Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana on October 3, 1896 · Page 6
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October 3, 1896

Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana · Page 6

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SILVER AID WAGES. Speech of Secretary Carlisle at Chicago, He Addresses a JIuss Mceli;i£0f Work- ingmcn on the (.'un-ency Question. Milken It Clear Tli.-.t C'V-.-.i :*-::i-y .". 1 tvnys . Was und Alwiiys W' !1 E " t! '° W "C» : Enrncr'M Enemy—Free ColnnRO Means i Silver Mononn>t»ll!mii anil Reduced 1'ur- cluwlns Vowcr of WI»EW— Snoh IIiu JJnen i the Experience \Vltli Urpvimlntoil Silver In Chile, Jiiimn and .Mexico r.iul With Our Depreclatoil Onrruiicy—-\Vould Kol> Worlclucmcn of JSilllons of DolIm'M Deposited 111 Suvlncs U;\:ilt» unit ISulldlnc nml loan Associations and Invested In InNurauci) policies. \\t> reprint below in full Secretary Carlisle's Clear, forcible and unanswerable speech to the labor organizations of Chicago, at tho Auditorium, on April 15: lit!. PnESinrjfT ASD GIISTLEMKN—I am here this evening in respon.-i' to a cummunk-a'.iun received several month* ugn from a numljer of gentlemen cor.-.M.-i.-t'-.l with various labor organizations uf this ciiy inviting me to iiddn-ss them a-.)d their fellow worlcingmen upon the currency an-.'. ii:nuu-i:il questions, which wero thro aii:l aro still a.':it:;ting the mind* of our people ill all parts of the country. When that communication readied-ITU', it was not In my power to designate u limn when my olilcial duties would permit ir.e to come hero, but I promised to ho!;l iho matter under consideration and con-.i' whenever it might he possible to do so. and I I'.ow congratulate myself upon my good fortune in having at lust foui«l an opportunity to meet this great assemblage of laboring people and to discuss in thi-ir presence what 1 consider 0:10 u'.' the most important economic quest-ions th:.t can possibly engage the attention nt \vas« earners in this or nny othor country. TheW«s« Earner's Intcrr-t In Good Monoy. Whether the general business of the people shall be transacted with good money or bad money, whether tho wagi-:i of labor shall bo paid In a sound and stable currency. «' itl! fl111 purchasing power in the markets where they are exchanged for the nee. ssaries of life, or in u depredated und fluctuating currency, having no fixed valu>\ and therefore bearing no permanent relation to the current prices of commodities, aro questions which ivITuct tho comfort i«id happiness of every home und tho peuco and prosperity of every community. Whilo all are deeply Interested in tho settlement of these questions it is unfortunately tho cose that all will not be equally affected by an erroneous decision upon them. The wealthy man, tho man who hits accumulated property or boarded money, is always exempt-from many of tho most serious consequences of a ununcl.il or industrial disturbance. Ho has both mr.Ti'.K and rredit, and, while he may bo suliji-riiiu tu .moh loss and inconvenience, m-u'hei-h'.'":i'jr his family will bo pinched by hiurvr. ur compelled to go without raiment or U is tho pior ma!i and tho mnn of moderate mens;:—tiio man v.'ho has not beou fortunate en .i:;;ii to iiccunuii.itu property or money, but who di'pi'iid.-i iipo:i lii.JwiiROur upon the prod- uc'.-i of his own till))'.- for the means of supporting himself mid his family—that always 1'ce!.-, ilio iTuSE u:id :ii"-'l Oi.':i--',rous effects of a bu >in,.-.--; or iimu.--M..I :--]in-ssion, no matter wi.'.-t:ifi' it reKlilts I'riSn iv i.ojjreei.iti-d and Hue- tuaur.g ourrv.-i.icy or I'rum uther causes, . Such ' a man has nothing to d..-posu of but his labor and nolhlng with which to support himself or his family b-a; his wages or the proceeds of his own labor, and any policy that even torn- •porarily suspends or'obstructs tlio industrial .progress of tho country by diminishing tho demand for tho products. ot labor, .or by impairing tho capacity or disposition of capital to employ'labor, must bo Injurious to his interests and inflict moro or less HBfTering upon* all who ure dependent upon him.' Labor can. not 1)0 hoarded; tlio Idle day is gone forever; lost wages are-never reimbursed, and therefore steady employment and good pay in good monoy are essential to tho comfort and happiness of tho American laborer and his wife and children, and ho will bo unfaithful to himself and to them if ho does not Insist upon tho adoption nnd maintenance of .such n policy as will most certainly preserve the valuo and stability of all onr. currency nnd promote tho regular nnd profitable conduct of 'oil our industrial enterprises. Ho cannot prosper when tho country Is in distress, when its industries aro prostrated, it commerce paralyzed, its credit broken down or its social order disturbed, nor" 'can he prosper, when th'o fluctuations of the currency aro such that ho cannot certainly ;know <tho vuluo of tho dollar in which his wages aro paid or estimate in ,ad- vanco the cost of the necessaries of life. Whether we shall or .shull not have a long . period of.flnuneial, commercial and industrial disturbance in this country, and whether la• bor shall bo deprived ot permanent employment or bo partially employed and inadequately .paid, uro questions directly and noccs- . sarily Involved in the demand now seriously' . made by many of our fellow citizens that tho United States, without tho co-operation of any other government in tho world, and in opposition, to tho established . policy .of every other great civilized nnd commercial nation, •shall authorize tho.free nnd unlimited coinage ol ftdl legal tender silvor at tho rate of 10 to'.l, Eotwithatundlng tha.true market ratio between tho two motals is about 31 to 1,'or, in ' other words, .hat tho United States alone shall declare by law that - 111 ounces of silver are equal in valuo to 1 ounce of gold, when it Is an in'dlsputablo fact everywhere recognized .that in all the markets o! tho world, in silvor standard countries as well as in Kold standard . countries,'10 ounces of.silver urn worth only- about ono-haLf 'as much as 1 ounce of gold and Trill' purchuso only about one-half as much of the necessaries of life. . What Free Coinage Henlly Jlrsns. Tho nuked proposition is . that rlie United States shall coin, at the public i-xpca.-c-, fnv the exclusive boncllt of the individual :.nd corporations: owning the bullion, i.!l :!•-..- .-itv<;r that may-bo .resented ut. thu.mi'.i;.. •."'.<> C"l- lars containing BriJi grains of pure .-:iV,-r, ur •12H grains of -standard., silver, v.-nr'.'i ml; l:i •ically about 01 or D2 cents, delivi-r UK- U.MII.- to tho depositors of the bullion and euiiti-. i i.ll the other peoplo In thu .country to iv:-<-iv,. thoso coins lit valuation of 100 ecn'.H .,-;ie!