The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, November 08, 1907, Page 2, Image 2

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asset currency in ivhatover form it may appear.
Th'by may 'also have to oppose' the great central:
batik Which is a part of a' scheme of the finan
ciers.' And they will find that the same influ
ences which are behind the asset currency and
the contral bank are behind the president's plan
for national incorporation of railroads. They
are all a:part of plutocracy's plan to increase its
hold upon the government.
What we need just now is not an emer
gency currency"uut greater security for dep'osi-'
tors. The depositors are scared unnecessarily
scared in most cases but scared. The govern
ment is going to recommend a postal savings
bank but 'according to press dispatches deposits
will riot -be accepted in excess of two hundred
and 'fifty dollars from any ono person. This is
g6od' as far as it goes, but it does not go far
enough. -All bank depositors should be made
to'ffeel secure and they could be made to feel
secure by a guaranty fund raised by a small
tax upon deposits. When depositors feel sure
of their monoy they will not care to withdraw
it and the money which would, be drawn from
hiding places would more than repay the banks
for the small tax nefcessary.
The ilrst thing is to release the public from
the grip of Wall Street and then when the stock
gambjlers have to suffer for their own sins in
stead of unloading them on the general public
we matf' expect leglslationVin the Interest of the
people at large.
OOOp ' . . -
'. ' A QUESTION 'OF RAjrfC, ' '!.
Tflm'an editorial entitled- 'What. is 3t""the
Walh Street Journal makes these interesting' re-
marks: "The cycle of panics is one which-has
for years excited the interest of economists and
financial writers, and as a rule ithas received
wide acceptance. This theory is that about
eyeny twenty years there . iB a major panic,' or
ahgceat commercial crisis' involvinga more or
less extended period of'industrial depression.
Midway between these twenty-year panics' there
come what might be called minor convulsions
largely confined .to the financial centers, and
only in comparatively small degree affecting the
general business of the country- Thus-in 1837
and 1857 there were two' great-panics separated4
exactjy twenty years from each other, while
midway between ' them in 1848, there was a
minor convulsion. In 1873, sixteen years after
the panic of 1857, there was another great
panic This, it will be observed, came four
years before the twenty-year period ,h,ad ex
pired. Exactly twenty years 'after, 1373, an-;,
other 'great panic developed, that of 1893v tie
tweeiT!L873and 1893 there was a minor con
vulsion,, in 1884. The question now is whether,
the crisis through which jve are passing is oq
of the major .panics or not. Strictly speaking,
following- the twenty-year rule, -a great panic
. WM.Vnqt due until 1913, so that, it this is. a
;t inatorconvuHlon, then it has . cpme" only four7
P?teen years after that of 189 3; Perhaps it mjght
.u sum tjiai mis was a minor panic, out what
shall he said -of the depression of 1903 which
was exactly 'ten years after that of 1893? If
this 1b, a major panic, then surely it must have,
coma like that of 1873, years ahead of time, al
though there has been every Teason to believe
that as the country grew stronger andricher the
periods between its financial breakdowns would
lengthen., If it is not a major panic, then what
Is it?"
Maybe this is just a captain panic a "cap
tain of industry" alias "defender of national
nonor'" sort of an affair.
' . oooo
The XansaB City Times (rep.) says: "The
kind of business the Roosevelt administration
has disturbed is the kind that sold for $1 000 -000
h. New York street railway that had no
existence except on paper; the kind that en
ables Standard Oil to secure marine rates just
half as high as those paid by its competitors
the kind the grafting insurance companies and
the railroads engaged in before they were called
to account; the kind that the food manufactur
ers permitted before they were made to clean
up and quit UBing poisons; in short the kind
that is known by the 'shorter and uglier' name
of graft just plain, everyday graft, practiced
on a large scale." .
But that is just the kind of "business" which
the republican party has habitually protected
and it is just that kind of "business" which-republican
leaders have palmed oft on the un
suspecting rank and file as representative of
the "business interests of the country," Nor
The. Commn.e.f
Iff .
can it be forgotten that no republican news
paper or conspicuous republican politician has
demanded that the republican secretary of the
treasury cause to be restored to the insurance
policyholders the considerable sum of money
traced to the republican national committee
while the present head of the treasury depart
ment was chairman of that political organiza
tion. OOOO
In December,' 1906, the "American Bankers'
Association in session at Washington City for
mally approved the plans for asset currency.
Associated- Press dispatches at the time said that
Mr. Fowler, then chairman of the house commit
tee on currency, and Comptroller of the Cur
rency Ridgley, attended the session, and "the
plans determined upon met with their full ap
proval." The Washington correspondent for the
Chicago Tribune said that "for the first time
in many years there is a-chance that the long
needed reform in the currency may be accom
plished." By "reform" is meant asset currency.
Whether it is known as emergency currency or
by some othor harmless sounding .name it is
the policy against which republican t papers
preached vigorously several years ago when it
was presented in the Fowler bill and the Aldrich
Heretofore republican papers have told us
there was not the slightest" danger of such a
measure being considered. Now it is plain that
the Associated Press, with its widespread facili
ties for getting' information or misinformation
before the people, is prepared to agitate in he
half of asset currency and to present the spe
cious argument half-fact and half-argument
in behalf of cyclone money. The people need
not be surprised if, under the stress of panicky
conditions, many who have heretofore opposed
asset currency will now favor it and that many
editors who' heretofore preached against -it will
now advocate it.
