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tions. It must grow up as the credit of an due, and you can agree upon terms with your individual would grow up:

creditor for an extension of the day of payment, It has been well stated heretofore that we those terms must be acceptable to him, or else have suffered a great deal by the war.

We your credit falls. Therefore, as the pending were during all the period of the war destroy. measure offers a long bond with absolute securing instead of producing; we were reducing i ity by the terms of the law of the payment of our wealth rather than adding to it; and so the principal and interest in gold or silver, great was the destruction, so great the reduc- though presented at a lower rate of interest, tion of our wealth as a nation, that it became which the public welfare demands, it is a fair impossible for us to pay as we were paying and honest proposition, and one, in my opinbelore that time; and at this day our credit | ion, that will be accepted by the bondholders. is very considerably below par. Our promises | It is therefore an advantageous proposition. It to pay are only worth about seventy cents on is one that I am in favor of. the dollar in gold. This is a fact that is patent I regretted most deeply when the honorable to us all. Our credit is so much below par Senator from Pennsylvania [Mr. Cameron] that there is no use in trying to conceal the denounced the measure in the severe language fact, or by vain declarations to reach some which he applied to it. I do not think that other conclusion.

my friend could have meant what he said in We are now improving our condition as a truth and earnestness in imputing to the Sennation. We are adding to its wealth rapidly. ator from Ohio the introduction of a measure In a few years we shall be in a position to here gotten up, as he said, by the Treasury pay our current liabilities in the ordinary coin Department, having for its purposes some mysof the world, and to pay also our bonds in the terious objects, which he could not compresame currency.

But until we have built up hend nor understand. I do not always, while our credit, until time elapses, until our wealth I sit here and listen to the able Senator from has been increased, it will be utterly in vain | Ohio, agree with all he says; but I think no for us to attempt the payment of all our obli one can deny him the highest integrity and gations in gold. I suppose the credit of a purity of motive and purpose. I do not think nation does not differ much from that of an | that my honorable friend from Pennsylvania individual. Before the war we were exceed intended to say just what he did. I agree with ingly prosperous. We lacked hardly anything him in both the letter and spirit of what he that makes a nation great. But we suffered otherwise said, except that part of it which so calamity after calamity; and so our credit was strongly deprecated the presentation of this reduced. If an individual who was in a pros measure at this time. Mr. President, I think perous condition meets with calamity by fire it is an opportune time. It is a time when a or flood it for the time being will destroy his | party in this country, seeking and contesting credit; and if he is compelled to borrow for for the power of this nation, have emblazoned the purpose of replacing his losses he will upon their banners repudiation of the public pursue precisely the same course that we as a debt and destruction, consequent of the public nation have done; he will have to mortgage credit. The time when such a proposition is the property that he has, and pay a heavy made is, in my opinion, the time to meet it. interest, and his credit will be for the time It is not many days since a resolution was reduced; but when he has had time to repair | adopted in the House of Representatives, not his losses, then, and not before, his obligations | by a party vote, but by a non-political vote, will be at par. I do not believe that it is instructing the Committee of Ways and Means possible by a declaration to bring ourselves of that body to report to it a measure imposback to a specie basis. The only way in which | ing a tax of ten per cent. upon the coupons it can be done, in my judgment, is by the pro of the bonds. The committee obeyed the cess which adds to our national wealth. When behest of the House, but to their lasting credit we have reached the position that we occupied | reported that they were against the measure, before the war we shall then be upon a specie and between that bold and honest declaration basis; but we cannot reach there by any and the indignation and common sense of the short cut.

country standing by the public credit, that not Mr. CONNESS. Mr. President, I do not | simply questionable, but corrupt and faithless krow that I have any views on the subject now proposition fell still-born. It fell as it ought before the Senate which are of any value to the to fall, stamped with the infamy of an attempted public; but, like all other Senators, I feel a deep || violation of the public faith. interest in it, and as the discussion has pro But, Mr. President, while I say this it is an gressed I have been not a little pained at the unmistakable fact that the rates of interest direction it has taken.

paid upon the public debt of the United States The proposition directly before us is an are rates that make great additional public amendment offered by the Senator from Maine, | burdens; and I welcome the proposition at to leave the option of payment within ten years this time and in the manner proposed to reduce to the Government of the bonds proposed to the rate of interest without in any manner be issued, the effect of which, in my opinion, 1 tainting the public credit. Therefore it is if adopted, would be to defeat the purpose of that I regret the remarks of my honorable the pending bill, which is, as I understand it, friend from Pennsylvania. In the other part an offer to the bondholders to release and give of his remarks, which described in a few short, up the bonds they now hold for bonds of a terse sentences the political failure of every longer date and lower rate of interest, abso man in his State who, in the days of its dislutely and positively, by the terms of the law tresses, undertook to ride into power by an providing for their issue, payable principaland | assault upon the credit of the Commonwealth, interest in gold. I regard that proposition as I recognized a true and just statement; and a fair one. so it will be with those who undertake to origin

