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SilYer. SPEECH OP HON. THOMAS SETTLE, OF NORTH CAROLINA, IN THE HOUSE C F REPRESENTATIVES, T Monday, August 21,1893„ The House having under consideration the bill (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. SETTLE said: Mr. S P E A K E R : In common with many members on this floor I represent a constituency divided in opinion npon the questions now pending in this House; divided,I believe, not along party lines but along the line of honest difference of opinion as to what is the best remedy that can be offered for the present unfortunate condition of our country. Something has been said on this floor in the course of this debate about financial "evolution." I refer to that simply as a basis for the remark that I believe there is no State in this Union whose citizens have felt the effects of that "evolution" more than have the people of Korth Carolina. In the recent contest the Democratic party formed its line of battle on this subject with two distinct utterances in its State platform, the first of which was that— "We especially favor the free coinage of silver and an increase of the currency. Not content with the enunciation of their position there made, further on in the platform we find the statement that— We demand the free and unlimited coinage of silver. Every Democratic organ in the State of North Carolina advocated that financial policy throughout the campaign. Every distinguished speaker of that jparty who enlightened his audiences on the subject of finance, committed himself and his party, State and national, in unequivocal,terms to the advocacy of the free and unlimited coinage of silver. 113 2 The Republican party fought that campaign with the declaration that it was not in favor of tne free and unlimited coinage of silver under existing conditions, and that never woald it come to that point until there was an international agreement fixing the ratio upon which the two metals should he coined; that the furthest they could ever go was to the enactment of some law looking to the coinage of the American product only. In my campaign, on every stump from which I spoke, I took the position that I was opposed to the free and unlimited coinage of silver under existing conditions, and that the furthest I could go was, as I have already stated; to favor the coinage of the American product. The Democratic party, with its line of battle formed otherwise, was successful in the nation as in North Carolina. In less than four months after the inauguration of the Democratic President the Democratic press of North Carolina, almost without exception, certainly without important exception, had reversed their machinery, repudiated the doctrine of the free coinage of silver, said that it was unsound finance, and that they were opposed to it. Nearly every speaker that had participated in that campaign, in conversation and in public utterance said xhat it was unwise and that he was opposed to it. This condition of things, Mr. Speaker, continued to exist until quite recently, when the distinguished representative from North Carolina, who occupies a seat in the other Chamber, addressed a let* ter to one of the Farmers' Alliance orders in North Carolina, in which he said that he was for the platform which declared for the free and unlimited coinage of silver. The Democratic speakers to whomlhavereferredjoinedissue with him. The Democratic press of North Carolina repudiated his utterances, said that they regretted exceedingly that that distinguished gentleman could not follow his party, and denied the fact that the Democratic platform adopted at Chicago committed the party to the free and unlimited coinage of silver. That has been the utterance, Mr. Speaker, of nearly every Democratic paper in North Carolina since the publication of Senator Vance's letter. I quote two utterances of the Charlotte Observer, the leading Democratio paper of the State: There is to be no free coinage of silver under this platform declaration, because it has been amply demonstrated since it was adopted that under a system of free silver coinage parity demanded could not be maintained, the two metals being now, under a system of limited coinage of silver, on the verge of parting company. Neither is the country to be reduced to a monometallic basis, gold being thp only recognized money, but the two metals are to be coined and made to circulate together upon terms of equality—or, as the platform has it, " of equal intrinsic and exchangeable value." We have no words with which to express our regret on acconnt of the attitude taken by Senator Vance in his letter published in yesterday's Observer. "We had much hoped that he would see his way clear to take a position with his party in favor of the repeal of the Sherman law, and of such further financial