Front Page Titles (by Subject) Part III, Chapter XVII: Cessation of Silver Purchases, 1893 - The History of Bimetallism in the United States
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Part III, Chapter XVII: Cessation of Silver Purchases, 1893 - J. Laurence Laughlin, The History of Bimetallism in the United States 
The History of Bimetallism in the United States (New York: D. Appleton, 1898). 4th ed.
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Part III, Chapter XVII
Cessation of Silver Purchases, 1893
§ 1. The real difficulty with the currency in recent years was due, in my judgment, to the prolonged agitation in regard to the standard. The persistent attempts of the silver party to pass drastic measures through Congress excited alarm. The failure to properly understand the essential functions of money masked the real cause of trouble, for the public was constantly forced to hear discussions of the dependence of prices on the quantity of money, the need of more money, and the like. In this agitation concerning the standard was disclosed some misunderstanding of the fundamental principles of money.
Since recent events—to my mind at least—indicate a failure to distinguish between two different functions of money, it will be advisable to make perfectly clear the basis for such a distinction. The two things to be kept distinct are: (1) The undisturbed maintenance of the standard, or common denominator, for prices and contracts; and (2) the means by which goods are exchanged. The stability of the standard is a matter quite distinct from the determination as to how much of this or that kind of money is needed as a medium of exchange. The standard in which prices are expressed should not be confounded with the machinery by which goods (whose relative values are already expressed in the standard money) are exchanged.77
A perfect standard of value, as every economist knows, is unattainable. Neither gold nor silver is a perfect standard, because price is a relation; and this relation may be altered either by causes affecting the money side, or by causes affecting the goods side of the comparison. Gold and silver have in fact been used as standards in default of better ones; silver having been mainly so regarded up to 1850, and gold having been largely so employed since 1850. Prices, with which every man of affairs has to deal, are affected by all the various influences touching not only the goods side, but the money side of the ratio. Prices, consequently, are modified (1) by an increase or diminution in the supply of money, (2) by an increase or diminution in the demand for the money material, or (3) by an increase or diminution in the cost of producing the goods exchanged against money. It is evident, then, that there are many natural and unavoidable causes at work on both gold and silver to modify their relation to goods, and thus to affect prices. Changes in prices are sure to arise from the numerous causes here set forth, over which legislation can have no control. The business community has enough to do to watch for and guard against changes arising from natural causes affecting the demand and supply of money and the vicissitudes of cost of production. It has not only a right to be saved from legislative artificial changes in the standard; but it will be incensed beyond endurance if such legislation is the result of political intrigue and campaign bargains. It is ready to demand in a very ugly humor that it shall no longer be worried by unnatural legislative changes in the common denominator itself.
But, more than this, gold is not the same kind of article as silver for monetary purposes, and the forces affecting the value of gold work differently from those which affect the value of silver. Gold is heavier than silver: gold is thirty times as valuable as silver, weight for weight: gold is needed for large denominations of coin; silver for small denominations. Therefore, for monetary uses, gold and silver are not homogeneous; a demand for money in general can not be satisfied indifferently by either gold or silver, since monetary needs differ among different people. Gold and silver are not interchangeable as money, any more than corn and wheat are interchangeable as food: both corn and wheat may serve as food, but corn-meal and flour will never be the same, will never equally please all palates, and will never be in demand equally the one for the other. The difference between gold and silver is still more pronounced. From the simple fact that gold is a metal different from silver, the conditions affecting the demand and supply of gold are different from those affecting the demand and supply of silver. The main supplies of gold come from regions other than those which furnish silver: the largest deposits of gold have been found in California, Australia, South Africa, and parts of the Rocky Mountains; while the largest finds of silver have been in Mexico, South America, and Nevada. From this brief summary of facts it must be evident why a standard of silver must inevitably be wholly different from one of gold. From the point of view of the function of money as a standard, every one must admit that the two are not homogeneous.
The logical consequences of these facts are momentous to our present discussion. If, in this country, gold should happen to have long been the common denominator with which all goods had been habitually compared; and if as a consequence prices and contracts had during this long period been expressed in gold (for this has been true of gold legally and in fact since 1834, except in the paper period of 1862-79)—then it follows that any attempt to change from an existing gold standard to one of depreciated paper, or to one of silver, having its own peculiar conditions of value, would have the destructive effect of a monetary earthquake. It would cause an upheaval of all prices and contracts not specifically expressed in gold. After having adapted itself to one metal, the business public must go through the trying process of learning how to adat itself to a new metallic denominator. Here is the destructive influence of a change. And, as Nature abhors a vacuum, the world of trade abhors change. The business community demands conditions in which it can clearly see a short distance ahead. Whatever be the length of time involved in a productive process—such as between buying the wool and marketing the finished woolen goods, or between buying iron and completing the house or bridge—men of affairs must be protected against unnecessary changes in the common denominator in which their sales and orders are expressed.
All this exposition seems so very elementary that I shall probably be taken to task for it; but the astounding fact remains that our Solons have for seventeen years (or since 1878) been straining the very timbers of the ship of state in a frantic—and, from a business point of view, an insane—attempt to tamper with the standard. A concerted and continuous effort to render the country uncertain as to the permanence of its standard, actually kept up for seventeen years, and embodied in national legislation, seems like a piece of folly too gross to be true in a modern civilized state; but that is the exact truth of the United States. Since 1878 we have not intermitted the policy, forced on us by selfish private interests, to keep steadily before us the possibility of a change from the gold to the silver standard. Since 1878 it must be recorded that there has never been a period of absolute certainty; there has never been a period when a producer could feel so entirely sure of the standard of payments that he could, without fear or hesitation, make his estimates a few years ahead.
A correct analysis of the situation, therefore, in my judgment, discloses the fact that the cause of all our monetary disturbances is not one connected with a medium of exchange, but one concerning the maintenance of a definite measure, or, common denominator, in which prices and contracts are expressed. It is not now a question as to how much, but what kind of money we shall have. It was the doubt as to what kind of money, or what standard, we were to have which brought us the panic of 1893. Politicians, manœuvring for party advantage, have been playing the game of tampering-with-the-standard at Washington, while the crippled industries of the land were burying their dead.
§ 2. The story of our standard since the Civil War is one of the most humiliating chapters of our monetary history; and that is saying a great deal. It was on December 31, 1861, that specie payments were suspended, after a long experience on a gold basis, since about 1834. In 1862 the Government made the error of trying to get a loan without interest by issuing irredeemable paper. The inability to understand that the interest on $450,000,000 was a small matter compared with the confusion produced in prices and credit by changing the standard from gold to a paper of dubious value (behind which there was not a dollar of reserve) was severely punished by disaster. The greenbacks then issued depreciated even 65 per cent. Without going into the subsequent history of this depreciated paper standard, it is sufficient to recall that, in 1875, the Resumption Act was passed, under the provisions of which a sufficient gold reserve was collected, and specie payments were resumed January 1, 1879. After a seventeen years' wandering in the wilderness of uncertainty, we returned to the same gold standard which had existed previous to the war. This return, however, was accomplished only after painful sacrifices which convulsed the country; but the result has proved well worth the cost.
Prosperity and credit have been chilled by every slightest suggestion of doubt as to the maintenance of this standard. Strange to say, with fatuous lack of judgment, the fixity of the standard had not been actually established before operations were started to undermine it. After resumption was attained, its guardians seemed to forget to care for it; and from 1878 to the present day the country has suffered under constant and repeated attempts to change the standard. Knowing the necessity of fixity in the standard for business prosperity, why have we allowed it to be constantly threatened? The first serious threat to it stability began with the Bland-Allison Act, in February, 1878. It will be remembered that the Bland Bill, as it passed the House, was a free-coinage measure. It is true that the fangs of the bill were drawn by Mr. Allison in the Senate; otherwise, if passed, the standard would have been changed front gold to silver in the twinkling of an eye. But although we were saved by the Senate, the uncertainty produced by the agitation remained. The ill results have been far greater than is generally supposed. If a free-silver measure—meaning a complete transition to the silver standard—could pass one House, why might it not pass both houses in the future? The Senate to-day (1896) would not save us from free silver, our whole reliance being on the lower House and on the Executive. This uneasiness once aroused, although partially allayed for short periods, is ever present. It leaves the business system in a highly nervous condition, as after a bad attack of monetary grippe; and ordinary emergencies are magnified by the unhealthy conditions.
