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to Heavy Buying Orders, and Had Purchased for a Rise, Also Turned Sellers and Sacrificed Their Holdings-Rallied a Little as the Market Closed-The Business on 'Change.
New York, Oct. 31.
Yesterday's vote by the Senate repealing the Sherman silver lay did not have the effect on the stock market that the bulls expected. In the first place, London cabled orders to sell various stocks, much to the disappointment of local operators, who were confident that the action of the Senate would result in a flood of buying orders. The liquidations for foreign account induced selling by operators who had added to their lines on the belief that the repeal of the silver purchase act would instantaneously bring about a boom.
When it was seen that instead of buying the outside public was disposed to sell the weak-kneed bulls tried to get out.
Chicago, October 31.
Wheat was very weak throughout the entire session today. The opening was about 1 cent per bushel lower than the closing figures of Saturday, became weak, and after some minor fluctuations prices further declined 1% to 2, then held steady, and the closing was 2% to 25% lower than the last prices of Saturday. There was some surprise at the course of the market, which became consternation, and at one time amounted almost to a panic, when little or no reaction appeared and the price continued to sink. The fact of the matter was that traders were loaded with wheat and were merely waiting for the opportunity to sell. The bulge toward the end of last week gave them this chance and they were quick to take advantage of it. The silver repeal bill having been discounted for several days had little or no effect in the matter of sustaining prices. New York stocks were weak and much lower and this speculative feeling was communicated to wheat. New Yorkers who have seen the big bulls for so long were selling today, and it was said that there were numerous orders from abroad on that side of the market.
Corn was dull, the range being within three-eighths of a cent limit. The tone was steady and at times an undertone of firmness was noticeable, although prices did not show any essential changes. The accumulations of cash corn during the past three days were the cause of a somewhat liberal offering of futures early, but after a time they became light and the market dull. The opening was at a decline of to %, but on a good demand an advance of % was made, receding to % later, and closing to % under the final figures of Saturday.
Oats were featureless, but the feeling was steady. There was very little trading and price changes were within 4 cent limit, the closing being below Saturday.
From the statement given it will appear that wheat has fallen more than 14 cents a bushel since the beginning of the month in which President Cleveland issued his call for the extra session. The wheat crop for 1892 was about 500,000,000 bushels. A fall of 1 cent in price means a loss of $5,000,000 on the crop if those figures can be taken for this year's crop. Calculated upon December wheat the loss since June 1 has been over $70,000,000. or one-sixth of its value at the beginning of the decline. The fall of 2 cents on yesterday alone, after the repeal bill passed the Senate and its immediate passage in the House was assured, amounted to $10,000,000. The fall yesterday in wheat, corn, and oats calculated upon a year's crop amounted to more than $17,000,000. Are these the first fruits of repeal? Wall street was terribly agitated at the prospect of a slight reduction in the gold reserve. Will they take notice of this tremendous reduction in the farmer's reserve? The market report above quoted says:
Yesterday's vote by the Senate repealing the Sherman silver law did not have the effect on the stock market that the bulls expected. In the first place London cabled orders to sell various stocks, much to the disappointment of local operators, who were confident that the action of the Senate would result in a flood of buying orders.
Is it possible that instead of money flowing to us, it is going to flow away in spite of repeal? The argument most persistently made by the advocates of repeal was that money would at once flow to this country from Europe and relieve us of our stringency in the money market. The business centers became impatient because the Senate insisted upon a thorough discussion. Some of the papers even suggested that the Senate ought to be abolished because it stood in the way of the restoration of confidence. Finally the opposition was worn out, the bill was passed, just as the metropolitan press demanded, and behold it is greeted in the market by a general decline. We may now expect to hear that the vague, indefinite, and valueless tail added in the Senate as an amendment has prevented returning confidence, and that it is our highest duty to repeal the caudal appendage of the Wilson bill, just as the repeal of the purchase clause of the Sherman law was demanded. For twenty years we have denounced the demonetization act of 1873, and yet we are now prepared with our eyes open, fully conscious of what we are doing, to perpetrate the same crime. We leave silver just where it was left then, except that there was provision then for trade dollars which this bill does not contain. You may assume the responsibility, I shall not.
The line of battle is laid down. The President's letter to Governor Northen expresses his opposition to the free and unlimited coinage of silver by this country alone. Upon that issue the next Congressional contest will be fought. Are we dependent or independent as a nation? Shall we legislate for ourselves or shall we beg some foreign nation to help us provide for the financial wants of our own people?
We need not fear the result of such a contest. The patriotism of the American people is not yet gone, and we can confidently await their decision.
I attempted to prevent a vote by making dilatory motions, not in the hope of preventing the passage of the bill but for the purpose of driving the majority to secure repeal without any concession, real or apparent, on the part of the friends of free silver. There were but few, however, who were willing to engage in obstruction and when action could be no longer delayed, I obtained the floor and placed on record the following:
Final Protest Against Unconditional Repeal.
Mr. Speaker, when this question came up today, on the motion of the gentleman from West Virginia, a demand for the previous question was made at the time the main question was submitted. There were some of us who believed that those in favor of the bill should take all of the responsibility, and provide all of the means for its passage through this body. In our opinion it is a measure fraught with infinite possibilities for mischief if not remedied by subsequent legislation.
We have believed it would bring to this country more of misery, as some one has said, "than war, pestilence, and famine;" and feeling impressed with the importance of the measure to our peop we felt justified in exercising every parliamentary right given to us under the ules of the House to prevent its passage. We have seen those who believed with us in the Senate stand up for
two months protesting against the passage of the measure and in opposition to what we consider a crime. We saw them refusing within two hours of the time when the vote was finally taken to consent to allow a vote. We saw them insisting that those who favored the measure should pass it without any shadow of consent from its opponents.
This proceeding is not new. This House has time and again, on important questions, seen the minority refuse to take any part in the proceedings or aid in any manner to pass through the House measures to which they were conscientiously opposed. They have even refused to vote, so that those in favor of the proposition might be compelled to make a quorum of their own members. It was our desire to compel those in favor of the bill to use every means in their power to carry out the purpose in view, so that there should be hereafter no chance for any one to assert that we had yielded one inch in our opposition to the measure and thereby permitted it to become a law.
I made dilatory motions and intended to do so until the Committee on Rules brought in a rule, and the House adopted it, making it impossible to carry such proceedings any further. I was on my feet, and I thought in time, to make a dilatory motion when the demand for the previous question was submitted by the Chair. I found that there were too few of those who were opposed to the measure willing to join in dilatory opposition to the extent even of calling for the yeas and nays.
Realizing that there are too few of us in the opposition who are willing to longer delay a vote, we believe it is useless to carry our opposition further. If I thought that refusing to vote would compel the friends of the measure to bring a quorum here, and that by so refusing I could prevent the passage of this bill or delay it, carrying out what I believe to be my duty to my constituents, I would gladly refuse to vote and would gladly do anything else in my power to prevent the perpetration of what I believe to be a crime against the people.
Having said this much, Mr. Speaker, and explained why I will not carry dilatory tactics further, I simply desire to add, in conclusion, that if we are right in the opposition we have made to this bill time will vindicate the correctness of our position. I hope that we are wrong. I hope that the influences back of the measure are not what we believe them to be. I hope its purposes are better than we think they are. I hope that this legislation will be far more beneficial to the people of this country than we can believe it will be. If we are right, and the bill now about to be passed produces the misfortunes which we believe will follow its enactment, I warn the people responsible for its passage that there will be a day of reckoning.
You may think that you have buried the cause of bimetallism; you may congratulate yourselves that you have laid the free coinage of silver away in a sepulchre, newly made since the election, and before the door rolled the veto stone. But, sirs, if our cause is just, as I believe it is, your labor has been in vain; no tomb was ever made so strong that it could imprison a righteous cause. Silver will lay aside its grave clothes and its shroud. It will yet rise and in its rising and its reign will bless mankind.
