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was an important change. You had made it a specialty in Paris and in the committee room of the Senate, but you never mentioned it in the open Senate.
I defy you to find another case where an important measure, which the chairman of the committee knew was an important measure, was ever engineered through the Senate without a statement from the Senator in charge of what the bill contained. If it had been a short bill, and not a codification bili, the scheme would have been detected. That was the fault of your bill of 1868. It was short and direct, but after Senator Morgan's report it had no possible chance of passage. This you well knew. You also knew from your experience that codification bills coming from the Department wouli not be carefully scrutinized, and from the record in the case, which is given in the “True History of the Demonetization of Silver," it will appear how you cunningly misled the Senate."
MOTIVE FOR DEMONETIZATION. The motives of those participating in the crime are most clearly set fortis in the speech of Senator Jones, of Nevada, in the United States Senate May 12 and 13, 1890. He says:
If anything were needed to demonstrate that the reason for the demonetization of silver was the cupidity of the creditor classes—the money-lender's; annuitants, and those in receipt of fixed incomes-and that it was not any defect inhering in the metal silver, nor any change in its adaptability to subserve the purposes of money, it is to be found in the significant fact that the metal first selected for demonetization was not silver, but gold-that metal which has since become the idol of the money-changers, and which is now declared to be the only "natural" money. The openly-avowed deternii. nation was to increase the value of the money, and in order to accomplish that purpose the metal which promised the largest yield was to be condemned and stripped of its ancient monetary function. So strongly was this determination set forth, so earnestly was it presented, and so urgently pressed on the ground of duty that its achievement came to be regarded as the fulfill. ment of a high moral purpose.
It was with gold then as it came to be with silver afterward, and as it always is with whatever interferes with the interests of privileged classes, intrenched in power and prerogative—the determination to destroy it being arrived at, measures were taken to prove that the public good required its destruction. While the purpose was to discard the metal, whether gold or silver, which threatened most immediately and seriously to reduce the purchasing power of money, the argument was that a decrease in the purchasing power of money was a calamity against the happening of which every energy should be directed.
The privileged classes found then, as they find now, able and ingenious advocates and defenders among the literary and educated guilds of the period. The celebrated De Quincy, in England, attempted to prove, and to his own satisfaction did prove, upon figures drawn from his fears and a brilliant
imagination, that the least yield of gold to be expected from the mines of California and Australia for an indefinite period in the future was the yearly sum of $350,000,000.
M. Chevalier, in France, vehemently proclaimed the necessity of discarding one of the money metals, and that one not silver, but gold. In his work upon the “Fall of Gold” M. Chevalier, in 1856, said:
The quantity of gold annually thrown on the general market approaches in round numbers a milliard of francs ($200,000,000). Those two countries (California and Australia) must yet for a long series of years produce gold in such quantities and on such conditions as to render a marked decline in its value inevitable.
"It is absolutely certain that so vast a production should be accompanied with a great reduction in value.
"In no direction can a new outlet be seen sufficiently large to absorb the extraordinary production of gold which we are now witnessing so as to pre. vent a fall in its value.
"Unless, then, we possess a very robust faith in the immobility of humau affairs, we must regard the fall in the value of gold as an event for which we should prepare without loss of time.”
The “preparation" which Chevalier advocated was the discarding of that metal which gave promise of the greatest abundance. He did not attenipt to hide his purpose. He boldly stated that his object was to enhance the value of money. This object was also clearly expressed on a later occasiou by another distinguished advocate of dear money, Mr. Victor Bonnet, of France, in the Journal des Economistes. He said:
"The world is now saturated with the precious metals, and if there is any danger against which it is necessary to guard, it is that this saturation should become greater. * * *
“If the annual production of gold is now reduced to 500,000,000 francs, let us thank Heaven for it, and let us wish that it may not be too rapidly increased, whereby we should be embarrassed. It is the too great abundance and not the scarcity of metallic money which is to be apprehended."