\ isi the payment-ot'debts duo them fur pvo-i-riy sold, for labor and service ot nil hinds, [or pensions to soldiers and sailors and their wtd- . ows and children, for'losses sustained under. policies Issuoc by lito and other' insurance eompanleti 1 .for,dcpO3ita in savjiiKS bankB.-trtist- companies,'building associations and other in- gtitutions, 1'or aubts duo to widows and orphans ' • by (rnardloiis, i-xccutors and adminlstratorsr of . dccudents, estates and other trustees, for salaries of ull-civll, military and. naval officials nnd tho compensation of private soldiers and. ' Boamcn, and, in short, for every kind of obll-' gotion' rooognlznd by tuo laws of the land, except only in caaws where tho prudent capitalist has taken th'o irecautlon in advimco to contract for payment of debts due him in gold or lt» equivalent. , . , To say nothing of' tho .'gross partiality and . manifest Injustice of nach'a policy, its Immediate effect would bo to coiitrnut onr currency - to «ho extent of about :*020,oiX),uOO by stopping tho use of gold as money and putting a pro' jnium'npon'tho coins of that nietal equal, or .' ,»boot equal, to tho difference botv/cen the Intrinsic value of tho cold dollar and tho Intrln- V. do valno of the silver dollar. Gold coins would ''Vat once become a com'modity and would bo . bonsht'nnd sold by speculators in'the market Jnat aa. .they \vnro during 'the war, whon 'Wo . bad a depreciated paper enrrouey. The valuo-, •. of <hb.silver dollar would fluctuate from day •' to day, Tiiovin;: up and down with the rise and • ' fall of Uu> iioaiiiiuroliil pricii of thy bullion con-'• talnediii'it, n.s the Wexlcan dollar does now,' and the premium on tho gold dollar would of oourne fluotuato to tho sumo extent, thus-affording an opportunity to bullion brokers and speculators to buy mid tji111 It at a profit. It would cc-aso to bo used UH money, because no man would pay his debt In gold dollars or in paper redeemable in gold dollars, worth 101) cents, when tho law permitted him to pur it in silver dollars, worth only 51 or 63 cents. The sudden withdrawal of *<EO,COO,000 from tho volume of currency in the country would undoubtedly produce a .financial and industrial disturbance far moro disastrous to the interests of labor than has ever been experienced In our history, and no man who has a particle ot sympathy for working men and women and their dependent families mm contemplate tho possibility of such n calamity without feeling that It is his duty, whether he occupies u public or a private station, to employ every honorable means at his command to uvert it, While tho sudden expulsion of $1120,000,000 in gold from our stock of money would itself bu fmfllcicnt to create a financial disturbance unparalleled in tho history of this or any other country the situation would be very greatly aggravated by tho fact that tho purchasing power of all the remainder of onr currency would bo suddenly reduced about ono-hnlf; wu. should havo only about two-thirds as much currency " 9 wo " r ' vo 110W ' nT "^ nt " I0 9;inul l ' mo it would bo BO depreciated in value that It would require about twice nsniuch as wo havo now to transact tho business of tho country, provided there should bo nny business to transact. Double StimUard a Failure. The attempt to maintain what is called tho double standard ef valuo—that is, to attempt to keep thn legal tender coins of th9 two metals, gold and silver, In use as money at tho same time, upon a ratio of value Ilxed by law —has repeatedly been mado by ItliiKS and parliaments in every civillaod country '» tho world, and it has failed again mid again in every one of them, and it requires no gift of prophecy to foresee that it must continue to fail KO long as self interest constitutes a controlling factor in the business affairs of men, Without trespassing upon your patience to review the luonetary history of olhcr countries in which this experiment bus been mado and failed it may be advantageous to refer briefly to our own oxperlonco upon this subject. When- it was determined to adopt a monetary system for tho United States and establish a mint, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, two men who differed widely upon almost every public question nnd whose names as founders and loaders of thoir respective parties will live us long as our political literature i« road, agreed that in determining what should bo the coinage or legal ratio between gold and silver tho true relative commercial value of the two metals In tho markets of 'the world must ilrst be ascertained, and that this relative valuo, when ascertained, should bo Incorporated Into tho statute as tho basis of the proposed system of coinage. Although they were party loaders, they wero statesmen and patriots, and -when they wor t « called on to consider this groat business question affecting all the private affairs of their fellow citizens they gave it a thorough and impartial investigation upon its merits, without regard to tho effect their decision might havo upon their own political fortunes or upon thu political fortunes of their followers. The "Fathom" Not Disturbed l>y Thl» De'] union, Theso great men were never disturbed for a moment by the delusion that congress could fix by statute tho actual or relative values of gold and silver any moro than it could llx by Btatuto tho actual or relative values of a pound of load and a pound of iron. They knew that gold and silver, lilto all othor exchangeable things, are commodities and that their valuo will be Ilxed In the markets of tho world. They knew that it was entirely competent;, in fact necessary, for congress to declare tho ru-' tlo upon which the two metals should bo coined ot the mint, if they wero to bo coined at all, but they know equally well that if tho ratio so declared did not correspond substantially with tho ratio which tho commercial world had established, tho coins of tho two motals could not bu Itept In uso as monoy at the some time, and consequently, as I havo already said, they determined to ascertain tho commercial ratio ond to adopt it. They reached tho conclusion that the true commercial ratio at that time was 15 to 1—that is, that IE ounces of silver wore equal in valuo to 1 ouucu of gold and accordingly tho act of 1702, which was our first coinage law, authorized tho coinage of tho two inotuls at that ratio. At thu ratio thus established tho silver dollar contained B71>i grates of flno silver and tho gold contained 2434 grains of flno gold, but it was soon discovered that a mistake had been mado and that S71J4 grains of flno silver wore not in fact equal In value to 2-iJi grains of flno gold, and the consequence was that, although tho difference between tho value of a silver dollar and.tho value of a gold dollar was only nbout one cent and one-eighth of a cent, silver 'drove -gold out of uso and out of tho country, and from that time wo had silver