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over-production of everything desired because of the underproduction of the ability to buy. They can not pay for loyalty except with their suffrages, and can only punish betrayal with their condemnation. Although the ones who most deserve the fostering care of Government, their cries for help too often beat in vain against the outer wall, while others less deserving find ready access to legislative halls.
This army, vast and daily growing, begs the party to be its champion in the present conflict. It cannot press its claims 'mid sounds of revelry. Its phalanxes do not form in grand parade, nor has it gaudy banners floating on the breeze. Its battle hymn is "Home, Sweet Home," its war cry "equality before the law." To the Democratic party, standing between these two irreconcilable forces, uncertain to which side to turn, and conscious that upon its choice its fate depends, come the words of Israel's second lawgiver: "Choose you this day whom ye will serve." What will the answer be? Let me invoke the memory of him whose dust made sacred the soil of Monticello when he joined
The dead but sceptered sovereigns who still rule
He was called a demagogue and his followers a mob, but the immortal Jefferson dared to follow the best promptings of his heart. He placed man above matter, humanity above property, and, spurning the bribes of wealth and power, pleaded the cause of the common people. It was this devotion to their interests which made his party invincible while he lived and will make his name revered while history endures. And what message comes to us from the Hermitage? When a crisis like the present arose and the national bank of his day sought to control the politics of the nation, God raised up an Andrew Jackson, who had the courage to grapple with that great enemy, and by overthrowing it, he made himself the idol of the people and reinstated the Democratic party in public confidence. What will the decision be today. The Democratic party has won the greatest success in its history. Standing upon this victory-crowned summit, will it turn its face to the rising or the setting sun? Will it choose blessings or cursings-life or death-which? Which?
The bill passed the House by a considerable majority and after nearly two months of debate in the Senate, came back to the House with an amendment.
On Nov. 1st, 1893, I again spoke on this question:
Third Speech Against Unconditional Repeal.
Mr. Speaker: Nothing that can be said at this time will affect the fate of this bill, but those gentlemen who vote for it should do so with a full and clear understanding of what they are doing. We have been told, sir, that the Democratic platform adopted in 1892 demanded the unconditional repeal of the Sherman law. No person has brought into this House a single platform utterance which will bear out that assertion. The platform does not even demand repeal, not to speak of unconditional repeal. It says: "We denounce the Republican legislation known as the Sherman act of 1890 as a cowardly makeshift fraught with possibilities of danger in the future,
which should make all of its supporters, as well as its author, anxious for its speedy repeal." Its author does seem to be "anxious for its speedy repeal," and in this desire many of its supporters join with him; but why should a Democratic Congress secure that repeal without first restoring, at least, the law which the Sherman law repealed? Then, too, the denunciation contained in the platform is directed against the whole law, not simply against the purchase clause. Yet we are urged to support this bill for the unconditional repeal of the purchase clause only as a Democratic measure. What is the history of this bill? It is identical in purpose and almost identical in language with a bill introduced by Senator Sherman July 14, 1892.
To show the similarity between the bill introduced then by Senator Sherman and the bill introduced since by Mr. Wilson, I place the two bills in parallel columns:
Fifty-second Congress, first session.
3423, introduced in the Senate July 14, 1892, by Mr. Sherman.
A bill for the repeal of certain parts of the act directing the purchase of silver bullion and the issue of Treasury notes thereon, and for other purposes, approved July 14, 1890.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That so much of the act entitled "An act directing the purchase of silver bullion and the issue of Treasury notes thereon, and for other purposes," approved July 14, 1890, as directs the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase, from time to time, silver bullion to the aggregate amount of 4,500,000 ounces, or so much thereof as may be offered in each month, at the market price thereof, and to issue in payment for such purchases of silver bullion Treasury notes of the United States is hereby repealed, to take effect on the 1st day of January, 1893; Provided, That this act shall not in any way affect or impair or change the legal qualities, redemption or use of the Treasury notes issued under said act.
Fifty-third Congress, first session. H. R. 1, introduced in the House August 11, 1893, by Mr. Wilson.
A bill 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."
