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The Evils of Gold Contraction (Classic Reprint)

The Evils of Gold Contraction (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The Evils of Gold Contraction

The Senate having under consideration the bill (S. 51) to provide for the free coinage of gold and silver bullion, and for other purposes -

Mr. Stewart said:

Mr. President: The Senator from Ohio [Mr. Sherman] has said that the silver question is an important question, and he has proved most conclusively that it is a far-reaching question, affecting the interests of all mankind. He has also shown that the present financial condition of the whole world is in a most critical and embarrassing state, so much so that he does not think the politicians ought to talk about it or ought to act upon it; that the whole question ought to be relegated to a few men of superior judgment and of superior wisdom; and of course he alluded to the gold monopoly. He deprecates discussion, after having made a speech of three hours and a half in length. Of course he is not on the list of politicians. He belongs to that sacred circle of financiers who have an intuition beyond their fellow-men. It is proper for him to discuss it and to make predictions.

In the course of my remarks I shall endeavor to show from the record that the Senator from Ohio is more responsible than any other living man for the disordered condition of the finances of the world, and that he has done more to injure the happiness and prosperity of the world than any other living man. If I do not succeed in accomplishing that before I sit down, I shall certainly convince myself of that fact, and I think I shall convince all those who listen to me.

He says, in the next place, that the condition of things, the agitation of this question, has produced distrust. How and why has it produced distrust? For the simple reason that the world is bankrupt upon a gold standard, and every man who is familiar with the finances of the world knows it, from the highest to the lowest, all the great ring of gold contractionists know it. It is admitted that there is not gold enough, and yet in the face of that admission it is proposed to make the balance of the world discard silver and use gold alone. The difficulty is that there are too many promises to pay and not enough gold with which to pay. The whole fabric is trembling everywhere, and that is what creates distrust.

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