1 In place of attempting to hold the Senator ate or to cater to a dishonorable public sentifrom Ohio up to public odium for inconsist ment touching our national credit and our

{ ency or change of opinion I hail and welcome national debt. the proposition that he has now presented to Why, Mr. President, when and how and unus, as contradistinguished from that presented | der what circumstances was that debt created? at the early part of the session by him. The When the national existence was assaulted by former was a coercive proposition, and the a party that through long years of war proved views in which it was advocated were perhaps nearly our equals in point of use of force; more strongly coercive than the terms of the when loans that might be obtained from exist. measure, and I regretted the utterance of || ing banking institutions were totally inade. both. You cannot deal with a creditor and quate to the payment of the public expenses, maintain your character except in one of and the nation itself had to go out among its two ways: you must either pay what you own people, we were proud, and should still owe or you must propose an honest and hon be proud, of the patriotism which furnished s orable mode of settlement and adjustment; that the means of carrying on the war and defendis to say, you must pay when you can, and if ing the nation's integrity. It is yet fresh in the h you cannot pay him now, or when the debt is memory of every Senator and of every man in

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over all nations and all peoples, should stand people in this portion of the country who afil. across the room, and his voice was not raised high and peerless above all States; and so it iate with them.

A great many probably have

so that I could hear him. I am very glad that will if we wanfully do our duty. Let us not interests with them. There are a large num. I did not, because if I had drawn the same let the standard trail; let it not come down. ber of persons in the North who are interested inference from the remarks that the Senator Let us go beyond either the letter or the spirit in the rebel debt. They would like very well from California did it would make me feel of the law, if necessary to maintain the public to have this country in such a condition that very unkind, and I should at once have said credit.

the larger portion of both debts should be made something that I perhaps would not like to have But, Mr. President, we are not called upon a common stock and the whole country bound said. I ain very glad, indeed, to hear what the to do that. What is the proposition before us? for thein.

Senator from Pennsylvania now says on that It is whether we will offer to the public cred I think the Secretary of the Treasury has point. itors a long bond at low interest which they shown a great want of ability in the manage I desire to say, in justice to the Secretary may voluntarily take or not. I am in favor of ment of his Department. I am satisfied that of the Treasury, as the Senator's remark would passing affirmatively upon that proposition. no wise man, acquainted with finance, would seem to have a reflection upon him, that be There is no compulsion about it. It will be il bave suffered for years, as I believe he has done, should not be held responsible, nor any one profitable to those who seek investments, and $100,000,000 in gold to lie unused in the done, else, for this bill. This bill is the emanation ihe exchange will be made. I cannot charac- Treasury, equal to $150,000,000, probably, of of the Committee on Finance, and if any one terize it nor see it as an effort of interested | greenbacks, taking the average of the price of ought to take the most blame I am perfectly men to make money out of the public faith or gold, thus losing every year about nine million | willing to do it, although the first section of the public necessities. I think that our high- dollars in interest. Those $9,000,000, making the bill was not drawn by me, but by the Senest duty consists in it.

$27,000,000 for three years, applied to the pub ator from New York, [Mr. MorGAN.) I desire But, sir, are we called upon to discuss the l lic debt, would be a very good item off. to say that every section of this bill is framed question of whether the five-twenties shall be Now, as to the payment of the public debt, in the interest of the people of the United had in legal tenders, or not, at this time? I repeat and reiterate that I do not believe States without regard to any other interest Certainly not. It is not involved. If we pass there is anybody belonging to the Republican whatever. Every clause of the bill tends to this bill, those bonds will be exchanged for the party in this country who will ever consent lower the burden of the public debt; and no bonds we propose to issue under this act, and ihat the public debt shall be paid in anything comment by the people at large, or in the news: then the question will be set at rest. But if but the currency of the world. I am sure that papers, or even here would make me hesitate a we coutinue eternally to discuss the question the Senator from Indiana will be one of the moment in pressing constantly upon the attenbetween ourselves as to what that statute | last to do so. He has a right to argue, as

tion of the Senate this and all other measures meant, whether it meant national lionor or every other man has, that there is a possi that I deem advisable to lower the burden of national disgrace, whether we are to maintain bility, on looking at the form of these laws, the public debt and to advance the interests it as the one or the other, our credit necessa that some of the loans may legally be payable of the people. I believe I can say that it is rily is to fall by that discussion. I hope that in something else than gold. I do not admit the unanimous opinion of the Committee on in the further discussion of this bill we shall it; but men's minds may come to that cou Finance, who have studied the matter over, confine ourselves simply to the propositions | clusion; and I know that, good lawyers some that this course should be taken. Their whole before us and pass upon them. Let us reduce times get very technical, and they say things purpose is to elevate the character of the greenthe public burden by reducing the public inter may be done which they would not do them backs, to raise the greenbacks as near as pos. est. For some time past money has been in selves. But I have no doubt of the payment of sible to the standard of gold, and to lower the the New York market at three and four per the whole debt, every dollar of it, in gold or burden of the public debt by reducing the rate cent. Why shall we not avail ourselves of silver.

