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S P E E C H E S










Mr. LODGE. Mr. President, I ask for the reading of the resolution which I Introduced last Tuesday.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The resolution will be read.
The Secretary read the resolution, submitted by Mr. L O D G E on
the 8th instant, as follows:
Whereas Congress has been called in extraordinary session on account of
the unfortunate condition of business; and
Whereas some measure of relief can be obtained by the immediate and unconditional repeal of the purchasing clauses of the silver act of 1890: Therefore.
Resolved, That the Committee on Finance be instructed to report at once
to the Senate a bill to repeal the purchasing clauses of the silver act of 1890,
and that a vote be taken in the Senate on said bill on Tuesday, August 22, at
2 o ' c l o c k p. m., unless it is sooner reached.

Mr. LODGE. Mr. President, I do not propose to detain the
Senate at this time with any elaborate financial or economic
argument. I desire merely to make a very brief explanation of
the reasons which induced me to otter the resolution and of the
facts, as they appear to me, on which it rests.
The resolution contains two propositions—one in favor of the
repeal of the purchasing' clauses of the silver act of 1890, and a
second one providing for taking- a vote upon that repeal on a
certain day. The repeal of the purchasing clauses of the silver
act of 1890 is not with me a new idea born of the present condition of business in the country.
More than two years ago I introduced in the House of Representatives a bill for the repeal of those very clauses. Without
now going into the abstract merits or demerits of that legislation, I did so because I believed that that legislation contained
in itself the seeds of distrust; that it was likely in time to alarm
and shake the business world. I thought that the business world
would soon come to believe that the tendency of that legislation
was to put the United States upon a single silver standard.
Whether that belief would be corrector not I shall not paute
now to discuss, but I think events have justified me in the fear
which I then had of these results. The condition of the country
to-day shows that the alarm growing out of those clauses which I
anticipated has, in a measure at least, come to pass.
I am very far from thinking that these clauses are the only

cause of the present condition of the country. I think there are
others, some perhaps as potent as this, in producing-the present
lack of confidence; but that this silver act of 1890 is one great
cause of the prevailing distress, and that it is the one uppermost
in the public mind, I have no doubt or question.
I think the practical effect of repeal would be a tendency to
lower the rates of interest on money, to make money easier and
relieve the existing- stringency. W e have at least as abundant
a currency to-day as we had a year ago, when money could be
borrowed at low or normal rates of interest. Our credit as a
nation is as good. Every dollar of our currency is as good as it
was then, and yet there is to-day almost a currency famine in
the country, and rates of money are panic rates. The currency
of the country is locked up. It is a truism; it is a commonplace
to say so; we all know it. It is locked up. Why? Because there
is no confidence. That is the answer which is always made, and
it is the true answer.
The first step, therefore, as it seems to me, towards restoring
confidence is to lower the excessive rates of interest which now
alarm the small property owner, the man of limited means who
has drawn his money out of the bank and put it in his pocket.
Money in London to-day is lending at
per cent on call, and at
2| per cent for time money. There is a cable between London
and New York. They are familiar with the worth of our securities and the credit of our Government. Money in New York
is lending at anywhere from 10 to 20 per cent, and they are as
eager to get a high interest in London as they are any where else
in the world. Their money does not come in. Why? Because
they have the belief (whether rightly or wrongly I will not pause
to inquire) that we may at any time go upon a single silver standard, and they do not want the money they have lent in gold paid
back to them in a silver dollar. The result is that there is a
prohibition that stops English money from coming.
I think the repeal would remove that prohibition, and that
foreign money would flow in; rates would decline; and when the
rates decline then I think you would ag, in see the hoards that
alarm lest we were going on a silver basis has created at home
return to the customary channels of circulation; we should have
normal rates for money and some relief to our distress.
But I also believe, Mr. President, that there is one still more
important effect to be derived from the repeal of these purchasing clauses. The public mind to-day is fixed upon them as
one of the great causes of the present condition of things.
The universal belief of the business interests of the country
to-day is that if that repeal could come it would bring relief to
the country. It is said that this is mere sentiment. So be it.
Confidence in business, on which prosperity rests, is a matter of
opinion and sentiment. The business interests, which in their
extended operation sooner or later touch the welfare of every
human being in this country, however they may differ as to remedial legislation, agree that there is relief in the repeal of those
purchasing clauses.
Mr. S T E W A R T . Will the Senator allow me to interrupt
Mr. LODGE. I should like to finish what I am now saying.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts declines to yield.
Mr. S T E W A R T . All right. I should have liked to ask a
question, that is all.
Mr. LODGE. It is the sentiment of the business interests, I
was saying1, that there is relief in repeal. It may be said that
there is a panic existing. Suppose there is. If there is. you
can not reason with a panic; you must quell it. Repeal will
bring a measure of relief because the business world believes it
will. It is largely a matter of sentiment. Yes! and if you can
restore the tone to the sentiment of business by making this
repeal, I believe you will take the first great step towards rescuing the country from the difficulties and distresses in which
it is now plunged.
I do not for one moment forget that we must have affirmative
and positive legislation in regard to our currency. It is necessary, in my judgment, in order to put that currency upon a firm
and sound bisis; but affirmative legislation will take thought,
consideration, ample discussion, above all, time, and I believe
that now it is mora important than any financial or economic discussion that we should save time, that we should act promptly,
that we should come to some decision here in Congress where
we have been called together by the President in extraordinary
session to meet this very emergency.
Something was said in the debate that sprung up the other day
about politics in this matter. There can hardly be politics in
my resolution, which is in direct line with wise and urgent recommendations of the President for immediate repeal. For my
part, I do not think it is a question of large or small party politics. There is a great crisis upon this country at this moment.
There is an amount of suffering going on and a still larger amount
promised, the like of which 1, at least, in my life have never seen.
In the presence of such a crisis as that I for one believe that the
usual arts of politics or party management will be consumed like
stubble in the fire. They will not avail; and I think what the people want above everything is to see action, some sort of action
here in this Senate Chamber. If we are to have free coinage, let
us know it. If we are to have a limited coinage, let us know it.
If we are to have an unconditional repeal, let us know it.
The Senator from Missouri [Mr. VEST] yesterday said, in referring to the condition of the silver States, that if we were to
have legislation to close the mills of New England every Senator
from those States would be here ready to offer the most bitter
resistance. Mr. President, the mills of New England are closed
now. There is no need of further legislation. At this moment,
with the exception of two mills, there is not a spindle turning in
the city of Lawrence, and they employ 12,000 hands. There is
only one mill going in the city of Lowell, and they employ over
20,000 hands.
There are over thirty thousand people out of employment at
this moment in only two of the cities of the Commonwealth that
I in part represent. Multiply it by ten and you get some idea
of the distress that rests upon the State of Massachusetts. Multiply it by a hundred and you get some idea of the distress pervading the Northern States, and when there is such a blight

