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I L L I N O I S ,



A U G U S T 21, 1893.





J . J.


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

Mr. MOD ARNOLD said:
Mr. SPEAKER: There is but a single excuse needed for my
intrusion into this debate. For many days I have listened in
this House to speeches for and against certain governmental
policies, and have yet to hear a single member of the dominant
party take that stand upon the burning question which has caused
this midsummer gathering which I believe is due both to the
people from whom we receive our warrant and to that brave and
courageous Executive from whom issued our call. It may be
tha,t we of the Western prairies have lacked something of the
education which prevails in circles more dominated by foreign
it may be that the eminent statesman and orator from Maryland has gained through contact with older civilizations that insight into governmental policy denied to men who draw their inspiration from cornfields and prairies of grain. But, sir, I should
do injustice to my own convictions and to the earnest beliefs of
my constituents did" I fail to make stern condemnation of the
sentiments by which one wearing the garb of my party seeks to
discredit the organization, and I make this at the opening of my
remarks that it may be taken as my text.
The gentleman says:
In conclusion, sir, I wish to state that as far as I am concerned at this critical era in the history of our country, I am not in the slightest degree disturbed or Intimidated by the glittering catchwords of political conventions.
I am guided by a purer and higher faith. No matter what construction may
be placed on our platlorm, I believe in forever striking from the tenets of
our political creed the superstitious folly that a nation grows rich in proportion to the amount of worthless money it can coin. In place of this idolatry, I would plant high upon our altars, so that ail mankind could read it,
the inscription that we would as soon fall and perish as dishonor any of the
obligations upon which have been imprinted or emblazoned the emblem of
the Republic.

Now, sir, I presume that such assertions may please the ear
and tiokle the fancy of liberal paymasters of older lands. It may
serve to excite laughter and derision of American institutions
in circles where the divine right of kings is recognized. But I
say for the benefit of the gentleman who uttered these words, and
for the benefit of certain editors who have echoed them, that they


do not represent the opinions of that vast aggregation of triumphant Democrats who reversed political conditions in this country last November* These sentiments smack of that spirit which
tempted the Democracy in national convention to worship the
discredited fetish of protection.
Let my answer stand lor that better wisdom which yielded to
the popular demand for reform and gave no recognition to the
infamous policy of robbing the masses for the benefit of the
classes. And as last fall the victory of right in convention
was followed by a logical success in the national contest, so today there should be better possibility of Democratic service to
the people by calling to the attention of their Representatives
certain facts which can not be gainsaid.
I am of those who believe absolutely and unreservedly in
the capacity of this people for self-government. I am of those
who rejoice in the fact that cliques have twice met with signal
rebuke when seeking the overthrow of a statesman who dared
to be right, and to serve the people through the Democratic organization, even when timidity cast before him the possibilityof defeat. Believing this, I ask Democratic Representatives on
this floor to examine the credentials they bear from their constituents. I spurn the insinuation that the Democrats of the
nation indulge in " glittering catchwords." [Applause.]
I know no higher and purer faith for a democratic Representative than can be drjiwn from the expressions of their party
platform. Nor do I believe, if it may be asked that those platforms, speaking the voice of the people, shall be construed solely
by the representatives of national banks on this floor. We have
had too much of that sort of construction from-our friends on
the other side of this House. They made a contract between the
people and the bondholders, specifically promising that a bond
should be paid in " coin," and then the modest national banker
came forward with his construction that " c o i n " meant only
gold. And now representatives of the same class come here and
ask that we show our patriotism and Democracy by allowing national bankers to be once more our schoolmasters, and teach us
the meaning of the simplest terms.
No, sir; I come from a section where national bankers are not
recognized as the most learned or patriotic men of the land.
I have been sent here by a constituency who would resent the
imputation that they went to a national banker for the double
purpose of being fleeced and then educated. We have no hostility to national bankers, as bankers. But our gorge rises when
a national banker turns pedagogue and talks about evolution
and human progress. Gentlemen have a tender regard for the
proprieties on this floor when speaking of their associates. They
carefully place a, bit on their tongues when alluding to members of a coordinate legislative body. But when referring to
that higher power vested in the people, all restraints are cast
aside and naught; recognized save the right to indulge in sarcastic reference to all the people hold dear, and in sneers at expressions which stand for the supreme deliverance of the nation's electorate.

