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it ought to moderate the language of those who denounce the income tas as an assault upon the well-to-do.
Not only shall I refuse to apologize for the advocacy of an income-tax law by the National Convention, but I shall also refuse to apologize for the exercise by it of the right to dissent from a decision of the Supreme Court, Ir a government like ours every public official is a public servant, whether he hold office by election or by appointment, whether he serves for a terin of years or during good behavior, and the people have a right to criticise his official acts. “Confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism; free government exists in jealousy and not in confidence"-these are the words - of Thomas Jefferson, and 1 submit that they present a truer conception of popular government than that entertained by those who would probibit an unfavorable comment upon a court decision. Truth will vinducate itself; only error fears free speech. No public official who conscientiously discharges his duty as he sees it will desire to deny to those whom he serves the right to discuss his official conduct.
Now let me ask you to consider the paramount question of this campaignthe money question. It is scarcely necessary to defend the principle of bimetallism. No national party during the entire history of the United States has ever declared against it, and no party in this campaign has had the ten erity to oppose it. Three parties--the Democratic, Populist and Silver parties-have not only declared for bimetallism, but have outlined the specific legislation necessary to restore silver to its ancient position by the side of gold. The Republican platform expressly declares that bimetallism is desirable when it pledges the Republican party to aid in securing it as socy as the assistance of certain foreign nations can be obtained. Those who represented the minority sentiment in the Chicago Convention opposed the free coinage of silver by the United States by independent action on the ground that, in their judgment, it "would retard or entirely prevent the estallislıment of international bimetallism, to which the efforts of the Government should be steadily directed.” When they asserted that the efforts of the Government should be steadily directed toward the establishment or international bimetallism, they condemned muuometallism. The gold standard has been weighed in the balance and found wanting. Take from it the powerful support of the money-owning and the money-changing classes and it can not stand for one day in any nation in the world. It was fastened upon the United States without discussion before the people, and its friands have never yet been willing to risk a verdict before the voters upon that issue.
There can be no sympathy or co-operation between the advocates of a universal gold standard and the advocates of bimetallism. Between biinetailism-whether independent or international-and the gold standard there is an impassable gulf. Is this quadrennial agitation in favor of international binetallism conducted in good faith, or do our opponents really desire to maintain the gold standard permanently? Are they willing to confess the superiority of a double standard when joined in by the leading nations of the world, or do they still insist that gold is the only metal suitable for standard money among civilized nations? If they are in fact desirous of securing bimetallism, we may expect them to point out the evils of a gold standard and defend bimetallism as a system.
If, on the other hand, they are bending their energies toward the permanent establishment of a gold standard under cover of a declaration in favor of international bimetallism, I am justified in suggesting that honest money can not be expected at the hands of those who deal dishonestly with the American people.
What is the test of honesty iú money? It must certainly be found in the purchasing power of the dollar. An absolutely honest dollar would not vary in its general purchasing power; it would be absolutely stable when measured by average prices. A dollar which increases in purchasing power is just as dishonest as a dollar which decreases in purchasing power. Professor Laughlin, now of the University of Chicago, and one of the highest gold-standard authorities, in his work on bimetallism, not only admits that gold does not remain absolutely stable in value, but expressly asserts “that there is no such thing as a standard of value for future payments, either in gold or silver, which remains absolutely invariable." He even suggests that a multiple standard, wherein the unit is "based upon the selling prices of a number of articles of general consumption,” would be a more just standard than either gold or silver, or both, because "a long-time contract would thereby be paid at its maturity by the same purchasing power as was given in the beginning."
It can not be successfully claimed that monometallism or bimetallism, or any other system, gives an absolutely just standard of value. Under both nionometallism and bimetallism the Government fixes the weight and fineness of the dollar, invests it with legal-tender qualities and then opens the mints to its restricted coinage, leaving the purchasing power of the dollar to be determined by the number of dollars. Bimetallism is better than monometallism, not because it gives us a perfect dollar—that is, a dollar absolutely unvarying in its general purchasing power--but because it makes a nearer approach to stability, to honesty, to justice, than a gold stand. ard possibly can. Prior to 1873, when there were enough open mints to permit all the gold and silver available for coinage to find entrance into the world's volune of standard money, the United States might have maintained a gold standard with less injury to the people of this country; but now, when each step toward a universal gold standard enhances the purchasing power of gold, depresses prices and transfers to the pockets of the creditor class an unearned increment, the influence of this great nation must not be thrown upon the side of gold unless we are prepared to accept the natural and legitimate consequences of such an act. Any legislation which lessens the world's stock of standard money increases the exchangeable value of the dollar; therefore, the crusade against silver must inevitably raise the purchasing power of money and lower the 'money value of all other forms of property.
