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tions. It must grow up as the credit of an due, and you can agree upon terms with your this land how we hailed each morning the individual would grow up; creditor foran extension of the day of payment,
heralded statements of the amount of our obliIt has been well stateil heretofore that we those terms must be acceptable to him, or else guions that the people from hamlet and vilhave suffered a great deal by the war. We your credit falls. Therefore, as the pending lage, from town and city, all over our brord. were during all the period of the war destroy. measure offers a long bond with absolute secur- spread land, sent in to invest in the national ing instead of producing; we were reducing ity by the terms of the law of the payment of bonds. We said, " here is America, in defense our wealth rather than adding to it; and so the principal and interest in gold or silver, of republican institutions and in defense of great was ibe destruction, so great the reduc- though presented at a lower rate of interest, human liberty, not only ready to take the field tion of our wealth as a nation, that it became which the public welfare demands, it is a fair and spill its people's blood, but here, too, impossible for us to pay as we were paying and honest proposition, and one, in my opin- it comes with its means ample from every before that time; and at this day our credit | ion, that will be accepted by the bondholders. source;' and it was our proud boast that this is very considerably below par. Our promises It is therefore an advantageous proposition. It was the case. to pay are only worth about seventy cents on is one that I am in favor of.
Mr. President, have we forgotten so soon the dollar in gold. This is a fact that is patent I regretted most deeply when the honorable what were then our proud boasts? Shall we to us all. Our credit is so much below par Senator from Pennsylvania [Mr. CAMERON] now join in this dishonorable cry of a party that there is no use in trying to conceal the | denounced the measure in the severe language who seek the acquisition of power for other fact, or by vain declarations to reach some which he applied to it. I do not think that reasons and purposes by uniting in their assault other conclusion.
my friend could have meant what he said in upon the public credit? No, sir; I am happy We are now improving our condition as a truth and earnestness in imputing to the Sen- to say that that is not the position of the party nation. We are adding to its wealth rapidly. ator from Ohio the introduction of a measure to which I belong; and though there are found In a few years we shall be in a position to here gotten up, as he said, by the Treasury here and there men weak for the time, who pay our current liabilities in the ordinary coin Department, having for its purposes some mys. live in the midst of a public sentiment that they of the world, and to pay also our bonds in the terious objects, which he could not compre- feel it either their interest or to their taste for same currency:
But until we have built up hend nor understand. I do not always, while the time to cultivate and pander to. Yet they our credit, until time elapses, until our wealth || I sit here and listen to the able Senator from are the inconsiderable numbers. The banner has been increased, it will be utterly in vain | Ohio, agree with all he says; but I think no which we have erected of security of national for us to attempt the payment of all our obli- one can deny him the highest integrity and unity and national credit" will go on and atgations in gold. I suppose the credit of a purity of motive and purpose. I do not think tract the support of the people of this country nation does not differ much from that of an that my honorable friend from Pennsylvania until both shall be consolidated in the results individual. Before the war we were exceed- intended to say just what he did. I agree with of the next election. ingly prosperous. We lacked hardly anything him in both the letter and spirit of what he There are some views touching some of the that makes a nation great. But we suffered otherwise said, except that part of it which so causes which lie at the foundation of the pres. calamity after calamity; and so our credit was strongly deprecated the presentation of this ent condition of our public debt that I should reduced. If an individual who was a pros- measure at this time. Mr. President, I think like just at this time to go on and utter, but I perous condition meets with calamity by fire it is an opportune time. It is a time when a did not rise to make a speech and will confine or flood it for the time being will destroy his party in this country, seeking and contesting myself within narrower limits. credit; and if he is compelled to borrow for for the power of this nation, have emblazoned I regretted, and regretted deeply, the speech the purpose of replacing his losses he will upon their banners repudiation of the public made by my honorable friend from Indiana, pursue precisely the same course that we as a debt and destruction, consequent of the public [Mr. Morton.] I know that there is in the nation have done; he will have to mortgage credit. The time when such a proposition is West what is termed a greenback sentiment, a the property that he has, and pay a heavy made is, in my opinion, the time to meet it. common sentiment such as has been uttered interest, and his credit will be for the time It is not many days since a resolution was by the convention recently convened at New reduced; but when he has had time to repair | adopted in the House of Representatives, not York, that the money in which the soldiers his losses, then, and not before, bis obligations | by a party vote, but by a non-political vote, and the people are paid is good enough for will be at par. I do not believe that it is | instructing the Committee of Ways and Means the bondholder. Wby, Mr. President, the possible by a declaration to bring ourselves of that body to report to it a measure impos- money in which all are paid and shall be paid back to a specie basis. The only way in which || ing a tax of ten per cent. upon the coupons shall be made good, and we are not the men it can be done, in my judgment, is by the pro- of the bonds. The committee obeyed the to cast a stain or discredit upon it. cess which adds to our national wealth. When behest of the House, but to their lasting credit I regretted, too, the utterances of my colwe have reached the position that we occupied | reported that they were against the measure, league. My object is not to reprobate either before the war we shall then be upon a specie and between that bold and honest declaration | him or his views, but I feel it incumbent upon basis; but we cannot reach there by any and the indignation and common sense of the me to make a statement to the contrary of short cut.
