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SIR: A leading article in last Friday's Evening Post beginning “Mr. Anson Phelps Stokes has a currency plan called “joint-metallism,'” and your following article commencing “Apropos of this,” might, I fear, cause some who had not seen my letters on joint-metallism to suppose, mistakenly, that you intended to associate what I have written with the writings of those who desire a dishonest currency, or who you say furnish “ammunition of the most deadly kind for the socialist, communist, populist, and anarchist.”
You do not quote the particulars of my plan for “joint-metallism,” nor the provision in it that it shall not affect any debts except those contracted six months after it becomes law. No one can point out any line that I have written that in any way favors dishonesty or anarchy. What I am contending for is “an honest, adequate, self-regulating and permanent basis of currency,” to prevent fiat money, and to find, as I have said, “a just and honest way to permanently settle a question which cannot be finally settled by narrow and fluctuating majorities nor by vetoes.” You say that monometallists totally deny that the demonetization of silver and the great reduction in its purchasing power, etc., have caused a general decline in values, etc., and you refer to British authority. The Parliamentary Commission on gold and silver which considered substantially this question were equally divided in their report, six members holding to one side and six to the other. Their final report was made in 1888. Since then a distinguished member, among those who then Precious Metal the Final Basis. 39
held that the general demonetization of silver, and the great reduction of its purchasing power, or, in other words, the appreciation of gold, had not caused the general decline in values, has since publicly declared, in 1893, that further study has convinced him that he was in error on this point when he signed the report five years before." I do not object to that reduction in values which comes from science, art, invention, and discovery, but I do object to the unjust enhancement of the value of gold caused by making it the sole money metal and the sole final basis of currency. The only final basis of all sound currency is precious metal. For centuries the money of the world has been in total value about half gold and half silver. If this final basis be now limited to gold alone, then the final basis is diminished by about one half. Money may then be plenty in banks because enterprise fears to use it, and trade languishes and laborers are unemployed. * See Appendix, page IO4.