of interest. That is the whole object of the such advantages as the money market shall I meant to say, when up before, that I depre- bill. It can have no other purpose. No pergive us ? Why shall we not offer the means cated bringing this question now before the son can be benefited, no interest can be ben of a longer investment to those who will country. No good can come from it, and it | efited, except the general interest of the people exchange their bonds? I think it is but a sim- naturally brings up waiters of detail, and of the United States. I have no doubt that ple duty. But, Mr. President, over and above makes men's minds give forth the results of this measure, if passed unabridged in the form all, let there be no word and no taint of repu their own reflections. They are thrown out | in which it is presented, will do a great deal diation. Let there be no question as to what here without much consideration, and they are of good. It can by possibility do no barn, both the interest and principal shall be paid sent abroad, not only as the sentiments of the and it will, in my judgment, do a great deal in where the law does not specifically affirm it. individual, but as the sentiments of the party. of good. It will not impair the public credit

. Let our contract be kept not only in its letter I believe, indeed I am sure, that we shall elect It does not trench upon that question which but in its spirit, and then the credit of our General Grant, and when we have him at the has been partially discussed to-day, as to country will stand high; and when recon head of affairs, a wise and able statesman as I whether the principal of the five-twenty bonds struction shall be complete, when peace shall believe he will prove to be, with the Republican | is payable in lawful money or not

. It seeks obtain, when the national industries shall | party in its full strength and vigor, I think we to avoid that issue, abont which there is greater again be reënlivened, all will be well. shail present to the country such a bill funding division among the people of the United States Mr. CRAGIN obtained the floor.

our debt as will enable us to reduce the amount than there is here in the Senate. If this bill is Mr. CAMERON. I hope the Senator from of our interest very much.

successful, by funding the public debt the New Hampshire will allow me to make a brief The Senator from California said a little while Government of the United States will savo explanation.

ago in passing, and I have heard it repeated so $20,000,000 of gold in a year; enough in itself Mr. CRAGIN. Certainly.

often that I desire to contradict it, that money without any other provision to pay off the Mr. CAMERON. I am reminded by the can be had in New York at four

If whole of this debt in forty years. If it should Senator from California that other persons the Senator from California had $10,000 in

fail in its purpose by the refusal of the bondlike himself may have supposed that I intended bonds of the State of California, and wanted to holders to take the new bonds in exchange for to cast a censure on the Senator from Ohio, loan $8,000 for

twenty days, he could probably | the old, it can do no harm ; it is simply an offer the chairman of the Committee on Finance. get it at four per cent.; he would be more Certainly I had no such intention. There is likely to get it if he only wanted it for a week; Il determine whether or not the people of the no member of this body of whom I have a but if he went there with the best security of

United States must go on paying six per cent, higher opinion, personaily and politically. His the State of California, and desired to borrow

interest in gold, free from all tax, to the end, I relations and mine have always been pleasant, ten or twenty thousand dollars or any other may say, of time. That is a question I am and I think I am the last man who would will sum of money for any length of time, he could perfectly willing to postpone. ingly encounter so able an adversary as he not get it at anything like four per cent. ; he

In regard to another question mentioned by would be. But I intended to say that I had no would have to pay six or eight per cent.

the Senator from Pennsylvania, there is a pro; confidence in the Treasury Department, and I Mr. CONNESS. The market is falling all vision in this bill which, in my judgment

, will look upon the Finance Committee as the agents the time.

do more to promote specie payments that any of the Treasury Department.

Mr. CAMERON. Yes, the market is fall other provision that can Mr. CONNESS." You are wrong in that. ing, because the

credit of the country is rising

: The people of the country do not favore e Mr. CAMERON. I suppose these bills are Therefore, after we shall have completed the in a great measure instigated from the Treas work of reconstruction we shall be in a condi outstanding. They demanded of us a repeal ury. tion to make terms about our loans. When an

of that law which authorized the cancellation Mr. MORRILL, of Vermont. Not a bit individual is in trouble he can make no terms

of greenbacks and the diminution of the amount of it.

with his creditors; but whenever he becomes Mr. CAMERON. I think I am not wrong prosperous they are willing to trust him and

furiher and further under existing laws. This in that. We are all very apt to take impressions give him better

terms. The affairs of a nation ruary 25, 1862, by which the owner of a

bill restores the old provision of the act of Febfrom the heads of the Departments which we are but the affairs of an individual carried to a

back may at any time pat himself on a par with represent. I believe there are in this country greater extent.

