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brought out a definite plan. There are a great many resolutions and suggestions that have been made and which will be brought before us for consideration, and I think it important, and the country wants to know, what we are going to do. I therefore move the appointment by the Chair of a Committee on Resolutions.
The PRESIDING OFFICER.-Mr. WARBURG has moved the appointment of a Committee on Resolutions. Is that motion seconded?
The motion was seconded and carried.
The PRESIDING OFFICER.-As the Chair understood, nothing was said by Mr. WARBURG covering the number of members of that committee or how it should be appointed.
Mr. WARBURG.-I move that that be left to the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER.-What is the pleasure of the convention with regard to the mode of appointment of the committee?
A Delegate.—I move that the committee be appointed by the Chair.
The motion was seconded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER.-It is moved and seconded that the committee be appointed by the Chair and that the number of members of the committee be fixed by the Chair. Are there any remarks upon that?
The motion was agreed to.
Secretary ANDERSON.-There are several resolutions that have been sent to us. What shall be done with them?
The PRESIDING OFFICER.-Gentlemen, various resolutions have been sent in by different organizations. Unless the convention otherwise directs those resolutions will be read by their titles and be referred to the Committee on Resolutions. Does that meet the pleasure of the convention? The Secretary will read those resolutions by their titles.
Secretary ANDERSON.-Resolutions on Banking and Currency from the Philadelphia Board of Trade, the Spokane
(Wash.) Chamber of Commerce, Scranton (Pa.) Board of Trade, Davenport (Iowa) Commercial Club, New York Produce Exchange, New York Chamber of Commerce, New York Merchants' Association, Wilmington (Del.) Board of Trade, Quincy (Ill.) Chamber of Commerce, and I understand there are some other resolutions that have not yet been reported to me.
The PRESIDING OFFICER.-If it be the pleasure of the convention, any resolutions subsequently reported to the Secretary will take the same course, of reference to the Committee on Resolutions.
The Chair now announces the appointment of the following-named gentlemen as members of the Committee on Resolutions :
PAUL WARBURG, JOSEPH FRENCH JOHNSON, IRVING T. BUSH, WELDING RING, SAMUEL SACKS, CHARLES ENGLAND, EDWARD A. FILENE, F. L. HITCHCOCK, GEORGE H. MAXWELL, JOHN P. TRUESDELL, C. O. VAILLE, JOHN SCOTT, R. J. MCLEAN, FINLEY ACKER, HOWELL E. ENGLAND.
The next business on the programme is an address by Hon. A. PIATT ANDREW. IS Mr. ANDREW present?
President LA LANNE.-Mr. ANDREW is not here, but will be here in a few moments. Will the Chair call for Mr. FINLEY ACKER?
The PRESIDING OFFICER.-Mr. ACKER is called. It is not necessary that I should introduce Mr. ACKER to this audience.
Mr. FINLEY ACKER, of Philadelphia.-Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, if I am to respond to this request it must be under protest, because I had no intention of saying anything upon this subject at this time. Simply because President LA LANNE knows that a certain time has to be filled in, and suspecting that I possess an amiable disposition, he calls upon me to respond to his invitation. I must say frankly in advance that I have no definite address to make in advance of the general discussion. What I expected to say on the subject would have been at a later time in the day.
I will say this, however: I suppose all of us have had the pleasure of reading the suggested plan of Senator Aldrich for the improvement of our monetary affairs. There is one feature in a recommendation by Senator Aldrich in his letter to Mr. VREELAND, which, it seems to me, is well for us to bear in mind, not alone in the consideration of this subject, but in framing resolutions, if we do frame resolutions on this important question. In that letter he makes this state
I, of course, do not expect the immediate approval of the Commission or that any formal action will be taken upon it. The plan suggested is a personal one that I fully believe will answer the requirements of changed conditions. It will certainly furnish to the commercial organizations in the country, who are now considering this subject, a basis for criticism and discussion.
