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If you do this work faithfully and well, the people will bless the memory of this
Congress for generations and generations to come. If you do it ill, they will undo
what you have done, and they will not only sweep from the statute book the unjust
law which you have written there, but they will drive forever from power and place
the recreant representatives who have betrayed their confidence and disappointed
their hopes. [Applause.]







AUGUST 14, 1 8 9 3 .




S P E E C H





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

Mr. BAILEY said:
Mr. SPEAKER: My distinguished friend from Tennessee [Mr.
PATTERSON] might have extended his Biblical history and reminded the House that the leader who had brought the children
of Israel in sight of the promised land never lived to enter it.
[Laughter.] I have, Mr. Speaker, been not a little diverted by
the change in the arguments of our friends on the other side,
and, as I heard the distinguished gentleman from New York
[Mr. HENDRIX] on Saturday last describe what he called the
"evolution of finance," I could not avoid thinking that some
financiers had been undergoing that same process of evolution.
[Laughter.] Up to within the past few months it was not common to find a pronounced advocate of the single standard in this
country. The men who denounced silver and demanded its
demonetization professed themselves to be bimetallists, but insisted that the ratio between the two metals could only be fixed
by an international agreement; along this line the argument proceeded until now, and when they think that they have brought the
people up to that point, they go a stage further, and beginning
with the distinguished gentleman from Maryland [Mr. RAYNER],
who opened this debate, one after another their leaders have
declared that even an international agreement can not preserve
the parity of these two metals. If they succeed in destroying
silver money in this country now, ten years from to-day not one
of them will vote for its rehabilitation under any circumstances.
Mr. Speaker, if the bill and substitute now pending before this
House involved the use or disuse of silver as money in this country alone, it would be difficult to overstate their importance, and
their importance is intensified many fold when we consider that
the effect of our decision here will be practically to decide this
question throughout the world, and perhaps for all time to come.
Gentlemen on the other side, at least, will not find it convenient to deny this view of the situation, because their argument of
most frequent repetition is that the United States, even with
the aid of other silver-using countries, can not maintain our
double standard. If this be true, then it certainly must follow
that the other countries, without the aid of the United States,
can not maintain their single silver standard. And so it is, that

whatever the form in which it may he presented, the great issue
which confronts us, is the preservation or destruction of silver
as a money metal amongst all nations.
I have been puzzled to understand why the representatives of
a free people should desire such a result. I am aware, of course,
that each of the two schools of monometallists gives us a different
reason for the faith which they both profess. One school contents
itself with the scholastic argument that the double standard is
absurd. But, Mr. Speaker, it appears to me to be assuming
very much—more, indeed, than any man in this day and generation is justified in assuming—to stigmatize a policy established
by Alexander Hamilton, with the concurrence of Washington
and Jefferson, as an absurdity. And especially so, sir, when that
policy was continued in successful operation for more than eighty
years, and those years, whether tested by the increase or by the
distribution of our wealth, the most prosperous in our history.
I prefer to receive my instruction on financial policies from
that period which brought us peace and kept us in contentment,
rather than from a narrow sect of intolerant and "bookish
The other school votes to establish a single standard because
it does not believe that this Government can sustain the double
standard against the practice of what gentlemen choose to call
the commercial nations. Mr. Speaker, I am very free to say that
this argument deserves the most careful consideration, and proceeding- as it does from men with whom I agree on so many questions, I shall attempt to make the best and most dispassionate
answer to it that is within my power.
The serious, and I may say the fatal, vice of this argument is, that
it overestimates the importance of our monetary system as related
io our foreign commerce, and underestimates its importance as
related to our domestic transactions. Our imports and exports
added together aggregated less than $1,800,000,000 during the
last fiscal year, while our dealings with one another in our own
country will exceed this sum by more than twenty times, and it
therefore appears to me too plain for disputation that we can not
in justice to our people ignore the domestic aspect of this question.
Again, sir, in our foreign commerce the usual course of business is that we pay for our imports with our exports. If I send
a shipload of cotton to Liverpool and bring a shipload of cotton
goods back to this country, I can use the money or the exchange
which I receive for my cotton in payment for my cotton goods.
And even if I desire to trade with different countries I can still
attain the same result. If I send a cargo of wheat to London and
bring a cargo of wine from Paris, I can use my London exchange
in payment for my Paris wine.
But, sir, there is another, and, as I think, a stronger answer
still. It is this: In the settlement of international balances we
seldom use either of the precious metals, except when the balance of trade is against us, and this occurs, and ought only to
occur, at rare intervals. When we use them at all we do not
use them as money. If we use gold or silver coin we use it as
bullion and at its bullion value. You might double the amount
of silver in your silver dollar or divide the amount of gold in