We are in this House representing the Democratic party of
the nation. I do not believe there is a single member on this

side of the- House who would have been victorious at the polls
had he been so bold as to denounce either the candidate or the
platform of the Chicago convention. Holding1 this position we
have at our hands a simple statement of our duty. We are commanded by the Chicago platform to repeal the Sherman law.
We are called together in extra session for this purpose by a
statesman who has never known an inclination to denounce the
solemn expressions of his party as "glittering catchwords."
There is no chance for evasion of this duty save at the expense
of the personal honor of each Representative thus guilty.
The people have demanded that the Sherman law be repealed,
and I am ready now, as I have been since the first day of the session, to vote unconditionally in accordance with these instructions. But I ask those who signify their approbation of this sentiment to withhold their expressions until they shall have had
occasion to determine whether or not they will follow to the logical end of this argument, and make that full performance of their
obligations, than which less will'be disobedience to the people's
demands. I can not symp ithize with thoss gentlemen who quiet
their consciences by a recognition of one portion of the command
of theChicigo convention and tickle hosrile influences by ignoring1 an equally binding clause in the same platform.
I say I am willing to vote this moment for the absolute repeal
of the Sherman law. But, though I will do this asking no promise of future legislation, I am forced to confess that I take this
ground firm in the conviction that other legislation will be thus
made more easy because of the union of men who look to the
people, rather than to their personal employers, for a rule of
I believe there is a fundamental principle underlying the demand of the Chicago convention for the repeal of the Sherman
iniquity. I do not believe that dem md rested on the belief or
thought that the present money stringency might or could be
produced by this single cause. There have been scrambles for
gold ever since Moses left the original monometallist at the foot
of the mountain to build the golden calf for a perverse and ignorant generation. There were panics in the money market
even while the wonderful financier of Republican legislation
was still obscure in the wilds of Ohio.
There was no Sherman law in 1873, nor had there been in 1857.
Nor was it due to the nonexistence of a Sherman law in 1866 that
this people esciped the consequences of an abnormal raising of
the rate of interest by the Bank of England upon the occasion of
the panic resulting from the failure of the banking house of
Overend, Gurney & Co. But, sir, there was a fundamental truth
underlying this demand nevertheless. We of the West have not
been heedless of the discussion of the fiscal question since Grover
Cleveland dared lead his party aright in 1888.
W e have been instant in season and out of season in following
that lead and in presenting to the people the ground of the faith
that was within us. We have demonstrated to the entire satisfaction of a majority of the people of my State that unnecessary
taxation is unjust taxation. We have insisted that the Government had no just power to exercise its fiat for the purpose of
distributing the products of human activity applied to natural


opportunities. We have denied the just power of the Government to place wealth or value of any kind in the pockets of one
class by the exercise of its fiat. We have gained the people's
assent to the affirmation that whenever by its fiat the Government adds to the wealth of an individual or class it by that act
takes unjustly from another individual or class an amount equal
to the improper gift.
Standing upon this ground, the people dominated the Chicago
convention. There was no terror of a financial panic. They
were not actuated by fear lest their banks might break and leave
them with no means of paying their board bills. They were not
a flock of geese terrified by one of the Ohio financier's scarecrows. [Laughter.] They were rather an educated people demanding the return of the Government to its original principles
and the assumption by the Democracy of a leadership logical as
the teachings of Democracy's founder. To-day, sir, there are
none so poor as to do reverence to this silver law to which our
opponents pledged their continued support during the entire
campaign which resulted in a Democratic victory last November.
The charge of the Democratic platform has been confessed
and Republicans vie with those who have never supported the
inf iraous measure in demanding its repeal. But there is this
difference: Democrats ask that this law shall be repealed because it is fundamentally opposed to the principles of their party.
They believe it as wrong and unjust for Congress to purchase
the entire product of silver mines as to pile in Government warehouses the product of field and farm that their price might be
enhanced thereby. Many also understand that all such senseless efforts to influence trade and production will inevitably
work ruin to the people. It required little study or knowledge
of economic truths three years ago to prompt the'prediction that
the effect of the Sherman law would be to diminish the relative
value of the white metal.
The same unvarying law governs in all things. Let it be enacted that the Federal Government will purchase 90 per cent of
all the wheat produced in this country and place it in Government warehouses, and the immediate effect would doubtless be
an advance in the selling price of the commodity. There would
have been created a new demand for which no immediate supply would be available. But the contrary would appear when
one harvest had passed and the Government purch ses were
piled upon last year's crop. The visible supply would be constantly increasing and the selling price as constantly diminishing.
This, however, is not the fundamental principle upon which
we base our opposition to the Sherman law. W e understand
that, under its provisions, the Government is doing for one class
of producers in this country what it neither does nor can do for
all others. It gives by its fiat value to one class in offering an
extended market for their commodities. It is no answer to^this
proposition to say that the effect of the law has been contrary to
this. That was the intent of those who accepted the law in place
of another from which they sought the same result. And the
effect upon the general prosperity is the same, since every dol94