resting upon the industries of my own State, and of all the other
great industrial States of the North, for one I have no mind for
party politics or for delay. I ask simply for action. I believe it
is the highest duty that the Senate "can perform to take the
quickest possible action.
It seems to me a case, Mr. President, to which I may apply the
words of a very distinguished predecessor of mine. Mr. John
Quincy Adams, " I would not deliberate; I would act."
Thursday, September
Mr. LODGE. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from California for his kindness and shall not keep him from the floor
but a very few moments.
Day before yesterday, when the Senator from Idaho [Mr. DUBOIS] took command of the silver forces in the Senate, he was
pleased to say in his humorous way that I hud been beating the
drum for the forces of i epeal. I am perfectly willing that it
should be so. for believing as I do that tho time for action has
arrived, it seems to me that at the moment of action perhaps a
drumbeat is more appropriate than conversation.
It is because I believe that the moment for action has arrived
that I desire no »v simply to say a word expressive o. my very strong
belief in the principle of the resolution offered by the Senator
from Connecticut [Mr. PLATT]. I am a new comer in the Senate, more recent even than my friend the Senator from Idaho,
wno kindly instructed us as to our duties and rights the other
day; but I have some acquaintance with American history and
American polities, and I have also had some experience elsewhere in regard to the subject of the parliamentary conduct of
business, which has so much engaged the attention of the other
branch of Congress of late years.
The rules of the Senate have remained practically unchanged
for a hundred years. Formed for a body of twenty-six Senators,
they still continue to govern the deliberations oi eighty-eight.
They contain no method of co spelling a vote. They are therefore rules which are based upon courtesy. By the courtesy of
the Senate every Senator can speak at any length and at any
time There is, in a word, no method of preventing unlimit3d
debate. But a system of courtesy in the conduct oi* business for
a great legislative body, if it is to be anything or to have any
effect, must be reciprocal. The unwritten law of mutual concession must be observed or a system of courtesy is impossible.
The right of debate is not the only or the most important privilege to be considered.
There is another right more sacred in a legislative body than
the right of debate, and that is the right to vote. It is assumed,
it must be assumed, that if there is to be unlimited debate, by
unwritten law there must equally be no obstruction to a vote.
When it appears that unlimited debate, the right of which is
accorded by courtesy, is used for the purposes of obstruction,
then the system of courtesy has become impossible. When a
minority not only does not allow a debate to come to a close,
but will not even name any date, no matter how distant, at
which it will assent to the close of that debate, it is obvious