Under the operations of the Bland-Allison Act, the country received serious shocks to its confidence in the fixity of the standard, and especially in 1884-1886. This arose, as previously explained, from doubts as to the condition of the gold reserves in the Treasury. The Government can maintain gold payments only if it has gold with which to pay. But in the years 1884-1886, so great was the distrust in the ability of the Treasury to breast the stream of silver coinage, that the usual supplies of gold ceased to flow in through payments of revenue: gold was held back, and other kinds of money were sent in instead. The flood of silver choked the inlets to the Treasury; and a panic was narrowly averted. Finally, by making a vacuum for silver money in the general circulation, the stream of silver was prevented from overflowing the Treasury, and confidence was again temporarily established. By October, 1886, gold was once more freely paid into the Treasury for public dues. (See Chart XX for the result since 1886.)
During this period of disturbance the net gold in the Treasury fell to within about $15,000,000 of the reserve of $100,000,000, then regarded as the danger line. It is of present interest, however, to note that this reduction of gold had no connection with deficits between national income and expenditure; for the surplus in each year was as follows: in 1884, $57,603,396; in 1885, $17,859,735; in 1886, $93,956,583. No device for increasing the revenue would at that time have been considered for a moment as helping to restore the confidence in the standard. There was no question of a lack of revenue in other kinds of money than gold; there was money in abundance in the Treasury, but not money of the right hind. The difficulties of the tin time arose solely from a fear that the standard might be changed from gold to silver; and this fear was distinctly reflected in the nature of the payments by the public into the Treasury. Gold was withheld, and other forms of money sent in for dues.
When it had been once shown, by the administration of the Bland-Allison Act, that the annual coinage of silver could be kept from choking up the Treasury, a period of four years of monetary quiet ensued, except in so far as ineffective silver agitation during these years may have disturbed the situation. The uncertainty as to the standard was again temporarily removed; but vigilance was still necessary. The net gold reserves in the Treasury were fully adequate, remaining during this period at from $150,000,000 to $200,000,000. Large reserves like this, so long as they existed, removed all anxiety. It was not essential to the situation in 1887-1890 that the revenues supplied a surplus; for a surplus, as was shown, had existed when the troubles of 1884-1886 were upon us. In short, the surplus theory gives us no explanation of the history in those years; the source of evil was elsewhere.
The success in warding off the dangers to the standard inherent in the Bland-Allison Act seemed to encourage the belief that the country could take more and greater risks with impunity. In l890 Congress redoubled its sinister attempts to pry up the foundations of our monetary system. Congress passed, and President Harrison signed, July 14, 1890, the so-called Sherman Act, which nearly doubled our purchases of silver, and thereby increased the difficulties of maintaining our existing standard, which in 1884-1886 had almost succumbed to the operations of the Bland-Allison Act. We might have carried the burdens of the latter lay vigilance and skill, but the additional weight of the Act of 1890 brought us humiliation and enormous losses. The question of the standard was opened all anew: from the very passage of the act dates the steady decline in the percentage of gold paid into the Treasury for public dues (see Chart XX) from which we have not since recovered; from it dates the steady decline in the amount of the Treasury balances, and the swift collapse of the net gold reserve (see Chart XIX); and from that time began the heaping up of the explosives which burst out in the fearful monetary catastrophe of 1893. It was not a question of sufficient revenue; for we had no deficits to the end of the fiscal year of 1893, which included the outbreak of the panic. The cause of disaster seems to have been the unspeakable blindness to the folly of tampering with the standard.
The free-coinage agitation, directed openly against the standard on which we have done business since 1834 (excepting the paper period, 1802-1879), unsettled confidence at home and abroad in the stability of our monetary policy. No one could know that contracts entered into when a dollar stood for 100 cents in gold might not be paid off in silver which stood for 50 cents on a dollar. That was the predicament in which every investor found himself who had an obligation payable only in "coin" and not in gold.
That is the reason, too, why Government bonds would be more desirable to investors if made specifically payable in gold. Objectors may say that it destroys credit in our bonds to introduce this clause, because it raises the question which ought to be taken for granted—that the "coin" bonds are to be paid in the best money. But this answer is conclusively falsified by the very facts of past and present distrust as to our monetary policy, and by the utter impossibility of predicating that coming Congresses and their constituents will be any more sane than they have been in the past. How does any one know that the Treasury will always pay gold, when a majority of the Senate in 1896 would destroy the gold standard in a moment if it could?
§ 3. The same reasons which led Americans to distrust the stability of the gold standard affected Europeans who held our securities. In the very nature of things, they would try to dispose of these securities before the gold standard was abandoned, and a very general distrust and large sales would certainly cause a fall in prices of obligations and general depression, if not worse. When all are affected by the same fear, and all are selling, a panic is to be expected.
The extent of the foreign distrust of our monetary situation was measured by the amounts of our securities sent home, and the consequent exportation of gold to pay for them. In brief, this was a withdrawal of capital from the United States, and, of course, if withdrawn, it must go back in that kind of money, which was equally good abroad and at home—gold. In 1891 the net exports of gold amounted to $68,130,087. The Baring failure, moreover, required London to sell securities marketable in other places, and many of the best stocks and bonds were sold here to help hard-pressed merchants in London over the crisis. The American crops were large and in great demand for export. Indeed, in 1892 the excess of exports of merchandise was over $200;000,000. And yet no gold came back in payment of these enormous exports, for the reason that Europeans were alarmed, and sent back securities as an offset to food purchased from us—that is, the silver specter prevented our circulation from filling up normally with gold. And it did more than that: in addition, it sent gold out of the country. There could be but one result of this condition of affairs if long continued. As the gold reserve of the Treasury must bear the strain, it must soon become exhausted. Both home and foreign demands reduced the Treasury reserve, already weakened. When the gold reserve should go below the danger point, the demand for gold before the silver standard was reached would result in the withdrawal of gold from circulation, and thereby produce a contraction of the currency. The limit of $100,000,000 had been always regarded as sacredly kept for redemption of United States notes.78
The panic came in 1893, but it did not break out until—for the first time since the resumption of specie payments in 1879—the net gold reserve fell below $100,000,000. In April, 1893, this traditional amount was broken into, and then the unrestrained fear as to the standard of payments culminated in a panic. Safety disappeared and chaos reigned. As there was a universal desire to exchange property for gold, it seemed as if gold was scarce; in reality, it was an abnormal offer of property for sale brought on by a fear of the silver standard. It is not now my purpose to explain in full the causes and progress of the panic of 1893; suffice it to say, it was a standard panic. It was not caused by any scarcity of money; so far as that factor could be said to have entered, it was only a consequence, not a cause, of the panic. The dominating cause was the final culmination of the long-felt uncertainty as to the fixity of the gold standard, which had been operating since 1878 and had been intensified since 1890. It was the perfectly natural fear—natural after what had appeared in our legislation—that, before securities could be sold and realized upon, silver would take the place of gold as the standard of payments. This was the reason of the frightful rapidity with which the gold reserve fell during the latter part of 1892 and early in 1893 (see Chart XIX). The decline of the general Treasury balance followed the inevitable diminution of revenue due to the panic. The gold reserve was not low because the balance was low. That is a complete inversion of cause and effect. The true sequence was as follows: The distrust of the standard, caused by wild legislation, diminished gold payments into the Treasury; that lowered the gold reserve; that produced a reflex influence on a public confidence already impaired; the probability that the Treasury could not long maintain gold payments brought on the rush to sell; the panic caused the falling off in the general revenues and in the Treasury balance. For to July 1, 1893—after the panic broke out—there was no deficit. To suppose that more revenue would have saved the gold reserve at the end of 1893 is, in my judgment, sophistical. The true cause was the tampering with the standard.
§ 4. An uprising of public sentiment against our silver legislation, due to the panic of 1893, was the force which swept that legislation out of existence. Seldom in our history has anything been more dramatic. Congress was supposed to have a majority in both Houses favoring silver, and yet such a general consensus of belief existed throughout the business world that our silver laws had brought on the panic that the great wave of indignation swept everything before it. President Cleveland called an extra session of Congress for August 7th, and on the 21st a bill repealing the purchase clause of the Act of 1890 passed the House by the extraordinary vote of 239 to 108. The public feeling was very ugly, and grew stormy with impatience while the Senate delayed action on the bill for over two months. There was a great wrench of former political relations; the strong influence of President Cleveland conquered, and on October 30th the bill passed the Senate by a vote of 43 to 32. November 1, 1893, the bill became a law, and the date is memorable as marking the close of a long period of fifteen years' folly in the purchase of silver. It is a policy unique in monetary history; it is unequaled for audacious disregard of all sound reasoning and of the experience of the last.
It might be said that since the Sherman Act brought us disaster, its repeal ought to restore prosperity. It is to be borne in mind, however, that it was the existing accumulations of silver heaping up since 1878 which finally brought us destruction, and all that weight is still bearing down upon our financial mechanism. The question now is, Can we carry the present silver burden?
