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showing how great a thing the gold standard is, then another speaker comes along and says it is a mistake to say the gold standard is good, that the gold standard is not good; that what we want is bimetallism, but that we can't have it until somebody helps us. Now those two arguments are not consistent. If the gold standard is a good thing, why should they want bimetallism? And yet if they ever have two men making speeches the same night, the chances are 16 to 1 that one of them will praise the gold standard as a good thing, while the other will tell you how anxious they are to get rid of it.
Well, then, they come to the details of the argument. One man says the reason why he does not want free coinage is that he does not think that the Government should pass a law that will enable a silver miner to take 50 cents worth of silver bullion and convert it into a hundred cents and make the difference.
And he will get red in the face, and become indignant at the idea that the Government should attempt to help some individual in this way. Of course, he may have been in favor of a system of taxation that would give 200 or 300 per cent., but that doesn't count. It is a terrible thing to allow the silver miner to make that profit.
Then the next man who comes up will say that as a matter of fact the stamp of the Government adds nothing to the value of the metal, and that the free coinage of silver simply means that you convert 50 cents' worth of bullion into a 50-cent dollar, and that nobody makes any profit out of it.
I say that the chances are that, if two men make speeches on the same platform against our taking any action until some foreign nation helps us, you will find that one of them will make one argument and the other will make the other argument, and very often the same man makes both arguments. Now you can see the absurdity of it. If the silver miner, under free coinage, finds that his silver bullion is raised so that that which is now worth 50 cents will be worth 100 cents, then there will be no 50-cent dollars; and if the other man is correct, and the law adds nothing to the value of the metal, and you simply convert 50 cents' worth of silver into a 50-cent dollar, then the mine owner will not make a cent.
If there are two men to speak against our position, one of them will probably say that there has been no fall in prices, and he will denounce the people who complain that gold has risen in value, and after he has proved that to the satisfaction of every man who does not think, then his colleagues will come on and tell you that not only have prices fallen, but that it is the greatest blessing in the world to have prices fall.
Those two are not consistent, but it follows all the way through. Why is it? It is because our opponents have no theory, no principle, no policy upon which they are prepared to stand and fight. They do not dare to say that the, gold standard is a good thing, because no party in the history of this country has ever declared in favor of a gold standard; and they do not dare to say that it is a bad thing, and then tell seventy millions of liberty loving people that they must suffer until some foreign nation comes and brings them relief.
I want you to remember that in the discussion of this money question there are certain fundamental principles; and when you understand those principles you understand the money question.
What is the principle that underlies it all? It is that the law of supply and demand applies to money as it does to everything else.
You know that if the world's crop next year of a certain article is very much greater than the crop this year, that article will fall in price; if the crop is much smaller than this year, the article will rise in price. You know that the law of supply and demand reaches and controls money, as well as other forms of property. It reaches and controls all sorts of property.
Increase the amount of money more rapidly than the demand for money increases, and you lower the value of a dollar; decrease the quantity of money while the demand for it increases, and you increase the value of a dollar. When you understand that, you understand the essence of the money question. When you understand that, you understand what its effect is on you; and then you can tell where your interest lies. When you understand that principle, then you understand why the great crusade in favor of the gold standard finds its home among the holders of fixed investments, who, by such legislation, raise the value of the property which they hold.
I am not giving you my authority for it; I can quote you authority which our opponents dare not question. I have called attention, and I shall continue to call attention, to a remark made by Mr. Blaine in Congress on this subject.
He said that the destruction of silver as money and the establishing of gold as the sole unit of value must have a ruinous effect upon all forms of property, except those investments which yield a fixed return in money; that these would be enormously enhanced in value and would gain a disproportionate and unfair advantage over every other species of property.
There is a statement that no man who has respect for his reputation will dare to dispute.
It means that you will give to those investments and to this one form of property, money, an advantage over every other form of property.
When you understand the effect of the policy and then understand that the desire for it is manifested most among those who hold the fixed investments or trade in money, I think you will come to the conclusion that I have come to-that the fact that the gold standard is a good thing for them is the principal reason why they are in favor of a gold standard.
When you make up your minds that the gold standard is a bad thing, then the only question that you have to consider is, how can you get rid of it? Our opponents may raise objections to the plans which we propose, but I want to suggest that you are interested not so much in knowing the objections to our plans as in knowing what plans they have to relieve the condition.
Why don't they propose something? Is it because they don't know what ought to be done? If so, they are poor people to lead you out of bondage.
Is it because they know and will not tell? If so, they have not the candor that should be possessed by those who would redeem a people from their suffering and distress. They say that our dollar will be a 53-cent dollar. They refuse to apply to the silver that is produced in the world the law of supply and demand.
We say, increase the demand for silver by legislation and that new demand, acting with the demand now in existence, will operate upon the price of silver.
We say that that new demand will be sufficient to consume all the silver presented at the mint, and being sufficient, will raise the value of silver bullion to $1.29 per ounce throughout the world.
We have a reason for our belief: They simply say, "It won't do it; it won't do it," and then sit back and propose absolutely nothing.
I have known some of our opponents to use this sort of argument: Why, they say, if the free coinage of silver makes a silver dollar equal to a gold dollar it will be just as hard to get a silver dollar as it is to get a gold dollar. Do you know what they overlook? They overlook the fact that when we bring silver into competition with gold and increase the supply of standard money, while a silver dollar will be worth as much as a gold dollar, it will be easier to obtain, with the products of toil, a silver dollar or a gold dollar than it is today. Our complaint that the same hostile legislation which has destroyed the demand for silver and driven down the price of silver when measured by gold, has also increased the demand for gold and driven up the price of gold when measured by other forms of property, and that the opening of our mints to the free and unlimited coinage of silver will operate to bring more money into circulation, and thus lessen the strain upon gold, and that by increasing the demand for silver we bring silver up until silver and gold meet at the ratio now fixed by law, and a silver dollar and a gold dollar will be of the same value here and all over the world.
After another Sunday's rest we bade good-bye to the Perrines and their cozy little home, and, upon invitation of Chairman James S. Hinckley, of the New York State Committee, crossed the river and penetrated the Catskills as far as Winnisook Lodge, a summer resort, where Mr. Hinckley and Public Printer Benedict, with their families, and a number of congenial spirits, find a period of refreshing rest during the summer months. Our brief stay at the Lodge was enlivened by music and mirth, and we recollect the visit as one of the most pleasant incidents of the campaign.
The next day we returned from the Lodge, stopping on the way to take dinner at the Grand Hotel. At Kingston and Hudson large crowds were assembled, and short speeches made.
At Albany we were met by ex-Senator Norton Chase and Collector Louis W. Pratt, and driven to Wolfert's Roost, Governor Hill's suburban home. As soon as the Albany meeting was arranged, I accepted with much pleasure, an invitation to dine with Senator Hill, with whom, notwithstanding our somewhat divergent views, I had become quite well acquainted while in Washington. The visit at his house was necessarily brief, owing to our late arrival and early departure. There were at dinner Judge D. Cady Herrick and wife, Mr. Pratt and wife, Mr. Chase and wife, General F. P. Earle and wife, and Mr. James Oliver, sergeant-at-arms of the National Committee.