INTERNATIONAL  MONETARY  CONFERENCE  OF  1878

 

FIRST  SESSION : SATERDAY  AUGUST  10,  1878

 


The Delegates of Austria-Hungary, Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, Sweden and Norway, Switzerland and of the United States of America, met at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris, France, at 1.30 p.m.  on the 10th of August.  There were present :

–  for Austria-Hungary :

Mr. von Hengelmüller

 

–  for Belgium :

Mr. Pirmez

Mr. Garnier

 

–  for France :

Mr. Léon Say

Mr. Charles Jagerschmidt

Mr. Ruau

–  for Italy :

Count Rusconi

Mr. Baralis

Mr. Ressman

 

–  for the Netherlands :

Mr. Mees

 

–  for Russia :

Mr. de Thoerner

 

–  for Sweden and Norway :

Dr. Wörn

Dr. Broch

 

–  for Switzerland :

Mr. Lardy

 

–  for the United States of America :

Mr. Fenton

Mr. Groesbeck

General Walker.

 

Upon the motion of Mr. Fenton, who called the Conference to order, Mr. Léon Say, the French Minister of Finance, was chosen President.

Upon taking the chair, and after he had cordially welcomed the Delegates from the other nations in the name of the French Government, Mr. Say thanked his colleagues for the honor which they had conferred upon him in choosing him to preside over their deliberations.  The studies upon which the Conference was about to enter from a practical standpoint, relating as they did to difficult and much-debated problems, would certainly not fail, he said, to contribute to the advancement of economic science, and he was proud, for his own part, to be called to take part in them among gentlemen so distinguished for their experience and their intelligence.

Upon motion of Mr. Léon Say, Mr. Fenton, Chairman of the United States Commission, was made the Vice-President of the Conference.

Mr. Ernest Crampon, a Consul of France of the first class, and Mr. Henri Jagerschmidt, Auditeur at the Council of State and Secretary of the Minister of Finance, were appointed Secretaries of the Conference.

The Conference being thus organized for the transaction of business, the President, Mr. Léon Say, spoke as follows :

You are aware, Gentlemen, for what reason this Conference is convened, and what object the United States of America proposed to the Conference in taking the initiative of calling it together.  You are also aware under what circumstances the five states which compose the Latin Union, and which have the Double Standard, have thought best, while preserving to Silver its Legal Tender quality, to restrict its Coinage within narrow limits, and, within the past year, to suspend it entirely.

The adoption by Germany of the Single Standard of Gold, coinciding with a superabundant production of the American Silver mines, was a cause of inconvenience, and a source of possibly serious embarrassment to the Latin Union, against which they felt that they ought to take measures to protect themselves.

Germany found herself in possession of a large mass of Silver to sell, ‘the disposal of which she was able to effect with greater or less rapidity.  In what measure is this operation already accomplished, and how much ‘influence has it exercised in the depreciation of that metal ? This is a question which it was not easy to understand in advance, and which cannot be answered with accuracy even to-day.

England, whose Monetary System in Europe rests upon the Gold Standard, and in Asia upon the Silver Standard, had herself become sensible of the difficulties which threatened to affect, or which had already affected, the Money Market, and at the close of an investigation made under the direction of the eminent Mr. Goschen, this conclusion was reached – that the causes of the depreciation of Silver could not be clearly understood until Germany should have completed to the full measure of her intention the sale of her stock of Silver.  It is in the presence of such doubts and of such contingencies that the Latin Union, as a measure of prudence, has remained in an expectant attitude.

In the meantime the United States of America have adopted the policy of returning to the system of the Double Standard, adopting also as in the past their ratio of 1 to 16, instead of 1 to 15 ½, which is the relation of the two Money Metals in the Latin Union; they have recommenced the Coinage of Silver dollars, but in limited quantity, and have decided in Congress that the Cabinet at Washington should be invited to come to an understanding with the other Governments to devise means of establishing internationally a fixed ratio, the same in all the countries, between the value of Gold and Silver Coins.

These, Gentlemen, are the causes of our meeting.

Such being the origin of the Conference, it seems to me that we might ask the gentlemen from the United States to have the goodness to make known to us the intentions and views of their government; we shall thus gain from their communication a programme, or, if it seems best, a series of questions, upon which the order of our further discussions may be based.

The President, Mr. Say, then called upon the Chairman of the United States Commission, Mr. Fenton, who spoke as follows :

Mr. President and gentlemen : As the representatives of some of the countries which have accepted the invitation to this Conference have not yet arrived, we wish to say very little more at this first meeting than to thank you, Mr. President, for your words of welcome.

The Government of the United States, however, having asked the Governments of Europe to join in conference, its representatives desire, at the outset, to express the acknowledgments of their country to the nations which have so cordially responded to its invitation.  We not only recognize the courtesy and the regard for the common interests of the great family of nations which have inspired your assembling, but we also appreciate the hopefulness imparted to this gracious response by the selection of so distinguished a body of gentlemen to consider the important subject entrusted to our deliberations.

It is a happy circumstance that, in the liberal spirit of our age, governments and peoples can unite, not merely to preserve peace, but to cultivate its arts and promote its industries.  We meet while Europe is yet celebrating there cent victories of peace, and while this stately capital witnesses the noble display of the world’s progress.  It is with real pleasure that the representatives of the United States congratulate you upon the assembling of the Conference, amid these auspicious surroundings, to undertake a work so closely affecting the common interests of the nations.

It marks the beneficent advance of civilization that the commercial relations of different countries grow nearer and firmer year by year.  Thus we come to see more clearly the community of interests among nations, and are wisely prompted to cultivate more and more friendly intercourse.  Among the measures to this end, we cannot be insensible to the benefits which would flow from a uniform basis as to international coin-metal exchanges.

The experience of mankind has confirmed the employment of the two precious metals as the Money of the world, and in the long records of time both have played honorable parts in the grand economy of material development.  They have been faithful servants.  It seems to us, speaking for our government, better to try and hold them both, despite the fact that they do not always pull evenly together.  In this respect, the lessons of history point equally to the importance and success of general co-operation, for we find that in the long run the equilibrium has been well kept.  Whatever the ebb and flow of the varying metal currents, and however widely policies may now and then have differed, there will be no dissent from the statement that the two Money Metals must remain associated, as far as we can see, in greater or less proportions in the financial systems of civilization.

We are here to consider, and we respectfully invoke your wisdom to the end, that their relative values may become practically fixed and stable, and that both may receive the free use which comes from international acceptance upon a common basis.

Without anticipating your discussion, it is but an expression of the distinct object of the Conference, as indicated by the law under which the representatives of the United States are commissioned to meet you, that we will be able to agree upon «a common ratio between Gold and Silver, for the purpose of establishing, internationally, the use of Bimetallic Money, and securing fixity of relative value between those two metals.»  The specific means of attaining this object, we trust, will soon be developed in the discussion and comparison of views which is to follow.

We congratulate ourselves upon your co-operation to this end, feeling that no problem of economic science, and especially none looking to the common weal of nations, is too great for practical statesmanship.

The President (Mr. Say) was of the opinion that before entering into the discussion of the measures proposed by the American Government concerning the international establishment of an identical and fixed ratio between the value of the two metals, which would immediately give rise in the midst of the Conference to absolute contradictions among the various systems, and would perhaps tend to delay the discussion before all the members had been heard, it would be of advantage if the Conference should occupy itself primarily to ascertain the facts which are considered as having an influence on such a ratio, and that they should, first of all, obtain a knowledge as exact and thorough as possible of all matters pertaining to the general monetary situation.  It would naturally be necessary to that end that the Delegates should, by placing them upon the table, communicate to each other such official documents or statistics as they possessed concerning the subject under discussion.  A body of information would thus be formed with which each one might familiarize himself, and those of the documents which, in small compass, offered most points of interest, could, according to the usual custom, be printed as Exhibits of the Journal.

Count Rusconi asked whether it would not be more logical to first decide whether such a fixed ratio was possible, before studying the documents and discussing the facts concerning its establishment.

The President (Mr. Say) observed that monetary questions were, without exception, practical questions, and should, in his opinion, not only not be decided, but not even approached and discussed, except after the study of the facts and of their relations.  The question of the possible existence of a fixed and permanent international ratio, although a question of principle, implied also a knowledge of the facts which might either maintain or change such ratio.  The arguments on both sides of the question would possess more value if they accorded with correct and well-established facts, than if presented in the beginning in a form purely academic and in accordance with a preconceived opinion.

Mr. Lardy thought it would be impossible to enter into discussion upon any point before the arrival of the English delegates, who represented the Single Gold Standard.  For his part, he thought it better to pause for a time, until the official documents upon the monetary situation had been received – some representing the English, some the Belgian, some the Austrian investigation of the subject; also the record of the discussions on the question in the American Congress, &c.

As the result of these various observations, the Conference adopted the plan proposed by the President, and adjourned until Friday for the second session, and it was understood that, in the mean tune, the Delegates from the various states would provide themselves with documents and statistics relating to the monetary condition of their respective states, and, as far as possible, with statements concerning the monetary affairs of states not represented, and would furnish the same to the Conference.

Mr. Broch, entering at once into the views and wishes of the Conference, asked permission to place upon the table a statement concerning :

  I.  The variations in the ratio of Gold and Silver since the Middle Ages.

 II.  A comparison of Gold Coins.

III.  A schedule of various Coins which have already been proposed to serve as a universal Money.

The President (Mr. Say) thanked Dr. Broch for his interesting communication, and the Conference decided upon its insertion in the Journal (Exhibit A).

Mr. Ruau placed upon the table a diagram showing the monthly variations in the quotations of Silver in the London market from 1873 to 1878 (Exhibit B).

Mr. Lardy expressed the regret of Mr. Feer-Herzog, who was detained at Bern by urgent duties in the National Council, that he was unable to be present and participate in the first session.

Upon the suggestion of Mr. Groesbeck, it was understood that the Journals of the Conference being as usual in French, the Conference should so proceed in its discussions, that any declaration or observation made in the course of the session might be immediately translated, either viva voce or in writing, for whoever should demand it; and that these translations should be made at once by some person of confidence, whom the Delegates of the different States should have the right to introduce, each on its own account, in the Hall of the Conference.

The session closed at 3 ½ o’clock.

 

EXHIBITS  OF  THE  FIRST  SESSION

 

 Exhibit A : Certain figures useful in the study of the monetary question

by Dr Ö.-J. Broch


London is now the great market of the world for Gold and Silver.

The price of Silver is there expressed in pence by the ounce of Silver of the fineness of 925 ‰ («Standard Silver»).

The relation between the price of pure Gold and of pure Silver, or between Gold and Silver of the same fineness, may be found by dividing the number 943 by the number of pence paid per ounce «Standard Silver».

Thus if the price of an ounce of Silver 925 ‰ fine is noted at 55 ½, the relation of Gold to Silver is 943/15 ½ = 16.991.

According to the Coinage laws of Great Britain, 1869 sovereigns or pounds sterling are to be struck out of 40 pounds troy of Gold 11/12 fine.  The pound troy containing 12 ounces, it follows that the ounce of Gold 11/12 fine, which is the Standard fineness of the Gold Coins, is worth 1,869/(40 × 12) = 3 429/480 pounds sterling, or £ 3.17 s. 10 ½ d. = 934 ½ d.  Hence the ounce of pure Gold is worth 934 ½ × 12/11 pence.

On the other hand, if the ounce of Silver at 925 ‰ fine («Standard Silver») is worth x pence, the ounce of fine Silver will be worth x × 40/37 pence.

From this is deduced the relation of pure Gold to pure Silver, or what is the same thing between Gold and Silver of the same fineness.  

934 ½ × 12/11

x × 40/37

=

 

934 ½ × 12/11 × 37/40

x

=

 

942.995 455

x

or, with more than sufficient accuracy, 943/x.

Thus in the price of «Standard Silver» on the London market :

62 d.
61
60
59
58
57
56
55
54
53
52
51
50

corresponds to the ratio

15.210
15.459
15.717
15.983
16.259
16.544
16.839
17.145
17.463
17.792
18.135
18.490
18.860

 

In the Middle Ages the relation between the price of Gold and that of Silver was from 10 ½ to 12.  According to the various monetary laws this relation should have been :

In the year 1526
1542
1551
1559
1561
1575

in England

in Germany

in France

11.30
11.10
11.17
11.45
11.70
11.68

 

It was only after the discovery of the rich mines of Silver at Potosi in 1545, and still more after the invention of the method of cold amalgamation in 1557, that Silver began to fall as compared with Gold.

In the year 1604
1612
1619
1619
1667
1669
1670
1679
1685

in Great Britain


in France
in Germany

in Great Britain
in France

12.16
13.30
13.35
13.51
14.15
15.11
14.50
15.00
15.10


According to the exchanges quoted at Hamburg, with reference to Dutch Ducats, the relation of the price of Gold to that of Silver is calculated to have been from :

1687-1700
1701-1720
1721-1740
1741-1790
1791-1800

average

14.97
15.21
15.08
14.74
15.42

 

In the XIXth century the relation between the price of Gold and that of Silver has been, in the London market, from :

1801-1810
1811-1820
1821-1830
1831-1840
1841-1850

average

15.60
15.51
15.80
15.67
15.85

 

After the discovery, in 1848, of rich Gold beds in California and later in Australia, the relation between the price of Gold and that of Silver in the London market has been :

In 1850
1851
1852
1853
1854
1855
1856
1857
1858
1859
1860
1861
1862
1863
1864
1865
1866

average

15.70
15.46
15.59
15.33
15.33
15.36
15.33
15.29
15.36
15.21
15.27
15.50
15.35
15.38
15.35
15.46
15.41

 

After the discovery of the rich Silver mines in California, in Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado, in the United States, the price of Silver began to fall, and the fell was accelerated by the introduction of the Gold Standard in the place of the Silver Standard in Germany in 1872 and in the Scandinavian Countries in 1873.  The relation between the price of Gold and that of Silver in the London market was :

In 1867
1868
1869
1870
1871
1872
1873
1874
1875
1876
1877

average

15.57
15.60
15.60
15.58
15.58
15.63
15.92
16.17
16.58
17.84
17.01

 

The lowest price of Silver in relation to Gold was reached in July, 1876 : the price of Silver 925 ‰ fine had then fallen in London to 46 ¾ d. per ounce, a price which corresponds with the relation of 20.17 between the price of Gold and that of Silver of the same fineness.

The prices of late (about August 1, 1878) have ranged from 52 n to 52 ¾ d. per ounce Standard corresponding to the relation of 17.90.

 

II.  – Comparative Table of Gold Coins

According to the fineness or proportion of alloy there are in the world two great systems of Gold Coins : that of the fineness of 11/12, and that of the fineness of 9/10.

Beside these, there are only Egypt, Mexico, and the Philippine Islands which have coined Gold Coins of the fineness of 7/8, and the Ducats of the Netherlands and of Austria, which are of the fineness of 0.983; but the ducats are not, properly speaking, Money, having no fixed relation to the Money of account.

The specific gravity of the Gold Coins at the fineness of 11/12 is 17.49; that of the Coins at the fineness of 9/10 is 17.165; and that of the Coins at the fineness of 7/8 is 16.70.

 

Countries

Principal Gold Coins

Legal weight in grammes Weight of pure Gold Value in Gold francs

France, Belgium, Switzerland
Italy
Greece
Roumania
Finland
Austria-Hungary
German Empire
Sweden, Norway, Denmark
Netherlands
Spain
United States of America
United States of Colombia
United States of Venezuela
Peru
Chili
Japan
Great Britain and Ireland
English India
Portugal
Russia
Ottoman Empire
Persian Empire
Brazil
Egypt
Mexico

20 francs
20 lires
20 drachmes
20 leys
20 markas
8 gulden
20 reichsmark
20 kroner
10 gulden
25 pesetas
½ eagle of 5 dollars
5 pesos
5 venezolanos
5 sols
5 pesos
5 yen
sovereign of 20 sh.
½ mohur of 10 roupies
½ crown of 5 milreis
½ imperial of 5 roubles
pound of 100 piastres
toman of 100 shahis
10 milreis
100 piastres
5 pesos

6.451 61
6.451 61
6.451 61
6.451 61
6.451 61
6.451 61
7.964 95
8.960 57
6.720
8.064 52
8.359 06
8.064 52
8.064 52
8.064 52
7.626 5
8.333 33
7.988 15
7.776
8.867 5
6.545
7.216 4
3.760
8.964 5
8.544
8.460

5.806 45
5.806 45
5.806 45
5.806 45
5.806 45
5.806 45
7.168 46
8.064 52
6.048
7.258 06
7,523 16
7.258 06
7.258 06
7.258 06
6.863 8
7.500
7.322 39
7.128
8.128 5
5.999 6
6.615
3.446 7
8.227 46
7.476
7.402 5

20.00
20.00
20.00
20.00
20.00
20.00
24.69 14
27.77 78
20.83 2
25.00
25.91 51
25.00
25.00
25.00
23.64 22
25.83 33
25.22 15
24.55 2
27.99 83
20.06 52
22.78 51
11.87
28.30 46
25.75
25.50

 

III.  – Gold Coins proposed as universal Money

 

 

Gold Coins 9/10 fine, of the value of

100 francs of 32 8/31 g 25 francs of 8 2/31 g 20 francs of 6 14/31 g

France, Belgium, Switzerland
Italy
Greece
Roumania
Finland
Austria-Hungary
German Empire
Sweden, Norway, Denmark
Netherlands
Spain
United States of America
United States of Colombia
United States of Venezuela
Peru
Japan
Great Britain and Ireland
English India
Portugal
Russia
Ottoman Empire
Persian Empire
Brazil
Egypt
Mexico

100 francs
100 lires
100 drachmes
100 leys
100 markas
40 gulden
81 mark
72 kroner
48 gulden
100 pesetas
$ 19.29 5
20 pesos
20 venezolanos
20 sols
¥ 19.35 5
£ 3 19 sh. 3 d.
40.73 roupies
17,858 reis
24.19 5 roubles
438.9 piastres
8.42 3 tomans
35,287 reis
388.34 piastres
19.61 pesos

25 francs
25 lires
25 drachmes
25 leys
25 markas
10 gulden
20.25 mark
18 kroner
12 gulden
25 pesetas
$ 4.82 4
5 pesos
5 venezolanos
5 sols
¥ 4.83 9
19 sh. 9 d.
10.18 roupies
4,464 reis
6.04 9 roubles
109.7 piastres
2.10 6 tomans
8,822 reis
97.08 5 piastres
4.90 pesos

20 francs
20 lires
20 drachmes
20 leys
20 markas
8 gulden
16.20 mark
14.40 kroner
9.60 gulden
20 pesetas
$ 3.86
4 pesos
4 venezolanos
4 sols
¥ 3.83 9
15 sh. 10 d.
8.15 roupies
3,572 reis
4.84 roubles
87.78 piastres
1.68 5 tomans
7,057 reis
77.66 8 piastres
3.92 pesos

 

 

Pays

Gold Coins 9/10 fine, of the weight of

10 g

8 g

France, Belgium, Switzerland
Italy
Greece
Roumania
Finland
Austria-Hungary
German Empire
Sweden, Norway, Denmark
Netherlands
Spain
United States of America
United States of Colombia
United States of Venezuela
Peru
Japan
Great Britain and Ireland
English India
Portugal
Russia
Ottoman Empire
Persian Empire
Brazil
Egypt
Mexico

31 francs
31 lires
31 drachmes
31 leys
31 markas
12.40 fl.
25.11 m.
23.32 kr.
14.88 fl.
31 pesetas
$ 5.98 2
6.20 p.
6.20 v.
6.20 s.
¥ 6
1 £ 4 sh. 7 d.
12.63 roupies
5,556 reis
7.50 roubles
136.1 piastres
2.61 t.
10,639 reis
120.39 piastres
6.08 pesos

24.80 francs
24.80 lires
24.80 drachmes
24.80 leys
24.80 markas
9.92 fl.
20.08 8 m.
17.85 6 kr.
11.90 4 fl.
24.80 pesetas
$ 4.78 5
4.96 p.
4.96 v.
4.96 s.
¥ 4.80
19 sh. 8 d.
10.10 roupies
4,429 reis
6 roubles
108.8 piastres
2.09 t.
8,751 reis
96.31 piastres
4.86 pesos

 

Mr. Sherman, as Senator of the United States, proposed, as an International Coin a piece of Gold of 125.56 troy grains, 900 ‰ fine; it will weigh 8.135868 grammes, and will contain 7.332281 grammes of fine Gold.

It will be in fact the English sovereign recoined at the fineness of 900 ‰; it will only differ from it by 1/300 of an English penny.

Mr. Sherman proposes to accept it as $ 5, although in comparison with the American eagle of 900 ‰, it is only worth $ 4.8665.

This Coin or the pound sterling will have the value of :

France, Belgium, Switzerland
Italy
Greece
Roumania
Finland
Austria-Hongary
German Empire
Sweden, Norway, Denmark
Netherlands
Spain
United States of America, present coinage
United States of America, in coinage proposed
United States of Colombia
United States of Venezuela
Peru
Japan
Great Britain and Ireland
English India
Portugal
Russia
Ottoman Empire
Persian Empire
Brazil
Egypt
Mexico

25.22 1 francs
25.22 1 lires
25.22 1 drachmes
25.22 1 leys
25.22 1 markas
10.08 8 gulden
20.42 9 mark
18.15 9 kroner
12.10 6 florin
25.22 1 pesetas
$ 4.86 65
$ 5
5.04 4 pesos
5.04 4 venezolanos
5.04 4 sols
¥ 4.88 15
£ 1
10.27 roupies
4,504 reis
6.10 5 roubles
110.65 piastres
2 tomans 12 shahis
8,900 reis
97.94 piastres
4.95 pesos

 

Dr Ö.-J. Broch  

 

Return

 

SECOND  SESSION : FRIDAY  AUGUST  16,  1878



There were present :

The Delegates of Austria-Hungary, Belgium, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Russia, Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, and of The United States of America, who assisted at the first session; and :

–  for Great Britain :

Right Hon. Mr. Goschen

Mr. Gibbs  

Sir Thomas L. Seccombe  

 

–  for Greece :  

Mr. Delyanni

 

–  for Switzerland :  

M. Feer-Herzog.  

The session was opened at half past one p.m.  The minutes of the first session having been read and confirmed, Mr. Fenton introduced to the Conference Mr. S. Dana Horton, whom the Congress had adjoined to the American Delegation, and requested that he be admitted to the Conference on the same footing as Mr. Groesbeck, General Walker, and himself.  In making this request he was acting at the instance of the Government of the United States.

The President (Mr. Say) took official notice of the desire expressed by Mr. Fenton, and congratulated himself upon the assistance which, on account of his special knowledge, Mr. Horton would be enabled to lend to the labors of the Conference.

Mr. William Brampton Gordon, who had been adjoined to the English Delegation by the Government of Her Britannic Majesty, was likewise invited to take his seat.

Mr. Goschen laid upon the table the printed report of the Inquiry made in England in 1876 into the Depreciation of Silver, and a manuscript note on the Currency Systems of the various parts of the British Empire.  The Conference decides that this second document be annexed to the Journal (Exhibit A).

Mr. Mees presented a note on the Monetary Legislation of the Netherlands (Exhibit B).

Mr. Lardy presented a collection of all the legislative or international documents concerning the Monetary System of the Swiss Confederation.

Mr. Fenton laid upon the table documents and memoranda bearing on the monetary question, and offered, if desired, to submit the Statutes at Large of the United States.  Reference, however, to those laws, and a brief statement of their import, could be found in the volume recently published by Dr. Linderman, Superintendent of the United States Mint.  A list of these works was then laid upon the table by Mr. Fenton (Exhibit C).

Mr. Broch explained in what manner and for what reasons the Government of Sweden and Norway came to decide to take part in the Conference.  If the Conference had necessarily had for its exclusive object, as the public had at first been induced to suppose, the relation to be established between Gold and Silver, it was clear that for the Scandinavian States, as for all states which have a Single Standard, this question could offer no practical utility; but when it was subsequently understood that, in the view of the Government of the United States, the Conference was to treat of more general questions, and that the Government of the United States was even favorable to the creation of a Coin of universal circulation, it became evident that the Scandinavian countries need no longer abstain from taking part.  On the field of discussion thus enlarged their place was marked.  In any case the resolution to take part in the Conference was not formed until it was understood in Sweden and Norway to what extent and under what reservations England herself had resolved to participate in it.

By a letter addressed to Count Piper, Minister of His Majesty, the King of Sweden and Norway, at London, his colleague of the United States wrote to him of date July 1,1878 :

July 1, 1878.

My dear colleague : Having had the invitation for the bimetallic Conference widened, so as to include the consideration of the Coins of the various countries with reference to a universal currency, the British Government has determined to send Delegates with the understanding that in doing so it does not commit itself to any conclusions which may be reached.

(Signed)   WELSH.

To Count PIPER,
Minister for Sweden and Norway at London.

It is precisely under the same conditions, and under the same reservations, that the Delegates of Sweden and Norway have been sent here.  We have no authority, Mr. Broch added, to make any engagement to bind our country, but we trust that the questions proposed in the Conference will enable us to make our views known.

Mr. Fenton announced that in order to respond to a desire expressed by various members of the Conference, the American Delegates had decided among themselves that in to-day’s session Mr. Groesbeck should develop the views of the Government of the United States, and formulate the questions upon which the Conference might be called upon to pronounce itself.

Mr. Groesbeck stated that the United States had no wish to be intrusive, but rather to co-operate with the other states in a common policy.  It having been suggested, however, that the United States as the promoter of the Conference would be expected to explain the object of calling the Delegates, together, he rose to explain the reasons of the invitation.

The object of the Conference was to restore Silver to its former position; to equalize Gold and Silver upon a ratio to be fixed by agreement.  This, said Mr. Groesbeck, is the principal object of the Conference.  I desire, however, to say in addition, speaking in the name of ray colleagues, that we shall be happy to come to an understanding with the Delegates of Sweden and Norway, and of all other States interested in the establishment of a coin of universal circulation.

For the rest, Mr. Groesbeck desired that it should be clearly understood that upon no question had the American Delegates the power to bind their country.  We are charged, he said, with elucidating or solving with you a problem of political economy, and if at the close of our investigations we agree upon any solution, it will be our duty to make report of it to our government – a report the conclusions of which transformed into a bill can be voted upon and adopted by Congress alone.  The task which has been confided to us is, therefore, the same as your own.  It is held within the same limits.

Entering then upon the financial situation of the United States, Mr. Groesbeck expressed the firm and unshakable determination of his country to place itself at the date appointed, that is to say, on the 1st of January, 1879, in the position of a specie-paying State.

The law was precise; it would be executed on the day appointed.  A letter of the Secretary of the Treasury, which he would read if it were necessary, affirmed this with authority.  If, then, said Mr. Groesbeck, we agree upon a measure of common interest, the United States, before the delays inevitable in the discussion of such a question are at an end, will have become, on the 1st of January next, a specie-paying Nation; we shall have effectually acquired, you may be sure, the ability to take our full share in executing any engagement we may enter into.

Mr. Groesbeck then directed attention to an error, a prejudice, which it appeared had found its way to many minds.  It was said that the United States had taken the initiative in the Conference because they were a Silver-producing country, and that they had as a State peculiar interest in the monetary question.  This was not correct.  The United States as a State had no interest in the working either of Silver or of Gold mines.  They had no more interest in them than in the carrying on of this or that branch of agriculture or manufactures.  The government had no royalty in these mines, and realized absolutely no profit from them.  They did not even raise taxes out of this product.  These mines and their product were entirely the property of the private persons, native or stranger, who had bought them.  Each separate State, the State of Nevada, the State of California, imposed a tax upon the soil in which were these mines just as they did on arable land or other kind of real property within their borders, but there was nothing taken out of the product which was drawn from them.  So true is this, said Mr. Groesbeck, that since the remonetization of Silver the government has found itself compelled to buy as much Silver in the London market as in America.

And besides, were the United States, he asked, as great producers of Silver as had been represented ? Here was another error which he also desired to rectify.  In the last quarter of a century the yield of Gold mines in the United States had been four times as great as that of the Silver mines.  The yield of the Gold mines had, it was true, decreased, and that of the Silver mines increased in enormous proportions.  But it was well that it should be understood that in the great Comstock lode, which was the most productive of all, such a depth had now been reached that the time was near when the working would have to be suspended, unless it should be extremely remunerative.  Sow, geologists and other persons of experience had observed that the argentiferous veins, or lodes, in many of the mines of Nevada had shown a tendency to become narrower as they descend, a fact which gave a prospect of a gradual decrease of the production of silver.  Of the total amount produced in the last year, $ 39,000,000, Nevada had furnished $ 26,000,000.  There remained $ 13,000,000 for all the other mines.  It was plain to what extent the yield of Silver would be restricted in the United States when Nevada should come to make the default which was now anticipated.

The remonetization of Silver is, therefore, in no sense an enterprise undertaken by the United States selfishly, with a view to private profit; nor is it a new undertaking.  They have been in the use of the two metals from the time the government was organized.  It is no new system which they propose to establish; it is the old system, that under which they have long lived and prospered, to which they are returning.  From 1792 to the day when, by a sort of inadvertence, in 1873, the Silver Standard was suppressed, not a merchant, not a banker, not a manufacturer, not an establishment, nor an interest of any kind, could be cited as having raised any objection to the simultaneous use of the two metals.  Bi-metallism is, therefore, in the United States not only a tradition of the law, but has entered deeply into the habits of the people.

From this double point of view Mr. Groesbeck then presented a short historical résumé of American legislation.

It was in 1792 that the first coinage law was passed, and by this law the ratio between the two metals was fixed at 1 to 15.  At this epoch neither France nor her monetary allies of to-day had yet established the relation of 1 to 15 ½.  In 1834-7 the ratio had been changed; in place of the ratio of 1 to 15 the United States had adopted the ratio of 1 to 15.98, or, to use the common expression, 1 to 16.  This ratio was maintained until 1873.  Notwithstanding, in these varying phases of our monetary history, the Silver dollar has never been touched.  The Gold coins have been changed, but the Silver dollar has remained such as it was in the first days of the Republic.

It can, therefore, be said that the United States from their foundation to the present day have always had the same Silver Money.  The coin whose restoration was decided upon in 1878 is not a new coin; it is an ancient coin to which we are returning because it embodies an ancient, favorite policy.

In 1873, in a law which did not very accurately carry out its purpose, Silver was made to disappear through inadvertence rather than intentionally, by an omission to say anything about it.  As a matter of fact the Silver Standard was found to have been suppressed.  The example of Germany had proved contagious; no newspaper had discussed the question; public opinion, by no means enlightened, was, so to speak, taken unawares, and great surprise was felt when, a short time after the law was passed, the change was fully perceived.

In 1878, the legislator, better advised, desired to re-establish in its integrity the traditional money system of the United States; he put Silver upon the footing of equality with Gold, and, in order the better to secure for the future the simultaneous use of the two metals, brought about the convocation of this Conference.  The law which has been passed this year is the due expression of public opinion.  In voting it Congress has shown itself, let it be well -understood, the faithful interpreter of the sentiments and of the wishes of the American people.  Sever has a law so important been passed by a majority so great as that which passed the law remonetizing Silver.

If, added Mr. Groesbeck, contrary to our intention, which was to treat the two metals on the footing of perfect equality, we have nevertheless limited the coinage of Silver, this was on our side a mere measure of precaution adopted provisionally on account of the condition of the market of the metals in Europe and of the measures taken by the States of the Latin Union.

This restriction was in a manner imposed upon us by circumstances; but the Conference will not lose sight of the fact that, although limiting the coinage of Silver, the American Legislature decided, in article 2 of the bill, that the Executive should seek, in conference with other governments, the means by the aid of which the Coinage of Silver, like that of Gold, can in the future be rendered free.

Mr. Groesbeck closed in proposing to the Conference to pronounce itself on the two following propositions :

I.

It is the opinion of this assembly that it is not to lie desired, that Silver should, he excluded, from free Coinage in Europe and.  the United.  States of America.  On the contrary, the assembly believe that it is desirable that the unrestricted Coinage of Silver, and.  its use as Money of unlimited Legal Tender, should be retained, where they exist, and, as far as practicable, restored, where they have ceased to exist.

II.

The use of both Gold and Silver as unlimited Legal-Tender Money may be safely adopted : first, by equalizing them at a relation to be fixed, by international agreement; and, secondly, by granting to each metal at the relation fixed equal terms of Coinage, making no discrimination between them.

Mr. Fenton presented to the Conference the following translation of these propositions :

I.

La Conférence est d’avis qu’il n’est pas désirable que le métal argent soit exclu du libre monnayage en Europe et aux États-Unis d’Amérique.  Elle croit, au contraire, désirable que le libre monnayage de l’argent et son emploi comme monnaie légale ayant force libératoire illimitée, soient maintenus dans les pays où ils existent et, autant que cela pourra se faire, rétablis dans ceux ou ils ont cessé d’exister.

II.

L’emploi simultané de l’or et de l’argent, comme monnaie légale ayant cours illimité, peut être assuré sans inconvénient :

1°.  En les mettant sur un pied d’égalité au moyen d’un rapport à fixer par entente internationale.

2°.  En adoptant pour chaque métal, d’après le rapport fixé, des conditions égales de frappe, sans qu’il soit fait entre eux aucune distinction.

The President (Mr. Say) expressed thanks to Mr. Groesbeck for the explanations which he had given, and dwelt upon the interest which the Conference would feel in learning still more in detail the motives which had determined the United States to limit the Coinage of Silver Money.

Mr. Goschen expressed the desire to know precisely what signification was to be attached to the word «inadvertence», which Mr. Groesbeck made use of in saying that the demonetization of Silver in the United States in 1873 had been a surprise to the public.

Mr. Groesbeck replied that by «inadvertence», he meant that the American people had never been asked whether they wished Silver to remain a Legal Tender; that no newspaper had called attention to the change, nor had any Chamber of Commerce or Board of Trade considered or recommended it.  It occurred while the government was in a state of suspension, and when public attention was not sufficiently directed to the subject.

Later, when the measure produced results of which no notice had been given, and notably to take away from the country the use of a money to which it had been accustomed from the first day of its existence, public opinion showed itself justly disturbed.

The movement caused a searching investigation by the ablest minds, followed by protracted discussions in Congress and before the people.

The result was that Silver was restored.

Mr. Gibbs asked if this resolution was taken without preparatory debate in the Congress ?

Mr. Groesbeck recognized that there was some divergence of ideas, but thought he was right in insisting on the fact that a considerable number of members of Congress had confessed to him that, at the time the decision was made in 1873, they had not known what they were doing.  As to the question proposed by the President, in relation to the limitation of Coinage, he believed he could affirm that the decision taken by the United States had been prompted by that of the States of the Latin Union.  From the moment that the countries which had themselves maintained the Double Standard shut their gates to Silver, it became necessary, in order to maintain the equilibrium, not to open wide those of the American Union, but to hold back in order to obtain by international agreement the restoration of Free Coinage in all countries at the same time; and it was precisely this, added the American Delegate, which brought us here.

Mr. Feer-Herzog remarked that long before the Law of 1873 Silver had disappeared from circulation in the United States; the actual circulation consisted of Gold and Paper Money.  During the long period of time of which Mr. Groesbeck spoke, from 1792 to 1873, there had only been coined about eight millions of Silver dollars, while in the three or four months that had succeeded the passage of the Bland Bill an equal amount of these dollars had been coined.

As to what Mr. Groesbeck had said of the «inadvertence» in consequence of which the Law of 1873 had been passed, and of the surprise which the effects of this Law were supposed to have provoked in consequence, Mi".  Feer-Herzog laid upon the table documents relating to the preliminary preparation of that Law – documents published by the Government of the United States.  It appeared, he said, from these documents, that it was riot by a mere accidental oversight, but voluntarily and with reflection that the suppression of the Silver Standard was determined upon.  It was expressly stated that Gold was to be, in the future, the sole Monetary Standard of the United States, and that Silver should cease to be a Standard (Exhibit D).

It is, therefore, said Mr. Feer-Herzog, difficult to admit that there was any inadvertence; and as for subsequent surprise, that seems hardly more admissible.  Mr. Groesbeck has spoken of the re-establishment of Silver by the will of the people of the United States.  But the practice of plebiscites is not known in the United States.  The people, as a body, are never called upon to pass laws themselves, and there is no special argument against the Law of 1873 to be drawn from the fact that the people were not consulted at its adoption.  This is the fate of all laws.

According to Mr. Feer-Herzog there was all the less reason for surprise at the effects of the Law, from the fact that the Law had brought about no change, or very little change, from the situation as it existed before the passage of the Law.  The Law decided that Silver should no longer be legal Money; but before that, a long time ago, it had disappeared from the circulation.  After the discovery of the mines of California, Silver had gradually been pushed out by Gold; after which the events of the war had brought about the forced currency of Paper Money.  The Law of 1873 could not, therefore, have produced in the monetary situation, and in the habits of the American people, this great derangement of which Mr. Groesbeck had spoken.  As far as related to the influence exerted by the decisions of the Latin Union concerning the limitation of the Coinage of Silver, upon the decision of the United States to the same effect, Mr. Feer-Herzog observed that the American Law of 1873 had been passed in April, at the time the fall of Silver began, while the Conference of the Latin Union, in which it was decided that the Coinage of 5-franc pieces should be restricted, did not meet till the close of the year.  It seemed to him difficult to reconcile this plain comparison of dates with the point of view upon which the Hon. Mr. Groesbeck had placed himself.

General Walker entered into explanations which showed not only that the attention of the people of the country was not called to the fact of the change being effected, but that it was unknown to men specially occupied with financial and monetary subjects.  He himself, though he had at the time been lecturing on Money, and occupied a chair of political economy, was not aware of what was being done, and he presumed the great majority of his fellow-citizens were equally ignorant.

Mr. Goschen thought it would be useful to ascertain whether, at the time the law had been passed, Silver was or was not falling.

Mr. Waern recalled the fact that the adoption of the system of the Single Gold Standard by the States of the Scandinavian Union took place in May, 1873, and was caused by the fall of Silver.

Mr. Broch observed that the fall of Silver had begun to show itself about the month of November, 1872.  According to the quotations, the relative price of the two metals was at that time 1 to 15.85.  The fall was more marked in 1873, the average relation during the year being 15.91.  It must not, however, be forgotten that at that time the legal relation of the metals in Coin was 1 to 16, and consequently Silver was still above par in the United States, although already depreciated as far as the States of the Latin "Union were concerned, their bi-metallic system resting on the relation of 1 to 15 ½.

Mr. Groesbeck, in reply to Mr. Feer-Herzog, explained that if up to 1834 : there was only a small coinage of Silver, it was because Mexican dollars and Spanish dollars were used as well as some 5-franc pieces.  Half and quarter dollars were, moreover, of the same purity as the dollar, and that likewise tended to restrict the coinage of dollars.  Up to 1873 the American Silver dollar was at a premium, and the explanation given by the American authorities for the demonetization of Silver was that it was better to have gold, not on account of the relative value of that metal, but on account of other advantages which led to the preference.

Mr. Feer-Herzog argued that in 1873 the small quantity of Silver which may have remained in circulation was at a premium as compared with Paper, just as Gold was, but it could not be said that Silver was at a premium per se; it was only at a premium compared with Paper, and not as compared with Gold.

The President (Mr. Say) insisted upon the question which he had stated at the opening of the Conference, namely : Why did not the United States, in restoring the Double Standard, permit the unlimited Coinage of Silver as well as that of Gold ?  It had been said by the Hon. Mr. Groesbeck that the restriction of the Coinage of Silver by the Latin Union had supplied a motive for the restriction in the United States; but this view did not seem to be well founded.  It was by an amendment of the law that a limit was fixed to the Coinage of Silver dollars, and Mr. Say felt constrained to believe that this amendment was a mode of agreement, a compromise by means of which a majority could be obtained.  The influence of the Latin Union seemed to have counted for so little in the resolutions adopted, by Congress on this occasion, that it does not appear that there was, even for a moment, any question of conforming the American system to that of the Latin Union, by the adoption of the relation of 1 to 15 ½.

Mr. Feer-Herzog supported the observations of the President, by calling attention to the fact that the bill in its original form permitted the Coinage of Silver without limit.

Mr. Groesbeck said that the author of the bill could not foresee from the start all the changes and limitations the adoption of which the majority of the two Houses might in the course of the debates come to regard as proper.  The general tendency and sentiment of the people in the United States are unequivocally favorable to the principle of unlimited coinage.  It was at first desired to respond to this feeling of public opinion, but upon reflection it appeared that in such a matter it would be dangerous for one State to act alone, and a certain limit to coinage was therefore provisionally established.

Mr. Horton, in reply to the points raised by the President of the Conference, called attention to the fact that the majority report of the Commission appointed by Congress in 1876 to investigate the Silver question had recommended the adoption by the United States of the ratio of 1 to 15 ½ because it was the ratio of the Latin Union.  The bill known as the Bland Bill had been proposed in Congress in the summer of 1876.  Between that time and the passage of the law in pursuance of which the Conference met, the whole question had been thoroughly discussed in the United States in all its phases.  In this discussion the situation of the Latin Union had not been lost sight of, but had been made the subject of special attention.

After these explanations, no other member desiring to speak, the President (Mr. Say) observed that, in the memorandum presented by the American Delegation, two questions had been presented to the Conference; and he asked whether it was agreeable to the Conference to enter immediately upon the discussion of them, or whether it preferred to remit the consideration of them to the next session.

Mr. Feer-Herzog insisted that the discussion should be opened immediately, and that the Delegates be called upon to give their views successively, in alphabetical order.

The President (Mr. Say) was of opinion that this mode of procedure would have the inconvenience of compelling each member to make a statement of principles.  It would seem to him more satisfactory that those who demanded the floor should speak, either in support of, or to make their objections to, the propositions of the American Delegation.

The Conference adopting this mode of procedure, the President (Mr. Say) requested one of the Secretaries to read the propositions of the Delegates of the United States.

Mr. Pirmez desired to make some brief remarks upon the significance of the memorandum presented for discussion.  It consisted, he observed, of various propositions, which, taken separately, might appear acceptable, but which it was, at the same time, necessary to view as a whole.

For example, there is certainly no reason to desire that Silver should everywhere be deprived of its function as Money, for which its nature renders it fit.  So, likewise, if one considers whether, given a country with a monetary system based on Silver, it is desirable that the Coinage of Silver be free rather than controlled by the State, it is easy to admit that freedom is better than constraint.

But it is not in this isolated form that the propositions are presented to us.  They are bound together and formulated in their relation to one point supposed to be admitted, namely, that what is demanded for Silver is already accorded to Gold.  The proposition, therefore, amounts to saying that it is advantageous that Gold and Silver should be employed as Money simultaneously, and with equal freedom of Coinage.  Now, this is the system of the two Money Standards in its full extent, and in order that there maybe no doubt in this regard, the proposition demands for Silver, as it assumes for Gold, fall Legal-Tender power.  To declare that it is desirable that all countries adopt the system of the Two Standards, this is, in essence, the proposition upon which the debate opens.

Mr. Pirmez declares that the country which he has the honor to represent cannot do otherwise than reject this proposition.  The system of the Double Standard has the effect to organize monetary crises.  At the present moment the removal of the restrictions to which the Double Standard is subjected, in those countries of the Latin Union which have a metallic circulation, would have for its immediate result to give enormous profits to speculators in the metals, by enabling them to withdraw Gold and replace it with Silver in the circulation.

Count Rusconi saw no difficulty in the Conference pronouncing itself, in the first place, on the question of principle, namely : Is it possible to establish a fixed relation between Gold and Silver ?  This question of principle once settled, if it be decided affirmatively, the moment would have then arrived for an examination of the means to be employed to establish such a ratio.  On the other side, does bi-metallism offer so many disadvantages that it can be said that mankind have made a mistake in the concurrent use of the two metals during the entire course of the ages ?  Must the world be divided into two camps absolutely separated from each other, and mankind be plunged into the unknown by the general adoption of a system of exclusion? The Delegate of the Italian Government was opposed to such a plan.

Mr. Broch explained how, in his view, the Double Standard was almost always an ill-regulated system.  In reality, he said, there is never a Double Standard; one of the metals always outweighs the other, and leaves to the latter a merely secondary rôle in the circulation.  It is a recognized law that the weaker metal drives out the stronger, so that, in fact, a country never keeps the Double Standard, but secures merely an alternative standard.  Mr. Broch recognized that the United States had a great interest in having other countries make equal use of the two metals for their monetary circulation and give equally to both the Legal-Tender character.

The United States fear that if the States still subjected to the régime of Paper Money resume specie payments with the Single Gold Standard, this will immediately produce the double consequence of augmenting, in a high degree, the value of Gold and of depreciating that of products of every kind; a result which, from their point of view, as a great producing country, and as a great debtor State, would in fact present disadvantages.  The United States have a heavy debt, and it must be admitted that a rise of Gold would, with one blow, aggravate the weight of this debt.

But Mr. Broch observed on the other hand that if, with the Double Standard, the unlimited Coinage of Silver be admitted, as the United States demand, it is also to be feared that everywhere the price of provisions and of the necessaries of life will be considerably increased; which is another evil, and a far more serious one than the one just mentioned, because it reaches not merely the proprietor and the producer, but the mass of consumers, the laborers, petty employees, functionaries, all those who receive wages or fixed incomes.

After the discovery of the mines of California and Australia, Gold fell; and, thereupon, in consequence of the necessity of paying in Asia, in Indo-China, and the East, for the raw textile materials for which Europe manifested an extraordinary demand, an upward movement in the value of Silver declared itself.  That metal, at that time in great request, an object of search, commanded a premium; but this premium never exceeded 2 %  Sow, on the contrary, the development of the Silver mines and the demonetization of Silver in Germany have brought about a fall in the value of Silver far greater and more permanent; a fall which, besides, is merely the continuation of the descending path of this metal through the centuries.  In fact, said Mr. Broch, as one can easily be satisfied by casting his eye over the picture presented at the first session (Exhibit A, first session), Silver always goes on gradually losing its value, with the exception of a few moments of stoppage, or even an accidental rise.  It seems to be its destiny to be always falling.