Moreover, although repealed, the Sherman Act still remained with us in the form of $150,818,582 (November 1, 1893) of Treasury notes issued under its provisions, which requires that the "Secretary of the Treasury shall, under such regulations as he may prescribe, redeem such notes in gold or silver coin, at his discretion, it being the established policy of the United States to maintain the two metals at a parity with each other upon the present legal ratio," etc. Hence the Secretary must always be ready to redeem these notes in gold; for a discrimination against them would create two standards of money—one redeemable in gold, another in silver. Consequently, these notes created an additional demand on a gold reserve already too small even for the greenbacks. Under such circumstances the doubts as to the fixity of the standard must still remain. The reserve could not possibly serve for a sudden emergency, such as a threat of war against Great Britain. To mean anything, redemption must redeem on any and all occasions. Anything short of this is a share.
It has been urged in some quarters that the dwindling gold reserve was due to the deficits of our budgets; that, if the revenue were increased sufficiently, the gold reserve could be maintained intact. There are two ways by which the Treasury can obtain gold: (1) Through the receipts from revenue; or (2), just as blankets or shoes can be got, by purchase through the offer of bonds or their equivalent. It has been shown that the first and normal source of supply had been entirely cut off; and hence the reserve could be replenished in only one other way, so long as the existing distrust continues—and that is by the sale of bonds. No matter how much more revenue be raised, no matter how much larger the mere surplus of income over expenditure may be, the gold reserve could not be maintained if that greater revenue and that larger surplus consisted of greenbacks or silver money—the very objects to be redeemed. To increase taxes, to swell out the surplus, would not avert our monetary danger unless thereby a change were made in the kind of money paid into the Treasury. It seems like a joke to say that increasing taxes would increase confidence in the standard, when no gold could come in from an increased revenue, as things then stood.
From 1890 to the end of 1893 the steady fall of the net gold reserve was accompanied by a fall of the Treasury balance; but whether the balance was large or small, it was during this time largely made up of gold. From the end of 1893, however, a very different condition of things appeared. The balances were increased by the sale of bonds for gold; and yet gold continued to escape. The wide discrepancy between the Treasury balances and the net gold showed that the resources of the Government were ample, but that these resources were not made up of the right kind of money. Two years of experience proved that increasing Government balances did not insure a stable gold reserve, even though the increased balances were caused by the direct purchase of gold by the sale of bonds. Now, on the other hand, if the increased balances had been produced by a mere increase of revenue, when the revenue was sure not to be paid in gold, how much less ground was there for supposing that the gold reserve could have been maintained! If it were wrong to have used, even indirectly, for the general demands on the Treasury, the proceeds of the sale of bonds intended only to supply the gold reserve, it must be apparent that the deficits, whatever they were, have been already met by the new funds covered in to the Treasury. If the deficits have been paid by the proceeds of the bonds, and yet the gold reserve were still threatened, it would be nonsense to propose to increase the revenue to pay off deficits already met, in order to protect a gold reserve already shown to be uninfluenced by increased Treasury balances.
The Treasury had money, but not the proper kind of money. The situation resembled that of a body of troops suddenly surrounded by the enemy: their supply of ammunition is running low, when they are startled by the announcement that, although the wagons contain an abundance of cartridges of a different size, there are only a few that fit their rifles. Just as the proper cartridges give out, the enemy presses in on them; but they can make no resistance—with useless ammunition. So it is with the Treasury: when its stock of gold ran low, it could not defend itself with silver or paper; for that would be a confession of bankruptcy, and a public notice that an end of solvency had been reached.
It may be true that the notes once redeemed by the gold obtained by bond sales have been paid out again, and paid out to meet general demands on the Treasury. This is why it has been charged that the Secretary took funds intended for the gold reserve and applied them to meet the deficits. But how else could the Secretary have acted, in view of the law of May 31, 1878, which required him to reissue redeemed notes? How else could he reissue them except in payment of general demands? If not only the gold itself obtained by bond sales, but also the notes presented in exchange for gold, should be kept inviolate, then the fault is in the law requiring the reissue of the notes, not in the Secretary's policy. If the Opposition wished to "corner" the Administration, and to prevent it from using the redeemed notes in paying off deficits (an indirect result of the bond sales)—thereby making tariff legislation for increased revenue a necessity—the only way it could be done was by forbidding the reissue of notes once redeemed, and by providing for their cancellation. If this had been done, the proceeds from the sale of bonds for gold could not have been indirectly used in wiping out the deficits. This measure would have entirely separated the tariff question from the money question.
The effect of allowing the reissue of notes once redeemed is the same as largely increasing the volume of currency secured by the gold reserve; the consequence is, that any given reserve is smaller in proportion to the demands upon it than it would otherwise be. If we wish the happiness of proving ourselves superior to all experience by reissuing redeemed notes, and do it all over again, we must simply provide a larger gold reserve than would be otherwise necessary. If we wish to maintain the gold standard, no other kind of money than gold will serve the purpose as a reserve. It makes no difference how high in the bucket stands the level of the water which is kept for thirsty men, if the bucket is largely filled with sand; so a large Treasury balance does not mean a large gold reserve. Or if there be a hole in the bucket by which only the water, and not the sand, goes out, filling up the bucket with water only temporarily raises its level; so the constant re-presentation of notes once redeemed acts like a hole in the Treasury to draw off the gold and leave the other kinds of money within. At present (1896), redemption is skillfully arranged so as not to redeem; and it presents another of the many curious absurdities of our monetary history.
A. Production of Gold and Silver in the World, 1493-1850.
B. Annual Production of Gold and Silver in the World, 1850-1875.
C. Production of Gold and Silver in the World, 1851-1875.
D. Production of Gold and Silver in the World Annually since 1875.
E. Production of Gold and Silver in the United States since 1873.
Relative Values of Gold and Silver
For the time previous to the discovery of America there are many fanciful estimates of the relative values of gold and silver. Jacob1 thus briefly sums up the situation:
"Although the amount of silver in circulation as money at all times must have been greater than that of gold, yet, as the gold has six times the durability of silver, the relative value of the two metals to each other could not be maintained unless the mines produced the two metals in proportion to the loss on them by wear respectively. It seems probable that the due proportion was kept up during the existence of the Roman power, and through the dark ages which succeeded, till the discovery of America, and till the dispersion over the world of the surplus produce of silver above that of gold. The value of gold to silver had varied but little before the mines of Potosi were discovered. Among the Romans gold to silver seldom varied more than from nine to eleven for one, that is, a pound of gold was rarely worth either more than eleven or less than nine pounds of silver; nor did the relative value of the metals fluctuate more in the long course of centuries to the time when the new sources of mineral wealth in the western world were in full activity."
A. Average Ratios of Silver to Gold, by Periods, since 1500.
B. Ratios of Gold to Silver, given Yearly since 1687.
The table headed "White" was prepared by John White, the cashier of the United States Bank, in a Report to the Secretary of the Treasury, November 16, 1829. (See "Report of 1878," pp. 647-649; also cf. p. 624.) Accompanying White's table are the following authorities: "Mr. Mushet, Mr. Wheatly, 'Monthly Magazine,' 'Bullion Report,' Mr. Tooke, Mr. Ricardo, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Governor of the Bank." This is a varied list.
Soetbeer has pointed out that White's table is untrustworthy, because eve have no knowledge what sort of quotations were used, nor how the averages were calculated. Owing to the issue of paper between 1797 and 1819, the period of the Bank Restriction Act, the Hamburg quotations would unquestionably be more reliable. Soetbeer has pointed out what seem to be palpable errors in the White table. In 1761 it is quite improbable that the ratio fell below 14:1 and then rose the next year 5 per cent. Moreover, in White's table the following ratios occur:
while the Hamburg quotations give:
There is absolutely no known reason to account for so sudden a change as that indicated by White's figures in 1784, while at Hamburg the ratio remained steady, or nearly so.
In addition to this, Jefferson says that the market ratio in 1782 was 1:14.5 in the United States, and Morris points to the fact that the ratio was nearly 1:15 in England ("Report of 1878," pp. 428, 441). The figures of White for the years 1812, 1813, and 1816 are undoubtedly incorrect. According to his ratios, silver changed between 1810 and 1816 from a ratio of 13.52:1 to 16.15:1, for which there appears to be no sufficient reason in the facts known to us. It seems as if the figures of 13.52 for 1816 were a mistake for 15.52. For these reasons I can not place much, if any, reliance on White's table, and have, therefore, followed Soetbeer's figures in the course of my investigation.
