The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, August 03, 1906, Page 14, Image 14

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The Commoner.
ftThe Fall in the Value of Gold
Tho Outlook, London, for July 14,
' prints from Moroton Frewon the fol
lowing lotter:
In your Ibsuo of June 30 there Is
an admirable article on "The Empire
and its Trade." You pointed out that
the exports of the United Kingdom
had increased from the sum of 240,
000,000 In 1874 to. 301,000,000 In
1904, an increase ofiy25 per cent. You
went on to show that the growth of
the exports in tho case of Germany
and the United States lias been on a
much more splendid scale. May I
venture to point out that in dealing
with the period under review any
figures based on the value of trade
must be very far from reliable? From
1874 tb 1896 average prices fell in
the ratio of 100 to 01, so that on the
scale of prices obtaining in 1874 the
volume of our exports must have
more than doubled to have attained
tho aggregate of 301,000,000 in 1896.
Mr. Sauerbeck's "index-numbers,"
which are published in the Times'
city column during the first week of
each month, are becoming of unusual
Interest. Since 1896 the depreciation!
of gold (in other words the rise of
prices) is just what we should expect
In consequence of the enormous' yield
of the world's gold mines. It is not
too much to say that never before
has there been such a continuous and
rapid rise of prices a rise of prices
which could only have originated in
a metallic inflation of the world's cur
rencies. The late Prof. Jevons wrote
(Inyestigations in Currency and Fi
nance, p. 101), of the much less 'rapid
fall in the value- of .gold which was
caused by the gold discoveries in
California and Australia, "The coun
try may be said to be calmly looking
on while every contract, including
that of the national debt, is being vio
lated against the intention, of the con
tracting parties."
Mr. Sauerbeck's index-number, ob
standard of value and exchange to
reward the labors of a wiser genera
tion. In the meantime we must be
content, as Jevons expresBed it, to
"calmly look on while every contract,
including that of the national debt,
is .being violated."
But to the "silver men" of 1896 let
me only point out that, in Wolowski's
phrase, silver (the legal tender silver
money of Europe) was after the groat
gold discoveries of 1849, "the para
chute which broke the fall of gold."
What Wolowski meant was this:
Three hundred million pounds sterling
of gold pouring into Europe inflated
our currencies, and raised European
prices, and thus all the exports from
Asia were magnetised by those higher
prices which awaited them here. So
that the trade balances immediately
turned in favor of Asia, thus -correcting
currency inflation here by melting
up and drawing Europe's legal tender
silver into the east. But today in
Europe there is no longer any silver
"parachute" to break the fall of gold,
because there is no longer any legal
tender silver to be taken away at
"molting- pot prices." Throughout
Europe and America, therefore, the
metallic inflation of the next quarter
of a century is likely to raise a prodi-l
gious clamor on tne part or tne credi
tor classes. It is probable that the
legislatures of the great creditor com
munities may be importuned to- de-'
monetize gold, and that the supreme
virtue of comparative stability may be
ascribed to silver monometallism. And
if this remarkable Nemesis awaits the
aforetime "gold bugs" it may well be
that Mr. Bryan, the tone and temper
of whose mind is conservative, or at
least anti-empirical to a fault, may in
the evening of his career find himself
ranged on the side of those who seek
palliatives for inflation. "No ques
tion." said the late Mr. James G.
Blaine, "is settled nntil it is settled
hood of any nation persisting in hos
tilities contrary to its recommenda
tions would be remote.
The point at which this is particu
larly aimed is the oft recurring and
ever threatening source 6i trouble,
national honor. This is one of the
questions which The Hague conven
tion does not attempt to settle. The
merits of a case where national honor
is concerned are not easy of decision
by the parties concerned., A review
of the case by a mutually friendly
power may often smooth over the dif
ficulties and avoid necessity for resort
to arms. A nation would hardly rush
into war in the name of honor when
a friendly power had already decided
that honor was not at stake. Honor
should be best conserved In yielding
to the cause of peace and abiding by
the terms suggested by the mediator.
