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bten the same the States only about forty-six million dollars How can that be done ? By the simplest pro- some of them exceeding their circulation, and
of circulation notes, an amount less than cess in the world. Wherever there is a will on an average about equal to it. How were Massachusetts has by $11,000,000, and less there is a way. Here is a way, and the will is those banks attacked by the policy of Con
than New York has by about twenty-six mil- all that is necessary. The Army of the United | greso ? Congress could not repeal their charGMC
lion dollars, and only in excess of the circula || States, according to the last official report that ters, could not abrogate the banks by direct tion of Pennsylvania about seven million dol. I saw, amounted to exceeding fifty-eight thouaction; but they imposed a tax upon their lars. Is this a fair and proper distribution of sand men. There is certainly no necessity, in circulation which the banks could not bear, the circulation notes that enter so largely into the present condition of the United States and and in that way forced them to withdraw their the circulating medium of the country? Should its relations with themselves, with foreign coun- entire ciroulation and to go into the national
this vastly unequal and unjust distribution be tries, and with the Indian tribes, for one solitary || banking system, and to receive the paper o dispred allowed to remain undisturbed ? Certainly not soldier over twenty thousand. Then reduce issued for the purposes of circulation and money
With the position of honorable Senators on your Army to twenty thousand men ; reduce it from the Treasury of the United States. After the floor, who have expressed their desire that by thirty thousand, and that would cause a this system has been adopted by Congress and the Government of the United States and the saving to the public Treasury of at least a thou. the Government of the United States, is it banks of the United States should gradually sand dollars per man. The reduction of the right to leave to the State of Kentucky, for
come to the return of specie payments, I Army by thirty thousand would render the sum instance, that had a circulation of about fourtios in ta heartily agree.
in the Treasury for the support of the Army teen million notes of its own banks, every But, Mr. President, something must be done to the amount of $30,000,000 unnecessary to dollar of which was convertible, at the pleasure in the intermediate time. There is a very great | be appropriated to that object.
of the holder, at the bank counter into gold me. Bir want of sufficient circulation in some sections Here are two modes of getting this money ; or silver-is it just to that State, and other
and in some States of the United States. It both of them, in my judgment, would be just | States similarly situated, to abolish their banks
seems to me that in New England there is a and statesmanlike and proper. I think that the by the indirect legislation which I have adll rentals large excess of this circulation, and that in New England States have an excess of circu- verted to, and to dole out to them the meagre
New York and Pennsylvania there is an ex- lation; I think New York and Pennsylvania circulation of a little above two million dollars cess. I do not hold that a redundant circula- have an excess, also.
where they had before the war upward of fourtion is advantageous to a country. I believe Now, what is the tendency of the circula- teen million? Sir, the system is wrong; it is 100 in a full circulation, such an amount of circu. tion of the country and its aggregation? It is unequal, it is unjust. If that course of meas,
lation as will stimulate industry and quicken the commercial and manufacturing emporiums, ures which will finally lead to the resumption business and commercial exchanges. That The whole United States by its merchants and of specie payments is to be steadily persevered condition of things is wholesome; but when traders go to New York to lay in their stocks; | in, as it ought to be, in my judgment, you the circulation exceeds that just point it seems they take those stocks home and distribute must compel the banks of the States that have to me that the excess of circulation becomes a them over the whole country to their customers. such a vast overplus of their proportionate vice and a disadvantage rather than an advan- || Those customers exist in all the States, and circulation, to yield up a portion of it, that this tage.
most of them are producers, either agricultural, excess may be distributed among the States Now, Mr. President, what is the proposi- | manufacturing, or mechanical. They want to that have a deficiency. tion to remedy this unequal distribution of sell the products of their own labor and skill Mr. MORRILL, of Vermont. I desire to the circulation notes furnished by the United at home.
To purchase them a circulation call the attention of the Senator from Ken: States? It is that an additional amount to among those producers in the distant and dif- || tucky for a moment to the practical working the extent of $20,000 shall be issued for the ) ferent states from the commercial emporium of his amendment. I think the Senate would purpose of being distributed in those States at New York is necessary. They cannot buy be more in favor of bis idea if his amendment that have less than their due proportion. the goods that are purchased in that great were made so that it could be practically car
There are two modes in which this may be emporium and distributed by the factors and ried out. How is the Comptroller to withdraw done. One is suggested by my amendment, merchants over the whole country unless they ) this circulation ? Is it to be all from Massathat the Comptroller of the Currency upon the have the money to pay for them. They cannot chusetts, or all from Massachusetts and Rhode principle, either simple or compound, on which I get this money until they sell the products of Island, the two States having the greatest be has distributed these circulation notes their industry ; they cannot sell those products excess; or is a certain percentage of the whole among the banks of the different States, shall of industry unless there be a circulation in the to be taken; or is it to be drawn from the withdraw as much from those that have an neighborhood, in the local markets where the banks having a large circulation, excluding the excess of circulation as that excess amounts to, || sales take place, to pay for them.