the bondlioider by converting his note into a large number of persons who would like to I rose only to say that as between the Sena. bonds. depreciate our credit. Some men in the South tor from Ohio and myself there will be no wrong

Mr. FESSENDEN. I ask the Senator if would very gladly have our public debt reduced done him by me.

that note must not be put ont again? as low as their own, in the hope that at some Mr. SHERMAN. I did not hear the remarks

Mr. SHERMAN. Not necessarily. It may future day we should be compelled to redeem of the honorable Senator from Pennsylvania

remain

in the Treasury, or it may be usedtheir debt as well as our own. There are when he first rose, the distance was so great

Mr. FESSENDEN." It cannoi be canceled;

per cent.

possibly be introduced

it must go out. If it is used for paying other Mr. SHERMAN. Certainly he bas. duties it goes out, because, as the law stands Mr. FESSENDEN. Then that ought to be now in relation to that subject, there must be restrained by law. a certain amount of greenbacks always kept in Mr. SHERMAN. It was the subject of circulation.

complaint two years ago by me that that law Mr. SHERMAN. The fallacy of the Sen gave him such extraordinary power. Now, I ator's argument-and I will not anticipate say to the Senator from Pennsylvania and the tbat, because when the third section comes up Senate, so far from this bill giving the SecreI desire to submit my views upon it, not at tary of the Treasury any power whatever every any considerable length, but more than I shall section of it is a restraint ipon his power. The say now-the fallacy of his argument is the first section is a vital and material restraint idea that the Treasurer must pay out green upon his power. It takes away from him all backs as rapidly as they come in. If he can authority, all license, all discretion unless he * properly pay them out in the payment of debts can negotiate, par for par, the new bond for well and good. But I will not answer that the old. observation now.

It is due to the Secretary of the Treasury There was another observation made by the that I should make this statement: he has Senator from Pennsylvania that I want to cor never come before the Cammittee on Finance rect his mind about. This bill does not con to urge us to pass this bill, or, so far as I know, fer additional power on the Secretary of the ever asked a single member to urge the passage Treasury. Not one particle of power is given of the bill. It is a restraint and limitation upon by the bill to the Secretary of the Treasury. his power. I have no doubt he is satisfied This section is a limitation upon his power. with it. He has stated to myseif and to others He may now take your six per cent. bonds, that he thinks he can, if the market continues payable forty years after date, and sell them favorable, exchange a considerable portion of at par for lawful money.

these bonds, if they are left twenty-year five Mr. CAMERON. If the Senator will allow per cent. bonds for the existing six per cent. me, I think it does give a great deal more bonds; but we must leave him free to make power to the Secretary of the Treasury in this that exchange on the best terms he can by respect: it enables him to employ agents, pay selling the new bonds at a rate that will enable ing them just what he pleases, for the purpose him to buy the old ; and if we do so, and he of converting these bonds.

makes the exchange, it is for our benefit. If Mr. SHERMAN. I will correct that. he fails, there is no harm in it. That is the

Mr. CAMERON. I shall be glad to hear way in which the bill appears to me. the correction.

I am indebted to the Senator from New Mr. SHERMAN. Under the existing law, Hampshire for his courtesy in yielding the floor. the Senator from Maine will bear me witness Mr. MORTON. I ask the Senator to yield unless we pass some other law on the subject, to me for a few minutes. the Secretary of the Treasury has the power Mr. CRAGIN. These personal explanations without limit to employ agents, or any agency

are rather long. whatever he chooses, provided only the ex.

Mr. MORTON. The Senator from Calipense is not more than one per cent. Under fornia made one remark to which I desire to the law as it now stands he employs agents. reply. He said he regretted my speech, but Whether that is wise or unwise I do not stop there were certain greenback localities, and to argue. But under this bill he can employ the intimation was that I had come from one no agent whatever who can be engaged in this of them, and I was in some way pandering to matter or do anything.

that sentiment. I have as little occasion, perMr. CAMERON. I know he has the power haps, to pander to public sentiment as any other under existing law; but there is no use for that | Senator here. I am not a candidate for any. power now, unless you give him authority to thing, and do not expect to be very soon. But reinvest these bonds. At present that author I would say to that Senator and to others, ity is utterly powerless; but if you go on to when they come to discuss this question, instead make another $2,000,000,000 of bonds he will of indulging in general declarations about good have the right to convert them, and whenever faith and preserving the nation's honor, it would he does convert them he pays what he pleases | be better if they would condescend to argue by way of commissions and allowances. I the law for a moment. I did not argue it as a desire to prevent that; and I shall offer an question of opivion, nor as a question of choice; amendment for that purpose.

I simply argued it as a question of law. Those Mr. SHERMAN. Under this bill the Sec who generally argue on the other side hardly retary cannot employ anybody. He cannot by ever condescend to argue the laws which crehimself or any one else sell a single dollar ates and determine the quality of what are except of the particular kind named in this called greenbacks or legal tender notes. act, and then he can only lift a bond bearing a Now, Mr. President, I desire to enter my higher rate of interest by issuing a bond bear protest against having the Republican party ing a lower rate of interest; that is, under the committed to the dogma that the five-twenties first section of the bill he cannot sell a five are to be paid in coin. As a question of law per cent. bond running twenty years unless he it is a dogma that cannot be sustained. There can get what is equivalent now to the market is not a Democratic lawyer in the country who value of a five-twenty. bond; so that this is a | has ever read Blackstone and Kent, and who vast limitation upon his power under the law can read these statutes, but what can meet Senas it stands. If Senators want to leave ators on the stump and beat them on this legal in the hands of the Secretary this unlimited question; and I protest against the Republican power, and then shield themselves from re

party being committed to that doctrine throughsponsibility by saying he has the power to do out this contest. all this, that is one way.

Mr. CONNESS. Mr. PresidentMr. FESSENDEN. Allow me to ask my Mr. CRAGIN. I must decline to yield any friend a question. According to my recollec further, tion of those bills, for the purpose of negotiat Mr. CONNESS. I did not know the Senator ing bonds or other securities he might nego had the floor. tiate he had power to expend a sum of money Mr. CRAGIN. I shall only occupy a few not exceeding one per cent. He has negotiated moments nearly the whole, as I understand, except a Mr. ANTHONY. Will my friend allow me very small sum, What is there left?

to ask the Senator from Ohio, with the ther. Mr. SHERMAN. If my friend will reflect mometer at 90°, whether he wishes us to come a moment, under the law of April 12, 1866, here this evening? the Secretary may go on and convert any de Several SENATORS. Oh, yes ; let us finish scription of bond described in the act of 1864, the biil. which is a bond bearing six per cent. interest Mr. SUMNER. I hope we shall have no and running forty years.

nigbt session. I suggest to the Senator from Mr. FESSENDEN. Has he the right to Rhode Island to move to suspend the evening use the fund for that purpose?

session for to-night.

one now,

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four thousand million dollars; in 1890 over it. When the time comes for the resumption the rate of interest now existing in the statuleg one hundred and twenty-eight thousand million of specie payments ample notice should be of the States. I cannot think there is a doubt dollars; and in 1900 over two hundred and given and the whole country placed on an upon that point. The Senator from Verinont fifty thousand million dollars, or more than equality in regard to it. By this kind of special says, and truly, that the laws pow require duties eight times what it now is. The people can legislation the small borrowers of the country, on foreign imports to be paid in coin, and he then pay eight dollars as easy as they can pay the poorer men of the land, will be compelled urges that it is nothing more than right and This generation has paid largely in to pay specie, while the larger dealers, the men

en reasonable that the men who have to pay the life, toil, and treasure for the blessings we borrowing large sums, will be dragged on in coin into the Treasury upon those importations now enjoy. If we transmit them to a future their own good time. I say it is unfair, par should be allowed to make a contract for the generation unimpaired they should pay the cial, and oppressive to the country, and I hope | coin. He is right; but there is no sort of diffinational debt that now hangs over us as their the Senate will reject this portion of the com. culty in his making a contract as the law now price for the legacy of liberty and human miitee's amendment. The honorable Senator stands. He can go anywhere where he can rights.

from Massachusetts, [Mr. SUMNER,] in his very find a man with coin to sell and buy the coin The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The ques fine speech the other day, said that the effect and pay for it, and then he has it, and then be tion is on the amendment of the Senator from of this provision was that men would make can meet his obligations to the Government. Maine [Mr. F'ESSENDEN) to the amendment of Their contracts as they pleased, and he added, But buying coin to be delivered now is one the Senator from Olio, (Mr. SHERMAN.] let them take their choice. He regarded it as thing and buying coin to be delivered sixty

The amendment to the amendment was a matter of contract in regard to which each days or sixteen months hence is a very differ rejected.

man would have a right to act for himsell. If ent thing. The first he can do; the second, Mr. RAMSEY. I move to amend the amend

the honorable Senator bad seen a great part it is the purpose of this clause in the bill tió ment of the Committee on Finance by striking

of the western world he would find that it is enable him to do. out the last section of it, which is in these the money-lender who is a law unto the money, Now, the Senator from Minnesota says, and words:

borrower. They do not meet on equal terms. I think he says with absolute truth, that the And be it further enacted, That any contract here

It is the man who has the funds to lend that practical effect of this provision will be to after made specifically payable in coin shall be legal

makes the law to the man who wants to borrow change all contracts from currency contracts and valid, and may be enforced according to its terins, money. You propose here to give him this to coin contracts; at least all men who want to anything in the several acts relating to United States assistance to enable him to exact a gold con borrow will be compelled to borrow of those notes to the contrary notwithstanding.