Mr. Broch maintained, farther, that if a ratio between Gold and Silver should be adopted and fixed internationally, the oscillations which in spite of this purely conventional relation, must take place in their real values, and the fluctuations of the metal in circulation, must cause frequent perturbations in foreign trade.  In his view the system of the Single Gold Standard offered great advantages.  Gold, said Mr. Broch, can be transported much more easily than Silver.  The relation of weight is at present about 1 to 18; but the ratio of volume is 1 to 30.  In Europe, and in a condition of our civilization like the present, Gold will, therefore, on account of its portability, have the preference for the ordinary uses of life as well as for trade, both foreign and domestic.  With Gold, people who have the good sense to pay all their purchases in cash can easily gratify this propensity.  A man can carry upon his person a considerable sum in Gold without inconvenience, while if one were reduced to paying everything in Silver, a lady could not go into a shop to buy a dress without taking with her a porter to carry the load of Silver which the purchase of this simple object would require to-day.  Gold alone responds to the needs of an active circulation and of an advanced civilization; it is become the Money of all peoples that are progressing, while Silver remains exclusively the Money of peoples which are backward or stationary.

If, added Mr. Broch, the bi-metallic system by some impossible combination of circumstances should be extended in Europe, it would speedily bring about the disappearance of Gold, especially in small states; the slightest, even passing, oscillation in the value of the two metals would suffice to drain them completely of the metal commanding a premium.

Passing to another order of ideas, Mr. Broch affirmed that it was not so much the lack of currency as the organization of the banks and the deplorable condition of the finances of the different nations which was responsible for the fact that many of them were still subject to the regime of Paper Money.  The United States thought that if Russia, Austria, and Italy should adopt the Single Gold Standard and resume specie payments, Gold would increase in value to a considerable extent, because they would require a great quantity of it.  But, according to Mr. Broch, they would require infinitely less than was supposed.  Experience, he said, has proved that in such a case the state which desires to replace its paper circulation with metal or convertible notes only requires for the operation a sum of metal equal to that given by the premium of Gold over the paper, say 10 % of the value of the paper; on this subject Mr. Broch, regarded the apprehension of the United States as chimerical.

The system of the Double Standard, which they praise, would have, in his view, another disadvantage.  Even if all the states of Europe came to adopt it, as the United States demand, there would always be, outside of the system, great, nay, immense countries, such as China and India, which would remain attached by inveterate habit to the Single Standard of Silver; and the necessary relations of commerce between them and Europe, varying of necessity according to circumstances, would bring about a continual fluctuation in the value of the two metals.  At one time it would be necessary to export Silver when the balance of trade between Europe and the East was to be paid in Money to the latter.  There would be then a premium on Silver and a drain upon the Token Money, indispensable to retail trade; but presently, if the balance of trade should be in favor of Europe, Silver would return to inundate the market of the metals in Europe and raise the value of Gold.  Here would be an incessant cause of perturbations, for these fluctuations have to-day an importance which they have never had in the past.  At no epoch has foreign trade assumed the proportions it has to-day.  Commerce with the East, especially with India, with those great reservoirs of men where populations are numbered by hundreds of millions, can of itself cause, in a single year, considerable displacements of specie, while domestic commerce more generally finds at home and within itself its means of exchange.

Such are the numerous reasons which oppose the adoption of the propositions of the United States.  But, added Mr. Broch, does this imply that the states which have not a metallic circulation would not do well to adopt the Double Standard as a transition measure, in order to attain later the Single Standard of Gold ? Undoubtedly not; but such is not the meaning of the proposition of the United States.  Their plan goes very much further.  Mr. Broch remarked, in conclusion, that if Norway was enabled with ease, and, so to speak, at once, to establish the ‘Single Standard of Gold, it was due to a sort of forced currency given to foreign Gold Coins, and also because the sum of metal required was inconsiderable.

Mr. Baralis observed that if Mr. Broch and the other Delegates who understood the English language had been able to understand the statement which had been made in English by Mr. Groesbeck, those among the Delegates who did not understand English were still at the present time incapacited from taking part in the discussion.  It would, in his view, be proper, before engaging further in it, to wait till the translation of Mr. Groesbeck’s speech had been distributed, according to the system which had been agreed upon at the.  first session.

The President (Mr. Say) was likewise of opinion that the thorough discussion of the American propositions must be remitted to another session; but, without entering into the depths of the question, it appeared to be a good thing that gentlemen should touch upon it to-day.  Still, if the Conference saw any inconvenience in prolonging this preliminary discussion, he declared himself ready to close the session.

Mr. de Thoerner was desirous of explaining clearly that all he should say in the Conference would be said in his own name, and without in any way committing his government to any opinion.  The Russian Government, although feeling it necessary to reserve its decision until the time of the resumption of specie payment, accepted the invitation to the Conference in part to respond to the desire of the American Government and in part with the hope of gathering precious material in the labors of an assembly in which so much intelligence and learning were united.  Having made this statement, Mr. de Thoerner desired to cite two facts which proved how difficult it is in the matter of Money, by means of laws and conventional action, to produce an effect in opposition to natural forces.

In Russia, before Paper had expelled the Metallic Money, there was a sufficiently abundant circulation of Gold and Silver, although the Legal Standard was the Silver rouble.  These two metals, being received alike in the public offices, had an equal Legal-Tender power in payment between individuals.  And yet, notwithstanding this, the premium on Gold became so pronounced, that a half-imperial of five roubles was worth five roubles fifteen kopeks, a premium which was recognized by the government itself, and at that time the fluctuations of Silver were not what they have since been.  In 1876 the depreciation of Silver became so great that Paper reached a premium of 5 %  above Silver, and the government was compelled to suspend the Coinage of Silver for the account of private persons, except in the case of the rouble destined for the China trade, and that, too, at a time when there was no metallic circulation.  There are here said Mr. de Thoerner, facts which, in my view, prove how opposed it is to the very nature of things to endeavor to establish a fixed relation between the value of Gold and that of Silver.

Mr. de Thoerner also reserved the right to lay upon the table of the Conference a supplementary note, explaining the causes which led the Russian Government to suspend the Coinage of Silver roubles.

Mr. Feer-Herzog said he would not enter into the real merits of the question.  I desire, merely, he said, to have it clearly understood what is the real significance of the two propositions of the United States, which aim at the re-establishment of the Double Standard and the free Coinage of Silver.  The question is whether the entire universe is about to adopt the Double Standard, and admit not only the unlimited Coinage of Silver, but the fixing of an international ratio between the two metals.  It is this which makes the novelty of the present discussion.  The re-establishment, rehabilitation, of Silver has been mentioned.  But in the mind of no one has there ever been any question of excluding Silver from circulation.  No one ever had that intention, and it is not this which separates the bi-metallists and the mono-metallists.  Silver will always be a monetary metal.  The true question laid down is this :

Is it desirable to adopt the Double Standard everywhere ?  Or is it better to maintain the present condition of things ? that is to say, to continue to have here states with the Gold Standard, there states with the Silver Standard, and elsewhere states with the Double Standard ?

In this matter, and to treat the question from an elevated point of view, Mr. Feer-Herzog congratulates himself at seeing as members of this Conference the representatives of a state -which is at the same time a kingdom of Gold in Europe and a grand empire of Silver in Asia.  Their opinions will be received with the profoundest interest.  As for himself, on the field of discussion as it had been defined, he found himself in disaccord with the American Delegates.  He thought that the states ought to remain, respectively, as compared with each other, what they have been up to the present time, and he declared himself opposed to the establishment of an international relation between the two metals.

Count Rusconi was of opinion that, in consideration of the importance of the questions which were about to be discussed in the Conference, it would be extremely desirable that Germany be represented.  He asked, therefore, if it would not be possible that an invitation be addressed in this sense to the German Government.

The President (Mr. Say) observed that the Government of the United States had, without doubt, invited Germany, and that it was much to be regretted that the Conference should be deprived of the light which Delegates of that power might have contributed to the discussion.

Mr. Jagerschmidt remarked that if the Conference were apprised of the terms of the answer made by Germany to the invitation of the United States, it would be in condition to appreciate whether it could profitably give effect to the suggestion of Count Rusconi.

Mr. Fenton had not in his possession the correspondence exchanged on this subject between the Government of the United States and that of Germany.  He did not recall with precision the terms of the response made by Germany; but he thought he could safely say that there was nothing in that response which need preclude the Conference from realizing the desire expressed by the chief Delegate of Italy.

Mr. Goschen observed that the German Government might, perhaps, cause itself to be represented at the Conference under the same conditions and reservations as the English Government; that is to say, in expressing the resolution to remain firmly attached to its system of the Gold Standard, and in giving to its Delegates instructions similar to those which were received by the English Delegates.  Such a participation in the Conference, without binding Germany in any way, might be as useful to her as it would be to the English Government, regarded from the point of view of information.  It is, added the English Delegate, the prospect of this benefit, but chiefly a consideration for its monetary interests in India, that decided that government to participate in this reunion.  Although having nothing to change, and desiring to change nothing in its monetary system in Europe, it considered that on account of its interests in Asia, where the Standard of Silver is in vigor, it ought not to remain a stranger to debates in which the situation of Silver as Money would be under discussion.

Count Rusconi urged that effect be given to his suggestion, and added that the same interest which had before decided England to accept the invitation of the United States might to-day induce Germany to receive favorably the invitation of the Conference.

Mr. Jagerschmidt said that if the Conference should adopt the proposition of Count Rusconi, as it seemed inclined to do, an extract of the Journal might be communicated to the German Government, containing the discussion which had just taken place, and expressing, in the name of all the Delegates, the desire of which Count Rusconi had made himself the interpreter.

The Conference decided that this communication should be made by its President.

The session closed at 4 ½ p.m.

 

EXHIBITS  OF  THE  SECOND  SESSION

 

Exhibit A : Currency systems of the United Kingdom, its Colonies and Dependencies


United Kingdom

Gold is the only standard metal.

The metal coined is .916 fine, i.e. 11/12 pure Gold and 1/12 alloy.

The Coins are sovereigns and half-sovereigns.  (There is also a 5 sovereign piece, but it is not in circulation.)

The sovereign, representing the pound sterling, contains 113.001 grains (7.3225 grammes) of pure Gold, or 123.27447 grains (7.98805 grammes) of Standard Gold.

The half-sovereign precisely the half of the above.

Sovereigns and half-sovereigns are Legal Tender to any amount, provided that the pieces be not worn below 122.5 grains and 61.125 respectively.

Below those weights they may be refused, and the Bank of England cuts all such light Coins tendered to it, and receives them only as so much Standard Gold.

The loss on light Gold Coin is thus borne by the public.

Every person is entitled to bring Gold to the Mint for Coinage, and to receive it back in his turn, cut into Coins stamped with the proper die as a certificate of duo weight and fineness at the rate of £ 3.17.10 ½ per ounce troy (grammes 31.1035) of Standard Gold, that is to say 1869 sovereigns for 40 pounds troy of Standard Gold.

If the Gold so brought to the Mint is higher or lower than the Standard, the Mint adds alloy or fine Gold, for the account of the owner, as it is needed to bring it down to the Standard or to bring it up.

The Bank of England is by law obliged to receive all Gold brought to it by the public, paying for it immediately at the rate of £ 3.17.9 per ounce Standard.

The difference of three half-pence per ounce compensates the bank for the loss of interest between the date of its bringing the Gold to the Mint and the date of receiving it again in the form of Coin, and gives it also a small profit by way of brokerage for its trouble.

The public finds that its own loss in interest and expenditure in the operation, were it to take Gold to the Mint, would be more than three half-pence; consequently by far the greatest part of the Gold coined in the United Kingdom is taken to the Mint by the Bank of England.

The Silver and Copper Coinage is only «token» or representative money, metallicnotes, so to speak, for parts of a sovereign.

The crown or five shilling piece represents
Half crown (two shillings and sixpence)
Florin (two shillings)
Silver Shilling
Six-penny piece
Groat, or four-penny piece (no longer coined)
Three-penny piece
Penny
Copper Half-penny
Farthing

one quarter
one eighth
one tenth
one twentieth
one fortieth
one sixtieth
one eightieth
one two hundred and fortieth
one four hundred and eightieth
one nine hundred and sixtieth


(There are also coined Silver pennies and two-penny pieces, but they are not in general circulation.)

The Silver Coinage is a Legal Tender to the amount of forty shillings only.  The copper Coinage is Legal Tender to the amount of one shilling.  The Silver to he coined is of .925 or 37/40 fine; and one troy pound, costing 52 ½shillings at the present market price, is coined into 66 shillings, a sum fixed when the price was normally about 60 shillings.

The material of the copper, or rather bronze, Coinage is the same as that of the French copper Coinage.  One pound avoirdupois is coined into 48 pence.  The same quantity is coined into 80 half-pence or into 160 farthings.

It will be seen that, beyond the cost of making the subsidiary Coins, a considerable seigniorage is charged on both Silver and copper, which contributes toward the cost of coining the sovereigns, and of replacing the Silver Coinage, which is withdrawn from circulation so soon as any pieces are so worn by use that neither effigy or legend are distinguishable.

British India

In British India the Silver rupee is the Standard of value, and its subdivisions are a half rupee, a quarter rupee, and an eighth of a rupee.  The weight of the rupee is 180 troy grains, and it is to contain 165 grains of fine Silver and 15 grains of alloy.  Its subdivisions are of proportionate weight, and of the same Standard of }^ of fine Silver and 1 of alloy.

The rupee and half rupee are Legal Tender in payment, provided the Coins have not lost more than two %  in weight, and have not been clipped, or filed, or debased, or diminished, otherwise than by use.

The quarter rupee and eighth of a rupee are Legal Tender only for fractions of a rupee.

The Gold Coins are a mohur or 15-rupee piece, a 10-rupee piece equal to two-thirds of a mohur, a 5-rupee piece equal to one-third of a mohur, and.  a double mohur or 30-rupee piece.

The weight of the mohur is 180 troy grains, and it is to contain 165 grains of fine Gold and 15 grains of alloy.  The other Gold Coins are to he of proportionate weight and of the same fineness.

No Gold Coin is a Legal Tender in payment.

The copper Coins are a double pice or half anna, a pice or quarter anna, a half-pice or one-eighth of an anna, a pie or one-third of a pice, or one-twelfth of an anna.  The weight of the double pice is to be 200 troy grains, and the other Coins of proportionate weight.

The copper Coins are Legal Tender only for fractions of a rupee.

The Government Mints of Calcutta and Bombay are open for the receipt of Gold and Silver bullion and Coin, and the public can have their Gold and Silver, when ascertained to be of standard fineness, coined, subject to a duty of 1 cent on the produce of Gold and 2 cents on the produce of Silver, a melting charge being also made of one-fourth per mille on Gold bullion and Coin, and of one per mille on Silver bullion and Coin.

Up to the time of the discoveries of Gold in California, Gold mohurs were received at the Government treasuries in payment of revenue; and for a short time, after the increased production of Gold, as they were not Legal Tender and were not applied for by the public, they accumulated in the Government treasuries.  A notification was accordingly issued by the Government of India that from the 1st January, 1853, no Gold Coins would be received except by the Mints for Coinage.

Subsequently, in 1864, the Government of India was desirous of bringing the sovereign into use as part of the currency of India, and a notification was issued that sovereigns and half-sovereigns would be received as equivalent to 10 and 5 rupees respectively, but higher prices being obtainable in the bazaars, none were tendered at the Government treasuries.  In 1868 the government notified that sovereigns and half-sovereigns would be received as equivalent to rupees 10, annas 4 (rupees 10.25) and rupees 5, annas 2 (rupees 5.125) respectively, but that notification was also inoperative, the bazaar prices being higher.

Up to the present date no further steps have been taken by the government for.  bringing sovereigns into use.

Colonies

It is not easy to understand upon what principle the different systems of currency which prevail in the several colonies have arisen, unless it is known that, under this policy formerly pursued, the British Government endeavored to extend the currency law of the United Kingdom to all its colonies and dependencies.  But as it was impossible immediately to expel the Coins which were already in use (in most cases the old Spanish Gold doubloons and Silver dollars) it was found necessary to legalize-these Coins concurrently with sterling currency, and thus to establish a Double Standard.

Experience, however, proved that, although British currency was well adapted for some colonies, it was impossible to force the currency law of the United Kingdom upon the Silver-using countries of the East, or upon small military settlements in foreign.  parts, such as Hong-Kong, Gibraltar, or British Honduras.  The policy followed, in later years has, therefore, been to adopt the Single Silver Standard for the colonies situated.  in that part of the world in which the use of Silver prevails; and, in military settlements, to accept the currency of the nation by which they are surrounded.

It will be seen from the following details that this policy has not yet been thoroughly carried out in some of the less important colonies.

The currency of the following colonies is based upon a single Gold Standard : Malta, Cape of Good Hope and Natal, Australian Colonies and New Zealand, Gibraltar, Dominion of Canada, Newfoundland.

Newfoundland

The Gold Coins of the United States, as well as the old Spanish doubloons, are rated for circulation, concurrently with British Gold Coins, at their intrinsic value.

Silver dollars containing 373 grains troy of pure silver, and their subdivisions, aswell as British Silver Coins, are legal tender up to $ 10; bronze Coins up to 25 cents.

Accounts are kept in dollars and cents, the unit being an imaginary dollar, of which, 985 are equal to 1,000 United States Gold dollars, and 480 to 1,000 sovereigns.

Malta

The legal currency of this colony is exclusively sterling; the Coins are supplied from the Royal Mint.

Cape of Good Hope, Natal and the Transvaal

Here the legal currency is also sterling; Gold being supplied either from England or from Australia, and Silver subsidiary Coins from the Royal Mint.  Bronze tokens are rare.  British Coins will no doubt soon find their way into the newly annexed district of the Transvaal, where only Paper has hitherto been in circulation.

Australian Colonies and New Zealand

The legal currency of all these colonies is sterling; there are two Mints, at Melbourne, in Victoria, and Sydney, in New South Wales, which are open for the Coinage of Gold.  The Coins struck at these Mints are Legal Tender in Great Britain, and in all colonies where British Gold is legally current.

The subsidiary Coins required in Australia and New Zealand are supplied from the Royal Mint.

Gibraltar

In 1872, Spanish Coins were made the sole legal currency of this colony, but as the British Government was not willing to countenance a Double Standard, the Gold Doblon d’lsabel, of -ftr fineness, and of a minimum weight of 128.7 grains (98 of which are intrinsically equal to £ 100), was taken as the unit, and the dollars and other subsidiary Coins were only made Legal Tender to a limited amount.

As the Spanish Government has now adopted the currency of the Latin Union (although without entering the convention), it will be necessary to alter the law in Gibraltar and to substitute the Gold Alfonso or 25-peseta piece containing 124.446 grains of 900 ‰ fineness (the peseta being equal to the franc or lira, and the intrinsic value of the Alfonso being nearly 19.10) for the Doblon d’Isabel, which is now in process of demonetization.  The subject is under the consideration of the Treasury.

Dominion of Canada

The Gold dollar, containing 25.8 grains of 900 ‰ fineness, and 23.22 grains of fine Gold, is the unit, accounts being kept in dollars, cents, and mills.

The sovereign is Legal Tender for $ 4.866.

The Gold eagle of the United States for $ 10, and its multiples and subdivisions proportionately.

Any other foreign Gold Coin may be made Legal Tender, at its intrinsic value, by a proclamation issued by the governor-general.

Silver Coins are Legal Tender up to $ 10.

Copper and bronze up to 25 cents.

The currency of the Dominion consists almost entirely of Paper, with a subsidiary token Coinage, the supplies of Canadian Silver which are sent out from the Royal Mint being sufficient for internal circulation.  This subsidiary Coinage is of the same fineness as in the United Kingdom, viz., 925 ‰.

Large reserves of British and United States Gold are kept by the banks; but very little American and still less British Gold is in circulation.

The currency of the following colonies is based upon a Single Silver Standard : Hong-Kong, Straits Settlements, Ceylon and Mauritius.

Hong-Kong

Since 1862 the Mexican dollar, or other Silver dollar of equivalent value, has been the sole unlimited Legal Tender in Hong-Kong.  The colony has a subsidiary Coinage of its own (sent out from the Royal Mint), the Silver tokens being Legal Tender up to $ 2 and the bronze up to $ 1.

The Mexican dollar is supposed to contain 416 grains of Silver, of 900 ‰ fineness, and consequently 374.4 grains of fine Silver; hut in 1873 a somewhat heavier dollar came into circulation.  From assays made at the Royal Mint, it appears that the Coinage weight of the Mexican dollar is now 417.48 grains, containing, therefore, 375.732 grains of fine Silver.

A Mint was established at Hong-Kong in 1862, to coin dollars equivalent in value to Mexican, but was abandoned in 1869, on account of the expense entailed on the colony.

The community having expressed a desire that the United States trade-dollar should be legalized, the treasury have stated that they will offer no objection, but have pointed out that some difficulty may arise from the fact that payments of large sums are in practice made by weight instead of tale, and that the trade-dollar contains 420 grains, and is therefore from 2 ½ to 3 % heavier than the average Mexican dollar.

Owing, however, to the Mint charge recently imposed by the United States Government, the importation of trade-dollars has greatly decreased.

Straits Settlements

Under a proclamation issued in 1875, the United States trade-dollar, and the Japanese yen (now coined of the same weight as the United States trade), were made Legal Tender as well as the Mexican.  Otherwise the currency is similar to that of Hong-Kong.

Since 1869, the East Indies rupee of 180 grains of 11/12 fineness (165 grains of fine Silver), with its Silver subdivisions of one-half, one-quarter, and one-eighth, has been the sole unlimited Legal Tender.  The subsidiary bronze Coinage is Legal Tender up to half a rupee.

Mauritius

The disturbed state of the currency in this island, where a Double Standard prevailed, was reformed in 1876, when the rupee was adopted as the unit of value, and the currency was assimilated to that of Ceylon, except that any nets Silver and bronze subsidiary Coinage, which may be introduced, will be Legal Tender up to five rupees.  Such tokens will be struck at the Royal Mint.

West Indian Colonies

The Coins in circulation in the West Indies (excepting in British Honduras and the Bahamas) consist entirely of British token Silver, which may be tendered to an unlimited amount.  The history which has brought about this result is somewhat complicated, but briefly it may be stated that in these colonies, up to a recent date, a Double Standard existed, the Gold doubloon at 64 s., the Silver dollar at 4 s. and 2 d., as well as United States Gold (the eagle at 41s.), being Legal Tender, concurrently with sterling coin.  Gold becoming overvalued under this system, dollars entirely disappeared; and no limitation having been placed on the Tender of British Silver Coin, it gradually became the only currency of the colonies.  It is obvious that it is to the advantage of the banks to keep up this system, which gives them an entire command over the exchanges; and they have hitherto defeated several attempts on the part of the treasury to induce the colonies to accept the 40 s. limit which is the law of the United Kingdom.

During the late fall in the value of Silver, dollars (the only intrinsic Silver Coin of the colony) became overvalued as compared with Gold and with British token Silver, which of course possesses the same value as Gold; and importations of dollars (which could be purchased in London at prices considerably under 4 s., and issued in the colony at 4 s. and 2 d.) commenced.

The colonies were alarmed at the introduction of a Coin which had become unknown, and, after application to the Imperial Government, were allowed to demonetize the dollar, and thus a Single Gold Standard was established in the West India Islands and British Guiana.  But there being no limitation on the Tender of British Silver, the currency in fact rests upon a token Coinage instead of on Gold; and a circular has been addressed to the several governors pointing out the evils of the present system, and recommending that the currency law should be assimilated to that of the United Kingdom by the adoption of the 40s.  limit to the Tender of the token Coinage.

It may be added that Jamaica has a subsidiary nickel Coinage supplied from the Royal Mint; the natives objecting to bronze coins.

British Honduras

The history of the currency of this colony is very curious; but for the present it will suffice to state that, although the legal currency is the same as that of the West Indies before the dollar was demonetized in 1876, yet as British Honduras is a small settlement, surrounded by Silver-using countries, the circulation consists almost entirely of the dollar of the Central American republics and United States.

This case is also under the consideration of the treasury; and it has been suggested that a Single Silver Standard would be best suited to the requirements of a country in which practically no Gold circulates.

Bahamas

This is another Colony in which the currency law of the West Indies before the demonetization of the dollar nominally exists, but, owing to the proximity of the islands to the United States, the circulation consists almost entirely of the coins of that country.

The same may be said of Turk’s and Caicos Islands.

West African Settlements and Gold Coast

Sterling coins are Legal Tender on the west coast of Africa, concurrently with Gold doubloons, Silver dollars, French Gold and Silver, United States, Spanish, and Portuguese Gold, &c.

Rock Gold and Gold dust is generally received at tt 728.  per ounce.

Saint Helena

The legal currency of this island consists of sterling Coins, with Gold doubloons at 64 and Silver dollars at 4 s. 2 d.

Note. – It may be added that in those colonies which have a subsidiary Coinage of their own, circulating only within the colony, the Royal Mint charges only the actual expenses of producing the token Coins, and the profit falls to the colonial treasury.  But as regards those colonies which have adopted the currency of the United Kingdom in its entirety, the profit on the issue of subsidiary Coins of necessity remains in the imperial exchequer.

G.-J. Goschen.

Return

 

Exhibit B.  Note on the money system of the Netherlands and Colonies

The Coins which have an unlimited paying power are the same in the Netherlands and in the colonies.  They are of Silver and Gold.

The Silver coins are the pieces of 2 florins 50 cents, of 1 florin, and of 50 cents.  They contain 9.450 g of fine Silver per florin.

In Gold there is only the piece of 10 florins, containing 0.6048 g of fine Gold per florin.  The relation of value between the two metals is therefore 1 to 15.625.

The fractional Money, which is different in the Netherlands and in the colonies, consists only of pieces of 25 cents and under.

The Coinage of Silver – formerly free as to pieces of 2 florins 50 cents, of 1 florin, and of 50 cents – has, for some years, been wholly reserved to the government.  The Coinage of Gold is free.

There have been coined in Silver, pieces of 2 florins 50 cents, of 1 florin, and of 50 cents, the fabrication of which dates from the Monetary Law of 1839, 461 millions of florins.

A large quantity of this has been melted down in the colonies for the requirements of jewelry.

In Gold pieces of 10 florins, the fabrication of which dates only from the law of the 6th of June, 1875, there have been coined 68 millions of florins.

The metallic stock in the Netherlands, excluding the fractional Money, but including the ingots and foreign Coins in the possession of the Netherlands Bank, may be estimated at 133 millions of florins in Silver and 74 millions of florins in Gold.

In the colonies no estimate of the metallic stock is possible.

The value of Money, as manifested by the price of the metals and the rates of exchange on foreign countries, is regulated, as well in the colonies as in the Netherlands, not upon the basis of the Silver contained in the pieces of 2 florins 50 cents, of 1 florin, and of 50 cents, but upon the Gold contained in the pieces of 10 florins.

W. C. Mees.

August 16, 1878.

 

Return

 

Exhibit C.  List of the Documents and Treatises on the Monetary Question,
laid upon the table of the Conference by Mr. Fenton

No. 1.  Finance Report, 1877.

No. 2.  Money and Legal Tender.  Linderman.

No. 3.   –

No. 4.  Acts of Congress relating to loans and the currency from 1841 to 1872, inclusive.

No. 5 and 11.  Instructions and regulations in relation to the transaction of business at the United States Mint and Assay Offices, 1874.

No. 6.  Annual Report of the Director of the Mint, for the fiscal year ended June 30,

1876.

No. 7.  Annual Report of Director of Mint, for fiscal year ended June 30, 1873.

No. 8.  Annual Report of Director of Mint, for fiscal year ended June 30, 1875.

No. 9.  Annual Report Secretary of Treasury on the state of the finances for the year 1877.

No. 10.  Notes of Conference between the House Committee on Banking and the Currency and Hon. John Sherman, Secretary of Treasury, held April 1st and 4th, 1878.

No. 12.  Interview of Senate Committee on Finance with Hon. John Sherman, Secretary of Treasury, in regard to the Resumption Act.

No. 13.  Debt statement, United States, June 31, 1878.

No. 14.  National Bank Act and amendments, 1875.

No. 15.  Report of Silver Commission, United States.

 

Return

 

Exhibit D.  Extracts from the Report and Correspondence of John Jay Knox, Deputy Comptroller of the Currency, in relation to a revision of the laws pertaining to the Mint and Coinage of the United States, transmitted to the Senate the 25th April, 1870, by the Secretary of the Treasury

[Document presented by Mr. Feer-Herzog.]

[Extracts relative to the question if the exclusive Gold Standard has been really introduced «inadvertently» in the law of April 12, 1873.]

I.  Mr. Knox, after having made, page 10, the history of the Gold and Silver dollar, says, page 11, under the title SILVER DOLLAR : ITS DISCONTINUANCE AS A STANDARD :

«The Coinage of the Silver dollar, the history of which is here given, is discontinued in the present bill.

«The present Gold dollar piece is made the dollar unit in the proposed bill, and the Silver dollar piece is discontinued.»

II.  Mr. Linderman, in his «Notes on the Mint Bill», appendix to the said report, page 25, states :

«The Silver dollar, half-dime, and three-cent piece, are dispensed with by this amendment.  Gold becomes the Standard Money of which the Gold dollar is the unit.  Silver is subsidiary, embracing Coins from the dime to the half-dollar.»

III.  Letter of E. B. Elliott, appendix, page 70, of the said report to the Comptroller of the Currency, under the title THE SILVER DOLLAR, ITS DISCONTINUANCE AS A STANDARD.

«The bill proposes the discontinuance of the Silver dollar, and the report which accompanies the bill suggests the substitution for the existing Standard Silver dollar of a trade Coin of intrinsic value to the Mexican Silver piaster.»

 

Return

Exhibit E.  Note concerning the causes which led the Russian Government to suspend the coinage of silver

It is evident that in a country which has a Silver Standard the fall of Silver below the Paper which serves as a means of lawful payment can only take place under the régime of forced currency, that is, when the Paper itself is full Legal Tender, for Paper that is convertible cannot generally be worth either more or less than the metal it represents.  If the late fall of Silver had taken place before the suspension of the conversion of Bills of Credit (the Russian Paper Money bears this name), it would have resulted in a depreciation (not nominal but virtual) of the Bills of Credit corresponding to the depreciation of Silver, and also in its turn an increase of premium on the half-imperial.

But under the régime of forced currency of inconvertible Bills of Credit, their ability to purchase Gold and their value in general business, whether domestic or international, no longer depend upon the price of the metal Silver.  They are determined, first, by the relation between the quantity of Notes issued and the needs of domestic circulation; and, second, by the balance of Russia’s international exchanges (whether in merchandise or in funds), and consequently upon the rates of exchange.

The relation of value between the Bill of Credit and the Silver which it represents being thus broken, it might easily happen that their relation to a third object, Gold, might vary; and this in fact occurred.
In July, 1876, Silver being worth at London 3s. 11d. per ounce Standard (which gives the relation of 1 to 19.67), lost as compared with Gold 27.12 %
The half-imperial being worth at St.  Petersburg in Bills of Credit 6 roubles 26 copecks (which, in comparison with the normal value of 5 roubles 15 copecks, gave a difference of 1 rouble 11 copecks), the Bill of Credit lost as compared with Gold 21.74 %
There resulted in favor of Paper a difference of 5.38 %

 

Under these conditions, the introduction of Silver into Russia to be transformed into metallic roubles became evidently a profitable operation, as the following example proves : [We have not taken into consideration the cost of importing the metal, but, deducting this cost from the result obtained, there would still remain a considerable profit.]

At the rate of exchange at sight at St. Petersburg the 24 June-6 July, 1876, 31 7/32 pence per rouble, one could buy with 1,000 roubles in Bills of Credit a draft on London for the sum of £ 130 1s. 6d.

At the price of 3s. 11d. per ounce Standard Silver at London, at this date one could buy with £ 130 1s.  6d., 664 10/47 ounces, or in Russian weight 46 pounds 64 zolotniks, of fine Silver.  This quantity of metal delivered at the Mint at St. Petersburg, gave the right to receive 1,061 roubles 67 copecks in metallic Silver Money (counting 22 roubles 75 copecks to the pound of Silver).  The difference between this sum and the 1,000 roubles employed in the purchase of the draft on London – that is, 61 roubles 67 copecks – offers a net profit of 6.16 %, inasmuch as in virtue of the law in force the Silver metallic Money must be received at a nominal price, in like manner as the Bill of Credit. [The difference between this 6.16 % and the 5.38 % calculated above arises from the fact that the first calculation is based upon the price of Gold at St. Petersburg, and the second on the rate of exchange on London, and that these are not exactly the same.]

The Delegate of Russia,

Thoerner.

 

Return

 

THIRD  SESSION : MONDAY  AUGUST  19,  1878

 

There were present, the Delegates of Austria-Hungary, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Russia, Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, and of The United States of America, who were present at the last session.

The session was opened at 1 ½ p.m.

Upon the suggestion of the President (Mr. Say) it was agreed that the minutes of the second session and those of the subsequent sessions should be submitted to the approval of each of the Delegates individually instead of being read before the Conference.

Mr. Goschen, recalling that he had laid upon the table at the last session a memorandum upon the Monetary System of England and of her Colonies, and that Mr. Mees had presented a similar statement concerning the Netherlands, expressed a desire that the Delegates of the other States represented at the Conference should furnish in their turn a summary statement of the laws which, regulate the metallic circulation in their respective countries.  He further asked if the Delegates of the United States could not give information as to the amount of their stock of Gold and Silver, By means of this information members "would be enabled to appreciate the extent of the resources "with "which the Government of the United States expected to resume payment in Specie on and after the 1st of January next.

Mr. Fenton, in response to the desire expressed by Mr. Goschen, communicated an extract from a letter of the Secretary of the Treasury, from which it appeared, that there was in the Treasury of the United States on June 30,1878, of

 

DOLLARS

Gold Coin
Standard dollars
Gold bullion
Silver bullion
Total

161,343,914
6,887,948
6,099,439
5,891,201
180,222,502

 

Of this sum, 56,747,502 dollars are not free, being required, half to pay bonds redeemable in Gold, half to pay Gold certificates of deposit.

123,474,822 dollars were entirely free for the redemption of Legal Tender greenbacks.

The greenbacks in circulation are estimated, at $ 346,618,016.

There was in the Treasury at the time mentioned $ 7,136,529 in Silver change.

The President (Mr. Say) asked whether this sum was free, or was appropriated to any other purpose than resumption.

Mr. Fenton said that about $ 120,000,000 were quite free.  The additional stock of Gold in the banks and in private hands was not included in these amounts.

Mr. Goschen inquired if it was not the intention of the United States government to accumulate a farther amount of the precious metals before resumption.

Mr. Fenton said the accumulation was constantly going on.  They could not fix upon any definite sum for resumption, but felt amply assured that they had present and prospective stock sufficient to carry out and maintain resumption.

Mr. Groesbeck added that the balance of trade was largely in favor of the United States in Gold.  He had also a letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, stating that the amount of specie set apart for the purposes of resumption was 36 % of the outstanding national currency.  The Secretary gave further facts showing that there would be no difficulty in safely resuming specie payment on the 1st of January.  Their Government Paper had for some time been at 1 ½ % discount as compared with Gold, and scattered as it was over a country continental in its dimensions, and popular as it was among the people, it was not anticipated that it was necessary to have anything like dollar for dollar so as to be prepared for resumption.  The bankers of :New York, whom Mr. Groesbeck had consulted, shared all the confidence of the Secretary of the Treasury, and in their eyes the success of the measure was assured.

Mr. Fenton said that the United States were constantly increasing their stock of metal.  Between July 1, 1877, and July 1, 1878, the stock of the Treasury increased more, than 50 % on the basis of the stock of 1877, and it was believed to be still increasing in the same ratio.

Mr. Goschen explained that he had put the question not from the slightest doubt of the ability of the United States to resume specie payment, but in order to form a judgment as to what extent they might become buyers of Silver in the world’s markets.  If he had rightly understood the figures just given, they appeared to have comparatively little Silver as compared with Gold.  They must therefore either accumulate large amounts of Silver or must exchange part of their Gold for Silver.  This had an important bearing on the future of Silver, and every State represented here was interested in the question.

Mr. Groesbeck had no doubt that if an international agreement could be concluded on the basis of the propositions read at the last session, the United States would absorb for the benefit of Europe not merely the Silver that might be produced in America during the current year or next year, but might even take part of the German Silver.

Mr. Fenton wished it to be understood that the rehabilitation of Silver was not essential to the resumption and maintenance of specie payments, though it would facilitate the operation.

Mr. Broch made inquiry concerning the quantity of paper currency for small amounts at present in circulation, including the greenbacks; that is to say, the denominations of one dollar and of two dollars.  If the exact amount of these were known, the precise result desired by Mr. Goschen would be attained; members would know the quantity of Silver which must be absorbed by the remonetization of Silver in the United States.

Mr. Horton replied that there was a considerable number of notes of these denominations in circulation.  He regretted not having the exact figures at hand at this time, but would procure them, and lay them before the Conference at an early day.

Mr. Goschen desired to call the attention of the Conference to one of the declarations made by Mr. Groesbeck at the last session.  Mr. Groesbeck had said that if a resolution were formed by the Conference, the American Delegates would only have to report it to their government in order to have the conclusions of their report taken into consideration and presented to Congress as a project for a law.  Mr. Goschen desired to ask whether the American Delegates had such power that the decisions at which they might arrive in Conference would necessarily be proposed to Congress.

Mr. Groesbeck said the United States Delegates had no powers so formal and abroad.  But he had no doubt that an agreement arrived at here would be ratified by Congress, if it realized the purpose for which the Conference had met.

Mr. Goschen stated that such was not the position of the English Delegates, and that he did not understand that the Delegates of the majority of other Governments occupied a position similar to that of the Delegates of the United States.  They were bound, as he was, by instructions which did not leave them freedom of action; and this remark acquired importance when it was considered that the propositions of the United States implied, as Mr. Pirmez had observed at the last session, a resolution to be taken as to the establishment of the Double Standard in all countries.  Now, many of the Delegates could not vote for any proposition compromising the Gold Standard.  Norway was not free to do so; England was not so either, and the members of the Latin Union, it appeared, were not free to vote at present for a change in the fixed ratio between the two metals, or for the free mintage of Silver, as they were bound by contract one with another.  The position was therefore this : The United States invited the Delegates to adopt a proposition which some of them were precluded by their instructions from entertaining.

But, added the English Delegate, if this proposition were rejected entirely, the rejection might be misinterpreted by the public.  It would, perhaps, be regarded as a verdict against Silver Money.  The future position of Silver would be affected, and the impression which would be produced would not correspond with the opinions of the great majority of the Conference.  On the contrary, there is in the text of the American propositions a declaration for which almost all the Delegates could vote, and to which as a principle, personally, for his own part, Mr. Goschen would willingly subscribe : it is this, that it is not desirable that Silver cease to be one of the Money metals.

In any case, said Mr. Goschen, the language lacks clearness.  One may desire that some portions of Europe maintain Silver Money without wishing to say all countries generally.  In this regard the proposition of the American Delegates goes, perhaps, beyond their own intention, and provokes an opposition and criticism which might be avoided.  It would be much to be regretted if this exaggeration, or what was, in a certain sense, a lack of precision in the formula presented, should be the cause of a vote which in its turn should make those who put it forth say more than they meant to say, and imply up to a certain point a condemnation of silver which was by no means in their thought.

England had plainly stated her intention of maintaining her Gold Standard; Norway had said so too; Germany was of the same opinion; while the Latin Union was not disposed at present to resume the free coinage of Silver, or depart from the ratio of 1 to 15 ½, by which they are now bound.  Very little, therefore, could result from the Conference, because most of the States had decided beforehand on a particular policy.  Austria, Italy, and Russia might vote for the proposition as a theoretical question, but having a forced currency, they could not give practical support.  A theoretical discussion of the Double Standard, or of the advantages of the Single Standard, would, accordingly, in his judgment, be a waste of time.  Of what avail would it be to discuss theories out of which it was known beforehand no practical result could arise, and thus to lay down principles which one was not about to follow.  If the question of the Double Standard, however, were set aside, another question might fairly be put to the Conference, and one of a most practical and useful character.  Assuming that the universal Double Standard preferred by the United States be not adopted, what will be the future of Silver ?  And towards what end ought all States to work, as far as practicable ?  The aim, he thought, should be to maintain Silver as the ally of Gold in all parts of the world where this could be done.  A campaign against Silver would be extremely dangerous, even for countries with a Gold Standard.

Though England had a Gold Standard, she had great interest in the maintenance of Silver as currency.  She had, moreover, a more defined and less compromised position for the discussion of this question than other countries, for she had borne the depreciation of Silver in India without trying to shut her doors upon it.  She had done more than any other country to maintain Silver.  The Latin Union had shut their doors against Silver; Holland had half shut hers; but while others, afraid of a further depreciation, had taken definite and restrictive measures, England had allowed Silver to take its natural course, and for five years had borne all the burdens resulting therefrom.

The Indian Government had suffered a great loss; the merchants had suffered from fluctuations in value, and public functionaries had suffered from the depreciation, but England had given proof of her faith in regard to Silver by waiting to see whether it would not recover its former value.  Had the example of other countries been followed in India, and precautions taken by limiting the mintage or introducing Gold, Silver might have fallen an additional ten or fifteen %.  The laissez faire policy in India had done more than anything else to keep up the value of Silver.  If, however, other States were to carry on a propaganda in favor of a.  Gold Standard and of the demonetization of Silver, the Indian Government would be obliged to reconsider its position, and might be forced by events to take measures similar to those taken elsewhere.  In that case, the scramble to get rid of Silver might provoke one of the gravest crises ever undergone by commerce.  One or two States might demonetize Silver without serious results, but if all demonetized, there would, be no buyers, and Silver would fall in alarming proportions.  Thus all or nearly all States were interested in Silver.  He would not enter on the situation of France, but take the case of Belgium.  Belgium had coined a large quantity of 5-franc pieces, and if the Latin Union came to an end, these Coins would necessarily flow back to Belgium, which country would then not escape the general embarrassment.

If all States should resolve on the adoption of a Gold Standard, the question arose, would there be sufficient Gold for the purpose without a tremendous crisis ?  There would be a fear, on the one hand, of a depreciation of Silver, and one, on the other, of a rise in the value of Gold, and a corresponding fall in the prices of all commodities.  Again, there was a further important question.  Italy, Russia, and Austria, whenever they resumed specie payments, would require metal, and if all other States went in the direction of a Gold Standard, these countries, too, would be forced to take Gold.  Resumption on their part would be facilitated by the maintenance of Silver as a part of the Legal Tender of the world.  The American proposal for a universal Double Standard seemed impossible of realization, a veritable Utopia; but the theory of a universal Gold Standard was equally Utopian, and, indeed, involved a false Utopia.  It was better for the world at large that the two metals should continue in circulation than that one should be universally substituted for the other.

The Conference could not adopt the American proposition, but an attempt might be made, perhaps, elsewhere, to overcome the temporary and abnormal difficulties created by the German stock of £ 15,000,000 of Silver.  At present there was a vicious circle; States were afraid of employing Silver on account of the depreciation, and the depreciation continued because States refused to employ it.  As long as this sum of £ 15,000,000 of Silver was in the market, an expectant attitude must be maintained.  It was not the fact of this stock of £ 15,000,000 being in existence which depressed prices so heavily.  If this same sum were in the United States Treasury in place of an equal amount of Gold, the aggregate stock of Silver would be unaltered, but this £ 15,000,000 would no longer weigh on the market, and Silver might be restored to a normal position.  It was in this direction, and renouncing theoretical discussion, that the States interested ought rather to direct their efforts.

Mr. von Hengelmüller stated that the Austro-Hungarian Government had not given to its representatives any authority to bind it in the question which was laid before the Conference.  In the opinion of that government, the depreciation of Silver was a fact eminently to be regretted – a calamity which it would wish, on its own account, it were possible to remove; because it was attached on principle to the system of the Double Standard, and in theory could but subscribe to the propositions of the United States.  Unfortunately, the advantage of this system depended upon a general adoption of it, which in the present state of affairs was not to be looked for.  The Government of Austria-Hungary found itself, therefore, necessarily compelled to maintain an attitude of expectancy.

On the other hand, it seemed to Mr. von Hengelmüller that the rejection, pure and simple, of the American propositions would be liable to an interpretation which would be unfortunate; people would perhaps infer from it that there was actually nothing to be done to arrest the fall of Silver.  If, in order to avoid this difficulty, the Conference desired to formulate its opinions in a response to the questions proposed, Mr. von Hengelmüller would act in conformity with the views of his government, in taking his stand by the side of those who should pronounce in favor of the Double Standard.

Mr. Mees stated that he had no instructions which would permit him to vote for the propositions of the United States.  It is the opinion, he said, of the Government of the Netherlands, that so long as England and Germany shall retain the system of the Single Gold Standard, it will remain impossible for Holland to adopt another system.  Not only she cannot bind herself internationally in this matter, but she could not even adopt separately any other than her present system.  Such was the sole declaration which the Delegate of the Netherlands was authorized to make in the name of his government.

But, notwithstanding this, it was not forbidden to him to express his personal opinions upon the question laid before the Conference.  It would be, in his view, most beneficial to mankind that many States should adopt the system of the Double Standard, but if the original idea which inspired the propositions of the United States was a good and sound idea, the propositions seemed to him, in the present state of affairs, impracticable in Europe.  There is not, he said, at the present time, on the continent, a single State where the Coinage of Silver is free, even outside of the States devoted to the Single Gold Standard.  Passing them in review, one after the other, he came to the conclusion that the States which have a circulation of Paper were the only ones which might perhaps accept the propositions of the United States; but, he added, it is the opinion and the co-operation of precisely these States, otherwise so important, which can have no practical utility from a monetary point of view.

Is it then necessary to advise the United States entirely to renounce their idea ?  Mr. Mees did not think so.  If, in his opinion, the United States had no chance of finding allies in Europe, it would be, perhaps, otherwise in Central or South America, and in Asia, in China, in Japan, and even in the English or Dutch Indies.  In these regions, the Single Standard of Gold is neither adapted to the needs of commerce nor to the habits of the people.  The experiment lately entered upon of employing this system in the Dutch colonies has not shown that it ought to be permanently maintained there, nor that it may not become proper to establish there another system, which should, not be that of the mother-country.  Here, according to Mr. Mees, was a part of the world where the United States might seek allies, and if, after having first found them in these regions, they should subsequently succeed in adding to them the countries in Europe now given over to Paper Money, this monetary union would then be sufficiently vast; it would embrace a movement of interests sufficiently extended, that the legal relation of the values of Gold and Silver would become a reality and would dominate over the natural fluctuation of the market of the metals.