The table given above, from a United States document, is evidently based on the same material as White's. Although in every ratio the figures are different from White's, yet the differences are usually very slight (except for 1812), and follow the same general direction. Even in the exceptional figures of 1781-1783, and 1816, there is the same trouble as in White's table. These figures are given in the "Report of 1878," p. 583; are made the basis of a table of ratios by Alexander Del Mar in the "Report of the United States Silver Commission of 1877," vol. i, appendix, p. 67; are stated in C. P. White's "Report, No. 278, 1833-1834," p. 96; and are quoted by H. R. Linderman, in his report as Director of the Mint, 1876, p. 46. But the table, as well as the White table, can be regarded as not sufficiently trustworthy to base any conclusions upon.
C. Pixley and Abell's Tables of the Average Annual Ratios of Gold to Silver since 1833.
D. Average Yearly Price of Standard Silver per Ounce in London since 1833.
E. Monthly Quotations of Bar-Silver per Ounce Standard, in Pence, at London, since 1871.
F. Ratios of Silver to Gold, by Months, since 1845.
G. Method of Computing the Ratio from the London Price of Silver.
Rule.—Divide the number 943 by the number of pence at which silver is quoted.
In Great Britain 1869 sovereigns are to be struck out of 40 pounds troy of gold, 11/12 fine; and one ounce would be coined into 1869/(40×12) sovereigns, or £3 17s. 10½d., or 934½d., 11/12 fine. The ounce of pure gold, therefore, is worth 934½d. × 12/11.
If an ounce of silver of British standard, 37/40 fine, is quoted at x pence, an ounce of pure silver would be worth x × 40/37 pence.
The ratio of the value of an ounce of pure gold to an ounce of pure silver would be, therefore,
Method of Computing the Value of a Silver Dollar from New York Quotations.
Rule.—Multiply the price per ounce by .77 1/8.
The New York quotations, as given in the financial columns of the daily press, make allowance for changes from the London prices, due to the rate of exchange, etc.; but the quotations are for pure silver, that is, for silver 1,000 fine:
Since the New York quotations are given for silver 1,000 fine, but since our coins are made of silver 900 fine, the quotation should be multiplied by only 9/10 of the actual weight of the coins. The 859 3/8 ounces less 1/10 is 773.4375; and to multiply this last number by the quotation would give the value of 1,000 silver dollars. But the value of one dollar can be found by multiplying the price by 773.4375/1000 or approximately, by .77 1/8.
A. Value of the 371¼ Grains of Pure Silver in the Silver Dollar corresponding to Prices of Fine Silver per Ounce.
B. Ratios between Gold and Silver corresponding to Market Prices of an Ounce of Fine Silver.
C. Annual Average Market Value of 371¼ Grains of Pure Silver since 1834.
D. Purchasing Power of the Silver Dollar over Silver Bullion.
E. Operation of the Act of February 28, 1878.
F. Operation of the Act of July 14, 1890 ("The Sherman Act").
Appendix IV, Coinage Laws
A. Laws of the United States relating to Coinage.
I. APRIL, 1792.—An Act establishing a Mint, and regulating the Coins of the United States.
Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That there shall be from time to time struck and coined at the said Mint coins of gold, silver, and copper of the following denominations, values, and descriptions, viz.: EAGLES—each to be of the value of ten dollars or units, and to contain two hundred and forty-seven grains and four eighths of a grain of pure, or two hundred and seventy grains of standard gold.
[Half-eagles and quarter-eagles of corresponding weights and fineness.]
DOLLARS OR UNITS—Each to be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, and to contain three hundred and seventy-one grains and four sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver.
[Half-dollars, quarter-dollars, dimes, and half-dimes of corresponding weights and fineness.]
Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That the proportional value of gold to silver in all coins which shall by law be current as money within the United States shall be as fifteen to one, according to quantity in weight, of pure gold or pure silver; that is to say, every fifteen pounds weight of pure silver shall be of equal value in all payments with one pound weight of pure gold, and so in proportion as to any greater or less quantities of the respective metals.
Sec. 14. And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for any person or persons to bring to the said Mint gold and silver bullion, in order to their being coined; and that the bullion so brought shall be there assayed and coined as speedily as may be after the receipt thereof, and that free of expense to the person or persons by whom the same shall have been brought. And as soon as the said bullion shall have been coined, the person or persons by whom the same shall have been delivered, shall, upon demand, receive in lieu thereof coins of the same species of bullion which shall have been so delivered, weight for weight, of the pure gold or pure silver therein contained: Provided nevertheless, That it shall be at the mutual option of the party or parties bringing such bullion, and of the director of the said Mint, to make an immediate exchange of coins for standard bullion, with a deduction of one-half per cent from the weight of pure gold, or pure silver contained in the said bullion, as an indemnification to the Mint for the time which will necessarily be required for coining the said bullion, and for the advance which shall have been so made in coins.
Sec. 16. And be it further enacted, That all the gold and silver coins which shall have been struck at and issued from the said Mint shall be a lawful tender in all payments whatsoever, those of full weight according to the respective values herein before declared, and those of less than full weight at values proportional to their respective weights.
[Approved, April 2, 1792. 1 Statutes at Large, 246.]
II. JUNE, 1834.—An Act concerning the gold coins of the United States, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted,... That the gold coins of the United States shall contain the following quantities of metal, that is to say: each eagle shall contain two hundred and thirty-two grains of pure gold, and two hundred and fifty-eight grains of standard gold; each half-eagle one hundred and sixteen grains of pure gold, and one hundred and twenty-nine grains of standard gold; each quarter-eagle shall contain fifty-eight grains of pure gold, and sixty-four and a half grains of standard gold; every such eagle shall be of the value of ten dollars; every such half-eagle shall be of the value of five dollars; and every such quarter-eagle shall be of the value of two dollars and fifty cents; and the said gold coins shall be receivable in all payments, when of full weight, according to their respective values; and when of less than full weight, at less values, proportioned to their respective actual weights.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That all standard gold or silver deposited for coinage after the thirty-first of July next shall be paid for in coin, under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, within five days from the making of such deposit, deducting from the amount of said deposit of gold and silver one half of one per centum: Provided, That no deduction shall be made unless said advance be required by such depositor within forty days.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That all gold coins of the United States, minted anterior to the thirty-first day of July next, shall be receivable in all payments at the rate of ninety-four and eight tenths of a cent per pennyweight.
[Approved, June 28, 1834. Statutes at Large, 699.]
III. JANUARY, 1837.—An Act supplementary to the act entitled "An Act establishing a Mint, and regulating the coins of the United States."
Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That the standard for both gold and silver coins of the United States shall hereafter be such that of one thousand parts by weight, nine hundred shall be of pure metal and one hundred of alloy; and the alloy of the silver coins shall be of copper; and the alloy of the gold coins shall be of copper and silver, provided that the silver do not exceed one half of the whole alloy.
Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That of the silver coins, the dollar shall be of the weight of four hundred and twelve and one half grains; the half-dollar of the weight of two hundred and six and one fourth grains; the quarter-dollar of the weight of one hundred and three and one eighth grains; the dime, or tenth part of a dollar, of the weight of forty-one and a quarter grains; and the half-dime, or twentieth part of a dollar, of the weight of twenty grains and five eighths of a grain. And that dollars, half-dollars, and quarter-dollars, dimes and half-dimes, shall be legal tenders of payment, according to their nominal value, for any sums whatever.
Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That of the gold coins, the weight of the eagle shall be two hundred and fifty-eight grains; that of the half-eagle one hundred and twenty-nine grains; and that of the quarter-eagle sixty-four and one half grains. And that for all sums whatever the eagle shall be a legal tender of payment for ten dollars, the half-eagle for five dollars, and the quarter-eagle for two and a half dollars.
Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That the silver coins heretofore issued at the Mint of the United States, and the gold coins issued since the thirty-first day of July, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-four, shall continue to be legal tenders of payment for their nominal values, on the same terms as if they were of the coinage provided for by this act.
[Approved, January 18, 1837. 5 Statutes at Large, 136.]
IV. MARCH, 1849.—An Act to authorize the Coinage of Gold Dollars and Double Eagles.
[This act authorizes the coinage of gold dollars and double eagles, "conformably in all respects to the standard for gold coins now established by law," and to be a legal tender in payment for all sums.]
[Approved, March 3, 1849. 9 Statutes at Large, 397.]