smaller banks? The Senator will see that the aud that he shall distribute it, upon the same
Then an additional and a large additional || amendment as it is could hardly be practically principle as he has heretofore made distribu- circulation is necessary in most of the States carried out by the Comptroller of the Currency. tion, among the banks of the States that have in order to carry into complete effect this sys. Mr. DAVIS. I am fully aware that the & deficiency of circulation. Can there be any tem of production and sale which I have just honorable Senator from Vermont is much just and reasonable objection to that? There recounted. These local producers, agricultural, more competent to mature my idea and to certainly cannot be by gentlemen who are
mechanical, and manufacturing, are the cas- reach my purpose than I am myself, because anxious to return to specie payments, because tomers of the local merchants. The local mer- he is unquestionably much more familiar with if the very way I suggest is not adopted there chants must have pay for their goods which this and all cognate subjects than I am or premust be necessarily an infation of the currency they purchase in New York. To enable them tend to be. I shall therefore be obliged to by the issue of $20,000,000 more of circula- to receive this pay their customers must have a him or to any other Senator who will endeavor tion notes. That I do not believe to be wise. circulation in their immediate neighborhoods to perfect, or bring into the best practical It is certainly an unnatural and a vicious state with which to pay for these goons. They pay operation, the idea which I have suggested in of things for a country with the population and their accounts every six months or every my amendment. I am not wedded to that business of the United States to have a spu- twelve months, or give cash in hand to the form ; indeed, I am not satisfied with the form tious paper circulation to the utter exclusion merchants.
in which I have presented it. There are genof all circulation of the precious metals. This They pay in these circulation notes largely. tlemen here whose intelligence and knowledge evil ought not to be increased; it is not wisdom The notes are thus aggregated in the hands of of the subject matter would enable them to or sound political economy, in my judgment,
the local merchants; they take them on to New present it in a much better form than I have to increase it; bat it ought to be gradually York with the purpose of laying in additional done, and I desire and earnestly request them reduced without producing any convulsion or
supplies. In that way the course of trade pro- to do so. In the mean time I will throw out a great sacrifice of the interests of the country so
duces a constant and ever-recurring aggrega- few general ideas that ought, in my judgment, as to reach gradually but certainly the point
tion of the circulation of the whole country at to be calculated to gain favor with the Senate of the resumption of specie payments.
the commercial emporium of New York and in for the general principle which I have pro. Mr. President, if there were $20,000,000 / the manufacturing
emporiums of New England posed in my amendment. of circulation notes in the Treasury of the
and of the Northwest, as at Cincinnati and The States of New England are highly manUnited States shich the Government did not
Chicago and other points where there are ufacturing; the State of New Jersey is so ; want to use otherwise, it would be a simple extensive manufactures.
some of the principal cities of the northwestern process for the Comptroller of the Currency Mr. President, in my judgment, instead of States are so; and they send out and distribute to distribute tbose $20,000,000 of notes on
the great manufacturing emporiums needing over the whole country a large aggregate deposit in the Treasury among the States that the largest distribution of circulation from the amount of the various manufactures of our had less circulation than their
. How is the Comptroller of the Currency, they need pro- people. They find their customers and their Government to get this amount of $20,000,0002 portionably the least amount, because the ten- markets, to a very considerable extent, in the I have suggested one mode.
distant States; largely in my State. So of the There is another mode: let the Government || and of their commerce, are to draw this circu. merchants whoimport goods from foreign coun. Reduce its expenditures. If it be practicable, lation from every part and portion of the Uni- tries and sell them to the factors and country and the Government will adopt at once the ted States to those centers.
merchants all over the land. It is the interest proposition to reduce its expenditures twenty
Now, sir, the United States Government | of these merchants at New York and Baltior thirty millions a year, it would immediately
has stiled 'the State banks. I was present more and other commercial emporiums, and be placed in possession of the amount of when that mischievous policy was adopted, also of the manufacturers at all the principal circulation notes to $20,000,000, or exceeding and, in my judgment, a more mischievous policy | points where manufacturing industry prevails, that sum, for distribution among the States
never was adopted. The banks in my State to make articles for exportation into other that have less than their proper proportion.
had on hand at that time gold and silver coin, States, and it is important to them that the 40TH Cong. 2D SESS.No. 200.
people of the States to which they send their ator has given a great deal of attention and the case, above her proportion, taking the pop-
course Senators cannot decide, but what ought I think it is not only just, but it is the inter: The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The ques- to be can be done. If the eastern States have est of the importing merchant, of the large tion is on the amendment of the Senator from an undue proportion of banking facilities that manufacturer, of the men who sell their goods, Kentucky to the amendinent of the Committee can be credit in some way. When the bills wares, and merchandise, and their manufac- on Finance.
are returned they need not be issued again, tured articles to those States that have a de. Mr. CONKLING. Of course I shall vote and when there shall be a sufficient return au ficiency of circulation, that they should be for the principle of this annendment, as I indi- || institution can be established in the West or reasonably and justly supplied with it. I I cated I should be glad to do yesterday before in the South. But, sir, I am not going to vote think that if they would consent to yield back | it was offered. I suggest, however, to the hon- || for any bill that will extend in any amount the to the Comptroller of the Currency a portion orable Senator from Kentucky that if he wishes | banking currency of the country. I have said, of their circulation, it would not only be to to test its strength fairly he ought to modify it and I still an of the opinion, that the banking the interest of the people of the States where so as to specify an amount. There is a criti. system as established under existing laws is a it would go and in whose banks it would be cism, perhaps as mere matter of composition, stupendous folly. If it be the business of the placed, but it would be essentially and as to be made on the amendment as it now stands, | Government of the United States to furnish to nuuch to the interests of the merchants and " that there shall be withdrawn from the States the people of the country a paper currency I manufacturers of the States who gave it up.
