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H. D.




Friday, August


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. MONEY said:
Mr. SPEAKER: For two weeks I have watched the tide of discussion as it has ebbed and flowed from one side to the other in
this Hall, sometimes in storm and sometimes in calm, and I have
heard statements made upon this floor intended, perhaps, as arguments of persuasive power addressed to Democrats, conjuring
them, in the name of the President, to stand by him in his policy
Mr, Speaker, if a stranger to our institutions could have heard
this debate he would have pertinently asked in what capacity
are these men assembled in this Hall? Are we here as the representatives of a great people to declare law, or are we here as
a degenerate Senate to record the rescripts of the emperor?
Gentlemen have been complimented by the monometallists on
this floor for the courage of expressing their convictions, and of
changing from the bimetallic standard of the people. I think
that the plaudits which those gentlemen have elicited here are
but a poor exchange for offended constituencies. [Applause.]
Sir, I am here to twit no man for any change of purpose, because
I myself will not vote as I intended to vote when I first came into
this Hall. I came here standing upon the Democratic platform.
I believed it to be an enunciation of political principles not only
intended to declare the policy of my party, but handed to us as
a letter of instruction for our guidance in legislation.
l e a n not subscribe to the sentiment of my eloquent and distinguished friend from Maryland [Mr. RAYNER] when he speaks of
its declarations as/'glittering generalities." They are not a
group of postulates, handed down to the people to be afterwards
reasoned out to correct conclusions. They do not glitter like


the milky way, that "meeting of gentle lights without a name,"
hut each separate, distinct proposition stands forth a complete
orb blazing as a great fountain and center of political light.
The people who met in Chicago through their representatives
meant what they said, and I would like to inquire of my friend
from Maryland whether in the canvass which he prosecuted with
such distinguished ability, he told his audiences that he was
talking to them about 4 'glittering generalities"? [Laughter].
The people had met there in convention and they knew what
they wanted, and every man who sits in this Hall as a Democrat
to day stands pledged upon his honor as a Representative to carry
into full effect and force e very pledge made in that platform. The
convention rejected a proposition on a vital question—the tariff—
because it was a false echo to the popular demand. For what
purposes, with what intent, were " glittering generalities" placed
m a national platform? Was it for the purpose of deceiving the
voters? No, sir; that platform was but an expression of the
popular will, as voiced by the representatives whom they sent
to that convention. If those generalities were put there at all
as generalities, they were put there to induce, by persuasive
power, the people who held the ballot to support the candidates
nominated upon that platform.
Would those candidates have been nominated and elected unless it was thought |;hat they reflected the wishes and the will
of the soverign people of this country? Mr. Speaker, I came
here announcing in the newspapers, which did me the honor to
interview me, that I was for the prompt, immediate, and unconditional repeal of the Sherman act; but I added that I stood upon
the Democratic platform, and wanted all the things to follow
that had been nominated therein. But when I ascertain from
the President's message, when I learn from the debates in this
Hall and from private conversation with monometallists, that
it is not intended that this Congress shall perfect any measure
that will secure bimetallism, then I, perhaps the only one in this
House, have changed my front without changing my views.
I intend now to vote against the repeal of the Sherman law.
[Applause.] I intend to carry out, so far as my vote and my
speech can do so, every declaration and every promise made by
the convention of my party.
[Here the hammer fell.]
Mr. KYLE. I ask unanimous consent that the time of my colleague [Mr. MONEY] be extended five minutes.
There was no objection.
Mr. RAYNER. I would like to ask the gentleman from Mississippi a question.
Mr. MONEY. I yield to the gentleman.
Mr. RAYNER. I wish to ask whether in the Democratic convention at Chicago free coinage resolutions were not voted down?
Mr. MONEY. I was not a member of that convention; I never
heard that it did. I am speaking of the platform as published
to the people of the United States, the platform upon which you
and I made our canvasses, and upon which Grover Cleveland was
elected President of the United States.
Mr. RAYNER. If free-coinage resolutions were voted down
do you not think that shows what was the intention of the convention?