Mr. Mees added that if the universal Double Standard was an Utopia, the Single Gold Standard was also an Utopia, and one that would be very dangerous, if by some impossible combination of circumstances it should come to be realized.  The general demonetization of Silver undertaken everywhere at once would have the most fatal consequences.  It would bring in its train an enormous depreciation in the value of that metal, and would occasion crises alarming in their economic effects.  What would be better for everybody would be that the two metals should continue to serve simultaneously, and, as Mr. Goschen had said, lend each other a mutual support.

Mr. Baralis desired to emphasize the extreme importance of the questions laid before the Conference, and asked that they be made the subject of a full and thorough discussion.  Such a discussion might lead, so he hoped at least, to an agreement, if not upon precisely the propositions suggested by the United States, at least upon some measure of general utility which should be closely allied to them, for example, the creation of a Coin of universal circulation was a measure demanded by the needs of the race, and the adoption of which would accelerate the progress of civilization.

With reference to the proposition of the United States, the Italian Delegate observed that it did not meet with an unfavorable reception.  The greater part, he said, of the Delegates of the various States, and even those of countries which have the Gold Standard, recognize the importance of the part which Silver plays in the exchanges.  It seemed to him, therefore, that upon the basis of this idea, which all admit, it would, perhaps, not be impossible to arrive at an understanding.  It was in vain, added Mr. Baralis, that people proposed to proscribe Silver under the pretext that it was heavier than Gold.  On that ground it would also become necessary to proscribe Gold, because it was heavier than paper.  Silver is heavier than Gold, and, as the learned Delegate of Norway has observed, it is thirty times more bulky than Gold, a fact which renders it less convenient and less portable than Gold.  But if this be true for a certain portion of the public and for foreign commerce, it is not the less true that Silver is better adapted to the habits of certain classes than Gold.  It is peculiarly fitted for the population of the country districts, among which it circulates or remains quiet, while Gold readily disappears in time of crisis.  To demonetize Silver would be, in his view, an extremely injurious measure, and rather than seem to condemn Silver, by hastily rejecting the American propositions, and giving the Delegates from the United States the advice that they seek allies in South America or China, the Italian Delegate desired that effort should be made to settle upon the basis of an understanding, which, for his part, he did not regard impracticable.

The President (Mr. Say) felt it his duty, following the example of Mr. Goschen, to give to the Conference some explanation of the monetary policy pursued by France in later years.  The honorable Delegate of England has rightly said that if we have in theory the Double Standard, we do not have it in practice, inasmuch as the privilege, formerly enjoyed by private persons, of having Silver coined at the mint has been withdrawn.  The same remark is equally true of the other States of the Latin Monetary Union.

In the French Chambers, when the question of suspending the Coinage of Silver arose there were long and earnest discussions as to the meaning and effect of that measure.  Was it a step toward the Gold Standard, or a provisional condition, which would permit us to avail ourselves of the favorable moment for returning to the system of the Double Standard ? The government clearly explained its position on this point.  It declared very categorically that we were not moving toward the Single Gold Standard; we are, in its view, in a condition of expectancy, from which we shall not move, except for good reasons when they shall show themselves, and then probably to re-enter into the system of the Double Standard.  There are, therefore, various ways of interpreting the Treaty of 1865, and it is hardly possible to see in the Latin Union a body entirely at unison.  There are in it various tendencies.  Its members are all in accord on certain points; on others they are not.

France, placed in the center of this Union, finds that she has collected in her hands a great quantity of Silver.  There are, at present, about 900 millions (francs) in the vaults of the bank, and about 1,500 millions outside of the bank; which gives a sum total of 2,500 millions by means of which the circulation of Silver may be effected in this country.  It certainly would not serve our purposes to withdraw Legal-Tender power from such a mass of Silver, which circulates in France as current Money, and to throw it out upon the metal market as mere merchandise.  Such an idea is inadmissible.

As for the question of knowing whether it is proper to restore to Silver the Legal-Tender power in countries where this power has been withdrawn from it, we do not believe, said Mr. Say, that it would be allowable for us to give advice to any one on this subject, seeing that we have nothing to offer on our side as valuable consideration in return, and hence our advice would lack authority.  As he had said at the first session, added Mr. Say, the attitude of the French Government was an expectant one, and it must remain so, as long as the cause of the fall of Silver should not have been accurately recognized and measured, and, notably, until Germany should have completed the sale of its stock of that metal.

Mr. Goschen estimates this stock at 15 millions of pounds sterling; others at 17 millions of pounds. Whatever it may be, so long as there remains in Germany a mass of Silver which can be estimated at such figures, the market will be in a troubled and uncertain state.  The instantaneous, unexpected influence which a mass of metal like this can exert is plainly a very different thing from the influence which could be exercised by a similar mass of the same metal still buried in the bowels of the earth, and which could only be withdrawn from the earth by the prolonged efforts of regular mining, and then in company with a certain amount of Gold.  From a commercial point of view, the existence of this mass of coined Silver, which is there in readiness, of which man is already master, which he has under his hand, and which, according to the course of events, he can let go or hold back, as he wishes, exercises an influence far more decisive than that of a mass of Silver which is not produced, and which does not arrive in the Money-market, except gradually – a little at a time.  Hence arises an uncertainty, which will not disappear until the day when Germany shall have finally disposed of her stock of Silver.  Perhaps this will have taken place within two or three years from now; but still it is this dark side of the question which at the present moment deprives France of her freedom of action.

The proposition of the United States, said Mr. Say, has therefore appeared to us premature; we do not perceive what we can do at the present time in the way of an acceptance; but, on the other hand, we should be unwilling to have the lack of assent on our part, or on the part of the Conference, considered as a condemnation of their system, and as there is no appearance of unanimity, nor that even a majority can pronounce in favor of their proposition, it would seem to us preferable that the Conference should abstain from making a formal answer to the questions which have been proposed to it.  In the view of Mr. Say, the better result to be obtained from this reunion would be that the various States represented in it should agree upon the expression of a common idea as to the employment of Silver as Money, and should invite each other reciprocally not to take any measures in their domestic legislation which should be of a nature to contribute to the depreciation of Silver.  We hope, he said, that it will be fully understood to what end we suggest the idea of this middle course, and in what spirit we propose it.  We believe that Silver is a monetary metal which ought to serve concurrently with Gold in the general movement of the exchanges; we see even that it is almost the sole instrument of exchanges in half of the globe, and we shall never believe in the suppression of a Money with which, a commerce such as that of the Indian Empire and all of the farther East regulates itself.  "We believe, on the contrary, that by the mere fact of the development of this commerce, the use of Silver as Money will itself go on developing from day to day; and if, on so many points partaking in the opinion of the "United States, we cannot in the present condition of affairs accept their proposition by action, we are not willing to omit to say why it is that we reject it.  To the first paragraph of the proposition – «It is the opinion of this assembly that it is not to be desired that Silver should be excluded from free coinage in Europe and the United States of America» –  we would willingly give our assent, although for the moment we could not return to free Coinage, and although we do not yet discover the reasons which, perhaps, we shall some day have for re-establishing it.

As to the second paragraph – «On the contrary, the assembly believes that it is desirable that the unrestricted Coinage of Silver, and its use as Money of unlimited Legal Tender, should be retained where they exist, and as far as practicable restored where they have ceased to exist» – we think that Silver ought to maintain the character of legal Money where it possesses it, but we cannot assert that it is proper to give it that character everywhere where it does not possess it.

With reference to the second part of the proposition – «The use of both Gold and Silver as unlimited Legal-Tender Money may be safely adopted :

First.  By equalizing them at a relation to be fixed by international agreement, and

Secondly.  By granting to each metal, at the relation fixed, equal terms of Coinage, making no discrimination between them.» – we cannot say in advance that there will be such a proportion between the future production of Silver in the mines and the regular and constant demand of Asiatic commerce, that the legal relation of the value of the two metals will never come to be altered.  It would especially be difficult for us to assert the maintenance of this equilibrium when we know that with one stroke, in a moment, Germany can throw upon the metal market, when she wishes and as she wishes, the enormous mass of Silver which she still has in hand.  To-day this much is certain : the circulation of Silver does not proceed regularly; it is unsettled, and, if we may use the expression, is made sickly by the instability of the ratio.  How long will this instability continue? This is something which we cannot know; and here is the reason why the government, being in doubt, has believed it to be its duty to adopt, with the sanction of the Chambers, an attitude of wise and prudent expectancy.

To recapitulate : During nearly a century, that is to say since 1786, the legal relation in France of 1 to 15 ½ has very nearly expressed the normal price of Silver.* It is not proved, that the recent alteration in the relation is due to causes the effect of which is not likely to disappear.  It is therefore not a final, absolute refusal which we oppose to the project of the United.  States, and although we cannot ally ourselves to them now, we do not mean to say that the question which they propose to us may not one day be answered.

Mr. Delyanni declared that in his quality of representative of Greece, a state allied to Prance by the treaty of 1865, he fully concurred in the ideas which had just been expressed by the President of the Conference.  His instructions directed, him not to give his adhesion to any resolutions which should be of a nature to create the impression that his government for its part renounced the attitude of expectancy which Mr. Say had just denned, and the motive of which he had so clearly explained.

Mr. Feer-Herzog said that after having listened with keen interest to the explanations given by the representatives of the great States, and having followed with a peculiar satisfaction the exposition made from a cosmopolitan point of view, of ideas so elevated and so broad, by Mr. Goschen and Mr. Mees, he would ask that it might be permitted to him, in his turn, to make the voice of a small country heard in this important debate which interested the entire world.

In his view, it was a mistake to regard the German «monetary reform» as the principal cause of the depreciation of Silver, and of the instability of its relation to Gold.  The center of gravity of the commercial movement of Silver, said Mr. Feer-Herzog, is not in Germany; it is not contained in -the existence of this stock of Silver ready for the market, of which a bugbear has been made; this center of gravity is in the Indies.

It is upon the trade of the Indies that the variability of the elements of compensation in the metal-market depend.  Last year, for example, there was an exportation of 16 to 17 million pounds sterling from Europe to the Indies, via Suez; in 1876 11 millions were sent.  During the preceding years, from 1866 to 1875, the exportations had only been a few million pounds sterling, while, on the contrary, from 1860 to 1866 the average export reached 12 millions.  Is it not plain, said Mr. Feer-Herzog, that we have here, in this changeableness of the Indian trade, a controlling fact, capable of determining, by itself, year by year, the situation of Silver in the money-market ?

There is no doubt that the commerce of India is a factor infinitely more important in that market than the German stock.  In Mr. Feer-Herzog’s view, the annual yield of the mines, with the possibilities which it brought with it, stood, only in the second rank of importance.  He estimated the production for 1876 and 1877 at 440 to 450 million francs, and.  observed, in passing, that these figures were higher than those which had been given by Mr. Hay, and which had been adopted by the Silver Committee of the House of Commons; but this arose from the fact that Mr. Say took account only of the exportations without considering the amount of metal which remained, in the producing country.

The reform of the monetary system in Germany, said Mr. Feer-Herzog, of which so much has been said as being the principal cause of the fall of Silver, is far from having the importance which has been ascribed to it.  On the 31st of December last, the German demonetization had thrown on the market, in a number of years, no more than the sum of 579 millions of francs, and it remains to be seen how much more is to be sent out.  Mr. Delbrück in the Reichstag took as a basis of his calculation on this subject the existence of the reserves in the public offices, and indicated in 1878 a cum comparatively small.  But very competent persons, outside of official spheres, Mr. Soetbeer, Mr. Bamberger, Mr. Michaelis, give a higher estimate for the present stock.  It may be put between 325 and 440 million marks.  Taking the total amount of German Coins struck and not retired, and deducting a third for loss, recoinage, and exportation, we obtain for the present stock the sum of 325 million marks.  If we calculate that only a fourth of the original stock has been melted or lost, we reach the figure of 440 million marks.  These are very nearly the figures given by Mr. Michaelis, 424 millions, or in round numbers 400 million marks, or 500 million francs.

But if we deduct from this stock the amount which it will be necessary to employ for the fabrication of small change, and if we also deduct what is never found again when an operation of this nature is undertaken – perhaps, in all, a third of the sum given out – the estimate of 15 to 16 million pounds sterling given by Mr. Goschen comes out of all these calculations with a sufficient degree of trustworthiness.  Now this sum is almost equivalent to that of the annual production of the mines, and no more.

It is said this Silver is more dangerous than that of the mines, and that it weighs more heavily upon the market, because it is there ready to be thrown upon it suddenly.  Mr. Feer-Herzog was not of this opinion.  It seemed to him manifest that the German Government would not act in this matter except with great prudence and with precaution; that it would not throw this mass of Silver all at one time upon the market in such a way as to lower the price; that its desire was to let Silver flow out in small quantities, little by little, at the right moment, profiting by good opportunities when they should present themselves.  It has up to the present time, he said, proceeded slowly with its sales, and there is every reason to believe that it will continue to act in the same manner, for its interest as a seller is to keep up the ratio and to do nothing to cheapen the price of its merchandise.

Such being the interest of the German Government, Mr. Feer-Herzog was, for his part, unable to see in the metallic stock of Germany that phantom, to the appearance of which all the evils of the present situation were attributed, and which had given to the imagination of some gentlemen a mistaken alarm.  Can the influence exercised, upon the market by the gradual disposal of this stock be compared to the colossal effect produced by the demands which arise from time to time in the Indies – demands caused now by a great undertaking in the way of public works, now by a famine, and which call for the export from Europe immediately, in a single year, as in 1877, of an amount of Silver equal to the sum total of the German stock ?  Evidently it cannot.  In the series of causes which may influence the market ratio of Silver, the existence of this stock falls into the third rank after the commerce of India and the production of the mines.

The Swiss Delegate now entered upon another question, and applied himself to putting in its true light the idea of those who, like himself, were partisans of the Single Gold Standard.

Mr. Goschen had said that the universal Double Standard was an Utopia, and he had added with reason that the universal adoption of the Single Gold Standard would be another : nor, said Mr. Feer-Herzog, is that our object.  Those who believe that we, who are called mono-metallists, desire to drive Silver from the money-market and leave nothing but Gold in the circulation, deceive themselves strangely.  There has never been any question among us of suppressing Silver Money absolutely, and reducing to nothing the role of this metal in human transactions.  We have no intention of doing without it.  We merely wish to give it the proper place which belongs to it, and not to let it longer usurp a place, its occupation of which is an abuse not without its dangers.  We all meet each other, therefore, in the idea that Silver ought not to be eliminated from the circulation.  But what ought to be its place ?  This place Mr. Feer-Herzog had indicated at the last session.  It is necessary, he said, to divide the world between the two metals – to choose Gold for the advanced nations and leave Silver to countries whose civilization is backward or stationary.

The President of the Conference has said that France awaits the favorable moment to re-enter into the system of the Double Standard.  In Switzerland and Belgium it is the Gold Standard which is taken as the objective point.  But this theoretical view, which divides us, does not prevent us from coming to an understanding in action upon the basis of the Treaty of 1865.

If he believed in the future of Gold as sole Legal Money of unlimited coinage, and in the future of Silver as mere fractional coin, Mr. Peer-Herzog desired to say why he did so.  It was because Silver was a metal of inferior order, ill-adapted to the needs of civilization, inconvenient for private persons, only fit for backward nations; a metal the value of which had been constantly depreciating for four centuries, and which, when it was maintained in the rank of Legal Tender by civilized peoples, caused, in a certain way, the emission of Paper Money.  If in certain countries there had not been an improper circulation of Silver, the circulation of paper would not be so great.  This is shown by the example of Belgium and Switzerland.  It is because we wish to assure to the nations the benefits and guarantees of a metallic circulation that we reject the Silver Standard, behind which we detect the grave abuse of paper money.

It is principally this persistent fall of Silver showing itself as a constant fact which has awakened the attention of governments, and even urges them, when they are not already determined on this step, to adopt the Single Standard of Gold.  We see in Silver a metal which depreciates day by day; which the productions of the mines and demonetizations tend to depreciate day by day still more, and which the demands of India alone can sustain; and while France foresees her practical return to the Double Standard, in Switzerland and in Belgium it is hoped that Silver, after a period of transition, during which it will only have Legal Tender for a small sum, may be finally reduced to the simple rôleof fractional money.

The President (Mr. Say) being obliged to retire, now invited Mr. Fenton to occupy his place.

Mr. Fenton, the Vice-President, took the chair.

Mr. Feer-Herzog, in continuation of his remarks, declared that the Delegates of Switzerland had received from their Government no authority to participate in any agreement on the adoption, in common, of the ratio of 1 to 16, or of any other relation; it was, indeed, expressly forbidden to them to give the United States any advice upon their monetary arrangements.  They can only take part in the general discussion and formulate their opinions on the questions which have been made the order of the day.

Count Rusconi observed with pleasure that no one in this Conference demanded the ostracism of Silver.  All admit it, and from different points of view recognize its utility as Money.  All that there was to be done, according to the Italian Delegate, was fairly to face the fundamental proposition of the United States, namely, the determination of a relation to be established between the value of the two moneys; a measure which, in his view, it was essential to take, and without which the Conference would be without result.  But this relation – is it practicable ?  Will it maintain itself in the midst of the fluctuations of the market ?

To these different questions the Italian Delegate did not hesitate to reply in the affirmative.   He did not believe, for his part, that the establishment of this ratio was like the squaring of the circle, a problem impossible of solution.  A metal is one thing, he said, but Money is another.  Nature makes the metal; law alone makes the Money.  If the uncoined metal is subjected as merchandise to all the accidents of supply and demand, all the variations of the market, the coined metal being no longer a merchandise, but having legal Legal-Tender power, has a price which does not vary.  In a piece of metal, coined according to certain rules as to alloy, impression, size, shape, weight, the law becomes in a manner incarnate.  It gives it the power of paying obligations, a virtue, a price which the metal-merchandise could not obtain.  It is not wrong to say that Silver rises and falls in the market; in the territory of the State, where the law reigns and governs, the value of the Coin does not change.  Our countrymen would be greatly astonished if they were to be told that the 5-franc piece which they laid by in 1873, which they put into a savings-bank or kept in their chests, has in the last five years performed all the somersaults outlined in the very instructive table which the Director of the Administration of Coins and Medals of Paris has kindly communicated to the Conference.  The metal changes in value it is true; but as long as the State maintains itself the Coin does not change; it has actually and effectively the value which is indicated by its imprint.

Inasmuch as this conventional relation between the coin metals was practicable, inasmuch as it existed and could endure, Count Rusconi urged that the Conference, in establishing it by mutual agreement, should give, as he said, another guaranty, and perhaps the most stable of all, to the peace of the world.

Mr. Broch could not share the opinions which had been expressed concerning the quantity of Gold which had been regarded as necessary for States now subjected to a Paper-Money régime in case they should withdraw the Legal-Tender character from their Paper.  Not only did he believe that they would not need to make great additions to the stock of Gold they already held in order to restore payment in Coin and in Paper convertible into Gold, but he believed, further, that in order to effect this operation they would require more Silver than Gold.  In fact, if they desired to make their bank-notes, or notes of the State, convertible, they would be necessarily compelled to retire the notes of small denominations and replace them with Silver or with Tokens, for Gold was not adapted for fractional Coin, nor for denominations lower than 10 francs, 5 florins, 2 roubles, or 2 dollars.  After having thus retired the small denominations from the circulation, and having put Silver in their place, they would certainly not replace all the notes of larger denominations with Gold.

These States would not cease to make use of the powerful lever of credit currency.  They would merely need to make their bank-notes convertible in Gold.  There is already in these States, said Mr. Broch, a certain quantity of Gold for the requirements of their foreign commerce, for which they have had to pay a premium; they therefore do possess Gold, and it must be said that what they suffer from is not so much a lack of Gold as a superabundance of Paper.  In order to retire the excess of Paper Money from their circulation, an acquisition of Gold enough to correspond with the premium on Gold would suffice.  If the premium be 10 per cent.  it will be sufficient, if they procure an amount of Gold equal to 10 % of the bank-notes which will not be replaced by fractional Silver Coins, obtaining in addition to this a certain amount as a reserve.

It will be seen, then, that the resumption of Specie Payments, even if it should be accomplished at the same time in all States which are now subjected to the régime of inconvertible paper, would not demand a very large quantity of Gold, and, according to Mr. Broch, it is a great exaggeration to say that the total production of Gold for ten years would not suffice for such resumption.  In the Scandinavian States very little Gold circulates because people prefer bank-notes, which are there issued in denominations as small as the Gold Coins; these notes are always redeemable in Gold.  The Gold remains in the coffers of the bank and of the bankers; among the people it has only a very limited circulation.

It is not precisely Gold, therefore, which is wanting in States which have a Paper-Money circulation; the trouble lies in this, that the Gold which they have is not always in the place where they need to have it – in the coffers of the State, or of the bank, ready to redeem the notes; but it is held by the bankers who deal in it, and sell it at a premium.  There is here, said Mr. Broch, a question of finance and of banking, but not a question of Money.

What is lacking in Europe, and is the true cause of the present crisis of manufactures and trade, is not that the Gold now existing is insufficient; it is not the Money which is wanting; it is confidence.  The old régime has been overthrown in Europe, and, in some respects it deserved to be overthrown; but there has not yet been established in its place a new system settled and permanent, which has been able to gain general confidence.  Nobody desires to enter upon far-reaching enterprises nor engage in undertakings which a long perspective of peace can alone encourage.  Men do not feel confidence either in the stability of institutions or in the permanence of the present boundaries of States.

The two countries of the Scandinavian peninsula, which the speaker and his colleague, Mr. Waern, have the honor to represent in the Conference, have been so fortunate as to remain untouched by all these great changes.  They glory in being the only nations in the world which for sixty-four years have been able to keep the peace abroad and perfect tranquility at home.  There has been no need to fire a single shot within their borders, either for the defense of the country or for the protection of social order.  They have, therefore, in this long period, in proportion to their former condition, made progress in perhaps a.  more marked degree than any other country.  Nevertheless, they feel to-day, in company with the rest of Europe, the general depression which weighs upon commerce and industry.  Having escaped all the ills which their own faults might have engendered, they undergo the effects of the law of solidarity, which to-day binds together the interests of all nations, and they submit to it; having had the benefit of it in other times, they accept the burden of it now.

The situation of the United States of South America can hardly be compared to that of Europe.  There, said Mr. Broch, people have no solicitude about peace, nor about the stability of institutions, nor the immense resources of their country.  We have seen the United States come forth intact from the most formidable civil war.  Their energy, their greatness of soul, their endurance, have all been admired.  In the most trying times of civil strife, the most important and richest families, as well as the most modest and poor, have sent forth their sons to the battle-field.  The citizens of the United States did not fear to contract a formidable debt in order to sustain the glorious work of their ancestors and maintain their great Union intact.  They have also given the noble example of a nation which not only pays in full, without reduction of any sort, the interest of an enormous debt, but which undertakes further, and without delay, to pay off the capital of it, by imposing upon itself severe taxation.  We may differ in opinion with them upon certain questions, but we must admire the extent of their resources, and the use they make of them, through their energy of character.

There is no doubt that, as the honorable Mr. Groesbeck has said, they will resume Specie Payments in the coming year; and in the present state of their monetary legislation, it will necessarily be in Gold that they will pay.  As long as they maintain the limit which they have wisely fixed for the Coinage of Silver Money, they will be able still for some time to keep up the value of the new Silver dollars at par with Gold; inasmuch as a large quantity will be demanded for domestic trade.

But later, said Mr. Broch, they will not be able to do this if they should continue to coin Silver, and especially if they should adopt the unlimited Coinage of the two metals at 1 to 16 (or more exactly of 1 to 15.98).  For the power of the United States, and even the power of all the States of Europe together, would not suffice for the struggle against the balance of international trade, or to change the terms of its balance.  The reason is, as the honorable Delegate from Switzerland has so well explained, that the fluctuations of the balance of trade between Europe and-the East far surpass in importance the variations in the annual yield of Silver.  It is the balance of this constantly increasing trade with people who accept nothing but Silver which, far more than the production of the mines, is the great determining factor in the relative values of Gold and Silver; and in the long run it must be clearly recognized, said Mr. Broch, that the practical influence of trade upon the economic condition of peoples far surpasses that of legislation and of governments.

Mr. Broch was not of opinion that the means proposed by the United States could have the results which they expect from it, even if it should be accepted by all Europe; he did not believe that the free and simultaneous Coinage of the two metals could assure a good circulation.  In his view it would be better to come to an agreement upon a Gold Coin which should have Legal Tender at par in all States which have the single Gold Standard or the Double Standard, with free Coinage of Gold, and likewise upon a Silver Coin which should have Legal Tender at par in all States which have the single Silver Standard, or the Double Standard with free Coinage of Silver.

Each of these pieces of money would have a vast field of circulation.  before it; each one would be Legal Tender in half of the world.  It would then be for commerce to regulate the relative value of Gold and Silver.

But if Mr. Broch differed from the United States on the question of the means, he was also desirous of saying in conclusion that he felt the most profound respect for the sentiment which led them to take the initiative of calling this Conference.  By merely doing this, he said, they have brought into clear light that community of interest which unites all portions of the civilized world, and he was convinced that if no resolution come forth from these discussions, they would at least have served to dispel prejudices on one side, and illusions on the other.

The session closed at 4.45 p.m.

 

FOURTH  SESSION : THURSDAY  AUGUST  22,  1878

 

There were present the Delegates of Austria-Hungary, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Russia, Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, and of The United States of America, who were present at the previous session, and

For Austria-Hungary, Count von Kuefstein.

The President (Mr. Say) expressed satisfaction at the presence of Count von Kuefstein, and at the part he was about to take in the labors of the Conference.

Count von Kuefstein expressed his recognition of the reception accorded him, and his regret not to have been able to attend from the outset the learned discussions of men whose researches and profound acquaintance with financial and economic questions had made them justly distinguished.  He was warmly sensible, he said, of the honor his government had done him in confiding to him the duty of hearing them and.  of thus gathering useful lessons and valuable information.  The standpoint upon which the Austro-Hungarian Government had placed itself in sending its representatives to the Conference was already understood.  It had been explained by his colleague, Mr. von Hengelmüller, at the last session so clearly that he himself had nothing to add.  He would confine himself to the expression of a hope that the Conference would result in setting measures on foot which would be calculated to arrest the fall of Silver, and in effecting or at least paving the way for an international agreement in a future more or less near.

The Conference received communication of :

1.  A note on the monetary system of Austria-Hungary, presented by Mr. von Hengelmüller (Exhibit A).

2.  A note on the monetary legislation of Russia, presented by Mr. de Thoerner (Exhibit B).

3.  A note on the Coins of the Scandinavian States, presented by Mr. Broch (Exhibit C).

4.  A note on the monetary legislation of the United States of America, presented by Mr. Horton (Exhibit D).

The President (Mr. Say) stated that, having transmitted to the German Government the extract from the minutes of the Second Session, containing the expression of the desire of the Conference as to the sending of German Delegates to take part in its labors, he had just received from Prince Hohenlohe, the German Ambassador at Paris, a letter, which he read, and.  from which it appeared that the German Government, expressing its thanks for this invitation, regretted its inability to accede to the wish of the Conference.

Mr. Goschen wished, in order to prevent any misconception, to revert to two observations he had made at the last session.  If he had spoken of the quantity of Silver which Germany still had to sell as reaching the amount of 15,000,000 pounds sterling, it was because in discussions of this kind some basis, even though an assumed one, was necessary for the argument, rather than because he was personally convinced of the existence of so considerable a stock.  He did not wish it to be supposed, from his use of that figure in the discussions, that he regarded it as the result of a thorough examination.  This question of the stock of Silver in Germany seemed to him, indeed, still very obscure.  He was anxious, in the second place, to prevent any misunderstanding as to an expression he had employed.  "When speaking of the advantages of an expectant attitude, he had drawn no distinction in his own mind between the countries which had prevented the influx of Silver by temporary measures, and those which, having hitherto left the mintage of Silver entirely free, were still patiently undergoing all the inconveniences of the depreciation.  As to those latter countries, it was impossible for them to enter into engagements of any kind.  Their position was very different, and the plan of waiting, which might suit those who had already taken defensive measures, might have quite a different effect for those still exposed to all the dangers of the situation.

Mr. Gibbs desired to offer some observations on the remarks of Mr. Feer-Herzog at the previous session.  I agree with him, he said, on all essential points.  Mr. Feer-Herzog is a partisan of the Single Gold Standard; so am I.  He would not, however, proclaim war against Silver, and drive it entirely out of circulation; neither would I.  But there is one point on which we are not agreed, viz., the influence which the German stock can exert on the monetary market.  Mr. Feer-Herzog questions that influence.  He attributes the fall of Silver to the progress of civilization – a progress by virtue of which, in his view, every progressive nation must give the preference to the most precious and most convenient metal; whereas, in my judgment, the fall of Silver is really due to the simultaneous action of several accidental causes, to the excessive yield of Silver mines, to the suspension of mintage in the States of the Latin Union, and chiefly to the demonetization of Silver in Germany, an event which must be considered equivalent to a fresh production of Silver.  By its monetary reform, said Mr. Gibbs, Germany has become a producer of Silver.  But that production has a character altogether different from the normal production of the years as they follow each other.  This mass of Silver which exists in Germany has not, like that buried in the bowels of the earth, to be extracted by dint of labor and expense; it is a definite mass, already in the hands of a vendor, who at any moment, and whenever it suits him, can flood the markets of the world with it.  The Silver Coin, withdrawn from circulation by Germany, has become merchandise, and as, by virtue of an economic law which nobody contests, the price of any product, of any merchandise, of whatever kind it may be, is governed by the abundance of that merchandise, rising or falling according as the commodity exists in smaller or larger quantity, the price of Silver must have fallen by the mere fact of German Silver being suddenly transferred from current Coin into merchandise in the warehouse.  It is, in fact, a quantity produced over and above the normal production of mines.  This surplus, weighing on the market, has disturbed the equilibrium between production and consumption, and in order that this result should take place, said Mr. Gibbs, it is not necessary that the merchandise thus produced by Germany should be immediately brought into the market 5 enough that it exists and is known to exist.

It will be remembered that the existence at one time of a large stock of copper in Chili, in addition to the ordinary production, immediately led to a heavy fall in the value of that metal.  Now there is no difference in this respect between copper and Silver.  The one like the other is merchandise, and before this economic law, which governs the value of things, all commodities are on an equal footing.  If by any accident the average annual production of any commodity, raw material or manufactured article, were instantaneously doubled, the price of that commodity must inevitably fall.  Now, how can it be supposed that the enormous increase of the merchandise Silver resulting from the monetary reform in Germany has not exerted an equally great influence upon the price of that metal ?  Mr. Feer-Herzog makes little account of it, arguing, that inasmuch as the stock of Silver in Germany is estimated at 15,000,000 or 16,000,000 pounds sterling, this quantity is inferior to the annual production of mines, which he estimates at 18,000,000.  But we must not consider the total production of the whole world; we must consider only the surplus which every producing country may export after satisfying its own wants; for it is that residue alone which influences the metal market.  Now, if the German stock be compared with this proportion of the annual production of the mines which is available for sale, it will be found that that stock is by far the greater.

Moreover, to appreciate adequately the influence of the demonetization in Germany on the metal market, we must not only consider the effect of the stock still for sale, but must take into account the stock already disposed of, the depressing effect of which continues to be felt.  The calculation of the extent to which Silver has been depreciated in consequence of the German reform must be based, therefore, on this total stock of Silver, not merely upon the 15 or 16 millions, but upon the 40 millions sterling sold and unsold.  That portion of this stock which, leaving Germany, has entered into circulation, is a latent, determinate, but still operating cause of fall, for it has always tended to diminish by so much the demand for the merchandise.  The other part, still to be sold, is an active and additional cause of fall.  But these two causes co-operate to the same result; the one by an increased supply, the other by diminished demand.  Mr. Feer-Herzog has compared the amount of Silver still existing in Germany with the amount yearly drawn by India from Europe, and he draws the conclusion that India annually consumes as much Silver as Germany could sell in several years.  He based his comparison, however, on a single year – 1877.  Now, if it be true that that year the consignments of Europe to India reached the amount of 16 million pounds sterling, it must not be forgotten, as Mr. Feer-Herzog him- I self stated, they were much less considerable in previous years.  During the financial year 1875-76 they did not exceed £ 3,500,000; in 1876-’77 they were only £ 10,000,000; and from 1865-66 to 1875-76 they amounted to only £ 6,000,000 per annum.  It must, therefore, be reckoned, taking this average sum as representing the annual normal consumption of India, that the German stock is equal not merely to one year’s consumption, but to two years.

Adopting the standpoint which the President had occupied on this subject, Mr. Gibbs proceeded to argue that the existence in Germany of a mass of Silver ready to be thrown on the market, while no one could know beforehand the time or manner of its appearance, must necessarily exert a much greater influence on the price of the merchandise than the successive and.  gradual influx of the natural yield of regularly worked mines.  Mine-owners, it was known, were obliged to offer their merchandise by degrees, as it was produced; the delivery was immediate, and however uncertain the production, one thing at least was certain – the quantity produced was sold at the price of the day.  There was here, then, an event foreseen and one that could be calculated upon 5 on the contrary, the sale of a stock of metal already in existence, effected by virtue of a legislative measure, depended on a freewill which escaped all calculation.  The actual yield of mines was subject to the market; the produce of a demonetization overrode the market; there is a great difference.  He could not, therefore, share the opinions expressed by Mr. Feer-Herzog on this subject, but was strongly inclined to the view that the German stock was the principal cause of the derangement of the metal market, and that the market would not recover its normal condition till that stock should be entirely sold.  Until this operation had terminated the value of Silver would be uncertain; it would tend to fall, and might undergo great fl actuations.  Mr. Gibbs declared, in conclusion, that he had nothing to add to Mr. Goschen’s remarks on the main question, being entirely in accord with him on all points.

Mr. Walker then addressed the Conference as follows :

The distinguished Delegate from Switzerland contends that the two propositions submitted to the consideration of the Conference are, in effect, but one; that the first proposition, upon which the views of the Conference are immediately solicited, does, in fact, raise the question of the «Single or Double Standard», so called; that is, of mono-metallism or bi-metallism.

To this it would appear a sufficient answer to say that the most important event in the monetary history of the past ten years, the event which has caused the evils, and which threatens the farther evils, the experience of which and the apprehension of which have induced the United States to invite this Conference, was the change of Germany, not from the Single to the Double Standard, or vice versa, but from Silver mono-metallism to Gold mono-metallism; and that, consequently, when the members of this assembly are asked to express an opinion whether it is desirable that the demonetization of Silver should proceed to the complete reduction of that metal throughout Europe and America, to the rank of token-Money, and to the banishment of the residue to the East to serve the purposes of barbarous ornament, they are not asked to consider a proposition which necessarily raises the question of bi-metallism or mono-metallism.

But I am not content with this short answer to the objection of Mr. Feer-Herzog.

The proposition to which the attention of the Conference is immediately solicited, raises in distinct form, and free from the embarrassments of economical theory, a practical question of vast importance to Europe, to America, and to mankind.  Bringing up to view certain accomplished facts, and a movement of forces still in progress in the same direction, it asks whether it is desirable that this movement should continue to its full completion or should be arrested, and, if practicable, and so far as practicable, be reversed.

What is it which is thus in contemplation as accomplished or as imminent ?

During the past five or six years Silver, which, having been Money from the earliest recorded period, had remained the sole or principal Money of nearly every important State until and even after the discovery of the Gold mines of California and Australia, and which, down to 1873, was still the sole Money of many prosperous and progressive nations, has been suddenly and violently thrown out of its use as Money.

Silver has not ceased to be Money as the result of natural causes, that is, of economical forces operating upon the choices of individual producers or exchangers.  The very suddenness of the change, and the violence by which it has been accomplished, would suffice to show this, did we not know that the rejection of Silver has been effected by action distinctly political, the laws or decrees of Government, those laws and decrees having, it is notorious, been suggested and urged by the political economists of a certain school, incited thereto, in no small measure, by the recommendations of a Conference not wholly unlike the present.  I refer to the Conference of 1867.

We are not, therefore, asking this body to decree the reversal of a law of nature in asking the consideration of the expediency of arresting and, so far as practicable, reversing the movement for the demonetization of Silver.  So far as that movement has proceeded, it has been wholly a work of man’s accomplishing as it was of man’s devising.  The action of Germany in 1871 was wholly gratuitous and of choice, not compelled or even suggested by any commercial, industrial, financial, or fiscal stress or exigency.

That action, involving important changes in the monetary policy of the Scandinavian kingdoms and of the Latin Union, was, as we conceive, taken under bad advice, with partial or mistaken views of the proper relations of Silver to the trade of the civilized nations, in their present state of development, and with little or no consideration of the broader question, as to the effects upon the production of wealth which would be wrought by so great a diminution of the Money supply of the world.

As the Conference of 1867, wholly absorbed in the consideration of the means of securing International Coinage, did incontestably exert a powerful influence in initiating the movement for demonetizing Silver, it remains for the Conference of 1878, with a more sober judgment and a larger view of human interests, instructed as the nations have been by the bitter experience of the past few years, to put forth its hand to, stay the progress of that demonetization which has already brought such mischiefs upon trade and the production of wealth.

In referring thus to the Conference of 1867, I have no wish to disparage the object of International Coinage.

A uniform Coinage of Money by all civilized nations would offer certain, definite, appreciable, but not momentous, practical advantages, and would be, moreover, of considerable sentimental importance.  It is worth the making a certain sacrifice of national prejudices; it is worth the incurring a certain, definite expense, in recoinage, and a certain temporary embarrassment of trade, pending the readjustment of monetary systems consequent thereon.  It is not worth the sacrifice of a single vital interest of mankind; and the Conference of 1867, in proclaiming a crusade against Silver, for the sake of forwarding the cause of International Money, did a mischief whose consequences are even yet only half unfolded.

I have said that the action of Germany was taken, under advice of professional economists, with partial or mistaken views of the proper relations of Silver to the trade of the civilized nations, in their present state of development.  On this point it is imperative, that, with profound respect for the eminent economist, the Delegate from Switzerland, I antagonize, as fully as I may, the position he has here taken.

Mr. Feer-Herzog expects and desires to see, in the immediate future, the nations of the world divided into two great groups, in the respect of their monetary circulation, the civilized States using Gold as the Sole Standard of value, and the uncivilized, Silver.

On the contrary, it is here maintained that there are not more than three territorially extensive countries in the world – and the recent experience of Germany shows that she is not one of them –;which could possibly maintain a Single Gold Standard, upon true economic principles.

If there is any one thing which political economy declares with an unfaltering voice, it is that the principal Money circulating in the hands of the people of any country should be of full metallic value.  The coinage of Billon, or Token-Money, is indeed admitted by political economists, but only as applied to what may legitimately and strictly be termed the «small change» of trade. ([1])  To extend the operation of a heavy seignorage to the main body of the Money of a country, what is it but to corrupt the Coin, and to generate in the public body the morbus numericus of which Copernicus wrote that it is more fatal than civil war, pestilence, or famine?

Better far, inconvertible Paper Money than a debased Coinage; for the former, at least, does not deceive the sense of the people.  If a wrong, it is a wrong confessed, and which, is always suggestive of its proper remedy.

The universal Gold-mono-metallism of Europe which has been recommended would, in most countries, amount simply to this : a scanty Coinage of Gold, held mainly by the banks for the settlement of international obligations, and a vastly preponderating circulation of debased silver.

England, in exacting a heavy seignorage upon the shilling piece, the florin and the half-crown, carries the principle of Billon to the verge of safety, though, with an extensive popular use of sovereigns and half-sovereigns, the greater part of the circulating medium is still of full metallic value; but in how many other countries of Europe is there a sufficiently vast accumulation of wealth, a sufficiently high range of wages and prices, a sufficiently rapid circulation, to attract and retain the amount of Gold (especially under the diminishing productiveness of the mines) which would be necessary to constitute the major part in value of the actual Money of the people ?

If Gold-mono-metallism in Europe is to mean, as, in this view of the case, it must mean, a principal circulation of debased Silver, with little or no Gold in the hands of the people, but pretty much the whole Gold Coinage held by the banks, for the purpose of international trade, better inconvertible paper !  Why not realize at once the scheme of the British Birmingham school of a generation ago : a «national money» for internal circulation only, of no value whatever (saving, thus, the whole cost of debased Silver Coinage), a purely «non-exportable currency», with a Money of «intrinsic value» only for foreign trade, i.e., for international exchanges ?

Indeed, what is Gold-mono-metallism, on such terms, but the full realization of the projects of Matthias Attwood and Jonathan Duncan ?

So much, in justification of the remark that the action of Germany in 1871 was taken with partial or mistaken views of the proper relations of Silver to the trade of civilized nations in their present state of development.  If those nations only are to be called civilized which are prepared to receive Gold as their principal Money, their sole Money of full value, we must, per force, lake a somewhat lower view than we have been wont to do of the progress of mankind.

But what of the assertion hazarded that the crusade against Silver was undertaken with little or no consideration of the effects of demonetization upon –

1st.  International Exchanges;

2d.  The Production of Wealth.

On the first point, we have heard the remarks of the eminent Chairman of the British Commission.  No man, perhaps, knows so well as Mr. Goschen the difficulties, the extreme and painful embarrassments, which have been introduced into international exchanges by the recent political action respecting Silver as a Money Metal – embarrassments which are certain to be perpetuated in timer and to become aggravated in degree, if the movement which we have noted in progress is not to be arrested and reversed.

Mr. Goschen, in his remarks of Monday, made reference to a normal price of Silver.  I must understand this to mean 61d. or thereabouts, of British Money, per oz., being the price from which Standard Silver never departed widely prior to 1873.  From this I infer that Mr. Goschen concedes to the French law of 1803 the virtue which is attributed to it by his distinguished countrymen, the late Professor Cairnes, Mr. Stanley Jevons, and the late Mr. Bagehot, viz., that the French law served as «the connecting-pipe» (to use Mr. Jevons’ phrase) between the two reservoirs severally of Gold and Silver, which would otherwise have been subject to independent variations of supply and demand, or as an «equalizing machine» (to use Mr. Bagehot’s expression) by which the bi-metallic countries, taking the metal which fell and selling the ‘metal which rose, kept the relative value of the two at its old point.

Thus it was, and thus only it could have been, that Silver came to have a «normal price»; that a par of exchange between Gold countries and Silver countries was established and maintained.

Was this adjustment of exchanges desirable ?  Who gained by it ?  Who, if any one, lost ?

That England profited greatly by it, from first to last, and in every way, it would be preposterous to deny.  That India, China, and the other exclusively Silver countries greatly profited by it, on the whole, no one here probably will question.  How with the bi-metallic countries ?  Did they perform this great service to others at a loss to themselves ?

To assert that France and the countries associated with her lost by this arrangement merely because England and India profited by it, would be to proclaim anew the brutal doctrine which we know as the Mercantile Theory, which it was the great work of Adam Smith to expose to the contempt of mankind.

But if we cannot give this reason for believing that this great service to the world was rendered by the bi-metallic States at a cost to themselves, what other reasons can be given ?  May we not, on this question, trust to the sagacity of French financiers, French statesmen, and of the French people themselves, who maintained the policy of the year XI for seventy years, and, though compelled by the action of Germany to suspend the operation of that law, still, in the language of our President (Mr. Say), look forward to the resumption of this beneficent function, when the present exigency shall have passed away ?

For myself, I cannot but believe that, while France might well have ‘wished that the burden should be shared in a larger degree by others, it was better, even for France, that she should do it alone than that it should not be done by any.

But what, Mr. President, if that function is never to be resumed ?  What if, as the Delegate from Switzerland urges, the nations are to make their final choice between Silver and Gold ?  What must be the effects upon international commerce, when a par of exchange between the two great divisions of the earth no longer exists ?  Must not the trade between them thereafter be conducted under difficulties the same in kind precisely, if not wholly in degree, as those which beset the intercourse of specie-paying nations with others which labor under an irredeemable Paper Circulation ?

Yet even more important, in the view of the Delegates from the United States, is the probable effect upon the production of wealth, resulting from the diminution of the Money-supply of Europe and America, already accomplished or in progress, through the gratuitous demonetization of Silver.

Cutting, as in the first instance it does, to the very quick into the profits of the entrepreneur, or man of business, which profits constitute the sole motive to production under the modem organization of industry, and enhancing, as in its ultimate operation it must, the burden of all debts and fixed charges, public, private, or corporate – which debts and charges are, in effect, the mortgage which the representatives of past production hold upon the products of current industry – a diminution of the Money-supply is one of the gravest evils which can menace mankind.

The mischiefs of a contracting circulation have twice, at least, in the course of events befallen Europe as the result of the exhaustion of the mines of the precious metals, or the interruption of mining industry by barbarian invasion or civil convulsion.  It has remained for this generation and this decade to see these mischiefs brought upon Europe by the deliberate acts of Government under advice of political economists.

Whether the Money-supply of Europe and America would be reduced by the completion of the movement initiated in 1871, to the extent of 40, of 30, or of only 20 %, the consequences could not but be most disastrous.

Suffocation, strangulation, are words hardly too strong to express the agony of the industrial body when embraced in the fatal coils of a contracting Money-supply !

At a time when the production of the two historical Money-metals, jointly, is diminishing, this most unfortunate occasion is taken to throw one of them out of use as Money of full value; to remit it to the uses of Token-Money, and to banish what of the accumulated stock of three thousand years’ production cannot thus be employed, to be hoarded in! the East as treasure, or devoted to personal ornament.

Against so great a wrong to civilization and to the hopes of mankind, the representatives of the United States here present raise their earnest protest and warning.

This is our real interest in the Silver question.  This it is which brings us here.

That the United States are at present producers of Silver is a consideration so slight, in the presence of far-reaching and enduring interests like these, that it sinks utterly out of our view.  Silver mining is but one, and it is one of the least, of scores of industries for which the available labor and the available capital of the United States are far too scanty.  With boundless natural wealth lying all around us, unworked for want of men and means, it is a matter of the smallest consequence to us whether we employ a few thousand laborers more or less, in working the Silver mines of Nevada.

Nor does our interest in the subject arise out of the possession of a stock of Silver of which we fear the depreciation.  Just emerging, as we are, from the state of suspension into which we were plunged by civil war, we have as yet only a moderate supply of the precious metals, and of that by far the greater part of it is in Gold; Silver having been restored to its rank as Money of full value only a few months since.

