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Mr. Gladstone's Frank Statement. 69
uncertainty as to the adequacy of the final basis of the currency.
The above are only some of the many dangers of the present situation showing the necessity for a thorough study and complete understanding of the question of the final basis of currency, and for prompt and efficient efforts to place our currency on a sound, adequate, permanent, and self-regulating basis.
It is neither necessary nor wise for us to wait for England to act. Her great banks, bankers, promoters, and holders of mortgages have a special interest in desiring a single gold standard as frankly owned by Gladstone. But the mercantile, manufacturing, and agricultural classes and masses there are beginning to understand the position, and are daily increasing their active work against monometallism.
There is one circumstance which would make my plan for Joint-Metallism' more easily understood in England.
The commutation of tithes in England is based upon the average market values
“Let it be enacted that for all debts, public or private, of $10 and upward, contracted after six months from the passage of the act,” etc.
But between the monometallists and the inflationists there is a large class that will finally decide this question—the thrifty common people, who are pretty sure, in time, to get at the right of any ethical question and any ordinary business question. These plain people, the mass of the voters in our country, have no sympathy with dishonest debtors, nor have they any desire to allow creditors any unfair advantage.
They do not quickly grasp financial problems that require special study, but they would sooner understand these problems if an independent press would furnish facts and arguments in a non-partisan and non-sectional spirit, allowing both sides to be fairly heard.
Your fairness in printing views of correspondents that honestly differ from your own, is worthy of all commendation.
It is of these common people that Abra.
deposited in the Treasury for silver certificates, and, when deposited together with gold, would comply with the requirements of the Constitution of the United States."
In discussions regarding monometallism and bimetallism, the terms Standard and Medium are sometimes confused.
A Standard may be purely ideal or intangible. But to be of practical use it must be expressed by, in, or through a Medium.
A certain portion of the arc of a great circle is an ideal or an intangible standard of length. When this is expressed by or in a metal measure, as a yard or a meter, the metal is the medium, and is longer when warm and shorter when cold. If the metal be of zinc, it will be too frail ; if copper, too soft. Brass, which is a mixture of these two metals, is more suitable.
Labor is an ideal standard of value. When it is stored up or expressed in gold, gold is the medium. As gold cannot be increased in proportion to com
See pages 24 and 80.
modities generally, it is not a just medium by which to express the standard of value.
Silver has increased more than most other commodities, and it is, therefore, not a just medium for this purpose. The excessive increase has been caused largely by the legal ratio between silver and gold having been permanently fixed, and below the relative costs of production.
But gold and silver together, half of each, at values always based on market prices, make the best medium for expressing the standard of value, the most suitable medium for measuring and storing up energy.
The history of civilization shows that they have been used about equally as the money of the world.
Burke perhaps furnishes an illustration of a compound standard when he says:
“A disposition to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a Statesman.”
Believing that facts and plain statements are more needed than rhetoric, I have thrown together in the Appendix a
number of facts and statistics with the declarations of those whom American monometallists claim as their best friends, and the admissions of such leading monometallists as
Dr. Robert Giffen, author of Essays in Finance, The Case against Bimetallism, The American Silver Bubble, etc.;
Hon. David A. Wells, LL.D., D.C.L.. etc., etc., the most distinguished of all our political economists and a champion of monometallism;
The London Statist, that stalwart monometallist;
And I claim that these prove the necessity of using both gold and silver together as the basis of our currency.
If the people have a right to demand that all money shall be a just and true measure of value, or the representation of a just and true measure of value, according to Secretary Carlisle,
And if labor itself is the real standard of value, as stated by Doctor David A. Wells,
1 See Appendix, page 84. 2 See Appendix, page 85.