HILE the repeal bill was under discussion in the Senate, I visited Nebraska as a delegate to the Democratic State Convention which met at Lincoln on the 4th of October, 1893. Outside of my own District (nearly every county of which sent silver delegates) no organized fight was made by the silver Democrats to control the Convention and when I reached Lincoln I found a large majority of the Convention favorable to the President's financial policy. Not only was there a strong majority in favor of the President's policy, but nearly, if not quite, half of the delegates to the Convention were willing to assist the President in carrying out his policy to the extent of filling Nebraska's quota of the Federal offices. I was selected by the delegates from my own District as their member of the Committee on Resolutions, but the chairman of the Convention, Hon. T. J. Mahoney of Omaha, then a candidate for United States District Attorney, in deference to the wishes of the Administration Democrats, refused to appoint me. One silver Democrat, Mr. Robert Clegg, was made a member of the Committee, however, and presented the following minority plank on the silver question:
We are opposed to the unconditional repeal of the Sherman law and demand that the repealing act shall carry out the remainder of the plank in the National Democratic platform of 1892 and provide for the "coinage of both gold and silver without discrimination against either metal or charge for mintage." By courtesy of Mr. Clegg I obtained the floor and spoke against the majority platform.
The silver plank was defeated by a large majority and the gold Democrats were so delighted with their victory that Messrs. Euclid Martin, W. D. McHugh and three others joined in a telegram to Secretary Morton notifying him of the resolutions passed and sending greeting to the President. Mr. Cleveland has since appointed Mr. Martin postmaster at Omaha and Mr. McHugh United States Judge for the District of Nebraska.
Since the gold standard Democrats have referred to my convention speech as an abandonment of the Democratic party, I reproduce the criticised portion of it from the columns of the Lincoln Weekly Herald of that date:
Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Convention: We are confronted tonight by as important a question as ever came before the Democracy of the State of Nebraska. It is not a personal question, it is a question which rises above individuals. So far as I am personally concerned, it matters nothing whether you vote this amendment up or down; it matters not to me whether you pass resolutions censuring my course or endorsing it. If I am wrong in the position I have taken on this great financial question, I shall fall, though you heap your praises upon me; if I am right, and in my heart, so help me God, I believe I am, I shall triumph yet, although you condemn me in your convention a hundred times. Gentlemen, you are playing in the basement of politics -there is a higher plane. You cannot settle the great political questions in this way. You think you can pass resolutions censuring a man and that you can humiliate him. I want to tell you that I shall still "more true joy in exile feel" than those delegates who are afraid to vote their own sentiments or represent the wishes of the people, lest they may not get a federal office. Gentlemen, I know not what others may do, but duty to country is above duty to party, and if you represent your constituents in what you have done and will do-for I do not entertain the fond hope that you who have voted as you have today will change upon this vote-if you as delegates properly reflect the sentiment of the Democratic party which sent you here; if the resolutions which have been proposed and which you will adopt, express the sentiments of the party in this State; if the party declares in favor of a gold standard, as you will if you pass this resolution; if you declare in favor of the impoverishment of the people of Nebraska; if you intend to make more galling than the slavery of the blacks, the slavery of the debtors of this country; if the Democratic party, after you go home, endorses your action and makes your position its permanent policy, I promise you that I will go out and serve my country and my God under some other name, even if I must go alone.
But, gentlemen, I desire to express it as my humble opinion that the Democratic party of Nebraska will never ratify what you have done here in this convention. In this city, when we had our primaries, there were bankers who called sons of their debtors in and told them how they must vote, but there are too many men in Nebraska who cannot be driven or compelled to vote as somebody else dictates.
The Democratic party was founded by Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Jefferson dared to defy the wealth and power of his day and plead the cause of the common people, and if the Democratic party is to live it must still plead the cause of the man who wears a colored shirt as well as the man who wears a linen collar. You must choose today what kind of democracy you want. For twenty years the party has denounced the demonetization of silver; for twenty years it has proclaimed it the "crime of the age;" it has heaped upon the Republican party all the opprobrium that language could express because of its connection with demonetization; if you are ready to go down on your knees and apologize for what you have said, you will go without me. On the 14th day of July, 1892, Senator Sherman, of Ohio, introduced in the Senate of the United States a bill substantially like the Wilson bill as it passed the House. Mr. Sherman is the premier of the Republican party, their leader upon financial questions, and you come into this convention and attempt to thrust his