OCR Interpretation

The commoner. [volume] (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, December 01, 1919, Image 7

Image and text provided by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/46032385/1919-12-01/ed-1/seq-7/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for 7

The Commoner
Silver Comes Into Its
a Hot Springs, Ark.,' dispatch to UiO
v i York World, dated Nov. .10, says:
&SS dispatdies report bullion value of
Ja dollar 5 cents less than bullion' value
ffrilw doUa?. Are the Nw York fman
I rr living up to their claims of honesty
ffa?t ey made so vociferously in 1896?
Or are they paying their debts in a cheap
gold dollar? WILMAM j. BllTAN.
Frca coinage of silver at the ratio. of sixteen
o one Mr. Bryan's famous, slogan of twenty
hree years ago, would now arouse little enthu
hsm in the men who then so calmorously de
manded it, some editors opine. For today the
See oi silver is so high that its free coinage
?t Mr Bryan's ratio would mean a loss to tho
silver-producers. For the first time in more
than half a century, financial authorities tell
is the silver dollar is worth more as silver
than as money. One of our silver dollars Is
Intrinsicallv worth its exact face valuo when the
market price of silver is $1.2929 an ounce. Last
week silver was quoted at $ 1.3 64 an ounce.
At this price a silver dollar -.could be melted
down and sold as bullion at a profit of nearly
seven cents. "Are the New York financiers liv
ing up to their claims of honesty that they made
so vociferously in 1896, or are they paying their
debts in a cheap gold dollar?'.' asked Mr. Bryan
the other dav when the bullion value of a silver
dollar had soared beyond the bullion value of
a gold dollar. .,,.,-
Nor is this remarkable condition of the silver
market, as revealed in recent news dispatches
and financial editorials, confined to the United
States. In Paris, we are told, the habit of tip
ping is in abeyance, owing to the virtual dis
appearance of silver coins. In Mexico City, cor
respondents report, merchants are refusing to
accept gold coins for small purchases, so pre
eious has become the silver they must give in
change. The once despised Mexican dollar is
now at a premium. England and France have
prohibited the export of silver, and have passed
stringent regulations forbidding the melting of
silver coins. In France, in spite of severe legal
penalties, a correspondent reports, as inUch as
HO francs in not03 are being given for 100
frames in silver. At the present high price of
silver, remarks a firm of London bullion-brokers,
"it is no longer profitable to mint British
silver coins." Literary Digest.
It is understood that a committee of bankers
or theorists or both has been Torced to study
the question how to "stabilize" the- dollar. The
question is acute, as is pointedly, suggested by
Mr. Bryan in his quory whether creditors are
today paying their debts in "a cheap gold dol
lar" worth 5 cents less than the bullion value
of the silver dollar. Undoubtedly tho declino
in the purchasing power of money is more and
more powerfully arresting the attention of
thoughtful men everywhere. It cannot be al
lowed to go1 much further -without very grave
disaster growing out of the disturbance of eco
nomic and industrial relationships. There is, in
fact, urgent call for the development Of some
common understanding or program on this
"Mole subject. New York Journal of Commerce.
When Mr. Bryan sees" thfe silver in a silver
uollar worth one dollar and five cents, and tho
gold within a gold dollar a drug on the market,
he sees full and complete justification for his
Position on bimetalism. Of course, the purchas
ing power of tho American dollar has shrunk,
and tho value of every Njomraodity has en
hanced. Silver has gone up to such an extent
JJjat the silver dollar is the prize package m
e money line at this time.
JJo have never fully agreed with Mr. Bryan
n his silver platform, but we always had rather
jne viewpoint that there was little danger .in
jno use of silver for American money, because
ia2 slight disparagements that might have come
wot made ?JaJnIGtS Tld vory "" hard
SfSn Sil,vel dol,ar unwolcome in the
hands of either debtor or creditor. nt!nol
Record, Hot Springs, Ark. r---iiinoi-
,r , t Detroit, Mich., Nov. 38, 1919
Mr. Charles W. Bryan,
- Lincoln, Nebr.
Dear Mr. Bryan:
In 189 G your brother mado as noar as l can
recall it, substantially this statement and re
peated it several times in his campaign address:
Great Britain has for a long time done
everything in her power to demonetize sliver
and in that way increaso tho value of gold be
cause she is a creditor nation and desire to
increase the value of tho dollar that is duo to
her and tho republican party is either conscious
ly or unconsciously aiding Great Britain in that
"The democratic platform demands the im
mediate free coinag? of silver without waiting
for the aid or consent of any other nation be
cause we are a debtor nation and are oppoiod
to tho British method of increasing the value
of the dollar we must pay.
"If England should become a debtor nation
she would certainly look sharply to her own
interest and would promptly romonotizo silver
so as to force down tho dollar she would thou
be compelled to pay."
The facts contained in the foregoing state
ments are patent and the prophecy it contained
has now proven true.
WILL hepburn answer?
" Silver dollars made a now high record yes
terday for recent years as a result of another
big rise in bar silver in London. Thio caused
much good natured comment in Wall Street on
William J. Bryan's telegram from Hot Springs,