The new article will be submitted
for approval at the next meeting of
The Hague peace conference and if
adopted there may be regarded as
one of the most practical in the com
pact and one of the most far reach
ing. It vitalizes the whole and puts
it on a working basis where it can
accomplish the ends sought as it has
never been able to do before. Sioux
City (Iowa) Journal (Rep).
tained by striking the average price aright;" a currency system which was
of forty-five leading commodities, contingent first on the modesty of
Bive.s ior me average or. me yearB nature, and which is today threaten-1867-1877,
100; 1896, 61; May 1906, 77. mg to revolutionize prices because a
In other words, tne amount of pro- chemist discovered the efficiency of a
ducts which in 1896 would have pur
chased sixty-one sovereigns would in
1906 purchase seventy-seven sover
eigns. So that, had the volume of our
weak solution of cyanide, is today
"settled," not because it is a right set
tlement, but only because the advo
cates of currency contraction in 1896
iBua. o uiu.,, uu.u me vuiuu;e ui uiu cates of currency contraction in 1896
exports for the past ten years failed burned their boats. The conundrum
to expand at all, yet the sterling value
of these exports would have shown an
increase of over 25 per cent. I have
not a statistical abstract at hand, but
; . If I could supplement my letter with
a footnote showing what the exports
of 1905 would be compared with 1896,
at the prices obtaining in 1896 the
statement would be very illuminatinc.
There is every reason to anticipate
that prices during the next fifteen
years will rise enormously will re
vert to the price-level (equals 100)
of the decade 1867-1877. This rise of
prices will bo unfairly ascribed to
the operations of trusts and to the
advance which should equitably take
place in railway and steamship rates.
The real reason, however, will be in
the depreciation of gold by reason of
Its abundance. So .recently as 1883
the yield of the mines was only 4,
614,588 ounces, while for 1905 it was
18,211,419 ounces.
One word more. In your editorial
notes of this week you forecast that
Mr. Bryan is likely 'to reach the White
House if, as you conjecture, he has
"recanted" of his "free silver hero-
sies." If. Mr. Bryan in 1896 and bi
metallists the world over merely de
sired "inflation," they have since got
inflation with a vengeance, and in
evitably a far vaster inflation awaits
' us. If, however, we wanted steadier
prices and fixity of exchange between
yellow men with white money and
white taen with yellow money, then
- we haveXnot got it, and we leave that
interesting issuenamely, a scientific
of the late Prof. Bonamy Price, "what
is a pound," is likely only a little later
to again perplex men's minds. I am,
Sir, yours, etc.,
Brede, July 8.
Mr. Bryan has done a remarkable
piece of work in the inter-parliamentary
council. He has secured the
adoption of an article that, if ac
cepted by the nations that have signed
The Hague arbitration convention,
Will work potently for the cause of
international peace. The new article
brings the work of securing arbitra
tion down out of the clouds and makes
a business proposition out of it. It
places belligerently inclined nations
in a most embarrassing position if
mey uo not Incline to reason.
The amendment provides that if n.
disagreement between nations arises
upon other grounds than those cov
ered by the present articles of arbi
tration, they shall not commence hos
tilities till they have talked it over
with some friendly power. Either
party, or the two jointly, shall ask
investigation of the question by one
or more friendly nations, and they
shall keep their hands off each other
till the matter has been properly gone
into. Though the adjudication would
not have tho binding force of a deri
sion of The Hague tribunal the moral
A good deal of indignation, real or
simulated, is worked up in the higher
circles of Pennsylvania politics over
a collection of portrait busts dis
played upon the bronze doors of the
new State House at. Harrisburg.
Architectural jokes of this sort are of
frequent occurrence. A good deal of
chiselling had to be done upon the
facade of our Public Library a few
years after the completion "of the
building to obliterate the acrostic
spelling of the names of its architects
up and down the catalogue of great
men of all ages there inscribed. And
today, deftly worked in among the
decorative carving on one of the fine
business' blocks in Boston, may be dis
covered the emblem of the pawn
broker, the triple balls, a sly refer
ence by the artist designer to the
source of the fortune of the owner.