Our opponents sometimes admit that it was a mistake to demonetize silver, but insist that we should submit to present conditions rather than return to the bimetallic system. They err in supposing that we have reached the end of the evil results of a gold standard; we have not reached the end. The injury is a continuing one, and no person can say how long the world is to suffer from the attempt to make gold the only standard money. The same influences which are now operating to destroy silver in the United States will, if successful here, be turned' against other silver-using coun:
tries, and each new convert to the gold standard will add to the general distress. So long as the scramble for gold continues prices must fall, and a general fail in prices is but another definition of hard times.
Our opponents, while claiming entire disinterestedness for themselves, have appealed to the selfishness of nearly every class of society. Recognizing the disposition of the individual voter to consider the effect of any proposed legislation upon bimself, we present to the American people the financial policy outlined in the Chicago platform, believing that it will result in the greatest good to the greatest number.
The farmers are opposed to the gold standard because they have felt its effects. Since they sell at wholesale and buy at retail they have lost more than they have gained by falling prices, and, besides this, they have found that certain fixed charges have not fallen at all. Taxes have not been perceptibly decreased, although it requires more of farm products now than formerly to secure the money with which to pay taxes. Debts have not fallen. The farmer who owed $1,000 is still compelled to pay $1,000, although it may be twice as difficult as formerly to obtain the dollars with which to pay the debt. Railroad rates have not been reduced to keep pace with falling prices, and besides these items there are many more. The farmer has thus found it more and more difficult to live. Has he not a just complaint against the gold standard?
The wage-earners have been injured by a gold standard, and have expressed themselves upon the subject with great emphasis. In February, 1895. A petition asking for the immediate restoration of the free and uulim. ited coinage of gold and silver at' 16 to 1 was signed by the representativer of all, or nearly all, the leading labor organizations and presented to Congress. Wage-earners know that while a gold standard raises the purchasing power of the dollar it also makes it more difficult to obtain possession of the dollar; they know that employment is less permanent, loss of work more probable, and re-employment less certain. A gold standard encourages the hoarding of money because money is rising; it also discourages enterprise and paralyzes industry. On the other hand, the restoration of bimetallism will discourage hoarding, because, when prices are steady or rising, money can not afford to lie idle in the bank vaults. The farmers and wage-earners together constitute a considerable majority of the people of the country. Why should their interests be ignored in considering financial legislation ? A monetary system which is pecuniarily advantageous to a few syndicates has far less to commend it than a system which would give hope and encouragement to those who create the nation's wealth.
Our opponents have made a special appeal to those who hold fire and life insurance policies, but these policy-holders know that, since the total premjums received exceed the total losses paid, a rising standard must be of more benefit to the companies than to the policy-holders.
Much solicitude has been expressed by our opponents for the depositors in savings banks. They constantly parade before these depositors the advantages of a gold standard, but these appeals will be in vain, because savings bank depositors know that under a gold standard there is increasing danger that they will lose their deposits because of the inability of the banks to collect their assets; and they still further know that, if the gold standard is to continue infinitely, they may be compelled to withdraw their deposits in order to pay living expenses.
It is only necessary to note the increasing number of failures in order to know that a gold standard is ruinous to merchants and manufacturers, These business men do not make their profits from the people from whom they borrow money, but from the people to whom they sell their goods. If the people can not buy, retailers can not sell, and, if retailers can not sell. wholesale merchants and manufacturers must go into bankruptcy.
Those who hold, as a permanent investment, the stock of railroads and of other enterprises—I do not include those who speculate in stocks or use stock-boldings as a means of obtaining an inside advantage in construction contracts-are injured by a gold standard. The rising dollar destroys the earning power of these enterprises without reducing their liabilities, and, as dividends can not be paid until salaries and fixed charges have been satisfied, the stockholders must bear the burden of hard times.