which have an excess.?! What shall be with. cannot see why that paper currency shall not But, Mr. President, there is a great principle drawn? One listener might understand it to be issued directly by the Treasury, with the involved in this question. If I, as an individ- be the entire excess, whether it was needed or credit of the Government stamped upon it
, ual, am in debt, and I want money to pay my
not; another might understand it to be so much instead of this indirect system, which gives the debts and am about to build a fine house that || as should be necessary. In any event it seems credit to the bank because tbe bank has deposwill cost a sum incompatible with the payment to me the amount ought to be specitied. There-ited in the Treasury the bonds of the nation. of my debts, what is my duty as an honest and fore I suggest to the Senator to insert the words The paper issued by the bank rests for its a prudent man? It is to refrain from building "the amount of $20,000,000." They will come credit upon the bonds of the Government; in my tine house and to appropriate the money in appropriately early in his amendment. Then
other words, the credit of the bank is based which it would cost to the payment of my just we shall have precisely the proposition in bulk debts. This relieves me from debt, makes ine and amount that we have here, and the
upon the credit of the Government; and in
ques- order to get that credit of the Government we a freeman, for no man who owes money which tion will be fairly presented whether it shall be are paying as a nation six per cept. in gold be cannot pay is a freeman, and it does justice) derived from an intlation, as proposed by the upon all the currency that has been issued. to those to whom I am indebted. The Gov. || original proposition, or shall be derived, as the The wisdom of that I have never been able to ernment of the United States is somewbat in Senator from Kentucky proposes, by with: I was not able to see it when it was that condition. They have an Army of fifty | drawing it from the excess of those Staies now adopted during the war. I could not see how eight thousand men; those men cost something || possessed of an excess.
that relieved the finances of the country. It like fitteen hundred dollars a head per annum. Mr. DAVIS. I understand that the Senator was claimed by very wise men at the time that To reduce the Army thirty thousand men, it is proposes to modify my amendment so as to fix || it did furnish reliet. It seemed to me, and I a small estimate to say, would save to the $20,000,000 as the amount of the withdrawals. am of the opinion still, that the credit of the Treasury at least $30,000,000 a year. Let the I accept the modification.
Government being the basis of the credit of majority, let the statesmen, let the patriots of Mr. CONKLING. Let the words “the the bank, the issue might just as well be made Congress resort to that measure of retrench- amount of $20,000,000" come in after the word | directly by the Treasury without paying an ment; let them reduce the Army to twenty - Department" in the Senator's amendment. interest. thousand men, and there is no necessity what- Mr. DAVIS. Very well.
Now, sir, for the use of the bank bills the ever, public, general, or local, that requires an Mr. HENDRICKS. I shall vote for this people of the United States are paying in interarmy of one man beyond that number, and amendment, but not for some of the reasons est above twenty million dollars every year. immediately the Treasury of the United States that have been assigned. Where the circula- For the use of some three hundred millions and the United States are placed, within a tion of a country has the same value in every reasonable time, in the possession of more than | portion of it, its distribution over that country
of bank paper to aid the commerce of the ten nillions of circulating notes above the will depend upon the demands of commerce,
country the people are taxed to the amount of
the interest on the bonds that stand as the basis amount that is required to execute the provis- and I do not think it is much more important, of that banking business. Why should that ion that is now under consideration for dis. so far as the mere question of the supply of be so? Why not issue directly from the tributing $20,000,000 among the States that currency in a particular locality is concerned, | Treasury of the United States the Treasury have none. whether the bank that issues the money is
notes, and rest thein directly upon the credit of Sir, there is no better economy than re. Jocated in that locality or another locality, for the Government, and save that $20,000,000 trenchment, there is no wiser statesmanship currency being the uniform value over the annually of gold interest. thau retrenchment, where expenditures are country will Hoat to those localities where there
Mr. President, I would not be in favor of a excessive and unnecessary. If the Congress is the greatest demand for it. In other words, sudden withdrawal of all the bank paper of the to-day or tomorrow wonld reduce the Ariny | I do not think it more important that a bank 10 twenty thousand men, they would by that shall be located in a particular city in order to ually. Instead of increasing the banking busi
country. This must be brought about grad. single step have withdrawn an imperative de. furnish that city a currency, if the currency
ness of the country ander the present policy mand from the Treasury of the United States has uniform value, than it has that the mint and system, I am in favor, as rapidly as we of thirty or forty million dollars; the $20,- which issues the gold shall be located in that call, of withdrawing from that system, and se 000,000 which is proposed by this provision to particular city. The gold currency being coined far as it is the judgment of Congress that the be distributed among the States that have less in the city of Philadelphia tinds its way as Government ought to furnish a paper currency ibau their just proportion of circulating notes readily into the western country, if there be a would be immediately and conveniently sup. demand for it, if cominerce demands it, as if
to the people, let it be furnished directly from
the Treasury. Are these bank bills in higher plied; and the policy could go into operation the miut were located in the West. But, sir, credit with the people, do they furnisht ang without an increase of the circulation of the the business of banking under the national greater aid to commerce than the Treasury country, without any expansion, but simply banking system is a very profitable bosiness, notes issued directly? by a just, wise, and proper economy in the and it is not just that a larger proportion shali This bill proposes an increase, to a small reduction of the numbers of the Army. be given to one section than to another. I trust , Mr. President, that the honorable a question, in my judgment, of the profits to of the bank paper of the country. I shall not
It is extent it is true, but it proposes an increase Senator from Vermont, or some other expe. I be realized by the citizens in the business of
support that. I shall support the opposite rienced and able member of the Senate, will put banking. For instance, the State of Massamy amendment in proper shape. That Sen- chusetts has $40,000,000, as I understand is / wichurawing from his system that taxes all
policy of gradually, but as rapidly as we can;
SILA : 0
the people for the paper currency that is fur- currency. An unsound, vicious currency may we are doing anything in the direction of specie pished by the Government of the United impose a loss of five hundred or one thousand payments. On the contrary, it seems to me we States. That may be saved, and in a few million dollars a year. What, then, does a are every day drifting further from it. This
years, instead of being taxed for a paper cur- few million dollars annually amount to as a greenback policy means that we shall never Nataleta
rency, we may bave a paper currency not burden upon the nation, if it shall secure to come to it. It means that we shall impose taxed, upon which the people do not pay a tax us in two or three years the restoration of a upon the country an irredeemable paper cur. in the form of interest paid in gold upon bonds sound currency?
