Слике страница


A compilation of the messages and papers of the presidents, ...

United States. President, James Daniel Richardson, United States. Congress. Joint Committee on ...

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

assent to a measure which has received the sanction of a majority of the legislators chosen by the people to make laws for their guidance, and I have studiously sought to find sufficient arguments to justify such assent, but unsuccessfully.

Practically it is a question whether the measure under discussion would give an additional dollar to the irredeemable paper currency of the country or not, and whether by requiring three-fourths of the reserve to be retained by the banks and prohibiting interest to be received on the balance it might not prove a contraction.

But the fact can not be concealed that theoretically the bill increases the paper circulation $100,000,000, less only the amount of reserves restrained from circulation by the provision of the second section. The measure has been supported on the theory that it would give increased circulation. It is a fair inference, therefore, that if in practice the measure should fail to create the abundance of circulation expected of it the friends of the measure, particularly those out of Congress, would clamor for such inflation as would give the expected relief.

The theory, in my belief, is a departure from true principles of finance, national interest, national obligations to creditors, Congressional promises, party pledges (on the part of both political parties), and of personal views and promises made by me in every annual message sent to Congress and in each inaugural address.

In my annual message to Congress in December, 1869, the following passages appear:

Among the evils growing out of the rebellion, and not yet referred to, is that of an irredeemable currency. It is an evil which I hope will receive your most earnest attention. It is a duty, and one of the highest duties, of Government to secure to the citizen a medium of exchange of fixed, unvarying value. This implies a return to a specie basis, and no substitute for it can be devised. It should be commenced now and reached at the earliest practicable moment consistent with a fair regard to the interests of the debtor class. Immediate resumption, if practicable, would not be desirable. It would compel the debtor class to pay, beyond their contracts, the preon gold at the date of their purchase, and would bring bankruptcy and ruin

[ocr errors][merged small]

Fluctuation, however, in the paper value of the measure of all values imental to the interests of trade. It makes the man of business an mbler, for in all sales where future payment is to be made both parties what will be the value of the currency to be paid and received. I mend to you, then, such legislation as will insure a gradual return nts and put an immediate stop to fluctuations in the value of cur

to the views then expressed.

ecember 4, 1865, the House of Representatives passed a vote of 144 yeas to 6 nays, concurring "in the views of he Treasury in relation to the necessity of a contraction with a view to as early a resumption of specie payments rests of the country will permit," and pledging "coops end as speedily as possible."

[merged small][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][graphic][graphic]
« ПретходнаНастави »