country standing by the public credit, that not them. He of all men, representing the ComMr. CONNESS. Mr. President, I do not simply questionable, but corrupt and faithless monwealth he does, should not undertake to know that I have any views on the subject now proposition fell still-born. It fell as it ought reduce the standard of the public credit. If before the Senate which are of any value to the to fall, stamped with the infamy of an attempted there be in regard to any part of the bonds public; but, like all other Senators, I feel a deep | violation of the public faith.
that have been issued by the United States & interest in it, and as the discussion has pro- But, Mr. President, while I say this it is an doubt as to the currency in which they shall gressed I have been not a little pained at the || unmistakable fact that the rates of interest be paid, and the letter is not positive as to their direction it has taken.
paid upon the public debt of the United States payment, let the spirit of the statute be obeyed; The proposition directly before us is an are rates that make great additional public || let us go further than the letter of the law to amendment offered by the Senator from Maine, burdens; and I welcome the proposition at maintain inviolate the public credit. Wby, to leave the option of payment within ten years this time and in the manner proposed to reduce | sir, what did his own State do? It had issued to the Government of the bonds proposed to the rate of interest without in any manner more than four millions of bonds when this be issued, the effect of which, in my opinion, | tainting the public credit. Therefore it is war took place. They were not made payable if adopted, would be to defeat the purpose of that I regret the remarks of my honorable in gold by any specific statement. They stated the pending bill, which is, as I understand it, friend from Pennsylvania. In the other part expressly even less than the condition of the an offer to the bondholders to release and give of his remarks, which described in a few short, five twenty bonds. When Congress, in the up the bonds they now hold for bonds of a terse sentences the political failure of every exercise of its power--an extreme case we all longer date and lower rate of interest, abso. man in his State who, in the days of its dis- admit it to have been, but it was done and lutely and positively, by the terms of the law tresses, undertook to ride into power by an exercised under a controlling public necessityproviding for their issue, payable principal and assault upon the credit of the Commonwealth, passed the legal-tender act, California might interest in gold. I regard that proposition as I recognized a true and just statement; and have paid its debt to the holders of its a fair one.
so it will be with those who undertake to origin- bonds, and the interest upon them, in legalIn place of attempting to hold the Senator ate or to cater to a dishonorable public senti- tender notes. Did it do so? No, sir. When from Ohio up to public odium for inconsist- ment touching our national credit and our gold was at three hundred in notes, California ency or change of opinion I hail and welcome national debt.
came forward and voluntarily paid its interest the proposition that he has now presented to Why, Mr. President, when and how and un- in gold. Massachusetts did the same. I honor us, as contradistinguished from that presented | der what circumstances was that debt created ? Massachusetts not for that alone, but for all at the early part of the session by him. The When the national existence was assaulted by of her prond record, and for none more than former was a coercive proposition, and the a party that through long years of war proved that; and so the credit of those two States views in which it was advocated were perhaps nearly our equals in point of use of force; stands preëminent to-day. more strongly coercive than the terms of the when loans that might be obtained from exist: Mr. MORRILL, of Vermont. Should they measure, and I regretted the utterance of ing banking institutions were totally inade- stand higher than the credit of the United both. You cannot deal with a creditor and quate to the payment of the public expenses, States? maintain your character except in one of and the nation itself had to go out among its Mr. CONNESS. My friend asks should two ways: you must either pay what you own people, we were proud, and should still they stand higher than the credit of the United owe or you must propose an honest and hon- be proud, of the patriotism which furnished States. Certainly not.
