The members of both parties in Congress, however, have made the question one of politics rather than principles. The republicans, demoralized by their recent defeat, have sought delay. The democrats have wanted to pass the bill and force the president to veto it-as he would certainly have done-hoping thus to injure the republicans in some of the Western States, especially in the new states.
Professor Taussig closed his talk with a brief review of the origin of the present free coinage bill. It comes not from the silver states but from the general depression and hard times throughout the West and the feeling among the farmers that in some way this bill will remove the pressure. The real difficulty in the West is not a scarcity of money but the tendency to too rapid development; too great increase in production results, of course, in prices being forced down. The silver agitation is purely an inflation movement and must be followed by all the consequences of inflation. The possibilities of maintaining gold and silver on a par with each other depends not upon the quantity of silver which could be put into circulation, but upon the amount of gold in the government treasury. Professor Taussig feels sure that the amount is not sufficient to hold out very long.
At the close of his talk Professor Taussig spent some time in answering questions asked by members of the club.