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of God” looking down upon him, and he will over the precariousness of which we must hold be safe once more.
our breath, is not solidly good at all ; it is a It has been truly said somewhere that a transient vexation. The real goods of life are man never really possesses anything until he as surely ours as the dawn; there is no has abandoned it to Heaven, honestly letting escaping them. it go, and Heaven has then surprised him by Therefore, from all this, it follows that the giving it back to him. With only a few one thing needful for any human being to treasures among the many which we clutch know is the will of God. There lies our and relinquish will Heaven ever reward us duty and our deep content. There lies our thus; but they are the only things worth only chance of making our existence at all having, they are the inalienable possessions worth while ; there lies the significance and of our souls.
salvation of the universe. The Kingdom It is strange that we do not realize this. A will come as soon as the Will is done. Let good for which we must scheme and strive, us not thwart it.
THE CURRENCY BILL AND THE
AND THE BANKS
1-WHY THE BANKERS OPPOSE THE BILL
HE word banker exercises great in turers are political economists as to assume
fluence in every community. This that all bankers are financiers. Tne greatest
is partly because it implies the pos financiers of modern times were not bankers session of money, and the man with money.- at all. Think of their names : Alexander unquestionably possesses power. It is also Hamilton, Albert Gallatin, Salmon P. Chase, partly because the bankers of the United William Windom, William E. Gladstone. States are the well-to-do men, the men of Hamilton was a publicist from very young education and general intelligence, the men manhood ; Gallatin was a merchant, a farmer, who move in good society, and this implies and a teacher of French in Harvard College ; intellectual power. The average American Chase and Windom were lawyers ; and Gladhas, it is true, an exaggerated respect for stone, than whom there has perhaps never money, but he also has a highly commend been a greater financier in the English-speakable respect for intellectual power.
ing world, who shaped budgets and planned If a merchant, or a teacher, or an editor, financial legislation with consummate skill, or even a President of the United States, was much more interested in English theology expresses an opinion on a matter of finance, and Greek literature than he was in - trafit is often said that the opinion cannot be ficking in money." worth much because the man who utters it is We have no wish to detract from the not a "financier." If a banker, however, deservedly high esteem in which American says something on finance, no matter how bankers are held. They are a fine body of dogmatic, it is accepted as the word of an men. They perform a great public service expert—as though an astronomer should in looking with fidelity after the money of speak about the stars, or a metallurgist about their shareholders and their depositors; but mining, or a chemist about the analysis of there is a popular fallacy that they are somefood, or a doctor about anatomy.
how or other specially designed by Providence Now, a matter of fact, a banker to shape the financial legislation of this is not necessarily always a financier. A country because they are daily handling banker, according to the “Century Dic money. tionary,” is one who traffics in money ;'' We think this fallacy ought to be frankly a financier is “ an officer who is intrusted attacked. If it is a correct principle that the with the control of financial interests; one man who daily handles a commodity knows who regulates or manages the public revc all about the laws which govern its production nues.”
and distribution, then the cotton-spinner ought One might as well say that all manufac to be able to tell you how to eradicate the boll
weevil ; the coal-miner ought to be able to their business. The law was passed in spite tell you what kind of a grate-bar and how of their protest, and its operation has been much forced draught will give you the best of the greatest pecuniary benefit to the railsteam power in a battle-ship ; the bookbinder way transportation business of this country. ought to make a good critic of poetry, and Some of the firmest friends to-day of the barbers should make successful professors of Inter-State Commerce Commission and of psychology!
the principle of Government regulation of Nor is the business man, who, naturally railways are found among the railway men and properly, is primarily concerned in a themselves. reasonable profit from the development of Here are four instances of sagacious, prachis business, always the best judge of the tical business men, deceived or prejudiced fundamental laws that govern that develop- by their own self-interest, opposing legislation ment.