legislation as the nat-'onal Democratic platform snggests—the coinage of silver upon such basis as will insure its circulation upon a parity with gold. "We can not but think, in view of recent events, that either the free coinage of silver or the Sherman law will defeat the very object the silver men have in view. And again, while .nothing could possibly be further from the purpose of this Eatriotic and illustrious citizen, we can clearly foresee that the general tenor of is letter will greatly embolden the Third party and add immensely to its strength. In view of the certainty of a combination next year between the BeSublicans and Populists, this is to be particularly deplored, for at best the conast in North Carolina is to be close and doubtful, tne disappointments following the accession to power of a party which ha* been out, rendering the maintenance 118 3 of its position, in the first election thereafter, always uncertain. It would he idle to deny that Senator Vance's public and deliberate avowal of sympathy with the financial policy of the farmers' Alliance complicates the situation immeasurably. What "has been the fruit of that publication? To-day there is an ominous silence on the part of the majority of the press of that State. Leading and prominent politicians are silent as a grave •without a tombstone when called upon for a direct utterance as to theiree and unlimited coinage of silver. Tbey have reefed their sails and put themselves in shape to catch any breeze that maycome along, so that after the action of Congress is had they may be able to say, " I told you so." I believe that in North Carolina the opinion which I express is not confined to any one class of her citizens. Kegardless of party, regardless of vocation, there is an honest difference of opinion as to what Congress ought to do upon these pending questions. Numerous boards of trade and chambers of commerce have passed resolutions asking for unconditional repeal of the Sherman silver law. I believe that I voice almost the universal sentiment of the business interests of North Carolina when I say that they call for the repeal of the Sherman silver law. What weight, Mr. Speaker, should the opinions of men engaged in business interests, whose lives have been devoted to the study of financial and economic questions, what weight, I ask, should their opinions have upon the questions pending now before Congress! I respectfully submit that the honest opinion candidly expressed of such are worth more, when we are seeking an intelligent solution of these questions, than the opinions of persons whose lives have not led them into that line of thought or research. SometHing has been said upon this floor to the effect that the message of the President was inspired not by the voice of the toiling masses, the honest yeomanry of the land, as they are sometimes called in political campaigns, but that it had its inspiration from the banking institutions and the capitalists of this country. I believe, Mr. Speaker, that the voict? of the toiling^ and laboring masses of my State call not for the free and unlimited coinage of silver; simply do they ask for an increase in the circulating medium of this country. We are not wedded to the free coinage of silver. That is but one way suggested to increase the currency. Our demand is for an increase of the currency, and, as a Kepublican from the State of North Carolina, I voice the sentiment of the Republicans of that State when I say I am not willing that there shall be any increase of the currency that does not increase it with sound and good money [Applause]—money that is equal in debt paying and purchasing power in Maine and in Florida, on the shores of the Atlantic and on the shoreB of the Pacific. In every part of this country of ours must that money which increases the circulation be equally good and sound—not money which is shaved and discounted when it crosses a State line* I believe, further, Mr. Speaker, that there is nothing so unwise as to advocate an increase of the currency of this country by the issue of a depreciated and ever-changing form of money. In my humble judgment we are not subserving the interest of the laboring classes when we increase the currency in that manner; for i believe firmly that the cheaper money, the fluctuating money, is always the money that finds the pockets of the poor man. 113 4 The laboring man receives pay for his work in the depreciated coin; the farmer sells his products and receives in exchange depreciated coin; the fixed and stable currency of the country, constantly appreciating, is and always will be, by the inflexible laws of trade and commerce, hoarded in banks and under the control of the capitalists of a country that issues various forms of currency that can. not be maintained upon a parity. So far, Mr. Speaker, from believing it