your gold dollar without making any possible difference in the
settlement of foreign balances, because they each would be taken
then, as now, according to its weight and fineness.
What difference can it make to me whether the London merchant who owes me $6,000 pays me in six thousand gold dollars,
worth a hundred cents on the dollar, or in ten thousand silver
dollars worth ( O cents on the dollar? It might, indeed, make a
very great difference if you would open your mints, because I
could then coin my silver into American silver dollars, and the
wheat or cotton which I sent abroad would discharge $10,000 of my
debts, while to-day it acquits me of only $6,000.
It has become the fashion, Mr. Speaker, in the discussion of
this question, to lay great stress upon the necessity of all commercial nations conforming to one financial system. Yet, sir, the
history of the very country to which the advocates of this policy
most frequently refer unanswerably refutes their argument.
England for more than fifty years maintained her single gold
standard, while all the countries with which she traded maintained either the single silver standard or the double standard
of both gold and silver. Yet it is not averred in all the volumes
of English history, nor is it asserted in her parliamentary debates, that the difference between her monetary system and that
which prevailed in other countries ever interfered with English
commerce. England adopted a single gold standard in 1816 when
she was exhaust ed in blood and treasure by her long Napoleonic
wars, but she maintained it alone against all the world. Shall we
in the evening of this nineteenth century, with our sixty-five millions of people, with our free institutions, with our measureless
resources, and with a wealth surpassing even the dream of Oriental fable, confess ourselves unequal to an easier task ? To do
so would be an impeachment of the wisdom of American statesmanship and a calumny upon American energy and American

Mr. Speaker, great as the temptation is to pursue this argument of the monometallists further, I must desist; and I crave
the indulgence of the House while I submit to it what I conceive
to be the real purpose which inspires this last and greatest attack upon the silver money of the world. I do not mean to impute such motives to gentlemen on this floor; but I entertain
no sort of doubt that the men who are behind this movement are
simply striving to double the value of the money which will be
left by destroying one-half of the money which now exists.
It is within the knowledge of every member of this body that
this question of a standard assumed no special signific nice until
after the gold discoveries in California, followed shortly afterward by those in Australia; and in the earlier stages of the controversy the avowed and only object of demonetizing either metal
was to enhance the value of the met il which remained. In support of this assertion I send to the Clerk's desk an extract from
the official resume of the French Monetary Commission of 1869,
which I will ask him to read.

The Clerk read as follows:

There has been a striking coincidence between the rise of prices and the
production of the new mines of gold and silver. The annual production of

the two metals, which was only $80,000,000 in 1847, exceeds now $200,000,000. It
has nearly tripled, and it is easy to see that the real value of the metals has
diminished. It is difficult to estimate exactly what the diminution is; hut
whatever it may be, it demands the attention of governments, because it
affects unfavorably all that portion of the population whose income, remaining nominally the same, undergoes a yearly diminution of purchasing power.
As governments control the weight and standard of money, they ought, so
far as possible, to assure its value. And as it is admitted that the tendency
of the metals is to depreciate, this tendency should be arrested by demonetizing one of them.

Mr. B A I L E Y . The concluding sentences of this paragraph,
Mr. Speaker, state the doctrine of the monometallists, which is
that whenever the accidents of mining threaten to increase the
volume of money, and thus reduce its value, the Government
should interfere for their protection.
In 1873 the monetary commission of the Netherlands convened
and adopted the same reasoning. Two years after that, and one
year after silver had been demonetized in this country, we find
Victor Bonnet writing to the French Journal of Economy that—•
What the world has to fear is not so much the scarcity of gold as the decline in the value of all money, if we keep both the precious metals in use
as money.

