|Paper||Western Mining Gazetteer|
|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Western Mining Gazetteer|
WESTERN MINING GAZETTEER. fcrcnt values, with all the trials, inconveniences and inequities, as they existed during the war. All contracts of trade between citizens at home and with all people abroad, will again be disturbed. Money will be made temporarily scarce by the withdrawal ot gold m current coin, to be hoarded for special use, or sent away for exchange into the silver of other nations, gladly seizing the opportunity to be thus relieved. The United States will thus needlessly and g atuitously take upon itself a burden of excessive silver curreucy, which older countries now unwillingly bear, and all this without apparent gain in any form. The gold coin will naturally go to couutrics where it is wanted as money, and silver will come hither for the like reason, rapidly increasing in volume until we become exclusively a silver nation, and that of inferior standard value. The fundamental error of this legislation does not consist in encouraging the use of silver as money. Thar is both desirable and laws of trade since the world began; to the and it is especially the policy of the American people to increase the use and importance of one of its own most valuable productions. But the error consists in forcing into circulation a special coin, of a size and character not convenient for business uses, and more especially in giv ing it, by inuidau of Congress, au excessive legal and local value or paying power, which is denied to it by the commercial world. To justify such legislation by a predicti n that silver will recover from its comparative depreciation, i only a way of decreeing prcseul injustice be accompausimr it with a belief that time will rectify all evil consequences. Such prophetic declaration of Congress, enacted into law, in detiance ot the irresistible movements of commerce, gives little comfort to those who meanwhile sull'er loss. Congress should not en- w act laws, even temporarily unjust. The United States Government, fully appreciating the importance of giving consistency and character to the system thus created by Con. gross, by bringing it into monetary accord with the leading natious of Europe, have since made repeated and earnest efforts to establish with them a uniformity in the legal ratio, between gold and silver, both by inviting an international conference upon the subject, and by more private appeals through special agents. But no one can attentively read the printed discussion of that convention or listen to the reports of those agents, without perceiving that, under present circumstances at least, the majority in numbers ot European economists, and especially those of widely recogniz d ability and experience, regarded the object as entirely impracticable, if not utterly inconsistent with natural law. Nor does it seem expedient, while so great diversity of opinion prevails among economists, as to the value and permanence of the causes which have widened the gap between gold and silver, for this Government to hastily establish for itself a new ratio in silver coinage. The only course at present wise and safe is to accept existing conditions, and to adhere as closely as possible to the established measures and dictates of commerce, leaving ail considerations of permanent policy to be hereafter determined by the light of experience. Governments may obstruct the current use, aud restrict the liberty of its subjects money; but the real value, notwithstanding, is the commercial one. The substantial objects which I desire to urge are these: Tirst To arrest the coinage of silver dollars of 42l grains, and to those already produced into silver bullion, coining silver only as wanted for subidiary currency. Second That the Treasury receive silver bullion and issue certificates ot deposit, without limit, in denominations for circulation as Dearly as possible at the market value. These simple propositions cover substantially the whole ground. These certificates of deposit or circulating notes would be issued as now, for even numbers ot dollars, and of various denominations, and wrould be redeemable in gold, or at the pleasure of Government, in the value in silver bullion. equivalent The advantages to be secured by the policy recommended are manifestly these : 1. It arrests the evil of two values in money, whose baneful results we have partially described. 2. It provides a much ncedtd paper circulation for business uses, of absolute and unquestionable value, based upon silver bullion, or upon gold bullion ami coin, held in the Treasury vauhs, under guard of the tiutionnl forces, bucli notes need no legal tender compulsion. They would lie everywhere freely received and paid upon tln-i- r own merits : b) the people, or be held as bank reserves, without hesitation or danger con-formab- well-establish- re-conve- ed rt of loss. d. It will confirm and secure resumption of coin payments upon the lc gold basis as now commenced, and remove all occasion to discriminate between different forms or values of money. 4. It will provide a certain, legitimate and more extended use and market for the silver, as well as the gold productions of the country. 5. It will open a way for the gradual substitution of bullion notes for the legal tenders now outstanding. 0. Finally, it will establish the financial situation ot the country, upon a basis that will promote the welfare of the people and the st&bil ity of the Government. s J I 1 1 i t SPECIE PAYMENTS. Several papers were read at the Bankers Convention at Saratoga last week, among them one by Mr. George A. Butler, of Connecticut, ou the question of specie payments and the relation which it bears to other great financial questions. Following is a synopsis of the address: Resumption has not settled any of these great questions, not even that of the permanency of specie payments, which will be determined by notes and by the character of r the disposition made of the our banking. If specie payments should be made permanent, the character of such payments will depend upon the action of the silver question. The resumption ot specie payments is not a final settlement of any of the great questions ot finance which have agitated the country for so many years past ; nor is it a demonstration of courage and highest financial wisdom of the nation. These things lie in the future, and it is for time to determine whether we are a wise aud prudent people. The outlook is not very bright for a scientific settlement of any of the great questions of finance. We canuot escape from questions of communism and discussions of wild schemes of finance Movements oue direction. of trade are not steadily iu Their business course usual first, is, activity, rising prices, general and profound confidence iu a magnificent future, followed by a general enlargement of business of all kinds, absorption of the circulating capital into fixed forms such as railroads, enlargement of factories aud building of new ones, and a general expansion of credit in all its forms. Finally, the manufacturer is compelled to curtail production, because the market is filled with foreign goods. The enforced unproductiveness of capital and the enforced idleness of labor follow, or else the manufacturer, continues to produce goods for which he caunot find a market, locking up not only his capital, but compelling him to use his credit to the utmost by borrowing of others to continue the struggle. When this point has been reached we generally find ourselves with an adverse balance of trade, accompanied by a drain of specie; and it the financial machinery of the country be not sound a stiong panic ensues, and is followed by a period of business depression and falling prices, which continues until prices have fallen so low that the drain of specie is checked. Rcsunfption may conic about aud specie payments be for a long time maintained on an amount of specie wholly inadequate to the permanent maintenance of specie payments. This was the character of the resumption of January 1, 1879, of which, as a people, wc have but little cause for boasting, though wc have much cause to congratulate ourselves upon our good fortune. The credit of resumption does not belong to us, for we did not bring it about by any intelligent act, and did not purposely contribute any thing toward its accomplishment. All that we did was to isue a re sol u tion by Congress that wc would resume on the 1st of January, 1879, but we did not take any steps to accomplish it. We only sat down and waited. Notwithstanding Government sold bonis to prepare for resumption, it did not contribute anything toward bringing about the condition of affairs which made it possible to procure specie. The large balance of trade in our favor for 1876, 1877 and 1878 did not bring us any of the precious metals. It did not even cause what we produced to remain with us. The Government did not contribute anything toward bringing about the conditions necessary to resumption. Had it not been a party to resumption it would have been accomplished earlier. The sale of ninety millions of bonds in 1877 and 1877 took from the market gold which woirld have been abandoned, in which case the gold would have gone into hanks in the ordinary course of business, and been used by them in daily transactions. If there had not been any government paper money, resumption would have taken place long before the time fixed by Congress. If specie payments shall have any degree of permanency, it will not be through any deliberate purpose of ourselves, but because industrial and commercial conditions a c such that we may for a longtime violate economic laws and the penalty for transgression be long deferred. If at the close of the war the Government had begun to retire legal tender notes and steadily pursued that t course, it then would have been very active in bringing about the conditions necessary t resumption, and might have justly claimed credit for wise foroMmuopirt and manly courage. legal-tende- i t ; I i i ? j .