the practical effect of which was to promote When George Stephenson made the loco their welfare and prosperity. motive practicable, and introduced the steam The analogy, we think, is plain. The railways into England, the owners and deal bankers of the country who are opposing the ers in horses fought him tooth and nail be Currency Bill of the Wilson Administration cause, they said (and, what is worse, believed), are not only making a patriotic mistake, but he was going to destroy all business done are really obstructing their own progress. with horses. What is the actual result ? If the bill is enacted into law, as we believe The steam railway has done more than any and hope it will be, we do not hesitate to other single industrial agency to develop the assert that the bankers of the country will horse business and promote the welfare of be the first to rush to its defense if it is the horse dealer.
threatened in any way. When Sprague and Westinghouse and There is not a banker in the country who their co-laborers developed the trolley car, does not feel the need in his own business the railways fought the suburban and inter of an elastic currency, such as is described urban trolley ; the railway men said that the in the Little Catechism on money which trolley would ruin their business ; but the we print on page 801. There is not a
results soon showed that the trolleys were a banker in the country ; who has given any · great feeder of the railway ; and now we can thought to the matter, who does not know hardly take the trolleys from the railways that the bill now before Congress provides by drastic legislation, so attached to them. on the whole an excellent plan for making have the railway managers become.
our bank currency elastic. One of the ablest The bankers opposed the introduction of and most public-spirited bankers of New York, the Postal Savings Bank into this country. Mr. A. Barton Hepburn, Chairman of the Those bankers who were engaged in the Currency Commission of the American Bankmanagement of savings banks were especially ers' Association, calls the bill drawn by Repvehement in their opposition. The latter, in resentative Glass “a very good bill in its their National Convention, condemned the general features and purpose.” What, then, postal savings banks on the ground that it is the specific reason why the representatives was going to destroy their business. The of National banks throughout the country are event has proved that they were mistaken. opposing the bill ? Here is the reason, The striking group of telegrams printed on the pointedly expressed in a resolution of a group following pages show clearly that the savings of sixty bankers, representing the Middle banks have not only not suffered but have West, held in Omaha a week or two ago : benefited from the introduction of the Postal We contend that the system of control deSavings Bank.
vised is inherently wrong in this: that the banks The railway managers of the country used furnishing the capital of the Federal Reserve every political and persuasive power they management, which will be placed in the hands
Bank are practically denied a voice in their possessed to prevent, ten years ago, the pas of a body of men whose relations to the busisage of the Hepburn Railway Rate Law, byness will be political and possibly partisan. which the railways of the country were put This is the old cry against Government under the regulation of a permanent and able regulation which the railways made ten Inter-State Commerce Commission. The years ago when the Hepburn Rate Bill was railway men, in all sincerity no doubt, asserted passed. that the Hepburn Law was going to destroy The Administration Currency Bill provides
that general control of the entire National President to choose their Supreme Court for bank system shall be in the hands of seven them, the bankers can certainly trust him to men, three of the seven being the Secretary choose the Federal Reserve Board. A Presiof the Treasury, the Comptroller of the dent who would prostitute the Federal ReCurrency, and the Secretary of Agriculture. serve Board to his own base political and The other four members are to be chosen by partisan advantage would endeavor to so the President of the United States, with the prostitute - the Supreme Court and would advice and consent of the Senate. It is deserve to be impeached. mandatory upon the President that at least No political, social, financial, or industrial one of his four appointees shall be an expe system was ever devised without its most rienced banker.
important element being confidence in human Under the Aldrich or Monetary Bill of honor. If the American system ever reaches 1911 the entire membership of this Federal a point where the President cannot be trusted, Reserve Board would have been chosen by in the full light of publicity and with the the bankers themselves.
supervision of the United States Senate, to Here, then, is the whole trouble. The case appoint our Federal judges, our inter-State is that of private control versus Government commerce commissions, and our bank supercontrol. To ask that the bankers shall-select visors, it will be time to abandon that system the Federal Reserve Board is like asking that and to adopt some form of benevolent desthe railways shall choose the Inter-State Com- potism. merce Commission. It is perhaps not un Much of the banking opposition is not natural that the bankers should be reluctant based seriously on the two per cent bond, to let the control pass out of their hands ; on the amount of reserve required by law, but is it quite fair for them to claim that or upon the rate of discount. Let us divest what is proposed is to substitute “political our minds of everything that may confuse control ” for business control ?
the issue. If the Federal Reserve Board, appointed The issue is between private regulation by by the President, with the advice and consent a group of men elected in a directors' room, of the Senate, is “political," then the Inter and public regulation by a group of men in State Commerce Commission is “ political" regard to whose choice the entire country has and the Supreme Court is “political.” a voice after the fullest publicity and discus
If the American people can trust the sion.