rency, condemned by every man who ever Bent . The deposited in the Treasury.
It seems to me that sound policy, the perma: wrote on banking, and every statesman in our Getting away from that system, and saving nent and enduring interests of all sections of own country or any other country. No man 3 of 0.02
that burden upon the people, then, as is sug- the country, and especially the interests of the known as a financier in the Old World or in the
gested by the Senator from Kentucky, reducing toiling millions require that the green back cir. New sustains the views expressed by the Sento it to
the expenses of the Army $50,000,000 a year, culation shall be reduced to an amount which ator from Indiang. An irredeemable paper
which is practicable, which is possible, which can be redeemed and made equal to specię. || currency issued by the Government has been milionacea
ought to be done at once, wbich ought to have | Mr. Pendleton, now the champion of irredeem- | condemned and is now condemned by finan. been done during the last two years. and able paper money, declared in 1862, on the ciers and statesmen. Alexander Haunilton abandoning the expenditures for the I'reed- floor of the House, that the legal-tender notes - pronounced the issuing of paper money by the men's Bureau, and returning to the legitimate were sent into the world stamped with irre- Governinent ófa seducing and dangerous expe.
business of this Government, we can bring the deemability; that we put on them the mark of dient,'' “likely to be extended to a degree which spght 2018 | expenditures of this Government within the Cain, and like Cain they would go forth to would occasiou an inflated and artificial state but
easy management of the people. I am grate- | be vagabonds and fugitives on the face of the of things incompatible with the regular and ful to the Senator from Kentucky for his sug. earth. He declared that private ruin and pub- prosperous course of political economy." Sir
gestion of retrenchment in the direction to lic bankruptcy, either with or without repudia- || Robert Peel declared that “the effect of the When :
which he has referred. It can be made. I tion, would inevitably follow the issuing of the State having the complete control of the cir.
When we tinue to send them forth to be vagabonds and any effort to change it, this irredeemable paper make these plain, simple, and easy reforins, I || fugitives on the earth, until repudiation should money system. It is a burden upon the proIbars believe that the taxes upon the people need come. It seems to me to be the province of ductive industry of the country, it is a heavy
extend to bat a very few articles. Reduce your statesmanship to enter upon a policy that shall burden upon toiling men. Rather than enter tax upon wbisky to one dollar per gallon and stamp, redeemability upon the face of these
upon a system of further expansion, I would let it be collected, which is possible, which is green backs and make these vagabond and vote to reduce the amount of circulation the practicable atthat rate; and then a reasonable, fugitive notes equal to the purest gold.
Government has accorded to Massachusetts. fair
, proper tax upon tobacco, and a few other Sir, it is clear to me that what the people of Mr. HENDRICKS. I wish to ask the Sen-
tender notes by the Government. Banks estab- Mr. WILSON. Certainly. Before the war, in 1860, the production of lished and managed in localities where active Mr. HENDRICKS. I wish to know why, whisky in this country was about ninety milo capital is required furnish the means of dis- to the workingman, the bill of a bank is more lion gallons a year. In the State of Indi. counting local paper or of making the loans secure when it rests for its credit upon a Govana it was about nine millions; in Ohio about required for local interests. The Treasury of ernment bond than a note issued by the Treasfifteen millions; in Illinois, about fifteen mil- the United States will not go into the business ury upon the faith of the Government? lions. The policy that has been adopted bas of exchanging greenbacks for the notes of Mr. WILSON. It makes no difference to destroyed that interest. Put the tax at a reason- country traders, nor country money.borrowers. the workingman whether he has a legal-tender able rate, at one dollar per gallon, and let us I believe the present banking system of the note or the note of a national bank in his collect, say sixty, seventy, or eighty million United States is the best banking system the pocket, but it does make a difference to the dollars upon whisky, instead of twelve or world ever saw. The first year of the war workingman whether we have an irredeemable thirteen millions under the present inefficient || swept away seventy-nine banks in Illinois, paper currency, or whether it be a currency state of legislation, or the present failure in thirty-nine banks in Wisconsin, and nearly all redeemable in gold and silver on demand. the executive department, and we shall have the banks in Michigan and Minnesota. The | The labor of the country demands a sound made a great advance toward the relief of the people of the Northwest and of the Southwest || currency, a currency based upon gold and sil. people. have been robbed under the old banking sys.