monometal- lism until after tho passage of the acts of 1884 Tho fact that tho silver was put into tbo form of u coin and made legal tender tho same as gold, and that both dollars wore declared to bo worth 100 cents each, did not increase tho valuo of tho 071J4 grains of silver to any extent whatever. The people could not bo deceived by inoro words printed in n statute; they soon learned thilt tho metal contained in tlio silver dollar was. not equal in valuo to tho metal contained in tho gold dollar, and they paid silver to thoir creditors and hoardod the gold or sent it out of tho conn- try. Even our now and full weight silver coins would not circulate or remain in the country, because congress, by various acts, made certain foreign coins legal tender in tho payment of debts, and as they wero.generally uo worn by abrasion as to bo of less weight than tho now domestic coins they drove our dollars and half dollars, and to a largo uxtont. our' quarters and dimes also, out of use an nionoy. Our own coins wero exported ond used atthuir bullion valuo in making purchases ond paying debts abroad, and Mr. Jefferson himself, who had then become president of the United States, issued'on order on the first day of May, 1800, stopping tho coinngo of silver dollars nt our mints. No more silver dollars wero coined until 1SK5, 80 years afterward, and then only l.OOO.of them wore issued' from tho mints. ' Bentoratlon of Gold Standard.In, 1834. Gold having loft.tho country, .congress,.In 18C-I, during the administration of Andrew Jackson, determined to rcstoro.it to tho circulation and, in order to accomplish that result, the legal ratio was changed from- 15 to 1 to about 10 to 1—tbat Is, tho law so amended as to provide that tho gold eagle,.or $10 pleco, should contain 812 grains of pure gold, which made tho dollar consist of 28 1-5 grains, but by tho act of. 1837 It was changed to 211.22 grains, which now constitutes tho dollar ond unit of value. This was n slight overvaluation of gold in tho coinage, because 28.23"grains of flno gold wero not in fact wprth as much In the mar- ktits us !)71>i grains of flno silver. Although tho difference in value was very small, it proved sufficient to change tho whole.character of our metallic currency, and under this ratio gold and silver exchanged places. Silvor wont out of tho country and gold oame in, nnd from that timo until after thu passage of the act of 1878 wo had practical gold monometallism, except during tho period of'tho war, when wo had no metallic money of any kind. When tho great civil war 'began, wo had no silver in circulation except tho subsidiary coins.nuthor- ized by tho not of 1853,. but wo had gold and paper redeemable in gold; nnd-it was not long before wo had another practical illustration of the natural. law that tho interior, or loss valuable legal tender currency will expel tho superior or more valuable legal tondor currency from circulation. I>uper Curreucjr of Wur Period, Early In 1802 congress, most unwisely, in my opinion, authorized tho issue of legal tondor paper to circulate oa monoy, and tho usual and inevitable result followed. Gold ceased to bo ! usod as monoy and tho banki and tho treasury having suspended specie payments, 'the country was flooded with a depreciated ..currency worth at times less thon 60 cent* on the dollar. Later on fractional paper currency waa authorized by congress, and tho effect of this- waa to drive out of ,clroulation.even-thu lightweight subsidiary coins, and lor many years not u:«ingle-ploco of-.metallic. inonriy;of -any kind was used by tho people except.on .tho Fa- oiflo.coast; where gold continued to circulate nt Us aotncS InMnslo vuluo without regard to tho fictitious valuo wtich tho. acts of congre«» attributed io the legal tender paper. I will nndoavor to «how you hereafter what effect this depreciated currency had upon tha wages of labor and upon tho prices of commodities which the laborers were compelled to purchase with their wages, my purpose at tho present moment being simply to provo, by our own experience, that it Is impossible to retain In circulation at the same time legal tender gold and silver coins of the same denomination at any ratio which does cot correspond with the actual commercial values of tho two metals In the markets of tho world, and that, therefore, tho free and unlimited coinage of legal tender silver by tho United States alone at tho ratio of-10 to 1, when tho true commercial ratio is about 81 to 1, would Instantly contract the currency by the expulsion of all tho gold now in the country. If the overvaluation of silver to the amount of a little over 1 per cent in tho coinage law of 1702 expelled gold and established silvor mono- metallism, and if the overvaluation of gold to the extent of less thun.l per cent in the acts of 1&)J and 1837 expelled silver from circulation and established gold monometallism, isnottho conclusion irresistible that tho free and unlimited coinage of legal tender silvor ut tlio present time, at an overvaluation of nearly 100 pur cent, would at once place tho country upon a monometallic silver basis? This ques- 'tlon does not seem to mo to bo open to serious argumon*, and when it is proposed that tho United States shall, in defiance of our own experience during u period of &) years and inde- liauce of tho experience of other nations during many centuries, authorize tho free coinage of legal tender silvor at such a ratio, it is tho duty of the people and especially tho duty of tho laboring people to pause before it is too lute and carefully consider whether they will determine to overthrow-their existing monetury system and substitute in its place tho depreciated silver monometallism of Asia and Mexico and the small states and republics of Central and South America, with their low rutos of wages and their high rates of exchange. Under tho coinage act of 170- wo had silver, but no gold, and under the acts of ISj-l and 1837, with freo coinage of both metals, wo had gold, but no silver except the token subsidiary coins after 1S53, whilo now, with gold as tho standard and limited coinage of silver, wo havo both gold and silver as full legal tender money in larger amounts than ever before in our history, and the coins of the two metals are. kept equal in purchasing power by the credit and resources of the government, notwithstanding the difference in their intrinsic value. Beal Question — Shall We Havo Silver Monometallism? Wo have now about ?G;>0,000,000 in gold and ?4;3,(XO,IXX) in full legal tender silver, besides $78.210,077 in subsidiary silver coins, which are legal tender in payments not exceeding $10, and tho real question for tho people to decide Is whether they will continue to uso tho coins, of both metals or adopt a monetary system which always has nnd always will drivo one of them out of.tho country. I am not