II–THE POSTAL SAVINGS BANK AND THE
Last week The Outlook sent the follow ness of the ordinary savings bank. It is quite ing telegram to each of the Governors of natural that most of the replies, however, the forty-nine States :
since they come from State officers, should Will you kindly ask your superintendent of
contain no definite expression of opinion. banking or some other appropriate officer to But the figures in every instance, as the inform us by telegram at our expense whether
reader will see, demonstrate conclusively that deposits in private savings banks in your State have increased or decreased since the establish
the postal savings bank has not affected ment of postal savings banks ? Our theory is other savings institutions unfavorably, and in that the postal savings bank has stimulated almost every instance the statistics show bethrift in all directions.
yond the shadow of doubt that the effect of Up to the time of going to press telegraphic the postal savings bank on the private banks responses had been received from thirty and the State savings banks has been advanseven States. Some of these responses, tageous. We believe that there is in all this as, for example, those from Mr. Pfeiffer, a striking and useful lesson in considering State Bank Commissioner of Colorado, and the Currency Bill now before Congress, and Mr. E. H. Doyle, Bank Commissioner of this lesson we have pointed out in the Michigan, Governor Haines of Maine, and previous article. We think our readers will be Governor Colquitt of Texas, definitely say that interested in the replies, which are given in full
. the postal savings bank has increased the busi It should be borne in mind that the postal
savings bank was inaugurated on January 1,
COLORADO 1911. The Third Assistant Postmaster
Denver, Colorado, July 30, 1913. General informs us that the last audited The Outlook, New York: figures show the total amount of postal sav Savings deposits as well as other deposits ings deposits to be $32,173,354.
have constantly increased in all State banks
under the supervision of this Department ALABAMA
since the establishment of the postal savings Montgomery, Alabama, July 31, 1913. bank. Our theory is that while the postal The Outlook, New York:
savings bank may have stimulated thrift, it Answering your telegram to the Governor, has principally been used by those who have savings deposits in all State banks of Alabama
heretofore concealed their funds or carried have increased from $6,059,000 to $9,007,000 them in the form of money orders. since postal savings banks were established.
EMIL W. PFEIFFER, A. E. WALKER,
State Bank Commissioner.
Hartford, Connecticut, July 30, 1913.
Official returns from savings banks in ConAnswering inquiry addressed to Governor, necticut made but once a year.
Last report total bank deposits have increased twenty in October, 1912. From October 1, 1911, per cent during last twelve months ; savings to October 1, 1912, there was an increase of deposits proportionately. To work up defi over $10,000,000 in savings bank deposits. nite comparative statement would require
BANK COMMISSIONERS. some time and perhaps some correspondence. For your immediate information the general statement might be made, subject to verifi
Dover, Delaware, July 30, 1913. cation, that in communities composed of
The Outlook, New York:
Your letter to the Governor referred to Americans the postal deposits average only
this office. Individual deposits in savings about one per cent of total ; in mining com
banks in Delaware on June 14, 1912, were munities, composed largely of foreign-born population, percentage of postal savings is
$10,800,000, and on June 4, 1913, $11,524,much larger. J. C. CALLAGHAN,
000, showing increase during first year of State Bank Comptroller.
postal savings banks.
THOMAS W. Miller, Sec'y of State.
Tallahassee, Florida, July 30, 1913. The Outlook, New York :
The Outlook, New York : Your message of the 30th to the Governor
The gratifying increase in deposits in savhas been referred to me for reply. In my
ings banks in this State is due to the general opinion, the deposits in savings banks are
advance along all lines. In my opinion, postal increasing each year. I believe the greater savings banks have not aided or retarded the part of the deposits received by the postal
increase. W. V. Knott, Comptroller. savings banks are from foreigners and people who have never used the private savings bank. I am not able to give you comparison
Atlanta, Georgia, July 31, 1913. of figures, as our Banking Department was The Outlook, New York : only created at last Legislature.
