Resolved. That the present compulsory purchase of silver bullion by the government should be discontinued.
Brief for the affirmative:
A. S. HAYES and L. H. ROOTS.
Best single references: Laughlin's Bimetalism, Chap. XIV; Jevons, Investig. in Currency and Fin., 303 316; Forum, Oct. 1890 165-173; Nineteenth Century, Aug. 1890, 309-324.
I. There is no necessity for a Jouble standard: a. Example of England and Germany. b. Experience of the United Sates up to 1878. c. Single gold standard is best. d. Needful Currency can be supplied otherwise than by the use of silver, e. g., by national bank notes. Laughlin's Bimetalism, ch. X; Jevons, Investigation, pp. 305 6.
II. The present condition of our currency is abnormal and dangerous: a. Over $60,000,000 added yearly to the circulation, when only 15 to 20 mil. are needed. Taussig, in Quar. Jour. Econ., Apr. 1890. p. 314, and Forum, Oct. 1890, p. 169. Report of the Sec'y of Treas. 1889, pp. LIV to LVI. b. We are drifting toward a single silver standard while gold is the standard of international trade. c. The whole country is taxed for the benefit of silver miners.
III. The present system is a covert attack upon the National Banks: a. Silver certificates replace the national bank notes. which furnish a good currency, easily expansible. b. A proper security could be found to maintain this circulation; e. g., see John J. Knox's proposals, in his interview with the Common Banking and Currency, Jan. 16, 1890.
IV. If silver must be cared for, this may be done better than by compulsory purchase: a. By using it in the subsidiary coinage. b. By issuing button certificates according to Sec'y Windon's proposal; report of the Sec'y of Treas., 1889, p. LX.
Brief for the negative:
A. E. BURR and J. L. DODGE.
Kest general references: Sec. Windom's Rep. 1889 and 1890; Taussig in Forum Oct. 1890; Laughlin's Will Cp. VII, Book Il, Congressiond Record June 3, July 15 1890; Public Oplonion, Vol. IX, No. 15: Boston Advertiser and Boston Post June and July. 1890; Speech P. B. Plumb. Cong. Rec. July 15, 1839.
I. The present law is satisfactory. 1. It supplies a much needed addition to our circulating medium, Sec. of Treas 1890. p. XX. 2. Preserves the policy of the government by keeping gold and silver in use at a parity. 3. 15 a step toward placing our currency on a sound metallic basis. 4. Supplies a legal tender note more useful and desirable than the silver dollar. 5. Does not compel needless coinage of the silver dollar. 6. Gives the Sec. of the Treas. sufficient power to regulate purchase and coinage. The compulsory purchase avoids a vacillating policy In use of the silver.
II. An unconditional repeal of the present law is impracticable. a. The currency must be increased. 1 Contraction of bank issue. Table I. page 32 in Rep. of Compt. of Cur., 1889. Sec. of Treas. 1889. p. XC; Trussig Silver Ques. Quar. J. Econ, p. 19. 2. Increase in population and business, Census 1890. Forum Apr. 1890, p. 169. 2. Per capita circulation less than other countries. b. Silver can best supply the need of more currency. 1. Necessity of a metallic basis. 2. Diminution of gold supply. 3. U. S. the greatest silver supply; Sec. of Treas. 1889 LXXIX.
III. A return to the law of 1878 would be unsatisfactory, Sec. of Treas. 1890. p. XXXIII. a. That law was inadequate. b. Unwise in compulsory coinage of the silver dollar. c. Sentiment of the country opposed to it.
IV. A repeal of the present law would precipitate free coinage on the country. The people favor more liberal use of silver. Elections of 1890 Farmers' Alliance Resolutions. b. The present law is a compromise with free coinage. c. Free coinage at present price of silver would cause serious financial disturbance.