to be in the interest of the toiling masses to increase the currency of this country with free silver, I believe no greater curse can befall them than a constantlychanging, ever-fluctuating money for the poor man, a fixed, permanent, constantly-appreciating money for the rich man. Mr. Speaker, I had not intended to ask the attention of the House in this debate, thinking X would content myself with the opportunity of recording my vote, which would explain my attitude before my constituents. But we are summoned here to a feast by the proclamation of the President; and the majority of this House have prepared a bill of fare without consultation with us or inquiry of us as to what our appetites called for. We are bidden to eat what is put before us. No opportunity is afforded any member of the minority here to offer a single amendment to the pending propositions. The order of debate, the bill of fare, is all prepared in a committee or conference, the selection of which was without consultation with the minority^ Our opinions have not been consulted. Our views are disregarded. We are brought up here and our hands are attempted to be tied; and we are to vote simply upon the propositions which they submit. In debate even, we as the minority are not allowed to control a portion of the time. I do not agree with those gentlemen who say that a vote for the unconditional repeal of the Sherman silver law now means the establishment of a single standard in this country. I believe that under existing conditions it is wholly impracticable to coin the world's silver at any of the ratios suggested by the g e n t l e m a n from Missouri without utterly revolutionizing our financial system,* and instead of blessing, cursing the agricultural and laboring classes of our people. Mr. Speaker, I have sat in this hall listening to these debates; loud, long, earnest, and appealing have been the utterances of the advocates of free silver in behalf of the "toiling masses" of this country. They speak as though they were shedding tears of sympathy which would cause the rivers to rise or wash gulleys in the mountain's side. "Great blessings," they say, "shall be laid at your door if you will only be blessed in the way we say; but if you will not, then be damned." Nothing short of the free coinage of silver will they agree to. Even those who advocate the free coinage of silver admit that the purchase clause of the Sherman silver law should be repealed. But they say, " I f you once repeal the purchasing clause of that law the advantage which would thereby be given to the advocates of the President's financial policy is such that they could not be induced or compelled to surrender at a later stage of this game." That argument, it seems to me, proceeds upon an assumption of great virtue and wisdom on their side and an accusation of turpitude and ignorance on the side of all who diff er with them. They have made, according to their argument, a " corner" on patriotism, 113 5 find all who differ with them have none of that article about them. X believe, Mr. Speaker, that no lasting financial policy can be enacted at this time in one bill. It is a cherry of such dimensions that we must take more than one bite at it. And I do not agree with the idea that if the purchasing clause be repealed no further financial legislation will follow at this session. One reason assigned for the condition existing in this country at present by the Democrats who have spoken on this subject is what they call want of confidence. I had a vague idea of the meaning of that term before I came to this hall; but thanks to the members of the majority I have an enlarged and expanded idea of its significance now; and it seems to me that they have the disease in a more violent form than any other part of our country. They undertake to restore confidence. They are the physicians ministering to our wants; they assume the responsibility of taking the initiative, and properly so, as they are in the majority. But how can they expect to restore "confidence" to the sicl^ patient when they fall out among themselves, and each physician accuses the, other of prescribing medicine which will not build up and restore the patient, but which will kill.himf Yet, the free-silver men claim that it is the object and aim of all who differ with them to establish a single gold standard and bring forth a train of disasters which I have not words to picture. The gold advocates in that party charge the same motive upon the silver advocates. It does seem to-me, Mr. Speaker, that the condition in which the majority of this House finds itself to-day is ene which they have brought upon themselves with their eyes open. When the President of the United States received their votes— when they argued in his favor during the campaign—they had before them the letter which he had