It is true that the effort to demonetize gold—and the first effort
was in that direction—proceeded upon an exaggerated estim ite
of the production of gold and silver in the new mines. Mr. Buggies, who was a delegate from the United States to the International Monetary Conference at Paris in 1867, declared to that
body that the production of the precious metals in this country
alone, long before the close of this century, would reach three or
four hundred million dollars, and insisted that the work of s ' unification"—which was but another expression for the destruction
of one metal—could not commence too soon.
I have here a book which comprises a series of articles contributed to the current prints in 1851, 1855, and 1856, and it was
deemed a work of such merit that Richard Cobden, the great
apostle of free trade in England, translated it from the French
into his own language. It was written by one of the most brilliant Frenchmen of his day, to persuade his countrymen to the
demonetization of gold. He urged that course expressly upon
the ground that the production of the precious metals in the
new mines of the world had so greatly increased the store of
metallic money that the only way to maintain its value was to
destroy the money quality of one of the metals.
After discussing the effect of the discovery of these new mines,
and predicting a continued increase in their production, he closes
the chapter in these words:
Under circumstances similar to those which I have hurriedly enumerated,
the only way to prevent a fall in the value of gold and a consequent rise in
the price of all other commodities, would be the discovery of a new demand
equal in extent to the increased supply thrown upon the markets of the western world.

His theory was that gold must be demonetized or a new demand found for it. He preferred its demonetization, and Germany, accepting his theory, actually demonetized it in 1857.
England had previously adopted the single gold standard, and as
its demonetization would depress the value of all money in her
borders, she hesitated. She appointed a commission and sent
it to California and Austraii i for the purpose of examining

their mines and reporting- on the extent and richness of their
deposits. That re port was such as to disarm the fear of England
about the increase of those mines. Before a final conclusion was
reached, however, the discovery of the great Cornstock mine,
followed by the opening of other silver mines, rendered it certain that the annual supply of silver would soon again exceed the
annual supply of gold, and straightway the usurers of the world
cried out that silver must be stricken down!
in 1872, the year before the war against silver was inaugurated
here, the production of our silver mines reached $28,000,000—a
greater sum than ever before in their history, and at the same
time the production of gold had fallen lower than during any
year since the discovery in California. The same condition prevailed elsewhere as here; the scale of silver production was a
rising one; the scale of gold production was a falling one, and
with unblushing impudence the men who for twenty years had
been demanding that gold should be demonetized at once reversed
their position and demanded the demonetization of silver. They
were then, however, as their disciples are now, true to the interests of their clients and anxious to demonetize the most abundant
metal. The policy which Chevalier taught is still being pursued.
England and Germany could not agree in the demonetization of
gold, but they have agreed to find a new demand for it, and they
are everywhere united in their efforts to destroy silver as money
and thus create the necessity of filling that vacuum with gold.
Of course, Mr. Speaker, the present advocates of monometallism
in this country disclaim all purpose or desire to increase the
value of money®by reducing its quantity. Giving them the benefit of that disclaimer, let us judge them by the effect of their
conduct, without reference to their motives. There is not one
amongst them who will venture to affirm before this House that
the amount of money in any country does not largely determine
its purchasing power. There is no great writer on the subject
of political economy who does not lay it down as a primary law
in the science of money that as you increase its volume you diminish its value, and as you diminish its volume you increase
its val ue. This was the doctrine of Ricardo, who declares that by
limiting its quantity coin can be raised to any conceivable value.
It was the doctrine of John Stuart Mill. It is the doctrine asserted in many places by Mr. Walker in his excellent work on
money. Indeed, I do not believe that any writer of respectable
authority can be found who denies it. And if it is true, then
whatever may be the motives which actuate our friends in advocating a gold standard, the effect of their procedure must be
to increase the value of money by reducing its quantity.

But, Mr. Speaker, it is a waste of time to detain this House
in arguing that to make money scarcer makes it higher, and I
pass to a consideration of the results which will follow the
enactment of this bill into a Law. An important and practical
effect will be that an indescribable scramble for gold will ensue
at once. There is not in the world enough gold to furnish France,
Great Britain, Germany, the United States, and Austria with as
much gold as France has to-day. Where, then, will the other