lar lost by the Government in the continuing' decline in the relative value of silver must be borne by the people at large.
It is only an illustration of that principle, which must be
iterated here perhaps for years, that the Government which
gives by its fiat wealth to one class by that act robs all other
classes. Nor is it an answer to this proposition to say that we are
not to be influenced by whatever may be the indirect result of
our action regarding the finances. I have been surprised to hear
from men known all over the country as opponents of protective
tariffs-and they argue that all tariffs are protective—that although it may be true that by reestablishing the free coinage of
silver we by that act bestow wealth upon the mine owners, it
does not follow that we must refrain from the act because this is
an incident to a necessary exercise of the legislative power.
Let me tell these gentlemen so arguing that thejr are on the
wrong side of the House. They should join their friends in the
ranks of protection. And let me remind them that the discussion of the principles of protection has gone so far as to have
created a strong demand all over the country for the entire abolition of the system which forces such absurdity into our legislation. It is for those thus arguing to demonstrate the necessity
for the addition of the legal-tender element to either of the socalled precious metals.
But I am asked if I am opposed both to the purchase of silver
by the Government, and—if my argument is to be followed to
its logical conclusion—am also opposed to its admission to tho
mints upon any ratio, how shall we who accept the Democratic
faith and bind ourselves as the accredited agents of the people do
anything to restore or maintain the parity of the two metals?
The answer is revealed in a simple statement of existing conditions.
, There was signal failure attending the attempt to coin a certain amount of silver per month. The added use did not compensate for the rapidly increasing supply, and silver decreased in
relative price. The attempt to bull the market under the Sherman law was equally a failure. We have come to a parting of
the ways. It might have been difficult to attract public attention had the relative value of the two metals been maintained
within a small fraction. With but 4 or 5 per cent difference
between the value of the commodity in the gold and silver dollars
it might have been held by some with a show of truth that the
people could well afford to bs robbed of that difference in favor
of the mine owners because of the advantages to arise from a
steadily increasing volume of circulating medium to keep pace
with increasing production. It might have been argued with
much force to those who appreciate the constantly increasing
command of accumulated wealth over future production that by
this act the producers of the country would be in a large degree
protected against the encroachments of combinations of capital.
But, sir, that argument falls to the ground in the face of the
silver market of to-day. It fails to convince thoughtful men
when it demands that mine owners shall receive 100 cents for
less than 58 cents. It has, in my judgment, been one of the
happy incidents of the operation of an unjust law that the peo*
pie have received an object-lesson well worth all its cost. There94

fore, sympathizing, as I do, with those who demand tfyat the
people be furnished by the Government with a larger volume of
money, I am as sternly opposed to the further coinage of silver
as a means of maintaining its parity with gold as I am to its
further purchase under the Sherman law. I find warrant for
this position in the simple fact that every principle of sociology
is opposed to this scheme. Nor are we left to a continuance of
old methods whose failure has led to present conditions.
I understand, sir, that value resides largely in use. I hold to
the unvarying action of the law of supply and demand. That
this law applied equally to money as to commodities was fully
appreciated by the friends of " honest money," whose spokesman
confessed from his seat in the United States Senate, "It was
our policy as the war progressed to depreciate the value of
United States notes," and who then proceeded to show that the
dominant political party at that time understood the op3ration
of this law by explaining that they did the most natural thing—
they simply took away one of the uses of the greenbacks issued
at that time. And the same gentleman afterwards showed once
more that he fully appreciated the value of this law as applied
to finance when he led his party in the opposite direction and
" appreciated " the greenbacks after the war had closed by securing to them even more than their old functions.
I make this reference, not because there is necessity to demonstrate the existence and universality of this law, but that the
gentlemen on the other side of this House need not challenge the
acumen of their patron financial saint by denying that such a law
can apply to money, which is not a commodity but merely a creation of law.
And in passing it may be well to offer still another proof that
this law is always appealed to when the people are to be defrauded by those gentlemen who avow themselves the sole defenders of honest money." The world has seen of late the result
of depriving silver of one of its former uses. Concealed in the
cunning compromise devised by the same gentleman who avowed
that it was his party's purpose to depreciate the value of the
money paid to the nation's defenders u as the war progressed,"
the complete demonetization of silver as a money metal under
the Sherman law destroyed one of its uses*
The price of the white metal temporarily rose during the first
months, but more rapidly declined when the true inwardness of
tfye scheme had become patent to the people. v Silver had been
deprived of one of its uses and its value, and selling had declined
in accordance with the law of supply and demand. There ifc no
ground upon which these acts may be defended by attributing
to the gentlemen responsible for them a lack of knowledge.
Their spokesman has told the world in a single sentence that
ignorance c.\n not be made a cloak for his actions. These men
will never be sent by an enlightened and conscientious jury to a
lunatic asylum.
Having, then, destroyed the parity of the two metals in the
very act in which it was pharisaically pretended that the parity
was to be maintained, and having done this by a cunning following of an economic law once before employed for the plunder of
the people and the enrichment of monopolists, why may not the
same law now be put into operation for the purpose of restoring