Gold Demonetized. In 1857 the German states and Austria demonetized gold, and had it not been for the opposition of France, which insisted on retaining the double standard, the movement might have become general on the continent. With England, however, nothing could be done. More than a generation had passed since it had declared for the single standard of gold, and its creditors and income classes-the shrewdest, most adept, and watchful of financiersdid not believe that the large yields of gold would long continue.
The creditor classes of the Continent, finding England immovable, and realizing that the object sought by the English creditors was identical with their own, namely, the increase in the value of money and the depression of prices, concluded that the common purpose could be as well served by the demonetization of one as by that of the other. This conclusion was en:
phasized by the developments on the Comstock lode, whose bountiful and beneficent yield of silver was the fitting supplement to the great discoveries of gold on the Pacific coast. The danger of a decline in the value of money was more imminent than ever. The annuitants became alarmed. Commissions were sent from Europe to the Pacific coast to investigate the subject. The United States, too, sent a commissioner to examine into the condition and prospect of the Comstock, and, imbued with many of the characteristics of De Quincy and Chevalier, the United States commissioner, in 1868, reported that if all other mines were worked with the machinery useu on the Comstock, "their yield would flood the world.”
Like many of the present opponents of silver, he was endowed with the gift of prophecy, and accordingly we find him confidently predicting that other and innumerable rich lodes of silver would be found on the Pacific coast which would be worked with great profit. The attack on goli was immediately changed to a combined attack on silver. From the period till the present no means have been left untried to belittle and degrade that metal, and also to disparage those who are in favor of continuing it as one of the money metals of the world.
It was then announced with all the dogmatism of authority that silver was unfit to be used as money. Defects were suddenly discovered in it that the scrutiny of three thousand years had failed to disclose. Its weight and bulk were found to be insuperable obstacles to its use as money. Yet specific gravity of silver is no greater' now than it has been for all the ages during which it has been used as money by all mankind, nor is it any heavier or more bulky than it was in 1851 or 1857, when Belgium, Germany, and Austria demonetized gold and made the “heavy," "bulky," and "inconvenient" metal, silver, their only money metal. Silver can now be transported from place to place with less risk and at no greater expense than gold, and at much less cost than at any previous period in the history of the world.
The objection that silver is too heavy for the pocket is an objection com. mon to all metallic money. We see hardly any gold in circulation in this country-infinitely less than of silver. When our people have a choice as to the form in which they will take money they prefer paper representatives as being the most convenient. The extraordinary perfection to which the arts of the engraver and paper maker have been brought gives paper money a security against counterfeiting and imitation far superior to any immunity which can be claimed for the metals. The marvelous inventions of modern times in the form of safes and vault-locks render it a matter of practically no risk to store the metals, both silver and gold, so that paper representatives of them may be issued. These representatives are preferred by the general mass of the people, and have almost entirely occupied the channels of circulation to the exclusion of both metals. A silver certificate for $1,000 weighs no more than a gold certificate for the same amount.
The Motive for Demonetizing Silver. The motive for the demonetization of silver was precisely the same that had previously inspired the demonetization of gold. The object was to demonetize one of the metals—that metal which promised the greatest abundance, and which would contribute most largely to maintaining, at an equitable level, the general range of prices. The motive in both cases was to aggrandize the privileged classes-the income and the creditor classes of the world-and by means of a subtle and sinister manipulation of the money volume, whose effects it is not always easy to trace to their true cause, to practically confis. cate the reward of the hard toil of the masses. To all intent and purpose the design was to establish a new system of slavery for the Western World, of which the debtor classes among the white races should be the victims.
When demonetization was determined on there was no pretense that there was any difficulty in maintaining a parity between the two metals at the established ratio. .
In the official resume of the doings of the French monetary commission of 1869 the arguments up on both sides ore summed up).