nations of the world procure the gold with which to establish
their gold standard? Procure it they must, and will, but in doing so they can neither acquire enough for their own use nor
will they leave enough for the use of the nations from which they
take it.
Mr. Ricardo asserts that the precious metals will be distributed among the nations of the world according to their commercial needs. He does n )t contend that each nation will acquire
enough for all its needs, but only that the stock of money in each
country will bear the same proportion to its needs as the stock
of money in other countries bears to their needs. This proposition has passed into the science of money as a fixed law, and according to it, if all countries adopt the gold standard, a redistribution of gold must occur. The dullest man in this House does
not need to be told the consequences of this. The operation would
manifest itself first in a tendency to limit purchases and increase
sales on the part of all those countries which find it necessary
or desirable to obtain gold. Nowhere is this tendency exhibited
more plainly than in a recent report of the Treasury Dep irtment,
which shows that during the last fiscal year our exports have
fallen off more than two hundred millions and our imports have
increased over ninety millions, as compared with the previous
one. Allowing $50,000,000 for the mistake which is said to have
been made, our imports for the last fiscal year still exceed our
imports during the previous one by more than $40,000,000.
W e have another and impressive object lesson as to the effect
of gold acquisition by other nations. During tha past eighteen
months the English banks, under the advice of Mr. Goschen, have
been increasing their gold reserves. Austria-Hungary has been
buying gold to complete the establishment of a gold standard.
Under the influence of these two d 3mands we have exported something more than one hundred millions of gold, and the country
is threatened with a panic. Yet with a strange infatuation, gentlemen who declare that these evils are attributable to our exportation of gold are advocating a policy which is certain to
more than double that exportation.
They tell us that we can go into the open markets of the world
with our bonds and buy gold enoagh to insure the safety of our
gold reserve; but if this bill becomes a law you will meet the
other nations of th j earth in these same markets, with their
bonds in their hands, trying to sell them for gold. Not only
this: but the individual debtor in every country which undertakes
to change its basis will be called upon by his bank to cancel his
indebtedness, so that the bank can provide its gold reserve.
The waters of every sea will be white with the sail of ships
seeking a market in wThich they can exchange their produce and
th ir merchandise for gold. The great mass of property thus
forced upon the markets, coupled with the enormous demand for
money, will reduce the price of all property to well nigh the
point of confiscation. The combination of these two forces -this
unprecedented offer of goods and this unprecedented demand for
money—will be followed by a greater and more sudden divergence
between the value of money and the price of commodities than
has ever before been witnessed in the history of the world.
Under these circumstances the only thing which can avert a

universal and destructive panic is that the silver-using1 nations,
perceiving the danger, will undertake the gradual adoption of a
gold standard. This, while it will not subtract anything from the
total suffering imposed upon the debtor class, will render their
misery less acute by distributing it over a longer length of time.
It is not denied, and can not be successfully denied, that a law of
this kind works a hardship upon the creditors of any country by
requiring more of their property to pay their debts. But we are
told that they ought to be willing to suffer this single misfortune, however great it may be, in order to establish a sound and
permanent system, and we are assured that these bad effects are
only temporary. Mr. Speaker, that is but a partial view of the
subject. This bill, if it becomes a law will inflict a great and permanent injury upon all classes of our people except the moneylending class and the class whose incomes are fixed. I mean by
this that a contraction in the volume of our currency must be followed by a contraction in the volume of our business. No subtlety about a standard of value and no refinement about the use
of credits can convince me against the truth of this proposition.
I know there is not an intelligent banker in the United States who
would retire one-half of his capital and still attempt to transact
his business undiminished in amount. I know that there is not a
merchant or manufacturer so mad as to believe that he can withdraw one-half of his capital from his business without contracting his business to answer the reduction of his capital.
Even, sir, if we consider money merely as a medium of exchange,
it still must be admitted that the amount of money ought to bear
some fair correspondence to the exchanges which it is expected
to perform. Of course there are credit devices which economize
its use, but they derive their value from the fact that they are
promises to pay in the money of ultimate redemption. Take
the money of final payment from behind the checks and drafts
about which we hear so much, and they would not be worth the
clean paper on which they are written. The amount of our
money must determine the amount and the value of the credits
which we can use. No reasonable man, of course, expects a dollar in money to support every dollar of credit, but every sensible
man knows that the more money we have, the safer our credit
All great writers on political economy affirm that money is
necessary in the development of civilization and the extension
of commerce; that without it there can be no division of labor,
with its resulting skill and other benefits. Concede that proposition, and it follows as a corollary that enough money is
necessary to attain the highest development of civilization and
the greatest extension of commerce, and when we restrict the
amount of money below the requirements of the people we obstruct the progress of mankind.
Gold alone can not furnish a sufficient supply of money to meet
the necessities of commerce and civilization. There is not onehalf enough of it now, and the supply as compared with the demand is diminishing. During the last year its entire production
was about $133,000,000. Of this amount, something like $33,000,000 were produced by the silver mines; this source of supply will
be lost when the silver mines are closed and the world will be left