But if we held as large a stock as France or India, we should, in our view of the relations of the Money-supply to the interests of trade and the production of wealth, look upon the fall of that Silver to 45, to 40, or to 30 d. an oz. simply as a net, definite loss, once for all, of so much of our accumulated wealth – a loss to be made good by increased frugality and industry – while we should look upon the reduction of the stock of Money by such a cause as an event of vastly greater magnitude, bringing in its train indefinite possibilities of evil, not to us alone, but to the whole world; not in our time only, but through generations to come.

Mr. Feer-Herzog wished, first of all, to reply to Mr. Gibbs’s observations on the influence exerted on the metal-market by the German stock.  The difference of opinion between them on this point arose from Mr. Gibbs’s adoption of the exclusive standpoint of the London market, and from his attaching importance only to the quantity which arrived at or went forth from that market; which was just as if, with regard to cotton, nothing were taken into account but the actual or probable arrivals and sales in the Liverpool market.  From this point of view, the Silver stock of Germany, from its vicinity to London, acquired a much greater significance.  His own standpoint, however, embraced the entire globe, the total production and total consumption of Silver.  Taking this general view, the annual production was 440 million francs, of which the United States furnished 200 millions.  From Mr. Gibbs’s standpoint, this latter figure was reduced to 50 millions, viz., the quantity which arrived at London.  The German stock, which was naturally formidable in Mr. Gibbs’s eyes, was in his own view equivalent only to the annual yield of the mines, or to the possible demand of India for a single year.  Their difference of opinion, therefore, arose solely from a difference of standpoint; at bottom they were agreed.

There is another question, added Mr. Feer-Herzog, to which I must revert.  It has been said that the limitation of the mintage of Silver in the States of the Latin Union has contributed to the fall of Silver.  This is, in my view, a mistake.  In consulting the statements of the working of the Paris mint, the most important mint in the Latin Union, I find that from 1857 to 1865, no 5-franc pieces were coined, although no legislative act then prohibited or limited the mintage of Silver.  Well, this did not at that time prevent the rise of Silver.  The experience of that period proved, therefore, that the suspension of the mintage of Silver did not necessarily involve a fall in the value of that metal.  The Latin Union did not limit the mintage of 5-franc pieces until, in 1873, the commercial relation of the two metals was 1 to 16.  Thus the fall of Silver preceded measures of restriction, and it was the fall of Silver which actually instigated those measures when taken.

Such were the minor points on which he did not agree with the English Delegates.  For the rest, he concurred in their mode of regarding the main question.  He regretted that he-could not say as much with reference to the opinions which the learned American economist, General Walker, had developed in his remarkable address.  Although unprepared, and although such a statement of views deserved a thorough examination, Mr. Feer-Herzog would endeavor to reply to it, touching only on the most essential points.  General Walker had first given a history of the circulation of Gold in late centuries, but this sketch was, in his view, not altogether accurate.  In England, especially since the beginning of the eighteenth century, Gold had played a dominant role.  From the date when Sir Isaac Newton rated the guinea at 21 shillings that metal began to be the chief instrument of exchange.  If in France, after 1815, the currency was chiefly Silver, after 1850 it became exclusively a Gold currency.  It was not admissible, therefore, to consider Europe as devoted during the last two centuries to a Silver currency.  The truth was that in Europe, as in the United States, there was a Gold and Silver currency, with a much larger proportion of Gold than of Silver, the Silver currency being especially that of the less rich and less industrial nations.  In fine, he denied to Silver the position which General Walker attributed to it as a monetary agent in past times, and he also thought that the learned Delegate of the United States was wrong in criticizing, as he had done, the tendencies of the Conference of 1867.  At that Conference, in which they were represented, the United States showed themselves warm supporters of the Gold Standard.  It was they who led the campaign in favor of Gold.  To-day the situation was reversed; it was they who take in hand the cause of Silver.  But, in Mr. Feer-Herzog’s view, it would not be just to-day to make the reproach against that great assembly that it had raised questions which it was not able to solve and indicated remedies which it had no power to apply.  It did what it could, and not without contributing much to the clearing up of the questions it had to consider.

The Conference of 1867 desired what he had permitted himself to demand at the last session; it wished to divide the world between Gold and Silver – to reserve Gold for the civilized, rich, active nations, leaving Silver, the inferior metal, to the less advanced peoples, who were content with it, and even preferred it, provisionally retaining the Double Standard for nations whose present situation debarred them from pronouncing immediately for one metal or the other.  This was the tendency of the Conference of 1867.  It discussed, moreover, the question of a Gold Coinage, the international creation of which had been demanded here; a question more debated in 1867 than in 1878, and which, there was reason to regret, had not been practically solved.  The Conference of 1867, in default of a practical result, at least sowed precious seed on the soil of economic science, which the future would cause to germinate, and which would certainly bear fruit at a period less troubled than the present from the monetary and political standpoint.

Mr. Feer-Herzog then proceeded to defend mono-metallism against the attack which General Walker had directed against it, and after giving in outline the monetary history of three great nations of the world, he drew the conclusion that the greater part of the economic perturbations and disasters which had been provoked in them bad been caused by the Double Standard.  England, he said, had at first the Single Silver Standard.  Under James I and Charles II, the Gold Coinage expanded, but whatever measure was taken by the government, whenever it sought to establish a legal ratio between the two kinds of Coin, the currency was imperiled.  Now the Gold Coinage and now the Silver Coinage disappeared, and it became necessary to resort to costly recoinage, as was notably the case in the reign of William III.  In 1717, when the value of the guinea was fixed at 21 shillings, Gold became, in practice, the sole Standard; and a close study of history would show that from that date alone England enjoyed, from a monetary standpoint, a certain tranquility, excepting, of course, the crisis occasioned by the wars of the First Empire.  This de facto equilibrium became in 1816 a legal equilibrium, but the law did no more than merely consecrate, as it were, what the natural course of things had established.

In 1792 Alexander Hamilton gave to the recently founded American Union a currency law based on the ratio of 1 to 15 between Gold and Silver.  Hamilton knew that Silver was favored by this ratio, but his political scheme involved the establishment of a national bank with a large issue of notes, and he saw that the circulation of the heavier metal would facilitate that issue.  Notwithstanding this ratio of 1 to 15, unfavorable to Gold, there was in the United States for 20 years, owing to the commerce, via the Mississippi, with the Spanish West Indies, a somewhat large circulation of foreign Gold Coins, and especially of Spanish doubloons.  But in 1812 this state of things disappeared.  The United States became a Silver country, and so continued until 1834 and 1837, when new laws established the ratio of 1 to 16 between the two metals.  This relation being too high, such a drain of Silver occurred that, in 1853 and 1854, it became necessary, as internal trade was in want of small change, to decree the mintage of a Silver Coin of an intrinsic value very nearly that of the Token" Coinage in England.  From that moment there was in the United States a currency exclusively composed of Gold, although the Double Standard was still in force according to the law of 1837.  One can thus see, said Mr. Feer-Herzog, what ordeals the United States has undergone.  The Double Standard, inscribed in the law, has never existed in fact.  They have, in fact, had only the alternative Standard – the nature of things has never allowed anything else in any country.

As for France, having sanctioned by the law of 1803 the extremely fortunate ratio she had adopted as early as 1785, that of 15 ½, she at first saw her circulation of Gold rise to eight hundred millions.  But, notwithstanding, Gold, gradually disappeared, and from 1820 France became a Silver country.  Her legislation had established the Double Standard; the nature of things, stronger than the law, had established, de facto, the Silver Standard; but suddenly, in 1850, as if by a change of scene, Gold came to substitute itself for Silver, and took its place in the circulation.  The influx of Gold coming from the Californian and Australian mines raised the price of Silver, caused it to disappear, and it was found, not without alarm, that the Gold Standard was sole master of the field.

Of late years a fresh change had occurred, equally rapid and more serious.  While the production of the Gold mines was slackening, Silver, yielded in enormous masses by the American mines, invaded France, And inundated it to such an extent that but for the highly necessary measure of the limitation of the.  mintage of 5-franc pieces, this rich country, whose balance of trade was usually so favorable, being an asylum open to the depreciated Money of the globe, would have become an island of Silver.  The limitation of the mintage of Silver, it must be acknowledged, had saved the Latin Union.  It was an indispensable measure – a measure of public safety – the only measure which could remedy the danger inevitably menacing every country legally subjected.  to the regime of the Double Standard system.  The necessary consequence of that system was, that inasmuch as of two kinds of Money, both having a forced currency, one would always be at a premium, it was always the worse of the two that the country admitting both was forced to receive.  The inquiry of the English Silver Committee had shown in the most instructive way that from 1873 to 1876, before the large demands of India arose, all the excess of Silver produced, rendered available, or unemployed, was poured into France.

Such, in fact, said Mr. Feer-Herzog, was the result of the Double Standard.  However looked at, that system was a necessary inevitable speculation at the expense of the people who adopted it for the benefit of the people who did not adopt it.  He could never, therefore, agree with the distinguished American economist who had been to-day its eloquent apostle.  There was yet another point – a vital point – on which Mr. Feer-Herzog felt himself obliged to combat General Walker’s opinion.  The latter had said that the Single Gold Standard led to a limited circulation of Gold, supplemented by Silver Tokens and by a considerable quantity of bank-notes.  Now, in his own view it was, on the contrary, the Silver Standard which, as he had remarked at the last session, led to the injurious issue of fiduciary Money.  Silver was a heavy and inconvenient metal, disagreeable to handle, to the use of which individuals did not readily submit, whereas Gold, having a much greater value with less weight, was easily carried, and rendered the use of paper much less necessary.  Gold was therefore, naturally, much better fitted than Silver to serve as the basis of a metallic currency.  In Belgium and Switzerland, since Silver had become plentiful, fiduciary Money had increased to a disquieting degree.  The currency, therefore, based on Silver was never but a sham metallic currency, soon, through the force of events, superseded by a circulation of fiduciary Money which, while more convenient, presented in its turn dangers which it was not well to ignore.  In short, Mr. Feer-Herzog regarded the thesis so brilliantly sustained by General Walker as condemned by the lessons of experience.  He did not think that a fixed ratio could be advantageously established between the values of two metals which the chance of production and the accident of international commerce were constantly modifying.  There could only exist, in his view, in any country, a single symbol of the value of things, and to pretend to have two was to put one’s self into a condition of perpetual instability, the dangers of which were demonstrated by history.  He advocated, therefore, for countries of advanced civilization, with the Single Gold standard, a stable and real metallic currency.  Tinder this system Silver, continuing to be the monetary instrument of less advanced peoples, would no longer serve the former except as small change.  Confined to the modest rôle of Tokens, it would no more, by its successive rises and falls, lead to those painful perturbations at which peoples and governments had so much reason to be alarmed.

Mr. Waern thought it right to reply to the question put by General Walker, viz., how many nations in Europe, if they adopted the Single Gold Standard, would have, like England, a sufficient accumulation of wealth or a sufficiently active monetary circulation to attract and retain in the hands of the whole people the quantity of Gold Coin which they would require ?  According to General Walker, these nations would be obliged, side by side with Gold, to keep in circulation a large quantity of Silver, without paying-power as to large amounts – Money of nominal value, which in his eyes would be even worse than an inconvertible Paper Currency – and these nations would be exposed, moreover, in certain circumstances, to undergoing the inconveniences and losses occasioned by the insufficiency of their monetary circulation.

Now, as the representative of Sweden, a country very inferior in wealth to England, he would observe that the question was not one of a conflict necessarily to arise between two or more nations, and in the course of which the richer and stronger nation would gain an advantage over the others.  The question to be decided was whether a particular nation, though inferior in wealth, would not, nevertheless, have the requisite strength to retain the quantity of Gold Coin necessary for its needs.  Now, to possess this strength, it was not necessary to be rich.  With good monetary laws, good institutions of credit, and prudence in its foreign commerce, any nation, although poor, would always be enabled, when it chose, to retain in its hands the amount of specie, whether in Gold or in Silver, which it required for its exchanges.  If, on the contrary, the currency laws were bad, the banks mismanaged, and the imports excessive, neither Gold nor Silver could be retained in the richest country.  During nearly half a century, Sweden had not had to resort to inconvertible Paper Money, and the adoption in 1873 of the Single Gold Standard, in lieu of the Single Silver Standard, had in no way changed its situation.  Tinder the Swedish currency law of 30th May, 1873, any quantity whatever of fractional Money was a Legal Tender in the public treasuries, and was convertible into Gold Coin at the State Bank and its branches.  Fractional Money in Sweden had thus the same value as Gold.

As to an insufficient currency, Mr. Waern desired to state that operations did not depend solely on metallic Money, but on Paper Money, bills of exchange, and running accounts at the banks; all these operations contributed to the circulation.  They assumed, indeed, the presence of a certain amount of metallic Money in the country, but the proportion of this element in the entire circulation would always depend on the general confidence and feeling of security in the maintenance of the public peace.  There was no doubt that with prudence and moderation in its enterprises a nation could always reserve the proper amount of metallic currency to serve as the basis of the fiduciary circulation.  The injurious effects of the adoption of the Single Gold Standard by the less wealthy nations which had been detailed by General Walker were therefore neither certain nor probable, and there were abundant means of avoiding them.  Not so with the dangers they incurred and the losses they underwent through the sudden alteration produced in exchanges, by the demonetization of Silver, by the rise or fall of a metal which had become merchandize; and this was why the Scandinavian States, the greater part of whose commerce was with England, had adopted the same currency system – that of the Single Gold Standard.

Mr. Horton, before entering into an examination of the historical facts upon which the eminent Delegate of Switzerland had rested his conclusions in favor of the Single Gold Standard, wished first to offer a simple remark suggested by the controversy which had arisen as to the degree of influence of the stock of German Silver on the present state of the monetary market.  The President of the Conference and the English Delegates attributed to the existence of that stock a considerable influence, and did not hesitate to say that as long as it remained in existence, or until the elements composing it had been thrown back into circulation, the state of the market would remain uncertain and critical.  Mr. Feer-Herzog, on the other hand, contested this influence, and, adopting a general point of view, which enabled his calculations to embrace the production and consumption of Silver in the entire world, had come to the conclusion that the serious fluctuations in the value of that metal which had occurred had chiefly been caused by the variations in the production of the mines, and by the variations in the Indian demand.  For his own part, adopting the same general and cosmopolitan standpoint, Mr. Horton would like to inquire what would be the influence of that stock of Silver which would be for sale whenever the statesmen of the Latin Union, yielding to the counsels of the mono-metallists, should resolve on acting like Germany, on adopting the Single Gold Standard or demonetizing Silver ?  This, as Mr. Feer-Herzog had declared, was the goal at which he was aiming.

Now, the demonetization of Silver necessarily involved the sale of the 5-franc pieces.  There were many hundred millions of these coins in the territories of the Latin Union, and there were known to be in France 2 ½ billion francs’ worth of them.  Whenever this enormous stock of Silver of the Latin Union should be for sale, a stock compared with which that of Germany was trifling, would Mr. Feer-Herzog continue to discover the causes of the monetary derangement in the demand of India rather than in the supply of Europe ?  Here was a question which arose from the very standpoint assumed by the learned Delegate of Switzerland; and the chance of this catastrophe, which would be imminent were the doctrines of mono-metallism to predominate in the councils of the Latin Union, ought, it seemed to him, to awaken the attention of those who were interested in the future of Silver, and were aware of the necessity of the employment of the two metals as Money.

Passing from this incidental observation, Mr. Horton proceeded to examine the historical facts invoked by Mr. Feer-Herzog, and contested the truth of the conclusions he had drawn from them.  According to the learned Delegate of Switzerland, the Double Standard system had always been attended with inconvenience in France, in the United States, in England when in force there, and had even sometimes been the cause of the most serious embarrassments.  Moreover, he had contended, the Double Standard never really existed in them, but in reality they had had only the alternative Standard.

Freeing this last proposition from what seemed to him to be too strongly affirmed, Mr. Horton declared himself ready to acknowledge the possibility of this alternating movement in a country which should seek to maintain between the two metals a legal ratio of value, the permanence of which was rendered impossible by the existence of conflicting ratios in other countries; but, admitting this point, it must be observed that the alternation spoken of by Mr. Feer-Herzog never occurred in a complete and absolute manner; and if it actually happened that in Double Standard countries only one metal at a time appeared to be the Standard, the other never entirely ceased to be a part of the Standard.  What really happened was not the suspension or the entire suppression of one of the two metals as a Standard, but only the withdrawal into the background of one and the predominance of the other, a phenomenon which was determined by the variations in the supply and demand arising in countries other than the one under consideration.  As for the inconveniences apparently resulting from the Double Standard or the quasi-alternative Standard, and the serious embarrassments attributed to it because appearing at the same time with it, it was necessary to inquire, first, whether they were the direct consequences of it, or whether a relation of cause and effect was not attributed to a simple coincidence.  The real question, moreover, was not so much whether these embarrassments, when arising, were the result of the Double Standard system in force at the time, as whether another system than that of the Double Standard could have been adopted; for what was the object of dwelling on the weak points of a system which had been necessary or inevitable ? In comparing the Single Gold Standard system with that of the Double Standard, and in representing the latter as the cause at certain times of certain monetary derangements, Mr. Feer-Herzog had put himself under the obligation of proving that at those periods there was freedom of choice, and that these countries of which he speaks could have done better than to retain the Double Standard.  How this demonstration of his thesis was lacking.

Mr. Feer-Herzog’s sketch of the monetary history of the United Kingdom suggested to Mr. Horton another observation.  Mr. Feer-Herzog had said that from 1717 Gold had become de facto the sole Standard in England, and that in 1816 the law only, as it were, sanctioned what the natural course of things had established a century before.  This was, said Mr. Horton, a version of English history which was generally accepted, but the researches which he himself had had occasion to make into the documents relative to the monetary history of that country had enabled him to ascertain that it was not in 1816, as was generally stated, but in 1798, that for the first time, and at a time when the Double Standard with the right of unlimited mintage existed in England at the legal ratio of 1 to 15.21, the Parliament prohibited the Coining of Silver Money – a law at first temporary (38 George III, c. 59) and soon rendered perpetual (39 George III, c. 75).  It was not, therefore, in 1816 but in 1798 that the Single Gold Standard was sought to be and was actually de facto established in England.  And with what success ?  It was well known that throughout the whole period which followed, from 1798 to 1821, there was a contraction, almost a stoppage, in the metallic circulation, and that the real Monetary Standard of England was, in fact, the bank-note, inconvertible and generally depreciated.  Would the notes of the Bank of England have suffered this depreciation if the Double Standard had been retained ?  This was the question, and it must be capable of solution in favor of the Gold Standard if the example of England was to be cited in favor of the demonetization of Silver.  Now, if it was remembered that Silver then everywhere served as Money, that all the countries with which England held commercial relations possessed more Silver Money than Gold Money, and that Gold not only stood higher than the English ratio, but was constantly subject to the peculiar demand created by the state of war on the Continent, there was good ground for believing that the mono-metallist law of 1798 largely contributed to the monetary confusion from which England suffered at that period.

What Mr. Feer-Herzog had said of the original monetary laws adopted by the American Union might serve as the text for a long discussion, into which he would not enter.  He would only, inasmuch as the name of Alexander Hamilton had been mentioned, call the attention of the Conference to the doctrines of that financier with reference to the monetary role of the two metals.  Hamilton deemed it eminently dangerous for the mechanism of circulation that one of the two metals should be reduced to the condition of simple merchandize, and comparing the advantages of an abundant circulation with the evils resulting from an insufficient circulation, he expressly pronounced in favor of the simultaneous employment of the two metals.  He regretted that he could not at once place before the Conference the very form given by that statesman to his ideas on this subject in his Report on the Mint, but he would look for that document and place an extract from it on the table of the Conference.  (Exhibit E)

At the time Hamilton wrote that report the question of mono-metallism or bi-metallism had not come into being.  Nobody had yet expressed the idea of depriving one or the other metal of its character as a means of international payment.  The campaign against Silver, that campaign which commenced subsequently in 1798 with a first blow struck by England at the bases of obligations, and which was being completed in our time by the German demonetization, had not yet opened.  Hamilton, by fixing the relation, a measure which in his eyes had a purely local character, might not have secured his country a metallic currency always composed equally of Gold and Silver, but his express intention was to preserve for the two metals their rôle of good national and international Money; he maintained for both the right of unlimited mintage, and this was in its entirety a work diametrically opposed to the tendencies of the Conference of 1867, whose doctrines had been extolled by the Delegate from Switzerland.

Having made these observations, Mr. Horton would ask whether instead of diverging into discussions rather collateral than touching upon the precise object of the Conference, it would not be better clearly and categorically to discuss the question, the real question, suggested by the United.  States Government, a question which he would state thus :

Is it in the interest of the States represented at this Conference to continue to wage a monetary war, by seeking to each others prejudice to get rid of the falling metal, or is it their interest to unite together, in order by a common legislation to give to the monetary basis of the business of the world a stability it does not now possess ? Such, said Mr. Horton, in conclusion, was the true practical and urgent question which justified the assembling of this Conference, and if the Conference should separate without at least giving its opinion on this question it seemed to him that it would not fully have fulfilled its task.  It would have left an interrogation point at the end of its labors, whereas a reply was looked for from its wisdom and enlightenment.

Mr. Baralis deeply regretted, to see that the propositions made by the United States Delegates were in danger of not being received by the Conference as they deserved to be.  In his opinion it would not be right to reject them so hastily, and time should be given to the authors of them to develop their arguments in fall.  The facts upon which gentlemen relied as justifying the rejection of them, were they conclusive as had been alleged ?  He thought not, and would cite on this point the example of Italy.  For a long time the country of Dante and Vico had but a single Standard, that of Silver, which formerly enjoyed the preference and the suffrages of economists.  Only since the beginning of this century had the Double Standard been introduced, and notwithstanding all the learned works and all the speeches of theorists this system had never ceased to remain in force.

Usage and local tradition had to be considered in monetary matters, but this was not the only thing to be taken into account.  Instead of regarding only the interests and particular customs of each State, could not one from a loftier standpoint consider also the general interests of humanity? Was it not possible to effect, by means of mutual concessions, as Mr. Broch had already proposed, the creation of an International Coinage, which should serve as a tie of union between all nations ?  Considerable progress had been made in our time in the path of civilization; barriers were everywhere being leveled; Europe was now crossed without passports in 48 hours.  Was it not really to be regretted that if one broke his journey on the way he met at every stage with different Coinages, the exchange of which required so many calculations, and always involved sensible losses ?  If the habits of the populations were an obstacle to making the currency of the different States of Europe entirely identical, could there not be at least one Gold and one Silver Coin fitting in with the particular system of each State, and constituting by the side of different national coin’s, a common, an international, money ?

This, in the view of Mr. Baralis, was a question which it behooved the Conference to consider, for it was intimately connected with the proposition of the United States; and as that question demanded preparatory research and information, he would recommend that the Conference, after introducing the question into the scope of its labors, should at once appoint a subcommittee charged with preparing the matter for consideration.  Let gentlemen recall, he added, what had occurred in the Latin Union, and it would be seen what fruit might be expected from a common understanding of states regarding the creation of an International Coinage.  What were the grounds of the Treaty of 1865  ?  In the first place, a desire to establish perfect harmony between the monetary laws of the contracting states, and to secure the mutual circulation of their Coins over the whole extent of their respective territories; and, secondly, a desire of preventing the exodus of Silver, which had been at a premium since the discovery of the Gold mines of California and Australia.  It was then decided to coin fractional money .835 fine, a reduction of the standard which was regarded as sufficient to prevent the exportation of Silver, and which at the same time would bring a profit to the State of from 6 to 7 %, precisely corresponding to the loss which would have been involved in their withdrawal from circulation; still, however, retaining the fineness of .900 for 5-franc pieces; and this, chiefly in order not to deprive that Coin of the already almost acquired character of an International Coin.  Thanks to this agreement, the Silver Coinage had continued to fulfill its highly-successful function in the circulation.  Could not some analogous measure be now adopted between a certain number of states, which would secure, if not over the whole surface, at least over a good portion of the Globe, the circulation of Silver Money ?  Was not what had been possible for the Latin Union also possible for a larger group of states ?  Such was the question which he was anxious to propose, and the solution of which, relying on experience, he thought he might hope for.  He desired that, at least, a solution should be attempted.

He hoped, in conclusion, that the United States Delegates, leaving the region of principles and theories in which the Conference, to his great regret, had hitherto been confined, would be willing clearly to formulate their ideas concerning the actual measures to be taken in order to establish a common monetary system between Europe and their own country.  The same special committee for the appointment of which he asked, would consider their propositions, and make a report on which the Conference would ultimately decide.  Some practical and useful measure might thus result from its discussions.

The President, Mr. Say, remarked that the idea thrown out by Mr. Baralis was an incidental proposal, the consideration of which would delay the completion of the present discussion.  The question at present before the Conference was to reply to the propositions which had been made by the Delegates of the United States, and until that reply had been given, it was perhaps better for the Conference not to permit itself to be diverted from its object.

Upon this observation from the President the Conference decided that the discussion, should follow its course until a decision should be reached respecting the American propositions.

Mr. Feer-Herzog demanded the floor in order to reply to Mr. Horton; he had no intention, he said, of prolonging the debate upon the question of history which had been dealt with by the Delegate of the United States, at what date Silver ceased to be the legal Standard in England and the United States, but would reserve that special controversy for a private conversation.  He wished, however, to reply to the reproach which had been made, of having exclusively directed his criticisms at the Double Standard system, as successively practiced in various countries, and of not having discussed the new system proposed by the United States, viz., the International Double Standard system.  General Walker having only enlarged upon the inconveniences of the Single Standard system, and having abstained from explaining the advantages of the International or Universal Double Standard, he had not been led to speak of the latter.

As for the possibility of establishing, by international agreement, a fixed relation of value between the metals, an hypothesis on which the whole United States system rested, he denied it entirely.  Let the Conference, for instance, urge England to decree a permanent ratio between the Sovereign and the Rupee; England would refuse.  Let it invite Holland to establish that ratio between the Gold Florin and the Silver Florin; Holland would not, agree to it.  Let it address China, and from China it would not even obtain a reply.  What conclusion could be drawn from this, except that it was practically and materially impossible anywhere so to establish such a ratio that it would not be constantly disturbed by the varying requirements of commerce with the Asiatic world.

Independently of these impossibilities of a political order, and even assuming the unanimous consent of governments, there were obstacles to the existence of this fixed relation arising from the fact that the precious metals were not solely used for mintage, but were also employed in manufactures, watch making, and jewelry.  This employment was specially developed in Oriental countries, principally in the Indies, where the women of the country covered themselves with Silver ornaments.  How could this industrial or artistic use, varying as it did according to times and circumstances, fail also to produce variations in the price of the merchandise? The value of the coined Silver could not fail to be affected by the price of the merchandise Silver, for by virtue of the unlimited free mintage which was demanded, Silver could always pass instantaneously from the condition of merchandise to the condition of Money.  The fixity of value of Silver as Money in relation to Gold was, therefore, absolutely impossible.  There was there a difficulty of an economic order which far exceeded the force of laws, and of international treaties.  All the governments together, with their united efforts, could not struggle against the force of events.

Mr. Horton could not admit that the learned Delegate from Switzerland had replied to the question by saying that an international agreement was impossible merely because, in his view, this or that nation would not be willing to accede to it.  The Conference was engaged in discussing, with a view of solving the question, whether it was or was not in the interest of the Powers to form such an agreement.  In order rationally to reject the idea, it was necessary, not merely to say that one rejected it, but why it was rejected; in other words, to prove that if the agreement were concluded it would not produce good effects.  As to the difficulties of the economic order put forward by the Delegate from Switzerland, Mr. Horton could not admit them to be as serious as they were represented to be.  For his part he was unable to detect, either in the deep-rooted habits or in the changes of fashion of Asiatic peoples, however large consumers of Silver they might be, a force of events which need be an obstacle to the adoption of a sound monetary legislation by the civilized peoples.  Until 1873 the variability of the supply and demand had not prevented the price of Silver from remaining comparatively steady for a long period.  This was due to the bi-metallic system of France, which exerted a kind of balancing power over the two metals, and thus kept them in equilibrium.  By giving a wider basis to this system, namely, the unlimited employment of the two metals, with a ratio fixed in common by several States, a still more complete stability would be attained.

The remarks made in the course of the session by Mr. Waern had also seemed to Mr. Horton not directly to answer to the question submitted, any more than the developments, otherwise so interesting, entered into at a, former session by the Delegate from Norway.  These effects of the maintenance of one Standard or the other in Sweden and Norway in times past, of which Mr. Waern and Mr. Broch had made a statement, in no way solved the question, what would be the situation of these two countries if Holland or the Latin Union should seek to draw Gold from neighboring countries in order to replace their Silver Money, or if the Crisis resulting from this situation obliged the Bank of England to protect its Gold reserve by an exceptionally high rate of discount.

In conclusion, Mr. Horton desired to draw the attention of the Conference to two points touched upon by Mr. Mees at the last session.  He expressed a desire to know what in the view of the Delegate of the Netherlands was really the importance and character of the monetary ties, the existence of which he had indicated as possible, between the United States and other countries.  He further observed that the United States Government, in proposing the meeting of this Conference, had not intended to prosecute an enterprise of private interest, for the execution of which allies would be necessary.  It had desired to call the attention of all the Powers to an object of common interest, an object which did not touch itself more personally than it affected other States.  It was not unknown that the United States were drawing and would continue to draw to themselves a large quantity from the metallic stock of Europe.  Should they take Gold from Europe or should they take Silver ?  It appeared to be for the interest of Europe that they should draw- Silver from Europe rather than Gold, for that would raise the price of Silver and tend to restore the equilibrium of value between the two metals which was broken to-day [Note. – Strong influences in Europe were anxious to got rid of Silver, all Europe was interested in raising the price of Silver, and under present circumstances must suffer by loss of Gold.  This condition of monetary warfare implied in the rejection of bi-metallism in Europe was a succession of defeats for Europe.]  But in default of an international agreement, it appeared that unfortunately the present monetary war must go on.

Mr. Mees, replying to Mr. Horton, repeated his declaration that he had no power to pledge his government.  The ideas he had expressed as to the practical future of the American propositions were purely his own.  His opinion was that if the Double Standard system, now proposed by the United States for adoption by the whole world, succeeded in making proselytes, and gradually gaining ground until able, notwithstanding the distance, to approach India, the Government of the Netherlands would then no doubt readily agree to its Asiatic colonies being connected with that system.  As to the word «allies» used by him, he had simply meant to speak of the alliance resulting from an identical system, not of that resting on the close obligation of a contract.

Count Rusconi questioned the theoretical value of the principles expounded by the Swiss Delegate, and would himself appeal to facts.  Mr. Feer-Herzog had denied the possibility of a fixed ratio between the value of the.  two Moneys, but did not this fixed ratio actually exist ?  Did it not exist within the borders of States and even by international treaty within the limits of the Latin Union ?  For his own part Count Rusconi had never maintained that this ratio, in order to be efficient, must be universal.  He did not believe in the necessity nor even in the utility, in the present state of the world, of the universality of the Double Standard; but he believed that what now existed between several States, might exist in the same way, by virtue of the same principle, between larger number of States, and he thought that the broader the basis of union became, the greater the stability and fixity which would be given to the system.  It did not appear that the United States Government maintained, nor did he himself, that the entire world should universally adopt the same bi-metallic system, and the same ratio of value.  It only desired that by an international agreement the means should be sought not of universality but of fixing a ratio which might be adopted by a certain number of States.

This idea seemed very feasible, and he warmly regretted that the majority of the Conference, judging it from another standpoint, seemed inclined to reject it before having sufficiently considered it.  The Conference was disposed, to issue a platonic opinion in favor of the use of the two metals, but to what end could such a declaration serve, if it did not fix the ratio between the value of these two metals, which alone could guarantee the safety of their simultaneous employment.

Count Rusconi, in conclusion, urged that the question should be studied in a practical manner.  He again dwelt upon the extreme importance of the subject.  The question was, he said, whether States would continue to remain isolated, each one acting at home, each one acting for itself, or whether, using the legitimate power which would result from their union, they would all work together, or whether, some at least, and those the most important, would act together for the general good of humanity.  Beyond doubt there were, among those represented at this Conference, some States whose voice, as had justly been remarked, had not all the weight desirable, owing to financial difficulties, which various circumstances had caused to weigh upon them; but let only two or three of the greater commercial nations in the world – let France and England, for instance – come to an agreement with the United States, and the imposing group formed by these two or three States would soon draw the rest of the world into its orbit.  It would give to the bi-metallic system a basis broad enough to insure the stability of the relation of the two metals, it would stimulate their circulation, and thus facilitate also the return of Paper-Money countries to a metallic circulation, a measure in which those countries were not the only countries interested.  This measure, which, for his own part and as an Italian, he ardently desired, he was afraid of seeing compromised by the demonetization of Silver, or by the maintenance of that metal in a depressed and sickly state, for which by mere words no efficacious remedy would be brought.

Mr. Goschen remarked that the facts submitted by Mr. Feer-Herzog, as proving that the limitation of the mintage of Silver in the Latin Union had exerted no influence on the fall of Silver, were not conclusive.  Silver might not have been minted, as the Swiss Delegate had shown, when the Coinage of it was free and when Silver was above par from other causes.  This, however, did not exclude the fact that when the right of Coinage was restricted, that restriction might, and necessarily must, have contributed in its degree to the fall of Silver, seeing that the prohibition or restriction of mintage had deprived the metal of its monetary virtue, that is to say, the privilege it formerly possessed of being converted into Money.  When one had in his coffers a Silver ingot, which he knew he could immediately convert into Money, and of which he knew he could always in that way make an immediate use, that metal had more value than if it could only find in manufactures a use, the conditions of which had to be discussed, and the demand for which might have to be long waited for.  A metal transformable into Money had virtually in itself the power of motion and exchange, as also that of producing interest, the non-transformable metal no longer having these qualities, accordingly suffered a loss of value.  It followed, therefore, said the English Delegate, that the limiting or restrictive measures taken by the Latin Union as to the mintage of Silver, had assuredly contributed, in a certain degree, to a depreciation which other, anterior, and more active causes had provoked.

As to the possibility of the establishment of a fixed international ratio between the value of the two minted metals, if he had correctly understood Mr. Horton’s proposition, it was a question of a discussion of principle and not of an examination of practical difficulties.  What Mr. Horton had asked was that the Conference should pronounce on the utility of the relation, irrespective of the present possibilities or impossibilities of establishing it.  Now, he did not consider it necessary to give a categorical reply to a question thus hypothetically put; but if the character of the question were changed by the question of principle I being no longer separated from the question of execution, he would modify also the character of his answer and would not in that case hesitate to affirm, as Mr. Feer-Herzog had done, the entire and absolute impossibility of the establishment of a fixed ratio, and this for many reasons of a scientific and economic nature which he need not enter into in detail.

The President, Mr. Say, asked whether, considering the point at which the discussion had arrived, it did not behoove the Conference, if not to fix, at least to forecast, as it were, the conclusion of its labors t All the members of the Conference were present and had had the opportunity of being heard, the discussion seemed exhausted, at least on the main question, and several members had expressed a desire to know at once when they would be able to return to their respective countries.  The Conference might perhaps to-day decide the question whether it would finish what it bad still to do in one or two sessions.

Mr. Horton was authorized to say that the Delegates of the United States Government did not think the limits of the discussion could be fixed in advance.  They were convinced that it was of the greatest utility for Europe and for the United States of America that not only their own propositions, but the incidental propositions which had already arisen in the course of debate, should be thoroughly discussed.  He would recall the fact that the Norwegian Delegate, Mr. Broch, the representative of a state bound to the Single Gold Standard system, and himself, an avowed partisan of that system, had expressed a desire that the discussion ‘on all these points should be full and exhaustive.  How could it be supposed that all the other Delegates did not also desire it ?

Mr. Goschen was of opinion that if there were any hope of arriving at a practical agreement by prolonging the discussion, the advantage of that agreement would be well worth some sacrifice of time; but from the moment when no eventuality of this kind could be foreseen, what purpose would be served by expatiating on the questions and lengthening out the debates ?  The Conference might last weeks and months if all the questions connected with money were to be academically discussed; a goodly number of long speeches would have to be made on a variety of points; but he did not think this was the object of the Conference.  It had been convoked by the United States Government with a view to formal propositions on the relation of the two metals, and on free mintage.  If it was already evident that under the instructions received from their respective governments the majority of the Delegates could not acquiesce in those propositions, no utility would be seen in prolonging a discussion which would necessarily lead to nothing.  A purely scientific argument might cause much waste of time.

The President, Mr. Say, thought that each Delegate having expressed his opinion on the root of the matter, and the general discussion having in fact terminated, the time had perhaps come to make a summing up of it, endeavoring to extract from it, as it were, in a clear and concise form, the ideas which all the Delegates, to whatever system they belonged, found themselves in accord.  It would then be considered whether the joint expression of those ideas would not furnish the means of making a reply, although without expressing adherence, to the propositions of the United States Delegates.  This, in his view, was the only tangible result which could now be drawn from the Conference, and apart from that endeavor he saw nothing to justify the prolongation of the discussion.

Mr. Fenton hoped to be allowed to explain himself with entire freedom on the question of the duration of these discussions.  It seemed to him that the subject submitted by the United States for the consideration of the Conference was of too great an interest not to be treated with the most serious attention.  Much less important questions had often engaged the attention of Congresses, Conferences, or Parliaments during several months, and he could not readily suppose that all the attention its grave importance demanded would not be accorded to this.  The United States representatives had come from far to confer upon the matter with the Delegates of Europe, and as not much more had been done than to touch on the preliminaries of the question, they hoped the Conference would not stop midway, but would agree to prosecute to the end with them the inquiry already commenced.  He thought that if the propositions offered by himself and his colleagues did not appear acceptable a committee might be directed to formulate others on which it might be easier to obtain an agreement.  There were also, he added, several accessory points on which the American Delegates were desirous of learning the opinion of their colleagues, and which they would indicate if permitted.  On all these grounds it seemed to him that even if the discussion on the original propositions terminated at the next meeting, there should still be two or three more sessions.

The President, Mr. Say, observed that there was nothing to prevent the Conference from deferring to the desire just expressed by the Chief Delegate of the United States by virtue of the principle that every assembly had the control of its own proceedings.  He asked the Conference to fix the date of its next meeting.

After a conversation in which Mr. Groesbeck and Mr. Baralis took principal parts, the Conference decided to meet on Monday, the 26th instant.

The session terminated at 5.30 p.m.



[1]   Quand la loi limite rigoureusement le billon aux deux usages indiqués ci-dessus, celui des appoints et celui des menues transactions, comme celles auxquelles donne lieu l’achat journalier du pain, de la viande et dul charbon pour une pauvre famille, cette sorte de faiblage des pièces de cuivre n’a aucun inconvénient. – M.  Chevalier.

 

EXHIBITS  OF  THE  FOURTH  SESSION

 

Exhibit A : Note on the monetary system of Austria-Hungary

The monetary system of Austria-Hungary is based upon the Silver Standard.  The florin is the unit of coinage.  Florins are coined 45 to the pound (500 grammes) of fine silver.

The florin is divided into 100 kreuzers.

Current coins

Denomination Standard weight Tolerance of weight Fineness Tolerance of fineness
Silver 2 florins
1 florin
¼ florin
24.691
12.345
 5.343
 3 ‰
 4 ‰
10 ‰
900 ‰
900 ‰
520 ‰
3 ‰
3 ‰
5 ‰

The coinage of 3 florins and 1 ½-florin pieces has ceased since 1868.  Besides these coins the notes of the national bank (their denominations are 10 florins, 100 florins, and 1,000 florins) and the Treasury Notes, «Staatnoten» (their denomination 1 florin, 5 florins, and 50 florins), are Legal Tender throughout the monarchy.

Fractional Money

Silver coins are Legal Tender between individuals up to 2 florins), 20-kreuzer pieces (.500 fine), and 10-kreuzer pieces (.400 fine), coined 750 and 1500 to the kilogram of fine Silver, respectively.

Copper coins (Legal Tender between individuals up to 50 kreuzers), pieces of 4 kreuzers, 1 kreuzer, and ½ kreuzer.

Trade Coins

Silver coins, Dollars, called Levantines, with the imprint of the Empress Maria Theresa and of date 1870; standardweight, 28.064 grammes; standard fineness, 0.833.

Gold coins

Ducats of 3.4904 grammes weight and .986 2/3 fine, with tolerance of .00125 weight and .00175 in fineness.

8-florin and 4-florin Gold pieces identical in weight, fineness, and tolerance with French 20 and 10 franc pieces.  The Gold coins (those which have been struck since 1870) are received in Government offices as the equivalent respectively of 8 florins 10 kreuzers, and 4 florins 5 kreuzers of Silver, which corresponds to the ratio of 1 to 15 ½.

The coinage of crowns and half-crowns (50 and 100 to the pound of pure Gold) has ceased since 1865.

The mint charges for coining Gold and Silver in the Austro-Hungarian mints (Vienna and Kremnitz) are as follows :

½ % for the ducats and 8-florin pieces.

1 % for 1 and 2 florin pieces.

2 ½ % for ¼-florin pieces.

1 ½ % for Maria Theresa dollars.

 

Return

Exhibit B.  Note on the monetary legislation of Russia

The unit of Coinage is the Silver rouble.

Weight of the rouble : 4 zolotniks 82 11/25 dolis, of which 4 zolotniks 21 dolis are pure Silver.

A pound of Silver equals 22 roubles 75 copeks.  The fineness is 0.868.  Tolerance : 3 dolis. 

Note. – 1 zolotnik = 96 dolis = 4.266 grammes.

Fractional silver coins

50 copeks, tolerance : 2 ½ dolis.

25 copeks, tolerance : 2 dolis.

Gold coins struck in Russia

Half-Imperial.  Value : 5 roubles 15 copeks.

Weight : 1 zolotnik 51 75/275 dolis, of which 1 zolotnik 39 dolis are pure Gold.  Fineness : 88 zolotniks pure Gold to 96 zolotniks of alloyed Gold, or 0.9166.  Tolerance; 1 zolotnik to 1,000 pieces, or 3/4 dolis to each piece.  The pound of alloyed Gold equals : 61 half-imperials 2 rouble and 88 5/6 copeks.

Russian Ducats.  Value : 3 roubles 9 copeks.   Fineness : 88 zolotniks.  Weight : 88 4/11 dolis, of which 8 pure Gold.

Ducats of Holland

Value : 2 roubles 73 1/3 copeks.

Weight : 78.528 dolis, of which 76.892 are pure Gold.

Fineness : 94 zolotniks pure Gold to 96, or 0.9791.

Tolerance : 3/4 dolis to each piece.

Note. – There has been no coinage of Dutch Ducats since 1869.

Silver Tokens

Pieces of 20, 15, 10, and 5 copeks.  Fineness : 48/96 or 50 % of the real value.

This money is Legal Tender between individuals up to 3 roubles, and is received in any and all sums in Government offices.

Copper Tokens

Pieces of

 

 

5 copeks, weight
3
2
1
½
¼

3 zolotniks
2
1


80.640 dolis
29.184
51.456
73.728
36.864
18.432

 

Legal Tender between individuals up to 3 roubles, and receivable in Government offices for any sum.

The State alone coins Money.

Any one can bring metal to be converted into Money.

Note. – The coinage of Silver for individuals was suspended by the law of September 9, 1876, excepting the amount of.  Silver Money needed for trade with China.

No charge is made for Coinage.

If the fineness of the Gold brought to the Mint is below the Standard (that is to say, from 88 to 64 zolotniks in 96) a charge is made in proportion to the quantity of fine Gold required.

For refining auriferous Silver from the mines of the Altaï, a charge is made of 10 2/7 copeks to the pound of alloyed Silver; for Silver from the mines of Nertchinsk, 11 5/14 copeks; and for Silver from other mines, 22 6/7 copeks.

For the purification of brittle Gold, unforgeable and largely mixed with other substances, 2 roubles 86 2/5 copeks are charged for any pound of alloyed Gold.

For the purification of argentiferous Gold, a charge is made of 2 roubles 86 2/3 copeks in Gold, and 2 zolotniks 88 dolis of pure Silver for each pound of fine Gold contained in the metal.

  

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Exhibit C.  The Scandinavian Coinage System

By Dr. Ö.-J. Broch

The three Scandinavian kingdoms, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, have concluded between them a monetary Treaty, based upon the employment of the Single Gold Standard and on a common System of Money of account; Gold moneys, and fractional moneys in token Silver and in bronze.

The monetary unit is expressed by the Krone (crown), divided into 100 ore.

The Gold coins are of the Standard of .9, that is to say, of 9 parts Gold with 1 part copper.

Two kinds of Gold Money are coined : those of 20 crowns and those of 10 crowns – 124 pieces of 20 crowns, or 248 pieces of 10 crowns – are made out of a kilogramme of fine Gold.

The weight of these pieces should therefore be, respectively, 8.96057 grammes, and 4.48029 grammes.

Of fractional pieces there may be coined pieces of 2 crowns, 1 crown, 50, 40, 25, and 10 ore.  The following table gives the fineness, the gross weight, the net weight in fine Gold or fine Silver; lastly, the diameter of all these coins :

Metal

Value of the coinsmination Fineness Gross weight in grammes Amount of pure gold or silver Diameter in mm

Gold

20 kr.
10 kr.
900 ‰
900 ‰
8.960 6
4.480 3
8.064 52
4.032 26
23
18

Silver

2 kr.
1 kr.
50 öre
40 öre
25 öre
10 öre
800 ‰
800 ‰
600 ‰
600 ‰
600 ‰
400 ‰
15.000
7.500
5.000
4.000
2.420
1.450
12.000
6.000
3.000
2.400
1.452
0.580
31
25
22
20
17
13

Bronze

5 öre
2 öre
1 öre
950 ‰ Cu
40 ‰ Sn
10 ‰ Zn
8.000
4.000
2.000
  27
21
16

  

The tolerance of fineness for the Coinage of the Gold coins is 0.0015; for weight, 0.0015 for the piece of 20 crowns, and 0.003 for the piece of 10 crowns.  But besides this, no 10 kilogrammes of Gold coins (1,116 pieces of 20 crowns or 2,232 pieces of 10 crowns) must differ more than 5 grammes from the Standard weight; there is thus an average tolerance in addition which does not exceed the limit of 0.0005.

