half, and use such depreciated dollars to pay our public debt.
Bear in mind that we are discussing this question from the point of
honor and good faith and not from the point of power or technical legal
right, for I have already said that the Government can do as it pleases.
THE MEANING OF "STANDARD COIN."
The fact is, and no one questions it, that in 1870 whenever the words
"standard coin" were used, they referred, in the understanding of the mar-
kets, to gold coin. Almost no silver dollars had been coined for circulation
for years, and none were in actual circulation. The silver dollar was in
1870 worth over 2 cents more than the gold dollar. All the loans under
that act were paid into the Treasury in gold or its equivalent, and nobody
thought of a silver dollar in. that connection.
More than three-fourths of the outstanding bonds were as a matter of
fact issued and sold after 1873, when the silver dollar was dropped from
the list of coins. Now, in view of these facts, after the Government has
sold all its bonds for gold, after it has paid all its matured bonds in gold
or its equivalent for so many years without any deviation, after the law pro-
viding for the free and unlimited coinage of silver at the ration of 16 to 1
has been repealed for twenty-five years, would it be good faith for Congress,
now that silver has so greatly depreciated, to restore its free and unlimited
coinage at the ratio of 16 to 1 when the market ratio is 33 to 1, and then
use such dollars to pay the bonds which we had sold for gold under such
NO TIME FOB, TRIFLING.
I do not think it would. I have so high an appreciation of the sense of
honor of gentlemen on the other side even that I can not bring myself to
believe that they in their hearts believe it would. I fear that many of you
are resting on the expectation which you have that nothing of this kind
will be clone and are excusing your vote for it on the unworthy idea that you
are "playing politics/'
If so, I beg of you to not trifle with the honor and good faith of the nation
for any such miserable end, for rest assured such an expression of opinion
as to the sense of honor of the people of tUts country contemplated by this
resolution under existing conditions would seriously injure the credit of the
country and tend te weaken reviving confidence.
Let me read to gentlemen on the other side the patriotic utterance of a
Democratic Senator, Mr. Caff cry, only a few days ago, who said in reference
to this resolution:
A DEMOCRATIC SENATOR'S VIEW.
"I do not agree that a great government, having in it power the passage of an act which will
depreciate its own coin, and passing the act, has a right to say to the public creditor, 'I have depreci-
ated the coin which I have the option to pay in, and I will pay you t!:e depreciated coin; and that
discharges my obligation according to the stipulation of the bond.' If that is morality, I do not know
what morality is. If to take advantage of an net of the Govern meut^the Government being the debtor,
having in its power to debase it* own obligations, is not a violation of the public faith, my feeble mind
can not conceive of au instance where public faith could be violated by an act of turpitude or dishonor."
Mr. Speaker, there is another phase of this subject which should not be
ignored. The pending resolution refers specifically only to the payment of
the interest-bearing obligations of the Government. In spirit, however, it
includes the five hundred millions of legal-tender demand notes of the Gov-
ernment which are used as currency. If it be honest and in good faith to
pay our interest-bearing obligations in silver dollars coined under unlimited
coinage at the ratio of 16 to 1, and therefore worth, as standard silver dol-
lars coined in the same way and at nearly the same ratio in Mexico are
worth, less than 50 cents each, then it is also honest and in good faith to use
the same kind of dollars in redeeming our demand obligations.
And this step would, of course, depreciate every greenback and Treasury
note one-half, as well as all of our present silver dollars and silver certificates,
and at once deprive us of all our gold for use as money. What the eftect of
such a depreciation of our dollar and of all of our currency, and such a loss
of all our geld, would have on the industries and business of this country and
on the wages which are now paid to the masses of our people in money as
good as gold can be faintly imagined, but not fully appreciated until such a
disaster should overtake us.
EVERY DOLLAR OF CURRENCY AS GOOD AS GOLD.
The one pivotal prfnciple on which we should stand is that every dollar
of cur currency, whether silver or paper, shall be kept as gocd as gold. We
favor whatever full legal-tender silver can be maintained at an equality of
value or purchasing power with gold, even the free and unlimited coinage of
silver at a fixed ratio with gpold, whenever an international agreement of the
leading commercial nations can be secured to that end, which, in our judg-
ment, is the only way in which, under existing conditions, the concurrent
circulation of gold and silver under free and unlimited coinage can be secured.