w i t h an annual increase of about $100,000,000. Of this amount it is
estimated that m o r e than $70,000,000 will b e annually c o n s u m e d
in t h e arts and in dentistry, leaving- about $30,000,000 f o r m o n e y
uses, and this is not e n o u g h to r e p l e n i s h the losses and t h e abrasion f r o m the presant stock.
M r . S p e a k e r , I shudder to c o n t e m p l a t e the e f f e c t of this catast r o p h e upon m y r a c e . A stagnation of business and a paralysis
of industry m u s t f o l l o w it. A n o t h e r l o n g n i g h t of intellectual
darkness and political d e g r a d a t i o n will settle d o w n upon t h e
w o r l d ; and t h e r e is now no n e w A m e r i c a whose d i s c o v e r y will r e illume the ages and unfetter c o m m e r c e . A n e m i n e n t h i s t o r i a n ,
in a passage w h i c h can not be t o o f r e q u e n t l y repeated, ascribes
t h e g r e a t disasters b e g i n n i n g w i t h t h e fifth c e n t u r y to a failure
in the supply of the p r e c i o u s metals. I send to the C l e r k ' s d e s k
a quotation f r o m S i r A r c h i b a l d A l i s o n ' s H i s t o r y of E u r o p e , w h i c h
I w i l l ask h i m to read.
T h e C l e r k read as f o l l o w s :
The two greatest ©vents which have occurred In the history of mankind
have been directly brought about by a successive contraction and expansion
of the circulating medium of society. The fall of the Roman Empire, so
long ascribed, in ignorance, to slavery, heathenism, and moral corruption,
was in reality brought about by a decline in the silver and gold mines of Spain
and Greece. * * * And as if Providence had intended to reveal in the
clearest manner the influence of this mighty agent on human affairs, the
resurrection of mankind from the ruin which these causes had produced was
owing to the directly opposite set of agencies being put in operation. Columbus led the way in the career of renovation; when he spread his sails across
the Atlantic he bore mankind and its fortunes in his bark. * * * The
annual supply of the precious metal for the use of the globe has tripled;
before a century had expired the price of every species of produce was
quadrupled. The weight of debt and taxes insensibly wore off under the influence of that prodigious increase; in the renovation of industry the relations of society were changed, the weight of feudalism cast off, the rights of
man established. Among the many concurring causes which conspired to
bring about this mighty consummation, the most important, though hitherto the least observed, was the discovery of Mexico and Peru.
Mr. B A I L E Y . I have here [exhibiting a book] the earliest
treatise written in f a v o r of a s i n g l e standard, and w h i l e t h e a u t h o r does not attempt to trace the causes w h i c h p r o d u c e d t h e
d a r k ages, h e c o r r o b o r a t e s M r . A l i s o n as to the a g e n c i e s w h i c h
r e v i v e d c o m m e r c e , t h e arts, and l e a r n i n g . A f t e r d e s c r i b i n g the
d i s c o v e r y of A m e r i c a , and t r a c i n g t h e p r o g r e s s of m i n i n g up to
1545, h e p r o c e e d s in the passage w h i c h I will ask t h e C l e r k to
T h e C l e r k read as f o l l o w s :
From 1545 the scene changes. In one of the gloomiest deserts on the face
of the globe, in the midst of the rugged and inhospitable mountain scenery
of upper Peru, chance revealed to a poor Indian who was guarding aflockof
llamas a mine of silver of incomparable richness. A crowd of miners was
instantly attracted by the report of the rich deposits of ore spread over the
sides of this mountain of Potoccho, a name which for euphony the European
nations have since changed to Potosi. The exportation of the precious metals from America to Europe now rose rapidly to an amount which equaled,
weight for weight, 60,000,000 francs (£2,400,000) of our day, and it afterwards
rose even to upwards of 80,000.000. Afrthat time such a mass of gold and
silver represented a far greater amount of riches than at present.
Under the influence of so extraordinary a supply the value of these precious metals declined in Europe in comparison with every other production
of human industry, just as would be the case with iron or lead if mines
were discovered which yielded those metals in superabundance as compared
with their present consumption, and at much less cost of labor than previously; just, in fact, as occurs in the case of manufactures of every kind
whenever, by improved processes or from natural causes of a novel kind,
they can be produced in unusual quantities and at a great reduction of cost