hero, therefore, this evening to : advocate the exclusive uso of gold coin as money, or to oppose a conservative and safe uso of silvor coin as money along with gold and at a parity with gold, but I am hero to insist that we fihall not abandon tlio present legal standard of valuo, oxpel ftll tho gold from tho country and adopt ellvor monometallism, with -free coinage of u nominal dollar worth Intrinsically only 51 or C2 cents. I am hero to insist that the mints of tho United States, which were constructed and are maintained and operated at tho expense of nil t-ho people, shall not be used for tho exclusive benefit of tho owners of silver bullion under u law giving them tho right to have 51 or 53 cents' worth of their silver coined freo of charge and stumped as a dollar und compelling you and all others to receive it from them as u dollar. All the mints of the-United States, operated to thoir full capacity iuid doing no othor work, could not coin into standard silver dollars two- thirds of tho annual production of silver in our own country, but, notwithstanding this, it is seriously proposed to offer freo coinage to all thu silver.in tho world ut a legal valuation almost double its commercial valuo in tho markets of tho foreign countries where it is produced. The annual production of silver in the world Is about *2lC,UuJ,COO nt our coinage rate, and the annual capacity of our mints to coin standard silver dollars is only about $-10,000,000. Last year we coined S-13,'J33,470 hi gold and $0,OUV180 In silver, so that If our mints were devoted exclusively to the free coinage of standard silver dollars the addition to our 'stock of metallic money would be about'$15,000,000 less every year than it is now, and it. would not be good money after it was coined. Moro' than 15 years would elapse before wo could at this rate coin enough depreciated sll- vur dollars to supply the place of the good gold dollars expelled from the country, and in tho meantime a complete revolution would Luvo • to bo effected in our commercial relations with other nations and in all our domestic business affairs, including a readjustment of the wages of labor, the price of .commodities,' tho rates of municipal, state and federal taxation, charges' for transportation and every other mutter involving tho usU of money or credit. We should descend by a single stop from tho highest standard of value to silver monometallism, with u contractod und at the sumo time depreciated currency, a fhuinuial experiment which has no precedent 'in tho monetary interest of tho world. Fortunately when changes have heretofore been made In t-ho circulation by tho substitution of the coins of one metal for tho coins of tho othor, the difference in their valuo has been very small and the process of substitution lias been gradual and created no groat financial disturbance-. Under the net of 17(12 the dill'erunco in value between the coins and tho legal ratio waa only a little over 1 per •cent, am', yet, within less than one year after the enactment of that statute, congress was compelled to re-euforce our stock of money by making certain foreign coins legal tcndor in the payment of debts, and on the same day of the passtifio of tho act of 183-1, which put tho country on a gold basis by undervaluing.sil- vor abont 1 per cent, congress -passed another statute malting the gold coins of'Great Britain, Portugal, Draxil, France, Mexico and Colombia legal'tender by weight In the payment, of debts, ll-.us providing us far as possible against a contraction or the currency on account of the-expulsion of silver from tho circulation. During the war, when. gold was leaving tho country, legal tender treasury notes wore rapidly issued, under authority of congress, to take its place, and instead of a contraction of tho currency we hud uu expansion. After the war, when It wus determined to chungo the chuructor of our. currency again by tho resumption of specie payments, tho law wus enacted four j-ears In advance of tho timo'Whcn it was to take effect in order that ample opportunity might be afforded to adjust the business of tho people to tho altered conditions. Now, however, all tho conservative und prudential considerations that have usually controlled • In tho wettlemont of great financial questions seem to bo utterly disregarded, and wo are confronted by an organized und aggressive movement to destroy by a single blow the measures of valuo upon which all existing contracts are based and thus subvert tho very foundations of our monetary system, without allowing n single day to prepare for tho change. '.In the general confusion r.nd disorder resulting from such a radical measure what.will bo tho condition of the American laborer? Will he be benefited or Injured by reducing tho value of the money in which his wages uro •paid and ut tho Bomo time'increasing tho prices of the commodities for which his wages ttro expended? ' . Kfl'oet on the'Wage workers. After struggling for moro than u-quurtcr of a contury, through labor .organizations nnd otherwise; to secure n 1 nito of wages which .would tnnk'o the proceeds ;ot,u .day's work equal to tho cost of u day's subsistence for tho. workingman and his family, you'are asked by tho advocates of free coinage to Join them in. destroying one-hulf of tho purchusiug power of tho money in which you uro paid aud.im- 'pose upon yourselves tho task of doubling tho nominal amount of your wages hereafter—that Is, to -struggle. for uuotber quartor of a century, or perhaps longer; to raise your wages in a depreciated currency to a point which will enabh). yon to-purchase with them as .much of thu necostiiu-ies of life as you can purchase now—und if, -after years -of contention, privation and Industrial 'disorder,. yon" : should. at ..last suocood in no adjusting wage§ .that they would procure .at tbo higher price* of commoditias jnm what th»^ TTlTl procure now an thd existing prlcos, what would 700 have gained by the change from the old to tho new conditions? Fulla«7 of CO Cent Dollars. Money received for wages, like money received on every other account, is valuable only to tho extent that it can bo exchanged'for tho other commodities, and-It Is scarcely necessary to suggest that a dollar worth DO cents will not purchase us much i:i the inurkots as a dollar worth 100 cents. To call u dime a dollar would odd nothing whatever to Its Intrinsic value or purchasing power; it would still buy only a dime's worth of goods. If these propositions are correct, it Is clear that when wages ore paid in a depreciated currency tho rates of wages must bo Increased in proportion to the depreciation of tho money and ic proportion to tho increase in the prices of other things, or tho laborer will suffer a loss. But I affirm that it is tho universal rule that the rates of wages •do not increase in proportion to tho depreciation