Yale men whose class numbers run
back anywhere in the sixties will re
call the fine square church tower on
Chaple street, in whose irregular
ashler were figured plainly and neat
ly, at regular spaces, every ace in the
pack save one. Tradition had it that
the architect perpetrating this irrev
erent joke fell from the scaffolding
when on a visit of inspection, and
the trefoil never was set. The other
aces were broken out with some dif
ficulty a number of years ago. Bos
ton Post.
PATENTS SECfe,V., ouvzk
Ifroo report as to Patentability, Illustrated Pnii
Hook, and LlBt of Inventions Want "d sSnt fr lo
Positions Secured
rnTi&J? Refunded
ter any time, select stu
dies. Send for free Cata
loifor JLu11 Information
Allen Mooro, Pros.,
Chillicothe, Mo.
State Course Dosirod
T" 11 TLeJii i TTtWl t m I
Opportunities in
South Dakota
Rich toll, a mild cllmato and abundanro of
vratorhavo mado South Dakota ono of tho
host agricultural states In tho Union. Tho
soil of Lyman County Is unusually rich. Tho
oxtenslon through Lyman County roccntly
built by tho
has opened up a part of tho state hlthorto
sparsoly settled. Now towns aro being op
onodup and land values aro Increasing rap
idly. Bond for tho now book on South Dako
ta. A postal to tho underslgnod will bring
it. Low rates to all points in South Dakota
ovory Tuesday.
F. A. NASH, General Western Agent,
1524 Farnam Street, Omaha, Nobr.
A brakeman retired to a farm and
started to lead the simple life. Hav
ing a piece pf new land to break, he
hitched up a team of mules, wrapped
tho lines around his waist in farmer
fashion and started to work. He had
gone but. a short distance when he
saw a stump ahead and immediately
began giving the railroad "stop" sig
nal with both hands. The plow struck
the stump and the brakeman went
head first over the plow. Picking him
self up, he ran angrily to the mules
and roared. "You flop-eared scound
rels, don't you ever look back for a
signal?" Atchison Globe.
Subscribes' Advertising Department
This department is for tho exclu
sive use of Commoner subscribers,
and a special rate of six cents a
word per insertion the lowest rato
has been made for them. Address
all communications to The Com
moner, .Lincoln, Nebraska.
X.J movement, fitted In 20 year open face
cose. $9.49, send for our watch catalogue. Ad
dress. G. H. Goodwin Co.. Tracy, Minn.
X! farm and coal lands write L. 0. McNabb
Paris, Ark.
opportunities of the Southwest, send for
free copy of our paper. Write to Rural
Home," Thayer. Kans.
S. E. Moore, Lexington, Ky.
Cure by absorption. No patent medlclno
and no danger. Thirty days' treatment free.
This offer good till Aug. 20th, 1900, Dr. J. W.
Binoldey, Kenton, Ohio.
The professor of botany paused un
der an oak ,and the yourig girls in
white grouped themselves prettily
about him.
sum oi ine wague tribunal the moral "To tell time by the flowers" he
Wt would be such that the likeli- said-you aCiaall be 2te to do
that. Think how convenient
would be at this season. .
"It is 5 a. m. when the sow thistle
opens. It is 5:30 when the dande
lion opens. It is seven when the
white lily opens. It is 8 when tho
hawkweed opens.
"At, 11:12 a. rrr. the sow thistle
closes. At noon precisely the yellow
goat's beard closes. At 2 p. m. the
hawkweed closes. At 5 the white
lily closes. The dandelion, closes at 8
"Since Pliny's time forty-six flowers
have been known to open and shut
with great punctuality at certain
hours of the day and night. It would
be possible, with a little labor, to con
struct a garden whose flowers, folding
and unfolding, would make a first-rato
clock." Philadelphia Bulletin.