This fall in the value of gold and silver, in comparison with all other productions, revealed itself by the increased quantity of coined metal which it
was necessary to give for the generality of other articles, and it was thus
that the working of the mines of America had necessarily for effect a general rise of prices; in other words, they made all other commodities dearer

Mr. B A I L E Y . Mr. Speaker, I could multiply these evidences
until I had exhausted my own strength and the patience of the
House, but these seem sufficient to establish my contention.

Now, sir, upon what theory are we invited to subject our countrymen to these appalling consequences? Upon the inconclusive
and unsatisfactory argument that the market value of gold and silver fluctuates. Gold and silver fluctuated in 1792, when our
mint was established, but Alexander Hamilton, after long and
careful consideration of the whole question, decided in favor of
the double standard, and gave as his reason that—
To annul the use of either of these metals is to abridge the quantity of
the circulating medium, and is liable to all the objections which arise from
the comparison of the benefits of a full with the evils of a scanty circulation.

I do not deny, sir, that there is, and always will be, some difficulty in adjusting and maintaining any given parity between the
two metals; but I regard that difficulty as insignificant when
compared with the evils which must result from reducing the
world to an insufficfent supply of money. Fluctuation in market
value is not an insurmountahe obstacle. Surely there is wisdom
enough in the American Congress to meet and solve these difficulties as they may rise. Free coinage itself will powerfully contribute toward correcting fluctuation and settling the relative
value of the two metals.
It is nonsense to tell me that a law which permits me to coin
4121 grains of standard silver into a debt-paying dollar will not
greatly enhance the price of silver. It will, at ler-st, render it
more valuable in the payment of debts, and while the advocates
of gold seem to have entirely overlooked the function which
money performs as a standard of deferred payments, many of
our profoundest thinkers on the subject regard this function as
secondary to none of money's other uses.
Almost every gentleman who has spoken upon the other side,
in discussing this phase of the question, has fallen into the curious contradiction of first asserting that this Government, acting
alone, can not raise the price of silver bullion, and then in almost
the next sentence declaring that if we enter upon a policy of free
coinage the silver of all the world will flow into our mints. Both
propositions can not possibly be correct, because there could be
no inducement for silver to come here unless a free-coinage law
had raised it above its present price.
It is beyond dispute, however, that a free-coinage law will increase its price, and it is barely possible that its first impulse
may be in this direction. But will it come in any considerable
quantities? Nobody now pretends to believe that the silver coin
of the Old World will be brought to our mints, because 15i
ounces of their silver coin will buy 1 ounce of gold, while here
it will require 16 ounces to buy an ounce of gold, thus entailing
a loss of more than 3 per cent, in addition to the freight and the
risk which must be incurred in bringing it across the ocean.

"The only practical question for us to consider in this connection, is as to silver bullion, and it will help us toward a clearer
understanding of that to recall the amount and the conditions of
its production. During the last year the world produced about
$175,000,001) worth of silver bullion. Of this amount the United
States produced about $75,000,000, leaving $100,000,000 produced
by ail the other countries. Of this $10U,000,000 not less than
$30,000,000 will be consumed in the arts and as subsidiary coin
by gold-standard countries, leaving only $70,000,000 for full
monetary us^s. Will that $70,000,000 come to our mints? I do
not believe it will, because I believe that the silver-standard
countries will need it to increase their circulation, and in order to ret*tin it they will find themselves obliged to pay a price
sufficient to keep it. It will be the same case as might happen
with our wheat. If the wheat crop of Europe fails, the price
of wheat advances here, and we are glad to sell our surplus at
the advanced price; but when our surplus is gone our sales ara
practically ended, because whatever price they might offer us
for that part of our crop which we need for home consumption
we can not and will not sell it. The more the foreigner offers
lor it, the more our own people would be compelled to pay because they can not part with their bread. So it would be with
silver—whatever its price might be, foreign countries which
nee I it to increase their circulation would be forced to retain it
for that purpose.
W e often hear it asserted that it is not demonetization, but
the difference in the amount of their productions, which has
caused the displacement of the parity between gold and silver.
This can not be true, for if this were the explanation the same
cause would have produced the same effect at other periods.
During the nearly fifty years from 1801, when Mr. Jefferson
became President, until after the gold discovery in California
and Australiain 1848, the production of silver more than doubled
the production of gold throughout the world, but their parities
were without violent variations. Almost in a single year their
relative production was reversed, and for a series of years the
production of gold was more than twice the production of silver,
ana still their ratios were not seriously disturbed.
From 1687, the time when the world began to renew its liberties and its commercial vigor, down to 1873, when the silver
dollar wis dropped from our list of coins, the ratio between
.gold and silver fluctuated, but it never fell as low as 14 to 1, and
never rose as high as 16 to 1, except in the two years of 1812-'13.
They were both f, 11 money metals during that period; but since
1873, when one wrs left a money and the other degraded to a
commodity, the ratio has risen from less than 16 to 1 to more
than 27 to 1. The market value of gold and silver varies to-day
so widely b3cause one is a full money metal and the other is a
commodity, and their value will continue to vary so long as this
relation continues. The way. and the only way, to elevate and
steady the price of silver is to open your mints to its free
and unlimited coinage, and thus create, as a great nation like
this easily can, an unlimited demand for silver at its coining