in the value of tho monoy in which they arc paid, and that when tho currency is dopra- oiated tho rates of wages do not increase in proportion to tho increase in the prices of tho commodities the laborer in compelled to pur- ohuso. If tlioro bai been a single exception to this rule in this or in nny other country, my investigations havo not enabled me to find it, nnd I do not bclio'vo one can be found. Our War Exp'orlcnco \VitU Depreciated Currency. It is not niy purpose to \veary you by tho presentation of voluminous statistics, or by n tedious recital of facts, but tho particular proposition now under consideration is of such great importance in tho discussion of. this subject that you must pnrmit mo to cnll your especial attention to the experience of tho laboring people in our own country during the years immediately following tho introduction of a do- procinted paper .currency in 1802 and also to tho very low rates of wages whieh now prevail in countries having tho silvor standard of value or tho so called double standard of value •with coinage of silver at a logiU ratio not corresponding with tbo commercial value of tho motiil and, in doing this, I will'malco no statement that cannot bo fully •kituinud hy reliable evidence. On the 3d ot March, 1£CS, -a subcommittee of tho committee on iliuineu in the United States scnato mado a report on the course of prices nnd wages in this country for a period of 62 years, embracing tho prices of almost every article of consumption in common use . among the people and tho rates of wages in almost every Industry carried on during thut timo and,sin order that you may learn from this official ond impartial investigation what effect ft depreciated currency has on wages and prices, I will briefly state some of tho most material facts and conclusions- embodied in that document. The subcommittee consisted of live Ben* ators representing both political parties and Goth sides of the currency question, and tho investigation, whieh lasted nearly two years, was most thoroughly and impartially made, with no r purpose in view except to ascertain and report the actual' facts, and, so far as it relates to questions of fact, the report was unanimous. As stated heretofore, congress, early in tho year of ISliJ, inaugurated the policy of issuing legal tender paper, gold wus driven out of circulation, specie payments wero suspended, the currency begun at once to depreciate und before tho close of tho year the paper dollar wus worth less than 70 cents In gold. From the time tho depreciation began tho price of commodities acd the wages of labor were paid in paper currency, and tho in-. Jurious cCoct upon tho interests of tho laboring man is clearly shown in the report referred to. \Vorlclnfrmou the Sufltirern. In ISC'J tho wages of labor, paid in depreciated paper, wero less than U per cent higher in paper than when paid in gold, but the prices of tho 233 articles used by the laborers and other puoplu iji tho maintenance of their fom'- Hies wero nearly 18 por cent higher than they •wore when paid in gold; in 1S<13 tho waged of labor paid in depreciated paper worth about 00 cents on the dollar were lO^j per cant higher than when paid in gold, but the prices of the articles the laborer had to buy with his wages wore nearly 49 per cent higher; in 18C4 tho wages of labor paid in depreciated paper dollars worth -19 cents cadi had advanced 25H por cent, but the prices of tho necessaries of life hud advanced 00>j per cent; in 1805 wages paid in paper currency worth 03 cents on the dollar had odvauco 4!3 per cent abovo tho rates previously paid In gold, or its equivalent, but tho prices of commodities had advanced nearly 117 por cent^that is to say, had moro than doubled, and in 1SOO wages paid in a currency worth 71 cents on the dollar had advanced a fraction more than 52 per cent from the previous rates in gold or its equivalent, but tho prices of commodities had advanced 00 per cent. Tho rise in the rates of wages never corresponded with the rise in tho prices of other tilings until tbo year 1809, four years after tho closo of tho war, when tho value of our currency was' 71 cents on tho dollar, and it waa quito certain that no further depreciation would occur. In 1800 this country was on a gold basis und nnd been on that basis for many years' under the operation of tho acts of 1S34 and 183". Wages were then paid in gold or its equivalent und by reducing tho wages paid in a depreciated currency to a gold basis and comparing them with tho rates paid in gold in 181)0 wo shall havo another demonstration of tho injurious effects of cheap money on the in*, torests of the laborer, iOn this basis tho laborer received 70 cents nnd 2 mills ill 1808, instead of tho gold dollar ho received iu I860; in ISM ho received SO cents, and 8-mills instead of 3 golcl dollar, and in 1803 ho received CO centd and 2 mills instead of. a gold dollar. In other words, tho wages of labor, measured by gold as they were in I860, when wo had rency—that 1», laborers continued to rocolvo in daproclutca monoy about the some amount thoy received before In good monoy. In 1876, when tbo peso was worth. 88H cents, a mechanic, a boiler maker, a blacksmith, a carpenter, a fireman and an ordinary laborer ro- coivod togotbor for a day's work \&A pesos, or 110.35 in onr monoy; in 18S5 tho same persons received tor tho same work 20?i pesos, but owing to tho depreciation of tho currency this was equal to only $10.03 in our money, and In 1895, 30 yean? after tho country had descended to a silver basis, tho sumo laborers received for tho sumo work 25.96 pesos, butthovnluo of tho peso w,as IMS .than 85 cents, and consequently thoir \yages amounted to only fS.34 In our money, or just about ono-half of what they hud received 20 years before. In tho central part of tbo country tho result was substantially tho same, though not quito so injurious to tho laborer. In 1876 u day's wages for five men—a mason, a carpenter, a gasilttor, a painter and an ordinary laborer—amounted altogether to 10.46 in our monoy, but in 1885 the wages of tho sumo men wore J5.53, and in 1805 t-1.09. In tho southern part of tho republic there was some Ineroaso in tho nominal amount of wages paid between 1870 and 1880 on' account of tho fact that a lino of railway was then being constructed through that region by foreign capital, but since tho latter duto tho general average rato of wages has remained substantially tho same, although paid in a constantly depreciating currency. o Our minister to Chile, after n very careful examination of the entire situation i>> that country, says: "It may bo taken for granted that in Chile, as in all other countries which havo had a like financial experience, the consequences of cheap money havo weighed most heavily upon the classes that are least ablo to c-jjjprt the burden." _ : The