the destroyed parity in the only possible way open to intelligent legislators by taking also from the yellow metals its money
function, leaving both on a parity of use as mere commodities?
I would coin for all who desire metal money both gold and
silver upon any ratio that may be acceptable—and it makes no
possible difference—and would then remove from all coins after*
a fixed date the legal tender quality. Contracts made in " lawful money and legal tender" should be discharged in the same
way the nation discharged its obligations to the soldiers and
sailors during the war. Contracts made in other terms should
be discharged in accordance therewith. [Applause.]
From and after the date named no coin should be received by
the Government in payment of any dues; none should be paid
by the Government for any debts and demands. But I would ask
one single exception, that the Government shall have the privilege of paying every dollar of its interest-bearing obligations in
coin. No Republican friend of 14 honest money " shall ever raise
the finger of ignorant scorn at me and say that I would violate
the conditions of a contract. That crime shall, so far as my
action'is concerned, always remain affixed to the Republican
party of the nation, and to it alone. It has well earned the.distinction. Let no one compete for the infamy. [Applause.]
No, sir; I would pay every dollar of the nation's interest-bearing bonds in coin. That is the language of the existing contract.
True, it was a contract made ex post jftcto for the benefit of the
bondholder, as was also confessed by the Republican financial
saint. And it is well to remind those gentlemen here who so
glibly mouth the words 4 4 honest monev " that the greatest political crimes of the century have been those which lie at the door
of their class. They devised the infamous legislation which
gave the soldier rags while providing refined gold for the greedy
money lord. [Applause.]
It was their crime that paid a million soldiers the money of
the country, and then depreciated its value by act of Congress.
It was their idea of political and financial honesty under which
the people saw an army, returning victorious, forced to pay three
times the amount of the debt contracted in the conduct of the
war. And yet, sir, I would pay .this debt in coin. We will hold
them to the contract, and heartily enjoy their ravings as we tender them the coin of the bond, and refuse them that for which
they even now exchange the yellow metal at a discount. [Applause.]
Snap cameras will be in demand when Mr. Pluto finds himself
denied the derided greenback if the country should, for once, insist upon the full performance of a contract made for his benefit.
Possibly the time will come. It most surely will if we pursue
the only possible method of restoring the lost parity between
these two metals. And then, possibly, the country may discover that something better is expected of the memtiers of Congress thin an attempt to interfere with laws of trade or to substitute their enactments foif the law of supply and demand in
determining the exact ratio of any two or more commodities
with each other.
Of course, the friend of "honest money" will now be alarmed
lest we lose all chance of settling that most senseless of humbugs , the balance of trade. He will demand, * * Ho w will you settle