Mr. Speaker, it may not be improper for me to conclude my
part of this discussion with a hasty glance at the classes who are
to be benefited or injured by the enactment of this measure,
which destroys a portion of the money of the world. The French
Monetary Commission in 1869 declared that demonetization was
for the benefit of those whose incomes are fixed. One of the
earliest advocates of the single standard, discussing it in a country where the people did not rule and where, therefore, the object of all legislation and its effects could be frankly admitted,
declares the same thing in a passage which I send to the Clerk's
desk to be read.
The Clerk read as follows:

All commodities excepting gold, and every kind of property excepting that
of which the income is from the present fixed, as is the case with the Government funds, ought, from the moment that the monetary crisis is terminated,
to have attained in a gold currency double the price which they are at presentworth, upon the supposition, quite arbitrarily, I admit, of the depreciation reaching 50 per cent. Thus, a house or a landed estate now worth £4,000,
or 100,000 francs, would then sell ior £8,000, or 200,000 francs.
The hectoliter of corn or of wine, the quintal of iron, or the meter of calico
will undergo the same rise, at least if no change conducive to cheapness be
introduced into the conditions of their production or into the relation between the supply and demand. It will be the same eventually with the
wages of labor, and with all personal services, whether rendered in the factory or on the farm, or from the liberal professions; we are warranted in believing that their value will have doubled.
Thus, as a definite analysis, the proprietors of lands, houses, and other
real estates, manufacturers, merchants, and their auxiliaries of every kind;
public functionaries of all ranks; and also those who follow the different
learned professions, will all find themselves in the end compensated in the
new state of things with advantages equal to those which they now e n j o y all other things being equal. It is another class of "persons, whom we have
previously defined in a general way, who have to" submit to a sacrifice in
proportion to the fall in the precious metal.

Mr. B A I L E Y . Mr. Speaker, the other class of persons whom
this writer says he has previously defined in a general way are
described on a preceding page of the same chapter as the " income class." The proposition asserted here is, that the increase of
money affects all classes favorably except the income class and
the owners of government funds. The converse of the proposition must therefore be true, that a decrease in the amount of
money affects the income class and the owners of government
fundsfavorably and affects all other classes unfavorably. The
authorities are unvarying and unequivocal in declaring that a
decrease in the volume of money benefits nobody except the income class and the holders of government funds, and that the
increase of money benefits everybody except them.
I do not believe, sir, that legislation ought to be shaped for
the benefit of any particular class; but if special privileges must
be conferred by law on somebody, they ought to be conferred in
accordance with the time-honored maxim of Democracy, which
declares the sum of wise government to be comprehended in the
motto: " The greatest good to the greatest number."
It is useless to disguise, or to attempt to disguise, the fact that,
in a large degree, this is a contest between the debtors and the
creditors of the world. The debtors are willing to pay in the
money of their contract, desiring, however, to exercise the option
which the law has allowed them. The creditors are determined
to destroy that option, and thus compel a payment in the more


