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to my knowledge of the subject, and I would therefore very much prefer, and I think the sentiment of our own Board would be, that such action as Mr. ACKER suggests should be adopted by this Board of Trade."
Mr. ASPEGREN, of New York.-Mr. Chairman, under ordinary circumstances I would support the resolution proposed by Mr. ACKER, but in this particular case there are some remarkable circumstances and some remarkable things that have happened, that make me favor Mr. WARBURG's resolution altogether.
When it comes to proposing a remedy for our problems of currency there are three classes of people who, more than others, are vitally interested. First, the bankers, naturally; second, the legislators, and, third, the business men— the plain, ordinary everyday business men, like most of us
In formulating a plan it is necessary that the business man be taken into consideration, also the banker and the legislator. The banker is human. He loves his business, but he is in his business not only for the love of it, but also for the money that is in it. And the legislator, when we attempt to exchange our bond-secured currency for an asset currency, will ask us what are we going to do about United States bonds. As I say, these three classes, and last of all, but not least, the business man.
You all remember three years ago we had our panic. We will never forget it, I am sure. After the panic was fairly well over a cry went up, "We must do something." We were all united until the next month came the question, "What were we going to do?" And I have never seen any one proposition come up on which opinion was so much divided. The worst of it was it was not only division of opinion, but there was a great amount of prejudice, obstinacy and preconceived opinions thrown into the controversy. You have heard a man say to you, “I am against any central bank of any kind and description, I don't care how you do it." Such a man will refuse to listen to anything. He has made up his mind beforehand. One man will refuse to let
the Government have anything to do with a central bank and another one wants the Government to have everything to do with it. There were so many different opinions, and shades of opinions, and plans and suggestions put forth that it was apparently impossible to accomplish anything. That was the situation three years ago. I, for one, felt that it was almost a hopeless task. I felt that the best that could be accomplished would be a compromise, that it would be a case of give and take, and at the best we would only have some kind of a compromise measure that would half way fill the bill and do it fairly well; and that was about all we could expect. Then we set out to work. The Monetary Commission set out to study the question, and they studied it hard-very hard. There appeared in this country the greatest set of publications on the monetary question that has ever been given out in any country. Some four or five months ago the National Board of Trade distributed copies of these books to practically all of the commercial organizations of the country. They asked us all to help. The Produce Exchange, of which I am Vice-President, appointed a committee, I being one of the members, to work out a plan; and then it began to look better, because public opinion was changing
We set to work and we studied, not all the forty volumes, but we studied a great many of them. This meant a great deal of work. Finally, after having done the best we could, we worked out a plan. But in a way it was tentative, it was a plain, ordinary business man's plan. We had no banker, we had no legislator on our committee, and so we did not know what kind of a reception our plan might meet with from bankers and legislators.
After having made our report we sat down waiting; we were kind of scared, we were a little bit afraid. We had done our level best, but we were a little afraid of what was going to happen to us. ference was arranged in New of Commerce of New York, the the delegates of our Exchange. present, as I was in Washington attending the Tariff Com
Well, ten days ago, a con-
mission Convention; but when I came back the first thing I did was to find out what had been done. The gratifying news I had was that the chamber of Commerce had been working along exactly the same line as ours, that their views were fairly identical with ours and that the delegates from those three organizations had united upon a proposition without a single dissenting vote; they had agreed upon the resolutions which you see printed here.
Well, now, gentlemen, on our committee we had only plain business men. The Chamber of Commerce had not only business men, but they had bankers. As I said, we were a little afarid of the bankers; we did not know how they were going to treat the matter. We were more than gratified to find that at least two of these three classes— the bankers and the business men-were able to unite on one proposition. However, there was still the third class to be heard from-the legislators. We were still very much afraid of them. We did not know just what to expect from them. We were told yesterday morning that we would see Senator Aldrich's statement in the afternoon papers and we would get a complete statement that night. I don't know how many papers I bought yesterday, I believe about twentyfive certainly, looking for that report. Towards half-past 3 I got two new editions of papers with headlines, with "Senator Aldrich's statement." One of them read about as follows: "Senator Aldrich favors a central bank." I picked up another paper, which read: "No central bank in the scheme of Senator Aldrich."
