Question: Resolved, That Secretary Carlisle's Plan for retiring the Greenbacks ought to be immediately enacted by Congress.
Brief for the Affirmative.
A. H. NEWMAN and J. C. ROWE.Best general references: Boston Herald, Dec. 5, 11, 12, et seq; N. Y. Tribune, Dec. 5, 11, 12; Nation LIX, 417 (Dec. 6, 1894) 435 (Dec. 13, 1894); F. A. Walker, Money, Trade and Industry, 222-226; Speech of J. H. Walker in Cong. Record, 1893-94, pp. 6867-6888 (June 7, 1894); Chairman Springer's speech in Cong. Record, 1894-95, pp. 400-408 (Dec. 18, 1894); Cong. Record, 1894-95, passim; Harper's Weekly, XXXVIII, 1206 (Dec. 22, 1894).
I. Greenbacks ought to be retired. - (a) Mistake originally. - (b) Never intended to last beyond the war. - (c) Existence now has bad effect. - (1) On Treasury, depleting gold reserve. - (2) On business interests, making currency inelastic. - (x) Amount fixed by law: Act of May 31, 1878, Statutes at Large xx, 87. - (d) Retiring would not prove a burden. - (1) Amount less than commonly supposed. - (x) Boston and Chicago fires.
II. Carlisle's Plan for retiring them is wise. - (a) Withdrawal gradual. - (1) To be deposited by banks as guarantee funds: Plan, S 2, (Boston Herald, Dec. 5, 1894). - (2) To be redeemed by yearly surplus: Plan, S 10 (Boston Herald, Dec. 5, 1894). - (b) Vacuum to be filled by bank notes. - (c) These bank notes furnish an elastic currency. - (1) Profitable for banks to increase issue on demand. - (2) Redemption secured.
III. Carlisle's Plan ought to be immediately enacted by Congress. - (a) Present condition of Treasury serious. - (1) Constant loss of gold. - (2) Bond issue furnishes only temporary relief. - (b) Prolonged agitation undesirable. (1) Repeal of Sherman Law.
IV. The objection to Carlisle's Plan are not vital. - (a) Based largely on invalid analogy. - (1) State banks. - (b) Relate mostly to details. - (c) More than counterbalanced by beneficial results. - (d) Any currency bill bound to be a compromise: N. Y. World, Dec. 19, 1894. - (1) Financial views of legislature vary so widely.
Brief for the Negative.
THOMAS WESTON, JR., and W. B. WOLFFE.Best general references: Sumner's American Currency, 197-227; Boston Herald, Dec. 3-5, 14-19; Boston Advertiser, Dec. 4, 5, 15, 18; Nation, Vol. 59, p. 435; Public Opinion, Vol. XVII, p. 884; Pol. Sci. Quar. IV, 620-21.
I. The retirement of the greenbacks is unnecessary. - (a) They have been kept equal with gold since the resumption of 1879. - (b) They are a convenient and useful form of currency. - (1) Demand on Treasury for notes of small denominations steadily increasing: Quar. Jour. Econ. VIII, 102. - (c) We have the soundest paper currency which has ever existed: Herald, Dec. 5.
II. The retirement would be detrimental. - (a) It would substitute for legal tender money, that, which in times of a panic, creditors might refuse. - (b) It would simply add two more kinds of paper currency. - (1) Each new series of paper money followed by a crisis: Sumner 220. - (c) Sec. McCulloch tried to retire them and a panic ensued. - (d) In the last 16 years the government has saved 100 millions of dollars. - (e) No prospect of a surplus in the Treasury. - (f) We would come to a silver basis: Advertiser, Dec. 11. - (1) No paper of the government redeemable in gold.
III. Public sentiment is opposed to it. (a) It is hasty. - (1) Not adequately considered in committee. - (2) Rushed through to show that the party can enact constructive legislation: Transcript, Dec. 17. - (b) Only one banker out of 50 who wrote to Hon. Wm. Springer approves it: Herald, Dec. 18. - (c) It is a weak and impolitic scheme. - (1) Tends to make depreciated paper redundant. - (2) Revives "wildcat" state banks. - (3) Divorces the government and bankings - (d) Several substitutes are offered. - (1) Eckels's plan. - (2) Baltimore plan. - (3) Senate Bill. - (4) Walker's Bill. - (e) Leading papers utterly opposed to plan.