The Gold coins cease to be Legal Tender between private individuals when they shall have lost by wear more than ½ % of their weight, but as long as by wear they shall not have lost more than 2 % of their legal weight they are not only Legal Tender in Government offices, but each of the contracting States is bound to exchange the pieces worn more than ½ % for such Gold coins as have legal currency between private individuals.  In Norway and in Denmark special laws bind the State to receive and exchange for good coins all Gold coins of their imprint which shall have lost by wear any proportion of their weight greater than 4- %.  In Norway the National Bank is charged with the duty of weighing every piece of Money which passes through its hands, and sending back to the State every Coin which has lost more than ½ % of its legal weight.

The coins which have been fraudulently diminished in weight cease to have legal currency.

The Coinage is carried on exclusively at the Mints, at Stockholm for Sweden, at Kongsberg for Norway, at Copenhagen for Denmark.  It is done by the functionaries of the State, and the Treaty forbids its being left to contractors.

Any person who brings to the Mint Gold, whose quantity, fineness, and other qualities answer to certain conditions, has the right of having it coined on paying 1 % for the pieces of 20 crowns, and ½ % for the pieces of 10 crowns.  No seigniorage can be demanded beyond this price of Coinage.

In Norway, the National Bank is bound by a special law to buy every bar of Gold whose fineness is certified in a satisfactory way, paying 2,480 crowns for the kilogramme of fine Gold, after deduction of ¼ % for cost of Coinage; the kilogramme of fine Gold is therefore exchangeable at the bank at any time for 2,473 crowns 80 ore.  In Norway, in consequence of this arrangement, the bank alone, in practice, has Gold Money coined.

The fractional pieces of Silver or bronze are considered as legal payment only to the amount of 20 crowns for the 2-crown and 1-crown pieces; only to the amount of 5 crowns for the smaller coins of Silver, and only to the amount of 1 crown for bronze Money.  In each of the three States public treasuries are established, where any amount of fractional Money which is a multiple of 10 crowns can be exchanged for Gold Money.

The Coinage of fractional pieces of Silver and bronze can be carried on only on Government account.  The Monetary Treaty places no limit on this Coinage.

All coins in Gold, Silver, and bronze, coined by virtue of the Monetary Treaty, are Legal Tender in the three Kingdoms under the above-stated conditions.

 

Return

Exhibit D.

 

I. – Note on the monetary legislation of the United States of America, on the present state of their fiduciary circulation and upon the coinage of their coins from 1792 to 1877.

Prior to the Constitution of 1789, the Congress of the Confederation had, in 1786, established the Double Standard, with the ratio of 15.25; fixing as monetary unit the dollar of pure Silver of 375.64 grains, but without establishing a mint.

Upon the adoption of the Constitution the work was resumed.

The law of the 3d April, 1792, founded a mint, it ordained :

That Gold pieces and Silver pieces of full weight should have full paying power, whereas pieces which were not of full weight should have only the value of their real weight.

That in all payments the legal value should be one pound of Gold for fifteen pounds of Silver.

That everybody should have the right to have Gold or Silver ingots coined at the Mint without charge.

That the Money of account should be in dollars or units, in «dismes», in «cents» and «milles».

That the fineness of the Gold coins should be 9/10 with alloy half of Silver; and the fineness of Silver coins 9/10, with alloy of copper.

That there should be coined eagles of the value of ten dollars or units, and containing 247.5 grains of pure Gold; half-eagles, and quarter-eagles of proportionate weight; dollars or units each of the value of a Spanish milled dollar «like the dollar actually in circulation», and containing 371 ¼ grains of pure Silver; half-dollars, quarter-dollars, dismes, and half-dismes of proportionate weight.

The law also ordained the Coinage of cents and half-cents in copper, but this small Money had no legal paying power.

In adopting the unit, the intention was to conform to the real weight of the Spanish dollars, which then formed an important part of the monetary circulation.

In fact, and in the absence of a special law, the Spanish dollar was probably from the beginning full Legal Tender for all payments expressed in dollars.

The law of the 9th February, 1793, gave full Legal Tender at a fixed rate to the Gold coins of Great Britain, France, and Spain, also to the Spanish dollars, the French crowns, and their subdivisions in proportion.

The Spanish dollar, weighing 17 pennyweights 7 grains, was to be worth 100 cents.

Various other laws gave full Legal Tender at a rate fixed for each of them to the Gold moneys of Great Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, &c.

The French crowns were Legal Tender up to 1827, the 5-franc pieces from 1816 to 1837, at the rate of 116 cents per ounce, or 0.933 for each piece of the weight of 16 pennyweights 2 grains.

The law of the 25th June, 1834, gave paying power to the dollars of Mexico, Peru, Chili, Central America, and Brazil, and to the 5-franc pieces of France, at the rate of 0.93, but under certain conditions as to their weight and fineness.

The law of the 21st February, 1857, repealed all the previous laws which had given paying power to foreign coins of Gold and Silver, and provided that the subdivisions of the Spanish or Mexican dollars should lie received in the public offices at a value below their nominal value, and should be melted down at the Mint.

The law of the 28th June, 1834, ordained the Coinage of eagles of 258 grains, of the fineness of .899225; of half-eagles and quarter-eagles of proportionate weights; the ratio thus being 1 to 16.002.

The law of the 18th January, 1837, raised the fineness of the Gold and Silver Money to .9.

The Silver dollar was to weigh at this fineness 412-1 grains, and the Gold eagles 258 grains; the ratio between the two being 1 to 15.988.

The law of the 21st February, 1853, withdrawing the right of private individuals to have Silver pieces of value less than a dollar coined at the Mint, reduced the weight of this fractional money to 8 ½ %, and limited its paying power to 5 dollars.

The Coinage of Silver dollars remained free, and the fractional pieces of Silver of the old fineness retained full paying power.

This law ordained also that private individuals should pay as charge for Coinage ½ %, alike for Gold and for Silver.

The law of the 1st April, 1873, inserted in the Code (Revised Statutes) of 1873-1875 :

Reorganized the management of the Mint.

Enlarged the proportion of Silver in the fractional pieces to harmonize them with the metric system (2 half-dollars = 25 grammes of Silver 0.9 fine), without making mention of any dollar (except the trade dollar of 420 grains 0.9 fine, manufactured for the trade with China).

Reduced the charge of Coinage for private individuals to ½ %.

And ordained that the Gold dollar should be «the unit of value» and that the Gold coins should have unlimited paying power and that the Silver coins should have paying power up to the amount of 5 dollars.

The trade-dollar, after having been invested with paying power to this amount, was deprived of it by the law of the 22d July, 1876.

The law of January, 1875, reduced the charge to be paid by private individuals for the Coinage of Gold moneys in such a way that they need only pay for the alloy of copper.

The law of the 28th February, 1878, the Allison Bil, ordained –

The limited Coinage (2 millions per month at least, 4 millions at most) on Government account of Silver dollars of 412 ½ grains of the Standard of 0.9, and gave them full paying power, except in case where it is strictly stipulated otherwise in the contract.

The measures to be taken with a view to the meeting of an International Monetary Conference.

And authorized the issue by the Treasury on the deposit of coined Silver of Silver certificates of deposit in denominations of 10, 20, 50 dollars, &c.

The law of the 3d March, 1863, authorized the issue by the Treasury, on the deposit of Gold, coined or in ingots, of Gold certificates of deposit in denominations of 20, 50, 100 dollars, &c.

All certificates of deposit, Gold or Silver, are received by the public Treasuries.

The law of the 14th June, 1875, ordained that on and after the 1st January, 1879, the Secretary of the Treasury should redeem in coins the Legal Tender notes of the United States then outstanding which should be presented for repayment in amounts of 50 dollars and upwards.

The notes are not Legal Tender for the payment of customs duties nor for the payment of interest on the public debt.

II. – Statement of the circulation in the United States

The official reports being laid before Congress at its meeting at the beginning of December of every year, there are as yet no documents in hand for the current year.  The amounts and denominations of Paper Money (Legal Tender, or greenbacks) and of the notes of the National Banks were, on the 1st November, 1877, according to the report of Mr. Knox, Comptroller of the Currency.

 

Denomination National bank notes Legal-tender paper money Total

$  1
$  2
$  5
$  10
$  20
$  50
$  100
$  500
$  1,000

3,800,456
2,282,884
93,504,900
98,312,850
65,454,500
22,255,100
28,800,000
1,203,500
257,000

24,806,459
24,600,544
52,932,148
63,146,861
60,836,495
30,108,715
30,176,670
34,752,500
34,123,500

28,606,915
20,883,428
146,437,048
161,459,711
126,290,995
52,363,815
58,976,670
35,956,000
34,380,500

Total 315,871,190 355,483,892 671,355,082

 

Of these amounts there were, on the 1st October, 1877, in the National Banks :

Greenbacks

$  66,900,000

National Bank notes

$  15,600,000

Total

$  82,500,000

 

According to the report of Mr. James Gilfillan, Treasurer of the United States, there were on the 30th September, 1877, in the Federal Treasury :

Greenbacks

$  82,823,720

National Bank notes

$  14,109,541

Total

$  96,933,261

 

On April 20,1876, there were outstanding of fractional notes, denominations of 50, 25, 15, and 10 cents, without Legal-Tender power, but convertible in the public offices into greenbacks and receivable for the payment of certain taxes, etc. $  41,508,737
Up to the 31st October, 1877, there had been retired $  25,156,162

Which leaves outstanding

$  18,352,575
Between 14th January, 1875, and the 21st October, 1877, there have been retired $  27,509,108

 

STATEMENT  OF  COINAGE [An extract from the book of Dr. Linderman]

 

  Gold Silver with full legal-tender power Silver change (legal tender up to $ 5) Small change
1792 à 1834
1834 à 1853
1853 à 1873
1873 à 1877
11,825,800
224,965,730
544,864,921
201,503,154
50,275,077.90
42,958,294.00
5,538,948.00


57,443,769.20
42,094,852.30
658,591.58
787,885.81
9,979,300.16
1,458,865.00

 

Before 1853 more than half the Coinage of Silver was in half-dollars.  From 1873 to 1877 $ 34,381,350 trade-dollars were coined.

The stock of the precious metals (coin and bullion) in the United States was estimated approximately by Dr. Lindermann, Director of the Mint :

 

For the 30th June, 1876 Gold

$  151,500,000

  Silver $    30,000,000
  Total $   181,500,000
For the 30th June, 1877 Gold $   192,500,000
  Silver $   50,000,000
  Total $   242,500,000

  

Return

 

Exhibit E.  Extract from the Report on the Mint of Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, 1792.

[As quoted by Francis A. Walker, in his work entitled «Money», p. 269, published in London, 1878.]

Upon the whole, it seems to be most advisable, as has been observed, not to attach the limit exclusively to either of the metals, because this cannot be done effectually without destroying the office and character of one of them as Money, and reducing it to the situation of a mere merchandise.  To annul the use of either of the metals as Money is to abridge the quantity of circulating medium, and is liable to all the objections which arise from a comparison of the benefits of a full with the evils of a scanty circulation.

 

Return

 

FIFTH  SESSION : MONDAY  AUGUST  26,  1878

 

There were present the Delegates of Austria-Hungary, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Russia, Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, and of The United States of America, who were present at the preceding sessions.

The session opened at 1.30 p.m.

Mr. Mees, Delegate of the Netherlands, recalled to Amsterdam by his duties as President of the Bank of the Netherlands, presented excuses for his inability to attend the concluding sessions of the Conference.

Mr. Garnier laid upon the table a note on the Monetary System of Belgium (Exhibit A).

Mr. Baralis laid upon the table a list of the laws, decrees, and treaties which regulate the monetary system of Italy (Exhibit B).

Mr. Groesbeck then spoke as follows :

Mr. President and gentlemen : I have nothing to say, here and now, about Single and Double Standards of value.  If we can keep an equilibrium of value between Gold and Silver, all nations will be substantially upon both metals.  Gold will be as valuable as Silver everywhere, and Silver as valuable as Gold.  It is idle to theorize that this cannot be done.  We know it has been done.  Throughout the entire past up to 1873, both metals were in equal use as Money, and kept together evenly enough.  Now and then, at long intervals, the relation between them was slightly changed, but the change was easily made, and without noticeable embarrassment.

The change last made in Europe, fixing the relation at 1 in weight of Gold to 15 ½ in weight of Silver, stood the trial of more than three-quarters of a century.  In all that time the slight differences in the market value of the metals did not amount to a serious disturbance.  At one time one metal may have been at a slight premium; at another time, the other, but their average value was about the same.

It is worthy of notice that throughout the past, and up to the middle of the present century, it was never suggested by any writer or statesman that either of the metals should be generally abandoned because of the difficulty of keeping them sufficiently equalized.

This is the lesson of many centuries, and, theorize as we may, what has been done in the past can be done in the future; and instead of splitting hairs about the Single or the Double Standard, let us rather walk in the light of the experience of thousands of years.

Holding this view, I propose to look at the question before us in its practical aspects only, and as it appears to-day.  By a combination of adverse influences that may never again co-operate, we are brought face to face with the momentous question, Shall Silver be dropped out of use as Legal-Tender Money?

I have been pleased to notice, Mr. President, that in the opinion of this Conference, it is not desirable that the use of Silver as Legal-Tender Money should be discontinued.  The Monetary Conference held here in 18G7 expressed itself in favor of Gold alone.  This Monetary Conference, if I rightly understand what has been said, will express itself in favor of both metals.  That alone, if we do nothing more, will be a wise advance from the position taken in 1867.  While such an expression may be made, we may not be agreed as to the arrangements by which the equal use of both metals may be preserved.  It has been suggested that some nations can take one metal and some the other, and so use both.  It has been further suggested, elsewhere and here, that Gold was the better metal for the rich, and great, and civilized nations, and Silver for the poor and less civilized, and that the former can take Gold, and latter Silver.  Such an arrangement can never be brought about.  It cannot be brought about by international agreement.  That is clear, rations will never come together and divide themselves into two classes, one taking Gold and the other Silver.  The only other way such an arrangement could be brought about would be through the operations of trade and commerce, and we know enough to be certain that trade and commerce will never make any such classification.  Even now, almost the entire body of what are termed the poor and less civilized nations, is upon Silver alone.  But that is not enough.  Within a few years there has been some changing among what are termed the great and influential nations from Silver to Gold, and the consequences are before us.  Silver is depreciated.  Suppose the other great nations, the Latin Union, the United States, and others should go to Gold.  In that event, Silver as Legal-Tender Money would be lost to the world, for the remainder of the century; it may be much longer.  In a word, we cannot save Silver by any such classification of the metals.  Some, I do not say all, but at least some, of the rich and powerful nations must themselves do something.  This brings me to the proposition I want to present.  It is this :

Shall we do nothing for the present, or shall we act without further delay ?

Before noticing this inquiry, allow me to refer to my own country.  It is not here holding a large stock of Silver and merely to appreciate it.

As yet it has but a handful.  There is one other matter which has not been referred to.  A little more than a third of a century ago, the United States adopted the relation of 1 of Gold to 15 ½, say 16, of Silver.  We prefer our relation, and I believe if we could all take it to-day, it would be better received and secure a stronger acquiescence, than if we should go to yours.  It is not to be overlooked that the tendency has been to a widening rather than to a narrowing of the relation.  It has been widened more than once, and the time may have come to make another slight change.  However that may be, what I desire to say in this connection is, that if we can agree upon a plan to restore Silver, I take it for granted that all who are parties to the agreement should stand upon the same relation.  It may be ours; it may be yours.

In the absence of such an agreement, we shall, of course, adhere to our present positions, and it is unnecessary to decide which would be the Better relation.  With this statement, that we expect to occupy a position of exact equality with you, if we come to an agreement, allow me to add that we shall be ready to do our full share of any work to be done, expecting all parties to the agreement to do likewise.

Now, Mr. President and gentlemen, is not this an opportunity worthy of careful consideration ? I trust the United States may be always ready to do hereafter all that she is ready to do to-day; but in view of the uncertainties of the future, if you are ready, it is well worthy of your patient consideration, that the United States is also ready and now here at this Council Board to act with you.

With these preliminary remarks, I proceed to the inquiry : Shall we do nothing for the present, or shall we act without further delay ?

Surely we are all agreed that the condition in which Gold and Silver have been in respect to each other for the past four years has not been good.  It has been a condition of instability, of fluctuation, of uncertainty, of derangement.  I need not stop to explain to such a body as this, that if we are prepared to terminate this instability, fluctuation, derangement, we should do so at once.  The United States, for reasons local to herself, and which therefore I need not mention, is prepared to act now; if, on the other hand, there are reasons local to the other nations here represented, why they should not act now, it is not for me to consider them, or even refer to them.  The nations concerned will do that, each for itself.  All that I propose to do is to notice briefly those aspects of the question which are common to us all.

When the Latin Union shut the doors of their mints against Silver, the situation was about as follows :

  I.  Nearly every one of the important Silver nations had stopped using it, and were upon incontrovertible Paper Money.  Let me name some of them : Russia, Austria, Italy, Spain, France, and the United States.  It was an extraordinary happening, which, it is to be hoped, may never occur again.

 II.  Another great nation, the German Empire, was moving from the Single Standard of Silver, of which she had a large stock, to the Single Standard of Gold.

III.  The demand of the East for Silver, which had always been steady, constant, large, and even insatiable, was suddenly checked.  That was another extraordinary happening, which I venture to say had never occurred before and may not occur again for a century.

IV.  The increased production of Silver and wild stories of its probable future production.

This was an unprecedented combination of influences adverse to Silver.  The demand for it from every quarter suddenly stopped, while the supply of it increased.  Under these conditions you shut the doors of your mints against it, refused to make it Money, and of course it became only merchandise.  Let us for a moment put Gold in the same situation.  Suppose that under apprehensions of too great a supply of Gold all the nations using it should limit its Coinage and close their mints against any considerable portion of it, the portion so rejected would at once become merchandise and liable to depreciation.  Gold and Silver with free access to the mints are Money, and, being money, have their value partly fixed by law; when they are excluded from the mints the law is silent about their value, and it is determined by the markets.  But I do not propose to argue at this time, and desire only to refer to facts.

The foregoing were the conditions under which the Coinage of Silver was limited.  What are the conditions now, and has the time come when we may safely open the doors of our mints to Silver ?

I.  Russia, Austria, Italy, and Spain are still in suspension, and so cannot help us much to-day.  They are not a danger, however, and they are even now a reserve strengthening Silver.  But this first condition is greatly changed.  France and the United States, two active and powerful nations, are no longer in suspension.  This is an important change, and however it may be as to the Latin Union just now, the demand for Silver is substantially and permanently increased by the present position of the United States.

II.  How is it as to Germany ? She is still on her journey from Silver to Gold.» She started in 1871 and is not through in 1878.  It has been a long, toilsome, and costly journey.  She began it under the most favorable circumstances.  Her debt was very small, and she bad in her hand a large extra fund for experiments.  Her preparations were ample.  The undertaking seemed easy; it is not yet a success.  Instead of being an example to be followed, we should rather regard the case of Germany as a warning and an admonition.  But what of her large stock of Silver ?  We know it has been greatly reduced.  It has been stated here at $ 100,000,000.  The gentleman from Great Britain estimated it, I believe, at $ 75,000,000.  A banker of this city gave me his estimate a day or two ago, putting it at $ 60,000,000.  I have heard that it might be decided to retain and use a larger amount per head than at first contemplated.  Such a policy would reduce the amount for sale.  I think we may safely estimate the amount yet for sale as not exceeding $ 75,000,000.  This condition adverse to Silver is now greatly changed.

III.  How about the demand of the East for Silver ?  It is about restored.  Let me say, if there is any one factor of the problem we are considering which may be relied upon, it is the regular and constant demand of the East for Silver.  I can imagine a glut of Gold, for Gold has no insatiable Asia.  I cannot imagine a permanent glut of Silver.  As the rivers run into the sea, and yet the sea is not over full, so it will be with the flow of Silver to the vast, populous, thrifty, and industrious East for at least another century.  This adverse condition is also changed.

IV.  The last of these conditions to which I referred is the increased production of Silver and apprehension of yet greater production.  We may now put behind us the apprehension of excessive production, and have only to consider the actual production.  A distinguished member of this Conference has put it at $ 80,000,000 a year, of which, according to his estimate, the United States produced about $ 39,000,000.  I think this estimate for the United States is too high.  Of this estimate the Nevada mines produce two-thirds.  If they should fail the production of the United States would be reduced to $ 13,000,000, and the world’s production to $ 54,000,000.  (See Landerman’s Report, 1877 – showing a tendency to decreasing production – pp. 13, 14.)

We may safely estimate the aggregate production of Silver at not exceeding $ 73,000,000, with a tendency to decrease.

In a word, all these conditions so adverse to Silver in 1874, when its Coinage was limited, are greatly changed.

With these conditions changed, as I have described, could we now safely open the doors of our mints to Silver Coinage ?  Is there too much Silver on the market ?  If so, where is it ?  Let us look for it.  We need not look to the East.  What is there and what goes there will stay there for many years to come.  Our search, then, may be confined to Europe and America.  It is not in Russia, or Austria, or Italy, or Spain, or Portugal, or the Scandinavian nations.  Under the arrangement for free Coinage the Silver of the Latin Union will not be on the market.  All, then, in Europe is that held by Germany.  How of America ?  There is nothing there to take into consideration but the yearly production.  All we have to consider, then, is the Silver of Germany and the yearly production.  Let us take up, first, the yearly production.  Say it is $ 72,000,000.  This does not come in one mass, but is produced from week to week and month to month.  How much would the entire East take of this ?  (See Report on Dep. of Silver, Appendix, p. 24, showing export of Silver to the East from 1852 to 1875, and see letter about Japan.)

The East would take, say, $ 30,000,000; all the other Silver-using nations in North and South America, other than the United States, in Africa and elsewhere, say, $ 10,000,000.  Say $ 35,000,000, instead of $ 40,000,000, for the entire East and smaller states referred to.  This leaves $ 37,000,000.  How much yearly for watches, plate, knives and forks, utensils, jewelry, and for use in many of the arts, and to supply the decrease of the existing stock by abrasion and loss, say $ 30,000,000.  The small balance could find a place easily and without disturbance.  This disposes of the yearly production, and we have but the stock of Germany to provide for.  Call it $ 75,000,000, and let me ask, again, are we not now prepared and able to open our mints to free Coinage of Silver ?  The Coinage of the United States, under the present law limiting the Coinage of Silver, is now about $ 9,000,000.  She must coin $ 24,000,000 and may coin $ 48,000,000.  Can we not together, with entire safety, find a place for this $ 75,000,000 ?  If we really wish to restore Silver, I see no existing obstacle which requires farther delay.

Is it not our interest to act at once, if we can act with safety ?  Will not what we already have, and what may come to us by future production, be increased in value far beyond the cost of taking up the Silver of Germany? A little courage, it seems to me, and the difficulty is surmounted, and the work finally done.

There is a precedent for it just here, full of encouragement.

You all remember the great outpouring of Gold from Russia, Australia, and California.  It began about 1850 and came in a great flood.  Almost the entire world was then upon Silver.  England, with her colonies of Australia and Canada, and two or three insignificant nations, were the only places upon Gold alone.  Portugal was yet upon Silver, This flood of Gold poured upon the world about $ 900,000,000 in the short space of six years, and the ordinary production of Silver went on concurrently, and the nations seemed to be adequately supplied and in no need of this excessive production.  Gold had no Asia to take it, and had to find a place in Europe.  There was great alarm.  A distinguished writer recommended its demonetization.  A few nations fled to Silver for refuge; others were braver and wiser, and conspicuously France, with her bi-metallic system.  She let her then precious Silver flow away to Asia, and filled her reservoirs with Gold.  The flood subsided, and what came as a danger remained as a blessing.

What if the Coinage of Gold had been limited or suspended at that time ?  It would have been a great error, resulting in consequences very like to those now upon us.  Silver would have been uppermost, and Gold, excluded from the mints, would for a time have been only merchandise, for which there would have been but a small demand.  Nine hundred millions of Gold in six years – a production that has had no parallel in all the past.  It was welcomed, rather than rejected, and we put upon it the stamp of law, and made it Money, and so it was saved from depreciation.  Seventy-five millions of Silver – can we not welcome this also, and put upon it the stamp of law, and make it Money, and so save it and our own Silver from the possible danger of further depreciation ?

Mr. President and Gentlemen, if there are any causes local to yourselves why you cannot do this now, I shall be sorry.  It is not a very great or a very difficult work to restore Silver to its former rank and power, and it seems to me we cannot do it too soon for the general good.  Accept it as a certainty that the world will not consent to narrow the basis of credit; the tendency is to widen it.  How many money scheme* are being constantly devised to take the place of Gold and Silver.  They are in part an expression of discontent and unrest, growing out of the present derangement, and they have to me the appearance of a warning against the discontinuance of the use of either metal.  Gold and Silver, neither alone but both equally, have endured a trial of thousands of years, and through all the past it was never suggested that they were too abundant.

The first suggestion of such a kind occurred quite recently, when it was recommended that Gold should be demonetized because of excessive production.  Alas ! if it had been done.  The second is now to demonetize Silver.  Alas ! if it shall be done.  It would almost as soon occur to me to strike into barrenness a part of our wheat fields, because now and then their harvests seemed too plentiful, or to desolate some of oar mines of coal, iron, and other minerals, because now and then, their yield seemed excessive, as to desolate any of the mines of Gold and Silver, because now and then their yield happened to be abundant.  The more reasonable apprehension is, that they may at some time fail.  On the other hand, population, labor, trade, commerce, and the endless activity of life will never fail, but ever increase, and their demand for these metals will always utilize their utmost production.  How, then, shall both be saved ?  Not by putting the small, and poor and less civilized nations on Silver, and the great ones upon Gold.  Far otherwise.  They are to be saved by the co-operation and influence of the great and powerful nations.  Must all co-operate ?  It would be better, but it is not necessary.  There are enough here-in this council to accomplish the result.

Mr. Feer-Herzog, on being called upon to speak by the President, said it would be difficult to reply off-hand to the learned address, so full of figures and so extended, which had just been delivered, and which might justly be considered as a memoir on the question.  He wished only to be allowed to touch some of its essential points, and to endeavor to refute them.

The honorable Delegate from the United States had undertaken to demonstrate that Silver was to play in the future the same role as in the past and had combated the opinion expressed by himself, that the monetary metals should share the world between them.  He had laid down as a general thesis that these two metals ought to be and might be everywhere bound one to another by a fixed ratio, which should be not only national but international.  In support of this theory he had drawn from certain facts arguments the value of which it was first necessary to consider.  He had in some sense made it a reproach against the Latin Union, and in this respect there was some analogy between his opinion and that of the English Delegates, that it had in 1874 shut its doors to Silver, and thereby contributed to the fall of that metal in all the markets of the world.

Now, on this first point he felt bound to declare plainly that the states of the Latin Union, acting under full and entire responsibility for their proceedings, were entitled at that time to consider their own interests exclusively.  Their urgent, imperative interest lay in guarding themselves against the invasion of a metal already depreciated.  They had therefore the right, and it was their duty, to protect themselves.  If the limitation of the mintage of Silver had not been decreed, the German monetary reform would have been effected at their expense; all the Silver of Germany would have been poured into France, and not in several years, but in several months, a billion of Francs, in Thalers and Florins, would have taken the place over the area of the Union of a billion of Gold.  By virtue of what principle could it be asserted that the States of the Latin Union ought to bear the cost of this operation and alone undergo its consequences’? Were the people of England or of America in possession of a privilege by virtue of which the monetary system of the Latin Union must be regulated to their advantage, and so in such a manner as to insure profit to them? Evidently not, any more than the subjects of the Latin Union had a vested right in the monetary system of England or America.  In such a case every State or group of States had only to consult its own convenience; its interest alone determined its right.  In 1871 and 1872 the mintage of Silver was virtually suspended in the States of the Union.  The public had only 5 millions francs in French dollars coined at the Paris mint, and 33 millions at Brussels; in other words, an insignificant sum.  Then all at once, the following year, 1873, 154; million francs’ worth were coined at the Paris mint, and 111 millions at Brussels.  In the presence of such an event and of the danger it revealed, how could it be alleged that the limitation of mintage had caused the fall, or that it was not a legitimate measure of defense? Let it be clearly understood, then, that in the existing state of international relations, the restrictive measures taken by the Latin Union in 1874 and the following years were measures the character of which was not open to reproach, and which could not be correctly appreciated except from the exclusive and special standpoint of the States which by common accord had adopted them.

This first point being thus reserved, and excluded as it were from the discussion, he would pass on to the examination of the reasons upon which Mr. Groesbeck had rested his thesis as to the future of Silver, viz. : 1.  The increasing demands of India; and, 2, the decrease in the yield of the mines.

As regards the first point, he would observe that if the needs of Asia had of late increased owing to certain accidental circumstances, there was a fact overriding that of the increase of these needs, viz., the very fact of their variability, and from this fact no other conclusion could be drawn than that Silver was a metal the value of which was necessarily subject to unforeseen fluctuations of rise and fall which would constantly affect that alleged fixed relation of value which it was vainly proposed to establish between the two metals.

As to the second point, it was not without a certain surprise, he said, that he had heard Mr. Groesbeck predict with so much confidence the early exhaustion of the Silver mines, especially of the Nevada mines.  It was true that the working of these mines had extended at many points to depths where the want of air and the accumulation of water rendered it difficult and costly; but was it not known that the creation of the Sutro Tunnel, now completed, was about to restore its original activity to the Comstock mine ?  For his own part, all the information reaching him from America suggested to him an opinion contrary to that of Mr. Groesbeck, and did not allow him to believe in a speedy diminution of the production of Silver.

The Nevada mines were, moreover, not the only ones to be considered.  It was generally acknowledged that the entire chain of the Andes was extraordinarily rich in Silver ore.  This had been the opinion of Baron Humboldt and the most competent engineers.  Mr. St. Clair Duport, Mr. Laur, and Mr. Simonin, who had explored these countries, were unanimously of the opinion that the volcanic regions of the Cordilleras contained large quantities of Silver ore.  These treasures, there could be no doubt, would be some day worked, when the requisite capital had been provided and the indispensable means of communication established; and the more, inasmuch as the production of mercury, which played so large a part in the working of Silver mines, was itself increasing.  Already in Peru a railway rising to 11,500 feet above the sea was approaching the celebrated mines of Cerro del Pasco.  Those of Bolivia, among which was the now almost abandoned mine of Potosi, also contained wealth which might yet be turned to account.  Thus the production of Silver was not confined to the mines of Nevada, of Colorado, of Utah.  The area of future production was much more extensive than Mr. Groesbeck appeared to think, and the problematic exhaustion of the Silver mines of the United States, even if it could be calculated on, would not arrest the production of that metal in the world.

Was there not, moreover, a contradiction between the facts argued upon by Mr. Groesbeck and the measure he proposed ?  If, on the one hand, the yield of Silver mines was increasing, and if, on the other, consumption in Asia should decline, there would, be ground for fearing an excessive depreciation of that metal, and perhaps it would be necessary to endeavor by every means to prevent it; but if, as Mr. Groesbeck maintained, the wants of India were increasing at the same time that the yield of the mines was diminishing, why so much anxiety respecting Silver, or what necessity was there for sustaining its position in the world by any fresh measure ?  What protection did it need ?  Was not its future naturally secured ?  The production having diminished, the demand being increased, was not a rise in value certain ?

In conclusion Mr. Feer-Herzog said that if the Swiss Confederation, which he had the honor to represent, had thought it right to respond with alacrity to the invitation of a great and prosperous and friendly nation, destined to fuller growth, this must be regarded as a testimony of respect and sympathy, but not as showing that the Federal Government in any way shared the view of the American Congress on the monetary question.  Far from thinking that the proposal as to the establishment of an international ratio of value was opportune, the Federal Government was convinced in principle that the proposal could not be realized.  Far from admitting that all States could be brought under one monetary system and subjected to the same law, he was convinced that the stability and security of the monetary market could result only from the free play of institutions adapted to each State, and that harmony would only prevail if each nation remained free to employ one or the other of the two metals according to its own convenience.

Mr. Pirmez asked leave to submit some considerations on various points which had been discussed in the Conference.

From the outset of the discussion, he said, the gravity of existing monetary facts has been pointed out.  The relation of value between Gold and Silver has in the last few years undergone alterations such as it formerly required several centuries to produce.  Never, therefore, could more exceptional circumstances have justified the assembling of this important Conference, in which the United States had taken the initiative.

But, said Mr. Pirmez, by a remarkable coincidence, this extraordinary perturbation, which so well explains our meeting, seems also destined to render it without result, for the force of the economic facts against which we are invited to struggle reveals itself with such clearness that it defies every effort.

Already, in an interesting discussion between Mr. Feer-Herzog and Mr. Horton, has one point of great importance been ascertained, viz., that no serious result can be obtained unless all the Governments of the world adopt simultaneously an identical relation between Gold and Silver.  It is evident indeed that if the relation to be established between the metals does not comprise all States in its embrace, the metal whose commercial value exceeds its conventional value will flow into the States remaining free and the depreciated metal will accumulate in the States bound to receive it, and attributing to it by agreement a fictitious value.  The coalition which will be formed between a more or less great number of nations will have no other consequence than that of making those nations a field of speculation for the countries which shall not have accepted the relation between the two metals.

Let us suppose that all the States whose Delegates are sitting here adopt one of the ratios indicated – whether the ratio of 1 to 15 ½ or 1 to 16, it is immaterial.  The first thing that will happen will be that Germany will pour her stock of Silver into these States, taking from them a corresponding quantity of Gold at the fixed ratio, viz., 15 % perhaps above the commercial value of that Silver, which would amount perhaps to 50,000,000 francs.

I think that were we to adopt such a measure Germany would have little desire of attending Congresses, for she would find her affairs managed better in her absence than she could have ventured to demand if present.

But we are a long way from the unanimity which would be necessary.

The two largest empires in the world, England and China, will not hind themselves.  In what proportions and with what profits would they not exert their power over the countries which should be given up to their mercy – garroted by the invariability of the ratio.

It would thus be by a necessarily incomplete enclosure that we should attempt to confine the bi-metallic currency; now, such an enclosure hampers, but does not enclose; it fails in its purpose because it keeps nothing in.  It must, therefore, be abandoned.

It is true that Mr. Horton has very ably replied to this objection :

«Our proposition,» he says, «is only a wish; we ask you to express the idea that the realization of a general understanding would be advantageous; if it be impossible, it will not be done; but you will at least have indicated the end to be aimed at.»

We are thus very nearly in the position of people who see an extraordinary bird soaring over their heads but at such a height that their weapons cannot reach it.  A discussion-arises : "It is not within range," say some; "let us not trouble ourselves about it." "Let us at least decide," say others, "that we should like to be able to bring it down."

In this case as in that we must choose between those who keep to the practical view and those who demand the declaration of a platonic desire.

It seems to me that the character of our meeting obliges us to adopt the former course.  The Conference represents Governments, and Governments pronounce only on what they can convert into fact.  What is of purely theoretical determination is beyond them.

But while thus opposing the standpoint assumed by Mr. Horton, I ask permission of the Conference to place myself there also and to inquire whether the realization of the unanimous agreement of the world would really produce the happy effects expected from it.

The maintenance of the value of Silver and monetary stability are what is especially aimed at.  To avoid an enormous loss and crisis, to prevent the depreciation of one of the metals, and the variability of the exchanges is what is desired.

But I see at once that gentlemen expect to attain this monetary calm by letting loose on the world, the most violent tempest.

Is proper account taken of the formidable effects which would follow the decreeing of the universal ratio ?

The present true ratio is not proposed, viz., the ratio of 1 to about 18 – a ratio which would force all the countries of Europe having two standards, and the United States themselves, to an immediate recoinage.  This, however, would be the least intense part of the crisis.

Fifteen and one-half or 16 would be taken with unlimited mintage; but what a movement of metals ! The immense reservoirs of Silver from the East pouring themselves over Germany, over England, over the Latin Union, over the United States themselves !  Can a more complete overthrow be imagined ?

But this storm, excited in order to procure us calm, is at last allayed.  We are, I will suppose, in the definitive position which has been the object of search.  Never, under the hypothesis we assume, will a more gigantic effort have been undertaken.  For the first time all the powers of the world will have formed a coalition in order to pursue a single object.  In view of an economic event which disturbs their tranquility they will have united to overcome it.  Will they succeed ?

Here I should find it very difficult to describe, were I obliged to do so, the intensity of the evil to be avoided.

There seems to be a fear of Silver undergoing such a depreciation that a considerable injury will be inflicted on humanity; it is desired to rehabilitate it, to use the forcible expression of one of the honorable Delegates from the United States; but the alarm inspired by the fall is allayed, as has just been remarked, even by those who extol the use of violent remedies.  Mr. Groesbeck shows us that the fears of an excessive production are exaggerated, and he informs us that the price of Silver will recover.

I will not enter into these details of prophetical statistics.  I will not even show that Silver will find the same level if the world be divided between the two Standards, or if each State take both. 

One of two things must happen : either the natural course of economic events will restore its former value to Silver, or it will maintain and aggravate the fall.  In the first case, all intervention is useless; in the second, I affirm that it will be futile.

Let me dwell upon the fundamental error which suggests the measure which has been proposed.  That error is the belief that it appertains to Governments to call value into existence.

Governments have an almost unlimited power in preventing the creation of values or in destroying them.  They are powerless to create or preserve those which are disappearing.  By measures which are restrictive of liberty, by clumsy interventions, they may arrest the development of wealth; they are without power to decree it.  No doubt a legal fixing of the ratio between Gold and Silver may give to Silver a value superior to its real value, but that value will have been taken from that of Gold which will be depressed exactly in the same proportion.  If a paying power be given to Silver greater than that assigned it by the rating of commerce, a less price will thereby be given to Gold.  The increased value gained by Silver in having attributed to it a monetary value in lieu of Gold, will be attended as regards Gold by a precisely equal reduction of value.  The law may factitiously bring nearer to each other the value of Gold and that of Silver, by fixing an arbitrary relation between them; but the sum of the two values will remain the same.  Let me be allowed to make my idea clearer by a comparison.  Two bodies are endowed with different motions; by coupling them together they can be made to assume the same motion; those who were looking only at the body which moved the more slowly may fancy that motion has been gained because the speed of this body has been accelerated; but looking at both bodies it will be found that what one has gained the other has lost, and that the quantity of motion has not varied.  Now the dynamics of values are not different from the dynamics of bodies; we should have the same result in the hypothesis we are assuming; there would only be a change of the position of value, a change which those who looked only at one of the two factors would take for a gain.

With the authority attaching to his name, and with the clearness which we feel we have a right to expect from the author of the «Theory of Foreign Exchanges», Mr. Goschen has explained to us the position of India towards England, and the difficulties which have been caused by the fall of Silver.  If the ideas I am combating were sound England would possess a very simple means of putting everything right.  Let her make the rupees a Legal Tender in England at the relation of 1 to 15 ½; they would immediately rise, and the exchange of London on Calcutta would approach par.  Why does she not do it? Because she knows too well that she would be paying herself with a vain appearance, and that what the rupee would gain the pound sterling would lose.  The influx of rupees into England which would drive out the sovereigns, would make English creditors lose exactly what that deplorable measure would have given to the rupee; and if England fancied the fixedness of exchange saved her the loss she now undergoes she would be like the merchant who is handed a piece of cloth which is too short and who declares himself satisfied, because having had the ingenious idea of shortening his yard-stick he fancies he has received what was due him.

Take other cases and you will always have the same result.  Never will you arrive either at increasing a value or at preserving it contrary to economic facts, because from them alone is value derived.

But will the grand federation of Governments at least have succeeded in substituting for the moving waves of natural relations of value the calm surface of an invariable artificial relation ?  It will have bound the two metals by the strongest link which laws can form, but will that link keep them always at the same distance ?  No; not even that.  It would very soon be perceived that that link can contract or expand; that it is only, if I may venture to say so, of India rubber, and that it will leave them sufficient play to separate and break the dreamed-of harmony.

The two metals will not have the same value in the different countries.  The Silver-producing countries, where Silver will consequently be the most plentiful, will be the first where Gold will disappear; these countries will have a Silver currency before the others.  The countries, on the other hand, where there is a considerable production of Gold will be the last affected.  Speculation will first withdraw the Gold from all the countries where it is worth most.  We shall then, for example, see the United States have only Silver Money and Australia have only Gold Money.  The uniformity thus pursued will still escape.

This being the case, there will be no fixed par of exchange.  If the discrepancy between the two metals be circumscribed within certain limits, it may be affirmed that, within those limits and by reason of the immense speculation which will arise from the option of substituting one for the other, thanks to the legal ratio, the fluctuation will be more frequent than ever.  This substitution will be a long operation, but if the ratio be commercially false – and it will be false, because it is this very falsity which is to rehabilitate one of the metals – the other metal will gradually withdraw from circulation; it will find greater use in industrial and artistic consumption; it will be sought by those who make hoards, and will end by being at a premium.

This is what would happen : The grand alliance of all nations, after casting monetary relations into an unprecedented crisis, would lead only to a complete defeat, because it would have attempted to struggle against economic laws as invincible as the forces of nature.

I must here meet an objection of General Walker : «Your Single Standard,» he tells us, «obliges you to resort to Money of base alloy; you reject Silver as a real Money, but you are obliged, in order to have Money for small payments, to return to it in the form of Tokens; Paper Money at least represents good Money, whereas this low-standard Money, which yon must put up with, is, in short, only false Money, and it is the force of law alone, which you declare powerless, which gives it its value.»

I might first of all point out to the honorable general that the quantity of this Money is limited, so as not to influence the circulation.  Germany has fixed it at 10 marks per head of the population; England at still less.  But I prefer to notice the mistake into which he seems to me to fall as regards this Money.  Nobody thinks of having fractional Coins taken for their intrinsic value; these Coins have a fiduciary character; they are bank-notes inscribed on metal; this character results only in certain countries from a variety of circumstances, but it has been brought into prominence by the recent monetary laws.  The German law and the «Latin» Treaty compel the State which has issued tokens to exchange them for real Money; the bearer, therefore, besides the intrinsic value, which is about -^ of the nominal value, has a pledge, which, freed from the metal which bears it, is worth a bank-note.

But this is only a matter of detail, which I notice in order to try to clear up a point which has been frequently obscured.  The two metals are necessary, it is said, for the development of credit.  To set aside one of the metals, is it not to diminish the stock of monetary material, to arrest the elasticity of credit to which Money gives nourishment ?

Nothing is more dangerous than to confound monetary questions with questions of credit.  They are entirely distinct; but, as the oscillations of credit are often revealed by the abundance or scarcity of Coin in large financial establishments, it is too easily imagined that monetary situations, which only reflect the phenomena of credit, are really the producing cause of these phenomena.

I may be permitted in this connection to allude to an observation made by Mr. Horton on the forced currency of Bank of England notes.  Mr. Horton, who has so carefully searched for all the facts which appeared to him to support his theory, proves that England abolished Silver Money at about, the time she admitted Paper Money, and he infers that, if she had not effected that abolition, she would not have been forced to abandon specie payments.

The two facts may have been contemporaneous, but they have no relation of cause and effect.

Paper Money is a kind of forced loan.  England borrowed under that form and under others, in order to face the colossal expenses of the war she maintained for 20 years.  Whether, on commencing the war, she had had a stock of Gold or a stock of Gold and Silver of the same amount, did it not come to the same thing ?  When, during the war, she resorted to loans, would she more easily have purchased supplies because her lenders might, at their choice, have given her one or the other of the two metals ? And ultimately, when she resumed specie payments, would not the same effort have been required to get a value of Silver equal to that which she procured in gold? The absence of Coin was only the expression of the lack of capital in the exchequer, owing to its destruction by the war, and, subsequently, the return of Coin marked the creation of resources, when peace had exerted its recuperative action.  Monetary questions are entirely foreign to these financial situations.

There is a case, no doubt, in which the double monetary system offers facilities for the liquidation of debts, viz., when those debts have been contracted under the alternative of the two metals, and when one of them is depreciated.  I can understand that States whose liabilities are heavy, like Austria or Italy, hesitate to exclude Silver, with which they can acquit themselves more easily than with Gold, and object to choosing the more burdensome mode of payment.  But two observations arise here : The first is, that the debt will be paid more cheaply if use is made not of both metals; but of one only which proves that the duality stands for nothing in the facility of payment appealed to.  The second is, that this facility comes solely from the original relation between the value of the two metals being disturbed, which shows that if the vaunted fixed relation could be established, the facility would disappear.  It is thus – strange contradiction ! – by the advantage discovered in the rupture of the equilibrium that the stability of the equilibrium is defended.  If it be really desired properly to appreciate the influence of the two systems of the Single and Double Standards, they must be weighed separately, without entangling an antecedent Double Standard in the establishment for the future of a Single Standard.

On comparing the two systems apart, I cannot understand how credit would have to suffer from the monetary system resting on unity of metal.

Has the credit of mono-metallic England been less than that of bi-metallic nations ?

But what constitutes credit ? Two elements chiefly : abundance of capital and security for its investment.

Is it possible to conceive that the Double Standard favors the production of capital ?  How should there be more lands under cultivation or lauds better cultivated, more machines, more powerful engines, or more energetic and intelligent toil, because the Money in circulation is of two colors ?  Neither Gold nor Silver create wealth; they are both per se devoid of productive force; they are only representative equivalents.  How should this image, however real it may be, influence what is necessarily outside of it and independent of it ?  Would it be confidence which would be increased by the Double Standard ?  But it diminishes instead of increasing the security of the money-lender.  For the certainty of receiving exactly what he gave, it substitutes the alternative of payment in two kinds of Money; he lends Gold, and it is held that he can receive only Silver.  Let us seek to recognize this fact : governments have but one means of securing the development of credit, viz. : to free it from the impediments with which not long ago their unintelligent anxiety strove to embarrass it.  Let them leave everybody free to direct and employ his activity in the path pointed out to him by his interest; that interest will be sure to be clear sighted.  Let them avoid trying to control economic facts by arbitrary measures, always ineffectual for good and perilous to the security of rights.  Let us go to the root of a fixing of a legal ratio between Gold and Silver like that proposed to us, and what shall we find ?  A law of maximum or minimum, the obligation of giving a weight of Gold for a smaller weight of Silver than that indicated by freedom of trade, or, if you prefer that way of putting it, the right of the holder of Silver to obtain more Gold than the Silver he presents is worth.  Why should this taxation be more legitimate than that which in evil times was attempted to be imposed upon corn ?