tract from the borrower. I do not believe the who stipulate to be repaid in coin, whether I am opposed to the enactment of such a country expects it. I believe the country will they borrow to be repaid in sixty days or law as is contemplated in this section, because reject it, and I hope the Senate will.

six monihs or six years. The lender will reI believe it will virtually result in specie pay; Mr. MORRILL of Vermont. We bave ex

quire the contract to be redeemed in coin. ments, for which the country is not prepared isting laws that require the payment of all And what is the effect of that? Why, in two and of which it has had no notice. The prac. duties in coin, and yet under a construction months after this provision is passed every tical effect of it in the country will be that of the law, as it now stands, any contract that borrower in the country is a purchaser of coin, small borrowers, men of small means, men is made for the procurement of the coin can of necessity, to redeem his contracts, to meet who must take money where they they can get not be enforced. Is it not reasonable, while his obligations. He is upon the market seek: it, will be compelled to enter into contracts we are under the necessity of collecting our ing to purchase coin ; he must have it because payable in gold; and thus indirectly, and not duties in coin, that the parties who make con his mortgages can be canceled in no other in a bold and manly way, you attempt the tracts to obtain that coin may make valid con way; so that your borrowing classes who have resumption of specie payments. That object tracts which can be enforced? The Senator not any coin at once become responsible for is desirable, of course, but the country is not from Minnesota talks as though all the peo paying the indebtedness of the country ia coin prepared for it, the people do not anticipate it. ple who go from the East to the West are par. py their own contracts. At the same time Almost every scheme of resumption heretofore ties with their pockets filled with “rocks" and your Wall street operators, your speculators has contemplated a notice to the people, no without conscience.

there, are operating upon the price of coin. tice of a twelvemonth, of eighteen months, of Mr. RAMSEY. I do not say all; I

say The capital of the country is released by the two years; but here, immediately upon the many.

law as it stands; they are released from the passage of this section, you say that contracts Mr. MORRILL, of Vermont. I am afraid obligation of furnishing a dollar of coin to any for payment in gold shall be legal. The man the Senator judges of the East by blimself. I body; but the borrowers of the country are who wants $300 to improve his farm bas not believe he went from the East to the West.

put under obligations by virtue of their own the choice of places to which to go and get I want this law passed for the protection of the contracts to procure it. Your coin speculathis small accommodation. Probably there is poor men who are going West to buy land, tors have the necessities of the borrowing but one moneyed man in his vicinity, one of among other reasons. Men, as the Senator classes then to operate upon, and when those men that we find in the West who have from Minnesota, who have large possessions in coin goes up one cent or five cents, it is gone from the East without conscience, who land are now able to dispose of them at an the pocket of the borrower that feels it; and have no scruple about exacting five per cent. inflated currency price, take a mortgage for the borrowing classes have then a double diffiand sometimes even ten per cent. a month. payment for the property at a long term of culty to deal with, the exactions of the lender, Many a farmer will want a few hundred dollars years, and when that comes due the

party who always quite as much as the borrower can to carry on his operations, and when he goes has purchased the land finds to his surprise stand, and the ingenuity and the schemes and to borrow the money he is told, “You can that he is obliged

to pay soine forty or fifty per | the contrivances of the coin speculator in the have it; but evidently Congress contemplates cent. more than he would have been compelled great markets. I do not believe that this is the that in a short time there will be a resumption to had he had an opportunity to make a coin way to commence to bring about specie pay, of specie payments, and I must be prepared contract. Take, for instance, a man who is ments. The capital of the country should for that time. Now, I will give you this money going to build a house: he cannot pay for in take the lead in this matter, and not the neces. in greenbacks, but you must enter into a con tract with me to pay me in gold."

if he could obtain a credit upon that house upon question is suggested to me now for the first

for a long term of years; he is a mechanic; sities and the poverty of the country. The I do not believe the Senate contemplate that any terms which he would venture to riskhe time.

I an speaking to it as from first impresstate of things. I do not think they intend to might afford to take it and buy it, but under sion. I believe the operation of it will be just do this injustice. I do not believe the country present circumstances it is so dangerous that as has been stated. contemplate it or desires it or will endure it. no man with ordinary prudence, unless he is The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The quesInstead of " taking the bull by the horns": possessed of extraordinary wealth, is willing tion is on the amendment of the Senator from boldly and repealing your legal-tender act and to make a contract payable at any future term

Minnesota to the amend.nent of the Senator letting the whole country come to a resumption of time.

from Ohio. of specie payments, you attempt to do it in Mr. President, I do not believe that this idea Mr. RAMSEY called for the yeas and nayo, directly by commencing with the small dealers of the Senator from Minnesota is at all a valid and the men who borrow small sums of money Every Senator must be aware, I think, 1 suited-yeas 6, nays 29; as follows:

and they were ordered ; and being taken rethroughout the country. This will be the effect that contracts that are made where the usury