the balance of trade"? The answer would be comprehended by
un intelligent boy in a primary school. It may have to be illustrated to the frightenc d defender of "honest money." It will not
make it any more difficult to export gold for these alleged balances if we cease to hoard it as a false basis for our circulating
medium. If that pile of idle coin in the Treasury were cast out
into the channels of trade it might flow to foreign countries and
back again in a constantly moving tide and never disturb the
relations of commodities in this country if it possessed no legaltender quality here.
It is the most absurd of all propositions that we are enabled to
export gold by a policy which locks up the entire product of
more than three years in the vaults of the Treasury. It passes
comprehension that sane men should propose to .increase this
hoard at a time when the money market is in such a stite that
laws are broken every day with impunity lest their execution
increase the panic caused by an attempt to maintain a system of
44 honest money," under which the Government promises the impossible and then wonders that the people are periodically panicstricken when they discover the fact. [Applause.]
And I shall be confronted with still another cry from the caverns of the bankers. They will declaim against the danger of
being reduced to the level of silver-using countries. Sir, the
people of this generation have learned lessons in finance that have
not come from men with bank accounts. They recall- the fact
that the most gigantic war of history was carried to a successful
conclusion without the use of coin. They remembsr that thus
were established the words of Democracy's founder, " Treasury
notes bottomed on taxes will carry the country through the
longest war."
I know there will be those who will bring up the ghosts of the
old French assignats and ask us if we would imitate that example and court the fate of the southern republics whose credit
money has so recently failed. To all such I reply that history
does not furnish an instance when the paper money of a solvent
government, receivable by that government for all debts and demands, has been below par in coin. Never since Venice ruled
the world, under similar conditions, has this test been applied in
Gentlemen have risen on this floor and demanded another attempt to perform the impossible. Yet the cry of all is that confidence shall be restored. They ask that the people shall have
immediate relief. They know that relief shall only come as the
result of restored confidence. I look UJDOU this jieople as capable
of self-government. That assumes their capacity to determine
the right from the wrong, the attainable from the unattainable.
I believe the people have learned that the Republican prophet
spoke correctly when he said in the United States Senate, " N o
coin reserve, however large and carefully guarded, can resist the
stress of adverse trade and paniofi." Knowing this, they look
with disfavor upon the proposition to make them once more face
panics and their resulting horrors in a vain attempt to perform
the admittedly impossible.
I have not sought to delay this discussion by flowers of speech.
I have simply pointed tD the easiest possible way out of the
present difficulties. Long ago a Democrat, honored in his time

and revered in ours, said: " Smite the rock of public credit and
there shall flow a stream that will give life to all your industries." I appeal to this House, controlled by men revering the
heroes of the past, to legislate in the interest of the people,
even if for a moment they hurt the feelings of some banking
legislator. There is no necessity for increasing the volume of
the circulating notes of the banks. Those notes are the evidence of a banker's debt. They draw interest so long as they
are in the hands of the people whose indorsement makes them
Now, sir, we ask that the people be allowed the same privilege. Let them have the same privilege that has been so freely
accorded to one favored class. Head the provisions applicable to
the notes of national bankers. Accord them to the people and
there will be little difficulty in settling economic questions.
For myself I would say, sir, that if you will pass a law that will
enable me to draw interest on my debts you may pile the tariff
mountains high, and I will call you blessed. [Applause.] The
more you make the coat cost that my tailor will charge to me,
the greater will be my debt and the larger my revenue. But
does someone say that privilege can not possibly be enjoyed by
everybody. Then I answer that it should not be enjoyed by anybody, nor can it be without a resulting burden on every other
producer in the land.
To one other objection that will' likely be urged against the
plan outlined in my remarks and to be presented to this House
by my friend from Ohio, I will address my closing words. It
will be said that the notes thus issued will rest solely on the
faith and credit of the Government. It will be said that they
will be simply fiat money and with no *' intrinsic " value. Standing here where thirty-one years ago greed higgled for the price
of patriotism and produced one money for the bondholder and
another for the soldier, I freely admit the assertion.
I want nothing in this life that shall be stronger or outlast the
authority of this Government. \ believe that what was good
enough and strong enough to protect the flag and preserve inviolate this nation, is strong enough and good enough to transfer
our commodities in times of peace as well as of war. I look for
no hand to shake if its owner desires to provide against the possible disruption of this Government. For I believe that flag will
float through all Time and greet Eternity at its coming. [Applause.] If we shall be guided in wisdom towards an advance
step in the evolution of economic science it shall float over no
land in which subjective slavery has taken the place of objective
"We fought a long war, and at its close the shackles fell from
the hands of 4,000,000 of black men. That was a war in which
bullets sped and blood flowed. W e are on the eve of a greater
contest. It is ours to see that ballots take the place of bullets,
and that the only quickening of the flow of human blood shall be
that which warms the hearts of 65,000,000 of freemen relieved
from the intolerable burdens of a financial system in which are
mbedded the absurdities and foil ies of ages. [Applause*]