Mr. MONEY. I do not know the terms of the resolution to
which the gentleman refers; I do not know that there was such
a resolution, though, of course, I do not question the gentleman's
.statement. But whatever may have been voted down it is to be
assumed that the convention carefully weighed every resolution
which was adopted. I am not talking.of resolutions which failed.
I am talking of those upon which the convention impressed the
stamp of its authority and delivered to the people of the United
.St ites as a pledge of the performance of the members of that
party here and at the other end of the Capitol and at the other
end of the avenue. There is not a member now on this floor,
whether he be Democrat, Republican, or Populist, who was not
pledged to bimetallism in one shape or another.
Gentlemen speak of the platform of the Democratic party demanding the repeal of the Sherman law. Is there any such
proposition before this House? That platform did not ask for
the repeal of only a single section of the Sherman law; it asked
for the repeal of the whole law; and that demand was embraced
in the seventh section of the platform, which was intended to
cover this whole money question as a unit, not in fragments.
That platform declared for the rehabilitation of silver, and all
of our platforms have so declared. We said last year, gentlemen, that we had not had the power to carry out the will of the
people in this particular, but that if a Democratic administr ition
should be placed in power by their suffrages they should have
the use of silver at some ratio to be afterward determined.
Why was the repaal of the Sherman law demanded by the convention at Chicago? That law was not condemned on account
of its positive demerits—not condemned per se—but because it was
a " makeshift" substitute for a free-coinage act; and the genr
tleman from Maryland knows that fact. Why, sir, the author
of the Sherman act has declared that his only excuse for presenting such a measure was to prevent the passage of a freecoinage act. And in that view every Democrat on this floor
voted against that act and every Republican for it. We believed
the Sherman law bad. but not worsa than nothing; bad compared
with free coinage, which is good and which we demanded. >The
repeal is demanded in order that we may make way for:free sil-i
ver, not to make way for the destruction of silver.. That is the
obvious, the fair reading of the resolution, according to my rule
of construction. The voters so understood it and received it and
voted for it. The canvassers and candidates so understood it,
expounded it, and spoke for it. Mr. Cleveland so understood
it and indorsed it in his letter of acceptance, and although a
makeshift for free coinage, and bad in comparison, yet it does
give each month to the country $4,000,000 in Treasury notes—bet-'
ter than greenbacks, because they pay import duiies; because
it coins $2,000,000 a month of silver dollars; because it aids to
keep down the rising price of gold, which, as it appreciates in
price, depreciates all products of human industry, and in that
the wagesof labor, ana makes more grievous to be bo ne the
burden of every debt in the land. The Sherman law had another
value: the purchase of 54,000,000 of ounces of silver each year,
which it orders, is the basis of evecy proposition made in international conferences for the restoration of silver to its ancient use as one of the money metalB of the world.


Now, I can not charge inconsistency upon the other side of the
House because they rush forward so readily and anxiously to
slay their own bantling. They have pursued a persistent opposition to the use of silver as money. They voted for the Sherman act, not because they wanted such an enactment, but to prevent the free coinage of silver. They are monometallists; they
wish to enhance the price of gold, to increase its purchasing
power; they want the single gold standard; every law against
silver was their work. And when they see the chance to take
another step in the direction of preventing such coinage, they
come out like men and do it.
I care nothing about the charge of inconsistency. The greatest English statasman of this century has said that the vanity of
consistency is the vice of statasmen. We all know the maxim
that he is a fool who never changes his opinion. . But, gentlemen, we are too fresh from our pledges to the people now to prove
recalcitrant to the trust which we received at their hands. No
man can escape the force of a moral obligation; it bears just as
heavily upon the Kaiser as upon the peas int. We are told, too,
that we shall be treasonable to the President if we do not yield
to an intimation of the Executive pleasure in this matter.
Gentlemen, I do not associate the President with any such statement as that. 1 have too much respect for him as an individual
and for his office; but I respect him for those qualities which X
respect in other men. We are told that we shall be untrue to
the President if we do not stand up here and vote to repeal, not
the Sherman law, but a particular section of it. Well, are we
to be untrue to him, or to the people of the United States? Fourteen million votes were cast at the last election, and every one of
them was cast for a candidate standing on a platform that demanded the free coinage of both matals.
Our duty here is to those who sent us here. We are not sitting in a house of lords where a member represents himself and
his own interests. W e are here simply as the proxies of constituencies; and those constituencies have spoken in such tones that
no man can misunderstand them unless he chooses to do so. W e
do not want to hear anything, then, about the persuasive power
of the Executive in matters of this sort. I do not believe it has
been exerted; it has only been talked about, and I believe without the President's approval.
[Here the hammer fell.]
Mr. STOCKDALE. I ask that the time of my colleague be
extended for ten minutes.
There was no objection.
Mr, MONEY. It may be true, Mr. Speaker, that there is a
higher sense of duty than that which the Representative owes
to his constitutents; but when I take at the desk here an oath to
support the Constitution of the Unit ad States I take it as a Representative, not as a mere individual subject to change of conviction and likely to present my own private views instead of
those which the program of my party may have laid down for
me. I do not take any personal oath of allegience to the President of the United States, or any other man.
I say, sir, that suggestions of this character are improper in
this Hall; they are an affront to the dignity of this body. We
are part of a great coordinate branch of this Government; and


