The Silver Question and the Sherman Law.
(Note. — On July 31st, last, the New York Herald asked my opinion on the silver question and the sentiment of the State on the repeal of the Sherman Law. Below is my answer, which the Herald refused to publish.)
The bankers and brokers of the large cities and the large daily papers favor repeal. I believe the general sentiment of the State wants something satisfactory substituted in case the law is repealed. Under the Sherman act nearly fifty million dollars per annum are added to the circulating medium of this country, and to this limited extent it helps to keep up prices. The idea that the Sherman act is the cause of our trouble is ridiculous. The present difficulty lies much deeper. It is not local to this country, but extends over the world. Mr. Goshen, the great ex-chancellor and banker of England, was right when he told an association of bankers some years ago that, as the country was already well banked and the credit system could not be much extended, therefore, to prevent the shrinkage in values there should be an annual increase in the volume of money; first, in proportion to the increase of population; second, increase of territory over which business was done; and, third, increase in the general industries of the world. At present 93 per cent. of the business of the country is done on the credit system, and rests, like an inverted pyramid, on the seven per cent. of money. The base being so small, a slight disturbance will destroy the great superstructure. Up to 1871 and 1873, the two metals had done the business of the world. It is true the English government demonetized silver in 1816, but this made no impression so long as the rest of the world used it. In 1873 Germany, by law, stopped the use of silver and threw four hundred million dollars upon the market.
Denmark and some smaller countries allied with Germany also by law stopped the use of silver. The same influence, that is, the money power, that secured this law in Germany got France and the countries of the Latin Union to, by law, stop coining silver, and got the United States at the same time to, by law, demonetize silver, so that the great commercial nations of the world by law stopped the use of silver and threw the entire burden of the business of the world onto gold. This leglslation was secured by the moneyed classes. Some years after that, in the address referred to, Mr. Goshen told the bankers of London that the effect of thus increasing the burden of gold and making