Gentlemen, said Mr. Pirmez, in conclusion, the observations I have had the honor of submitting to your attention induce me to think that the propositions put before us cannot be accepted.  But if I do not expect practical measures to issue from our Conference, this gathering, nevertheless, seems to me a happy precedent.  It proves – and this is a general result more important than the specific resolutions which might have been adopted – how easily a number of nations can assemble together to discuss the interests which are common to them.  I doubt not that this precedent will bear fruit; but if I may be allowed here to express a desire which will be in harmony with the tendencies of the great and free Republic which has convened us, it is that the labors of future Conferences, whatever their object, may be directed, not with a view to government interference, but by liberal aspirations.  There still exist in the world – and I do not think a single country is exempt from them – a multitude of measures, restrictive of liberty, often more injurious to those maintaining them than to those against whom they are aimed.  It is to make them disappear that the combined efforts of nations should tend.

Count Rusconi said that, as for himself, he would not indulge in any academic argument.  He should have liked to see the proposition of the United States taken up on its practical side.  That proposition was in itself excellent; he felt bound to express his gratitude to the government which had submitted and to the Delegates who had supported it.  It had produced a considerable effect in Italy as soon as it became known, for it had shown that the bond of solidarity uniting the nations in the monetary field was admirably understood on the other side of the Atlantic.

The object proposed to the Conference consisted in establishing by an international agreement a fixed ratio between the value of Gold and Silver Money.  Now, nobody could deny that this ratio in fact existed;

it had been maintained in different countries at different periods of history, and notably at present in the States of the Latin Union.  It was in no way necessary that this ratio should be universal – sufficient that it was international.  It would suffice, as he had said at the last session, and would repeat, that France and England should adopt it, to induce many other States in turn to adopt it.  It was said that the German Empire would never rally to it.  This was to be regretted, no doubt, but after all would this prevent the measure from producing great results ?  Certainly not.  Germany would realize a profit of some millions of francs, it was true, but the state of the monetary market would be singularity improved for all the world.

The Italian Delegate had previously dwelt on the disastrous effect which the demonetization of Silver would have on various States.  He would not revert to that subject, but speaking in behalf of his government, and as representing the interests of Italy, he could not help urging the Conference once more, instead of touching only theoretically on the surface of things, to come face to face with the proposition of the United States, to examine it from the practical point of view, and to consider in what degree it could be realized.  When gentlemen declined the task of establishing a durable link between Gold and Silver is impracticable, it seemed to him that they were making a willful confusion of ideas; they confounded the metal remaining merchandise with the metal become Money by mintage, viz., by an operation of a legal character.  As he bad already said, the law alone made Coin.

That the value of Silver as merchandise varied according to the demands of the market was possible, and he admitted it, but the value of minted Silver in relation to minted Gold did not vary as long as the law preserved its paying power.  The action of law was therefore in no way powerless, as Mr. Pirmez maintained, for the creation of a value or for its preservation.

The fixed value of Money was an immediate consequence of the law.  Mr. Pirmez had compared the legal ratio between the two Moneys to those laws of maximum which had left such mournful recollections in history, but this comparison did not seem to him accurate.  Let the law pretend to fix the value of an article of consumption, or establish a fixed ratio of value between two articles of consumption – for instance, between silk and cotton, between wheat and coal – and it would not succeed; it would be an arbitrary and futile act, because it would uselessly attempt to control the nature of things.  But for the State to decree a ratio of value between two Coins – one Gold, the other Silver – which were dependent on it, which were both its creation as Money, and to which it alone had the power of giving paying power, this was within its domain; it acted upon its own creature, in no sense did it perform a vain work.  And the best proof of this was that it did it every day.

Count Rusconi in conclusion expressed a desire that the Conference should be distinctly called upon by the United States Delegates to pronounce categorically on this question : Is the fixing of a ratio of value between Gold Money and Silver Money possible or impossible ?

Sir Thomas Seccombe stated that the opinions of the English Delegates on the question submitted to the Conference had been so fully explained by his colleagues, Mr. Goschen and Mr. Gibbs, that it only remained for him to say that he entirely adhered to the views they had expressed.

As for the establishment by an international agreement of a fixed ratio between Gold and Silver, he thought the discussion had clearly demonstrated that this measure could not be classed among practical questions.

Silver, as was known, was employed for artistic and industrial objects, as well as in the commercial transactions of the world, and the qualities which fitted it for these uses were not found in another metal.  Silver consequently must always have a tendency to resume its natural position in relation to Gold, though that position and the price of that metal in the market might sometimes be materially modified by the expansion of the supply or the demand.  This was an evil which might be seriously aggravated, as had been shown, by changes in the monetary laws of different nations, but he did not believe that any resolution adopted by this Conference could effectually mitigate that evil, inasmuch as every nation, as regards its monetary system, would always be influenced by what might seem to its government most conformable to the national interest.

Mr. Horton hoped that the Conference would permit him, in the first place, to make reply to certain strictures which Mr. Pirmez had just made upon his views as expressed at the last session.

The distinguished Delegate of Belgium, said Mr. Horton, has compared the monetary problem laid before the Conference to a bird which is supposed to be soaring over our heads at a great height, a height so great that, in his view, the bird is beyond our reach.

I accept, for the moment, his comparison.  We are met here to decide whether we ought to fire together at this bird, whose destruction it is our mutual interest to accomplish.  But gentlemen say «it is not worth while discussing the question; it is impossible to kill the bird.»  «And why is it impossible,» I ask ?  «Because,» they answer, «our guns are not loaded.»

To which I say, «Why not load your guns ?»

«Is it not your interest to do so ?»  Here is the real question – an entirely practical question – which has not been answered, and yet a full reply to it would solve all the questions which I had the honor to suggest at the last session.

This powerlessness of which gentlemen speak is not a real lack of power, and in any case it is not shown to exist.  It has been said that a goodly number of States will not consent to enter into the arrangement proposed.  Very well; but are they right in not consenting ? Is it really their interest not to do so ?  Here is the point which it is necessary to prove.  It cannot be said that of a proposed arrangement that it is in its very nature impossible, merely because one or more parties say that they will not enter into it.  Nor does the fact of the refusal prove that the arrangement is not an excellent one.

But to continue, Mr. Pirmez adds a meaning to our proposition which does not belong to it.

It has never entered into our thoughts that the proposed international relation between the value of the two metals must be adopted by the entire world.  We have no idea in the United States of making war upon China to introduce the Double Standard into that Empire, and so likewise as far as the Indies are concerned our intentions are eminently peaceable.  For my part, I do not know of a single publicist who ever had regarded the universal Double Standard as a probability, and as for the idea that it is not possible to obtain a serious result, except by the co-operation of all the governments of the world, it is absolutely contrary to the opinion which I have endeavored to express.

[Omitted in the official journal. – In absorbing the greater part of the one metal against which are directed the prejudices of the Western World, Asia facilitates the establishment of that quasi-universal Bi-metallism of the Western nations which is the aim of the Conference.]

If, then, Mr. Pirmez only regarded the proposition of the United States inadmissible because of the universality which he gratuitously attributed to it, I am bound simply to say that his reasoning is weak in its foundation.

But he has put forward another objection.  We are asking of governments, he says, the accomplishment of a task which exceeds the measure of their powers.

The State, in Mr. Pirmez’s view, can easily destroy a value.  It cannot create or preserve one.  The value of the two monetary metals, as well as that of all other objects, is beyond the jurisdiction of the State, and it is of no use for the State to regulate it.

To this conclusion of Mr. Pirmez I will content myself with opposing Mr. Pirmez himself.  He has told us, as Mr. Feer-Herzog did, that if the States of the Latin Union opened their mints to the coinage of Silver they would put Germany in condition to sell her stock of Silver.

Monetary laws, then, can create a demand.  Now, demand is a decisive factor in the value of things, and is a cause of the production of things which possess value.  Does it not appear, then, that States, by their laws, can create values and preserve them ?

I recognize, as Mr. Pirmez does, that legislation does not directly create wealth; but certainly it assists in its creation.  To bring about a rise in the value of Silver is not absolutely to create wealth.  The rise in Silver may, at the same time, imply a corresponding fall in the value of Gold or in the price of commodities; but it is not the less true that legislation does exercise a considerable influence in the production of wealth.

Our honorable colleague has said, in speaking of bank-note issues and of the nature of credit, that laws are all-powerful for evil.  This is true of bad laws, but the good laws, those upon which are founded the stability and the security of economic and social relations, are they not equally powerful for good ?  Everywhere there are laws; that is to say, there is some Government interference with the relations of man in society.  «Would mankind continue to work, to produce, without this interference, this regulation ?  Certainly not.  Labor would be at a stand-still the day that laws ceased to guarantee the future Money value of labor, of commodities, of property.  To create this security, this confidence in the future – is not this to assist in the creation of wealth ?  The State, I admit, does not itself labor, nor does it produce; but it is the necessary ally and coworker of those who do work and produce, and hence it has its part in the production of wealth.

We do not, therefore, demand of the State anything that is beyond its power or that is outside of the nature of its mission, when we ask of Governments that they give to the relative value of the two Money Metals a permanence, a stability, which they now lack, and which would be in the future a security for labor and an encouragement to production.

Another portion of Mr. Pirmez’s address calls upon me for answer.  In speaking of the monetary crisis under which England suffered at the beginning of this century, I had no thought of saying, as Mr. Pirmez seems to suppose I did, that the suppression of Silver Money in England had been the cause of the forced currency of bank-notes.  In this matter the-dates speak for themselves.  It may be read in all the books treating of the matter, that the Suspension of Cash Payments by the Bank of England took place in 1797, while this law, which has been almost ignored, and to which I called the attention of Mr. Feer-Herzog at our last meeting, was only passed the year after, in 1798.

It was, however, only a few years afterward that the Paper Money fell below par.  The question which I raised was, therefore, this : if Silver had not been suppressed would the Paper Money have undergone the same depreciation ?

This question has more than a merely historical interest.  When gentlemen to-day cite the example of England, as they so often do, in support of the mono-metallist theory, it becomes necessary to prove that the exclusion of Silver, decreed by England in 1798, was an experiment that succeeded.

Now to my eyes it is clear that this measure augmented to a considerable extent the evils under which England suffered at that epoch.

England was then, as she is to-day, in commercial relations with all the world, and Silver was Money everywhere and was far more abundant, than Gold.  It is probable that in many instances and in many places.  people would have preferred to pay in Silver rather than in Gold.  This is the more probable from the fact that at that time the relative value of Gold had passed above the English ratio of 15.21, and that there was.  besides an extraordinary demand for Gold on account of the wars in Europe.

It is plain that if England had not prohibited the Coinage of Silver the ships that arrived in her ports would have brought a greater quantity of the two metals together than they did of Gold alone; and but for this prohibition of Silver Coinage, all the Silver there was in England and all the Silver that might have come there would have been Money Metal.  Of the use of all this England deprived herself voluntarily by force of law.  I should find it difficult to persuade myself that in so doing she did not reject an ally whose assistance would have been useful in maintaining her circulation.

Mr. Horton also desired to mention one other point in the address of Mr. Pirmez.

General Walker having said that the system of the Single Gold Standard necessarily implied the presence of a very large quantity of Token Money in the States which should adopt it, the Belgian Delegate replied that the amount of this Token Money was limited to such an extent that it had no importance in the circulation; in Germany, for example, there were only 10 marks per capita of the population, while in England the proportion was still smaller.  He added that Token Money was in a certain measure only a credit Money, every one knowing that the actual value of it was less than its nominal value, and that as it deceived nobody there was no disadvantage in its use in the country within whose territory this unexportable Money was exclusively employed.

Now, said Mr. Horton, in occupying this point of view does Mr. Pirmez intend to make tabula rasa – a clean sweep of existing facts ?

It seems to me that in the present state of affairs there is far more token Money in Europe than the honorable Belgian Delegate admits.

If, as is agreed, the essential character of Token Money be that it has an actual value inferior to its nominal value, that it is unexportable, and in domestic exchanges occupies the position of a credit Money, I simply ask whether, as matters stand to-day in consequence of the war made against Silver, all the Silver five-franc pieces of the Latin Union, all the Thalers of Germany, all the Florins of Holland, have not actually become Tokens ?  As bullion they have a value very much inferior to that which the Law gives them as Coin; they are unexportable, or at least they do not leave the country where, although full Legal Tender, they are employed for small every-day transactions.  They have been dethroned and have passed in fact if not in law to the condition of Tokens.  In my view, the point made against the Gold Standard by General Walker is therefore established by the actual presence of thousands of millions of francs’ worth of Token Money in the metallic stock of Europe, a continent already in a manner partially committed to the Single Gold Standard by the demonetization or suspension of the Coinage of Silver.

I also desire, said Mr. Horton, to make an observation suggested by the remarks of the honorable Delegate from Switzerland concerning the probable future production of Silver.  While Mr. Groesbeck has called attention to the patent fact that the yield of the Silver mines now worked is diminishing, and that the working of men is becoming more difficult, Mr. Feer-Herzog foresees with certainty that new mines, or even -the old mines of Mexico or South America, will presently be in condition to pour out waves of Silver over the world.  This belief in the imminence of an inundation of fresh Silver has now for a long time, I am aware, been made use of as an argument in favor of the system of the Single Gold Standard; but it seems to me that this conjectural mode of argument does not decide anything.  From the moment one takes his stand upon a supposition of this kind, it is not clear that one may not as reasonably prophesy an immediate inundation of Gold as of Silver.

Mr. Horton then directed the attention of the Conference to the expectant and essentially conservative attitude taken by the United States in adopting the Law of February 28,1878, or the «Allison Bill», as in his view it was proper to call it, after the name of the Senator from Iowa who proposed it to the Senate, as a substitute for the «Bland Bill».

The proposition for a Law called the «Bland Bill» had been, he said, the subject of thorough discussion throughout the country, and the Law of February 28, the «Allison Bill», might be considered as the result of this discussion.  By its adoption, Congress in giving to Silver the character of lawful money had not desired to increase the demand for Silver in any very great degree.

It was plain that for a country which possessed a stock of Gold of some two hundred millions of dollars, a stock constantly increasing, and which possessed hardly any Silver dollars at all, it was acting with moderation to ordain the Coinage on Government account of two million dollars of Silver per month as a minimum and four millions as a maximum amount.

With a Coinage thus limited, it would be long before the stock of Silver in the United States would equal that of the various States of Europe.  Switzerland, for instance, which has never, said Mr. Horton, since the formation of the Latin Union, coined Gold, and has only coined five-franc pieces since 1873, the date of the depreciation of Silver, already holds, and without doubt will continue for a long time to hold, a greater proportion of Silver of full Legal-Tender power than the United States.  As much might be said of Germany, in spite of five years’ demonetization.  Holland has a stock of Silver double its stock of Gold.  As for France and Belgium, their stock of Silver is counted by the thousand millions of francs.  It is therefore to a part of the world exceedingly well provided with Silver, and one which has been thinking for many years of ridding itself of this metal, and has not yet succeeded, that the Delegates of the United States come to propose its rehabilitation.

Why is it that there has been in Europe a desire to proscribe Silver ?

The starting point of this proscription is to be found in this English law of 1798 to which I have called attention.  The theory of it was set forth in 1805 in the Treatise on the Coins of the Realm of the first Lord Liverpool, the author of the law of 1798 and the founder of the English system, completed by his son in 1816.

This theory of mono-metallism, which has its source in a time when science had not been enlightened, by the decisive lessons of the experience of our century as to the solidarity of interest of all nations in the matter of Money, has been perpetuated and reproduced in our day in two different forms.

At first it had manifested itself in favor of Gold.  Later the excessive depreciation of that metal, in consequence of the outflow from the mines of California and Australia, occasioned such a panic, that a learned economist, Mr. Michel Chevalier, who had applied to the Double Standard the explanation of the " parachute " which has since become famous, proposed to demonetize Gold, in the anticipation that the weight of this metal would become too great for the strength of the parachute.  His advice was not followed, and twelve years later the strength of the parachute was not exhausted.  Upon the convocation of the International Monetary Conference of 1867, a strange revolution of opinion revealed itself.  At that time the discovery was generally made that Silver was heavy, and people believed in good faith that the true way to realize an Universal Monetary Union was to break the tie that kept in union the two monetary metals; in order to facilitate exchanges nothing better was devised than to destroy the par of exchange of the two Moneys by means of which exchanges between different parts of the world were effected, and always will be effected; and by a most unfortunate illusion men were enabled to believe for a time that they were about to quicken production and open the springs of wealth by shaking the confidence of men in values expressed in Money.

It is now proposed, said Mr. Horton, that this confidence, shaken by what has occurred, by the fatal measures which have been adopted in pursuance of these ideas, shall be restored by means of an international agreement, not universal, but one that shall embrace a sufficient number of States and extend itself over a mass of interests sufficiently great, over boundaries so broad, that the basis of the new monetary system shall be comparatively unshakable.

We do not ask, as gentlemen seem to suppose we do, that a variety of different ratios between Gold and Silver shall be re-established or maintained all at the same time, namely, the American ratios of 15 and 16, the former English ratio, 15.21; the ratio of the Latin Union, 15.50; and of Holland, 15.62.  On the contrary, it is precisely these differences of ratio that we wish to see disappear.  To the conflict which resulted from such differences, we wish to see peace succeed.  This desire appears to us attainable, seeing that in our day nations can act together in matters of importance as they could not do in the days when the arguments were formulated which have been reproduced in this Conference against the concurrent use of the two metals.

[Omitted in the Official Journal.  For the rest, I have no intention of occupying the time of the Conference in a discussion which can be called theoretical.  I merely desire to make a statement here concerning the practical results which have been reached in the preceding debates.]

In the course of these discussions no one has been able to deny that it was the Bi-metallic Law of France, placed as she was between the Silver of Germany and the Gold of England, that for more than half a century served as a self-adjusting balance to fix the par of exchange of the two Money metals.  Nor has any one been able to deny that the existence of the Latin Union in itself is a proof of the practicability of the work proposed to the Conference.

[Omitted in the Official Journal. – Who, indeed, would have had the boldness to maintain that the accession of England, or of Germany, with the United States, to the Latin Union, would not have given to the relation of value between the two metals a stability even greater than they enjoyed before 1873 ?

In comparison with such a situation what do we see? Can any one deny to the demonetization of Silver a fatal influence in the financial, commercial, and industrial history of the years that have passed since 18731 Modern man lives in the midst of obligations; the values of the world have been calculated on the basis of the two metals; the business of the world is based on the future Money value of property, and demonetization, meaning a vast withdrawal of employment for Silver, a vast increase of demand for Gold, is a disturbance of existing values and of existing production.]

It has been admitted that a doctrinaire legislation rashly augmenting he demand for Gold and diminishing that of Silver has caused and continues to cause a most pernicious perturbation in the metal market.

In consequence of the fall of the Gold price of Silver, England, as we have been told, has suffered great losses.  Germany has sold, at a discount, at considerable cost to herself a part of the Silver which she had prepared herself to dispose of.

The States of the Latin Union, menaced with an inundation of Silver, were unable to protect themselves against this danger except by a measure which is believed to have aggravated the fall of Silver, the evil from which they themselves suffered.  Every one has suffered and anticipates further suffering.  The enormous sum of full Legal-Tender Silver which is collected in the continental states, notably in the Latin Union, has degenerated, as I have had occasion to remark, to the condition of Token Money.  Possessing no longer in reality and for foreign use the value which the law continues to give it in the country which coined it, the 5-franc piece has become an unexportable Money – a thing condemned by all true monetary science.

This is the situation into which Silver has been brought, and gentlemen content themselves with asking, What is the normal price of Silver ?

In our view there is something better to be done.  There are measures to be taken which I undertake to call measures of public safety.

Nevertheless, added Mr. Horton, I can well understand that the expectant attitude observed by the United States has been found, for special reasons, to be equally imposed upon certain other States, and that many of their representatives have seen in their official and diplomatic position a motive for not entering into thorough discussion of the propositions submitted to this Assembly.  But does not this obstacle to the deliberations of the Conference fade away before the actual fact of this animated debate in favor of the Single Gold.  Standard, and against the Double Standard as it was, to which diplomacy has lent itself ?  Have not the apologists of the status quo, for which nevertheless every one agrees a remedy must be sought, already made too much use of the freedom of «academic discussion» to be able to maintain for the Conference the character of a purely diplomatic reunion ?

But, however that may be, and independently of any other result, this much has already been gained, that the Conference of 1878, breaking with the traditions and doctrines of 1867, will have inaugurated a new era in the history of monetary science of our time, and that it will in a manner fix the date of the decline of the theories of mono-metallism.

The presence at this reunion of the representatives of the Anglo-Indian Empire is a notable sign of the change which has taken place in men’s minds in this regard, and the exposition of views by the chief Delegate of the Government of Great Britain deserves to make an epoch.

In declaring that universal bi-metallism and the universal Single Gold Standard are both Utopias, but that the universal Single Gold Standard is an entirely false Utopia, and in saying that a propaganda against Silver would be an extremely pernicious thing for every one, even for States which are devoted to the system of the Single Gold Standard, Mr. Goschen, although making due reservation in favor of the maintenance of the monetary system peculiar to the United Kingdom, has placed himself upon bi-metallic ground.  As I have stated, the Utopias of universal bi-metallism, to which Mr. Goschen made various allusions, are not within the practical objects of the Conference.  We have merely to do with the probable effects of the proposed union, of the States here represented, and as far as this quasi-universal bimetallism is concerned, Mr. Goschen, holding himself within the limits of his diplomatic position, has not entered into consideration of it.

But upon the utopia of the Single Gold Standard he has spoken fully.  He has, it is true, said that England had done more than other nations to maintain the value of Silver in the world, in not limiting the Coinage of rupees in India.

But such a limitation would, as a matter of fact, have compelled the introduction of Gold in India, and, indeed, the Government of India has so expressed itself (Return East India Silver of March 22, 1877), and would have largely diminished the stock of Gold of the Bank of England, an eventuality against which great interests in Europe are compelled to be on their guard.

It is thus plain that the introduction of Gold into India, without speaking of the rest of Asia, is an utopia, and the consequences of any attempt to realize this utopia would be fatal for Europe and for England.

But have we not the right to say also that the extension of the Single Gold Standard in Europe, in Europe itself, has become an utopia ?

It has been generally recognized as true that what weighs upon the present situation is the mass of Silver which Germany has to sell, and that when Germany shall have sold its Silver, the world will return to a «normal position».

Now, how can the maintenance of this «normal position» be reconciled with the actual introduction or even the dread of the actual introduction of the Single Gold Standard into Switzerland, into Belgium, into Holland, into France ?  Evidently, gentlemen must have already ceased to have any fear that these other nations will some day undertake to sell their Silver, and thus in their turn set at naught those natural laws for whose resurrection the world is now supposed to be waiting.

I may be here permitted to observe that the present position of England upon the question of Silver, and so likewise that of France, as it is set forth in the statement of the President of the Conference, presents a dramatic contrast to the attitude of the representatives of these two nations in 1867.

Nine years ago a chancellor of the exchequer was able, in the House of Commons, to congratulate his country that France showed herself ready to abandon Silver and to adopt the Single Gold Standard.*

To-day, Mr. Léon Say, speaking in the name of France, with the double authority of his scientific and of his official position, tells us that France is not moving toward the Single Gold Standard, but is awaiting the favorable moment to re-enter into full employment of the Double Standard.  The position of England, diplomatically defined by Mr. Goschen, is, therefore, in a manner, the English complement of the attitude of France.

It results from these debates, said Mr. Horton, in conclusion, that the interests of England are opposed to the exclusion of Silver as money from Europe and from the United States.  It has been ascertained that England, by great losses, has paid the price of German demonetization; that is to say, of a measure for which she herself had given the example, and that she, as well as the other nations, can only lose by new demonetizations of Silver in the future.  Nothing could more completely illustrate the true reasons which called the Conference into existence, the motives of the general weal, which decided the United States to convoke it.  Nothing could bring into clearer light the community of interest which unites all the nations in all that concerns their Money; nor could anything more forcibly suggest the necessity that the civilized world should come to an understanding to preserve for Silver its character of Money and so act that the par of international exchange of the two metals may rest upon secure foundations.

Mr. Fenton expressed his intention of offering some observations at the opening of the next session.  He added that the Delegates of the United States might perhaps deem it proper to submit to the Conference other propositions which might be substituted for those previously formulated by the United States delegation, and to ask for a vote upon them at the proper time.

The President (Mr. Say) requested that in that case the text of these new propositions should be placed in the hands of the Delegates of the other States, so that they might be able to examine them before the next session.

Mr. Groesbeck, in support of the observations he had offered, laid on the table the following documents :

1.  Two letters from Mr. Sherman, Secretary of the Treasury, dated the 15th July last (Exhibits C and D).

2.  A letter from Mr. Linderman, Director of the Mint, dated the 19th July last (Exhibit E).

Mr. Fenton presented a return of the Coinage of the United States during the fiscal year ending the 30th June, 1878 (Exhibit F).

The President (Mr. Say) announced that in order to clear up one of the historical points touched upon in the discussion, he would collect and communicate to the Conference the documents from which it appeared that the legal ratio of 15 ½dated not merely from the year XI, but was for the first time adopted in France under the ministry of M. de Calonne, in 1785.

The Conference adjourned to meet again on Wednesday next.  The session terminated at a quarter past 5.

 

FIFTH  SESSION – EXHIBITS

 

xhibit A.  Note on the monetary system of Belgium

Both the Money of Payment and the Fractional Money of Belgium are regulated in accordance with the treaty of 1865 modified by the interdiction of the mintage of Silver.  It is unnecessary to reproduce here the provisions of that treaty, which is well known as constituting the Latin Union.

The conditions of mintage of Gold and of Silver in Belgium are as follows :

The cost of Coinage is 6 francs 70 centimes per kilogram of Gold coins struck, and 1 franc 50 centimes per kilogram of Silver Coin.

The Silver franc containing 5 grams of Silver .9 fine, the kilogram of this fineness is worth 200 francs, and the Mint, deducting the cost of Coinage, gives back for a kilogram of Silver 198 franca 50 centimes of Coin.

If a kilogram of pure Silver which is worth 222 francs 22 centimes, be deposited, the Mint will return 220 francs 55 centimes in specie.

Gold being worth at the legal ratio 15 ½ times Silver, the kilogram of Gold at .9 is worth 3,100 francs, and for it the Mint will give back 3,093 francs 30 centimes of Gold Coin; if a kilogram of pure Gold which is worth 3,444 francs 44 centimes, be deposited, it returns 3,437 francs of Coin.

The National Bank has the privilege of a reduction of ½ % on the cost of Coinage, but it receives the metal to be coined at the Mint rate, giving specie immediately in exchange for metal.

Beside the coins mentioned in the Treaty of 1865, Belgium has, as tokens, pieces of nickel of 20, 10 and 5 centimes, and copper coins of 2 and 1 centime. The nickel coins are exchangeable at any time in the office of the Treasury in sums of 50 francs.  Nickel coins need not be received for sums above 5 francs, and copper coins need not be received for sums above 2 francs.

 

Return


Exhibit B.  List of legislative documents concerning the Kingdom of Italy

A. – No. 788, Law of August 24,1862, on the unification of the monetary system.

B. – No. 3,037, Law of July 21,1866, promulgating the monetary treaty between Italy, Belgium, France, and Switzerland, signed in Paris, December 23,1835.

C. – No. 4,771, Royal decree of December 30,1868, on the accession of Greece to said treaty.

D. – No. 57 (Second series), Royal decree of February 12,1871, on the Legal Tender of Gold coins of 20 and 10 francs in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

E. – No. 2,065 (Second series), Law of August, 1874, on the monetary treaty between Italy, Belgium, France, and Switzerland, signed in Paris, January 31, 1874.

F. – No. 2,651 (Second series), Law of July 17, 1875, on the declaration signed in Paris, the 5th of February, 1875, by the Delegates of Italy, Belgium, France and Switzerland.

G. – No. 3,068 (Second series), Royal decree of April 26, 1876, on the declaration signed in Paris, February 3, 1875, by the Delegates of Italy, Belgium, France, Greece, and Switzerland.

 

Return

 

Exhibit C. 

Treasury Department,

July 15, 1878.

Dear Sir : To that part of your letter of the 12th. instant, in which you ask my view of the matters confided in the Monetary Commission, I have some delicacy in replying very fully.

During the Monetary Conference in Paris, when silver in our country was excluded from circulation by being undervalued, I was strongly in favor of the Single Standard of Gold, and wrote a letter, which you will find in the proceedings of that Conference, stating briefly my view.  At that time the wisest among us did not anticipate the sudden fall of Silver or the rise of Gold that has occurred.  This uncertainty of the relation between the two metals is one of the chief arguments in favor of a monometallic system, but other arguments, showing the dangerous effect upon industry by dropping one of the precious metals from the Standard of value, outweigh in my mind all theoretical objections to the bi-metallic system.  I am thoroughly convinced that if it were possible for the leading commercial nations to fix by agreement an arbitrary relation between Silver and Gold, even though the market value might vary somewhat from time to time, it would be a measure of the greatest good to all nations.  My earnest desire is that yon may succeed in doing this.

You are so well informed upon the subject that it is not worth while for me to enlarge upon it.  The statements and documents sent yon by the Director of the Mint will give in authentic form most of the material facts which bear upon the question, and your own investigations on the Silver Commission will, I am quite sure, supply, any deficiency.

Very truly yours,

JOHN SHERMAN, Secretary.

W. S. Groesbeck, Esq., Cincinnati, Ohio.

 

Return

Exhibit D. 

Treasury Department, July 15, 1878.

Dear Sir : Your letter of the 13th was received during my temporary absence, and I comply with your request with pleasure.

Accompanying this I send you sundry documents, duly scheduled, which contain in detail the law and my views on the resumption question.

Among these papers is a letter from the Treasurer of the United States of date July 6th, showing the exact Coin on hand for all purposes, a careful examination of which will prove to you our ability to resume at the time fixed by the law.

It will be perceived that we have on hand in the Treasury Coin enough to cover all our Coin liabilities of every name and nature, and also 35 %  of the aggregate amount of United States Notes outstanding with an excess of $ 2,474,822.  We have also $ 7,136,529 of fractional Silver Coin which will be used for current expenses.  Of the United States Notes outstanding at least sixty millions are held in the Treasury, either as the property of the United States or as special funds for purposes prescribed by law, which cannot readily be diminished.  In addition, the Secretary is authorized to sell bonds for the purchase of Coin or Bullion, and he may use United States notes for the same purpose.  Our revenue, both in Coin or Currency, is more than sufficient to pay all current expenses covered by the appropriations of Congress.  Considering that the United States Notes are scattered over a vast country, are in great favor and demand and extremely popular, I feel entire confidence in the ability of the Treasury to resume on the 1st of January next, and the leading bankers and brokers of New York are of the same opinion.  I know of nothing that can prevent the United States from taking its place among the specie-paying nations at that time, except the possible repeal by Congress of the resumption act, and this I do not anticipate.  Very truly yours,

JOHN SHERMAN, Secretary.

William S. Groesbeck, Esq., Cincinnati, Ohio.

 

Return

Exhibit E. 

Treasury Department, Office of the Director of the Mint,

Washington, D.C., May 19, 1878.

sir : Acknowledging the receipt of your letter of the 17th instant, I have to inform you that information has reached us through the Department of State that the Empire of Japan has made the Japanese «yen», or trade-dollar of 420 grains, nine-tenths fine, a legal tender throughout the empire, and has also reduced the charge for manufacturing that Coin from one and a half to one cent for each piece.

This is the establishment of a double or bi-metallic Standard on a ratio of 16.28 to one, the practical effect of which will be the circulation of Silver Coin to the exclusion of Gold, until the price of Silver shall advance and become settled at 57 ⅞ pence.

The coining rate of Silver into trade-dollars is 114.28 cents per ounce, 100 fine, which is equivalent, very nearly, to 58 pence per ounce British standard, 925 fine.

The desire of Japan appears to be not only to use Silver as Legal-Tender Money, but to compete with the Mexican dollar in China.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, &c.,

A. R. LINDERMAN, Director of the Mint.

Hon. W. S. Groesbeck

(Care of Messrs. Munroe et Co., bankers, Paris, France).

 

Return

 

Exhibit F.  Document presented by Mr. Fenton.

Coinage executed at the mints of the United States during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878.

Gold
Trade dollars
Standard silver dollars
Subsidiary silver coin
Minor coins

$  52,770,420.00
11,378,010.00
8,600,500.00
8,339,315.50
30,676.00

Total

$   81,118,921.50


RECAPITULATION

Gold
Silver
Minor coins

$  52,770,420.00
28,317,825.50
30,676.00

Total

$   81,118,921.50

 

Return


SIXTH  SESSION : WEDNESDAY  AUGUST  28,  1878

 

The Delegates of Austria-Hungary, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Russia, Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, and The United States of America, who had been present at the preceding session.

The session opened at 1.30 p.m.

Mr. Ruau communicated two documents relative to the monetary legislation of France, namely :

1st.  The Declaration of the King, 30th October, 1785, relating to the establishment of the value of Gold relatively to Silver.

2d.  The Law of 7-17 Germinal, year XI, upon the fabrication and verification of Coins (Exhibit A).

And also a synoptical table of French Coins (Exhibit B).

Mr. Fenton, in accordance with notice given at the previous session, then addressed, the Conference.  He spoke as follows :

Mr. President : The time for much discussion seems to have passed.  In closing the general debate I had intended to summarize the arguments in favor of the propositions contained in the invitation of the United States on the one side, and to answer the objections, as well as I could, that had been urged against it on the other.  But I have abandoned the purpose.  On the contrary, I will only ask the attention of Delegates for a short time to a few general remarks.  The attitude of my country has been well stated by my colleagues.  My own individual views do not greatly differ.  I hardly need repeat that it seems to us, speaking for the United States, that it is not to be desired that Silver should be excluded from free Coinage in Europe and the United States of America.  On the contrary, it is desirable that the unrestricted Coinage of Silver and its use as Money, as unlimited Legal Tender, should be retained where they exist, and, as far as practicable, restored where they have ceased to exist.  Further, that the use of both Gold and Silver as Legal Tender may safely be adopted.

First, by equalizing them at a relation to be fixed by international agreement; and,

Secondly, through concert of action, by granting to each metal, at the relation fixed, equal terms of Coinage, making no discrimination between them.

This is what we have deemed proper to suggest to the Conference.  We believe it is a solid foundation upon which to build.  Once upon it, there will be very little difficulty in reaching forward – not remotely –  to practical details.  It may be that these details would involve, among other things, an occasional adjustment of the ratio of value of the two Coin metals by the nations employing them.  It may be that limited Coinage, for a longer or shorter time, would be necessary; but I will not anticipate the conditions of an absolute understanding between us.  I want it to be understood, however, that an agreement to act together, whether the ratio is fixed for an indefinite period or not, and whether the Coinage is free or limited, has no just dependence on the amount of metal produced and the amount used in Coin.  This will take care of itself, if we are so fortunate as to fix upon the right principle.  The basis of international action being wisely established, the results cannot be erratic or mischievous.

The first necessity of a commercial people is that their standard of value should be accepted by other commercial nations, for one of the chief uses of the precious metals is to liquidate balances with other countries.  London being the clearing-house of the world, England from the standpoint of the home government may not in the past have felt in this respect equal interest with the outlying nations.  But the real question, after all, for her, as now seems to be conceded, is that which is pertinent to all commercial nations : What are the terms upon which they will exercise the use of the two Coin Metals ?  We see that this question has of late given rise to earnest inquiry on all sides.  Why is this ?

We find ourselves, not alone here or there, but in every country, in some measure, in the midst of financial disasters and industrial depressions.  This condition is not disconnected from international exchanges.  Prices have been falling and receipts diminishing.  Hardships have ensued, and they still continue.  The nations have reached a point where they must devote themselves with assiduous care and with the most prudent and sagacious skill to a restoration of a more healthy state.  Guide skillfully and wisely as we may, the process of recovery is still toilsome and difficult.  Industry is more or less crippled; commerce is partially paralyzed, and the great mercantile interest still checks its busy operations in anxious concern.  Not only are these interests to be revived, but most nations have vast indebtedness to pay.  And while this is eminently true of most civilized countries, is it not also true that taxation and the necessary cost of living are an overmatch for the profits on industry ?  At least, I hazard nothing in saying that there is little surplus, except in the new countries which are provided with native riches.  Turn to this side or that, we find a depressed condition.

May I refer to one other point bearing upon this view of the situation ?  All taxes must be paid from capital or income.  It is a sound maxim that taxation should not be laid in such a way as to encroach on capital, or, in other words, upon the solid basis of future production.  Is not this being done, to some extent, in some quarters ? Do you ask the remedy ?  I answer, in part, as it seems to me, some action in harmony with the general aims, of this Conference.  It may not be practicable to step forward into formal agreement at this time, but, in my judgment, it would be for the interest of all the States here represented that some expression, at least, should be made distinctly favorable to that object.

I do not say there cannot be too much currency; what I say is, there can be too little Money.  I am aware that Money is not needed for its own sake.  Apart from being the Standard of value, its great purpose is to serve as the medium of exchange, as the instrument with which transfers are made and indebtedness discharged.  Then the question arises, is Gold alone for this purpose amply competent; or can Gold and Silver, joined in fair proportions, any more than satisfactorily perform this work ?  It is wholly certain that one, or the other, or both must continue to be the basis of commercial exchange.  Our Government, speaking through the medium of its legislature – the representative alike of the popular will and the conservative expression of the several States of the Union – declares in favor of both, to the end that the activity and profit of exchange may be reinspired and the prosperity of the people increased.

I will not dwell to consider the full future effect upon production, commerce, and consumption of present and.  further demonetization of Silver.  I will indulge in a word only, in addition to the learned and forcible remarks of my colleague, Mr. Groesbeck, upon this branch of the inquiry at the last session.  There is, according to most reliable estimates, something over five hundred million pounds sterling of Silver in circulation in the world.  The importance of the relation of this money volume to the exchanges of mankind and the industries of mankind will at once be admitted.  Indeed, it cannot well be overstated.  The annual average production of eight million pounds sterling in 1848, to, say sixteen million in 1876, is equal to only about 2 ½ % on the stock in circulation in the world during the intermediate period – an amount hardly more than a match for necessary wastage, and for art and ornamental purposes.  And yet, the aggregate volume in circulation as Money is so large that the increasing discontinuance of its use as Money might add to present disorders in an incalculable degree.  It will be observed in this connection that the two metals are, in the long run, produced in nearly equal quantities in value.  This is a significant circumstance.  The present value of Gold in the world is estimated at 750 million pounds sterling, and of Silver at 650 million; so, as before said, there are about equal masses of value available for Coinage.  Although the annual production of either metal varies considerably, from time to time, it seldom happens that there is an increased or diminished supply of both at once; and thus the variation in the production of both metals is less than the variation in the production of either metal singly.  But I pass.

Mr. President, whatever our differences in regard to the propositions submitted by the representatives of the United States, the fact has been signalized by our Conference and discussions that each nation, whatever its own system, manifests a prudent solicitude touching the relation which the two Coin Metals shall hereafter bear to each other.  In other words, each nation here represented has shown an interest in the wise regulation of the Money of the remainder of the nations.  And I will add, what seems to me apparent, that the current of popular opinion, and therefore, I trust, the official expression of Governments, in a measure, now operates as a check to the impulse of the last few years toward Gold-mono-metallism.  So far as this Assembly can token this fact, may I not say that it is seen in the retraced steps of the United States; in the hopeful attitude of France; in the language of England; in the presence here of Belgium, Switzerland, and the Scandinavian States, and in the earnest position of Italy, Austria ?  It is fortunate for the human race that nations, like individuals, have reason, in the progress of events, to change their position, to modify public policy.  To act otherwise would be to affirm that experience was worth nothing.  If I correctly interpret the surrounding indications, and I trust I do, it is not too much to expect that this Conference will announce this later result of experience, this later conviction, if you please, in a manner to encourage people in the struggle for prosperity, and Governments in the effort to return to an improved Money condition.

Speaking of my own Government and people, our large domain and diversified, interests afford, a fair guarantee, even under adverse circumstances, of gradual improvement.  The elements of an increase of wealth in our case are quite clear.  Our vast districts of yet unsettled fertile territory and immense mineral stores are a part of current history.  Indeed, the already augmented wealth of the nation, amounting to more than fifteen times the aggregate of debt, and the incalculable promise for the future, together with the preparation of the Government, settle the question beyond a doubt of our present and prospective ability to resume specie payments and discharge all our obligations.

Just now, on the very day we convened, here, the Bankers’ Association of the United States, representing immense capital, gave expression to the common feeling and purpose in the following hearty and unreserved manner :

Resolved, That, in the opinion of this association, the near approach of the day appointed by law for resumption of Coin payments and values is to be hailed, as an event of the highest significance to the prosperity and welfare of the whole nation, because it is the only means by which industry, trade, and general tranquility and contentment can be restored to the people.  The American Bankers’ Association therefore pledges aid and support to the Government in a return to a specie Standard in the transaction of the financial affairs of the country.

Resolved, That the resources of the country, arising from abundant crops in several successive years, the extraordinary mineral wealth, the large credit balance of trade with other nations, and from the rapid development of mechanical inventions and appliances by which productive industry has been facilitated and increased, all happily concur in supplying the necessary means for resumption.

So you will learn from every quarter that our people are a well-disciplined and loyal reserve force, fully committed to the maintenance of the Government and to national good faith.  After all, even under these favoring circumstances, it must be confessed it is hard work to pull up – harder than I could wish.  We feel that the case could be made somewhat easier by international co-operation in the fuller use of Silver.  In the exchanges of trade, in the work of production, in the compensations of labor, and in every business transaction, its freer course is of first importance.  Indeed, the question of its free relation with Gold as Money is closely connected with all the varied and multiplied interests of daily national and international affairs.

It is the province of practical statesmanship to secure whatever of beneficent effect may come from the restoration of this metal to an unfettered position.  Our people have felt hopeful, and our Government has given official expression of the desire that this Conference would do something to this end, and not only for us, if so much for us, but also for the family of nations.  We prefer not, if we could, to stand alone.  Our interests are your interests; the interests of our respective nations in this respect are practically identical.

The representatives of the United States, on behalf of their Government, at the outset, at your instance, gentlemen, had the honor to make a brief declaration of the questions for discussion.  It was in the spirit of the invitation to you to meet us in council.  We felt assured of your approval; if not of just that, of an expression in some form on your part which would lead us to hope for international agreement and cooperation in the not distant hereafter.  I beg you to reassure us, in your own words, if not in ours, and we shall not fail to report to our Government your sense of regard for its broad views and liberal spirit.

In anticipating your decision, I do no more than bespeak the action of the eminent representatives of enlightened and progressive nations.

The President (Mr. Say) suggested that as the discussion upon the propositions of the Delegates of the United States was closed, an adjournment of the session for three-quarters of an hour was desirable in order that the Delegates of the other States might agree among themselves as to the collective answer which they might wish to make to these propositions.

This advice being adopted, the session was adjourned at 2 o’clock.  It was again opened at 3 ½o’clock.

Mr. Groesbeck requested that the Conference adjourn till the following day, and that the collective response which the Delegates of the European States manifested the intention of making to the American propositions be not laid upon the table at this session, in order that his colleagues and himself might agree beforehand with reference to this response and present their observations upon it.

Mr. Goschen stated that he, like many other of the Delegates, would have desired that the Conference should not be uselessly prolonged, since it could form no resolution of a practical and final character.

Notwithstanding this, and in order to give the Delegates of the United States the opportunity of making their views fully known, the sessions had been prolonged from day to day.  Although he had made his arrangements for leaving to-morrow, in the belief that the Conference had decided to hold no further sessions, he would be disposed, so far as he was concerned, willingly to accord to the Delegates of the United States the new delay which they requested.  But as for the second part of the request formulated by Mr. Groesbeck, namely, that the draft of response to the American propositions be not even laid upon the table to-day, he saw for his part no inconvenience in having them presented just as the American propositions had been, without their being discussed upon the same day; and this seemed to him the more practicable, inasmuch as this draft of an answer had, as he thought he might be permitted to say, been already confidentially communicated to the Delegates of the United States.

The questions submitted to the Conference were very clear, and Mr. Goschen had thought that, as far as he was concerned, it was proper to make an answer to them with equal clearness and precision, that there might be no misunderstanding as to the views of the majority of the States.

However desirable it might be to have an answer acceptable to all, the English Delegate had been of opinion that it would not be proper to sacrifice the clearness and lucidity of the answer to this desire.

Mr. Groesbeck said that, so far as he was concerned, he would have preferred that the American Delegation should have abstained from formulating propositions itself, and should have awaited the result of the deliberations in order, if it were possible, to agree with the Delegates of other States upon the expression of a common view.

Mr. Goschen observed that it was very natural that the Delegates of the United States should first formulate their propositions, since it was their Government that had taken the initiative in calling the Conference; and he added that the moment those propositions were presented it was the duty of the Delegates of other States, as far as possible, to put themselves in accord upon a reply to them.

The terms of a reply having been agreed upon, Mr. Goschen asked that it be placed upon the table at the present session, although the discussion would be deferred until the following day.

A conversation now took place between the various members of the Conference, and some of them, especially Mr. Pirmez, Mr. Broch and Mr. Feer-Herzog, insisted that the draft of a response to the American propositions be at once laid upon the table.

The Conference decided that the draft be laid upon the table to-day, but that the discussion shall be deferred until to-morrow.

The President (Mr. Say) then read the draft, as follows :

Les délégués des États européens représentés à la Conférence désirent exprimer tous leurs remerciements au Gouvernement des United States of America pour avoir provoqué un échange international d’opinions sur l’importante question monétaire.

Après avoir mûrement considéré les propositions des délégués des États-Unis, ils reconnaissent :

1° Qu’il est nécessaire de maintenir dans le monde le rôle monétaire de l’argent aussi bien que celui de l’or; mais que le choix entre l’emploi de l’un ou de l’autre de ces deux métaux ou l’emploi simultané des deux, doit avoir lieu suivant la situation spéciale de chaque État ou groupe d’États;

2° Que la question de la limitation du monnayage de l’argent doit également être laissée à la libre décision de chaque État ou groupe d’États, suivant les conditions particulières où ils peuvent se trouver, et cela d’autant plus que les perturbations qui se sont produites dans ces dernières années sur le marché de l’argent ont diversement affecté la situation monétaire des différents pays;

3° Que, en présence des divergences d’opinion qui se sont manifestées et de l’impossibilité où se trouvent même des États ayant le double étalon de prendre un engagement relatif à la frappe illimitée de l’argent, il n’y a pas lieu de discuter la question d’un rapport international de valeur à établir entre les deux métaux.