V. FEBRUARY, 1853.—An Act amendatory of Existing Laws relative to the Half-Dollar, Quarter-Dollar, Dime, and Half-Dime.
Be it enacted,... That from and after the first day of June, eighteen hundred and fifty-three, the weight of the half-dollar or piece of fifty cents shall be one hundred and ninety-two grains, and the quarter-dollar, dime, and half-dime shall be, respectively, one half, one fifth, and one tenth of the weight of said half-dollar.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the silver coins issued in conformity with the above section shall be legal tenders in payment of debts for all sums not exceeding five dollars.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That, in order to procure bullion for the requisite coinage of the subdivisions of the dollar authorized by this act, the treasurer of the Mint shall, with the approval of the director, purchase such bullion with the bullion fund of the Mint....
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That such coins shall be paid out at the Mint, in exchange for gold coins at par, in sums not less than one hundred dollars; and it shall be lawful, also, to transmit parcels of the same from time to time to the assistant treasurers, depositaries, and other officers of the United States, under general regulations proposed by the director of the Mint and approved by the Secretary of the Treasury: Provided, however, That the amount coined into quarter-dollars, dimes, and half-dimes, shall be regulated by the Secretary of the Treasury.
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That no deposits for coinage into the half-dollar, quarter-dollar, dime, and half-dime shall hereafter be received other than those made by the treasurer of the Mint, as herein authorized, and upon account of the United States.
Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That, at the option of the depositor, gold or silver may be cast into bars or ingots of either pure metal or of standard fineness, as the owner may prefer, with a stamp upon the same, designating its weight and fineness; but no piece of either gold or silver shall be cast into bars or ingots of a less weight than ten ounces, except pieces of one ounce, of two ounces, of three ounces, and of five ounces, all of which pieces of less weight than ten ounces shall be of the standard fineness, with their weight and fineness stamped upon them; but in cases where the gold and silver deposited be coined or cast into bars or ingots, there shall be a charge to the depositor, in addition to the charge now made for refining, or parting the metals, of one half of one per centum:... Provided, however, That nothing contained in this section shall be considered as applying to the half-dollar, the quarter-dollar, the dime, and half-dime.
Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That, from time to time, there shall be struck and coined at the Mint of the United States, and the branches thereof, conformably in all respects to law, and conformably in all respects to the standard of gold coins now established by law, a coin of gold of the value of three dollars, or units....
[Approved, February 21, 1853. 10 Statutes at Large, 160.]
VI. FEBRUARY, 1873.—An Act revising and amending the Laws relative to the Mints, Assay-offices, and Coinage of the United States.
Sec. 14. That the gold coins of the United States shall be a one-dollar piece, which, at the standard weight of twenty-five and eight tenths grains, shall be the unit of value; a quarter-eagle, or two-and-a-half-dollar piece; a three-dollar piece; a half-eagle, or five-dollar piece; an eagle, or ten-dollar piece; and a double-eagle, or twenty-dollar piece. And the standard weight of the gold dollar shall be twenty-five and eight tenths grains; of the quarter-eagle, or two-and-a-half-dollar piece, sixty-four and a half grains; of the three-dollar piece, seventy-seven and four tenths grains; of the half-eagle, or five-dollar piece, one hundred and twenty-nine grains; of the eagle, or ten-dollar piece, two hundred and fifty-eight grains; of the double-eagle, or twenty-dollar piece, five hundred and sixteen grains; which coins shall be a legal tender in all payments at their nominal value when not below the standard weight and limit of tolerance provided in this act for the single piece, and, when reduced in weight below said standard and tolerance, shall be a legal tender at valuation in proportion to their actual weight; and any gold coin of the United States, if reduced in weight by natural abrasion not more than one half of one per centum below the standard weight prescribed by law, after a circulation of twenty years, as shown by its date of coinage, and at a ratable proportion for any period less than twenty years, shall be received at their nominal value by the United States Treasury and its offices....
Sec. 15. That the silver coins of the United States shall be a trade dollar, a half-dollar, or fifty-cent piece, a quarter-dollar, or twenty-five-cent piece, a dime, or ten-cent piece; and the weight of the trade dollar shall be four hundred and twenty grains troy; the weight of the half-dollar shall be twelve grains (grammes) and one half of a gram (gramme); the quarter-dollar and the dime shall be respectively one half and one fifth of the weight of said half-dollar; and said coins shall be a legal tender at their nominal value for any amount not exceeding five dollars in any one payment.
Sec. 17. That no coins, either of gold, silver, or minor coinage, shall hereafter be issued from the Mint other than those of the denominations, standards, and weights herein set forth.
Sec. 25. That the charge for converting standard gold bullion into coin shall be one fifth of one per centum; and the charges for converting standard silver into trade dollars, for melting and refining when bullion is below standard, for toughening when metals are contained in it which render it unfit for coinage, for copper used for alloy when the bullion is above standard, for separating the gold and silver when these metals exist together in the bullion, and for the preparation of bars, shall be fixed, from time to time, by the director, with the concurrence of the Secretary of the Treasury, so as to equal but not exceed, in their judgment, the actual average cost to each Mint and assay-office of the material, labor, wastage, and use of machinery employed in each of the cases aforementioned.
[Approved, February 12, 1873. 17 Statutes at Large, 424.]
NOTE.—By an act approved March 3, 1875, the coinage of a twenty-cent piece, in conformity with the provisions made as to other subsidiary silver coins, was authorized. See 18 Statutes at Large, Part III, 478.
VII. JUNE, 1874.—Revised Statutes of the United States; Title XXXIX, Legal Tender.
Sec. 3584. No foreign gold or silver coins shall be a legal tender in payment of debts.
Sec. 3,535. The gold coins of the United States shall be a legal tender in all payments at their nominal value when not below the standard weight and limit of tolerance provided by law for the single piece, and, when reduced in weight below such standard and tolerance, shall be a legal tender at valuation in proportion to their actual weight.
Sec. 3586. The silver coins of the United States shall be a legal tender at their nominal value, for any amount not exceeding five dollars in any one payment.
Sec. 3587. The minor coins of the United States shall be a legal tender, at their nominal value, for any amount not exceeding twenty-five cents in any one payment.
[Sections 3588, 3589, 3590, contain the provisions to be found in previous acts, making United States notes, demand notes, and Treasury notes, respectively, legal tender.]
[Approved, June 22, 1874. Revised Statutes, 712.]
VIII. JANUARY, 1875.—An Act to provide for the Resumption of Specie Payments.
Be it enacted,... That the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and required, as rapidly as practicable, to cause to be coined at the mints of the United States, silver coins of the denominations of ten, twenty-five, and fifty cents, of standard value, and to issue them in redemption of an equal number and amount of fractional currency of similar denominations; or, at his discretion, he may issue such silver coins through the mints, the sub-treasuries, public depositories, and post-offices of the United States; and, upon such issue, he is hereby authorized and required to redeem an equal amount of such fractional currency until the whole amount of such fractional currency outstanding shall be redeemed.
Sec. 2. That so much of Section 3524 of the Revised Statutes of the United States as provides for a charge of one fifth of one per centum for converting standard gold bullion into coin is hereby repealed, and hereafter no charge shall be made for that service.
[Approved, January 14, 1875. 18 Statutes at Large, Part III, 296.]
IX. APRIL, 1876.—Issue of Silver Coin.
Sec. 2. That the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby directed to issue silver coins of the United States of the denomination of ten, twenty, twenty-five, and fifty cents of standard value, in redemption of an equal amount of fractional currency, whether the same be now in the Treasury awaiting redemption, or whenever it may be presented for redemption; and the Secretary of the Treasury may, under regulations of the Treasury Department, provide for such redemption and issue by substitution at the regular sub-treasuries and public depositories of the United States until the whole amount of fractional currency outstanding shall be redeemed. And the fractional currency redeemed under this act shall be held to be a part of the sinking-fund provided for by existing law....
[Approved, April 17, 1876.]
X. JULY, 1876.—Joint Resolution for the Issue of Silver Coin.
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury, under such limits and regulations as will best secure a just and fair distribution of the same through the country, may issue the silver coin at any time in the Treasury to an amount not exceeding ten million dollars in exchange for an equal amount of legal-tender notes; and the notes so received in exchange shall be kept as a special fund separate and apart from all other money in the Treasury, and be reissued only upon the retirement and destruction of a like sum of fractional currency received at the Treasury in payment of dues to the United States; and said fractional currency, when so substituted, shall be destroyed and held as part of the sinking fund, as provided in the act approved April seventeen, eighteen hundred and seventy-six.
Sec. 2. That the trade dollar shall not hereafter be a legal tender, and the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized to limit from time to time the coinage thereof to such an amount as he may deem sufficient to meet the export demand for the same.