We should enter at once upon a policy Mr. President, I did not intend to discuss tem of millions of dollars. The billholders of that shall give us at no distant day such a cur. the question at any length, but simply to the national banks have not lost a single dol. rency. Instead of entering upon it, we now express my opposition to any extension of the lar by the failure of any of those banks. Ohio propose, in order to give twenty millions of the present banking system, which in my judgment, and Indiana had when the war opened, safe currency of the national banks to the new is based upon a wrong policy.
and well-managed banks. We had $125,000,- States and the southern States, to expand the Mr. WILSON. Mr. President, I admire 000 of banking capital in New England. The currency to that amount. Why not withdraw the skill displayed by the Senator from Indiana national banking system was forced upon us. the circulation of legal-tender notes to the same in the discussion of controverted political New York had a safe banking system and she amount we increase the circulation of the paquestions. I am often reminded, as I listen was forced to give it up. The safety of the tional bank notes? We have passed through to that Senator, of the position of that famous present banking system to the note holders is severe commercial crisis. "The business down-easter, Colonel Ethan Spike, wlio de- demonstrated. No sooner does a bank fail interests of the country are improving. If we clared that he was in favor of the Maine law than its notes rise above their par value. shall be blessed with good crops the business but against its execution. [Laughter.] The Mr. SHERMAN. Does the Senator know men of the country have the best reason to Senator goes a little forward, then he backs why the value of the notes rises when the bank hope for a marked improvement in all
depart a little. He bravely asserts bis propositions, fails ?
ments of productive industry. The laboring and then he cautiously qualifies and modifies Mr. WILSON. Yes, sir.
men of the country, who have severely felt the them, so that he is for and against all the con- Mr. SHERMAN. It is simply because the pressure upon the business interests of the tested points relating to finance and currency western banks then find an opportunity to go nation, are now looking to the future with before ihe country. "Sir, this going for a thing and buy them up, for the advantage of that renewed confidence and hope. Why, then, for and then backing on it, going a little this way circulation, which they ought to have without the benefit of jobbers and speculators who fatand a little that way will hardly work out the discount. There are banks in existence in the ten upon the misfortunes of the people, derange solution of the financial problems before the
western States that have paid from ten to forty and disturb the monetary affairs of the country
thousand dollars in New England and New by entering upon a policy of expansion? I Sir, I shall vote for the amendment pro- York for the privilege of starting banks where take no part in this work of increasing the posed by the Senator from Kentucky. I am ever banks there have failed.
amount of irredeemable paper money, nor of opposed to any further expansion of the cur: Mr. WILSON. I understand that subject. imposing new burdens upon labor. Fency, either by the banks or by the issue of Mr. POMEROY. The banks of the West Mr. UENDERSON. Mr. President, I believe legal tender notes. We have gone too far in have been compelled to buy the circulation of the proposition now before the Senate is one the direction of expansion already for the pro
New England and New York, and pay three to modify the twenty-second section of the ductive interests of the country and the inter- and four per cent. for it.
banking act so as to authorize an increase of ests of the toiling men of the country. We Mr. COLE. Which they ought to have for the circulation notes of the national banks to lave eight or ten million men engaged in the nothing.
the extent of $20,000,000. It is a very simple productive industries of the nation, and their Mr. WILSON. Sir, I ain opposed to in proposition; there is but very little in it; but weekly lahor is worth seventy-five or one hun. | creasing the circulation of legal-tender notes, gentlemen have gone outside of the question
A few million dollars and I am opposed to increasing the bank cir. before the Senate, and they are discussing the more or less imposed upon the nation in the
culation. I desire to get to a specie-paying effect upon property, upon real estate and per. form of taxation is of little consideration com.
system at the earliest possible day consistent sonal property, the effect upon the wages of pared with a policy that shall bring a sound with safety ; but it does not seem to me that the laboring man, of u return to specie pay.
dred million dollars.
ments. No part or parcel of the discussion, | circulation has been removed. Nearly all of act upon circulation notes, to extend their cirit seems to me, with due deference to the gen- | the compound-interest notes are gone; I believe culation $20,000,000. Gentlemen say at once tlemen who have entered into it, has anything not exceeding twenty-five or thirty million that this is a proposition to expand the curto do with the proposition before the Senate. dollars of them are outstanding at present. rency. The Senator from Ohio answered that
The original banking act made the limit of They will all soon be out of the way. All this very properly when he said that it was no such $300,000,000 to the circulation notes of the vast amount of circulating medium issued upon proposition at all. How does the Senator banks. I never saw any use in it; I never saw the credit of the Government in the shape of from Massachusetts make clear his proposition any sense in it; because banking, in my judg. | seven-thirties, small notes, and other interest
that this necessarily expands the currency? inent, ought to be left like any other business, | bearing notes, and some of them non-interest- || He said it was an expansion, and he wanted perfectly free. If we bank under the national || bearing have now disappeared, and the cur: to live in the ancient ways of his fathers and system let us bank as they banked in New | rency of the country has been largely reduced. || did not want to move either one way or the York. I believe there was no limitation upon And let it be remembered, Mr. President, ll other; he did not want to disturb the corthe number of banks or upon the annount of in connection with the reduction of the cur- rency. He has got $356,000,000 of greenback circulation there.
rency, that we have largely increased the popu. circulation out; but he would not take in a Mr. CONKLING. I beg to dissent from lation that use it. It must be remembered dime of it. He does not want to contract, the Senator's proposition. In New York there that at the time the currency was so expanded, and he does not want to expand. We have was this check: one half of all the basis of eleven of the States, ten of them at any rate, just got in that glorious fix with $356,000,000 banking must consist of stocks of the State, because a part of the State of Tennessee was of greenbacks out and $300,000,000 of circathe amount of which stocks was fixed, and by | under our control, a large portion of the Union || lating notes of banks, and that is the Elysium. the constitution could never be enlarged ex- at that time did not use our cireulating medium || He does not want to move cept by the consent of the whole people at all, neither the national notes nor the bank Mr. WILSON. The Senator will allow me to expressed in a positive vote.
