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LETTERS TO "SPRINGFIELD REPUBLICAN."
AFTER THE ELECTION, WHAT?
EXTRACTS FROM THE DEBATE ON FREE COINAGE OF SILVER, BEFORE THE AMERICAN SOCIAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATION AT SARATOGA, SEPTEMBER 6, 1895.
From the Introductory Remarks by the Secretary of the Finance Department, Professor Jr. W. Jenks.
. . . The silver question has become the important topic of the day, and is likely to be the most important question of the next political campaign. It has been thought best, therefore, to have the matter talked out to-day before the Association by some of the best authorities on both sides that the country affords; and the debaters have agreed to let the question take the specific form:
Resolved, That the United States should provide, by law, for free coinage of silver at the ratio of 16 to 1 with gold.
From Address of Hon. A. J, Warner.
. . . Twenty-five years ago there were not forty millions of people out of the entire population of the world using gold exclusively as money: to-day there are more than three hundred million such people.
. . . In 1869 Mr. David A. Wells made a report for 1868, stating our debt abroad—I do not mean the government debt alone—at $1,500,000,000. Professor Cairnes, a few years later, put our debt to England alone at ^300,000,000 (which was about the same thing), and the average interest, dividends, etc., including what was then spent abroad by travellers, at $175,000,000 a year. If we start with that, and add the annual interest that we are now to pay, and what has probably been expended by travellers abroad, and for the carrying trade, and deduct the balances in our favor from those against tis, we should find that our debt to-day is more than $5,000,000,000. Upon that we have the authority of Professor Thorold Rogers. We have tliis statement direct from him, as well as from Mr. Gladstone,—that the investments of England alone in other countries are more than $10,000,000,000. Certainly 40 per cent, of that is invested in the United States. Mr. Heidelbach, one of the large exporters of gold from New York, in the February Forum placed our annual dues abroad at $350,000,000—$75,000,000 as interest, $75,000,000 as dividends, $100,000,000 expended by travellers, and $100,000,000 in the carrying trade.
From Remarks of Hon. Jusiah Patterson.
. . . The silver dollar stands on a somewhat different footing. It is coined money. It is not Saratoga Free- Coinage Debate. 211
the promise of the government to pay anything. But the coinage is limited. It is denied free and unlimited coinage, and is in no sense standard money. The government of the United Sates collects annually about $350,000,000 in the way of revenue. These silver dollars are a full legal tender for all those revenues. Consequently, every silver dollar now coined can find its way into the Treasury of the United States at least once every year. As long as the government receives, therefore, these silver dollars into its Treasury on an equality and on a parity with gold, and pays gold on its own obligations, it follows, as night follows the day, that the parity is maintained between gold and silver. . . .
From Remarks of Joseph Sheldon, Esq.
. . . Ours was originally a government of law, and not of arbitary power in the hands of any President or Secretary of the Treasury. Till very recent times parties dealing with the government have been subject to the wholesome rule that they must take notice of the limitation of the powers of those assuming to act in behalf of the government. That rule must be restored, and must be inflexibly maintained.
The public faith has never been pledged to pay the obligations of the government in gold coin. Not a statute exists that by any possible legal construction supports that claim. Not a statute exists in regard to any form of the public debt or in re