YEAS-Messrs. Cameron, Harlan, Howe, Osburn, of it. They will be oppressed; they will be laws are attempted to be evaded, where prop Ramsey, and Wade-6. compelled to enter into these contracts. It is erty of any kind is put in above its value, are

NAYS-Messrs. Cattell, Chandler. Cole, Conkling. true the Senator from Ohio may tell us that a always decided to be usurious; and so it would

Conness, Cragin, Drake, Ferry, Fessenden. llorard, contract of that kind would be usurious; but be in this case. If a contract was made where

McCreery, McDonald, Morgan Morrill of l'erwoul,

Morton, Nye, Patterson of New llampshire, Pomewhy should it? A dollar in greenbacks is a the consideration was currency, and the agree- boa, Winkie, Welch, Willey, Williams, and legal dollar, and so is a gold dollar. How, ment that the interest should be paid in coin, Wilson--29. then, could such a contract be pronounced the courts, I believe, would hold it to be

ABSENT-Messrs. Anthony, Bayard, Buckaler, usurious ? What court in the land would so usurious.

Corbett, Davis, Dixon, Doolittle, Edmunds, Fowler, declare? We have nothing to do with the Mr. HOWE. Mr. President, I am decidedly

Frelinghuysen, Grimes, Ilenderson, Hendricks, Vorconstruction of the law; it is the enactment

rill of Maine, Norton, Patterson

of Tennessee, kass of the opinion expressed here by the Senator of it which is our province. We cannot guar

Saulsbury, Sprague, Thayer, Vickers, and Yatesfrom Minnesota, and I differ with the Senator

So the amendment to the amendment was anty against a construction by the courts that from Vermont. I do not believe when that law rejected. such a contract would be legal.

is passed any law in any State of the Union I say this is not contemplated, not expected against usury can be enforced. I believe that

Mr. WILSON. I move to amend by striking by the country. They have had no notice of it is in effect a repeal of every limitation upon

out the three first sections of the amendment, and inserting what I send to the Chair.

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The words proposed to be inserted in lieu of States, are exempt from municipal or State tiet the first three sections of Mr. SHERMAN'Samend taxation. In the dark and trying hours of the

$20

tiet ment were read, as follows: war the necessities of the nation imposed upon

$10, And he it further enacted, That the Secretary of

Congress the policy of exempting the bonds of the Treasury be, and he is hereby, authorized and the United States from taxation. It was clear required to issue, upon the faith and credit of the

fitti United Stares, in suins of not less than fifty dollars

to the comprehension of all that the exemption each, coupon or registered bonds to an amount suffi of these millions of capital, invested in the dcb cient to redeem all the interest-bearing bonds of the bonds of the Government, would work inequalUnited States, except the five per cent. bonds, to

T ities among those who bore the burdens of be known as the "consolidated debt of the United

esti States."

local taxation. Congress could not permit And be it further enacted, That the bonds issued

pos if it would the municipal or State authorities under the provisions of this act shall be payable in

ten fifty years from the dates thereof, and shall bear in: || impair if not destroy the credit of the Govern. to tax the bonds of the United States, and thus

Stal

Fro said interest shall be paid semi-annually, and at such ment. Congress could not, in those days of dates as will cause an equal amount thereof to be

$20paid quarterly, to wit: on the first days of Januarin: | bonds, either for local or national purposes. stern necessity, provide for the taxation of

of April, July, and October, in each year; and the prin

$65 cipal and interest of the said consolidated debt of But the pressing needs of the country are now the United States” shall be paid in coin as hereinaf

pro ter specified. over; the opportunity is now given us to con

1898 And be it further enacted, That the said bonds shall solidate our national debt upon new terms and be issued solely in exchange for and in redemption conditions. It is in the power of Congress now

have of thchereinbefore mentioned interest-bearing bonds

189 of the United States, and such exchange and redemp

to do something to equalize the burdens of tion shall be made at any time prior to the 1st day

State taxation. Many of the States, espeof January, 1870, at such places and under sucb reg

Stat cially those east of the Allegbanies, owe large ulations as the Secretary of the Treasury may pre

Froi scribe. amounts for moneys borrowed to fill the ranks

$80. And be it further enacted, That the said bonds shall of the armies during the war. Hundreds of be subject to a national tax of one half of one per millions of bonds held in these States where

year cent, per annum, to be paid semi-annually in coin local taxation bears heavily on the people es.

will at the date of maturity of the interest thereon, and the amount of said tax shall be specified on the face caped contributing anything toward the burof said bonds; and it shall be the duty of the Seere dens of State taxation. By imposing upon the

this tary of the Treasury, under such regulations as he may prescribe in making payment of the interest on bondholders a tax of one half of one per cent.,

$2,0 said bouds, to deduct therefrom the tax hereby pro and paying over that tax to the treasuries of vided, and to cover the same into the 'Treasury of the || the States where tbe persons or corporations

bala United States. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty who hold the bonds reside or do business, Con