written just prior to his inauguration in 1884. They ?vent to the polls with their eyes open and cast their ballots; and it does seem that the principle of law which declares that a juror shall not be permitted to impeach his verdict should estop them from the utteraifces they make on this floor. [Laughter and applause.] I stand here, Mr. Speaker, certainly not endeavoring to correct any inconsistency on the part of the President, because in this matter, it seems to me, he is consistent and that his critics are inconsistent. i I listened to the gentleman from Colorado, I think it was, as he spoke advancing the ideas of his party, the Populists, when he said that, in comparison, this question offinancetowered above the tariff question; that Wall street had itsfingerson the throat of this country and was tightening its grasp; that Wall street's power over money and men was without limit, and they were in touch with the Executive of the country in favor of a single gold standard. I could not help thinking, when listening to him, that if all that were true we may reasonably conclude that with the immense power attributed•to the street Wail street might at least control the State of New York. , , How was it, then, that in the convention at Chicago New York stood solidly opposed to the President throughout all of the ballots f If its interests are so selfish as they claim, if it has no heart that sympathizes with the masses of the people, why should we find the influence of that street steadily opposing the nomination of the President! It simply carries to my mind this fact, that the argu113 6 ment advanced in favor of the free coinage of silver is an argument like the straws at which drowning men are Baid to catch. Now, sir, in the limited time allotted to me to express my view® on this pending question I can say hut little else. I wish i t to be distinctly understood that I am in favor of bimetallism. I am not in favor of striking down silver entirely as money in this country, but I stand now, as I stood during the last campaign before my constituents, unalterably opposed to the free coinage of the world's silver in the absence of an international agreement fixing the parity between the two metals. [Applause.] I stand now, as I said then, unalterably opposed to the inflation of the currency of this country with a fluctuating and changeable money, believing that in that position I am on the side of the business interests of the country, and also on the side of the toiling, laboring masses of our country. Because, Mr. Speaker, the laboring masses above all others need a fixed, permanent, and stable currency. I know not how my Mends on this side of the Chamber are going to vote on this question, but for myself, favoring an increase of the currency with good money, I shall record my vote in opposition to all the scheduled variety offered to us by the gentleman from Missouri and in favor of the only digestible part of the bill of fare that has been presented—that offered by the gentleman from West Virginia [Mr. WILSON]. [Applause.] Mr. ALLEN. If the gentleman has time 1 would like to know what is his scheme to increase the currency I Mr. BOUTELLK. The gentleman from North Carolina can hardly go outside of the present schedule that has been offered here by that side. Mr. SETTLE. I do not recognize the responsibility of suggesting the road that leads out of this wilderness as resting with the minority on this floor. [Applause.] But I say that had you not tied our hands and cut us off from offering an amendment I have no doubt that many amendments would have been presented by members on this side of the Chamber looking to an increased currency with good and sound money. [Applause.] One remedy that might be suggested, and the proposition I would like an opportunity to vote upon, would be the free coinage of the American product, protected by a tariff on any foreign silver that might be brought in. [Applause.] Another amendment I would like to vote on would be the plan suggested by the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. JOHNSON] of private holders of Government bonds in the United States hypothecating them with the Treasury and receiving Treasury notes to the full value of the bond, said bond to draw no interest while so deposited, with power at any time subsequently to redeem the bonds. [Renewed applause.] That far I would go, I will say in answer to the gentleman from Mississippi, not recognizing the responsibility as resting u^on this side, under the circumstances, for proposing any plan in this emergency. [Applause.] 113 Production of gold and silver in the world, 179B-189S. Calendar years. 1792-1800., 1801-1810., 1811-1820., 1821-1830.. 1831-1840., 1841-1848.. 1849 1850 185 1 185 2 1853 1854 185 5 185 6 185 7 1858....... 1859 1861. 1865., 1867.. 1868.. 1869.. 1870.. 1871.. 