we ought to be presumed to be not only capable of acting, but determined to act independently of any suggestion whatever that
may come from any quarter, and last of all from the Executive.
Subserviency is the mo^t dangerous quality of which Congress
can be capable, and more disastrous in its consequences than any
possible settlement of the silver question.
It was the care of those sages, patriots, and heroes who founded
this Government, and who thought they had devised a new
method by which popular institutions could be perpetuated,
that there should be an absolute divorce between the three
brahches of this Government and the absolute independence of
It was never intended that the President of the United States
^should do more than suggest in his message to Congress what
measures he thought demanded its attention. That he has done,
Mr. Speaker, in a clear, forcible, and manly way. He ha& presented his views upon this question to us. And we are also told
here, and I am astonished at the statement, coming as it did
time after time from the lips of gentlemen on the other side of
this question, thatxwe had no business nominating Mr. Cleveland with our knowledge of his previous standing on the question of silver.
Is it true, Mr. Speaker, that antecedent statements or expressions of a candidate are to abrogate the force of party platforms?
Is it true that when you select a candidate that he is to be his
own platform unto himself, and the great masses of the Democratic party and their declarations are to go for naught? Is one
man'to step into the scale and then the balance of his party to
fly up in the other end?
But, Mr. Speaker, it is not true; because Mr. Cleveland gave
his indorsement in his letter accepting the nomination to the
proposition for the coinage of both metals, silver and gold, at a
parity to be fixed by Congress—he, too, declared that the readjustment of the relations between the two metals was the policy
of the Democratic party. So that part of the excuse for repeal
We hear a great deal of talk about what the people of the country demand. Who is to judge what they want? Every man believes his constituents to be the people, and I have heard distinguished gentlemen here, over and over again, detailing the direful results which would follow to the members of this House who
dared to depart from the will of the people, which will was the
repeal of the Sherman act. Well, Mr. Speaker, the latest we
have heard from the people of the United States in regard to
that question was in the November election, and I repeat it, sir,
that every man who cast a ballot at that election for the platform of the Democratic party cast a vote that demanded the free
and equal coinage of both silver and gold on some ratio to be
fixed by legislative enactment.
Then we are told that terrible results will follow if we do not
repeal this law; that there is a great panic in the country caused
by the Sherman act. I deny that it is the cause. There is a
panic prevailing; that no man can deny, but it does not necessarily follow that it comes from , the Sherman act. There is a
depression in industry not only in this country, but all over the
world, in every land, in every industry, in everything except


gold. Do you mean to contend that that is becaase of the operation of the Sherman act? ' If gentlemen will read the monet try
history of Christendom .for the last twenty years they will be
able to trace its origin and cause.
When silver was demonetized by the United States and Germany in 1873 the ablest minds in the world, who had made a
study of financial questions, predicted that the very things which
have happened would happen. Their prophecies have been
verified as fully as any recorded in Holy Writ. Mr. Ernest
Seyd, Wolowski, Molesworth, Allard, Mr. Balfour, and hll the
able publicists of the time, declared that the demonetization of
silver would be followed inevitably by< falling prices all over the
globe, by the appreciation of gold,*andby the necessary ruin and
commercial distress that would follow from it. That declaration has been fulfilled to the very letter.
J So deep was the distress, so universal the depreciation of prices,
that the English Government thought it of sufficient moment>to
appoint a royal commission in 1885 to inquire into the depression
of prices. The commission was composed of the ablest men in
England. Much evidence was taken, and all-available statistics
were carefully examined, and they came to these conclusions:
That the depression dated front the year 1873, or thereabouts;
that it extended to nearly every branch of industry, not only in
England, but to all the industrial countries of the world; that it
appeared to be closely connected with the serious fall in general
prices: that the duration of the depression had been unusual and
abnormal, and that no adequate cause was discoverable unless,it
was found in the general dislocation of values found in currency
This commission recommended that another commission be appointed to inquire into the relative value of gold and silver.
The last commission indorsed the findings of the first, and further added, that the destruction of the old relative value between
silver and gold had practically turned legitimate commerce into
They tell us that things have gone down, but gold has not
gone .up. Why, we were asked the other day if we could point
to a man, in all of this discussion, who could prove the appreciation in the value of gold.
,Mr. Speaker, we are asked to prove a self-evident proposition.
Jt is just as if I should take you to that window, invite your at>
tention to the magnificent landscape that spreads its glorious
beauties under the sun. and then be asked to prove that there is
a Potomac River or a Washington Monument. You do not prove
things obvious to the senses. Not only has the enormous appreciation of gold been proven by the fulfillment of prediction, but
by the royal commission appointed by the Imperial Government to make an inquiry into the matter and to report upon
these things, as well as by every monometallist in Europe, as
well as the bimetallists.
Mr. Balfour said that in fifteen years it had appreciated 35 per
cent. Every delegate who debated the question of silver on
either side in the international conference said that gold has appreciated; some that the appreciation was 50 per cent. How
prove it? By showing you the cause and effect. It is a fact
well attested that there was a depreciation of prices and an ap201