English translation

The Delegates of the European States represented in the Conference desire to express their sincere thanks to the Government of the United States for having procured an international exchange of opinion upon a subject of so much importance as the monetary question.

Having maturely considered the proposals of the representatives of the United States, they recognize :

1.  That it is necessary to maintain in the world the monetary functions of Silver as well as those of Gold, but that the selection for use of one or the other of the two metals, or of both simultaneously, should be governed by the special position of each State or group of States.

2.  That the question of the restriction of the Coinage of Silver should equally be left to the discretion of each State or group of States, according to the particular circumstances in which they may find themselves placed; and the more so, in that the disturbance produced during the recent years in the Silver market has variously affected the monetary situation of the several countries.

3.  That the differences of opinion which have appeared, and the fact that even some of the States, which have the Double Standard find it impossible to enter into a mutual engagement with regard to the free Coinage of Silver, exclude the discussion of the adoption of a common ratio between the two metals.

The President (Mr. Say) then gave notice that Mr. Rusconi and Mr. Baralis had a protest to enter against this draft.

The Conference adjourned at 5.15 o’clock.

 

SIXTH  SESSION – EXHIBITS

 

Exhibit A.  Documents relating to the monetary system of France

DECLARATION OF THE KING prescribing fixation of the value of Gold relatively to Silver, and of the proportion between the Coins of the two metals, with an ordinance for a new Coinage of the Gold Coins.  Given at Fontainebleau the 30th October, 1785.  Registered in the Cour des Monnoies the 21st November of the said year.

Louis, by the grace of God king of France and of Navarre, to all those who shall see the present letters, Greeting :

The vigilant attention which we give to all that can affect the fortunes of our subjects and the welfare of our State has caused us to perceive that the price of Gold in commerce has increased within late years; that the proportion of the Gold mark to the Silver mark having remained the same in our realm, is now no longer in relation to that which has been successively adopted in other countries; and that our Gold Coins have at present, as metal, a value superior to that which their denomination expresses, and according to which they are exchanged for our Silver Coins, which has originated the speculation of selling them to the foreigner, and offers at the same time the temptation of a great profit to those who, in contempt of our ordinances, may allow themselves to melt them down.

The injury to various branches of trade which result therefrom, through the diminution, already felt, of the abundance of Gold specie in our realm, has rendered it indispensable to ordain a new Coinage of it, as the only means of remedying the evil, by checking its source; but in yielding to this necessity our first care, and the primary basis of our determination, has been that it should not cause the slightest loss to the holders of our Gold Coins; that it should even become advantageous to them; and, in order to leave no shadow of doubt upon this important subject, we have resolved that the explanation of the whole operation, and the publication of the tariff which presents its results, should clearly manifest its justice and accuracy.

The new Gold Coin will have the same value as the existing Coin; it will also be of the same fineness; there will be no difference except in the quantity of the material, which will be reduced to its just proportion, and allowance will be made for this difference to the holders of Gold specie when they shall bring it to our Mints; our intention being that they gain the profit of the increase in the price of Gold.

By an operation thus equitably directed, the relation of our Gold Coins to the Silver Coins will tie re-established in the measure required by that which prevails among other nations; the interest in their exportation will disappear; the temptation to melt them down will be no longer excited by the attraction of gain; our realm will be no longer prejudiced in the exchanges of metals, and there can result from it neither a derangement in the circulation, nor any change in the price of products and merchandise, since all the values are regulated relatively to Silver, the rating of which will always be the same.

From these causes and others us thereunto moving, by the advice of our Council and of our certain knowledge, full power, and royal authority, we have declared and ordained, and by these presents, signed with our own hand, do declare and ordain, wish, and it pleases us, as follows :

Article I.  Every Gold mark of 24 carats fine shall be worth 15 marks and a half of Silver 12 deniers fine, and shall be received and paid in our Mints and Exchanges for the sum of eight hundred and twenty-eight livres twelve sous, value of the said fifteen marks and a half of Silver at the present price of fifty-three livres nine sous two deniers the mark, fixed by the tariff of our Mints of the month of May, 1773.

Article II.  All our Gold Coins at present current, louis, double louis, and demi-louis, shall cease to be current reckoning from the first January next, and shall be received and paid cash in specie, in our Mints and exchanges, reckoning from the day of the publication of the present Declaration, until the 1st April next, on the footing of seven hundred and fifty livres the mark, or twenty-five livres the louis, which shall have lost nothing of its weight by use; excepting that, in case of diminution in the weight, a proportionate deduction may be made on the said price of twenty-five livres; the said term expired, they shall be no longer received except on the footing of seven hundred and forty-two livres ten sous the mark; or twenty-four livres fifteen sous for each louis that has its full weight.

Article III.  The Gold, as well in ingots as in foreign Coins, brought into our Mints and Exchanges shall be there paid for in proportion to its fineness, on the footing of eight hundred and twenty-eight livres twelve sous the mark fine, and thirty-four livres ten sous six deniers the carat, conformably to the tariff annexed to these presents, in which the foreign Coins have been brought upon the footing of the said increase.

Article IV.  There shall be coined now louis of Gold of the same fineness as those now current; each mark shall be composed of thirty-two louis, so that by means of the increase made in the value of Gold each new louis may continue to be worth twenty-four livres and have precisely the same value in Silver; which louis shall bear the imprint designated in the sheet attached to the counter-seal of these presents and shall have currency in all our realm as a twenty-four livre piece.

Article V.  The work of the Coinage of the said louis shall be done with the same remedy of weight and of alloy as our present Gold Money, and shall be judged in our Cour des Monnoies conformably with our previous edicts and declarations.

We desire that the melting down and coining of the louis be effected in our mints of Paris, Lyons, Metz, Bordeaux, and Nantes only; that the ingots or foreign Gold Specie which may be brought in during this new Coinage be likewise delivered exclusively to the said mints, and that our other mints may not fabricate any louis of the new pattern until it be otherwise ordained.

We command our beloved and loyal councilors, the persons holding our Cour des Monnoies at Paris, that these presents they cause to be read, published, and recorded, and the contents of the same maintained, observed, and executed according to their form and tenor, for such is our pleasure.  In witness whereof we have caused our seal to be put to these presents.

Given at Fontainebleau the thirtieth day of October, the year of grace one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five, and of our reign the twelfth.

(Signed)   LOUIS.

And below

By the King, signed the Bon de Breteuil.  Seen at the council, de Calonne;

and sealed with the great seal of yellow wax.

 

MONETARY LAW OF 1803

Law relating to the fabrication and verification of coins of the 7-17 Germinal [7th to 17th Seedmonth, 28 March to 7th April], year XI of the French Republic [1803].

In the name of the French People,

Bonaparte, First Consul, proclaims as law of the Republic the following decree, rendered by the Corps Législatif the 7 germinal, year XI, conformably with the proposition made by the government the 19 ventôse (19th Windmonth, March 10), communicated to the tribunal the next day.

Decree.

General dispositions.

Five grammes of Silver, nine-tenths fine, constitute the monetary unit, which retains the name of franc.

Title I.  Of the fabrication of coins.

Art. I.  The Silver Coins shall be the quarter of a franc, half-franc, three-quarters of a franc, one-franc, two-franc, and five-franc pieces.

Art. II.  Their fineness is fixed at nine-tenths fine and one-tenth alloy.

Art. III.  The weight of the quarter of a franc piece shall be one gramme twenty-five centigrammes.

That of the half-franc piece, two grammes five decigrammes.

That of the three-quarters of a franc piece, three grammes seventy-five centigrammes.

That of the one-franc piece, five grammes.

That of the two-franc piece, ten grammes.

That of the five-franc piece, twenty-five grammes.

Art. IV.  The tolerance of fineness for silver money shall be three thousandths, outside as well as within.

Art. V.  The tolerance of weight shall be for the quarter of a franc piece ten thousandths outside as well as within; for the half-franc and three-quarters of a franc piece, seven thousandths outside as well as within; for the one-franc and two-franc piece, five thousandths outside as well as within, and for the five-franc piece, three thousandths outside as well as within.

Art. VI.  There shall be coined Gold pieces of twenty francs and of forty francs.

Art. VII.  Their fineness is fixed at nine-tenths fine and one-tenth alloy.

Art. VIII.  The twenty-franc pieces shall be stuck at the rate of a hundred and fifty-five pieces to the kilogramme, and the forty-franc pieces at that of seventy-seven and a half.

Art. IX.  The tolerance of fineness of the Gold Coins is fixed at two thousandths outside, the same within.

Art. X.  The tolerance of weight is fixed at two thousandths outside, the same within.

Art. XI.  The expense of Coinage alone can be required of those who shall bring material of Gold or Silver to the mint.

These charts are fixed at nine francs per kilogramme of Gold, and at three francs per kilogramme of Silver.

Art. XII.  When the material shall be below the monetary standard it shall bear the charges of refining or of separation.

The amount of these charges shall be calculated on the portion of the said material which must be purified in order to raise the whole to the monetary standard.

Art. XIII.  There shall be coined pieces of pure copper of two hundredths, three hundredths, and five hundredths of a franc.

Art. XIV.  The weight of the pieces of two hundredths shall be four grammes.  That of the pieces of three hundredths, six grammes; that of the pieces of five hundredths, ten grammes.

Art. XV.  The tolerance of weight shall be for the copper pieces a fiftieth outside.  art.  XVI.  The imprint of the Coins is regulated as follows : On one of the surfaces of the Coins of Gold, of Silver, and of Copper, the head of the First Consul, with the legend, Bonaparte, Premier consul; on the reverse, two olive branches, in the middle of which shall be placed the value of the piece, and outside the legend République française, with the date of fabrication.

On the pieces of Gold and copper the head shall look toward the left of the spectator; on the Silver pieces it shall look to the right.

The rim of the five-franc pieces shall bear the legend Dieu protège la France.

Art. XVII.  The diameter of each piece shall be determined by regulations of the public administration.

Title II.  Of the verification of the Coins.

Art. XVIII.  The Coins struck according to the terms of the present law shall be put in circulation only after verification of their fineness and their weight.  This verification shall be made under the eyes of the Management of the Mint, immediately after the arrival of the samples.

Art. XIX.  The directors of Coinage may assist at the verification in person or be represented by agent under power of attorney.

Art. XX.  The Management shall draw up a minute of the operations relative to the verification of the Coinage; it shall send this minute to the Minister of Finances and of the public Treasury, with its decision.

Art. XXI.  The pieces which shall have served to attest the condition of the Coinage shall remain deposited in the archives of the Management of the Mints for five years; they shall then be handed over to the cashier upon receipt, and ho shall send them to be melted down.

Art. XXII.  In case of fraud in the choice of the samples the authors, abettors, and accomplices of this crime shall be punished as counterfeiters.

Compared with the original by us, President and secretaries of the Corps Législatif.  At Paris, the 7 Germinal, year XI of the French Republic.

(Signed) GIROD (de l’Ain), President.

LATOUR-MAUBOURG, LEFRANC, Hippolyte MONSEIGNAT, BASOCHE, Secretaries.

Let the present law be invested with the seal of the State, inserted in the Bulletin des Lois; inscribed in the registers of the judicial and administrative authorities, and let the Grand-Juge, Minister of Justice, be charged with superintending the publication of it.  At Paris, the 17 Germinal, year XI of the Republic.

(Signed) BONAPARTE, First Consul.

The Secretary of State, Hugues B. Maret.

 

And sealed with the seal of the State, seen,

The Grand-Juge, Minister of Justice,

Signed : REGNIER.

 

 

Return

 

SYNOPTICAL TABLE OF FRENCH COINS

GOLD
Denomination 100 fr. 50 fr. 20 fr. 10 fr. 5 fr.
Diameter (in mm) 35 28 21 19 17
Number of coins in the kg 31 62 155 310 620
Legal fineness (in ‰) 900 900 900 900 900
Tolerance of fineness (in ‰) 2 2 2 2 2
Legal weight (in g) 32.2580 16.1290 6.4516 3.2258 1.6129
Tolerance of weight (in ‰) 1 1 2 2 3
Par value of the kg 3,100 3,100 3,100 3,100 3,100
Par value of the coin 100 50 20 10 5
Tolerance allowed for wear below the lower coinage tolerance (in ‰) 5 5 5 5 5

SILVER

Denomination 5 fr. 2 fr. 1 fr. 50 c. 20 c.
Diameter (in mm) 37 27 23 18 16
Number of coins in the kg 40 100 200 400 1,000
Legal fineness (in ‰) 900 835 835 835 835
Tolerance of fineness (in ‰) 2 3 3 3 3
Legal weight (in g) 25 10 5 2.5 1
Tolerance of weight (in ‰) 3 5 5 7 10
Par value of the kg 200.00 185.56 185.56 185.56 185.56
Par value of the coin 5 1.86 0.93 0.46 0.19
Tolerance allowed for wear below the lower coinage tolerance (in ‰) 10 50 50 50 50
BRONZE
Denomination 10 c. 5 c. 2 c. 1 c.
Diameter (in mm) 30 25 20 15
Number of coins in the kg 100 200 500 1,000
Legal fineness (in ‰) Cu 950 + Sn 40 + Zn 10
Tolerance of fineness (in ‰) Cu 10 + Sn 3 + Zn 3
Legal weight (in g) 10 5 2 1
Tolerance of weight (in ‰) 10 10 13 15

 

The legal-tender power of the gold coins and of the silver five-franc piece is unlimited.

The legal-tender power of fractional silver coins struck at .835 is limited to 50 francs between individuals.  (Art.  6 of the monetary treaty of 1865.)

The legal-tender power of bronze coins is limited to five francs.  (Decree of 18 August, 1810.)

  

 

Return

 

SEVENTH  SESSION : THURSDAY  AUGUST  29,  1878

 

The Delegates of Austria-Hungary, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Russia, Sweden-Norway, Switzerland, and of The United States, who were present at the preceding session, with the exception of Sir Thomas Seccombe, who bad been compelled, by official duty to return to England.

The session was opened at 2 p.m.

The President, Mr. Say, presented to the Conference the result of 9n enumeration which he had caused to be made on the night of the 14th of August of the Gold 20 and 10 franc pieces and of the Silver 5-franc pieces which were found at that time in the 19,511 offices of account of the finance department of France, including a statement of the country in which they had been coined, and also, for the French Coins, of the date of their Coinage.

This investigation, added Mr. Say, has reference only to pieces of Money found, in offices opened to current circulation.  It does not extend to Coins in offices intended to receive deposits which are not in circulation.

But there is reason to think that this examination, made at the same time over the entire extent of the territory of France, will give a very correct idea of the proportions of the various kinds of Coin which are circulating to-day in the country.

The Conference desiring that these tables be printed, they are annexed to the journal (Exhibit A).

Mr. Pirmez, after remarking upon the interest attached to this communication, and having expressed thanks to the President for it, expressed the intention of adding to these documents relating to France a similar statement which he proposes to have made in Belgium (Exhibit B).

Count Rusconi, authorized by Mr. Vrolik, the Delegate of the Government of the Netherlands, who had been prevented from coming to Paris by illness in his family, laid upon the table of the Conference a copy of an address relative to the monetary question presented to His Majesty the King of the Netherlands, by the Netherlands Society for the Progress of Industry, a society of which Mr. Vrolik was President (Exhibit C).

Mr. Lardy presented a note on the monetary system of Switzerland and a statement of the Coinage in Switzerland since 1850 (Exhibit D).

Mr. Broch presented a statement of the Coinage in the Scandinavian Monetary Union in virtue of the treaties of October 18,1872, and of May 27,1873, and a statement of the credit circulation in the three Scandinavian Kingdoms (Exhibit E).

The President, Mr. Say, read the memorandum which was laid upon the table at the last session, and through which the Delegates of the European States proposed to reply to the question proposed by the American Delegation, which was as follows :

Les délégués des États européens représentés à la Conférence désirent exprimer tous leurs remerciements au Gouvernement des United States of America pour avoir provoqué un échange international d’opinions sur l’importante question monétaire.

Apres avoir mûrement considéré les propositions des délégués des États-Unis, ils reconnaissent :

1° Qu’il est nécessaire de maintenir dans le monde le rôle monétaire de l’argent aussi bien que celui de l’or; mais que le choix entre l’emploi de l’un ou de l’autre de ces deux métaux ou l’emploi simultané des deux, doit avoir lieu suivant la situation spéciale de chaque État ou groupe d’États.

2° Que la question de la limitation du monnayage de l’argent doit également être laissée à la libre décision de chaque État ou groupe d’États, suivant les conditions particulières où ils peuvent se trouver, et cela d’autant plus que les perturbations qui se sont produites dans ces dernières années sur le marché de l’argent ont diversement affecté la situation monétaire des différents pays;

3° Que, en présence des divergences d’opinion qui se sont manifestées et de l’impossibilité où se trouvent même des États ayant le double étalon de prendre un engagement relatif à la frappe illimitée de l’argent, il n’y a pas lieu de discuter la question d’un rapport international de valeur à établir entre les deux métaux.

The official translation is as follows :

The Delegates of the European States represented in the Conference desire to express their sincere thanks to the Government of the United States for having procured an international exchange of opinion upon a subject of so much importance as the monetary question.

Having maturely considered the proposals of the representatives of the United States, they recognize :

1.  That it is necessary to maintain in the world the monetary functions of Silver as well as those of Gold, hut that the selection for use of one or the other of the two metals, or of both simultaneously, should be governed by the special position of each State or group of States.

2.  That the question of the restriction of the Coinage of Silver should equally be left to the discretion of each State or group of States, according to the particular circumstances in which they may find themselves placed; and the more so, in that the disturbance produced during the recent years in the Silver market has variously affected the monetary situation of the several countries.

3.  That the differences of opinion which have appeared, and the fact that even some of the States which have the Double Standard find it impossible to enter into a mutual engagement with regard to the free Coinage of Silver, exclude the discussion of the adoption of a common ratio between the two metals.

The President, Mr. Say, then invited those of the Delegates who might have special remarks to make on the subject of this reply to take the floor.

Mr. Garnier, after having rendered a tribute to the merit and the brilliant qualities which the Delegates of the United States had shown during the debates, and having expressed praise for the frankness with which they had expressed the views of their Government, said that the Delegates of the other States could not do better than to express themselves, in their turn, with equal clearness.

This was the more necessary in his view, as the discussions of the Conference would not fail to be the subject of comment; and that they might not give rise to any misunderstanding, it was necessary that the opinion of each should be clearly stated.

In order to maintain Silver in its monetary functions, said Mr. Garnier, the Delegates of the United States have proposed to establish between Gold and Silver a fixed relation of value, and my honorable colleague, Mr. Pirmez, has demonstrated that this means is inadmissible.

This opinion, in which I fully share, not being contradicted in anything in the draft of an answer which has been read, neither he nor myself make any objection to its adoption.

Count von Kuefstein stated that at the opening of the Conference he had clearly denned the point of view upon which the Imperial and Royal Government had placed itself in accepting the invitation of the United States; he insisted, therefore, that no misunderstanding could occur concerning the sense in which he was able to give his adhesion to the proposed declaration.  Whatever proposition we might otherwise formulate, said the Austro-Hungarian Delegate, it will in no wise commit our Governments, nor can it bind the future in any way.

As we have not been able to arrive at practical conclusions upon the American propositions, we have thought it would be for the interest of all concerned to close these debates by the adoption of a formula to which all the Delegates could give their adhesion, and which should be a reply as satisfactory as possible to the Delegates of the United States.

In consequence of the divergences of opinion which have revealed themselves in the course of the discussion, this formula can be nothing but a compromise, embodying the last concessions which the partisans of the Single Gold Standard have been able to make, and at the same time permitting those who would have desired to see the American propositions succeed not to recede from this point of view.

This declaration is entirely theoretical; it leaves to all the States a freedom which they never intended to limit in participating in the Conference, and by virtue of which they can each separately take such measures as they please in monetary matters, or, if they desire, they can ally themselves to-morrow even with other countries, or again can set on foot a new international investigation.

The matter thus remaining an open question, Count von Kuefstein declared that he had no objection to make to the adoption of the proposed response.

Count Rusconi did not believe that for his part he could accept the terms of the response.  What, said he, was the object of the Conference, and how has it been fulfilled ?

The object of the Conference was to study the means of establishing a fixed relation between the value of the two metals.

Does the proposed declaration respond to this object ?  Evidently not.  It was at least a duty to prepare for the future a basis of agreement of the nations on this subject.  It appears, however, said Count Rusconi, that in drawing up this response special care has been taken to avoid anything that might give rise to a hope, even the most vague, of a future understanding.  Not a word is said which reveals the idea of a possible international agreement, and the response is limited to a statement that each one will continue to do at home everything that he pleases.

It is true, a recognition is made that Silver has a monetary function to perform in the world.  But what value can this declaration have ?  Did it depend upon a Conference to ascertain such a fact as this ?  And if the Conference had not recognized this fact, would Silver have ceased, for all that, to be a Money indispensable for the human race and accepted exclusively by half the world’s ?  Would it not have still remained the most necessary and the most ancient of the two kinds of Money, for on the monetary field it is not Silver, it is Gold, which is the new-comer.

In what respect does the simple statement of a fact as obvious as this respond to the object of the Conference ?  This was what Count Rusconi asked, and it seemed to him that to reach such a result it was hardly necessary that the States of Europe should, almost all of them, have made such haste to accept the invitation of the United States.

Count Rusconi embodied his personal opinion, in which his colleague, Mr. Baralis, shared, in saying –

1st.  That by the adoption of the formula proposed the Conference does not respond to the question which was put to it, and that in systematically avoiding to pronounce itself upon the possibility or impossibility of a fixed relation, to be established by way of international treaty, between coins of Gold and of Silver, it leaves its task unfinished.

2d.  That since the French law established such a relation between the two metals, the oscillations of their relative value had been without importance, whatever had been the production of the mines.

3d.  That consequently, a fortiori, if the law of France had been alone able to accomplish the result, the day when France, England, and the United States, by international legislation, should agree to establish together the relation of value of the two metals, this relation would be established upon a basis so solid as to become unshakable.

Mr. Goschen said that the instructions given by the government of Her Britannic Majesty to its representatives would not permit them to adhere to a formula which would be in opposition to the Monetary System of the United Kingdom.  But as the propositions which the President has just read do not in any way attack the Single Gold Standard, the English Delegates are free to support it.

In order more clearly to present the views of the English Delegation, and to avoid all misunderstanding, Mr. Goschen declared, in the most formal manner, that although the Conference, in its response to the American questions, expressed the idea that Silver ought to play a part in the Monetary Systems of the world, this formula implied no preference in favor of the Double Standard System.  If it were otherwise his colleagues and himself could not accept it, for it would be impossible for them to support any declaration in favor of the Double Standard.  Expressions may have escaped me during the course of the debates, said Mr. Goschen, which, from their lack of clearness, may have produced a different impression.  But when I affirmed that Silver ought to be the ally and partner of Gold, I by no means intended to say by that that the two metals ought both conjointly to be placed, upon the same footing and become legal tender in all countries.

I merely desired to combat the theory of the economists who demand the universal adoption of the Single Gold Standard – a measure which in my view might be the cause of the greatest disasters.  I maintain my assertions in this connection absolutely.  I believe that it would be a great misfortune if a propaganda against Silver should succeed, and I protest against the theory according to which this metal must be excluded from the Monetary Systems of the world.  But from my words no opinion ought to be deduced in favor of the adoption of the Double Standard – a system to which my colleagues and myself are entirely opposed, and which has against it the public opinion of the nation which I have the honor to represent.

As for the desire which has been expressed that the hope be left open that some day a fixed relation may be established between Gold and Silver and an international value given to them, the English Delegate declared that in his view it was impossible to realize this, impossible to maintain it in theory, and that it was contrary to the principles of science.

Mr. Feer-Herzog shared the views which had been expressed by the Delegates of Belgium and of Great Britain.  They are in his view the exact interpretation of the draft in question.

Mr. de Thoerner demanded the floor for the purpose of saying that he would have adhered without explanation to this draft which had been laid upon the table of the Conference if no comment had been made upon its sense and bearing.

But in view of the observations which had been presented, he thought it his duty to declare, in his turn, that he accepted the proposed draft in the narrow and precise sense of the words it contained; that is to say, not admitting that anything could be inferred from it in one direction or another beyond what was actually there; anything, in fact, which the expressions there used did not themselves mean.

He thought that it was his duty especially to guard against the possibility of any interpretation which should be made of that answer, in the sense of veiled adhesion to the system of the Double Standard.

Russia was under the régime of the Single Standard.  Public opinion there was absolutely opposed to the Double Standard, and Mr. de Thoerner thought he could say without fear of being mistaken that the Double Standard would never be introduced in Russia, which, however, he added, would nevertheless not exclude the possibility of a monetary circulation of the two metals.

Count von Kuefstein said that in presence of the explanations which had been given, from which it might be inferred that the declaration read by the President might imply an admission of the impossibility of an international arrangement for the Double Standard, he felt himself obliged to declare for his part that, if he adhered to the formula proposed, it was precisely because in his view it did not exclude the idea that such an arrangement was possible.

Mr. Fenton, in the name of the American Delegation, requested General Walker to read in English the following :

In response to the address of the Representatives of the European States, the ‘Representatives of the United States desire, on their part, to express their sincere thanks to the European States for accepting their invitation and consulting with them upon a subject of so much Importance.

The Representatives of the United States regret that they cannot entirely concur in all that has been submitted to them by a majority of the Representatives of the European States.

They folly concur in a part of the first proposition, viz., that «it is necessary to maintain in the world the monetary functions of Silver as well as those of Gold», and they desire that ere long there may be adequate co-operation to obtain that result.  They cannot object to the statement that «the selection for use of one or the other of these two metals, or of both simultaneously, should be governed by the special position of each State»; but if it be necessary to maintain the monetary functions of both metals, as previously declared, they respectfully submit that special positions of States may become of but secondary importance.

From so much of the second proposition as assigns as a special reason for at present restricting the Coinage of Silver, «that the disturbance produced during the recent years in the Silver market has differently affected the monetary situation of the several countries», they respectfully dissent, believing that a policy of action would remove the disturbance that produced these inequalities.

In regard to the third and last proposition, they admit that «some of the States which have the Double Standard», or, as they prefer to say, use both metals, «find it impossible to enter into a mutual engagement for the free Coinage of Silver».  They, as Representatives of the United States, have come here expressly to enter into such an engagement.  The difficulty is not with them; and wherever it may be, they trust it may be soon removed.

They entirely concur in the conclusion drawn from this state of the case, that «it excludes the discussion of the question of the adoption of a common ratio between the two metals.»  It is useless to agree upon a particular ratio between the two metals if the nations are not ready also to adopt a policy to uphold it.  We remain upon ours; the European States upon theirs.

(Signed)         R. E. FENTON, W. S. GROESBECK, FRANCIS A. WALKER, S. DANA HORTON.

 

The reply of the American Delegates was then repeated, in French, as follows :

En réponse à la note des Délégués des États européens, les Délégués des États-Unis désirent, de leur côté, exprimer leurs sincères remerciements aux États de l’Europe qui ont accepté l’invitation de leur gouvernement et aux représentants qui ont conféré avec eux sur un sujet aussi important.

Les représentants des États-Unis regrettent de ne pas pouvoir entièrement adhérer à tout ce qui leur a été soumis par la majorité des représentants des États d’Europe.

Ils adhèrent pleinement à une partie de leur première proposition, à savoir : «qu’il est nécessaire de maintenir dans le monde le rôle monétaire de l’argent, aussi bien que celui de l’or,» et ils désirent qu’une coopération propre à assurer ce résultat ne se fasse pas longtemps attendre.

Ils ne peuvent pas objecter à ce que «le choix entre l’emploi de l’un ou de l’autre de ces deux métaux, ou l’emploi simultané des deux, doit avoir lieu suivant la situation spéciale de chaque État»; mais, s’il est nécessaire die maintenir le rôle monétaire des deux métaux, ainsi qu’il a été précédemment déclaré, ils font respectueusement observer que ces situations spéciales des États peuvent devenir d’une importance secondaire.

En ce qui touche cette partie de la seconde proposition qui donne pour raison spéciale de la limitation actuelle de la frappe de l’argent, «que les perturbations qui se sont produites dans ces dernières années sur le marché de l’argent ont diversement affecté la situation monétaire des divers États», ils déclarent respectueusement ne pouvoir partager cette opinion, croyant qu’une politique d’action ferait disparaître les perturbations qui ont produit ces inégalités.

En ce qui concerne la troisième et dernière proposition, ils admettent que quelques-uns des États ayant le double étalon ou, ainsi qu’ils préfèrent le dire, faisant usage des deux métaux, trouvent impossible de prendre un engagement réciproque relatif à la frappe illimitée de l’argent.  Eux, comme représentants des États-Unis, sont venus ici expressément pour arriver à contracter un tel engagement.  La difficulté ne vient pas de leur côté, et, de quelque part qu’elle vienne, ils ont confiance qu’elle pourra bientôt être écartée.

Ils adhèrent entièrement à la conclusion tirée de cet état de choses, qui exclut toute discussion de la question de l’adoption d’un rapport commun entre les deux métaux.  Il est inutile de se mettre d’accord sur un rapport particulier entre les deux métaux, si les États ne sont pas prêts également à adapter des mesures pour maintenir ce rapport.  Nous gardons le nôtre; les États de l’Europe gardent le leur.

(Signé)         R. E. FENTON, W. S. GROESBECK, FRANCIS A. WALKER, S. DANA HORTON..

No member of the Conference demanding the floor, the President (Mr. Say) stated that under the various reservations which have been expressed, the reply to the questions proposed, by the American Delegates is accepted by all the Delegates of the European States, excepting Count Rusconi and Commander Baralis, and that in consequence it would appear in the Journal.

Mr. Goschen desired, before the session should be closed, to become the interpreter of the general feeling in thanking Mr. Léon Say for the prudent and courteous manner in which he had presided over the debates of the Conference.  If in relation to subjects so difficult, and upon which there was so much disagreement, at least a statement of ideas had been arrived at upon which there could be an agreement satisfactory to the great majority of the members of this assembly, it was certainly, he said, due to the able direction of its President that the Conference was indebted for this result.

Mr. Goschen further expressed thanks to Mr. Charles Jagerschmidt, who had occupied himself so beneficially in the arrangement of this final understanding.  He added that he believed he was reflecting the feeling of his colleagues in calling attention to the services rendered by the Secretaries, whose task had been rendered peculiarly difficult by the employment of two languages in the debates.

Mr. Fenton said that the honorable Mr. Goschen having anticipated him, it only remained for him to express his entire accord with the feeling that gentleman had expressed.  He desired, however, in addition, in the name of the Delegates of the United States, to thank Mr. Léon Say for the ability and impartiality with which he had presided over the Conference, and to say that he was sensible of the cordial and hospitable reception which he and his colleagues had received from the Delegates of France, as well as to the courtesy shown them.  on the part of the other Delegates.

The Conference expressing unanimous accord with the sentiments expressed by Mr. Goschen and by Mr. Fenton, the President (Mr. Say) thanked his colleagues for the confidence which they had not ceased to show him in the course of their labors, and congratulated himself on having been enabled to conduct these labors to their present conclusion.

No active measure, no common resolution, he said, has come forth from our discussions, and none could come; but much light upon an obscure matter has proceeded from them, and a monument of them will remain – the book of our proceedings, to which will be consigned so many facts the knowledge of which will be of use, so many views and observations which may enlighten governments.

The Conference unanimously voted its thanks to the Secretaries, Mr. Ernest Crampon and Mr. Henri Jagerschmidt, and adjourned at 3.30 p.m.

 

SEVENTH  SESSION – EXHIBITS

 

Exhibit A.  Investigation into the monetary Circulation


[Ministery of Finance, Direction of the general movement of funds]


Table I


Table giving, by departments, the number of 20-franc and 10-franc Gold pieces, and of Silver 5-franc pieces, found in the 19,511 offices of account of the financial administration of France the 14th of August, 1878 (evening)

Departements 20 francs gold 10 francs gold 5 francs silver
nat. for. Total nat. for. Total nat. for. Total
Ain
Aisne
Allier
Alpes (Basses-)
Alpes (Hautes-)
Alpes-Maritimes
Ardèche
Ardennes
Ariège
Aube
Aude
Aveyron
Bouches-du-Rhône
Calvados
Cantal
Charente
Charente Inférieure
Cher
Corrèze
Corse
Côte d’Or
Côtes du Nord
Creuse
Dordogne
Doubs
Drôme
Eure
Eure-et-Loir
Finistère
Gard
Garonne (Haute-)
Gers
Gironde
Hérault
Ille-et-Vilaine
Indre
Indre-et-Loire
Isère
Jura
Landes
Loir-et-Cher
Loire
Loire (Haute-)
Loire Inférieure
Loiret
Lot
Lot-et-Garonne
Lozère
Maine-et-Loire
Manche
Marne
Marne (Haute-)
Mayenne
Meurthe-et-Moselle
Meuse
Morbihan
Nièvre
Nord
Oise
Orne
Pas-de-Calais
Puy de Dôme
Pyrénées (Basses-)
Pyrénées (Hautes-)
Pyrénées-Orientales
Rhône
Saône (Haute-)
Saône-et-Loire
Sarthe
Savoie
Savoie (Haute-)
Seine Inférieure
Seine-et-Marne
Seine-et-Oise
Sèvres (Deux-)
Somme
Tarn
Tarn-et-Garonne
Var
Vaucluse
Vendée
Vienne
Vienne (Haute-)
Vosges
Yonne
Seine
7,686
12,133
5,129
2,251
2,281
3,138
5,028
6,713
2,473
6,466
4,637
4,863
8,871
9,745
2,550
3,634
4,327
3,869
2,955
9,063
7,891
6,805
2,834
5,635
6,386
4,796
8,271
5,959
7,419
6,851
6,845
3,062
6,238
6,001
4,044
3,461
4,694
6,625
5.936
2,109
4,169
5,578
5,022
6,207
4,467
3,464
3,180
2,114
7,005
6,855
9,454
5,349
3,445
13,424
9,360
3,503
5,033
15,983
10,686
4,913
11,980
5,959
6,707
2,770
2,532
8,462
6,595
9,448
6,813
4,129
2,413
20,586
12,111
20,898
2,068
11,348
3,204
2,143
5,944
3,913
3,245
2,304
3,795
8,931
4,849
52,546
1,274
3,213
801
298
350
573
864
1,718
195
1,054
512
632
1,646
1,670
343
329
299
328
289
1,925
1,254
682
321
497
1,299
822
1,192
1,162
599
1,146
698
219
563
876
551
497
699
1,111
1,002
144
746
943
414
604
906
534
199
314
818
785
1,525
787
373
2,967
1,831
223
862
9,394
2,378
787
4,626
874
532
292
366
1,623
1,272
1,278
948
775
522
3,339
2,690
4,135
201
2,825
307
228
939
782
314
272
407
1,716
924
12,175
8,960
15,346
5,930
2,549
2,631
3,711
5,892
8,433
2,668
7,520
5,149
5,495
10,517
11,415
2,893
5,963
4,626
4,197
5,244
10,928
9,145
7,487
5,155
6,130
7,685
5,618
9,463
7,121
8,018
7,997
7,545
3,281
6,801
6,877
4,595
3,958
5,393
7,736
6,938
2,253
4,915
6,521
3,436
6,811
5,373
3,998
3,379
2,428
8,423
7,640
10,979
6,136
3,818
16,391
11,191
3,726
5,895
25,377
13,064
5,700
16,606
6,833
7,239
3,062
2,898
10,085
7,865
10,726
7,761
4,904
2,935
23,925
14,801
25,033
2,269
14,173
3,511
2,371
6,885
4,695
3,559
2,576
4,202
10,647
5,773
64,251
5,118
5,629
3,181
1,856
1,583
2,307
2,393
3,335
1,771
2,972
3,138
2,996
7,117
4,936
2,113
2,615
2,574
2,841
2,020
1,395
4,891
3,398
1,357
3,844
4,480
3,567
4,924
2,766
4,792
3,150
4,623
2,461
4,734
3,749
3,779
2,638
2,598
5,302
4,950
1,574
2,075
3,479
2,072
4,245
2,898
2,357
2,568
1,319
4,862
3,977
3,459
3,099
2,496
6,620
5,010
2,728
3,518
6,989
3,918
2,844
4,987
4,268
4,746
1,876
1,788
6,240
5,037
7,804
4,460
2,452
1,899
8,804
4,266
8,436
1,613
6,212
2,612
1,754
3,271
2,958
3,364
1,945
2,174
5,035
3,347
17,376
129
94
50
37
33
76
44
50
30
62
51
48
419
80
27
24
40
40
38
99
361
65
13
49
84
92
84
38
31
96
54
29
49
115
21
34
49
131
103
23
18
161
45
21
108
127
14
102
74
36
83
63
16
140
101
55
41
81
48
41
77
70
93
19
74
138
89
148
101
122
38
156
72
125
23
83
39
29
144
79
39
20
23
92
55
216
5,247
5,723
3,231
1,893
1,616
2,353
2,437
3,385
1,801
3,034
3,189
3,044
7,536
5,016
2,140
2,639
2,614
2,881
2,058
1,494
5,252
3,463
1,370
3,893
4,564
3,659
5,008
2,804
4,825
3,246
4,677
2,490
4,783
3,864
3,800
2,672
2,647
5,433
5,053
1,597
2,091
3,640
2,117
4,266
3,066
2,484
2,582
1,421
4,936
4,013
3,542
3,162
2,512
6,760
5,111
2,783
3,559
7,070
3,966
2,885
5,064
4,338
4,839
1,895
1,862
6,378
5,126
7,952
4,561
2,574
1,928
8,960
4,338
8,561
1,636
6,295
2,651
1,783
3,415
3,057
3,403
1,965
2,197
5,127
3,402
17,592
8,704
18,778
7,783
3,868
1,655
5,112
5,532
12,487
2,757
8,294
5,168
5,064
11,603
16,822
3,027
13,735
20,154
6,700
3,985
6,919
7,122
20,896
2,483
10,173
7,252
6,240
18,020
3,636
28,799
5,191
14,052
5,659
16,686
6,851
17,131
8,039
14,943
7,292
4,629
11,735
4,048
10,575
5,308
15,894
5,144
7,610
9,202
3,573
14,662
15,495
10,293
6,030
5,149
13,382
10,058
14,580
4,190
22,233
5,897
9,325
14,675
7,656
15,718
3,015
2,965
10,226
6,535
9,231
13,070
3,951
4,140
27,026
7,361
10,504
7,981
12,665
11,246
5,822
8,000
5,624
7,874
6,965
4,785
7,636
5,482
27,214
8,304
15,001
4,424
2,113
932
6,417
4,288
10,376
400
4,355
1,042
1,546
6,802
6,249
1,103
1,181
5,689
2,784
823
6,259
5,841
4,807
895
1,204
8,800
5,390
7,062
1,523
6,480
3,195
1,663
578
2,085
2,508
6,810
2,330
3,899
7,391
5,062
1,410
1,351
7,678
3,385
4,094
2,300
979
912
724
3,865
5,309
5,885
3,364
1,420
8,906
7,249
2,812
1,971
22,236
3,967
3,240
11,221
4,583
1,594
387
507
10,628
5,941
7,940
3,704
3,807
5,803
13,713
3,756
5,883
1,165
8,326
1,797
726
6,187
3,447
1,377
1,497
640
5,166
2,711
14,543
17,008
33,779
12,207
5,981
2,587
11,529
9,820
22,863
3,157
12,649
6,210
6,610
18,405
23,071
4,130
15,614
25,843
9,484
4,808
13,178
12,963
25,703
3,378
11,377
16,052
11,030
25,082
5,159
35,279
8,386
15,715
6,237
18,771
9,359
23,941
10,369
18,842
14,683
9,691
13,145
5,399
18,253
8,695
19,988
7,444
8,589
10,114
4,297
18,527
20,804
16,178
9,394
6,569
22,288
17,307
17,392
6,161
44,469
9,864
12,565
25,896
12,239
17,312
3,402
3,472
20,854
12,476
17,171
16,774
7,758
9,943
40,739
11,117
16,387
9,146
20,991
13,043
6,548
14,187
9,071
9,251
8,462
5,425
12,802
8,193
41,757
Totals 572,916 105,399 678,315 324,713 6,531 331,244 824,989 388,417 1,213,406

 

Table II.


Table showing, by the countries in which they originated, the foreign 20-franc and 10-franc Gold pieces found in the 19,511 offices of account of the financial administration in France the 14th of August, 1878 (evening)

Departements 20-franc piecess 10-franc piecess
A B G I S Total A B G I S Total
Ain
Aisne
Allier
Alpes (Basses-)
Alpes (Hautes-)
Alpes-Maritimes
Ardèche
Ardennes
Ariège
Aube
Aude
Aveyron
Bouches-du-Rhône
Calvados
Cantal
Charente
Charente Inférieure
Cher
Corrèze
Corse
Côte d’Or
Côtes du Nord
Creuse
Dordogne
Doubs
Drôme
Eure
Eure-et-Loir
Finistère
Gard
Garonne (Haute-)
Gers
Gironde
Hérault
Ille-et-Vilaine
Indre
Indre-et-Loire
Isère
Jura
Landes
Loir-et-Cher
Loire
Loire (Haute-)
Loire Inférieure
Loiret
Lot
Lot-et-Garonne
Lozère
Maine-et-Loire
Manche
Marne
Marne (Haute-)
Mayenne
Meurthe-et-Moselle
Meuse
Morbihan
Nièvre
Nord
Oise
Orne
Pas-de-Calais
Puy de Dôme
Pyrénées (Basses-)
Pyrénées (Hautes-)
Pyrénées-Orientales
Rhône
Saône (Haute-)
Saône-et-Loire
Sarthe
Savoie
Savoie (Haute-)
Seine Inférieure
Seine-et-Marne
Seine-et-Oise
Sèvres (Deux-)
Somme
Tarn
Tarn-et-Garonne
Var
Vaucluse
Vendée
Vienne
Vienne (Haute-)
Vosges
Yonne
Seine
64
66
24
15
11
35
37
38
7
37
22
17
113
52
4
5
4
11
2
124
115
20
7
9
132
39
31
32
25
55
22
4
9
48
9
19
25
65
75
4
10
31
16
10
16
8
5
14
17
15
73
59
8
326
233
2
31
98
60
23
49
24
9
7
29
83
97
88
63
53
44
106
76
140
4
63
3
1
50
36
6
4
10
150
42
481
431
2,632
432
82
115
192
271
1,448
53
756
173
309
562
1,208
187
181
182
200
136
553
658
407
194
272
725
249
845
850
347
355
270
83
287
264
375
310
491
346
524
70
552
308
152
351
671
273
81
87
517
514
1,174
517
246
1,887
1,242
125
571
8,730
1,902
565
4,107
435
263
158
93
540
793
562
646
335
284
2,363
2,049
3,150
120
2,348
104
91
284
224
188
177
230
1,021
658
9,568
3
10
1
1
4
5
16
4
12
 
26
3
59
5
1
1
 
2
2
307
5
1
1
1
5
5
5
13
1
10
7
 
1
16
1
 
3
18
5
 
 
7
2
2
2
18
1
3
4
3
1
4
1
5
3
1
3
14
7
2
3
4
6
2
4
11
5
35
6
4
3
10
10
28
3
1
3
 
37
4
3
 
 
8
3
13
776
505
343
200
219
341
540
228
123
253
291
303
911
405
150
140
113
115
149
941
474
252
119
215
437
529
303
267
226
725
399
126
265
547
162
168
180
681
380
70
183
590
244
239
216
235
112
210
271
253
275
206
118
749
353
95
257
548
409
197
465
410
254
117
240
987
376
591
233
382
190
860
554
816
68
413
197
136
568
517
117
90
166
535
219
2,110
 
 
1
 
1
 
 
 
 
8
 
 
1
 
1
2
 
 
 
 
2
2
 
 
 
 
8
 
 
1
 
6
1
1
4
 
 
1
18
 
1
7
 
2
1
 
 
 
9
 
2
1
 
 
 
 
 
4
 
 
2
1
 
8
 
2
1
2
 
1
1
 
1
1
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
1
1
2
2
3
1,274
3,213
801
298
350
573
864
1,718
195
1,054
512
632
1,646
1,670
343
329
299
328
289
1,925
1,254
682
321
497
1,299
822
1,192
1,162
599
1,146
698
219
563
876
551
497
699
1,111
1,002
144
746
943
414
604
906
534
199
314
818
785
1,525
787
373
2,967
1,831
223
862
9,394
2,378
787
4,626
874
532
292
366
1,623
1,272
1,278
948
775
522
3,339
2,690
4,135
201
2,825
307
228
939
782
314
272
407
1,716
924
12,175
23
18
7
2
3
8
5
10
 
9
7
5
91
5
1
2
 
2
2
6
37
2
2
2
24
5
8
6
1
8
8
 
4
3
5
3
5
22
22
1
 
17
7
 
31
1
 
2
6
1
6
11
2
48
30
4
1
14
4
1
9
4
3
 
9
29
17
19
20
18
15
13
9
36
3
22
2
1
8
9
3
1
1
15
5
64
4
21
4
1
 
 
 
6
1
14
5
2
2
7
 
1
10
9
2
 
45
4
1
3
 
5
2
4
3
1
2
3
 
16
 
11
18
10
2
9
2
42
8
2
8
40
 
 
8
7
30
19
1
6
20
22
2
2
7
9
20
1
4
 
8
1
15
8
43
14
 
28
12
12
 
3
4
 
4
4
6
3
2
10
13
8
1
1
2
1
2
1
3
 
2
1
1
 
102
 
 
1
1
 
 
45
 
 
 
 
1
1
 
1
1
7
2
1
1
1
 
 
1
5
7
 
 
2
 
1
1
16
 
 
2
 
2
1
 
1
 
 
1
1
1
2
2
 
5
1
16
3
1
2
1
1
 
6
1
1
1
1
2
 
 
2
3
 
 
2
 
2
101
54
37
33
28
67
36
34
27
38
38
41
224
68
26
20
29
29
34
48
279
59
10
44
59
81
74
27
26
80
42
25
44
95
16
20
25
94
72
13
16
100
30
18
68
70
14
100
58
28
45
32
13
85
51
29
37
64
36
29
46
65
81
18
41
105
56
119
37
89
23
109
50
76
19
57
31
28
132
64
27
16
20
65
37
142
  129
94
50
37
33
76
44
50
30
62
51
48
419
80
27
24
40
40
38
99
361
65
13
49
84
92
84
38
31
96
54
29
49
115
21
34
49
131
103
23
18
161
45
21
108
127
14
102
74
36
83
63
16
140
101
55
41
81
48
41
77
70
93
19
74
138
89
148
101
122
38
156
72
125
23
83
39
29
144
79
39
20
23
92
55
216
Totals 4,206 69,287 849 30,942 115 105,399 895 686 277 4,673   6,531

 

Table III.