In behalf of tlie gold standard it was said: “The rise in price which has taken place within twenty years in a great number of articles of merchandise is evidently due to many causes, such as war, bad harvests, and increase in consumption; but it is very proba ble that the depreciation of the precious metals has contributed to it, since there has. been a striking coincidence between the rise of prices and the production of the new mines of gold and silver. The ablual production of the two metals, which was only $80,000,000 in 1847, exceeds now $200,000,000. It bias nearly tripled, and it is easy to see that the real value of the metals has diminished. It is difficult to estimate exactly what the diminution is, but whatever it may be it demands the attention of governments, because it affects unfavorably all that portion of the population whose income, remaining nominally the same, undergoes a yearly diminution of purchasing power. As governments control the weight and standard of money, they ought, so far as possible, to assure its value. And as it is admitted that the tendency of the metals is to depreciate, this tendency should be arrested by demonetizing one of them."
In behalf of the double standard it was replied as follows:
"Many economișts argue that the precious metals, having become very abundant, have lost 10 or 15 per cent. of their value, and that the situation must be redressed by making money scarcer by demonetizing silver. To this it may be answerel that the great discoveries of gold of the last twenty years have injured nobody. The new mass of gold, spreading over the whole world, has found employment in stimulating all forms of business, and, as a consequence, the value of gold has fallen very little. According to Mr. Newmarch, the mass of gold and silver has augmented 3 per cent. per annum while the mass of exchanges has augmented more than 3 per cent. per annum, so that the equilibrium has been maintained. And the present is an especially inopportune time to demonetize silver, because the annual produc
tion of gold has been falling off for several years. It was $200,000,000 in 1853, and it is now not more than $140,000,000. What will happen to the civilized world if silver is demonetized and if gold shall then fail ?"
The Motive of Eugland. England did not adopt the gold standard until she was in a position to become the principal creditor nation. Then her forges, furnaces, spindles, and looms were ready to supply manufactured goods to all the world; she saw that all countries and peoples would be compelled to pour their treasures into her lap. Her insular position and great navy guaranteed her against external assault. Released from the anxieties and labors incident to the Napoleonic wars, with a sturdy population of trained mechanics, and with fields of coal and iron in abundance, she was well adapted to become the
workshop of the world.” With colonial possessions in every sea, and with Continental Europe in ceaseless unrest, England could rely on customers who could themselves produce nothing but raw material and would be obliged to buy her finished products.
The field of industry has been recently broadened by basic inventions of unparalleled importance—the steam engine, the power loom, the spinningjenny, and a multiplicity of other devices that increased a hundred fold the efficiency of artisan labor. England knew that her trade would in the main be a foreign trade and her financial dealings largely with foreign governanents. She knew that from the people of the continent, impoverished by years of struggle for existence against the attacks of Napoleon, she could not expect immediate payments in cash or in commodities. Time-bonds and other deferred obligations were the media in which for the most part she received pay; she made interest and principal payable in gold alone, and if before the date of payment the value of money should increase it would not be to the disadvantage of the creditor. Whatever we may think of the ethics of this policy, we can have no difficulty in understanding its motire.
Acknowledgment of the Motive. As to the object which England had in view in demonetizing silver we are left in no sort of doubt. It has been candidly admitted by many of her financiers and publicists. The reason for her stolid adherence to the gold standard now is the same for which she originally demonetized silver. Her income and creditor classes are daily in receipt of an unearned increment to their wealth by reason of that demonetization. More candid than the advocates in this country of the single gold standard, the writers and press of Great Britain openly avow the object. No better testimony to the fact can be adduced than that supplied by the royal commission appointed in 1886 to inquire into the changes in the relative values of the precious metals.
At page 90, Part II, of the final report of that body, section 128, the commission sar:
“It must be remembered, too, that this country is largely a creditor country, of debts payable in gold, and any change which entails a rise in the price of commodities generally, that is to say, a diminution of the purchasing power of gold would be to our advantage."