preciation of gold following the demonetization of silver; it was
a synchronism so striking that they themselves are put upon
explanation to show that the two things do not stand in the relation of cause and effect. But it can be proved strictly by the
rules of logic, because every man knows when you strike down
silver in any country in the world, when you deprive it of its
functions as money, you have increased the demand for gold.
You know how even the gentlemen who favor this repeal have
told us that the earlier we began in the scramble for gold the
sooner we would get our share of it. That has been stated over
and over again by the advocates of repeal. Then, if it is true,
according to the natural law of trade, the law of supply and demand, when you increase the demand for anything you increase
its price.
Then there has been an increasing demand for gold and there
has been an appreciation of the price of gold. Then if we strike
dawn silver to-day, continuing the.decline in the price of silver
which followed the closing,of the mints in India to free coinage,
where will the price of silver go? You make your condition
worse by this act, for not one single, advocate of the repeal of
this act has indicated in any speech in this House that those who
favor this policy are willing to take upon themselves the task of
adjusting the ratio between gold and silver and providing for its
My distinguished colleague [Mr. CATCHINGS], who, I think,
made the ablest speech that has been made on that side of the
question in this House, distinctly announced that he would not,
at this time, vote for tha free coinage of silver at any ratio.
In the international monetary conference last year, Mr. Rothschild, a delegate of Great Britain and the highest representative of the creditor class in the world, declared that England
must be true to her interests and remain monometallist, because
she was the creditor of the. world and London was the banker of
the world, for all bills of exchange were naturally payable in gold.
Jle gave this warning: " I f this conference were to break up
without arriving at any definite result, there would be a depreciation in the value of silver which it would be frightful to contemplate, and out of which a monetary panic would ensue, the
far-spreading effects of which it would be impossible to foretell."
Mr. Goschen, a British delegate, made substantially the same
statement in the Paris conference of 1878.
The closing of the mints of India to the free coinage of silver
was hastened, if not caused, by the apprehension of the action
now proposed. The first proposition submitted by Great Britain
at the last monetary conference was that the United States
should continue the purchase of the amount of silver provided
by the Sherman act, as a b isis of any international agreement
to be made for the rehabilitation of silver as the money of the
If, by this proposed legislation, you destroy this prerequisite
' of international agreement, it is idle to talk here or elsewhere
of trusting the fate of silver to future conferences. W e are
about to strike the last blow that destroys one-half the money
metals of the world, that dangerously narrows the basis of all
credit, that fetters all enterprises, hampers all commerce, discourages industrial energies, lowers wages, and increases all

debts. W e take a dreadful responsibility, and upon our action
hangs the welfare of the millions of this country and of the
The gentleman from Michigan |_Mr. BURROWS] who spoke so
forcibly an hour,ago on the other side of this question, declared
that there were two great uses of money; that one was as the
standard of value, and the other as a s- ore of value; and he said,
" Does a man want to store his values, the reward of his labor,
in a money that is constantly depreciating?" That, he said,
would be a great hardship. So it would; but he takes only one
view of the case, and sees one side only of this silver shield. I
will call his attention, and the attention of the House, to the
fact that there is a third use of money, more important to the
masses than either of those he mentioned, and that is, that it is
the standard of value of deferred payments.
That is where the shoe pinches. That is where the hardship
is to be affixed upon the toiling millions of this land. It is true
that a man does not want to store the reward of his efforts in a
coin of falling value, but it is much harder that the man who is
in debt to-day should be compelled to store the wages of his labor, present and future, to meet the amount of his indebtedness
in a cofn that is constantly appreciating, as the record shows,
at a rate that would make it impossible for him-to ever deliver
himself from the burden. [Applause.]
[Here the hammer fell.]