Table showing, by the countries in which they originated, the foreign 5-franc Silver pieces found in the 19,511 offices of account of the financial administration in France the 14th of August, 1878 (evening)

Départements 5-franc pieces
B G I S Total
Ain
Aisne
Allier
Alpes (Basses-)
Alpes (Hautes-)
Alpes-Maritimes
Ardèche
Ardennes
Ariège
Aube
Aude
Aveyron
Bouches-du-Rhône
Calvados
Cantal
Charente
Charente Inférieure
Cher
Corrèze
Corse
Côte d’Or
Côtes du Nord
Creuse
Dordogne
Doubs
Drôme
Eure
Eure-et-Loir
Finistère
Gard
Garonne (Haute-)
Gers
Gironde
Hérault
Ille-et-Vilaine
Indre
Indre-et-Loire
Isère
Jura
Landes
Loir-et-Cher
Loire
Loire (Haute-)
Loire Inférieure
Loiret
Lot
Lot-et-Garonne
Lozère
Maine-et-Loire
Manche
Marne
Marne (Haute-)
Mayenne
Meurthe-et-Moselle
Meuse
Morbihan
Nièvre
Nord
Oise
Orne
Pas-de-Calais
Puy de Dôme
Pyrénées (Basses-)
Pyrénées (Hautes-)
Pyrénées-Orientales
Rhône
Saône (Haute-)
Saône-et-Loire
Sarthe
Savoie
Savoie (Haute-)
Seine Inférieure
Seine-et-Marne
Seine-et-Oise
Sèvres (Deux-)
Somme
Tarn
Tarn-et-Garonne
Var
Vaucluse
Vendée
Vienne
Vienne (Haute-)
Vosges
Yonne
Seine
1,149
12,033
1,618
288
155
361
684
8,807
95
2,547
218
389
656
4,135
358
823
2,123
1,440
322
359
1,721
2,776
445
472
1,954
893
4,540
917
3,762
440
440
179
623
362
4,572
1,213
2,059
1,026
1,008
443
777
1,860
837
2,458
1,581
268
314
89
2,100
3,657
4,059
1,726
941
6,172
5,240
1,664
865
20,010
2,951
2,170
9,662
1,279
431
118
124
1,803
1,857
1,703
2,244
631
750
8,813
2,303
3,656
516
6,791
447
221
487
469
661
733
305
2,554
1,373
8,772
38
21
8
122
31
101
61
5
8
8
55
22
1,420
5
4
2
98
24
4
31
11
1
1
9
18
62
81
24
17
171
29
8
12
82
15
5
9
46
19
 
1
38
17
3
10
18
2
19
3
8
7
5
1
18
9
8
8
18
12
9
6
12
14
9
6
74
13
37
12
27
29
27
17
52
13
15
18
8
266
126
5
7
1
1
7
104
6,791
2,855
2,751
1,690
756
5,925
3,434
1,523
294
1,735
755
1,110
4,524
2,040
730
1,046
3,398
1,276
489
5,883
3,696
2,014
430
708
6,367
4,354
2,286
545
2,628
2,541
1,175
389
1,431
2,015
2,192
1,096
1,798
6,168
3,813
961
570
5,667
2,485
1,600
885
685
590
612
1,704
1,598
1,775
1,487
475
2,650
1,904
1,100
1,075
2,162
981
1,051
1,541
3,230
1,142
241
371
8,499
3,781
5,994
1,411
2,936
4,685
4,780
1,394
2,092
619
1,495
1,316
490
5,394
2,791
702
735
332
2,466
1,267
5,482
326
92
47
33
12
30
109
41
3
65
14
25
202
69
11
10
70
44
8
6
413
16
19
15
461
81
155
37
73
43
19
2
19
49
31
16
33
151
222
6
3
113
46
33
24
8
6
4
58
46
44
146
3
66
36
40
25
46
23
10
12
62
7
19
6
252
290
206
37
213
339
93
42
83
17
25
16
7
40
61
9
22
2
145
64
185
8,304
15,001
4,424
612
954
6,417
4,288
10,376
400
4,355
1,042
547
5,524
4,413
1,103
1,881
5,689
1,488
823
6,279
5,841
4,807
895
1,204
8,800
5,390
2,976
1,523
6,480
3,195
1,663
578
2,085
2,508
6,810
2,330
3,899
7,391
5,062
1,410
1,351
6,004
3,385
2,510
2,500
979
912
724
3,865
5,309
5,885
3,364
1,420
8,906
7,249
2,812
1,971
22,236
3,967
3,240
11,221
4,583
1,594
387
507
10,628
5,941
7,940
3,704
3,807
5,803
13,713
3,756
5,883
1,165
8,326
1,797
726
6,187
3,447
1,377
1,497
640
5,166
2,711
14,543
Totals 186,605 3,808 191,912 6,092 388,417

 

Table IV.


Table showing, by their dates, the number of 20-franc pieces coined in France from 1803 to July 31, 1878, and the number of pieces of that denomination found in the 19,511 offices of account of the financial administration in France the 14th of August, 1878 (evening)

Date Number coined Number found Proportion found (in ‰) Date Number coined Number found Proportion found (in ‰)
1803
1804
1805
1806
1807
1808
1809
1810
1811
1812
1813
1814
1815
1816
1817
1818
1819
1820
1821
1822
1823
1824
1825
1826
1827
1828
1829
1830
1831
1832
1833
1834
1835
1836
1837
1838
1839
1840
58,262
1,416,587
520,511
1,151,950
839,444
1,482,975
720,110
9,186,802
4,070,595
3,471,798
3,037,054
5,227,250
2,768,992
640,106
2,428,882
4,042,851
2,611,515
1,428,094
20,207
233,937
20,087
324,477
2,179,346
46,153
157,855
297,259
13,729
464,908
2,356,943
49,433
394,307
883,344
152,927
149,376
44,889
184,953
1,033,454
2,049,912
572
347
158
659
571
1,024
566
1,455
2,475
2,424
1,925
2,072
2,104
255
1,608
2,296
1,430
757
72
224
79
1,574
411
76
223
347
52
484
2,055
470
317
683
153
182
103
255
917
2,409
9.81
0.24
0.26
0.57
0.68
0.69
0.78
0.65
0.60
0.66
0.63
0.64
0.75
0.36
0.66
0.56
0.54
0.51
3.56
0.95
3.93
4.85
0.18
1.64
1.41
1.16
3.78
1.04
0.87
9.50
0.80
0.77
0.95
1.21
2.31
1.37
0.88
1.17
1841
1842
1843
1844
1845
1846
1847
1848
1849
1850
1851
1852
1853
1854
1855
1856
1857
1858
1859
1860
1861
1862
1863
1864
1865
1866
1867
1868
1869
1870
1871
1872
1873
1874
1875
1876
1877
1878
618,753
92,636
141,330
137,115
5,957
104,321
385,301
1,984,887
1,355,478
3,963,594
12,585,214
694,065
15,648,201
23,485,957
18,399,783
18,745,899
19,195,214
18,877,635
26,166,075
15,946,635
4,030,253
7,752,433
7,672,793
10,382,097
6,059,858
13,970,178
7,439,514
14,110,127
11,362,847
2,717,440
2,508,494
 
 
1,215,985
11,745,600
8,824,658
12,759,057
7,090,088
764
149
139
303
109
116
449
3,722
3,175
6,791
19,280
18,280
11,175
38,866
31,465
28,928
35,007
31,531
45,353
27,775
7,051
14,957
16,719
18,139
16,794
22,182
18,062
26,137
19,631
5,240
1,551
 
 
640
5,049
21,852
20,242
20,618
1.23
1.60
0.96
2 21
18.29
1.11
1.16
1.87
2.34
1.71
1.55
26.33
0.71
1.65
1.71
1.54
1.82
1.67
1.75
1.74
1.74
1.95
2.17
1.74
2.77
1.58
2.42
1.83
1.72
1.92
0.61
 
 
0.52
0.42
2.47
1.58
2.90

 

Table V.


Table showing, by their dates, the number of 10-franc pieces coined in France from 1850 to 1869, and the number of pieces of that denomination found in the 19,511 offices of account of the financial administration in France the 14th of August, 1878 (evening)

Date Number coined Number found Proportion found (in ‰) Date Number coined Number found Proportion found (in ‰)
1850
1851
1852
1853
1854
1855
1856
1857
1858
1859
592,051
1,800,324
1,314,697
 
3,899,802
6,149,585
10,777,754
14,498,130
8,211,046
13,325,889
2,361
9,751
768
 
1,858
16,495
28,906
43,392
27,940
42,478
3.98
5.41
0.58
 
0.47
2.68
2.68
2.99
3.40
3.18
1860
1861
1862
1863
1864
1865
1866
1867
1868
1869
8,075,555
1,029,214
4,712,118
4,251,637
4,788,520
3,249,295
6,495,917
3,550,274
4,532,811
109,351
27,763
1,295
17,343
15,814
20,706
12,803
21,808
13,215
15,672
1,381
3.43
1.25
3.68
3.71
4.32
3.94
3.35
3.72
3.45
12.63

 

Table VI.
Table showing, by their dates, the number of silver 5-franc pieces coined in France from the year IV to 1878, inclusive, and the number of pieced of that denomination found in the 19,511 offices of account of the financial administration in France the 14th of August, 1878 (evening)

Date

Number coined Number found Proportion found (in ‰) Date Number coined Number found Proportion found (in ‰)
an IV/V
an VI
an VII
an VIII
an IX
an X
an XI
1803
1804
1805
1806
1807
1808
1809
1810
1811
1812
1813
1814
1815
1816
1817
1818
1819
1820
1821
1822
1823
1824
1825
1826
1827
1828
1829
1830
1831
1832
1833
1834
1835
1836
1837
8,279,877
2,383,460
3,795,911
2,770,446
763,319
968,557
2,285,851
4,565,400
8,460,663
7,836,398
4,485,649
804,423
9,382,286
7,985,445
10,314,480
48,947,496
31,045,613
26,002,853
12,157,707
7,532,048
6,836,669
7,008,958
2,419,939
4,188,801
3,612,292
13,355,182
19,088,279
16,068,150
22,314,567
14,573,894
17,746,462
29,916,081
31,426,133
19,929,090
23,739,223
40,658,479
26,861,063
30,885,119
42,306,804
19,162,221
8,303,765
21,840,508
927
648
772
817
647
442
668
1,013
1,175
662
684
1,128
2,179
1,877
2,120
8,556
5,909
4,541
2,487
1,588
1,489
1,495
560
837
871
2,584
3,621
3,163
5,867
2,170
6,707
10,741
11,117
7,480
15,019
42,142
26,233
33,204
42,856
18,102
9,475
22,107
0.11
0.27
0.20
0.29
0.84
0.45
0.29
0.22
0.13
0.08
0.15
1.40
0.23
0.23
0.20
0.17
0.19
0.17
0.20
0.21
0.21
0.21
0.23
0.20
0.24
0.19
0.18
0.19
0.20
0.14
0.37
0.35
0.35
0.37
0.03
1.03
0.97
1.07
1.01
0.94
1.14
1.01
1838
1839
1840
1841
1842
1843
1844
1845
1846
1847
1848
1849
1850
1851
1852
1853
1854
1855
1856
1857
1858
1859
1860
1861
1862
1863
1864
1865
1866
1867
1868
1869
1870
1871
1872
1873
1874
1875
1876
1877
1878
 
17,248,010
14,307,757
12,261,177
14,659,936
13,175,982
14,371,790
13,395,112
16,780,658
8,442,203
14,322,006
23,810,859
40,766,309
16,120,678
11,491,290
13,990,200
3,891,632
10,615
4,861,173
9,155,481
93,406
26,790
3,365
 
22,098
21,129
21,687
32,168
97,134
37,893
10,810,312
18,724,110
11,652,857
10,729,670
942,181
77,838
30,929,809
11,999,202
15,000,000
10,532,263
3,292,857
363,130
 
18,606
14,643
12,928
15,797
12,812
14,057
13,384
15,069
9,347
14,133
23,204
33,155
13,886
11,848
13,902
1,260
902
3,723
5,435
1,320
1,099
1,401
 
1,648
893
798
599
780
1,369
33,399
55,537
33,128
34,186
4,115
2,387
31,544
27,603
18,692
12,807
6,287
566
 
1.07
1.02
1.05
1.07
0.97
0.98
0.99
0.89
1.10
0.98
0.97
0.81
0.86
1.03
0.99
0.32
84.02
0.76
0.59
14.13
41.20
431.20
 
74.57
42.26
36.79
18.62
8.03
36.12
3.09
2.97
2.84
3.19
4.36
30.66
1.02
2.30
1.24
1.21
1.90
1.55
 

 

Return

Annexe B : Investigation into the monetary circulation in Belgium

The investigation was made by the National Bank upon the basis of its receipts of September 26, 1878, in all its agencies and in the State Treasury (Caisse de l’État) at Brussels, and by the Ministry of Finance upon the basis of its receipts of October 3, 1878, in the offices of account in all branches of the public service.

Investigation by the National Bank

 

Provinces

20-franc pieces 10-franc pieces 5-franc pieces
B A F I A F I B F G I S

Anvers
Brabant
Flandre Occid.
Flandre Orient.
Hainaut
Liège
Limbourg
Luxembourg
Namur

416
704
561
886
803
429
87
211
244

15
17
22
21
13
13
4
6
7

783
860
1,278
1,799
1,479
1,158
209
793
542

35
50
55
85
53
49
10
32
25

3
3
1
 
 
1
 
 
1

623
468
666
792
411
339
65
295
210

2
2
3
2
4
2
2
1
3

2,706
3,001
4,845
7,833
12,257
7,797
1,085
769
2,051

2,723
2,900
4,893
7,879
11,408
6,976
1,081
801
2,039

 
 
 
3
1
 
 
 
 

154
169
382
455
805
492
79
64
152

 
2
6
6
5
4
1
 
3

Totals 4,341 118 8,903 396 9 3,869 21 42,344 40,691 4 2,752 27

 

Investigation by the Ministry of Finance

Provinces

20-franc pieces 10-franc pieces 5-franc pieces
B A F I A F I B F G I S
Anvers
Brabant
Flandre Occid.
Flandre Orient.
Hainaut
Liège
Limbourg
Luxembourg
Namur
330
1,327
571
332
904
316
146
269
269
7
14
20
3
7
10
2
11
5
618
1,456
793
535
1,664
769
184
651
459
54
77
31
21
98
33
6
25
19
1
4
2
1
1
2
 
2
 
385
803
541
507
809
411
108
310
250
4
12
22
6
17
9
 
3
3
2,754
6,660
2,746
3,678
8,814
4,507
808
1,376
2,175
2,688
5,992
2,727
3,455
8,469
4,076
821
1,299
1,755
3
1
3
3
1
1
 
 
 
172
496
202
218
581
292
42
108
132
2
5
10
2
13
2
 
6
3
Totals 4,341 79 7,129 364 13 4,124 76 33,518 31,282 10 2,243 43

 

Proportion of Belgian and French Coins according to their date

Belgian 20-franc pieces

 

Date

Number coined National Bank Ministry of Finance
Number found Proportion, 1 to 100,000 Number found Proportion, 1 to 100,000
1865
1866
1867
1868
1869
1870
1871
1874
1875
1876
1877
1878
1,026,103
531,963
1,341,307
1,381,749
1,234,474
5,191,203
2,258,972
3,046,350
4,134,253
2,069,682
5,906,070
2,555,400
83
 
89
81
54
194
115
419
568
317
1,113
1,030
8
 
7
6
4
6
5
14
14
15
19
40
96
23
83
121
121
236
181
584
652
347
1,035
1,005
9
4
6
9
10
7
8
19
15
17
18
39
Totals 28,677,526 4,063   4,464  

 

Pièces belges de 5 francs

Date

Number coined National Bank Ministry of Finance
Number found Proportion, 1 to 100,000 Number found Proportion, 1 to 100,000
1832
1833
1834
1835
1838
1844
1847
1848
1849
1850
1851
1852
1853
1858
1865
1867
1868
1869
1870
1871
1872
1873
1874
1875
1876
37,352
1,125,666
349,676
369,768
5,203
80,200
699,601
2,516,283
6,922,095
5,265,296
3,707,922
4,604,676
2,426,598
18,102
907,360
3,693,144
6,570,564
12,657,542
10,468,075
4,783,434
2,045,000
22,340,959
2,400,000
2,980,941
2,159,885
8
45
6
12
1
 
38
99
448
327
361
118
182
22
320
878
2,774
2,952
3,316
1,053
591
5,499
590
1,248
1,244
21
4
2
3
20
 
5
4
6
6
9
2
7
121
35
24
42
23
31
22
28
24
24
42
57
22
54
17
19
6
40
76
148
613
489
534
179
186
112
111
1,256
4,073
4,517
4,723
1,611
920
8,279
1,065
1,866
2,143
58
4
4
5
115
649
10
5
8
9
14
4
7
618
12
34
62
35
45
33
45
36
44
62
99
Totals 99,135,642 22,132   33,059  

 

French 20-franc pieces

Date

Number coined National Bank Ministry of Finance
Number found Proportion, 1 to 100,000 Number found Proportion, 1 to 100,000
1803
1804
1805
1806
1807
1808
1809
1810
1811
1812
1813
1814
1815
1816
1817
1818
1819
1820
1821
1822
1823
1824
1825
1826
1827
1828
1829
1830
1831
1832
1833
1834
1835
1836
1837
1838
1839
1840
1841
1842
1843
1844
1845
1846
1847
1848
1849
1850
1851
1852
1853
1854
1855
1856
1857
1858
1859
1860
1861
1862
1863
1864
1865
1866
1867
1868
1869
1870
1871
1874
1875
1876
1877
1878
58,262
1,410,387
520,311
1,151,950
839,444
1,482,975
720,110
2,186,802
4,070,593
3,471,798
3,037,054
3,227,236
2,768,992
640,106
2,428,882
4,042,851
2,611,313
1,428,094
20,207
233,937
20,087
324,477
2,179,346
46,153
157,835
297,259
13,729
464,908
2,356,946
49,433
394,303
883,344
152,927
149,376
44,889
184,953
1,033,454
2,049,912
618,753
92,636
141,330
137,113
5,957
104,321
385,301
1,984,887
1,355,478
3,963,594
12,585,214
694,065
15,648,201
23,485,957
18,399,783
18,745,899
19,193,214
18,877,635
26,166,075
15,946,635
4,030,253
7,732,433
7,672,993
10,382,097
6,039,858
13,970,178
7,439,514
14,110,127
11,362,847
2,717,140
2,508,494
1,215,985
11,745,600
8,824,658
12,759,057
7,090,088
3
1
2
9
7
14
10
21
31
31
26
27
31
1
22
35
15
10
 
3
1
22
4
 
 
5
 
4
18
 
5
7
1
2
 
5
12
42
10
 
1
3
 
 
9
40
46
95
278
230
124
523
430
397
489
455
656
419
96
224
264
273
308
336
284
401
276
71
21
6
96
413
367
262
5.1
0.1
0.4
0.7
0.8
0.9
1.4
0.9
0.8
0.8
0.8
0.8
1.1
0.3
0.9
0.8
0.1
0.7
 
1.2
5.0
0.7
0.2
 
 
1.7
 
0.9
0.8
 
1.3
0.8
0.6
1.3
 
2.9
1.2
2.0
1.6
 
0.7
2.2
 
 
2.3
2.0
3.4
2.4
2.2
34.3
0.8
2.3
2.3
2.1
2.6
2.3
2.5
2.7
2.4
3.0
3.5
2.6
5.0
2.4
3.8
2.8
2.4
2.6
0.8
0.4
0.8
4.7
2.9
3.7
3
3
1
11
9
9
5
16
39
41
29
16
18
1
18
25
10
4
 
4
1
15
6
4
 
10
7
24
25
15
25
23
17
6
12
12
21
32
18
11
12
18
16
6
6
35
70
82
213
206
132
422
312
273
316
354
471
334
68
253
216
252
232
288
310
358
254
97
30
28
68
318
264
208
5.1
0.2
0.2
0.9
1.1
0.6
0.7
0.7
1.0
1.2
1.0
0.5
0.7
0.4
0.7
0.6
0.4
0.3
 
1.7
4.9
4.6
0.3
8.7
 
3.3
51.1
5.1
1.0
3.0
6.3
2.6
11.3
4.0
2.7
6.9
2.0
1.5
2.9
12.0
8.5
13.0
268.0
5.7
1.5
2.7
5.1
2.1
1.7
29.9
0.1
1.8
1.7
1.4
1.6
1.9
1.8
2.1
1.6
3.2
2.8
2.4
3.8
2.0
4.1
2.5
2.2
3.6
1.2
2.1
0.6
3.6
2.0
2.9

Total

355,294,106 8,330   7,088  

 

French 5-franc pieces

Date

Number coined National Bank Ministry of Finance
Number found Proportion, 1 to 100,000 Number found Proportion, 1 to 100,000
an IV/V
an VI
an VII
an VIII
an IX
an X
an XI
1803
1804
1805
1806
1807
1808
1809
1810
1811
1812
1813
1814
1815
1816
1817
1818
1819
1820
1821
1822
1823
1824
1825
1826
1827
1828
1829
1830
1831
1832
1833
1834
1835
1836
1837
1838
1839
1840
1841
1842
1843
1844
1845
1846
1847
1848
1849
1850
1851
1852
1853
1854
1855
1856
1857
1858
1859
1861
1862
1863
1864
1865
1866
1867
1868
1869
1870
1871
1872
1873
1874
1875
1876
1877
1878
8,279,877
2,383,460
3,795,911
2,770,446
763,319
968,557
2,285,851
4,565,400
8,460,663
7,836,398
4,485,649
804,423
9,382,286
7,985,445
10,314,480
48,947,496
31,045,613
26,002,853
12,157,707
7,532,048
6,836,669
7,008,958
2,419,939
4,188,801
3,612,292
13,355,182
19,088,279
16,068,150
22,314,567
14,573,894
17,746,462
29,916,081
31,426,133
19,929,090
23,739,223
40,658,479
26,861,063
30,885,119
42,306,804
19,162,221
8,303,765
21,840,508
17,248,010
14,307,757
12,261,177
14,659,936
13,175,982
14,371,790
13,395,112
16,780,658
8,442,203
14,322,006
23,810,859
40,766,309
16,120,678
11,491,290
13,990,200
3,891,632
10,615
4,861,173
9,155,481
93,406
26,790
3,365
22,098
21,129
21,687
32,168
97,134
37,893
10,810,312
18,724,110
11,652,857
10,729,670
942,181
77,838
30,929,809
11,999,202
15,000,000
10,532,263
3,292,857
363,130
15
7
10
9
13
8
11
7
13
3
23
17
43
52
52
203
116
96
43
30
28
22
10
16
15
39
76
59
126
55
123
227
247
138
339
1,306
875
1,137
1,431
557
294
748
595
482
425
602
454
519
547
566
285
435
673
1,155
428
355
357
24
 
121
157
1
1
1
1
3
3
1
3
10
835
1,729
981
1,109
55
10
264
85
72
23
6
1
0.2
0.3
0.3
0.3
1.7
0.8
0.4
0.1
0.2
0.1
0.5
2.0
0.4
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.4
0.4
0.3
0.4
0.3
0.4
0.2
0.3
0.3
0.5
0.3
0.7
0.8
0.8
0.7
1.4
3.2
3.2
3.6
3.3
2.9
3.5
3.4
3.4
3.3
3.4
4.8
3.4
3.6
4.1
3.4
3.4
3.0
2.8
2.8
2.7
3.0
2.4
0.6
 
2.5
1.6
0.9
3.8
30.0
4.5
14.2
14.2
3.1
3.1
26.4
7.7
9.5
8.4
10.3
5.8
12.8
0.8
0.7
0.4
0.2
0.2
0.2
12
12
10
8
10
9
5
14
14
12
12
12
35
44
56
244
168
131
72
34
29
40
13
20
22
70
102
89
179
77
191
344
316
233
532
1,897
1,261
1,785
1,883
758
382
1,026
834
759
551
797
652
803
836
858
416
652
893
1,580
788
499
531
45
22
173
252
34
25
51
6
24
44
8
13
46
1,089
2,241
1,222
1,432
102
38
425
154
122
54
28
1
0.1
0.5
0.2
0.2
1.2
0.9
0.2
0.3
0.1
0.1
0.2
1.4
0.3
0.5
0.5
0.5
0.5
0.5
0.6
0.4
0.4
0.5
0.5
0.4
0.6
0.5
0.5
0.5
0.8
0.5
1.0
1.1
1.0
1.1
2.2
4.6
4.6
5.7
4.4
4.0
4.6
4.7
4.8
5.3
4.5
5.4
4.9
5.5
6.2
5.1
4.9
4.5
3.7
3.8
4.9
4.3
3.8
1.2
207.2
3.6
2.7
36.2
93.6
1,516.0
27.0
113.0
203.7
25.0
13.2
121.0
10.0
12.0
10.4
13.4
10.8
48.1
1.2
1.2
0.8
0.5
0.8
0.2
Total 1,012,120,094 21,993   7,088  

 

Return

Exhibit C.  Document presented by count Rusconi - Address of the Society of the Netherlands for the Promotion of Industry

To His Majesty the King :

Sire !  The Society of the Netherlands for the Promotion of Industry, assembled in General Convention at Deventer, has been seriously impressed with the danger which threatens the monetary circulation, not only of the Netherlands and their colonies, but of all civilized countries, by the great and ever increasing depreciation of Silver.

Industry, of which our society is the organ, has the deepest interest in seeing a good.  monetary system established.  The general assembly of our society has accordingly invited its Directors to submit the following considerations to the enlightened wisdom of its August Protector.

In 1847 our country enjoyed the good fortune to have bestowed on it a good monetary System, which introduced the Single Standard of Silver.  This law was not the result of purely speculative theories, nor of an exaggerated fear of the future depreciation of Gold, as has been often, though erroneously, stated; for the Gold deposits of California and Australia were not yet known in 1847.  That law was the expression of all that experience had taught us during the preceding thirty years; and for twenty-five years the Netherlands have been entirely satisfied with it.  We have now to deplore that the legislative measures of a great neighboring nation and the consequences which they have entailed on other nations are forcing our country to change its monetary legislation.

We, however, fully share the opinion of Your Majesty’s government that, under existing circumstances, the Netherlands ought to abandon the Silver Standard.  We have witnessed with regret the failure of former legislative propositions looking to that end, and have seen with satisfaction the adoption of the law of June 6, 1875, by virtue of which a Gold Coinage has been adopted side by side with our Coins of Silver, and that the interdict against coining Silver, except for account of the State, which had been decreed at an earlier date, is still maintained.

We, moreover, share the opinion of the government, that under existing circumstances the Netherlands have no other alternative than to adopt the Gold Standard.

There is, nevertheless, another state of things which seems to us much more desirable, but which does not depend exclusively upon the action of this country.  We mean an understanding, as far as possible to be arrived at, between civilized nations, for the adoption of the Double Standard, with a uniform proportion to represent the intrinsic value of Gold and Silver Coins.  For that proportion the ratio of fifteen and a half to one, commends itself in many ways.  To the universal adoption of that system we look for the most effectual means of checking the continued depreciation of Silver.  If the majority of influential States were to adopt it, we are persuaded that the value of Silver would rise again, after a certain interval, to its old level.

The present depreciation of Silver has, no doubt, been brought about by various causes.  British India, towards which for a long time past there has flowed a steady tide of Silver, is, at the present time, absorbing only a small quantity of that metal.  The Empire of Germany has also in store a very large quantity of demonetized Silver; and notwithstanding the prudent manner in which it is disposing of it, the certainty that this Silver must, sooner or later, come upon the market, depresses the price of Silver bullion.  The production of the Silver mines of North America has been largely developed in the last few years, while that of Gold is more or less stationary.  All these causes combined could not fail to exercise a very powerful influence on the value of Silver.  The first two are, perhaps, temporary; the third seems of a more permanent nature : there is, however, a fourth cause which is likely to exert a prolonged and depressing influence on the value of Silver, if steps are not taken to remove it.

We refer to the various changes which have been made, or which are in preparation, in the monetary legislation of different countries.  No sooner had Germany adopted the Gold Standard, than the Scandinavian States hastened to follow its example; the Netherlands have entered upon the same road, and the Latin Union is reducing in an energetic manner the fabrication of Silver Money.  Under the influence of all these legislative measures, we should have expected to see Silver fall in price, but the reality has gone far beyond what was anticipated.

During the thirty years which preceded the great development of Gold production in California and Australia the average annual price of standard Silver in the London market fluctuated only between 59^ to 59^ pence per ounce.  It would have been in the natural order of things that the discovery of those vast deposits of Gold would cause the price of that metal to decline, or, in other words, would have raised the price of Silver in a degree altogether exceptional.  This result was rendered the more probable by the fact that the immense quantity of Gold produced by California and Australia was added to a relatively small quantity of that metal previously distributed among the nations of the globe.  For this reason, we might have expected that the immense and rapid increase of Gold production would have caused a depreciation in its price, far more important than could have been visited on Silver by the development of the new North American mines, since the increased volume of Silver is substantially lost in the immense stock of that metal already existing, a stock which was estimated, in 1845, to be from forty to fifty times greater than that of Gold.

Nevertheless what did we see? In the period of five years, from 1852 to 1856, being that of the greatest Gold production, Gold of the value of about 2,000 millions of florins [$ 770,000,000] was produced, against a production of Silver of the value of about 525 millions [$ 202,125,000].  The total quantity of the precious metals extracted from the mines was composed of 79.2 %  of Gold to 20.8 %  of Silver.  Nevertheless the price of Silver did not advance above an average of sixty-one and a half pence.  It attained an average of sixty-two pence in 1859, which was not, however, the year of the greatest production,

In the period of five years, from 1871 to 1875, during which the mines of North America made the most rapid advance, the total production of Silver throughout the world is estimated at a value of 930 millions of florins [$ 358,000,000].

In this same period the production of Gold reached a figure of 1,500 millions of florins [$ 570,000,000].  Thus the total production of the precious metals was composed of 61.7 %  of Gold, and of 38.3 %  of Silver.

It is, therefore, apparent that the quantity of Silver injected into the circulation is increased in a much smaller proportion than was that of Gold at the earlier period.  Yet the fact remains that Silver gradually declined to 57f pence, preparatory to a sudden drop, at the beginning of this month (July, 1876), to the unprecedented price of 47 pence.

The cause which prevented Gold from undergoing the depreciation anticipated is well understood.  Almost all the Gold of California and Australia, as soon as it arrived in Europe, went into the French Mint, and was thence issued in coined Money to the amount of nearly 6 milliards of francs [$ 1,200,000,000].  It has been well said.  that the monetary system of France served as a parachute to the fall of Gold.  Now, in the case of silver, exactly the opposite has happened.  At the very juncture when Asia is absorbing less Silver than formerly, and when the production of the Silver mines of North America is increasing, the larger number of mints are closing their doors to Silver, or admitting it in very limited quantities.

The changes which have taken place in the monetary legislation of several countries appear to us to be the principal cause of the depreciation of Silver, and a cause which is of a permanent character.  But now that the cause of the evil is ascertained the remedy seems to us not difficult to discover.

If all civilized countries were to reopen their mints to Silver the same result would follow which formerly attended the increased production of Gold, and the value of Silver would resume an upward direction.

Of course no isolated country would willingly take the risk of seeing its Money of higher value exported and replaced by other Money more or less depreciated.

But this danger would disappear from the moment that all countries, or even the majority of countries, should agree to adopt the Double Standard with a uniform relation between Gold and Silver; that of fifteen and a half to one being, in our opinion, the most easily attainable.

Many distinguished economists, among whom it is sufficient to mention Wolowski, Courcelle-Seneuil, É. de Laveleye, Seyd, Cernuschi, and W. C. Mees, have maintained the position that if all civilized nations were to adopt the Double Standard, with a uniform proportion, a stability in the respective values of the two metals would be created, such as could not be attained in any other way.

While entertaining a very high respect for the opinion of the eminent authors who combat this position, we must, nevertheless, avow our belief that under existing circumstances the general adoption of the Double Standard, with the proportion of fifteen and a ‘half to one, would be the best, and perhaps the only method of preventing the disturbance which now threatens all monetary transactions, a disturbance the disastrous consequences of which are, perhaps, incalculable.

If a uniform legal proportion between the value of Gold and Silver were to be very generally adopted, it is evident that the expulsion of one of the metals, which, from accidental causes, might have acquired a higher value, and the admission of the other, which was relatively more or less depreciated in one of the countries of the large domain occupied by the Double Standard, would lead to a greater supply of the first metal and a greater demand for the second in other countries.  In this way the degree of fluctuations between the two metals, by extending it over a larger surface, would be reduced to a minimum.  We should enjoy, on a vast scale, the compensatory action which is peculiar to the Double Standard system.

Such is the result which might be anticipated from a general agreement between a great majority of civilized countries to adopt the Double Standard, with a uniform proportion between Gold and Silver.

The ratio of value between Gold and Silver would thus attain a degree of stability which, if not absolute, would certainly be very great.

The fluctuations in the power of acquisition, depending on variations in the comparative value of the two metals, would be reduced to a minimum.

Provision would be made beforehand against disturbances which will be inevitable, as long as important countries which adopt the Gold Standard continue to pour upon the market great quantities of their demonetized Silver.

A signal service would be rendered to the commerce between Europe and the countries of Asia, which always require great quantities of Silver for their national circulation, by giving a less fluctuating value to one of the principal elements which serve as the bases for exchange.

Finally, the resumption of specie payments in countries in which a legal-tender paper circulation still prevails, would be rendered easier.

In view of all the advantages which we have here enumerated, advantages which in our judgment are far from being imaginary, would it not be desirable to convene, at an early day, not a diplomatic Congress, but an International Monetary Conference, to which all governments might send men specially qualified, for the service, and most conversant with this subject?

To such a conference, the two following questions might be submitted :

Is it, or not, probable that if all civilized nations were to adopt the Double Standard, with a uniform proportion of fifteen and a half to one, as the intrinsic value of Gold and Silver Legal-Tender Money, a stability in the relative value of the two metals would be thus obtained during a long period of time, which, if not absolute, would certainly he very great; and that the oscillations in that value would 6e very small, compared with those which have taken place during the course of the present century.

If this question should be decided in the affirmative, what measures should be submitted to the several governments, in order to secure this desirable uniformity.

Without anticipating the answer which competent judges might give to these questions, we venture to express the opinion that it would not be desirable to agitate, at the same time, the question of the unification of Coinage.  Every country holds, with a certain tenacity, to its national Money, around which its historical traditions cluster;

and the attempt to combine on a new international monetary unit would meet with a formidable opposition in nearly all countries against any unification of Moneys.

The several countries should simply engage that if they have the Single Gold Standard they will add to it legal Coins of Silver; if they have the Silver Standard, that they will add to it legal Coins of Gold, with a uniform proportion of 15 ½ to 1.  Countries having the Double Standard, but a different proportion than that of 15 ½ to 1, would be required to conform to that proportion.  In all countries of the new monetary union all debts should be payable indifferently in Money of one or the other metal; individuals should have the right to have bullion of either metal converted.  into Legal-Tender Coins, according to the statutory conditions prevailing in each country.

The Monetary Conference might perhaps take into consideration the following question : Would it be possible, without detriment to the great object in view, and to the principle enunciated, to admit a certain tolerance in the proportion of 15 ½ to 1, in the same way that a certain limited tolerance is admitted in the weight and fineness of Coins ? Such a tolerance would probably render the adhesion of certain countries to the plan less difficult.  This is, however, a secondary question to which we call attention only subsidiarily.

Other questions might be treated by the Monetary Conference, as, for example, what would be the future of Silver from the time that all the great nations should adopt the Gold Standard ?  If all, on the contrary, were to unite on the Double Standard, would it be desirable to take international measures in respect to the expense of Coinage, to the counterfeiting of the Moneys of one country by the subjects of another, &c.?

The Monetary Conference having no other mission than to enlighten the Governments participating in it (the latter reserving to themselves entire liberty of action), could proceed with a certain degree of freedom, could throw light on different points of interest which the question involves, and could prepare the way, in some measure, for a diplomatic Congress, before which the questions to be settled would necessarily be more clearly defined and limited.

The government which shall gain the adhesion of other governments to the plan of convoking an International Monetary Conference will, in our opinion, render an eminent service, not only to its own citizens, but to all the countries of the world.

According to a communication made by the Minister of Finance, in the month of May, 1876, it appears that the government of Your Majesty has considered the plan of an international agreement, looking to the general adoption of the Double Standard, but has decided that all attempts in that direction would be without avail.  Since that time, however, the depreciation of Silver has gone as much farther than before, that a new attempt would, perhaps, meet with a more favorable reception.

We, nevertheless, admit the possibility that every effort for a general understanding may fail, and that it may, therefore, become necessary to give up all hope of seeing the Double Standard, with a uniform proportion between the intrinsic value of Gold and Silver Money, generally adopted.  If such should prove to be the case, the Society for the Promotion of Industry, without entering into details, ventures to express the opinion that it would be then desirable to put an end to the present transitional state of our monetary system, and to adopt definitively the Gold Standard.

As to the monetary system of our colonies in India, our Society takes the liberty of saying that this question demands a prompt solution, both in the interest of the circulating medium of the colonies and in that of the mother country.  We consider this matter too urgent to await the issue of international negotiations, and that it is desirable that a provisional law of the character of that of June 6,1875, should, without delay, be made the order of the day.

We share the opinion of those who recommend the following measures for protecting the Dutch Indian Colonies against such injury as British India is at the present moment sustaining from the extraordinary fall of Silver, namely, the admission of our ten-florin piece into the circulation of the Colonies, the export of Gold pieces by the Government to India as rapidly as the necessity for them is experienced; the issue of bills of exchange by the Government to counteract a possible rise in the exchange, an authorization to the Governor-General to sell limited amounts of Silver pieces as Your Majesty may direct, after having withdrawn them from circulation and placed them beyond the possibility of reissue.

These measures would have the advantage of being provisional merely, and of leaving the question open for future decision whether to adopt at a later period the Single Gold Standard or the Double Standard for the Colonies.  But if we would protect our Indian possessions against great disturbances, it is important that the provisional law touching the monetary system of these Colonies be brought under discussion without delay.

We pray Your Majesty to pardon us if the gravity of the subject has caused us to overstep the ordinary limits of an address.  The interests of commerce and of industry have always secured the most lively sympathy from Your Majesty.  They are more intimately allied to a good monetary system than is generally supposed.

We have the honor to be, with the most profound respect, Sire, Your Majesty’s very faithful and humble servants.

The directors of the society of the Netherlands for the promotion of industry,

VROLIK, President. 

F. W. VAN EEDEN, Secretary.

Haarlem, July, 1876.

 

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Exhibit D.  Note on the monetary legislation and on the fabrication of money in the Swiss Confederation since 1850

I. Legislation

Until the Constitution of 1848, the prerogative of Coinage appertained to the Cantons.  There had resulted from this a very imperfectly defined system, which was connected in the majority of the Cantons with the old Swiss franc.  This unit had not everywhere, the same value, hut represented on the average 1 fr.  40 cent.  of French Money; apart from a very great variety of indigenous Coin, old and new, quite insufficient in point of quantity to keep up the circulation of the country, the latter was chiefly composed of Silver Money of Austria, South Germany, and France.

The Swiss law of the 7th of May, 1850, put an end to this state of things, as motley as it was inconvenient.  It introduced as unit the French franc in Silver, gave legal currency only to Silver Coins coined conformably with the Law of Germinal, year XI, decreed the withdrawal of all the old Swiss Coins, and excluded Austrian and German Coins.

This system, established and consolidated with equal rapidity and ease, was disturbed by the constantly increasing invasion of Gold, which in a few years, notwithstanding the letter of the law, displaced the metal which had been deemed the basis of the Swiss circulation, and caused not only the five-franc dollars to disappear, but also all the fractional Silver Coins which were not worn or clipped.

A new law of the 31st January, 1860, then intervened to give Legal Tender to the Gold Coins coined conformably to the French system, and decreed the withdrawal of the old Silver pieces of 2 francs, 1 franc, and 50 centimes, coined at the standard of 9/10, replacing them by fractional pieces of a new kind, coined at a fineness of 8/10.

The report accompanying this law, signed by the committee of the National Council who had proposed all of these measures, showed explicitly, with full explanation, that the Single Gold Standard was the idea and consequence of these changes.  In 1865, Switzerland, with Belgium, France, and Italy, signed the Treaty of 23d December, which gave birth to the monetary union called Latin, and drawing closer the economic bonds between the four States, gave rise after the depreciation of Silver to a series of Conferences of which the first result was the limitation of the Coinage of 5-franc dollars, and the last, the entire suspension of the Coinage of these pieces.

II.  The coinage of Switzerland since 1850

I.  Fractional Silver Coins, 900 fine, in the years 1850-1851-1852 (Law of 1850)

In pieces of 2 francs
In pieces of 1 franc
In pieces of 50 centimes
fr.   5,000,000
5,750,000

2,250,000

Total

13,000,000

 

All this issue has been retired and the fractional Coins of the fineness of 900 are no longer Legal Tender.

II.  Issues of Fractional Coins of the Fineness of 800, years 1860-1863 (Law of 1860)
In pieces of 2 francs
In pieces of 1 franc
fr.   7,000,000
3,500,000
Total 10,500,000

 

These Coins have likewise been retired in conformity with the obligation imposed upon Switzerland by the Treaty of 1865, and are no longer Legal Tender.

The time of redemption, after various adjournments, expired June 30, 1878; up to which time 7,922,100 francs had been presented for redemption.

III.  Issues of fractional Coins of the Fineness of 835 (Treaty of 1865)

 

1875

1876

In pieces of 2 francs
In pieces of 1 franc
En pièces de 50 centimes
982,230
1,035,500
1,000,000
2,500,000
3,020,000
2,012,000

Total (including former issues)

11,032,000

 

IV.  Écus de 5 francs
1852
1873
1874

500,000
10,000
7,978,250

Total

8,488,250

 

Switzerland, since the law of 1860, which gave Legal Tender to Gold and placed, it in the first rank in the circulation, has never struck Gold Coins; her citizens preferring, in spite of a special law on the Coinage of Gold Coins, (December 22, 1870), to make use of the monetary establishments of Paris and Brussels, which are better situated geographically than the Mint at Berne.

 

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Exhibit E.  Documents relating to the coinage in the Scandinavian countries in virtue of the treaties of 18th October, 1872, and 27th May, 1873, and relating to their fiduciary circulation


[100 francs = 72 crowns]

1.  Fabrication at the Mint in Copenhagen to the 1st of July, 1878

 
Designation of the Coins Number of coins struck Value in crowns Total value
Gold

20 kr.
10 kr.

1,504,306
460,852

30,087,120.00
4,608,520.00

 
34,754,640.00

Silver

2 kr.
1 kr.
50 öre
25 öre
10 öre

4,876,475
3,323,327
4,000,000
8,138,500
10,361,278

9,753,950.00
3,323,327.00
2,000,000.00
2,034,625.00
1,036,127.80

 



18,148,229.80
Bronze

5 öre
2 öre
1 öre

2,969,625
11,875,718
9,383,284

148,481.25
237,514.36
93,832.84



479,828.45
Totals 54,900,065 53,382,698.25 53,382,698.25

 

 

2. Fabrication at the Mint in Stockholm to the 1st of July, 1878

Designation of the coins Number of coins struck Value in crowns Total value
Gold

20 kr.
10 kr.

1,211,305
686,081

24,226,100.00
6,860,810.00

 
31,086,910.00

Silver

2 kr.
1 kr.
50 öre
25 öre
10 öre

731,645
6,595,922
2,375,559
7,109,155
6,192,729

1,463,290.00
6,595,922.00
1,187,779.50
1,777,288.75
619,272.90





11,643,553.15

Bronze

5 öre
2 öre
1 öre

3,364,900
7,127,000
9,138,000

168,245.00
142,540.00
91,380.00



402,165.00

Totals 44,532,296 43,132,628.15 43,132,628.15

 

3. Fabrication at the Mint in Kongsberg to the 1st of July, 1878

Designation of the coins Number of coins struck Value in crowns Total value
Or

20 kr.
10 kr.

449,766
44,113

8,995,520.00
441,130.00


9,436,650.00

Argent 

2 kr.
1 kr.
50 öre
25 öre
10 öre

300,000
1,600,000
1,600,000
3,200,000
7,200,000

600,000.00
1,600,000.00
800,000.00
800,000.00
720,000.00





4,520,000.00

Bronze

5 öre
2 öre
1 öre

2,500,000
3,750,000
12,000,000

125,000.00
75,000.00
120,000.00



320,000.00

Totals 32,643,889 14,276,650.00 14,276,650.00

 

Total Coinage of fractional Tokens of Silver and of Bronze in the Scandinavian Monetary Union is therefore 35,513,776 kr. 40 öre = 49,324,689 francs, or per capita 4 kr. 25 öre = 5 fr. 91 centimes.

A certain number of fractional Coins of older mintage of the same value as the new are still in circulation in Sweden and Norway.

Credit Circulation in the three Scandinavian Kingdoms the 1st of July, 1878

  
  Credit circulation (in crowns) Metallic reserve (in crowns)
Denmark – National Bank
Sweden – Bank of the Kingdom
Sweden – Enskilda banks
Norway – National Bank
60,638,150
28,388,030
43,075,055
38,152,490
36,586,712
13,885,773
10,915,115
25,533,906
Total in crowns 170,253,725 86,921,506
Or in francs 236,463,507 120,724,314

 

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