Sec. 3. That, in addition to the amount of subsidiary silver coin authorized by law to be issued in redemption of the fractional currency, it shall be lawful to manufacture at the several Mints, and issue through the Treasury and its several offices, such coin to an amount that, including the amount of subsidiary silver coin and of fractional currency outstanding, shall, in the aggregate, not exceed, at any time, fifty million dollars.
[Section 4 authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase bullion for the purposes of this resolution, and requires any gain arising from the coinage thereof to be paid into the Treasury.]
[Approved, July 22, 1876. 19 Statutes at Large, 215.]
XI. FEBRUARY, 1873.—An Act to authorize the coinage of the standard Silver Dollar, and to restore its legal-tender character.
Be it enacted, That there shall be coined, at the several Mints of the United States, silver dollars of the weight of four hundred and twelve and a half grains troy of standard silver, as provided in the act of January eighteen, eighteen hundred and thirty-seven, on which shall be the devices and superscriptions provided by said act, which coins, together with all silver dollars heretofore coined by the United States of like weight and fineness, shall be a legal tender, at their nominal value, for all debts and dues, public and private, except where otherwise expressly stipulated in the contract. And the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized and directed to purchase, from time to time, silver bullion, at the market price thereof, not less than two million dollars worth per month, nor more than four million dollars worth per month, and cause the same to be coined monthly as fast as so purchased into such dollars; and a sum sufficient to carry out the foregoing provision is hereby appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated. And any gain or seigniorage arising from this coinage shall be accounted for and paid into the Treasury, as provided under existing laws relative to the subsidiary coinage; Provided, That the amount of money at any one time invested in such silver bullion, exclusive of such resulting coin, shall not exceed five million dollars. And provided further, That nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize the payment in silver of certificates of deposit issued under the provisions of section two hundred and fifty-four of the Revised Statutes.
Sec. 2. That, immediately after the passage of this act, the President shall invite the governments of the countries composing the Latin Union, so called, and of such other European nations as he may deem advisable, to join the United States in a conference to adopt a common ratio as between gold and silver, for the purpose of establishing, internationally, the use of bimetallic money, and securing fixity of relative value between those metal; such conference to be held at such place, in Europe or in the United States, at such time within six months, as may be mutually agreed upon by the Executives of the governments joining in the same, whenever the governments so invited, or any three of them, shall have signified their willingness to unite in the same. The President shall, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint three commissioners, who shall attend such conference on behalf of the United States, and shall report the doings thereof to the President, who shall transmit the same to Congress. Said commissioners shall each receive the sum of twenty-five hundred dollars and their reasonable expenses, to be approved by the Secretary of State; and the amount necessary to pay such compensation and expenses is hereby appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated.
Sec. 3. That any holder of the coin authorized by this act may deposit the same with the Treasurer or any Assistant Treasurer of the United States, in sums not less than ten dollars, and receive therefor certificates of not less than ten dollars each, corresponding with the denominations of the United States notes. The coin deposited for or representing the certificates shall be retained in the Treasury for the payment of the same on demand. Said certificates shall be receivable for customs, taxes, and all public dues, and, when so received, may be reissued.
Sec. 4. All acts and parts of acts inconsistent with the provisions of this act are hereby repealed.
NOTE.—The above act having been returned by the President of the United States, with his objections, to the House of Representatives, February 28, 1878, was passed by both Houses, and became a law on the same day.
XII. JUNE, 1879.—An Act to authorize the redemption of Silver Coins.
Be it enacted, That the holder of any of the silver coins of the United States of smaller denominations than one dollar may, on presentation of the same in sums of twenty dollars, or any multiple thereof, at the office of the Treasurer or any Assistant Treasurer of the United States, receive therefor lawful money of the United States.
Sec. 3. That the present silver coins of the United States of smaller denominations than one dollar shall hereafter be a legal tender in all sums not exceeding ten dollars in full payment of all dues, public and private.
[Approved, June 9, 1879.]
XIII. JULY 14, 1890.—An Act directing the purchase of silver bullion and the issue of Treasury notes thereon, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled: That the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby directed to purchase, from time to time, silver bullion to the aggregate amount of four million five hundred thousand ounces, or so much thereof as may be offered in each month, at the market price thereof, not exceeding one dollar for three hundred and seventy-one and twenty-five hundredths grains of pure silver, and to issue in payment for such purchases of silver bullion Treasury notes of the United States to be prepared by the Secretary of the Treasury, in such form and of such denominations, not less than one dollar nor more than one thousand dollars, as he may prescribe; and a sum sufficient to carry into effect the provisions of this act is hereby appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated.
Sec. 2. That the Treasury notes issued in accordance with the provisions of this act shall be redeemable on demand, in coin, at the Treasury of the United States, or at the office of any assistant treasurer of the United States, and when so redeemed may be reissued; but no greater or less amount of such notes shall be outstanding at any time than the cost of the silver bullion and the standard silver dollars coined therefrom, then held in the Treasury purchased by such notes; and such Treasury notes shall be a legal tender in payment of all debts, public and private, except where otherwise expressly stipulated in the contract, and shall be receivable for customs, taxes, and all public dues, and when so received may be reissued; and such notes, when held by any national banking association, may be counted as a part of its lawful reserve. That upon demand of the holder of any of the Treasury notes herein provided for the Secretary of the Treasury shall, under such regulations as he may prescribe, redeem such notes in gold or silver coin, at his discretion, it being the established policy of the United States to maintain the two metals on a parity with each other upon the present legal ratio, or such ratio as may be provided by law.
Sec. 3. That the Secretary of the Treasury shall each month coin two million ounces of the silver bullion purchased under the provisions of this act into standard silver dollars until the first day of July, eighteen hundred and ninety-one, and after that time he shall coin of the silver bullion purchased under the provisions of this act as much as may be necessary to provide for the redemption of the Treasury notes herein provided for, and any gain or seigniorage arising from such coinage shall be accounted for and paid into the Treasury.
Sec. 4. That the silver bullion purchased under the provisions of this act shall be subject to the requirements of existing law and the regulations of the mint service governing the methods of determining the amount of pure silver contained, and the amount of charges or deduction, if any, to be made.
Sec. 5. That so much of the act of February twenty-eighth, eighteen hundred and seventy-eight, entitled "An Act to authorize the coinage of the standard silver dollar and to restore its legal-tender character," as requires the monthly purchase and coinage of the same into silver dollars of not less than two million dollars nor more than four million dollars' worth of silver bullion, is hereby repealed.
Sec. 6. That upon the passage of this act the balances standing with the Treasurer of the United States to the respective credits of national banks for deposits made to redeem the circulating notes of such banks, and all deposits thereafter received for like purpose, shall be covered into the Treasury as a miscellaneous receipt, and the Treasurer of the United States shall redeem from the general cash in the Treasury the circulating notes of said banks which may come into his possession subject to redemption; and upon the certificate of the Comptroller of the Currency that such notes have been received by him and that they have been destroyed and that no new notes will be issued in their place, reimbursement of their amount shall be made to the Treasurer, under such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe, from an appropriation hereby created, to be known as national bank notes, redemption account; but the provisions of this act shall not apply to the deposits received under section three of the act of June twentieth, eighteen hundred and seventy-four, requiring every national bank to keep in lawful money with the Treasurer of the United States a sum equal to five per centum of its circulation, to be held and used for the redemption of its circulating notes; and the balance remaining of the deposits so covered shall, at the close of each month, be reported on the monthly public debt statement as debt of the United States bearing no interest.
Sec. 7. That this act shall take effect thirty days from and after its passage.
[Approved, July 14, 1890]
XIV. NOVEMBER 1, 1893.—An Act to repeal a part of an act approved July fourteenth, eighteen hundred and ninety, entitled "An act directing the purchase of silver bullion and the issue of Treasury notes thereon, and for other purposes."
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled: That so much of the act approved July fourteenth, eighteen hundred and ninety, entitled "An act directing the purchase of silver bullion and issue of Treasury notes thereon, and for other purposes," as directs the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase from time to time silver bullion to the aggregate amount of four million five hundred thousand ounces, or so much thereof as may be offered in each month at the market price thereof, not exceeding one dollar for three hundred and seventy-one and twenty-five one-hundredths grains of pure silver, and to issue in payment for such purchases Treasury notes of the United States, be, and the same is hereby, repealed. And it is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States to continue the use of both gold and silver as standard money, and to coin both gold and silver into money of equal intrinsic and exchangeable value, such equality to be secured through international agreement, or by such safeguards of legislation as will insure the maintenance of the parity in value of the coins of the two metals, and the equal power of every dollar at all times in the markets and in the payment of debts. And it is hereby further declared that the efforts of the Government should be steadily directed to the establishment of such a safe system of bimetallism as will maintain at all times the equal power of every dollar coined or issued by the United States, in the markets and in the payment of debts.