The United States orable mode of settlement and adjustment; that the means of carrying on the war and defend- with its great resources, with its now proud is to say, you must pay when you can, and if ing the nation's integrity. It is yet fresh in the history, with its recent accomplishments, with you cannot pay him now, or when the debt is Il memory of every Senator and of every man in a conceded status in the economy of the world
every other man has, that there is a reposito | ton of ele. Senate ihis and all other measures
over all nations and all peoples, should stand people in this portion of the country who affil. 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 manfully 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 wbat the to do that. What is the proposition before us? for them.
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 i 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 he There is no compulsion about it. It will be have suffered for years, as I believe he has done, I 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 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 newsthen 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 & we continue eternally to discuss the question
the Senator from Indiana will be one of the moment in pressing constantly upon the atten. between ourselves as to what that statute last to do so.
to , as meant, whether it meant national honor or
that I deem advisable to 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 con- 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 benof 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 matters 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, wiil 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 harm, 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, about 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 save 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 per cent. 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 froin Obio, 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 refused; and then it will be for Congress to Certainly I had no such intention. There is likely to get it if he only wanted it for a week ; || 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 anyth 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 procontidence 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 than any of the Treasury Department.
Mr. CAMERON. Yes, the market is fall. other provision that can possibly be introduced. Mr. CONNESS." You are wrong in that. ing, because the credit of the country is rising. The people of the country do not favor a
Mr. CAMERON. I suppose these bills are Therefore, after we shall have completed the reduction of the amount of greenbacks now in a great measure instigated from the Treas- work of reconstruction we sball 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 further and further under existing laws. This Mr. CAMERON. I think I am not wrong prosperous they are willing to trust him and bill restores the old provision of the act of Febin 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 greenfrom 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 bondholder 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 out 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.
when he first rose, the distance was so great Mr. FESSENDEN. It cannot be canceled ;
it must go out. If it is used for paying other Mr. SHERMAN. Certainly he has.
Mr. ANTHONY. What does the Senator duties it goes out, because, as the law stands Mr. FESSENDEN. Then that ought to be from Ohio wish? now in relation to that subject, there must be restrained by law.
Mr. SHERMAN. I think we bad better sit a certain amount of greenbacks always kept in Mr. SHERMAN. It was the subject of along and get through with this bill. circulation.
complaint two years ago by me that that law Mr. ANTHONY. Very well. Nr. SHERMAN. The fallacy of the Sen- gave him such extraordinary power. Now, I
Mr. CRAGIN. Mr. President, I am op: ator's argument-and I will not anticipate say to the Senator from Pennsylvania and the posed to the amendment offered by the Senator tbat, because when the third section comes up Senate, so far from this bill giving the Secre- from Maine because I believe it will deleat the I desire to submit my views upon it, not at tary of the Treasury any power whatever every objects of this bill. Being strongly in favor any considerable length, but more than I shall section of it is a restraint upon his power. The of the passage of the bill, I am opposed to that say now--the fallacy of his argument is the first section is a vital and material restraint amendment. If the Government finds itself idea that the Treasurer must pay out green- upon his power. It takes away from him all in a condition to pay any considerable amount backs as rapidly as they come in. If he can authority, all license, all discretion unless he of its indebtedness within twenty years it will · properly pay them out in the payment of debts can negotiate, par for par, the new bond for have ample opportunity. Some eight hundred well and good. But I will not answer that the old.
millions of the public debt will be outside of observation now.
