functions exercised by private corporations, that is, private
industrial corporations, are steadily on the increase.
The president of the New York Central Railroad Company is, so far as concerns his office, a person of far more prestige and influence than the mayor
of the city of New York or the governor of the State of New York; the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company than the mayor of Philadelphia
or governor of Pennsylvania.
These and many other facts are merely surface indications of the great underlying fact that the functions hitherto exercised by public corporations
are silently but gradually coming to be exercised by private corporations.
It is in this way, indeed, that the whole problem of civil-service reform, in*
eluding the problem of municipal reform, is to find solution. Abuses of the
functions of political governments will disappear simply by reason of such
functions gradually falling into " innocuous desuetude."

Mr. President, what does that mean? That means the restoration of the barbaric government of the Middle Ages, of former
times; that means that the functions of government shall be the
privilege of classes, of corporations, of citizens having only charters of incorporation to perform the great public uses of society
and business—to impose taxes without representation; that means
the ten billions of indebtedness that a few citizens have imposed,
with the power of taxation, upon the people of this country for
transportation and locomotion without representation, they
propose now to take payment out of the wheat, the corn, and the
other crops of the labor of the people of this country for five bil568




38
lions of money never expended, and without representation, without voice, and without influence in its control. That means the
disappearance of the functions of this body.
Mr. President, against all these influences and instrumentalities I think we all intend to oppose whatever influence we may
exert. I believe it is not the sentiment of any true American
citizen that this shall be done, and we do not propose, by a single
gold standard, or by an expanded paper currency, or by any
other means, that the power of the Government shall be transferred to private citizens under the form of corporations.
If this be not true, then we have reached the condition of
Roman civilization, when wealth had become the controlling
influence of society. Haw ceased to be of any value. A suitor
must deposit a bribe before a trial could be had. The social
fabric was a festering mass of rottenness. The people had be•come a populace, the aristocracy was denounced, the city was a
hell. No crime that the annals of human wickedness can show
Tvas left unperpetrated; remorseless murders, the betrayal of
parents, husbands, wives, friends; poisoning reduced to a system;
dissoluteness degenerating into incests, and crimes that can not
be written. Tacitus says:
Tlieholy ceremonies of religion were violated, dissoluteness reigning without control, the adjacent island filled with exiles, rocks and desert places
stained with clandestine murders, and Rome itself a theater of horrors
where nohility of descent and splendor of fortune marked men for destruction, where the vigor of mind that aimed at civil dignities and the modesty
that declined them were offenses without distinction, where virtue was a
crime that led to certain ruin, where the guilt of the informers and the wages
of their iniquity were alike detestable, where the sacerdotal order, the consular dignity, the government of provinces,, and even the cabinet of the prince
were seized by that execrable race as their lawful prey. Where nothing was
sacred, nothing safe from the hand of rapacity. Where slaves were suborned,
or by their own malevolence excited against their masters. Where f reedmen
betrayed their patrons, and he who had lived without an enemy died by the
treachery of a friend. (Page 194 of the Two Republics.)
563




O