[Approved, November 1, 1893.]
B. French Monetary Law of 1803.
IN THE NAME OF THE FRENCH PEOPLE,
BONAPARTÉ, First Consul, PROCLAIMS as law Of the Republic the following decree, rendered by the Corps Legislatif the 7 germinal [28 March], year xi , conformably with the proposition made by the government the 19 ventóse, communicated to the tribunal the next day.
Five grammes of silver, nine tenths fine, constitute the monetary unit, which retains the name of franc.
Of the fabrication of coins.
ARTICLE 1. 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. 2. Their fineness is fixed at nine tenths fine and one tenth alloy.
ART. 3. 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 décigrammes.
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. 4. The tolerance of fineness for silver money shall be three thousandths, outside as well as within.
ART. 5. 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 pieces, five thousandths, outside as well as within; and for the five-franc piece, three thousandths, outside as well as within.
ART. 6. There shall be coined gold pieces of twenty francs and of forty francs.
ART. 7. Their fineness is fixed at nine tenths fine and one tenth alloy.
ART. 8. The twenty-franc pieces shall be struck 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. 9. The tolerance of fineness of the gold coins is fixed at two thousandths outside, the same within.
ART. 10. The tolerance of weight is fixed at two thousandths outside, the same within.
ART. 11. The expense of coinage alone can be required of those who shall bring material of gold or silver to the Mint.
These charges are fixed at nine francs per kilogramme of gold, and at three francs per kilogramme amore of silver.
ART. 12. 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. 13. There shall be coined pieces of pure copper of two hundredths, three hundredths, and five hundredths of a franc.
ART. 14. 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. 15. The tolerance of weight shall be for the copper pieces a fiftieth outside.
[ART. 16 explains the devices.]
ART. 17. The diameter of each piece shall be determined by regulations of the public administration.
[Title II deals only with the verification of the coins.]
At Paris, the 17 germinal [April 7], year xi of the Republic .
C. GERMAN MONETARY LAWS OF 1871 AND 1873.
German Reichstag, 1st Legislation Period, 2d session, 1871. Law relating to the coinage of imperial gold coins, as passed by Parliament after its third reading.
We, WILHELM, by the grace of God, German Emperor, King of Prussia, etc., do ordain, in the name of the German Empire, the same having been passed by the Bundesrath and the Reichstag as follows:
Sec. 1. There shall be coined an imperial gold coin, 139½ pieces of which shall contain one pound of pure gold.
Sec. 2. The tenth of this gold coin shall be called "mark," and shall be divided into one hundred "pfennige."
Sec. 3. Besides the imperial gold coin of 10 marks (Sec. 1), there shall be coined imperial gold coins of 20 marks, of which 69¾ pieces shall contain one pound of pure gold.
Sec. 4. The alloy of the imperial gold coins shall consist of 900 thousandths parts gold, and 100 thousandths parts copper. Therefore, 125.55 pieces of 10 marks, 62.775 pieces of 20 marks, will each weigh one pound.
Sec. 5. The imperial gold coins are to bear on one side the imperial eagle, with the inscription "German Empire," and their value in marks; also the year of their coinage; on the other side the likeness of the sovereign, or, in the case of the free cities, their arms, with a corresponding inscription and the marks of the Mint. Diameters of coins, form, and inscription of edges of the same shall be prescribed by the Bundesrath.
Sec. 6. Until the enactment of a law for the redemption of the large silver coins, the making of the gold coins shall be conducted at the expense of the Empire, for all the states of the Confederation, at the mints of those states which have declared their readiness to do so.
The Chancellor of the Empire shall determine, with the consent of the Bundesrath, the amounts to be coined in gold, the apportionment of these amounts to the several kinds of coins and to the several mints, and the compensation to be paid in equal proportions to the several mints for the coinage of each separate kind of coin. He shall deliver to the several mints the gold requisite to the amounts of coinage assigned them.
Sec. 7. The process of coinage of the imperial gold coins will be determined by the Bundesrath, and is subject to the control of the Empire. This process shall assure the absolute accuracy of the coins in fineness and weight. So far as an absolute accuracy in each single piece can not be secured, the deviation in weight shall not be greater, either above or below, than two and one half thousandths; in fineness not more than two thousandths.
Sec. 8. All payments which are by law to be made, or which may be made, in silver coins of the thaler system, of the South German system, of the Lubeck or Hamburg current system, or in gold thalers of the Bremen system, can be made in imperial gold coins (Secs. 1 and 3) in such manner as to count the 10-mark piece equal in value to 3 1/3 thalers or 5 florins 50 kreutzers, South German system, 8 marks 5 1/3 shillings Lubeck or Hamburg current system, 3 1/93 gold thalers of the Bremen system; the 20-mark piece equal in value to 6 2/3 thalers, or 11 florins 40 kreutzers, South German system; 16 marks 10 2/3 schillings, Lubeck or Hamburg current system; 6 2/93 gold thalers of the Bremen system.
Sec. 9. Imperial gold coin whose weight shall be not more than five thousandths parts below their normal weight (Sec. 4), current weight, and whose weight shall not have been reduced by violent or unlawful injury, shall be counted as of full weight for all payments. Imperial gold coins which are of less than the above-named current weight, and which have been accepted in payment by imperial, state, provincial, or municipal treasuries, or by money and credit institutions and banks, shall not be paid out again by such treasuries or institutions.
The imperial gold coins will be taken in for remelting by and for the account of the Empire after they have lost so much of their weight by long circulation and wear as to be of less than the current weight.
All such worn gold coins shall always be accepted by all treasuries of the Empire and of the states at the value at which they were emitted.
Sec. 10. No coinage of gold coins other than those established by this law, nor of large silver coins, the coinage of metals excepted, shall take place until further action.
Sec. 11. The gold coins of the states of the German Confederation at present in circulation are to be redeemed by order and for account of the Empire in proportion to the issue of the new gold coins (Sec. 6).
The Chancellor of the Empire is authorized to provide, in like manner, for the redemption of the hitherto-made large silver coins of the states of the German Confederation, and to take from the most available funds of the imperial treasury the means necessary therefor. Concerning the execution of the above regulations, an annual account shall be given to the Reichstag at its first regular session.
Sec. 12. Pieces of standard weight may be made for adjustment and sealing which shall represent the normal weight and the current weight of the gold coins to be made according to this law; also multiples of those standard pieces. The regulations given in Sections 10 and 18 of the act dated August 17, 1868, relating to weights and measures ("Bundesgesetzblatt," p. 473), shall be binding for the adjustment and sealing of such standard pieces.
Sec. 13. In the territory of the Kingdom of Bavaria the pfennig may, if necessary, be divided into two half-pfennigs.
Berlin, November 23, 1871. The President of the German Imperial Diet, represented by
Prince von HOHENLOHE SOITILLENGSFÜRST.
WE, Wilhelm, by the grace of God, German Emperor, King of Prussia, etc., do decree, in the name of the German Empire and the Parliament, as follows:
ARTICLE 1. In place of the various local standards now current in Germany, a national gold standard will be established. Its monetary unit is the "mark," as established in paragraph 2 of the law dated December 4, 1871, in regard to the issue of national gold coins. (See "Journal of National Laws" for 1871, p. 404.)
The date when the national standard shall be enforced within the entire territory of the Empire will be determined by an imperial decree, to be published with the consent of the Federal Council; and proclaimed at least three months in advance of that date. The state governments are authorized to introduce the national "mark" standard, even before that date, by special decree.
ART. 2. In addition to the national gold coins designated in the law of December 4, 1871, there will also be issued national gold coins of five marks, 279 pieces to be coined from each pound of fine gold. The regulations of paragraphs 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9 of that law also apply in regard to these coins, with the provision, however, that the allowance in weight (paragraph 7) above or below the standard may be four thousandths, and the difference between the standard and current weight may be eight thousandths for these coins.
ART. 3. There shall also be issued in addition to the national gold coins
1. As silver coins, five-mark pieces, two-mark pieces, one-mark pieces, fifty-pfennig pieces, and twenty-pfennig pieces.
2. As nickel coins, ten-pfennig pieces, and five-pfennig pieces.
3. As copper coins, two-pfennig and one-pfennig pieces, in accordance with the following regulations:
8para; 1. The pound of fine silver shall produce at coinage twenty five-mark pieces, fifty two-mark pieces, one hundred one-mark pieces, two hundred fifty-pfennig pieces, five hundred twenty-pfennig pieces. The proportion of alloy is one hundred parts of copper to nine hundred parts of silver, so that ninety marks in silver coin shall weigh one pound. The process of the manufacture of these coins will be established by the Federal Council. In single coins the allowance in fineness above or below the standard shall not be more than three thousandths, and in weight, the twenty-pfennig pieces excepted, not more than ten thousandths. In quantities, however, the standard weight and fineness must be observed in silver coins.