that courtesy has become entirely one-sided: that unlimited debate is to be permitted, but that the right to vote is to be taken
away. When the system of courtesy has reached this point it has
not only ceased to be practicable, but it has become an abuse and
a danger.
Mr. President, I do not desire to be misunderstood. I do not lay
the blame for obstruction upon the minority in this or any other
c:ise. It never rests with them. If the rules of any legislative
body permit a minority to obstruct a measure the defense of
which they deem of the least importance they have the right
under those rules to obstruct. The reason why there is filibustering or obstruction in any legislative body is because the
majority does not prevent it. If there is delay it is the fault of
the majority, and of the majority alone, not of the minority.
The minority has the right to avail itself of such weapons as the
majority chooses to concede them, no more and no less. I refer
here, of course, to the party majority in control of the body.
There is a majority often on a measure which differs in composition from the majority in charge of the conduct of business as
there is to-day on this measure of repeal of the purchase clauses.
The majority which i believe exists in this Chamber in favor
of repeal is not formed on the same lines as the majority
which controls the conduct of business, but the conduct of business rests alone and absolutely on the party in control of the
Chamber. The party majority in the Senate, whether they
sustain a given measure or not, as a party, are solely responsible for re.iching or not reaching a vote. I am not speaking
of the particular measure pending, nor of any other particular instance: I refer to a general principle. If a legislative body can
not reach a vote, it is because the majority, responsible for the
conduct of business, does not choose to have that vote reached.
They ought to be able to reach it by rule. To substitute for a
proper rule, the test of physical endurance, in a body like the
Senate of the United States, seems to me, I must say, and I say
it with all respect, to be pitiable. If the courtesy system has
broken down, why can we not reach a vote in a dignified and
proper way if it is to be done, as it must be done, by some form
of compulsion? If the day has come when the courtesy of the
Senate no longer exists, except for those who would speak and
by speaking obstruct, then why is it not the more dignified and
the better thing to pass a suitable rule to enable this body, at
some time through its majority, to reach a vote?
W e govern in this country in our representative bodies by voting and debate. It is most desirable to have them both. Both
are of great importance. But if we are to have only one, then
the one that le <ds to action is the more important. To vote
without debating may be hasty. may be ill con sidered, may be rash;
but to debate and never vote is imbecility. A legislative body
which can not govern itself can not hold the resp ct of the people who have intrusted to it the duty of governing the country.
Mr. President, the Senate of the United Stites has been regarded by all foreign students of our Constitution, by all our own
constitutional lawyers, as perhaps the greatest achievement of
the great men who framed that instrument. It has numbered
here in the days that are gone, and numbers today, the great

leaders of all parties in the country. It has a great record in its
hundred years, unrivaled, I believe, in the history of any other
legislative body in the world. I hope that the system which it
has always maintained, the system of courtesy, the recognition
on the one hand of the courtesy of unobstructed debate and
on the other of the courtesy of unobstructed voting, may continue: but if it can not continue, then it seems to me the dignified and patriotic course is to take some such step as is now proposed by the Senator from Connecticut.
I am well aware that there are measures now pending, measures with reference to the tariff, which I consider more injurious
to the country than the financial measure now before us. I am
aware that there is a measure which has been rushed into the
House of Representatives at the very moment when they are calling on us Republicans for nonpartisanship which is partisan in
the highest degree, and which involves evils which t regard as
infinitely worse than anything that can arise from any economic
measure, because it is a blow at human rights and personal
liberty. I know that those measures are at hand. I know that
such a rule as is now proposed will enable a majority surely
to put them through this body after due debate, and will lodge
in the hands of a majority the power and the high responsibility
which I believe the majority ought always to have. But, Mr.
President, I do not shrink from the conclusion in the least if it
is right now to take a step like this, as I believe it is, in order
to pass a measure which the whole country is demanding, then,
as it seems to me, it is right to pass it for all measures. If it is
not right for this measure, then it is not right to pass it for any
other. The business of the country is in dire distress. The people of the country are suffering. W e ought to have immediate
repeal. W e ought, as a patriotic duty, to vote on this repeal of
the silver act. W e can not do it because the majority will not
pass the necessary rules and while we debate the business of
the country perishes.
I believe that the most important principle in our Government
is that the majority should rule.
It is for that reason that I
have done what lay in my power to promote what I thought was
for the prot3ction of elections, because I think the majority
should rule at the ballot box.
I think equally that the majority should rule on this floor; not by violent methods, but by
proper dignified rules such as are proposed by my colleague and
by the Senator from Connecticut. The country demands action
and we give them words.
For these reasons, Mr. President, I
have ventured to detain the Senate in order to express my most
cordial approbation of the principle involved in the proposed
rules which have just been referred to the committee.