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of both gold and silver at the mints of the nation, there is but one course to pursue, and that is to unite all the silver forces and to oppose with all our might the candidate representing the policy which we believe is fraught with disaster to the nation and ruin to the people.
Gold monometallism means the shifting to gold alone, as primary money, all the burdens of commerce and credit formerly borne by gold and silver, and as the world's stock of these metals has always been about equal in amount, it means the doubling of the burden upon gold. Doubling the burden upon gold means doubling the demand for the same, and doubling the demand, of necessity doubles the value thereof. This gradual shifting to gold of all the burdens of both gold and silver has caused a gradual and steady increase in the value of every dollar redeemable in gold, and hence a gradual and steady decline in the value of every commodity that is measured by that dollar.
The representatives and supporters of Mr. McKinley consented to the insertion in the St. Louis platform of the gold standard declaration thinly veneered by a declaration for bimetallism, "when the leading commercial nations of the world should consent," but until that consent was secured the gold standard must be maintained. It is well known that this consent cannot be secured from Great Britain, and that such declaration for bimetallism means nothing with this limitation upon it. Mr. McKinley consented to the declaration for the gold standard in the platform, and in his recent speeches has accepted it, and has become the advocate thereof; he has shown by his speeches heretofore made that he understood the danger of the gold standard and the distress which would be inflicted upon the American people by its adoption, and yet he pledges the people to support and maintain that system, and fasten upon them all the evils of the financial system, which he has heretofore repudiated, if they will make him President. Whatever may have been his attitude on the money question in the past he must inevitably hereafter support the same financial system that the present Democratic administration has, and, if elected, must continue the policy of Mr. Cleveland in the sale of bonds in time of peace. Hence, with the success of Mr. McKinley we may look for a continued increase of the public debt and the sale of bonds to maintain the gold standard.
That the condition of the country is not satisfactory, all admit. The producers of wealth are not receiving fair and proper compensation for their labor, whether in field, factory or mine; enterprise has ceased; values are constantly declining; labor is unemployed; discontent and distress prevail to an extent never before known in the history of this country, and no reason can be found for such an unhappy condition save in a vicious monetary system. Those who profess to deplore the present financial condition and oppose the free coinage of silver are divided in opinion as to the cause of the present condition. Some declare that it is because we have too much tariff; others that we have not enough; while the fact exists that every gold standard country in the world, whether it has a high or a low tariff, is now and has been during recent years, in the throes of a financial panic; and every silver standard country, compared with its former condition, is enjoying an industrial development and degree of prosperity hitherto unknown in its
history. While thus differing in opinion, they unite in asserting that the gold standard must be maintained until foreign countries shall signify their willingness that the American people shall exercise the rights of freemen and create a financial system of their own. If we overlook the humiliation and degradation we must feel on account of such a declaration of financial dependency, we may well inquire when the consent of the leading commercial nations will be obtained.
No one who has read the proceedings of the three international monetary conferences that have already been held, or who has examined the impracticable propositions presented at those conferences, can for a moment believe that any international bimetallic agreement can ever be made with the consent of all "the leading commercial nations of the world." When will Great Britain, controlled as she is and ever will be by the creditor classes, who collects vast sums of money for interest due her and her citizens, who buys of us annually many more millions than she sells to us, and whose interest it is to make the pound sterling purchase as much of our products as possible, consent that we shall be financially independent as we are supposed to be politically independent? When did the creditor classes of Great Britain ever give up or in any way yield an advantage such as they now possess through the maintenance of the gold standard? There is no hope for international bimetallism until the United States shall establish bimetallism for itself, and when that is done, international bimetallism may be secured without the consent of Great Britain. The United States on all other subjects of legislation acts independently of any other nation on earth. By what process of reasoning is its right, authority or ability to legislate upon this, the most important subject with which it has to deal, questioned or denied?
With a nation equal in wealth and power to one-fourth of the world, it is cowardly to say that we must ask the permission of Great Britain to establish and maintain a financial policy of our own. Believing, as we do, that a return to the monetary system especially recognized in the Constitution and completely provided for by law from 1792 till 1873, affords the only ground of hope for the betterment of the distressed condition of all the classes except those who live by the increment that money loaned gives to those who loan it, we appeal to all classes to rally to the support of the only candidates whose success indicates any hope of relief.