evils of silver mo:iometa;iism and a depreciated currency finally became intolerable in that country, and, although it produces considerable- silver and very little gold, it has recently adopted tho gold standard of valuo. Japan'a. Experience. In nearly every country in tho world having tho gold standard of value tho wages ot labor have increased materially during the last 35 years, and at tho eamo time the purchasing power of tho money in which wages ore paid has increased also, whilo in the countries having tho. silver standard of valno wages havo been actually reduced by tho depreciation of the currency to such an extent that the laborer is in a much worso condition than he was at tho beginning of that period. Japan, by fur tho most progressive and prosperous country in tho oast, coins both gold and silver at the ratio ol 10.118 to 1, a ratio which greatly overvalues silvor, und, as tho government docs not maintain tho parity of the two metals, tho currency is on a depreciated silver bo.sis. Wages are paid In silver, of course, bocuuso tho laboring men and women always get tho cheapest money in circulation, cud they generally pay tho highest prici s for the articles they buy, for tbo reason thut their purchases are usually made in email quantities at n timo. Tho Japanese silver yen is worth a littlo less than 60 cents in our money, and when tho. wages of labor, paid in this depreciated coin, oro reduced to our standard of value, tbcy'op- pear so insignificant that it is' difficult to understand how tho people who receive tho miserable pittance can live und maintain their families. Tho average daily earnings of i .bricklayer amount to 83 cents; blacksmiths, curponters and cubinet makers receive 80 a Bound currency, had fallen ubout S4 per cent in 1803, more than • ID per cent In 1804, and" nearly 4-1 por .cent in . 16C5, when wo .had a depreciated. currency, and, gentlemen, the force of this illustration is greatly augmented by tho facts that, those reductions in tho rates of wages,occurred at a timo when several hundred thousand laborer!) had beun withdrawn from the (iold of competition, when tho government wus engaged In tho prosecution of a. groat.war-'and wus expending money lavishly for all-kinds of supplies foT tho army and nuvy, and-when tho prices of all tho products of labor hud largely increased. ; Surely if thoro ever can be a timo when an abundance of choup money will increase tho wuges and improve the condition of laboring men those results ought to bovo' boon accomplished under the .combination of favorable circumstances existing, especially in tho groat Ofintors of industry, from 1801 to 1803, and yot there has been no other period in our history when tho rates of wages fell so rapidly or so low. •" ' . Chile'* Sod Experience. . irho recent experience of tho republic of Chile furnishes another impressive warning to tho wage earner, against tho'evils of a depreciated currency. That country had for a long time tho so called double standard of value, with coinage of legal tender gold und^silver at tho rate of 10.00 to 1, but as this wna a considerable undervaluation of silver tho coins of that metal went out of circulation and. gold constituted the medium of exchange and actual standard of value.until about thu beginning of tho year 1870, but as soon as the commercial valuo of silver foll.below tho ratio of 10.89 to 1 as compared with gold all the gold went out of circulation and tho country, had silver mon- ometallism.- In 1875, before this change took place, tho peso, or'dollur of Chile, wus worth about 88%,cents in our money, but in 1885, ten yours after, gold-wont oulTand silvor came in, tho peso was worth less'than 53 cents in bur money,. Silvor-continued to depreciate and,• besides, large amounts of papor currency wero .issued by. the govorumont and tho banks, and in 1806,.20 years after tho change,from the gold basis to' tho' silver _basis, tho peso was worth- only about 84^ cent's in our monoy.. Lot usi woo-now what/effect thischeapmonoyi or, iu other words,.thu system of silver mono-' metallisni which you are asked'to adopt horo,^ hud upon.thc wages of labor In that country. Our j minister at Santiago has very recently made an' official investigation and.report upon this subject, which bus not yot boon published,' from which it appears that in tho northern; - part :of,Chile, whoro labor has always been in. greater-demand than elsewhere .on account of the groat: nitroto fields locatod.in that ."section ot'tho oountryi very.little change took -place evpniin the nominal rates of wages', notwith- gtandlng.tho groat fall lii tho valueof -the our- cents; compositors In printing offices, £9 cents; pressmen, 20 cents ; roofers, 29 conts ; stonecutters, 80 cents; ordinary tailors, 28 cents; weavers, 15 ccntfl. And in all tho long list of occupations and wages no laborer, however skilled, can bo found who receives r.ioro than 49 cents por day, except porccluin artists in tho great city of Yokohama, who got 7J cents. Factory laborers even in that city, whore most of tho great industries arc carried on by American or European capitalists, receive 21 cents per day, and in other parts of- tho country they receive loss. ' Mexico'* Experience. Our neighboring republic of Mexico, with a constitutional government very similar to our own, with an area of 707,000 square miles and a population of only about 12,000,000, with almost marvelous natural resources awaiting development and offering a most inviting field for tho investment of capital and tho employment of labor, has the silver standard of value, gold not being in uso. And if cheap money is a blessing to tho laboring man, ho ought to bo prosperous and happy in that country. Tho Mexican dollar contains 377.17 grains of puro silver, or nearly 0 grains moro than is contained in our dollar, nnd yot, not being sustained by a monetary system which keeps it at a parity with gold, it is worth only about 63 cents in our money. Wages are paid in silver nnd aro very low in comparison with tho wages paid in this country for tho same services, in many instances not being half as much, while tho prices of commodities generally oro much higher than they are hero. Tho prices of imported articles especially are exorbitantly high in Mexico, because they havo to bo paid for abroad in gold, and tho depreciation of their money is so great that it requires nearly 12 in silvor to pay « in gold. Although our own silver dollar contains less flno silver than tho Mexican dollar, one of ours is nearly- equal in exchangeable valuo to two of theirs, because hero tho coinage is limited and- tho government issues tho coins on its own account and has pledged its faith and credit to keep them as good as gold, a pledge that has been faithfully kept up to this time notwithstanding tho complaints and denunciations of our froo