1872., 1873.. 1874.. 1875.. 1876.. 1877.. 1878.. 1879.. 1866.. 1880.. 1881.. 1882.. 1883-1884.. 1885.1886.. 1887.. 1888.. 1889.. 1890.. 1891.. Total... TREASURY DEPARTMENT, Gold. $106,407,000 118,152,000 76,063,000 94,479,000 134,841,000 291,144,000 27,100,000 44,150,000 67,600,000 132,750,-000 155,450,000 127,450,000 135,075,000 347.600,000 133,275,000 124,650,000 124,850,000 119,250,000 113,800,000 107,750,000 106,950,000 113,000,000 120,200,000 121,100,000 104,025,000 109,725,000 106,225,000 106,850,000 107,000,000 99,600,000 96,200,000 90,750,000 97,500,000 103,700,000 114,000,000 119,000,000 109,000,000 106,500,000 103,000,000 102,000,000 95,400,000 101,700,000 108,400,000 106,000,000 105,775,000 110,197,000 123,489,000 113,150,000 120,519,000 130,817,000 5,633,908,000 Bureau of the Mint, August 16,1893. 113 Silver (coining (value). $328,860,000 371,677,000 224,786,000 191,444,000 274,930,000 259,520,000 39,000,000 39,000, C O O 40,000,000 40,600,000 40,600,000 40,600,000 40,600,000 40,650,000 40,650,000 40,650,000 40,750,000 40,800,000 44,700,000 45,200,000 49,200,000 51,700,000 51,950,000 50,750,000 54,225,000 50,225,000 47.500,000 51,575,000 61,050,000 65,250,000 81,800,000 71,500,000 80,500,000 87,600,000 81,000,000 95,000,000 96.000,000 96,700,000 102,000,000 111,800.000 115,300,000 105,500,000 118,500,000 120,600,000 124,281,000 140,706,000 162,159,000 172,235,000 186,733,000 196,605,000 5,104,961,000 APPENDIX. Monetary systems and approximate stocks of money in the aggregate and per capita in the principal countries of the world. Countries. Hatio be- Hatio bet ween cold tween gold Monetary system. and full and limited Population. legal-tender tender silsilver. ver. United States Gold and silver. United Kingdom... Gold Prance Gold and silver. Germany.. Gold Belgium Gold and silver. ....do Italy ....do Switzerland ...do Greece Spain ....do Gold Portugal Austria-Hungary .. ....do Gold and silver. Netherlands.. Scandinavian Union Gold Silver. Runaia Turkey . . . . . . . . . . . . Gold and silver. Australia . . . . . . . . . Gold. do Egypt.............. Mexico Silver do Central America. . South America ...do Japan Gold and silver. India Silver do China The Straits.. ... Gold Canada . Cuba, Haiti, etc.... ....do Total . . . . . . . . Stock of silver. Full tender. Limited tender. Total. Uncovered paper. Per capita. SilGold. ver. 1 to IB. 98 1 to 14.95 67,000,000 $604,000,000 $538,000,000 $77,000,000 $615,000,000 $412,000,000 $9.01 $9.18 100,000,000 100,000,000 50,000,000 14.47 2.63 l t o 14.28 38,000, 000 550,000,000 J 1 to 14.38 39,000,000 800,000, O O 'eso.'ooo'ooo* 50,000,000 700,000, 000 81.402,000 ^20.52 17.95 l t o 15} 1 to 13.957 49,500,000 600,000,000 103,000,000 108,000,000 211,000,000 107,000,000 12.12 4.26 1 to 14.38 6,100, 000 65,000,000 48,400,000 6, 600,000 55, ono, 000 54,000,000 10.66 9.02 1 to 151 1 to 14.38 31,0U0,000 93,605,000 16, 000,000 34,200,000 50,200,000 163,471,000 3.01 1.62 1 to 15? 1 to 15J l t o 14. 38 3. 000,000 15,000, 000 11,400,000 3,600,000 15,000,000 14,000,000 5.00 5.00 2,000,000 4,000,000 14,000,000 .91 1.82 1 to 154 1 to 14.38 2,200.000 1,800,000 2,200,000 l t o 15} 1 to 14.38 18,000,000 40.000, 000 120,000,000 38,000,000 158,000, 000 100'. 000, 000 2.22 8.78 10,000,000 10,000,000 45,000,000 8.00 2.00 1 to 14.08 5,0U0,000 40,000,000 l t o 13.69 40,000,000 40.000,000 "90,"666,"660* 90, 000,000 260,000,000 1.00 2.25 4,500,000 25,000,000 61,800,000 3,200,666 65,000,000 * 40,000,000 5.55 14.42 ' " l t o isj* l t o 15 1 to 14.88 8,600, 000 32,000,000 10, 000,000 10,000, 000 27,000,000 3.72 1.16 113,000,000 250,000,000 "22*666*660* 38,000,000 60,000,000 500,000,000 2.21 .53 1 to 15$ 1 to 15 1.52 1.36 1 to 15.1 33,000, 000 50,000,000 45,000, 000 45,000,000 25.00 1.75 l t o 14.28 4,000,000 100,000,000 7,000,000 7,000,000 14.29 2.14 1 t > 15.68 7, 000, 000 100,000,000 x 15,000,000 15,000,000 5,000,000 50,000,000 11,600,000 50,000,000 2,000,000 .43 4.31 1 to 16} 3,000,000 500,000 .17 2,000,000 500,000 1 to isL 35,000,000 "45," 66d,666" 25,000,000 25,000,000 600,000,000 'i*29* .71 1 to 15} 40.000, 000 90,000,000 50,000,000 50,000,000 56,000,000 2.25 1.25 1 to 16.18 255,000,000 900, 000,000 28,000,000 3.53 900,000,000 l t o 15 400,000, 000 700,000,000 1.75 700,000,000 "*l 100.000, 000 100,000,000 5,000,000 40,000,000 3.56 1.11 5,000,000 1 to 14.95 4,500,000 16,000,000 2,000,000 40,000,000 10.00 1.00 1,200,000 800,000 l t o 15} 2,000,000 20,000,000 I '3,582,605,000 3,489,100,000 553,600,000 4,042,700,000 2,635,873,000 1 Treasury Department, Bureau of the Mint, August 16,1393, Stock of gold. Paper. Total. $6.15 1.32 2.09 2.16 8.85 5.27 4.67 6.36 5.56 9.00 6.50 8.89 3.14 4.42 .17 .67 17.14 1.40 .11 $24.34 18.42 40.5G 18.54 25.53 9.91 14.67 9.09 16.50 19.00 9.75 28.88 8.02 7.16 2.88 26.75 16.43 4.91 .84 19.14 4.90 3.64 1.75 8.89 13.56 20.00 31.00