A Silver Symposium
Excerpt from A Silver Symposium: Being an Analysis of the Money Issue; Containing Vital Facts on Free Coinage With Unanswerable Questions Affecting This CampaignRecognizing that the money question has been forced by events into a prominence which makes it one of the two leading political issues of the day, and having clearly and forcibly expressed its own views upon what it esteems the folly and utter impracticability of free coinage of silver, The Dispatch does not hesitate to give full publicity to anything that can be said upon the other side. For this reason it cheerfully prints the letter of J. W. B - , which appears this morning in another column, as that letter exhibits about as well as any other the line of thought upon which the silver people have been making their appeal to the public. Boiled down to briefest space, it is merely that President Cleveland, when he took his stand three years ago against the continued purchase of silver, promised good times if the purchase act were repealed, and good times are not here; that the people who have suffered from bad times are disgusted with the failure of the President's predictions of prosperity and "would sweep the field for the silver party as completely as did the cyclone St. Louis the other day" if a plebiscite were ordered; that the party leaders, both Democratic and Republican, have been insincere as the Roman augurs of old, and inconsistent in their handling of the money question; that the business interests are now "sneering" at the silverites in place of arguing with them seriously; that there should be a "tariff to protect silver as well as to protect iron;" that no country has a single gold standard; that France, with a population of about half of ours, maintains a large amount of silver on a parity with gold; that at times in the recent past silver has appreciated to a higher value than the gold ratio existing in our coinage system; and, finally, that the press is one-sided in its view of this question.Now, as to the first three points in Mr. B 's article, which may be treated together. The Dispatch has no more veneration for party leaders than its correspondent. It has no very high esteem either for the intelligence or sincerity displayed by them upon the money question. It believes, however, that Cleveland was entirely right in calling for a stoppage of silver purchases three years ago when hundreds of millions of dollars worth of white metal were being stacked up in the Treasury without a shadow of a prospect of going into circulation. Had the purchasing process been continued, the Government would have gone on indefinitely adding to its immovable metal and to its paper obligations in the shape of silver certificates issued for the same.All that can be made out of free coinage is either depreciation of our own currency or the inevitable inflow into this country of the depreciated silver of the world, unless, indeed, as Mr. B - suggests, a tariff be established against foreign silver. But that proposition of a tariff on silver betrays the utter weakness of silver, under present conditions, as money. What would be thought of a proposition for a tariff to shut out gold? No one has ever heard, until the silver agitation was reduced to such an extremity, of a tariff being set up by any country to prevent money from going into that country. By suggesting a tariff for silver and recognizing that without a tariff silver could not be used for free coinage, because of the inundation of cheap silver from all parts of the earth, our clever correspondent practically places the white metal upon the same plane as pig iron, paper, coal, or any other product of our mills or mines. And it is upon such a plane that it has actually been placed by the events of the past fifteen years.About the PublisherForgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. 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