I did not know just "where I was at," but I took the whole statement up, paragraph by paragraph, and I found that both those statements were correct, because he advocated a central bank, but called it something else. But paragraph by paragraph, I found that his recommendations are nearly identical with those advocated by the New York Chamber of Commerce and those of our humble body; and to-day we have heard the address of Mr. VREELAND, and he is in thorough accord with everything that has been recommended by those three New York organizations.
As I say, under ordinary circumstances I would stand by Mr. ACKER and his resolution, but a remarkable thing has happened. The remarkable thing that has happened is that the business men of this country, the bankers and the legislators of the country, have practically agreed upon something. That was something I never expected. The reason why they have agreed, I think, is because they have gone about it in a proper way. They have first acquired the knowledge. They have got facts and they have got the truth; and, based on the facts and on the truth, they have gone about it and built up a system that will do away with the great diversity of opinions that we have had before. [Applause.]
Now, gentlemen, as all of these three classes have agreed upon one thing practically, the resolution as propsed by Mr. WARBURG, it would almost seem as if our work were done. But never was there a greater fallacy. After what we have heard from Mr. VREELAND, after having read the statement of Senator Aldrich, we can expect that Congress will be given some kind of a bill from the Monetary Commiss sion which will respond to the needs of the business community, which will be agreeable to business men and bankers alike. I feel safe in saying that we can expect that. But, gentlemen, there is another thing. It must also pass Congress. Remember that everyone of these Congressmen before he votes in the affirmative is going to consult with his constituents.
Three years ago there was a tremendous amount of prejudice, obstinacy, preconceived ideas prevailing upon this subject among the business men and the bankers of America. I believe that most of it has passed to-day; but there remains yet among the public at large to some extent that very same prejudice. That prejudice must be overcome before we can expect Congressmen, after having consulted with their constituents, to advocate the passage of such a bill.
Now, nothing short of the same campaign of education and elucidation among the general public at large that has prevailed among us will bring about that solution, and for that reason I think that the second resolution that has been
proposed by Mr. TRUESDELL this morning and brought in by Mr. WARBURG this afternoon is an admirable one. Nothing short of dissemination of the facts and the truth among the people as a whole in this country will bring about that public sentiment that is needed to secure the passage of any bill in Congress. [Applause.]
The PRESIDING OFFICER.-It is the duty of the Chair to call the attention of the speaker to the fact that the only question before the house is upon Mr. AcKER'S substitutenot upon the other resolutions offered by Mr. WARBURG, which were agreed upon by the committee.
Mr. ASPEGREN.-I have been probably carried away a little by my enthusiasm. I believe I have given my reasons on the subject and for that reason I feel we are fully and thoroughly prepared to-day to vote on the question, and not postpone the question until next year, as is proposed by Mr. ACKER.
In conclusion I just want to say a word of appreciation and congratulation, and I believe I am allowed to say that because it is pertinent to the subject of Mr. ACKER'S resolution. [Laughter.] That is, in this work the legislators have asked the business men of the country to help them. I hope they will continue to do so, for the mutual benefit of both of them. I am sure I voice the sentiment of every man present when I say that the business men of this country are willing to give all of their time and whatever experience and intelligence they may have and place it at the disposition of the legislators when it comes to solving the problems of our great country. [Applause.]
Mr. SACHS, of New York.-Mr. Chairman, I will not delay the meeting very long, but simply hope we shall act promptly at this meeting in support of the resolution offered by Mr. WARBURG and not the one in the support of our friend, Mr. ACKER.
I admire Mr. ACKER'S energy in bringing the resolution he has brought forward, but I feel we have reached a point in the discussions when it is necessary that some