Your telegram to the Governor received. JOHN M. DAVIS, We have no private savings banks in Georgia, Bank Commissioner. and law provides for no savings banks of any
A. H. ULM,
Sec'y Executive Department.
IDAHO Deposits in California savings banks June
Boise, Idaho, July %), 1913. 30, 1910, were $331,000,000, and on June The Outlook, New york : 4, 1913, they were $430,000,000.
No private savings bank in State. Savings W. R. WILLIAMS, Supt. of Banks. deposits in State banks having savings de
partments have increased thirty per cent in than shown in September, 1911, when postal the past year. A. E. REID,
savings law went into effect.
Waterville, Maine, July 31, 1913. The Outlook, New York :
The Outlook, New York : State bank examiners have no jurisdiction Maine has increased her deposits in all her over private banks. A very large percentage savings institutions since the establishment of the bank charters issued in the last six of the postal savings bank. Maine's prosmonths were formerly private banks.
perity is largely due to the training her peoWilliam Ryan, State Treasurer. ple have had by the savings banks. All of our
banks now receive money in savings departIOWA
ments. Our people are extremely prosperDes Moines, Iowa, July 30, 1913.
ous under existing economic laws, but many The Outlook, -Vew York:
of our business men are frightened at proSavings deposits not materially increased
posed changes in tariff schedules, and all in Iowa by postal deposits. Private banks
would like to see the present monopoly of not under State supervision.
metropolitan banks in some way better reguJohn L. BLEAKLY.
lated by the Government. The country banks KANSAS
are now suffering from unreasonable refusals Topeka, Kansas, July 30, 1913.
of the city banks to extend credit to them, The Outlook, New York:
and our business interests will be very much Deposits in banks in Kansas that have injured if this continues. savings departments show no unnatural
William T. HAINES, Governor of Maine. growth since the postal savings law went into
MASSACHUSETTS effect. Savings deposits have increased, of
Boston, Massachusetts, July 31, 1913. course, just as the other deposits in the indi
The Outlook, New York: vidual banks have increased, and in about the
In reply to your telegram to our Governor same proportion.
I would state that the increase in the assets M. SAWYER, Bank Commissioner.
of the savings and co-operative banks in this
commonwealth was larger in the year 1912 KENTUCKY Frankfort, Kentucky, July 31, 1913.
than in any other year in the history of our The Outlook, New York:
savings banks. A school savings system has Your telegram to Governor McCreary has
been taken up by about fifty cities and towns been referred to me for answer. The rec
and is cared for by our savings banks, indiords of this Department, which only became cating the favor with which it is looked upon operative on July 1, 1912, show an increase for encouraging thrift among the school of $4,600,000 in time and savings deposits children. The effect of postal savings banks in report of June 4, 1913, as compared with
is not apparent to this department. September 4, 1912. There is bound to be
AUGUSTUS L. THORNDIKE, both a direct and indirect tendency to stimu
Bank Commissioner. late thrift in the citizens of any community
MICHIGAN by the introduction and use of savings banks
Lansing, Michigan, July 30, 1913. of any description. Such institutions are not
The Outlook, New York : numerous in an agricultural State like Ken
Savings deposits of State banks have tucky, where commercial banks are patron- increased since establishment of postal savized, and therefore the good effects of these ings banks. banks are not as apparent as they are in the
E. H. DOYLE, Commissioner. industrial centers. THEODORE J. SMITH, Banking Commissioner.
St. Paul, Minnesota. LOUISIANA
The Outlook, New York: Shreveport, Louisiana, July 30, 1913. Answering your telegram addressed to The Outlook, New York:
Governor Eberhard, Superintendent of Banks Savings deposits in Louisiana State banks informs us that the total increase in State showed $4,000,000 more in June, 1913, savings deposits from June 7, 1911, to June