Page images
PDF
EPUB

silver coins into our full legal-tender money

and get our gold for them even at a slight loss. I think other European countries would do the same. I think that is proven by the fact that European countries are doing that now, or, at least, seriously considering it.

[blocks in formation]

“Mr. Vaux: Does this bill provide that the government shall buy silver at a certain price?

“Mr. Leech: At a fixed price, $1.2929 per

fine ounce.

[ocr errors]

*

“Mr. Bland : Do you believe that under free coinage the government buys any.

. thing at all ?

“Mr. Leech: Under this bill they would. I understand Mr. Bland's bill makes all the certificates full legal tender.

“Mr. Bland : I simply mean free coinage stripped of any certificates. I mean the naked question of free coinage stripped of any certificates. Do you believe that un- . der free coinage the government buys any. thing at all?

66

6

“Mr. Vaux: The people do not give it to the government.

“ Mr. Williams: How much does it cost the government every year?

“ Mr. Bartine: Just what it costs to coin it.

“Mr. Bland: The government has no responsibilities after it is coined.

“Mr. Leech: Yes, sir; it requires that it shall be taken as full legal tender in the payment of all debts.

The government does not simply coin it and stamp it.

“Mr. Bland: The government does not buy it and it is not responsible for it.

“ Mr. Leech : The government is responsible for it.

“Mr. Bland: If it were it would keep it at par with gold.

“Mr. Leech: Why so?

“Mr. Bland: Because gold is the standard of value in the United States. Has not the Congress as, much right to make silver the standard ?

“Mr. Leech: Certainly.

“Mr. Bland : Is not Congress the representative of the people?

“ Mr. Leech: Yes, sir,

“ Mr. Bland: When you talk about the purchase of silver, where is the purchase on the part of the government any more than the purchase of gold?

“Mr Leech: We purchase gold now. . We do not take gold and coin it for the people. That is the theory of the law. We give a man a check as soon as it is assayed. We would do the same with sil. ver under your bill. I do not see any practical difference between free coinage and unlimited purchase of silver except one is a shorter method.

“ Mr. Bland: That is discretionary with the depositor. The depositor has the right to wait until he gets his coin.

“Mr. Leech: He does not want to wait.

“Mr. Bartine: It is merely to obviate the necessity of waiting ?

“Mr. Leech: Yes, sir.

“Mr. Walker: If I understand your statement, the government does purchase it. It amounts practically to a purchase.

“Mr. Bland: I was asking as to laws and not as to opinions, or as to policies, or discretionary powers.

It would never do for Mr. Bland or Sen. ator Stewart to admit that free-coinage of silver is equivalent to unlimited purchase of silver at $1.2929 per ounce, for American common sense would oppose the pur

chasing of anything at thirty per cent. above its market value, but nevertheless the true meaning of free coinage will eventually be well understood.

1896. It is much better understood to-day, and of course the objection to paying about ninety per cent. above market value is stronger than the former objection to paying thirty per cent. above market value.

CHAPTER XI.

ULTIMATE REDEMPTION."

[ocr errors]

SENATOR STEWART's argument is as fol. lows:

My reason for asserting that there is not gold enough for use as money I will again repeat. Statisticians inform us that in 1873 there were nearly $8,000,000,000 of real money of ultimate redemption, certainly over $7,000,000,000. The real money at that time which required no promise of redemption consisted of gold and silver coin. On the gold theory there is now less than one half as much money of ultimate redemption as there was eighteen years ago.

The Director of the Mint informs us that there is only $3,727,000,000 of gold coin in the world, which, according to the gold advocates, is all the real money which now exists. If it required about $8,000,000,000 of coin as a basis of paper circulation and

175

« PreviousContinue »