notes. Since that time we have conquered a say that I would reduce it at least $200,000,000 Mr. HENDERSON. That, I suppose, left || mighty nation; we have conquered eleven States and resume specie payments immediately. banking to be carried on to the extent of the || and blotted out the entire circulating medium Mr. HENDERSON. How would you reentire stocks of the State of New York, only that they had, and we have substituted ours duce it? one half of the basis of the circulating medium for it, thereby giving a larger basis for the Mr. WILSON. I would fund it. being required to be of New York stocks. operation of this circulating medium, giving Mr. HENDERSON. Ford it in what?
Mr. CONKLING. But the whole debt of at least nine million people, turning the slaves Mr. WILSON. In bonds of the Governthe State was very small.
into freemen, who are now demanding a cir- ment. Mr. HENDERSON. Was it fixed by the culation, demanding money in this shape, just Mr. HENDERSON. Bonds of what sort? constitution ?
like the white people of the northern States. Mr. WILSON. Of the Government of the Mr. CONKLING. Yes, certainly; it was They are operating for themselves. They are United States. practically fixed.
laborers, they are mechanics, they are mer- Mr. HENDERSON. Six per cent. bonds? Mr. HENDERSON. I ask the Senator, then, chants, they are doing business like the whites Mr. WILSON. Yes, sir; or five per cent., if a circulation could not have been based in of the South. A vast amount of money is or anything I could get it at. New York under that very banking system || needed for that nine or ten million people; Mr. HENDERSON. Gold-bearing bonds? upon coin instead of stocks? Were there not and yet we have gone on contracting the cir- Mr. WILSON. Yes, sir. banks existing even under the very banking || culation.
Mr. HENDERSON. Would the Senator law of New York whose circulation was based The great idea here seems to be to have an do that---fund these notes of the Government upon coin and not upon stocks? Certainly | early return to specie payments. I do not called greenbacks into a six per cent. security there were. There was no limitation upon the object to it. I should be a heretic if I were to and then not extend this limitation, so that amount of circulation. Banks might be estab- say that I doubt the policy of a speedy return | banking could exist in any of the States? lished ad libitum, just whenever any person to specie payments. I am almost afraid to say Mr. WILSON. If the Senator desires an wanted to establish a bank, under the bank. it. I have got enough on my shoulders already, 1 answer, I will say this; if I had my way I ing system of New York. That is my recollec- and if I were to say that, I suppose I never would reduce the greenbacks to a point at tion. I am aware there was what is called a should survive. Every Senator seems to think which we could redeem them, and maintain free banking law of New York, requiring, as that the age of happiness will be when we have that redemption. I would adopt free banking; the Senator says, a deposit with the register of returned to specie payments ; commerce will || I agree with the Senator in that; and I would the State of a certain character of public stocks, revive; manufactures will be better than they have the banks redeem their circulation, one half of which, I believe, as he states, should were before; and agriculture will prosper Mr. HENDERSON. They do redeemit now. be stocks of New York, and the other half of beyond anything known before. I do not Mr. WILSON. That is, I would enter on a which should be stocks of other States; but
believe a word of it; and I do not want to system that would bring that about in the that did not prevent, under the laws of New force a state of affairs, the expediency of which course of a year or two. York, any man from banking upon coin. He I doubt. I doubt very much whether we shall Mr. HENDERSON. I do not pretend to had a perfect right to bank upon coin and to be any better off under a reign of specie pay. say that I would contract the greenback circa. issue large credits on the coin in the vaults of ments than we are at present. I have rot time lation at all. I am willing that Senators shall the bank. In other words, there never was a to go into the reasons for this extraordinary enter this Elysian field of specie payments. It limitation in the State of New York upon the statement. I have no doubt it sounds very is a myth, a humbug, and always was. It has amount of the circulating medium.
heretical to a great many of my hearers, if they never been otherwise in this country; and the Why, Mr. President, under the old system pay any attention to it at all. But, Mr. Presi. Senator knows it as well as I do. of banking, it was very rare, indeed, for any dent, reasons can be given why in all probabil- Mr. WILSON. It so happens that every State to have any limitation upon the amount | ity we are better off without this Elysium of man in the world with a knowledge of finance of circulating notes. Anybody complying || specie payments. I am old enough (and not disagrees with the Senator. with the terms of the banking laws of the very old at that) to know that commerce and Mr. HENDERSON. The Senator knows State might go on and bank. Was there ever business did not thrive under the reign of spe perfectly well that the banks in this country any reason in establishing this national system, cie payments any better than they do now; and suspended specie payments in 1837. He knows and coercing, as my friend from New York every Senator knows perfectly well that such
that they suspended specie payments in 1847. said so ably here yesterday, all the State banks
is the case. Do you not know that under spe- He knows that again in 1857 they suspended spe. to go out of existence, for putting on this lim. cie payments we had commercial and financial
cie payments; and he knows perfectly well that itation? I understood perfectly well why the revulsions every eight or ten years to such an they did so in 1861 and remained suspended for limitation was put on at the time. Why was extent that people often said when a period of years, when their paper went to a discount much it? It was because at that time we had not prosperity was upon us, that it is the beginning, larger than the apparent premium on gold toless than from eight to fifteen hundred million or the indication, the symptom indeed of' finan- day. What sort of an Elysium was it? He dollars of circulating medium issued by the cial crisis and fiuancial ditliculty? And every. knows perfectly well what it was.
The Senator Government upon Government credit. We body knows that it has come upon us again and was in business, I presume, during those days, I had the greenbacks; we had the compound again. The Senator from New York (Mr. suppose as early as 1837; and he remembers interest notes; we had the certificates of indebt- CONKLING] smiles. Certainly he can smile; the state of affairs that existed in this country edness; we had every variety and form and but when we go back to specie payments again, from 1837 to 1843, and again in 1847, in 1857, shape of indebtedness, which constituted a we shall find the same financial difficulties and in 1861.
We suspended in 1861 and have circulating mediam; some being a legal tender, existing.
remained suspended, State banks and all, from and others not a legal tender. The fear was Mr. CONKLING. I will retract my smile that day to this, and the Senator will find out that in the establishment of the national banks if the Senator wislies me to do it. (Laughter.] we might increase to a very dangerous extent Mr. HENDERSON. As the smile is with
when we get back to specie payment it will not
last six months. I prophesy that our Govern. the circulating medium, and hence it was drawn, I will
ment will be in the condition that the English thought advisable at that time to put a limita- Now, Mr. President, to return to the propo- Government was in 1816. They passed an act tion upon the national notes. sition before the Senate, I do not wish to dis
of Parliament declaring they would resume Is there any cause for it at this time? We cuss these other matters—it is a proposition to have largely reduced that circulating medium enable the states that are without banking close of the war with France, and Waterloo
specie payments in 1816, I believe. After the based upon Government credit. It is ont of facilities, on account of the limitation imposed
was fought, the English Government supposed the way. A large quantity of the greenback ll be the twenty-second section of the banking they could go back to specie payments it
mediately, having been suspended for over a Mr. HENDERSON. I thought gold was erty-necessarily so engaged. Civil war was quarter of a century. What was the success ? very much in demand. I have not heard a upon our soil, and we were destroying each They passed their act. Some Senator said Senator make a speech on this subject who did other, and destroying each other's property. yesterday fix a day--I think it was my friend not crave a return to specie payments. Every || You were not doing so in New England. You from Indiana
Senator seems to look forward with as much were carrying on your workshops and supply. Mr. MORTON. I did not say that.
delight to that happy period as he would to ing the Army. You were supplying knapsacks; Mr. HENDERSON. Then I take that back; the haven of rest before him. I cannot see you were supplying harness; you were supplybut some Senator said, "Fix a day for the re- that former times justify the belief of Senators ing guns; you were supplying every article sumption of specie paymentand work up to it." that we are going to have such prosperous times used by the Army; and you sold at enormous
Mi. MORTON. I said that, but I was not when we do return to specie payments, because rates. You sold to the Government at three speaking of the Bank of England.
we have had financial difficulties and pavics, as and four prices, did you not? You had the Mr. HENDERSON. Certainly not; but I have shown, during periods of specie payments capital of the country. What little we bad you would fix a day here, and that is just what and necessity brought us to a suspension of specie was destroyed. You took bonds at forty cents the English Government did. They thought payments. It will not be a year after we have on the dollar; and now, having them in your when the war closed with great glory to the resumed specie payments before an act of Con- pocket, you come to Congress and say, "Gen. Government that prosperity and everything gress will be passed justifying a suspension of tlemen, we must resume specie payments." else would come upon the resumption of spe. specie payments. You will see an act of Con- Why did you not talk about doing business cie payments. Why, sir, the English Govern- gress passed in less than twelve months after on the specie basis during the war? Why did ment were enabled to carry on the war with resumption, justifying or legalizing the action you insist upon selling a set of harness for Napoleon simply because they suspended spe. of the banks in suspending specie payments. à cavalry horse to us at ninety dollars, when cie payments, and never could have done it You talk about resumning specie payments ! at the old prices we could have bought it at otherwise. Every man who knows anything of What are you going to resume with? The little thirty dollars; and you know it. the bistory of that Government, knows perfectly coin you have got in the Treasury-$100,000,- You insisted on so selling, and did so sell to well that it would have been utterly imprac. 000? What will be the result? You have the Army. We had to give our obligations to ticable for them to carry that war through on $356,000,000 of greenbacks out. Then, I you for ninety dollars for an article really not the basis of specie.
suppose, we shall rush to the Government worth over thirty-five dollars. Now, immeMr. MORTON. I should like to ask the vaults and draw that out. The banks will do diately after that is done, and you have got Senator this question : when the final resump- it, of course, in order to resume themselves.
the compensation in your pocket in the shape tion by the Bank of England took place was How much money have they got? They have of a Government bond, you come before the it not in consequence of the English Govern- not over fifteen or twenty million dollars in country and say, “Yes, you have got a limit. ment having tixed a period of three years their vaults and $300,000,000 out. How are ation of $300,000,000 on national banking, and within which to resume, and did not the bank they going to resume? Is there coin enough you must withdraw the greenbacks, take them resume in a year and a half?