It is due to the Secretary of the Treasury the bonds provided for by this bill, if it beThere was another observation made by the that I should make this statement: he has comes a law, and I apprehend that that is Senator from Pennsylvania that I want to cor- never come before the Cammittee on Finance more than can be paid in the next twenty years. rect his mind about. This bill does not con- to urge us to pass this bill, or, so far as I know, I am in favor of this bill because it looks to a fer additional power on the Secretary of the ever asked a single member to urge the passage large reduction of interest on the public debt, Treasury. Not one particle of power is given of the bill. It is a restraint and limitation upon and a consequent reduction of the burdens of by the bill to the Secretary of the Treasury. his power. I have no doubt he is satisfied the people. The amount of indebtedness likely This section is a limitation upon his power. with it. He has stated to myseif and to others to be funded under this bill, if it should become He may now take your six per cent. bonds, that he thinks he can, if the market continues a law, is about seventeen hundred million dolpayable forty years after date, and sell them favorable, exchange a considerable portion of lars. The interest on this amount at six per at par for lawful money.
these bonds, if they are left twenty-year five cent., as at present authorized, is $102,000,000 Mr. CAMERON. If the Senator will allow per cent. bonds for the existing six per cent. per annum. By this bill only $700,000,000 me, I think it does give a great deal more bonds; but we must leave him free to make are to be funded at five per cent. The annual power to the Secretary of the
Treasury in this that exchange on the best terms he can hy interest on this amount would be $35,000,000. respect: it enables him to employ agents, pay. selling the new bonds at a rate that will enable If the other $1,000,000,000 is divided equally ing them just what he pleases, for the purpose him to buy the old ; and if we do so, and he
between the four and a half and four per cent. of converting these bonds.
makes the exchange, it is for our benefit. If bonds, the annual interest will be $42,500,000, Mr. SHERMAN. I will correct that. he fails, there is no harm in it. That is the or a total interest of $77,500,000 on the enMr. CAMERON. I shall be glad to hear way in which the bill appears to me.
tire $1,700,000,000. This will be a saving of the correction.
I am indebted to the Senator from New $24,500,000 in the amount of interest paid by Mr. SHERMAN. Under the existing law, || Hampshire for his courtesy in yielding the floor. the Government. In other words, the burden the Senator from Maine will bear me witness Mr. MORTON. I ask the Senator to yield of the people will be lightened to that extent. unless we pass some other law on the subject, to me for a few minntes.
A tax of ten per cent. on the income, suppos. the Secretary of the Treasury has the power Mr. CRAGIN. These personal explanations ing it remains at six per cent., would be only without limit to employ agents, or any agency are rather long.
$10,200,000, or less than one half the reduc. whatever he chooses, provided only the ex. Mr. MORTON. The Senator from Cali- tion of interest under this bill. pense is not more than one per cent. Under fornia made one remark to which I desire to If States were allowed to tax the five-twenty the law as it now stands he employs agents. reply. He said he regretted my speech, but || bonds, as other property is taxed, the ag. Whether that is wise or unwise I do not stop there were certain greenback localities, and gregate tax would not begin to amount 10 to argue. But under this bill he can employ the intimation was that I had come from one $24,500,000, the amount that will be saved no agent whatever who can be engaged in this of them, and I was in some way pandering to by funding them under this bill. This reduc: matter or do anything.
that sentiment. I have as little occasion, per- tion of interest is equal to a tax of one and Mr. CAMERON. I know he has the power | haps, to pander to public sentiment as any other three eighth per cent. on the principal, or under existing law; but there is no use for that | Senator here. I am not a candidate for any. about twenty-four per cent on the income. power now, unless you give him authority to thing, and do not expect to be very soon. But The reduction of interest on the public debt reinvest these bonds. At present that author- I would say to that Senator and to others, will reduce the rate of interest generally in ity is utterly powerless; but if you go on to when they come to discuss this question, instead commercial and business transactions among make another $2,000,000,000 of bonds he will of indulging in general declarations about good the people. Industry will be relieved all over have the right to convert them, and whenever faith and preserving the nation's honor, it would this land. Those doing business on borrowed he does convert them he pays what he pleases | be better if they would condescend to argue capital will be able to make more profits, and by way of commissions and allowances. I the law for a moment. I did not argue it as a consequently pay more for labor. “I regard it desire to prevent that; and I shall offer an question of opinion, nor as a question of choice; as of the first importance that the rate of inter: amendment for that purpose.