Salaries in business occupations depend upon business conditions, and the gold standard both lessens the amount and threatens the permanency of such salaries.
Official salaries, except the salaries of those who hold office for life, must, in the long run, be adjusted to the conditions of those who pay the taxes, and if the present financial policy continues we must expect the contest between the taxpayer and the taxeater to increase in bitterness.
The professional classes--in the main-derive their support from the producing classes, and can only enjoy prosperity when there is prosperity among those who create wealth,
I have not attempted to describe the effect of the gold standard upou all classes-in fact, I have only had time to mention a few-but each person will be able to apply the principles stated to his own occupation.
It must also be remembered that it is the desire of people generally to çolvert their earnings into real or personal property. This being true, in considering any temporary advantage which may come from a system under which the dollar rises in its purchasing power, it must not be forgotten that the dollar can not buy more than formerly, unless property sells for less than formerly. Hence, it will be seen that a large portion of those who may find some pecuniary advantage in a gold standard will discover that their losses exceed their gains.
It is sometimes asserted by our opponents that a bank belongs to the debtor class, but this is not true of any solvent bank. Every statement published by a solvent bank shows that the assets exceed the liabilities. That is to say, while the bank owes a large amount of money to its depositors, it not guly has enough on hand in money and notes to pay its depositorx. boni in addition thereto, has enough to cover its capital and surplus. When the Collar is rising in value slowly a bank may, by making short-time loans and taking good security, avoid loss, but when prices are falling rapidly the bank is apt to lose more because of bad debts than it can gain by the Increase in the purchasing power of its capital and surplus.
Some bankers, however, combine the business of a bond broker with the ordinary banking business, and these may make enough in the negotiation of loans to offset the losses arising in legitimate banking business. As
long as human nature remains as it is there will always be danger that, unless restrained by public opinion or legal enactment, thuse who see a pecuniary benefit for themselves in a certain condition may yield to the temptation to bring about that condition. Jefferson las stated that one of the main duties of government is to prevent men frora injuring one another, and never was that duty more important than it is to-day. It is not strange that those who bave made a profit by furnishing gold to the Government in the hour of its extremity favor a financial policy which will keep the Government dependent upon them. I believe, however, that I speak the sentiment of the vast majority of the people of the United States when I say that a wise financial policy administered in behalf of all the people would make our Government independent of any combination of financiers, foreign or domestic.
Let me say a word, now, in regard to certain persons who are pecuniarily benefited by a gold standard, and who favor it, not from a desire to trespass upon the rights of others, but because the circumstances which surround them blind them to the effect of the gold standard upon others. I sliall ask you to consider the language of two gentlemen whose long public service and high standing in the party to which they belong will protect them from adverse criticism by our opponents. In 1869 Senator Sherman said: "The contraction of the currency is a far more distressing operation than Senators suppose. Our own and other nations have gone through that operation before. It is not possible to take that voyage without the sorest distress. To every person, except a capitalist out of debt, or a salaried officer or annuitant, it is a period of loss, danger, lassitude of trade, fall of wages, suspension of enterprise, bankruptcy and disaster. It means ruin to all dealers whose debts are twice their business capital, though one-third less than their actual property. It means the fall of all agricultural production without any great reduction of taxes. What prudent man would dare to build a house, a railroad, a factory or a barn with this certain fact before him?” As I have said before, the salaried officer referred to must be the man whose salary is fixed for life, and pot the man whose salary depends upon business conditions. When Mr. Sherman describes contraction of the currency as disastrous to all the people except the capitalist out of debt and those who stand in a position similar to his, he is stating a truth which must be apparent to every person who will give the matter careful consideration. · Mr. Sherman was at that time speaking of the contraction of the volume of paper currency, but the principle which he set forth applies if there is a contraction of the volume of the standard money of the world.
Mr. Blaine discussed the same principle in connection with the demonetization of silver. Speaking in the House of Representatives on the 7th of February, 1878, he said: "I believe the struggle now going on in this country and other countries for a single gold standard would, if successful, produce widespread disaster in and throughout the commercial world. The destruction of silver as money, and the establishing of gold as the sole unit of value must have a ruinous effect on all forms of property, except those investments which yield a fixed return in money. These would be enormously enhanced in value, and would gain a disproportionate and unfair advantage over every other species of property.” Is it strange that the