to do it? Surely not. What will be the result? out of the question,'' and immediately upon Mr. HENDERSON. If the Senator wants You will have a discount on paper instead of doing that you know you come to suspension, my opinion, I give it in this way: the English having a premium on gold and a uniform value | and the country will be bankrupt. You say, Government fixed a time again and again ; to your paper throughout the country, both "I cannot help that; I have got a bond and they fixed on the year 1816 for resuming; and greenbracks and circulating notes, and they want to appreciate it to par. We will see what was the result? The premium on gold are worth just as much in Missouri as they are what it will be worth after you have done it. increased immediately on the passage of the
in New York to-day. Your paper is now per- That will depreciate instead of appreciating it. act instead of diminishing, and when the day fectly uniform, though it is depreciated. I It will depreciate everything in the country; for resumption came they had produced a admit it is depreciated, but it is uniform ; but and every man knows it. Why? Because monetary distress in the country that had not it will not be uniform after that occurs; and do you have produced a monetary panic, which existed for ten years preceding. They then you not know it? You then set shaving shops always depreciates property and always depre. fixed 1818 for resumption; and what was the to work from one end of this land to the other. ciates bonds and everything else. result? They brought another monetary panic Why? Because instead of having a premium Mr. WILSON. I ask the Senator if there in that country. They then fixed 1820 and on gold you have a discount upon paper, and is not more taxable property to-day in the again 1822; and the bistory of the times will it is exactly the same, and you will have to State of Missouri than there was in 18607 disclose the fact that every effort on their part legalize your suspension or every national Mr. HENDERSON. Certainly. resulted in new disasters. Go back to the bank will be wound up. When you have taken Mr. WILSON. Is it-not so in every loyal history of that time, and you will find that such up your greenbacks and canceled them, and State of the Union? is the fact. Why? Simply because you can
the national banks have suspended specie pay- Mr. HENDERSON. No, sir. not bring about specie payments by an edict ment, I should like to see the glorious haven Mr. WILSON. And measured by the gold of Parliament or Congress.
of rest you have entered.
What is the use of standard, too? Mr. WILSON. They got to a specie basis gentlemen talking otherwise? Do they not Mr. HENDERSON. No, sir. there at some time. know that such will be the case ?
Mr. WILSON. The loyal States are worth Mr. HENDERSON. They got there before This is a plain, practical view of this ques- at least $4,000,000,000 more than they were the expiration of the last term, as the Senator tion, and every man of business interests or in 1860. from Indiana properly states. They did fix the doing business in the country knows it. Wbat Mr. HENDERSON. All the loyal States time again in 1824 or 1825, and before the time is the use of disguising it, what is the use taken together? arrived they did resume specie payments, but
of trying to conceal the fact, and with a five- Mr. WILSON. Yes, all the loyal States they resumed it upon the increasing business cent piece in our pocket swearing to the world together are worth $4,000,000,000 more than of the country, upon the revival of industry, that we are rich? There is not a word of in 1860, and that, too, on the gold basis. and upon other things that bring about specie truth in it. We are not rich. We have been Mr. HENDERSON. I am not talking about payments, not upon the act of Parliament. So engaged for five or six years in destroying the aggregate wealth. I spoke of the wealth it will be here. We shall resume specie pay. propertyWe have destroyed hundreds and per capita a little while ago. I know that ment when the business of the country justifies thousands of millions of property. We have population has increased. There has been an it and when our productions are more than been compelled to take the laboring men from immense immigration to this country. The equal to our importations. When we have built the plows and workshops throughout the coun. Senator must recollect that in 1860 our popu. up foreign balances and can draw upon those try and send them into the Army to defend lation was thirty-one millions, and now it must foreign balances, and can increase our circulat- the Union. That was all right enough ; but be in the neighborhood of forty millions. I ing medium in the precious metals in this
you cannot take a million men for five or six apprehend that there is a greater aggregate country, then we shall resume specie pay
years and keep them occupied in destroying wealth; but the Senator knows perfectly well ments, not before. The precious metals have property, abandoning all the industries of the that in all the seceding States there has been departed; they are not in the country ; and it is country, and
still remain rich.
not only a destruction of $500,000,000 of propidle to talk about resuming specie payments
Mr. WILSON. Does the Senator mean to erty, but there has been a depreciation of until the revival of business, commercial pros,
say that we have not as much wealth now as $500,000,000 more. He knows that land worth perity, agricultural prosperity, and mechanical before the war?
fifty and seventy-five dollars an acre previous prosperity shall have put large balances abroad
Mr. HENDERSON. I mean to say that to the war is now selling for two dollars and a to our credit. It cannot be done otherwise.
we have not as much wealth per capita now as balf and five dollars; and a very slow sale at Mr. MORTON. I should like to ask the
before the war. I heard the Senator on that | that. In regard to the seceding States, I know Senator if the demand for gold is not governed point ; I know all about his views. He has a they brought these consequences upon theniby the ordinary law of supply and demand ; bloated state of affairs. He has blown a blad
selves; they are but the penalty of their own and while there is no demand in this country
der up in the New England States and thinks corrupt doings; I will not justify them ; but to for gold except to pay duties, I ask him if gold he is rich. I know exactly what he is ; I know deny that there is a depreciation of property is
idle and useless. The Senator knows to the There is no demand for gold now except for I know they have accumulated very largely, contrary. the purpose of paying duties, and therefore || and did accumulate during the war
, because But, Mr. President, I have nothing to do gold does not stay here, but goes where it is
of their situation. You had not this war on now with the aggregate wealth_nor the per used as currency, where it is demanded for your own soil as we had in Missouri. We capita wealth of the country. I am simply other purposes besides duties.
were engaged in destroying each other's prop- Il talking about this measure. Why is it that we