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That so much of the act approved July 14, 1890, entitled "An act directing the purchase of silver bullion and issue of Treasury notes thereon, and for other purposes," as directs the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase, from time to time, silver bullion to the aggregate amount of 4,500,000 ounces, or so much thereof as may be offered in each month, at the market price thereof, not exceeding $1 for 371.25 grains of pure silver, and to issue in payment for such purchases Treasury notes of the United States, be, and the same is hereby repealed; but this repeal shall not impair or in any manner affect the legaltender quality of the standard silver dollars heretofore coined; and the faith and credit of the United States are hereby pledged to maintain the parity of the standard gold and silver coins of the United States at the present legal ratio, or such other ratio as may be established by law.
Does the Senator from Ohio originate Democratic measures?
The gentlemen who favor this bill may follow the leadership of Senator Sherman and call it Democratic; but until he is converted to true principles of finance I shall not follow him, nor will I apply to his financial policy the name of Democracy or honesty. The Wilson bill passed the House, but a majority of the Democrats voted in favor of substituting the Bland law in the place of the Sherman law before they voted for unconditional repeal, showing that
they were not for unconditional repeal until Republican votes had deprived them of that which they preferred to unconditional repeal, namely, the Bland law. When the bill in its present form was reported to the Senate, four of the Democratic members of the Finance Committee opposed the bill and only two Democrats favored it. When the bill passed the Senate, twenty-two Democrats were recorded in favor of the bill and twenty-two against it, and that, too, in spite of the fact that every possible influence was brought to bear to secure Democratic support for the measure. Before a vote was reached thirty-seven Democratic Senators agreed to a compromise, so that this bill does not come to us expressing the free and voluntary desire of the Democratic party.
Not only does unconditional repeal fail to carry out the pledge made in the last national platform, but it disregards the most important part of the financial plank, in not redeeming the promise to maintain "the coinage of both gold and silver, without discrimination against either metal or charge for mintage." That promise meant something. It was a square declaration in favor of bimetallism. The tail to this bill, added in the Senate as an amendment, pretends to promise a future fulfillment of platform pledges. We are not here to promise, but to fulfill. We are not here to renew platform pledges, but to carry them out. But even if it were our duty to postpone bimetallism and record another promise, the Senate amendment does not contain the vital words of the financial plank. The Senate amendment eliminates from the platform the important declaration in favor of "the coinage of both gold and silver without discrimination against either metal or charge for mintage." To show the important difference between the Senate amendment and that part of our platform, I arrange them in parallel columns:
We hold to the use of both gold and silver as the standard money of the country, and to the coinage of both gold and silver without discrimination against either metal or charge for mintage, but the dollar unit of coinage of both metals must be of equal intrinsic and exchangeable value or be adjusted through international agreement, or by such safe guards of legislation as shall insure the maintenance of the parity of the two metals and the equal power of every dollar at all times in the markets and in the payment of all debts.
THE SENATE AMENDMENT.
Were those important words striken out by intention or was it simply an oversight? No, Mr. Speaker, those words were purposely left out because those who are behind the bill never intend to carry out the Democratic platform; and if we can judge their purpose by their acts, those who prepared the platform never intended when it was written that it should be fulfilled after it had secured the suffrage of the American people.
When they had a strike at Homestead some time ago they used force to remedy what they considered their grievances. We said then that the ballot, not the bullet, was the means by which the American people redressed their grievances. What shall we say now when people elected upon a platform and pledged to a principle disregard those pledges when they come to the legislative halls? It is a blow at representative government which we cannot afford to give. We are not sent here because we know more than others and can think for them. We are sent here to carry out the wishes, to represent the interests, and to protect the rights of those who sent us. What defense can we make if this bill is passed? It is not demanded by the people; the farmers and laborers who constitute the great bulk of our people have never asked for it; those who speak for their organizations have never prayed for it.
So far as the laborer has been heard from, he has denounced unconditional repeal; so far as the farmer has been heard from, he has denounced unconditional repeal. Who gave the eastern capitalists the right to speak for these men. It is a contest between the producers of wealth and those who exchange or absorb it. We have heard a great deal about business interests and business men demanding repeal. Who are the business men? Are not those entitled to that name who are engaged in the production of the necessaries of life? Is the farmer less a business man than the broker, because the former spends three hundred and sixty-five days in producing a crop which will not bring him over a dollar a day for his labor, while the latter can make ten times the farmer's annual income in one successful bet on the future price of the farmer's product? I protest, Mr. Speaker, against the use of the name business men in such a way as to exclude the largest and most valuable class of business men in the country. Unconditional repeal stops the issue of money. With this law gone, no more silver certificates can be issued, and no more silver bought. There is no law to provide for the issue of greenbacks. We must rely for our additional currency upon our share of the limited supply of gold, and the bank notes which national banks may find it profitable to issue.
Does anybody deny that our currency must increase as our population increases and as our need for money increases? Does any one believe that our need for money can be supplied without affirmative legislation? Is it any more wise to destroy the present means for increasing our currency before a new plan is adopted than it would be to repeal the McKinley tariff act without putting some other revenue measure in its place? Our platform says: "We denounce the McKinley tariff law enacted by the Fifty-first Congress as the culminating atrocity of class legislation," and "we promise its repeal as one of the beneficent results that will follow the action of the people in intrusting power to the Democratic party." We also demanded a tariff for revenue only. Is there any more reason for separating the repeal of the Sherman law from the enactment of bimetallic legislation than there is for separating the repeal of the McKinley bill from the enactment of a "tariff for revenue only" measure? Having harmonized with Mr. Sherman, shall we proceed to harmonize with Mr. McKinley? There are many Republicans who tell us now that the prospect of tariff reduction has destroyed confidence to a greater extent than the Sherman law has.
In order to avoid another manufacturer's panic will it be necessary to
abandon another tenet of the Democratic faith and give up all hope of tariff reduction? Unconditional repeal will make it more difficult to restore free bimetallic coinage. It cannot aid bimetallism without disappointing the dearest hopes of those gentlemen who are most active in its support. If it were not so serious a matter it would be interesting to note the mortification which must come either to the gold supporters or to the silver supporters of unconditional repeal. They are working in perfect harmony to secure exactly opposite results by means of this bill. Who will be deceived? This is only the first step. It will be followed by an effort to secure an issue of bonds to maintain gold payments. Senator Sherman, the new prophet of Democracy, has already stated that bonds must be issued, and we know that last spring the whole pressure of the monied interest was brought to bear to secure an issue of bonds then. Do you say that Congress would not dare to authorize the increase of the public debt in time of peace? What is there that this Congress may not dare to do after it has given its approval to the iniquitous measure now before us?
It has also been suggested that the silver dollars now on hand be limited in their legal-tender qualities. We need not be surprised if this suggestion assumes real form in attempted legislation. It has already been proposed to increase the circulation of national banks and thus approve of a policy which our party has always denounced. But we need be surprised at nothing now. The party can never undergo a more complete transformation upon any question than it has upon the silver question, if the representatives really reflect the sentiments of those who sent them here. We have been told of the great blessings which are to follow unconditional repeal. Every rise in stocks has been paraded as a forerunner of coming prosperity. I have taken occasion to examine the quotations on one of the staple products of the farm, and in order to secure a basis for calculation, I have taken wheat for December delivery.
I give below the New York quotations on December wheat, taken from the New York Price Current. The quotations are for the first day of the months of June, July, August, September, October and October 30, or as near those dates as could be gathered from the Price Current, which is published about twice a week:
June 1, December wheat, 83%.
(Special session called June 30, to meet August 7.)
July 1, December wheat, 81%.
October 1, December wheat, 74%.
(Compromise abandoned and repeal assured about October 23.)
October 30, December wheat, 71%1⁄2.
(Unconditional repeal passed Senate evening of October 30.)
The following is an extract from the market report touching the general situation in New York and the grain market in Chicago. The report appears in the morning issue of the Washington Post, November 1.
Big Scramble to Sell-The Change of Sentiment was a Surprise to the Street-London Began the Raid-Those Who Believed the Passage of the Repeal Bill Would Lead