Let the merchant and business man whose dwindling and lessened profits have, despite his care and economy, brought him face to face with prospective bankruptcy and ruin, the professional man, whose best efforts scarcely afford him compensation for his labor alone, the farmer, the continually falling prices of whose products have left him no returns for capital invested and work performed, and last but not least, let the grand army of laboring men so called, the artisan, the mechanic, and the miner, and every one who depends upon his daily labor for his daily bread, look about him and observe the great number of those who vainly seek for a chance to workupon the great army of enforced idlers-and one and all resolve to try, not an experiment (for bimetallism is not an experiment), but rather a return to a policy that throughout the vicissitudes of our nation's infancy, through the internecine struggle of its manhood kept us a great, free and prosperous
nation, in which labor was not only respected and employed, but was so compensated that want and distress, such as now weigh upon us, were unknown. Let the lesson of history, too recent and too plain to be gainsaid or denied, be heeded, and let there be no fear that a system that so wonderfully protected labor, developed business enterprise and secured to the nation a contented and prosperous people in the past, will do aught but bring to us a return of like prosperity, the prediction of disaster of our opponents to the contrary notwithstanding.
In Mr. Bryan the Chicago convention placed at the head of its ticket a gentleman of exceptional ability and of high character. No man of his age was better known throughout the United States than he. A member of Congress for four years, he commanded the admiration and respect of all his associates in that body as a scholarly statesman and profound thinker. No man had ever assailed his character or in any way questioned his integrity or moral worth. His character is a fit example for the young men of this country. He has shown in all his public utterances that he loves his country and his countrymen, and that he sympathizes with them in their distress. He has also shown that he believed the financial system which makes gold the standard of value was in a great degree the cause of the depression and financial distress prevalent throughout the land; that the condition now existing will continue while the present monetary system lasts, and that he would fain return to the use of both gold and silver as they were used prior to 1873, and he has proposed such a change of the financial system by the usual constitutional methods.
Such was the character and such the political opinions of the candidate known to his countrymen, who by their representatives in convention, selected from every State in the Union, put him in nomination for the highest office within the gift of the American people.
This is a critical period in our national history. Our industrial and financial independence of other nations and peoples is involved in this campaign, and we firmly believe there will be no return of prosperity until we shall have changed our financial system so as to restore the bimetallic system established by the fathers of the Republic; and so believing, we urge all friends of gold and silver as standard money and the opponents of a single gold standard to give to Mr. Bryan and Mr. Sewall their hearty support. In advising this course we do not consider it necessary that they shall abandon or surrender their political views on other questions.
Profoundly impressed with the importance of the issues of this campaign, for ourselves and our associates we respectfully submit the foregoing to the candid consideration of the American people.
THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION.
N pursuance of a call issued by the Bimetallic Democratic National Committee, the leading silver Democrats met at the Sherman House in Chicago on June 30th, for the purpose of deciding upon the course to be pursued in the National Convention. All were agreed that it was both wise and necessary for the silver Democrats to secure the temporary organization and control the convention at every step. It was generally understood that the National Committee, having a majority against silver, would recommend as temporary chairman some one hostile to bimetallism and at the conference it was decided to urge the minority of the committee to move to substitute the name of a silver Democrat for the name to be suggested by the majority of the committee. When the convention was called to order this plan was carried out. The committee, through its chairman, Hon. William F. Harrity, recommended Senator David B. Hill, of New York, as temporary chairman, while Hon. Henry D. Clayton, of Alabama, proposed the name of Senator John W. Daniel, of Virginia, and moved that his name be substituted for the name of Senator Hill. Then followed a discussion between the friends of the two candidates, the gold Democrats insisting that it was contrary to precedent and discourteous to the committee to reject its recommendation, while the silver Democrats asserted that the committee should have respected the wishes of the convention, whose servant it was.
As the National Committee had seated the gold delegation from Nebraska, I was present during the temporary organization as a spectator only, and was rather amused at the apparent earnestness with which the gold men begged the convention not to humiliate them by turning down their candidate; the very obvious answer to their argument being that they could have avoided humiliation by recognizing the right of the majority to rule. Upon roll call, the vote stood 556 for Daniel, and 349 for Hill.
On taking the chair, Senator Daniel paid a well-deserved compliment to Mr. Harrity, who had presided at a very trying time with perfect fairness and impartiality. I give Mr. Daniel's speech in full: