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mountain of chaff. Now, sir, the purpose for which this honorable committee has been appointed, is to see and find out wbat is the cause of the great prostration of business from the center to the circumference of this Republic to-day, and wbat is the best way to take in order to extricate the people from this depression of labor and find some way in which they would be employed. It is admitted on all hands that about a million and a half of the working classes of this country to-day are idle. I will say here that many have taken advantage of the honest working classes to be, if you please, their representatives, when many of these men throughout the length and breadth of this country hardly ever earned an honest day's wages, but have lived on their wits, and instead of being friends have been enemies to the working classes. I will prove this by the manner in which the honest working classes desire to earn their bread. They want no communistic party. They want nothing to disturb the law and order of this country. I have been the candidate of the working classes some years ago in this mighty center of capital and labor; I have been the candidate of the working classes for the fifteenth assembly district, and although a great effort was made to buy me out, to sell the working classes, I told them all the money they could give would not buy out the candidate of the working classes, and 850 votes stand to my credit in the county clerk's office. I am a laboriug man, and always earned my breat by the sweat of my brow; and there are thousands now ont of employment that can find nothing to do, but I see as clear as sunshine how if the government of this nation did its duty they could be fully employed. I look at the mayor of the city, the board of aldermen, the governor, the assembly, the President of the United States, the Congress and the Senate to be something, to profess something of a paternal feeling ; that is to say, that the mayor and board of aldermen should do all in their power to find, to procure, productive labor for the working classes. If our government and assembly (it is the same with our President and Congress and Senate) should do all in their power to procure and establish productive labor for the working classes it could be done. Now, sir, for instance in this city, there are thousands and thousands of men out of employment, and no member of the legislature bas presented a bill in order to procure some work by which the working classes could be employed. Now, here in the city of New York, one of the greatest commercial cities in the world, we have rotten piers along our East and North Rivers, a shame to the city. Why does not our government give out $15,000,000 or $20,000,000, to run a line of docks on our East River and our North River. See what amount of employment that would give to the idle men of our city; and the work would be reproductive and would pay for itself in the course of time. One of the great evils that now exist, and a cause of the prostration of labor that has existed for years, is the war that came upon us. The great mistake was that these bonds, issued to meet the expenses of the war, were not held in the United States itself, that from a dollar bond to a thonsand dollar bond was not issued, and that citizens of this Republic did not take up these bonds, and as France has cleared up the war debt so would the citizens of this Republic clear up this debt instead of paying the great interest, 7 per cent. gold, to the Shylocks of this country.

By Mr. Rice: Q. Is it not well to have capital flow in from other parts of the world to help along our business here 1-A. I look upon it as the great stab from wbich the blood of the nation is now flowing, that which allowed foreigners to come in and buy our bonds.

Q. Suppose the bonds had been held bere, there would have been so much capital lying in them bere l-A. It would have been like the blood flowing naturally. The interest pow paid to the Shylocks of Europe would have been circulated through the country; we would have received the interest, and it would have been in the family. These Shylocks would not have had our blood. The money that would be applied to manufacturing purposes in a great many instances has been deposited in these bonds; but I don't object to that; I would like if every dollar in the country for every bond that is issued in the United States was bought by the citizens of the United States, and it would be a benefit to the country.

By Mr. BOYD: Q. These things are past. Now, can you tell us the remedy for these things; come down now to the way to remedy it ?-A. Yes, sir. Well, then, the first thing is, numerons classes of workingmen are idle to-day throughout the country. My idea is that the land should be given to the actual settler. The men that are in the city, the workingman who has tive or six children, two or three sons idle in our city, should be given to-day say $50,000,000, or so much money to be given to a bureau of agriculture and labor, and those being in the city that wish to go out and settle on government land should be given the means of going there. Now, you have a homestead law to-day, but what use is it? Here I am to-day, if you please, or hundreds in this city might as well say there was a splendid country in the moon. We can't go there, nor we can't get any place where the government land is, without having means to go there. If the government desires the prosperity of this country it will appropriate a certain amount in order to bring out the working classes of this country and settle them on the land; give them 100 acres, or anything they will be able to cultivate; give them say $500 to commence, take a lien for the land, and it will be paid by installments until the amount is paid, and instead of being paupers in the city they are farmers on the public lands, and have a stick in the pile. That is one way.

Q. What is your next remedy! That has already been stated before.-A. The next point is, the relation between capital and labor is not properly understood between the laborer and the capitalists. Now, my view of capital and labor is that a community should exist between the capitalist and the laborer, instead of an antagonistic feeling. I consider the laborer should know he can't accomplish anything without the use of capital, and that the capitalist should understand that he cau't very well increase his capital without the benetit of labor. Now, let me give you an example.

Q. Our object is to propose some legislation that will reach these ends, and we want some suggestion on that point.-A. Well, as I have said, the mayor and board of aldermen of any city should legislate in order to benefit the general masses, not one class in particular, but the general masses, the great body should be looked after and cared for; the toiling masses, the producing masses. Then the State should come in in its place, and the United States should govern all, giving its aid in order to belp the people in the condition they are now placed. For instance, as I have said, in New York if a line of docks were built see what an amount of labor it would give, and it would be reproductive; why, the ships of foreign nations would pay for it.

By Mr. RICE: Q. Do you think that Congress ought to build those docks?-A. Well, I think that an appropriation for the cutting of canals, or clearing of rivers, or anything of that kind it should make. I don't know that it should attend to the municipal attairs of the city. I believe that States should do that.

Q. Don't you know that Congress voted a great many millions at the last session for river and harbor improvements ?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. Now, about this $500 to each of the unemployed people in the United States; yon say there are about a million and a half of them ?-Å. Well, that many would not want to settle on the public lands. Say, for instance, there are half a million of people that would wish to go, it would leave more room for the other laborers bere.

Q. You would leave tbe other million alone. You would not have the goverument do anything for them ?--A. Oh, yes, sir.

Q. Why should not the man that stays here have $500 as well as the man who goes to the West?-A. I would give the privilege to those who have large families and sons to cultivate the soil.

Q. I want to know where you are going to draw the dividing line. Here are a million and a half to be helped. Where are you going to draw the dividing line, and say who shall be helped and who'shall not l-A. I say there are men that are not adapted, and there are men that would not go at all, for instance; but every man that went there wonld be in a short time independent. I say that this is one of the important duties the Cougress should do, to establish this bureau and make it a system of reality instead of now having it a nullity.

By Mr. BOYD: Q. Is it not a fact, from your knowledge of these laborers in the city, that only a very small proportion of them could be induced to go and occupy lands in the West ?-A. I know of a great many that would be glad to have an opportunity to go to-morrow. I know that from my experience among the working classes. They wonld go to-morrow if they haul an opportunity to settle on the public lands, and would be willing to pay back to the government the $500 or whatever they got, as if they had to pay it to a bank.

By Mr. Rice: Q. Now, have you any other suggestions to make, because we can't very well take np time ?-A. No; I don't want to take up your time. I only say that the large salary which is paid to our legislators shonld be brought down; and if it is not, the poor workingman who earns his living honestly, should not be first reduced.

Q. You would suggest that the salaries of Congressmen should be rednced !-A. I would suggest that the salary of the President of the United States should be first reduced, and so should the same be done down to the very last man.

Q. Is there any other suguestion ?-A. One thing more: that any officer employed by the government that is found ont to be imposing or robbing the working classes of this country, should be branded before the public; or the President that allowed such fraud to exist in his administration should never hold office or be elected to any office in this country. I say honesty in legislation is the great fight to be fought in this country; and I say if the working classes are true to themselves, erery man who has been subsidized by the capitalists of this country should be voted down by honest men I care not whether republicans or democrats.

Mr. RICE. That is for you to do, and not us.
Mr. Logax. That is what I am telling you.

VIEWS OF ROBERT W. HUME.

ROBERT W. HUME next appeared before the committee.

By Mr. Rice:
Question. Whom do you represent?—Answer. The American Labor League.
Q. Where do you reside?-A. In Long Island City.
Q. What is your business ?-A. Teacher.
Q. What do you teach 1-A. Various branches.
Q. A common school ?-A. In a private school in this city.

Q. Are you an officer of the Labor League ?-A. I have been President for a few years, not at present.

Q. We have heard a great many suggestions from associations similar to yours. Please avoid these as much as possible and give us new suggestions.-A. I will try; and, in order to do so, the first thing is to look at the condition of the people of this country and compare it with what it was ten years ago. Ten years ago and for the long time I have lived in this country we have been a people; we are now a mob; we are pow tramps; because we have no labor to do. The condition, I think you will admit, of this country is frightful; and, alas, that of other countries also. Now, the condition that they are in is an effect, and the next thing in order to find out is the cause of that effect, wby the people are in this condition; and in looking at the causes I shall glance at the systems which rule over the people at the present time. The tirst system to be looked at will be that of the political economists. I shall only glance at that. And take the statement of political economists, of the greatest and best of them, who is the most worthy, the most useful man in the community? The tiller of the soil. Why? Because he makes, he creates, he makes two blades of grass grow where one grew before, and you can only advance the value of wealth by the agriculture which creates it. The political economy system says that he is the most useful man. How is he? Why, he is a serf and a slave. The whole system of political economy is inimical to the welfare of the races of men; it does not look at the interests of the million of producers; these it sacrifices to the interests of thousands of speculators, and again to the comparative hundreds of money-bolders. In fact our present system of political economy makes the pyramid stand on its apex instead of on its base; and I am able to say the working classes have seen this themselves. At the tirst election of General Grant I was appointed on the finance labor body to present them a platform. We talked it over. The first resolution we made treated of labor, the material laborer, the intelligent laborer, and the moral laborer; any person who gave his services to society was termed a laborer.

By Mr. Rice : Q. This is all very interesting, but we are not here to be interested, but to be instructed on certain points. Please bring yourself to these points as soon as you can.A. I will pass on, then, to the industrial system, and the first thing that should be established by government is this one thing, the right of a man to work. We claim that to be a distinct right, and the first duty of a government is to procure for all men willing to work, work to do. When that is established there will be no idling among the working classes.

Q. How is the government going to secure to every man work ?-A. I leave it to the honorable committee of which you are composed to answer that question, but I believe it can be done in a truly civilized country.

Q. We are somewhat puzzled to know how, and we would like to have you tell 18 the way.-A. How to secure to all employment; we will have to go into that subject to find that out. For a thousand years it was not allowable in any Christian country to take any interest, but Henry the Eighth changed that, and a law was passed in England

Q. Without going through with the history of that time, you think it is wrong to take interest ?-A. Most certainly. Money is the representative of wealth. Wealth will not increase but by the one general rule of labor. Money is only the right to take labor.

Q. Suppose a man has a thousand dollars in money which he does not use himself, you would prevent him using it for anything else ?-A. Not exactly. I would prevent him from having a law to secure interest.

Q. You would not have it a legal contract?-A. Certainly not.
Q. You would not have it a contract that should be enforced ?-A. By law, no.

Q. Then you would leave that man to get interest or not, according as the borrower is willing to pay it or not?--A. Money itself, the function of money, is a medium of exchange, but a loan is a favor conferred, not an act of business.

Q. Supposing you wanted to go into business and I had a little money and you had

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not; you have got land that you own, but you want money to build on it, and I have the money; would you have me lend you that money ?-A. You have a law in the Bible on loaning

Q. Would you think it right for me to loan you the money ?-A. If yon pleased.
Q. Would it be any advantage to you to borrow it?--A. I suppose it would.
Q. Ought you to pay for that advantage ?-A. Certainly.

Q. If you onght to pay for it ought you to be obliged by law to pay for it?-A. No, sir; the people have nothing to do with it.

Q. Suppose you want to come into my garden and pick my pears ; it would be an advantage for you to do it ?-A. No, sir.

Q. Suppose you do do it?--A. I onght to be punished by law.

Q. So you do believe in a penalty of law to some extent ?-A. There is a difference between yon loaving me money and I stealing your pears.

Q. Suppose I loaned you the money and you could not pay it?-A. In that case you have mistaken your man. If you loaned me in this State a hundred bushels of potatoes you could not recover it in this State. You would look well to go into court in this state to recover a hundred bushels of potatoes you loaned me.

Q. Suppose I loaned you my horse ?-A. You could not get it back.
Mr. Rice. I guess I could.
Mr. HUME. Not in this State.

Q. I guess I could; I would not stay here long if I could not. I guess you will find there is a law that would make you pay for the use of it while you had it.-A. Certainly.

Q. 'Would it be right to make you pay for the use of the horse while you had it ?A. I should say it would, if I made the agreement so to do.

Q. Why would it be right to pay for the use of my horse and wrong to pay for the use of niy movey ?-A. Well, the one enters largely into business; and at present it is the very key to i he idleness of the laborers; because men with money find it hard to invest in places where legal interest is required.

Q. You think if legal interest were only abolished they would be in a great deal of a hurry to pass it out into those channels ?--A. I think that any man who had the sense to have a thousand dollars would put it into a form to have it increase; and when I speak of loaning money it is a thing that can be done or not done. It was far different from the tenth to the sixteenth century ; the whole christian world punished it as a crime; afterward by an act of llenry the Eighth to loan money at one per cent. interest was punislrable, and the man that did so his money was to go to the king and his land should go back to the crown. I bold with Moses, Mohammed, Aristotle, and Christ, usury to be a crime.

Q. Suppose a man has got a thousand dollars more than he wants, and he is not able to work and carry on business, how is that man to live ?--A. To put his money in business; it increases in time.

Q. He is not alle to carry on business. Ought he not to be allowed to put it out at interest ?-A. I think not; it is false economy, and I have given some very strong authorities for it, the noblest the world has ever seen.

Q. We have heard your views on that. What else ?--A. I think there is a law in the Constitution which forbids the state to issue a bill of credit. I know that, and I would like to ask by what authority the States can make laws for the collection of bills of credit issued by corporations within their limits. They are not permitted by the Constitution to issue bills of credit. How can they make them?

Q. Then you think these laws are wrong ?-A. Certainly I do.

Q. You would have no sanction of law by which they could be enforced ?-A. Not the laws for bills of credit.

Q. How wonld you do business in New York with a citizen of Chicago if bills of credit were not in nise ?-A. The only difference between me giving my note and a bill of credit is that the one is written and the other verbal.

Q. Do you think business can be carried on without drafts or checks 1-A. I think it coulil if there was a sutlicient currency.

Q. Supposing there was all the currency in the world, what good would that do if I could not collect from you the check you sent me by some legal process ?-A. The point is this, that I have no need with this currency for these bills of credit.

Q. What would you do-send the currency ?-A. Certainly, if the paper currency is as readily sent as a bill of credit.

Q. So that you could not order a thousand barrels of flour by telegraph; yon would have to wait to get your currency there by express before you bought it?-A. I assume you could as readily pay for it in United States paper money as by bills of credit.

Q. But is it not a great advantage to order it by telegraph ?-A. I have no desire to stop bills of credit; I believe they would be used by tradesmen, but I am of the opinion that if I can write my note for $30 I can issue my note for fifty cents.

Q. You would have all laws by which contracts can be enforced done away with 1A. No, sir.

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Q. You would have all laws by which bills of credit, notes to hand, can be collecied—A. Done away with.

Q. Go to the next point, if you please.-A. The third system is the noblest the country has got; it is where we stand before the whole world ; that is the religious system. If I call your attention to that it will be for this purpose, to remember there is such a thing in the Constitution as that Congress shall make no law for the establishment of religion; and perhaps you would not appoint a chaplain and pay him out of my pocket.

Q. Has Congress done anything of the kind ?-A. It appoints chaplains and pays them.

Q. You would not have a chaplain ?-A. I say it is contrary to the Constitution in Congress to appoint him.

Q. Then you would have Congress desist hereafter from appointing a chaplain 1A. Unless Congressmen would pay him themselves.

Q. Well, that would be a little saving, perhaps.-A. The next point is the social question. The condition of women is changed from what it was when we were young

Mr. Rice. Well, a good lady has presented us with that point.

Mr. HUME. The condition of womeu is changed from what it was. She is now forced into the shops, and we are getting an entirely different class of women from what we had.

Mr. Rice. The next generation will bave to deal with this.

Mr. HUME. If you doubt it I would only recommend you to those in the public schools, who will not accept the doctrine of men under any circumstances.

Q. Would you bave Congress pass a law to pay the women the same as men for the same work ?-A. No, sir; I would like Congress to pass a law that they must not vote and give the reasons why they would not.

Q. You would have Congress adopt a resolution stating why they don't vote ?-A. Yes, sir; and I think they have a fair right to demand that.

Q. Go to the next point.-A. These are the systems. I could show the reason why our American financial system has proved a failure.

Q. Well, sir?--A. For seventy-five years we understand that Congress bad no power except over the coin money of the States. There is no doubt about understanding the word “coin” for the first seventy-tive years. Now, it is not possible in the financial system of Europe for any nation to coin money for itself; it has never been done. We have been compelled to resort to cliques in our own country and Europe to pay for the war. We had the means and the men. One thing we needed was the money, which Congress could have printed. We have done all this to get nothing but a miserable money from Europe which we ourselves could have issued at Washington.

Q. Do you believe Congress has the power?-A. Not under the Constitution. The national power over money is limited to two things: to issue coin money and to issue bills of credit, which are exactly the opposite of legal tender.

Q. You believe that the green backs were issued unconstitutionally ?-A. I decidedly' think so, and I thank Mr. Chase for defying the Constitution for the sake of the Union.

Q. Do you believe there was a necessity which justified the issue of greenbacks at the time 1-A. Yes, sir.

Q. You believe, then, with the Supreme Court that nothing but the extreme necessity justitied their issue ?-A. I do not believe they are constitutional, and I go further: I think that the legal tender is not constitutional, and that Congress has no legal power to make legal tender outside the District of Columbia. Q. Do you believe it should have the right ?-A. I do.

Q. You believe there should be a constitutional amendment in that respect ?-A. I do, sir: and I think the only way it can be done is by a constitutional amendment.

Q. You believe then that the policy heretofore of gold and silver, or of a currency convertible into gold and silver, has been a mistake ?-A. I think so, sir. My position is this: For years I was a hard-money man; I never was for the mixture of bard and soft money. I said if I was the financial despot of the world I would introduce hard money for the protection of the labor of the world, but if I was the despot of this co try I would issue paper money.

Q. Now, that paper money you would have issued, if the Constitution were amended so as to permit you, by each Congress according to its fancy ?-A. Well, sir, that limitation I am sorry to see the people are laboring under-I would like to see it limited by the investinent of the people in government bonds, just as Mr. Phillips bronght in the system of postal savings banks lately. Now, we propose that usury shall be withdrawn. Why, sir, iu Wall street it is not done; the brokers say they don't care abont the law. Do they mind it? Now, we say as they don't mind the law, we will withdraw the law for interest and against it, and let money get what it can on credit.

Q. Now, you would have Congress, if it had authority, to issue as much paper moneyA. As the money it receives from the people in the savings banks.

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