I simply argued it as a question of law. Those est should be reduced in this country. It will Mr. SHERMAN. Under thi bill the Sec || who generally argue on the other side hardly benefit all our industries, and tend to evate retary cannot employ anybody. He cannot by ever condescend to argue the laws which cre. the condition of the laborers. The Governhimself or any one else sell a single dollar ates and determine the quality of what are ment must begin this work, and now is a good except of the particular kind named in this called greenbacks or legal tender notes. time. act, and then he can only lift a bond bearing a Now, Mr. President, I desire to enter my
I am for this bill for another reason-behigher rate of interest by issuing a bond bear || protest against having the Republican party cause it puts further off the time for the pay. ing a lower rate of interest; that is, under the committed to the dogma that the five-twenties ment of this large debt. A very large amount first section of the bill he cannot sell a five are to be paid in coin. As a question of law of this debt is now due, if the Government per cent. bond running twenty years unless he it is a dogma that cannot be sustained. There chooses to pay it. It cannot be paid without can get what is equivalent now to the market is not a Democratic lawyer in the country who | crushing the people with taxation. It should value of a five-twenty bond; so that this is a has ever read Blackstone and Kent, and who not and must not be done. The debts incurred vast limitation upon his power under the law can read these statutes, but what can meet Sen- by the States, counties, and towns, for the as it stands. If Senators want to leave ators on the stump and beat them on this legal | patriotic purpose of prosecuting the war for in the hands of the Secretary this unlimited question; and I protest against the Republican | the Union are very great. Indeed, they are power, and then shield themselves from re- party being committed to that doctrine through- more than the people ought to be called upon sponsibility by saying he has the power to do out this contest.
to pay in the next twenty years. The resources all this, that is one way.
Mr. CONNESS. Mr. President
of this country are almost beyond calculation. Mr. FESSENDEN. Allow me to ask my Mr. CRAGIN. I must decline to yield any
The wealth of the nation is increasing more friend a question. According to my recollec- further.
than three times as fast as its population. The tion of those bills, for the purpose of negotiat- Mr. CONNESS. I did not know the Senator individual wealth of the people is increasing ing bonds or other securities he might nego- had the floor.
annually more that the total amount of the tiate he had power to expend a sum of money Mr. CRAGIN. I shall only occupy a few
national debt. In 1860 our aggregate wealth, not exceeding ong per cent. He has negotiated moments
not including property owned by the United nearly the whole, as I understand, except a Mr. ANTHONY. Will my friend allow me States or by any State, was over sixteen thouvery small sum. What is there left?
to ask the Senator from Ohio, with the ther. sand million dollars, being an increase of one Mr. SHERMAN. If my friend will reflect mometer at 90°, whether he wishes us to come hundred and twenty-six and a half per cent. a moment, under the law of April 12, 1866, here this evening?
over that of 1850. The increase of our poputhe Secretary may go on and convert any de- Several SENATORS. Oh, yes; let us finish lation was only about thirty-five per cent. scription of bond described in the act of 1864, the bill.
Supposing we increase one hundred per cent. which is a bond bearing six per cent. interest Mr. SUMNER. I hope we shall have no during each ten years in the future up to 1900 and running forty years.
night session. I suggest to the Senator from the result will astonish the world. In 1870 Mr. FESSENDEN. Has he the right to Rhode Island to move to suspend the evening our national wealth will be over thirty-two use the fund for that purpose ?
session for to-night.
thousand million dollars; in 1880 over sixty
four thousand million dollars; in 1890 over it. When the time comes for the resumption the rate of interest now existing in the statotes 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 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 aod This generation has paid largely in
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 fuiure their own good time. I say it is unfair, par- should be allowed to make a contract for the generation uninpaired they should pay the tial, and oppressive to the country, and I hope | coin. He is right; but there is no sort of disli. national 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 mittee'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 gues- fine speech the other day, said that the effect and pay for it, and then he has it, and then he 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. FESSENDEN] to the amendment of their contracts as they pleased, and he added, But buying coin to be delivered now is one the Senator from Ohio, (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 himself. If ent thing. The first he can do; the second, Mr. RAMSEY. I move to amend the amend
the honorable Senator had seen a great part it is the purpose of this clause in the bill to 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 terms, money. You propose here to give him this to coin contracts; at least all men who want to anything in the soveral 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, ny 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 seekit, 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 uot from Minnesota talks as though all the peo- || paying the indebtedness of the country in coin prepared for it, the people do not anticipate it. || ple who go from the East to the West are par, by 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 hlimself. I || body; but the borrowers of the country are who wants $300 to improve his farm has 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 tbat 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 some sorty or fifty per 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 for a long term of years; he is a inechanic; | sities and the poverty of ihe country. The 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 I do not believe the Senate contemplate that || any terms which he would venture to risk he time. I am 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 nays, directly by commencing with the small dealers of the Senator from Minnesota is at all a valid and they were ordered ; and being taken reand the men who borrow small sums of money Every Senator must be aware, I think, sulted-yeas 6, nays 29; as follows: throughout the country. This will be the effect that contracts that are made where the usury YEAS-Messss. Cameron, Harlan, Howe, Osborn, 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. Catiell. Chandler, Cole, Conkling, true the Senator from Ohio may tell us that a
Conness, Cragin, Drake. Ferry, Fessenden. Ilovar, always decided to be usurious; and so it would McCreery, McDonald, Morgan, Morrill of Vermont. contract of that kind would be usurious; but be in this case. If a contract was made where Morton, Nye, Patterson of New Hampshire, Pomewhy should it? A dollar in greenbacks is a the consideration was currency, and the agree
roy. Rice, Sherman, Stewart, Sumner, Tipton, Trun
bull, Van Winkle, 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, Buckaice. usurious ? What court in the land would so usurious.
Corbett, Davis, Dixon, Doolittle, Edmunds, Fosier.
Frelinghuysen, Grimes, Henderson, Hendricks, Mor. declare? We have nothing to do with the Mr. HOWE. Mr. President, I am decidedly rill of Maine, Norton, Patterson of Tennessee Ross. construction of the law; it is the enactment of the opinion expressed here by the Senator Saulsbury, Sprague, Thayer, Vickers, and Yates-2 of it which is our province. We cannot guar: from Minnesota, and I differ with the Senator So the amendment to the amendinent 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 Mr. WILSON. I move to amend by striking I say this is not contemplated, not expected against usury can be enforced. I believe that out the three first sections of the amendment, by the country. They have had no notice of it is in effect a repeal of every limitation upon II and inserting what I send to the Chair.
The words proposed to be inserted in lieu of States, are exempt from municipal or State tieth year thereafter he shall in like manner redeem the first three sections of Mr. SHERMAX's amend- taxation. In the dark and trying hours of the ment were read, as follows: war the necessities of the nation imposed upon
tieth year thereafter he sball in like manner redeem
$40,000,000 annually; from the thirtieth to the fortieth And he it further enacted, That the Secretary of
Congress the policy of exempting tlie bonds of year thereafter he shall in like manner redeem the Treasury be, and he is hereby, authorized and the United States from taxation. It was clear $60,000,000 annually; and from the fortieth to the required to issue, upon the faith and credit of the
fiftieth year thereafter he shall in liko manner reUnited Stares, in suins of not less than fifty dollars to the comprehension of all that the exemption
deem $80,000,000 annually, or until the whole of said each, coupon or registered bonds to an amount sufli- of these millions of capital, invested in the debt is redeemed. cient to redeein all the interest-bearing bonds of the bonds of the Government, would work inequal. United States, except the five per cent. bonds, to
The property of the United States is now be known as the “consolidated debt of the United ities among those who bore the burdens of
estimated to be $22,000,000,000. It is proStates."
local taxation. Congress could not permit posed to pay $10,000,000 annually for the next And be it further enacted, That the bonds issued if it would the municipal or State authorities under the provisions of this act shall be payable in to tax the bonds of the United States, and thus
ten years; in 1878 the property of the United fifty years from the dates thereof, and shall bear in
States will have increased to $37,466,000,000. terest at the rate of five per cent. per annuin; the impair if not destroy the credit of the Govern
From 1878 to 1888 it is proposed to pay 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
$20,000,000 annually; in 1888 the property paid quarterly, to wit: On the first days of January, stern necessity, provide for the taxation of
of the United States will have increased to April. July, and October, in each year, and the prin: || bonds, either for local or national purposes.
$65,184,000,000. From 1888 to 1898 it is 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
proposed to pay $40,000,000 annually; in over; the opportunity is now given us to con. ter specified. And be it further enacted, That the said bonds shall solidate our national debt upon new terms and
1898 the property of the United States will be issued solely in exchange for and in redemption conditions. It is in the power of Congress now
have increased to $114,824,000,000. From of the hereinbefore mentioned interest-bearing bonds
1898 to 1908 it is proposed to pay $60,000,000 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.
annually; in 1908 the property of the United Many of the States, espe
States will have increased to $263,724,000,000. of January, 1870, at such places and under such reg- cially those east of the Alleghanies, owe large ulations as the Secretary of the Treasury may pre
From 1908 to 1916 it is proposed to pay scribe.
amounts for moneys borrowed to fill the ranks And be it further enacted, That the said bonds shall of the armies during the war. Hundreds of
$80,000,000 annually; in 1916, forty-eight be subject to it national tax of one half of one per millions of bonds held in these States where years hence, the property of the United States cent. per annum, to be paid semi-annually in coin local taxation bears heavily on the people es
will have increased to $323,212,000,000, and at the date of maturity of the interest thereon, and
our debt will have been extinguished. By 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 plan it is proposed to pay during the tary of the Treasury, under such regulations as ho bondholders a tax of one half of one per cent.,
next twenty years only $300,000,000 of the may prescribe in making payment of the interest on said bouds, to deduct therefrom the tax hereby pro- and paying over that tax. to the treasuries of
$2,000,000,000 of the consolidated debt. The vided, and to cover the same into the Treasury of the the States where the persons or corporations | 000, will be paid during the following twenty
balance of the debt, amounting to $1,700,000,United States. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty who hold the bonds reside or do business, Con
eight years. Twenty years hence the property of the Secretary of the Treasury to ascertain, as gress does something to equalize taxation and
of the United States will have increased more nearly as may be, the residences of tho persons or to lighten the burdens of the people. The corpora'ions owning the bonds upon which said tax
than threefold, and the debt will have become of one half of one per ceut. shall be collected, and inequalities of taxation and the burdens of tax
a light burden, easy to be borne. Our national he shall thereby determine as accurately as is possi- ation are greatest where the largest amounts of ble the amount of said tax paid by each State re- bonds are held. The taxes received upon the
debt can easily be carried and easily extinspectively through persons and corporations resident
guished if the nation is honest and if we make bonds held abroad go into the Treasury of the therein, which amount shall, by said Secretary, bo paid over annually to the State froin whose citizens United States, and may be used toward paying
wise provisions for its payment.
Mr. FESSENDEN. I desire to have an and corporations the same was received. And such the interest on or extinguishing the principal taxes shall be in lieu of all State, municipal, or local
executive session. of the bonded debt. taxation on said "consolidated debt of the United
Mr. SUMNER. Allow me to ask the SenStates."
M:. HOWE. Would it not suit the purposes Andbe it further enacted, That the gradual reduc
ator whether he thinks we had better come tion and final extinction of the said "consolidated of the honorable Senator just as well to make
here to-night? debt of the United States" shall be accomplished the interest on the bonds four and a half per
Mr. FESSENDEN. I think not. in 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. SUMNER. I think we had better make it five and take out one half per cent? owned by persons and corporations not resident in
adjourn. the United States shall be applied annually to the
Mr. WILSON. No, sir.