It is -plain the American Reople are face to
face with-a determined effort to force upon them
an asset currency, and this effort is to be made
by men who, a few years ago, protested vigor
ously against the restoration of bimetalism.
Then they protested against a "fifty cent dollar,"
but now they are pleading earnestly for a no
cent dollar. Then they wanted the money which
the people are to use to have "a solid and sub
stantial basis;" but now they want money issued
on wind and they want to furnish the wind.
It will be -well for the American people to
prepare for a systematic campaign along these
The Cincinnati Enquirer says: "The old
line democrats, and the greater number of those
Who are. young and spiritqd in the fight, will
not thank him (Mr. Bryan) for compliments
to Theodore Roosevelt who is the leader in those
things which .are arousing democrats from their
dormancy. , Pretty sentiments 'over the party
gaTden wall' , do very well under exceptional cir
cumstances, but thqy are only drawbacks when
a great battle is at hand."
The "pretty sentiments" to which the En
quirer refers was a statement from Mr. Bryan
as follows: "I notice that one of the officers
of a bank that closed its doors yesterday at
tributes it to the president. That is not the
Teason. Don't .blame the sheriff but blame the
horsethief. Don't blame the officials who make
and enforce the laws, but blame the criminals
who make the laws necessary. Blame the un
scrupulous financiers who have piled up preda
tory wealth and exploited a whole nation "
Mr, Bryan is quite willing to trust "old
line democrats" and young line democrats and
plain ordinary "one gallug democrats," to
sympathize with any protest made by an Amer
ican citizen when a coterie of financial tricksters
undertake to charge the president of the United
States with responsibility for results growine
out of their own evil doing.
An Associated Press dispatch from New
York under date of October 31 says: "It is
noted with interest by leading bankers that the
present scarcity of currency and the recourse
-which liad. "been had to the national banks' cir
culation are arousing unusual interest in the
plan far currency reform, which has been en
dorsed by the American Bankers' Association
This plan was adopted, in December of last year
after consultation wlth representatives of tii
New York chamber of commerce, and which
was presented to 'congress at that time ThS
plan did not receive the definite approval n?
the American Bankers' Association, however
until the meeting at Atlantic City, in September
last, but at that time it was endorsed by a nearly
unanimous vote, after strong arguments in its
favor by A. Bart Hepburn, president of the
Chase National bank of New York and Renre
sentative Charles N. Fowler, chairman of the
house committee on banking. The committee
. which framed the measure "was continued with
authority to take further action. It has not
-held a meeting since the convention at Atlantic
City, but some of the western members are
strongly desirous that such a meeting be called
at an early date., in .order to bring the subject
properly before congress, while public opinion
is aroused on the subject."
This means asset currency and asset cur
rency means that in addition to all of tho ad
vantages they now have national bankers are
to be given the privilege of issuing currency
on wind. The United States government will
stand for its redemption, but the currency prac
tically will he without security so far as the
bankers are concerned.
If this dispatch" had said that the financiers
who have so long schemed in favor of asset
'currency are now anxious to push that plan to
the front "in order to bring the subject prop
erly before congress while public opinion is
aroused on the subject" it would have come
nearer the truth. It is not the "western mem
bers" from whom this agitation comes; it is the
same old financial ..schemers who- are doing busi
ness at the same old stand; and they are calling
for asset currency at a time when they believe
that the people's helplessness will drive them
to the support of that measure.
Let Americans everywhere be warned in
time. Bo not, In this moment of financier-made
panic, yield to the temptation to give more
power to the special interests. Do not yield to
the temptation to surrender any more of the
money issuing functions of the government than
have already "been surrendered. Do not con
sent to the unpatriotic and unbusiness like pleas
of the men who, in '18 9 6,' pretended they were
fearful of the fifty cent dollar and are now
clamoring for a no-cent 'dollar which will give
them nower to expand or contract the volume
of the currency at their own will and without
cost to themselves.
. .... OOOO
The news that New York's police force has
been augmented by a number of "dog police"
from Belgium gives rise to considerable spec
ulation. Ar.e they bull dogs assigned for special
duty on Wall Street? Or are they bear dogs
assigned to the same duty? Perhaps they are
water spaniels, which, after all, would be more
to the purpose. And again, it may be that they
are pointer dogs. Wall 'Street has been in sore
need of some pointers for several months. On
second thought, perhaps shepherd dogs would be
more to the purpose, for Wall Street has cer
tainly missed a lot of "lambs" during the past
two or three weeks. The more one speculates
on this canine police idea asit relates to Wall
Street, the more one realizes the immense field
The Philadelphia Public .Ledger (republi
can), says: "Now, 'what will congress do? Shall
it at last Jake hold of this question manfully,
putting idle discussion behind it, and give the
country a currency which our expanded business
Interests require, or shall It continue to evade
the great issne? No better solution of this
problem was ever offered than that proposed
by the monetary commission which met at In
dianapolis during McKinley's administration,
under the xshairmanship of H. H. Hanna. This
body was composed of clear-sighted men. They
went into the question in a most thorough man
ner, pointed out the evils of the 'greenback'
founded upon a reserve, as well as the banking
currency founded upon government bonds,
which was born of tho exigencies of the civil
war. They recommended an, 'asset' bank cur
rency, approximately what we are compelled
to put out everywhere now, in the shape of
clearing house certificates. Some doctrinaires
have antagonized this proposal. They have
made other suggestions, and we. have frittered
the years away in senseless dehate. If we were
waiting for an object lesson, it is today at liana