He also says, on page 4, after stating that he has prepared an outline for a tentative plan for the revision of our National banking system:
I recognize the fact that the formulation of a definite plan is the task of the Commission, and can be accomplished only after the subject has been studied with care in all parts of the country. Discussion will certainly modify and improve its details.
I hope that the plan which I now submit for your consideration, and which, in its main features, in my opinion, meets the necessary requirements, may be found of value to the Commission in the necessary work of construction.
I am calling attention to the attitude of Senator Aldrich in order to disabuse our minds of the thought that, after a few hours of consideration and discussion, we shall be prepared to adopt resolutions which will clearly define our position on this great question which the National Monetary Commission has been studying for two years, and whose first formulated plan we have had no opportunity of considering until within the last few hours.
Mr. Chairman, in the resolutions which were adopted a year ago by the National Board of Trade you will recall that we made no attempt to specify just how our banking and currency system was to be reformed, but we laid down certain fundamental principles. After the meeting of last year. I sent copies of our resolutions to Congressman Fowler, who represented one phase of the subject, and
to Senator Aldrich, who was supposed to represent another phase of the subject, and from both those gentlemen I received an unqualified indorsement of the principles adopted by the National Board of Trade at last year's session. By reason of that double indorsement, coming from two different financial authorities, I think it is well for me at this time to read the resolution we then adopted, as I think it will furnish a safe basis for our probable action to-day.
Resolved, That the National Board of Trade reaffirms its advocacy of a currency system which will be based upon the following fundamental principles and ensure the following results:
First. Be absolutely fair and impartial to all interests and to all localities.
Second. Ensure at all times an adequate supply of properly safeguarded currency.
Third. The volume of said currency to automatically expand and contract in response to the normal demands of the manufacturing, commercial, agricultural and all other legitimate interests of the country.
Fourth.-Said system to be absolutely free from domination or control by political or any other favored interests.
Those principles have been recognized, I think, by all students of finance as being absolutely sound.
Now, the work of the Monetary Commission, the work of this organization and the work of Congress is and should be to devise a method whereby those principles shall be absolutely carried out, regardless of whether that system be what may be called a central banking system or by any other name, because if all those principles are strictly carried out I think the public will be well served.
There is one section of this resolution, however, which it seems to me is not carried out by Senator Aldrich's plan. What I say here is not in the way of adverse criticism, but it is with the view of directing attention to certain features, in order that we may reach correct conclusions. The third section of the resolution is:—
The volume of said currency to automatically expand and contract in response to the normal demands of the manufacturing, commercial, agricultural and all other legitimate interests of the country.
Two or three years ago, in the study of this question, the trend of thought among officers of National banks and among the commercial people of the country, was that a true credit currency would automatically expand and contract in response to the natural demands of trade more readily and truly than any other form of currency. We know that our present system of bond-secured currency does not so respond, but that the volume of our bond-secured currency is dependent on the price of bonds, and whether it is more profitable for the banks to issue currency on those bonds or sell their bonds.
A true and scientific credit currency, equal in amount to the paid up capital of the banks, and in excess thereof under certain conditions, and secured by the same class of assets and reserve now required for deposits, would absolutely and automatically regulate the volume of currency according to the seasonal demands for currency or for bank credits.
Take Philadelphia, for instance, where we have large manufacturing establishments; the Baldwin Locomotive works, with its 20,000 employees, required an immense amount of currency every week with which to pay those employees. What do they do? They use part of their bank book credit and convert it practically into a bank note credit and distribute that among their employees.
In our large department stores the daily receipts of actual currency are enormous, but they do not want currency, they want a bank book credit; and they deposit their currency in the bank in exchange for bank credits.
The PRESIDING Officer.-If Mr. ACKER will kindly pardon the interruption, I am sure the delegates will all be gratified if Mr. VREELAND, whom I see present, will take a seat on the platform. [Applause.]
Mr. VREELAND.-I thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, but I prefer to remain on the floor.
Mr. ACKER.—I am sure Mr. VREELAND's presence excuses me from taking up more time.
The PRESIDING OFFICER.-He is not to speak until after