If it be claimed by our 16 to 1 free silver friends that such an interna-
tional agreement can not be secured, which I do not admit, then I reply that
full bimetallism, by which I mean, as is popularly understood, the concur-
rent circulation of both gold and silver full legal-tender coins under un-
limited coinage, is possible under existing conditions in no other way; and
I can only add that M.' Meline, the French premier, recently stated in the
French Chamber of Deputies that this is the view which France holds.
And I further reply that in such a contingency the only way that remains
to secure the concurrent circulation of both gold and silver legal-tender coins
is by limited coinage, which is precisely the method by which we have to-day
four hundred and fifty-six millions of full legal-tender silver, all but seven-
teen millions of which are in circulation either in the form of coin or
certificates of deposit, and precisely the method by which France has about
four hundred millions of such silver in use as money all in both countries
kept as good as gold.
16 TO 1 MEANS SILVER MONOMETALLISM.
And I still further reply that the free and unlimited coinage of silver at
the ratio of 16 to 1 by this country alone, which our silver friends dub
"bimetallism," would simply result in silver monometallism by taking gold
out of use as money in this country, just as it h'as resulted in Mexico and
every other country which has tried It under the conditions that have ex-
isted since the great reduction in the cost of producing silver and the un-
exampled increase in the yield of that metal in the last quarter of a century.
It is because I believe, as does every scientific bimetallist in the world
outside of politics, that 16 to 1 free and unlimited silver by this country alone
would make the United States a silver monometallic country like Mexico and
China, and would give us a silver basis that would obstruct our trade with
gold-standard countries that now take 90 per cent, of our exports, and prove
a serious menace to our progress, and because I believe that it would seri-
ously injure our credit and standing as a nation, that I appeal to gentlemen
on this side of the House to maintain the pledge which the Republican party
made at St. Louis to keep all our currency, whether silver or paper, as good
as gold and preserve inviolable the public faith and credity and to gentlemen
on the other side of the House to maintain the standard of value which
Jackson's Administration gave the country sixty-four years ago and the
honor and good faith of the nation so carefully preserved by the fathers of
the Democratic party, and to take the opportunity offered by the resolution
now before the House to show to the country and world that the good name
of the nation is safe in our handa. (Loud applause on the Republican side.)
HOW THE TELLER RESOLUTION PASSED THE SENATE.
(From the remarks of Hon. Albert J. Hopkins, of Illinois.)
How does it happen that the Senate has become a free-silver legislative
body? Mr. Speaker, it is easy of explanation. Under our constitutional
form of government the Senators of the United States are elected, not by the
people, as are the members of this House, but by States. Each State is en-
titled to two representatives in the Senate regardless of the population of the
State. It so happens, therefore, that the State of Nevada has two representa-
tives in the United States Senate who voted for this resolution now under
consideration. The State of Illinois has only two Senators in that body, and
they voted against it.
We thus see that Nevada in the Senate of the United States has the same
legislative vote as the State of Illinois. In 1896 the whole number of votes
cast in Nevada aggregated only 10,815, while in Illinois the whole number
of votes cast was 1,089,888. Ten thousand voters in the little State of Nevada
are thus enabled, in the Senate of the United States, under existing constitu-
tional conditions, to have the same power and voting capacity that 1,089,888
voters have in the State of Illinois. Less than 40,000 inhabitants, who form
the population of the State of Nevada, in the Senate of tke United States,
on a great question like the one now under consideration, can offset the
power and authority of more than 4,000,000 people who form the present
population of the great State of Illinois.
The vote in the Senate which adopted this resolution and sent it to the
House for consideration, as announced, was ayes 47, nays 32, thas giving a
majority of 15 votes in favor of the resolution. These 15 Senators who con-
stitute the free-silver majority in the Senate of the United States come
from the States of Colorado, Wyoming-, Idaho, Montana, Washington,
South Dakota, Nevada, and Utah. The entire population of these States
aggregates only 1,621,311, which is 2,400,000 less than the population of
the State of Illinois alone.
It is from these figures easy to determine the fact that the sparsely settled
silver States have in the Senate of the United States an influence vastly
greater than their population and importance warrant. The Senators who
voted against the adoption of this resolution when it was considered in the
Senate the other day represent in the aggregate 5,000,000 people more than
those who favored the resolution. It is thus made clear that the action of
the Senate cannot be taken as a fair expression of the sentiment of the
people of this country on the great question embodied in the resolution.
INJURY TO NINETY-NINE TO STRIKE A BLOW AT ONE.
(From the Speech of Hon. Thomas H. Tongue, of Oregon.)
It is by law declared to be the established policy and duty of this Gov-
ernment "to maintain the two metals on a parity with each, other" and "to
maintain at all times the equal power of every dollar coined or issued by the
United States in the markets and in the payment of debts."
The friends of the resolution under consideration in the Senate voted
down an amendment substantially declaring the existence of this law. That
vote has neither changed nor repealed nor weakened the binding provisions
of the statute. But why vote down such an amendment? If deemed neces-
sary or important to declare what the existing law is, why not declare it
fully and truthfully? But this vote on the part of the friends of this resolu-
tion, and under the lead of the Senator who introduced it, was significant." It
can have no other meaning than a declaration of the intention of the friends
of this resolution that, if Intrusted with executive and legislative power, they
will destroy the parity now maintained between the two metals and refuse to
"maintain the equal power of every dollar coined or issued by the United
States in the markets and in the payment of debts." * * * * *
Why make the bonded indebtedness the occasion for a national ni ancial
policy? Why seek to bring disturbance into our business arrangements, to
inflict severe injury upon 99 per cent, of the creditors of the United States in
order to strike a vicious blow at 1 per cent.? You can not coin a. dollar for the
payment of bonds that will not be used to pay labor, to pay pensions, to pay
insurance policies, to pay bank depositors, and to pay the farmer for every
product he has to sell. There should be and can be no misunderstanding
of the purpose and intent of the friends of this resolution. It is proposed
to abandon the present monetary standard of the United States, the standard
we have maintained for more than fifty years, the standard of every intelli-
gent, civilized country, the standard by which all our property has been
bought and sold, by which all our business transactions have been measured,
and to commit us to the standard of semicivilization and barbarism.
It proposes to abandon bimetallism in practice and in business for silrer
monometallism. It proposes the most stupendous ex post facto law ever con-
ceived in the brain of the wildest dreamer. It proposes that the standard by
which business transactions and business contracts amounting to $40,000,-
000,000 were measured at the time of the making shall be changed at the
time of the settlement, and that the settlement of these business transactions
shall be measured by a standard not contemplated by either party. It pro-
poses such a stupendous revolution that it would stop business, paralyze in-
dustry, bind the hands of enterprise, take from labor both its employment and
its reward, and precipitate national and industrial bankruptcy.
THE SHOP LABORER EQUALLY INTERESTED WITH THE BOND-
(Hon. D. B. Henderson, of Iowa.)
Severe reference has been made in this debate to the recent utterance of
President McKinley when addressing, January 27 last, the great National
Association of Manufacturers. What did he say? Listen to him:
The United State* will discharge all of its obligations in the currency recognized as the best
throughout the civilized world at the time of payment.
There is the language of a patriot and of an honest man. This resolution
would cut in two every dollar to be paid by the Government upon its bonded
obligations. Cut that in two and you will cut in two every dollar in the
country, whether paid to bondholders or to contractors, laborers, pensioners,
or Government employees. In brief, gold would be driven out and free coin-
age of silver, with silver monometallism and a 50-ceut dollar, would follow.
Ruin to capital and labor would result, and suffering such as our people
have never known would certainly follow. President McKinley, the Repub-
lican party, and hundreds of thousands of patriotic Democrats voted against
this in 1896, and will again in 1900 with such an issue before them.
While the Republican party is in power such conditions will not be al-
lowed to blight our land.
Mr. Speaker, in this battle I recognize a familiar monogram which I saw
upon the Bryan banner in the last national campaign.
Mr. BAILEY. And you will see it there in the next one, too.
Mr. HENDERSON. All right; and we will tear it down as we did last
time. (Applause en the Republican side.) That monogram is "R. R. R.."
Radical, rascally repudiation. That is your monogram.
Now, what does this declaration mean? It is nothing but a repetition
of the howling recently heard in Demo-Popocratic national conventions.
That is all. To pass resolutions, as you did at Chicago, to be trampled under
foot by the Sound-Money Republicans and Democrats of this Republic.
(Loud. applause on the Republican side.) Do not do that, boys; do not in-
terrupt, as my time is limited.
Howl at the bondholders, scold away, gentlemen, but you cannot pare
down the money to be paid to the bondholders and here I want the attention
of my friend from Ohio (Mr. Norton) without cutting in two the pension
money paid to the old soldier and his widow. (Applause on the Republican
side and jeers on the Democratic side.) You cannot cut in two the money to
be paid to one citizen of the Republic without cutting in two the money to
be paid to the laborer in the shops of my country.
Mr. SIMPSON, of Kansas. How about the old pensioner?
Mr. HENDERSON. A man is a very mean man who would try to steal
a piece of five minutes (laughter), and none but a Pcpocrat would do it, too.
(Renewed laughter.) What does this proposition mean? What is this dec-
laration for? It is to put this country on a single silver standard, on silver
monometallism, cutting in two the dollars paid to the hard-handed farmer in
my State and in yours, to the toiler in the shop, the pensioner, and every
man who wants to give honest work for honest pay.
Confound the party that will advocate such a doctrine! (Laughter on
the Democratic side and loud applause on the Republican side.) You talk
about the declaration of McKinley. God bless little Mac for what he saiil.
(Loud applause on the Republican side.) "Every creditor shall be paid in the
best money." That takes in the bondholder, the hodholder, the plowholder,
the penholder, and the holder of pension vouchers. Face this music, as you
have started it. You say you want to "meet the Republicans across the
aisle." All right. Meet the boys across the aisle now, in November, and in
1900, and we will thrash you even worse than we thrashed you before. . (Loud
cheers on the Republican side.)
CONDITIONS TJNDEE, WHICH THE 16 TO 1 RATIO WAS SAFE.
(From the speech of Hon. Charles H. Grosvenor, of Ohio.)
In the Ohio Legislature of 1876-77 a resolution was brought in which I
will show you was in exact consonance with the Republican attitude of that
day and not in any degree inconsistent with the attitude of the Republican
party of this day. Let me call your attention to two conditions which then
existed. First, the relative value of gold and silver, the ratio between the
silver in a dollar and the gold in a dollar, WES 17.22 to 1, varying by only
this small fraction from the legal distinction between the gold and the silver
dollar. The divergence had been fluctuating sometimes a little higher, some-
times a little lower; but the divergence at that time was so small that there
was a general impression in the Republican party, west of the mountains at
least, that by restoring the coinage of the silver dollar and its restoration
to the uses of the Government as money of redemption there might be a
coming together of the two metals which would render unnecessary any
further agitation of the question.
There was pending in the Congress of the United States a proposition it
may not have been drafted into a bill which afterwards became known as
the Bland-Allison Act. That act provided for the purchase of a certain
amount of silver, to wit, two and one-half million ounces, and the coinage
of it into silver dollars that should be lawful money for the redemption of
the currency of the country. Under the fear, which no man could explain
or answer, that the Government might be put to protest upon its legal-
tender paper, on the 1st of January, 1879, the Legislatures of a number of
Republican States of the country passed resolutions looking to the further-
ance of the enactment of the Bland-Allison law.