coinage opponents. Under our policy tho dollar paid to tho laboring man for his wages is just as good and will purchase just as much in tho markets as the dollar paid to tho bondholders or to any other class of creditors, but if we are to h»vo freo and' un, limited coinage of logal tender silver for tho benefit of tho owners of tbo bullion tho government and tho people at largo would bavo no interest whatever in tbo coins, anditwould bo grossly unjust to rcquiro tho government to keep them equal In exchangeable valuo to gold. Tho dollars,- as rapidly as coined,- would bo delivered to tho owners of tho bullion free of charge, and tho government would havo no logal or moral right to tax all tho peoplo of tho country In order to procure gold with which to redeem these private coins. The valuo at onr dollar would, therefore, bo no greater than' tho intrinsic or commercial valuo of tho silver contained iu it, and its purchasing power in tho markets would bo diminished about .one-half, but tbo wages of labor would remain, for a long time at least, substantially at tho present rates, or, if they should bo nominally increased on account of the depreciation of the currency, experience in tho past shows that thoy would not Ineroaso In proportion to tho Ineroaso in the prices of .commodities. Rises in tho rates of wages toko place very slowly, while tho prices of commodities move lly, nt somo periods changing novoral timed m the course of a single day. And thcso movements are always moro frequent and more harmful when the currency is in on unsettled condition. . . . Attitude of Manufacturers You havo doubtless observed recently what appears to be quite n formidable demonstration In favor of tho froo coinage of silver by certain largo manufacturing interests In tho eastern part of .the country, upon the ground that if wo continue to maintain our present standard of value the: silver standard countries, especially India, China and Japan, will soon bo able to undersell them in the markets of the- world.. Reduced to its simplest form, the proposition'of these gentlemen Is that tho manufacturers of certain kinds of goods in this country cannot continue to pay their laborers ' high wages in gold or its equivalent and compote successfully In tho markets abroad with tho manufacture-is of similar goods in silvor standard countries, who pay their laborers low,wages In depreciated silver, -and therefore they insist that a monetary system shall bo adopted bore which will give thorn tho advantage of paying for their labor in depreciated silver. Tho theory U that, with freo coinage of logal tondor silver, tho wages of labor In this country would bo paid in silver dollars worth about half ns much as sold dollar* but tho products of labor, which would belong to tho employer, would bo sold for gold In the markets abroad, and that the gold thus obtained could bo exchanged for B 1;vor at about the rate of $1 In gold for 12 in sil vor, and .thus th'o: process would go on, tho employer getting gold of: full value and tho laborer getting depreciated- silver, which. In tho opinion of these gentlemen, would bo a most happy solution of this question. . If the- Kton-stirof labor aro to bo loft entirely out of consideration, and if It were not reasonably certain that a sudden revolution In our monetaryiiystom would at onco arrest.the progress of all our. industries and produce almost universal bankruptcy,, this scheme to make tho,employer .rery rich and the laborer very poor might-bo worthy of serlou consid- oration, but the American laborer ttw a right to demand pay for bin work in as good money as thu employer receives for his products in anvpartof tec world, and when ho surrenders thfs right ho is doomed to tho same fato that has already overtaken bis brothers ;n the silver stundurd countries. It is but simple justice to soy in this connection that tha great body of employers, a vast majority of the mon who have embarked thoir capital in Industrial enterprises and are relying for success upon their skill nnd energy in tho prosecution of their busini/ss, do not want the prosc-ut standard of valuo overthrown, because they know tbat the establishment of silver monometallism would bo ruinous to them and to all who aro dependent upon them for employment or for tho supply of commodities at reasonable prices. InvcHtmonti of Labor. If the solution of this question affected only the character and amount and purchasing power of the future earnings of the American laborer, It would still be a subject of iho gravest importance to him, but its importance is gre.itly increased by the foot that tho ftafcty and valuo of a very considerable part of his past earnings aro also involved. Tho thrifty and .provident workingman, anticipating « time when he may be disabled or deprived of employment, has endeavored to save something out of his earnings in order to provide for the comfort- of his wife und children in the • future and has laid it away at homo, or deposited It In a bank or building association, or invested it in a life insurance policy, or loaned It to some friend in whom ho has"confidence. He is not a debtor, but a creditor, and tho corporations und individuals having the custody of his earnings are indebted to him and ought to pay what the> owe him in just as good monoy as he put into their hands. Savings Banks and Building and Loan Associations. According to tho latest reports, tho savings banks in your own state hold £.'4,357,400 on deposit for 83,302 people, or an average of $257 for each depositor, and in the whole country they hold tl.S10,5f»7,OOl)for4,»"),olll people, or an average of 8J71 for each depositor. State bunks trust compnnios and private bonks hold $1,M).£S8.000 for about 1,500,000 people, and national banks hold H,TO1,D5S,321 for I,ft3,:n0 depositors, of whom i,7S4,000 have less than ?1 v,JO to their credit. Betides these institutions Uu-re aroO,OuObu "' ------- •-United in good'inoii'iiy'umounting to" more t.li:in.*5UO,- • 000 000. Thero uro nearly 700 of these associations in the state of Illinois alone, and in thcsn institutions many laborers. 1:1011, women and even children, havo deposited every dollar they could spare, often denying thumsol 'us BLiniO of tho comforts of life in order to lay up some-tiling for u t: 1110 of need. XJfo Insurance. Moro than 2,000,000 of onr people have t.