000, of the Secretary of the Treasury to ascertain, as gress does something to equalize taxation and

eight nearly as may be, the residences of tho persons or to lighten the burdens of the people. The

of th corpora'ions owning the bonds upon which said tax

than of one half of one per ceut. shall be collected, and

inequalities of taxation and the burdens of taxbe shall thereby determine as accurately as is possi ation are greatest where the largest amounts of

a lig! ble the amount of said tax paid by each State re bonds are held. The taxes received upon the

debt spectively through persons and corporations resident

bonds held abroad go into the Treasury of the guish therein, which amount shall, by said Secretary, bo

wise paid over annually to the State froin whose citizens United States, and may be used toward paying and corporations the same was received. And such the interest on or extinguishing the principal

ME taxes shall be in lieu of all State, municipal, or local taxation on said “consolidated debt of the United

of the bonded debt. States."

ME
M:. HOWE. Would it not suit the purposes
And be it further enacted, That the gradual reduc.

ator of the honorable Senator just as well to make tion and final extinction of the said " consolidated

here debt of the United States" shall be accomplished the interest on the bonds four and a half per

Mrin the following manner., to wit: All the taxes paid cent. and exempt them from taxation as to under the provisions of this act on bonds held or

Mr owned by persons and corporations not resident in make it five and take out one halt per cent?

adjou the United States shall be applied annually to the

Mr. WILSON. No, sir.

Mr payment and liquidation of the principal of said Mr. HOWE. Why not? debt and to no other purpose, and the Secretary of

five o

Mr. WILSON. I think the two thousand the Treasury shall for ten years, from and after

dir tho passage of this act, redeem annually by pur millions of active capital invested in the con

unles: chase, in coin, $10,000,000 of said debt; from the tenth solidated debt of the United States ought to to the twentieth year thereafter he shallin like manner redeem $20,000,000 annually; from the twentieth pay something toward the support of the State

Mr. to the thirtieth year thereafter be shall in like man governments. It is a source of complaint

proce ner redeem $10,000,000 annually; from the thirtieth

among the people that the money invested in to the fortieth year thereafter he shall.in like man

busini Government bonds contributes nothing to the ner redeem $60,000,000 annually: and from the for

time. tieth to the filiieth year thereafter he shall in liko support of the schools, the poor, the roads, or

The manner redeem $30,000,000 annually, or until the

to pay the county or State taxes. The inequalwhole of said debt is redeemed.

times ities of taxation in States or municipalities are

reope Mr. WILSON. Mr. President, this amend. || in proportion to the amounts invested in Govment proposes to submit to the bondholders

ernment securities. Those communities that the simple proposition to change their six per came forward in the most prompt and patriotic

HO cent, bonds without taxation for five per cent. manner during the war and furnished money bonds running fifty years with one half of one to carry on the contest suffer most from the

The percent, taxation. The amendment does not inequalities of taxation. Those sections of

The propose to put upon the market this consolithe country where many of the people believed

appro dated debt of the United States, amounting to the bonds of the Government were worthless, nearly two thousand million dollars, and using who would not invest in bonds themselves, and

The the proceeds to redeem the outstanding bonds. who advised their neighbors not to invest in In this particular the amendment differs from

of Mr. Government securities, are burdened the least the amendment of the Committee on Finance, || by the inequalities of taxation. I notice, how setts, which provides for exchanging these new bonds ever, that those persons who denounced green confer for the old bonds, or for using the proceeds of backs as wanderers and vagabonds like Cain,

bill (H the new bonds to redeem the old ones. The and who denounced the bonds of their country | ually s amendment of the Committee on Finance neces as worthless, who predicted the repudiation of sarily raises the question whether the five-twen the obligations of the Government, incurred for the tax ties shall be paid in gold or in greenbacks. My the preservation of the national existence, amendment avoids that disturbing question, a have the most now to say about the inequalities

The question upon which gentlemen of unquestioned of taxation. I therefore propose that in fund first bu capacity and characcer entertain widely differ. | ing anew the debt of the United States we do and Te ent opinions. My amendment gives the bond | something to relieve the people of the States for reft holders the privilege, from its passage to the from the inequalities of taxation that press

not to 1st day of January, 1870, of exchanging their

motion • bonds bearing an interest of six per cent. for I propose that the consolidated debt of the State

bonds bearing an interest of five per cent. less United States shall be paid mainly by the land res one half of one per cent. taxation, and having increasing population and wealth of the coun latures fifty years to run.

try. My amendment provides that the Secrel'here has been, and there will doubtless tary of the Treasurycontinue to be, unless we remedy it, much

Mr. ] Shall for ten years, from and after the passage complaint that millions of dollars of active of this act, redeem annually by purchase in coin

of exai capital, invested in the bonds of the United ll $10,000,000 of said debt; from the tenth to the twen

five o

on dist

upon them.

(H. R.

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