Mr. FESSENDEN. We shall adjourn at payment and liquidation of the principal of said Mr. HOWE. Why not? dubt and to no other purpose, and the Secretary of
Mr. WILSON. I think the two thousand the Treasury shall for ten years, from and after
Mr. SUMNER. The Senator is aware that the passage of this act, redeem annually by purmillions of active capital invested in the con
unless we do adjourn there will be a recess at 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 shall in like man
five o'clock. ner redeem $20,000,000 annually; from the twentieth pay something toward the support of the State
Mr. FESSENDEN. I move that the Senate to the thirtieth year thereafter he shall in like man- governments. It is a source of complaint
proceed to the consideration of executive 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
business. We can settle that matter in due ner redeem $60.000.000 annually: and from the forGovernment bonds contributes nothing to the
time. tieth to the fiftieth year thereafter he shall in like support of the schools, the poor, the roads, or
The motion was agreed to; and after some manner redeem $80,000,000 annually, or until the to pay the county or State taxes. The inequalwhole of said debt is redeemed. ities of taxation in States or municipalities are
time spent in executive session, the doors were Mr. WILSON. Mr. President, this amend.
reopened, and the Senate adjourned. 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
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. cent. bonds wiihout taxation for five per cent. manner during the war and furnished money
Monday, July 13, 1868. bonds running fifty years with one half of ene to carry on the contest suffer most from the
The House met at twelve o'clock m. percent. taxation. The amendment does not inequalities of taxation. Those sections of The Journal of Saturday last was read and propose to put upon the market this consoli.
the country where many of the people believed dated debt of the United States, amounting to
approved. the bonds of the Government were worthless,
INTERNAL TAX BILL. nearly two thousand million dollars, and using who would not invest in bonds themselves, and the proceeds to redeem the outstanding bonds. who advised their neighbors not to invest in
The SPEAKER announced the appointment In this particular the amendment differs from Government securities, are burdened the least of Mr. ScheNCK, Mr. HOOPER of Massachu. the amendment of the Committee on Finance, || by the inequalities of taxation. I notice, how.
setts, and Mr. NIBLACK, as the committee of which provides for exchanging these new bonds ever, that those persons who denounced green- conference on the part of the House upon the for the old bonds, or for using the proceeds of backs as wanderers and vagabonds like Cain, | bill (H. R. No. 1284) to change and more effect. the new bonds to redeem the old ones. The and wbo denounced the bonds of their country ually secure the collection of internal revenue amendment of the Committee on Finance neces- as worthless, who predicted the repudiation of on distilled spirits and tobacco, and to amend sarily raises the question whether the five-twen- the obligations of the Government, incurred for the tax on banks. ties shall be paid in gold or in greenbacks. My the preservation of the national existence,
ORDER OF BUSINESS. amendment avoids that disturbing question, a have the most now to say about the inequalities
The SPEAKER. This being Monday, the question upon which gentlemen of unquestioned | of taxation. I therefore propose that in fund
first business in order is the call of the States capacity and characcer entertain widely differ. || ing anew the debt of the United States we do ent opinions. My amendment gives the bond
and Territories for bills and joint resolutions something to relieve the people of the States holders the privilege, from its passage to the
for reference to their appropriate committees, from the inequalities of taxation that press Ist day of January, 1870, of exchanging their
not to be brought back into the House by a • bonds bearing an interest of six per cent. for
motion to reconsider, commencing with the
I bonds bearing an interest of five per cent. less
propose that the consolidated debt of the
State of Maine. Under this call memorials United States shall be paid mainly by the one half of one per cent. taxation, and having increasing population and wealth of the coun
and resolutions of State and Territorial Legisfifty years to run.
latures may be presented. try. My amendment provides that the SecreThere has been, and there will doubtless
NAVY-YARD AT CHARLESTOWN. tary of the Treasurycontinue to be, unless we remedy it, much
Mr. LYNCH introduced a joint resolution complaint that millions of dollars of active
Shall for ten years, from and after the passage of this act, redeem annually by purchase in coin
(H. R. No. 332) authorizing the appoinment capital, invested in the bonds of the United $10,000,000 of said debt; from the tenth to the twen- of examiners to examine and report upon the