-.l:ra out life insurance policies, which arc now lii force, amounting to M.i&A&T.i&I, nna have paid the premiums on them year after year in good money, while the mutual benefit and assessment and co-operative und fraternal companies und associations, have 3,500,OUU members who have contributed a largo part of their earnings to the funds held to reimburse losses susbunod by sickness or death. Tho obligations of those companies and associations to their members umount to *5,184,670,030, and tho industriul companies in the United states bavo a mombership of 0,019,598, with insurance amounting to W1C.C50.678 in addition to oil the foregoing, and it is constantly increasing. How iimiiv laboring men und women have taken out "policies or otherwise contributed from their earnings to insure themselves against loss by accident while engaged in tho prosecution of their work cannot be accurately ascertained, but the number is known to DO very "Vho banks, trust companies, building associations und other similar institutions owe tho peoplo of the United States today »5,S5S,- 138 521 for money actually deposited, a sum nearly eight times greater than tho total capital of all tho national bunks in the country, while tho life insurance policies hold by tho people in tho various kinds of corporations and associations and in fore--' today amount to " »10,203,804,a57, a larger sum than has been actually invested in all onr railroads nnd about 15 times larger than tho capital of all thu national banks. Free Coinage Would Be an Irreparable Wronr. In view of these facts, which cannot be successfully disputed, I submit that you ought seriously te consider all the consequences to yourselves and your follow citizens befoie you agree to tho free.and unlimited coinage of legal tender silver ut a ratio of 13'to 1 In order that theso grout corporations and associations may huvo tho privilege of discharging thoir debts to the peoplo by paying Mori; ' cents on tho dollar, for that is oxactly what it . moans. It is a low estimate to aay that each one of the depositors -to savings and other bunks und in building associations, and each bolder of a life insurance policy and member of a mutual benefit and assessment association, has dependent upon him or her an average of at least two other persons: and if BO, a majority of all our people aro directly or indi- - rectly creditors of theso corporations und an- sedations and aro interested in tho preservation of a standard of vuluo which will Insure tho payment of tlioir claims in aa good monoy as they parted with when they made their loons or deposits or paid their assessments or .premiums. Every dollar tho people pat into these bunks and trust companies and other institutions and every dollar they paid for insurance wus worth 100 cents and would procure 100 cents' worth of commodities iu the market when they earned it and when thoy invested it, and thoy havo an unquestionable . rip-lit to demand that it shall be refunded to ' 1. n iu dollars worth 100 cents everywhere. 'j...- adoption of any policy that would deprive 1 i ,u of this right would not only inflict on <-.,rmoii8 loss upon them, but would so so- i >,isly impair their faith in the. fidelity and i.,....tyof such institution* that attempts to ::..cumulate and save surplus earnings would . be abandoned, or. at least greatly discouraged, • for u long timo to como. But if froo and unlimited coinage of legal tender silver at tho ratio of 10 to 1 is established in this country a very largo part of tho monoy deposited in these various kinds of savings institutions will not oven bo repaid in depreciated silvor, but will bo wholly lost, because such a rockJess monetary system would precipitate a financial panic which very few, if any, of tho depositories could survive. I doubt that there is a single financial institution in tho country that could sustain tho pressure that would be immediately made upon it by its depositors and other creditors when it became apparent that our standard of valuo was to be lowered and our currency depreciated by freo coinage. Payment of all our obligations hold abroad would bo demanded in gold at once; every investment of foreign capital in this country would bo instantly withdrawn; every man who owed a .debt at homo or abroad would bo called upon to pay it: all depositors in banks and other institutions would want to withdraw their money at tho same timo; no loans could bo negotiated and no credit would be given, because no man -: would lend money or sell property on time when bo know with absolute certainty that no would bo paid in a depreciated currency. Creditors would not wait for the actual passage of a froo coinugo law. but as soon ax such a measure Lad received tbo approval of the people at an election they would demand their money, <wjd if not paid they would enforce ita collection by judicial proceedings and tho • forced ealo of property. It la useless for you and mo or anybody else to say that depositors in bonks and other creditors ought not to pur- sue this course when a crisis comes or is apprehended, for they always have pursued it, •• and always will unless human nature iteelt should bo changed. ' „ , Less than three years ago yon saw our financial, commercial and industrial affairs violently disturbed by tho fear that the govorn- roent would not bo able to maintain.gold pay- • mouts and that our currency would descend to a silvor basis. You saw tho operations of industry interrupted, banks falling, great commercial bouses unable .to moot their .obligations, credit seriously impaired, mills and factories closed and thousands of laborers thrown out of employment und antnto of panic and. business disorder prevailing In every port of the country. If a moro doubt as to tho kind of monoy wo intended to uso produced those distressing results, what, think you. would be tiie probable consequences of a deliberate determination upon the part of our people to adopt silver monometallism ns a permanent system? The Imagination can scarcely con- . celvo tho doplorable. state of society that would immediately follow tho announcement • of such a policy. «ndl will not attempt to de"°It cannot bo. possible that in tho closing . mars of tho nineteenth century and- in thw . great and freo republic the people tliemoolvM v-111 imitate the bad example not by the cor- • . rcpt potentates of Europe, who havo mado Uieir names forever odious In history by,do-• ;. basing the money of their subjects mid rob- . Wng the industrious poor of tbo just rewards of their labor. -The greatest crime :»bort of . absolute political enslavement that could be- ' • committed against the workingman in this . , country.would be to confiscate nis labor for ^ tbo benefit of the employer by destroying tl value of tho money to which his wages a«j - T ,.- pald; but, gentlemen, this Irreparable wrong ';•••:can novor be porpetrated-under our system ofl' ;; ..government unless tho laboring man himsoll assists to forging his own chains. . And now, gentlemen, having mibmlttoa, a*, • briefly tmdns plainly on the nature of .tho'sub- ject would permit, some of the reasons why I think your interests demand the maintenance of a sound mid stable, currency,'.! thankyo* mo«t dnoereb for your kind and pattant attention and will detain yon no loaftr. \

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