valuable money, rendered more valuable still by the aid of legislation.
W e have even been pleaded with in this Hall to preserve the
faith of the Government untainted. I trust, sir, that the American Congress needs no such urgence. I do not believe there is a
thoughtful American citizen in this broad land, and surely there
is not an American Representative in this Hall, who does not
unswervingly insist that every contract of his Government shall
be fulfilled religiously and according to its terms.
But, sir, I am no more willing that Congress should take from
the people and give to the bondholders than I am that it shall
take from the bondholders and give to the people. It is one of
those rules which works both ways, and ought to work either
way with equal justice.
Our fathers sold these bonds, and the purchasers had it explicitly nominated in the law th at they were payable in coin of
the standard then existing. Let us pay them precisely as our
fathers agreed to pay them, and to the utmost farthing", even if
it takes the pound of flesh and the heart's best blood goes with it.
This far every honest man should be willing and anxions to go but
not one step farther. The law which authorized the issuance
and sale of these bonds provided that they could be paid in gold
dollars containing 25.8 grains of standard gold or in silver dollars containing 412£ grains of silver nine-tenths fine. This much
I would pay if it impoverished our children, but one scruple more
than this I will never consent to give.
It is a principle of both law and justice, sir, that a contract is
faithfully kept when discharged according to its stipulations.
This principle is as old as this Government—older, indeed, because it was cherished and taught by the wise men in other lands
before the dream of this Republic had ever glorified a patriot's

Sir, I think that, under our form of government, it is just as
important that the Representative should keep his faith with his
constituents as it is that the Government should keep its faith
with our creditors. W e made a formal and a solemn promise
last year that we would use both gold and silver as the standard
money of this country; and, with the talk of " good faith " upon
your lips, are you willing to repudiate your highest obligation?
Sir, the responsibility shall rest not upon us. Neither the
bondholder nor the people shall be able to charge us with bad
faith. W e are not only ready to pay our bonds as we stipulated
to pay them, but we are also ready to redeem the pledge which
we made to the people at the last election and upon which we
sought their suffrages.
W e stand for no partial redemption. W e go for a full, complete,
and perfect performance of both the letter and the spirit of our
I say to the gentleman from West Virginia [Mr. WILSON],
and to those who are acting with him on this question, that if
they will first join us in reestablishing the equality of gold and
silver, both at the mints and before the law, we will then join
them in maintaining that equality in the melting pot as well as
across the counter.

In other words, sir, we will coin for them a silver dollar that
shall stand the test of fire as well as of commerce. Place gold
and silver bullion on precisely the same conditions, and we will
bind ourselves to make and keep the gold and silver dollar of the
same intrinsic value. There is no Democrat here, and there are
no Democrats elsewhere, who demand anything for silver which
they do not readily concede to gold. As for my part, I would
forfeit the goodwill of my people, and retire forever from the
public service, before I would vote, after having restored the
equal privilege of these two metals, to then permit them coined
into dollars of unequal value. My constituents desire no such
arrangement as this.
But, gentlemen, you deceive yourselves as to the temper of the
people on this subject if you imagine that you can pacify them
by shallow declamations about a dishonest dollar. If the present
silver dollar is not an honest one, the people are willing to make
it so, according to any reasonable definition that can be proposed,
and all they ask of you to-day is an opportunity to fairly test the
matter. Will you deny them this? Dare you do so in the face
of your platform? If you do, then when you come again to ask
their confidence and their support they may answer you with
the bitter words of Macbeth about the weird sisters:
And T e these juggling fiends no more believed,
That palter with us in a double sense;
That keep the word of promise to our ear,
And break it to our hope.

You may go on, and in a blind obedience to the commands of
the rich and powerful, you may strike down the money of the
people and destroy the coinage of the Constitution. You may
forget the millions who toil in the workshops and fields of this
land, but they will not forget you. They are patient and longsuffering, but they can not and will not endure all things, and
when the heartless exactions of avarice have ground their faces
into the dust and aggravated their burdens beyond their capacity to bear them, they will arouse themselves to a consciousness of their strength, and then, when it may be too late, you
will find what it is, having sown the wind, to reap the whirlwind.
If you do this work faithfully and well, the people will bless
the memory of this Congress for generations and generations to
come. If you do it ill, they will undo what you have done, and
they will not only sweep from the statute books the unjust law
which you have written there, but they will drive forever from
power and place the recreant representatives who have betrayed
bheir confidence and disappointed their hopes. [Applause.]