published in The World yesterday, in which ho
pointed to the fact that the bullion value of tho
gold dollar is now five cents less than the bul
lion value in the silver dollar, and asking the
question as to whether New York financiers aro
living up to their claims of honesty made in
1896 or are paying their debts in a cheap gold
On a 1C to 1 basis tho bullion value of the
silver in a silver dollar is $1.29, whereas at
yesterday's quotation $1.34 was bid for silver
bullion. . , x
A number of bankers were asked to answer
Mr. Bryan's question, but nono of them appar
ently had time to do so. Among those asked
was A. Barton Hepburn, a member of the Ad
visory Board of the Federal Rescrvo Board.
Mr Hepburn's secretary said Mr. Hepburn did
not have time to discuss the matter, but he
would think it over and might have a reply
today. New York World.
Mr Bryan asks whether New York financiers
are as honest now in paying their debts In a
cheap gold dollar-at one time five cents be ow
tie value of silver dollars in metalas they
'vere when they were demanding that debts duo
should be paid in a dear gold dollar, silver then
Kg at a discount in gold. There is need of
S financial Dr. Einstein to expound a theory
o? relativity of vklues. But perhaps if such a
.SarniP-ir he would bo no better under-
rf fiSffl ; - ft?
lirri ta ifflpotod by matter, as Mr. Bryan seems
JftUink ttt Princtplen are bent by JntM.li.
New York Times.
a Anciated Press dispatch from Deadwood,
3 t iays- Low cost of gold, which ha been
panies in the matte of wages is sai
curtailed the, production o f goi a in advanced
""iVroducUon o golhe United State,
A New York dispr.teh, dated Nor. IS.
oays: Silver now is worth nearly f eanU
an ounce more a metal than it I m ooln.
SilTtr for San Francisco delivery vu
quoted today at $1.34 au ounce n com
pared with $1.29.20 an ounco, which is the
basis on which sliver in coin Is valued.
Sliver for local delivery was quoted at
?1.32 an ounce. - v
Buying for Chinese aocount Is believed
to. be responsible for 11 to advance.
1018 ha decreased Trom $32, 600,300 to $S8,
600,000 in 1918. South Dakota ranks third
among tho states or tho union (excluding Alas
ka) in tho production of gold.
"Notwithstanding the recognized importanco
of gold to the welfare of the nation, yet it Ib
the only Important product still soiling at tho
old standard price of $20.67 an ouaef, eatab
vished two centuries ago.
"Resolved, that the market value for nil gold
produced In the United States and Its territorial
be fixed at not less than $20 per ounce."
Somewhere out in Nebraska or down In
North Carolina or Florida, William J. Bryan l
smiling gleefully, and chuckling with a deep
satisfaction which sends rhythmic ruinblcii
across his ample expanse of shirt front HIh
ratio of U1G to 1" is Justified .at last. In fact,
it is more Limn justified. At 1(1 to 1, the fixed
price of silver would be $1.20 por ounco, while
it Is now selling as high as $1.30 per ounce.
Tho "crime of "I'A" is rebuked, and the cam
paign cry of 189G has become the financial pago
report of 1919.
How much sooner, Mr. Bryan may ask, would
the white metal have como to its own if tljo
western nations, which carry on most of tho
world's commerce, had not barred it from thoir
mintH? It will puzxlo any hard and fast ad
herent of the gold standard to givo a satisfac
tory answer.
This Is not tho only one of tho Bryan prophe
cies or demands that has bcon fulfilled. It
is not even tho most important. Mr. Brya-n,
was the first presidential candidate to take hid
stand on tho quantitative theory of money, tho
theory which says that au Increase of money
means rising prices and a decrease of money
means falling prices. This doctrine, which is a
demonstrated fact today, was deemed a wicked
and abominable horosy in 189G and tho priests
of high financo cursed it by bell, book and
candle. Now they aw appealing to It a tho
explanation of our troubles and saying with a
largo moasuro of truth, that the onornious ex
pansion of credit and money as a result of tho
war has caused the high cost of living.
Decidedly, Mr. Bryan has reason to feel
pleased. But looking at the case with the ex
pensive wisdom gathered perforce in tho last
few years, one can see that the remedy for
fluctuating prices does not He In the coinage of
any one or two metals. There must be some
plan for stabilizing, not the size or tho color,
but the purchasing power of a dollar. Somo
way must bo foundto make money a real stand
ard of valuo,- instead of, as now, a mere unit
of financial counting and medium of exchange
Chicago Journal.
$ I il I " ! MM
General Pershing's name is again figuring In
the dispatches as the man the republicans arc
likely to nominate for president. The homo
folk3 at Lincoln recently held a meeting that
is regarded as the initial move in the effort to
project him into the republican fight. General
Wood has apparently been making so much poli
tical hay that the idea held by some republican
chieftains that this is not a good time to asl
the people to put a military man at the heaot
of the government has undergone a change.
Tho trad reports show a larger amount of
wool In the hands of the government, the dealers
and the manufacturer than a year ago, and yet
prices of clothing show no sign of recoding. They
also show that a greater number of hides and
prices of leather are on hand than at the begin
ning of December of last year, and yet the prlce
of shoes are as high as ever. And yet wo hear
a great deal about the necessity of greater pro
duction if there is to be any decrease la the
cost of necessaries of life.
n? .
1 -r.!
' 1

xml | txt