A resolution of that character made its appearance in the Legislature of
Ohio. I was a member of that Legislature. Both branches of the Legislature
were strongly Republican. That resolution was introduced in the Senate by
a Republican Senator; it was reported favorably by a Republican commit-
tee; and it was passed, if my recollection is not at fault, without a dissent-
ing voice. There was not more than one Senator, if any, who voted against
it. It came to the Ohio House of Representatives. It was referred to a
committee; it was reported back from the committee, as I recollect, by a
unanimous vote, and passed in the House by a vote of every member of
the House, both Democrat and Republican; and by an examination of the
record I find that I went out of my usual way and voted for the measure,
although I was Speaker of the House, and not ordinarily called upon to vote.
That was the unanimous voice of the Republicans and Democrats of the
State of Ohio. In what did it culminate? It culminated in the passage of
the Bland-Allison Act. These votes of members of Congress that have been
spoken of here so fluently were cast in the approaching hours of the conflict
that ended in the enactment of the Bland bill amended by the Allison amend-
So the Republicans made their record. They were in favor of the two
metals; strictly speaking, in favor of bimetallism in the coinage of the coun-
try so long as there would be no wider discrepancy than that which existed
in 1877 and 1878.
Then came the Bland-Allison Act, and I shall not travel through the
years that it was on the statute books of the country. It was repealed by
what we called the Sherman Act, for which I voted, and which was in sub-
stance a Republican measure. Then came the repeal of the Sherman Act
in its purchasing clause at the demand of a Democratic Administration.
And now I want you to bear in mind that the attitude of Mr. Cleveland to
this silver question was just as well known in 1885 as it ever became known.
He had written his famous letter to General Warner before taking his seat
as President of the United States, denouncing the whole plan and theory
of bimetallism, and yet you Democrats not only supported his Administra-
tion through four years, but you renominated him for President in 18S8.
It was at his demand that Congress came together. It was at his demand
that you marshaled the Democratic power on the floors of the two branches
of Congress in extra session.
GENERAL GRANT SAID OUR BONDS WEUE PAYABLE IN GOLD.
(From the speech of Hon. J. P. Dolliver, of Iowa.)
My friend from Missouri (Mr. Bland) says that nobody is in favor of
the settlement of the public debt in gold except the bankers and brokers and
the money power. And he inquires where we get the inspiration for such
treatment of the bonded indebtedness of the United States. I do not know
where he gets his inspiration, but I know where the Republican party get
theirs. They get it from the history and record of the times when the debt
was contracted, as interpreted in the first inaugural address of Ulysses S.
Grant as President of the United States, who was elected upon a platform
requiring the Government of the United States to make good its promise
to pay its debts in dollars which every human being at that time under-
stood to be the gold-coin dollars of the United States. What did General
"To protect the national honor every dollar of Government indebtedness
should be paid in gold, unless otherwise expressly stipulated in the contract."
(Applause on the Democratic side.)
Now, I ask these gentlemen, will any man rise and state what bond
Issue of the United States, made to provide money to carry on the war, con-
taiiifeu the express stipulation that it was to be paid otherwise than in gold?
Mr. WILT/IAMS, of Mississippi. Every bond which says "coin" says
otherwise than gold. It says "either gold or silver."
Mr. DOLLIVBR. When I was speaking a moment ago, the Democratic
party on this floor, with its irrelevant applause, nearly ruined my speech
(laughter) undertaking to interpret the meaning of General Grant when he
used the words in his first inaugural "unless otherwise expressly stipulated
in the contract" which I had the honor to read. It will take me less than a
minute to read for the benefit of the House the interpretation of those words
put upon them by General Grant himself. I read from a letter of his to Mr.
Washburn, from Paris, in 1878, contained in the North American Review
for August, 1S97:
The whole Democratic party cried itself hoarse over the outrage upon the Constitution
when the nation in its desperation adopted the "legal tender note." Now the whole party
seems to bo willing to Issue an unlimited quantity of this money in spite of their previous
declaration, in spite of the solemn promise that above a certain amount four hundred
millionshould not be issued, in spite of the solemn obligation that those issued should be
redeemed in coin, understood at the time to be gold coin.
(Applause on the Republican side.)
Yet it is to-day tlaimed on 1 this floor that the contract to pay In paper
was wickedly changed so as to make paper bonds payable in coin, and the
word "coin" wickedly changed to mean "gold."