8para; 2. The silver coins of more than one mark bear upon one side the national eagle, with the inscription "Deutsches Reich" (German Empire), and the designation of the value in marks, as well as the year of coinage; upon the other side the image of the sovereign, or, respectively, the escutcheon of the free cities, with a suitable inscription and the cipher of the Mint. The diameter of these coins, as well as the nature and milling of their edges, will be determined by the Federal Council.
8para; 3. Other silver coins, also the nickel and copper coins, bear upon one side the value, the year, and the inscription "Deutsches Reich" (German Empire), and upon the other side the national eagle and the cipher of the Mint. Particular regulations concerning composition, weight, and diameter of these coins, as well as the ornamentation of the face bearing the inscription, and the condition of the edges, will be established by the Federal Council.
8para; 4. Silver, nickel, and copper coins will be manufactured in the mints of such Federal states as desire it. The coinage and the emission of these coins, however, will be subject to the direction of the Empire. The national Chancellor will designate, with the consent of the Federal Council, the aggregate of the issues, the distribution of these amounts among the different denominations of coin and the various mints; and the compensation of these mints for the coinage of every species of coin will be ordered by the national Chancellor.
ART. 4. The aggregate issue of silver coins shall, until further orders, not exceed ten marks for each inhabitant of the Empire. At each issue of these coins a quantity of the present silver coins equal in value to the new issue must be withdrawn from circulation, and first those of "thirty-thaler" standard. Their value is to be calculated according to the regulations in paragraph 2, Article 14.
ART. 5. The aggregate issue of nickel and copper coins shall not exceed two and a half marks for each inhabitant.
ART. 6. Of the fractional coins there are to be withdrawn before the introduction of the national standard—
1. The five-pfennig, two-pfennig, and one-pfennig pieces, coined after the mark system in Mecklenburg, and the coins of the thaler standard, except the Bavarian "hellers" (farthings).
2. The fractional coins of two-pfennig and four-pfennig pieces, based upon the duodecimal division of the "groschen."
3. The fractional coins of the thaler standard, based upon any other division of the thaler less than thirty groschen, with the exception of the pieces having the value of the half-thaler. After that date no person shall be compelled to take these pieces in payment, except the depositories designated for their redemption.
ART. 7. The coinage of silver, nickel, and copper coins, as well as the withdrawal of the current silver coins and fractional coins, to be ordered by the national Chancellor, will be defrayed by the national treasury.
ART. 8. The regulation for the withdrawal of local coins, and the decrees required therefor, will be issued by the Federal Council. The publication of these measures must be made in the "Journal of the National Laws," in addition to the publication of the local ordinances. Such withdrawal can only be ordered after fixing a period of redemption of at least four weeks, and the publication of its termination at least three months in advance of the same.
ART. 9. No person shall be compelled to take in payment national silver coins to a larger amount than twenty marks, and nickel and copper coins to a larger amount than one mark. The Federal Council will designate such depositories as will disburse national gold coins in exchange for silver coins in amounts of at least 200 marks, and of nickel and copper coins in amounts of at least 50 marks, upon demand. The same authority will also establish particular rules of exchange.
ART. 10. The provisions for acceptance and exchange (Article 9) do not apply to perforated coins, or counterfeits, or such as may be reduced in weight by other causes than abrasure in usage. National silver, nickel, and copper coins, which, by long circulation or use, have lost considerably in weight or imprint, will be received in national and local depositories, but must be withdrawn at the expense of the Empire.
ART. 11. The coinage of other silver, nickel, or copper coins than those authorized by this law is strictly prohibited. The provision in paragraph 10 of the law of December 4, 1871, concerning the coinage of national gold coins ("Journal of National Laws of 1871," p. 404), reserving the authority of coining silver coins as medals, will expire December 31, 1873.
ART. 12. The coinage of the national gold coins will continue to be executed according to the rules in paragraph 6 of the law of December 4, 1871, providing for the coinage of national gold coins. (See "Journal of National Laws of 1871," p. 404.)
Private persons are privileged to have twenty-mark pieces coined at their own expense, in mints which have declared themselves ready to coin at the expense of the Empire, when they are not engaged in work for the Empire.
The rate of such coinage will be fixed by the national Chancellor, with the consent of the Federal Council, but can not exceed seven marks for each pound of fine gold. The difference between this rate and the compensation due the Mint for such coinage shall be paid into the national treasury, and must be alike in all mints. The mints are not allowed to charge higher rates for private coinage than the national treasury pays for the coinage of twenty-mark pieces.
ART. 13. The Federal Council 16 authorized:
1. To determine the value to which foreign gold and silver coins are limited, to be offered or received in payment, and also to prohibit the circulation of foreign coins entirely, if it is deemed advisable.
2. To determine whether or not foreign coins may be admitted in national and local depositories at a publicly known value, and, if admitted, what this value is to be. Habitual or professional transgressions of the regulations established by the Federal Council, in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article, will be punished by a fine of 150 marks and imprisonment for six weeks.
ART. 14. From the introduction of the national standard the following rules will be enforced:
8para; 1. All payments to be made up to that time in coins now current, or in foreign coins lawfully equalized with such domestic coins, are then to be made in national coins under reservation of Articles 9, 15, and 16.
8para; 2. The calculations of such gold coins as are not provided for by an established relation to silver coins are to be made in accordance with their proportion of lawful fineness, for which their obligation calls, to the legal fineness of national gold coins.
In the calculation of other coins the thaler is valued at 3 marks, the florin (golden) of South Germany at 1 5/7 marks, and the mark of Lubeck or Hamburg standard at 1 1/5 marks. Other coins of the same standard are to be valued in their proportion to said values. In these calculations the fractions of pfennigs of the national standard are to be counted as pfennigs if equal to, or over, half a pfennig; smaller fractions are to be ignored.
8para; 3. Obligations entered into after the introduction of the national standard, based upon former standards of money or accounts, shall be liquidated in national coins, under the regulations of paragraph 2, with reservation of the provisions in Articles 9, 15, and 16.
8para; 4. In all documents executed by courts or notaries involving considerations of money, also in all court decisions involving fines, the amounts must be expressed in the national standard, if there is any proportion thereof to the national standard as legally established; yet additional designation under the standard which the obligation originated is also permitted.
ART. 15. In the place of national coins in all payments previous to the contemplated withdrawal there will be admitted:
1. Within the entire territory of the Empire, pieces of one and two thalers of German coinage, at a value of three marks to one thaler, in lieu of all national coins.
2. Within the entire territory of the Empire in place of national silver coin only, current silver pieces of German coinage of 1/3 and 1/6 thaler at a value of 1/3 thaler to 1 mark and 1/6 thaler to ½ mark.
3. In all states where the thaler standard now prevails in place of the national nickel and copper coins, the following coins of the thaler standard at the designated values: 1/12-thaler pieces at the value of 25 pfennigs; 1/15-thaler pieces at the value of 20 pfennigs; 1/30-thaler pieces at the value of 10 pfennigs; ½-groschen pieces at the value of 5 pfennigs; 1/5-groschen pieces at the value of 2 pfennigs; 1/10 and 1/12-groschen pieces at the value of 1 pfennig.
4. In those states where the duodecimal division of the groschen exists in place of the national nickel and copper coins, the three-pfennig pieces based upon the duodecimal division of the groschen at a value of 2½ pfennigs.
5. In Bavaria, in place of the national copper coins, the (heller) farthing pieces, at the value of ½ pfennig.
6. In Mecklenburg, in place of the national copper coins, the five-pfennig, two-pfennig, and one-pfennig pieces coined under the mark standard, at a value of 5, 2, and 1 pfennig. All coins embraced under paragraphs 3 and 4 of this article are to be admitted in payment at all public depositories within the Federal territory at the stated values until their withdrawal.
ART. 16. German gold crowns, state gold coins, and foreign gold coins, placed by law on equal footing with domestic (German) coins, as well as large silver coins of another standard than that of the thaler, are to be admitted in payment until their withdrawal in the same manner as they have been accepted hitherto under previous regulations.
ART. 17. Even before the introduction of the national standard all payments which may be made under the present laws in coins of domestic (German) standard, or in foreign coins placed by law on an equal footing with them, may be liquidated either in part or the total in national coins, reserving the provisions in Article 9 in such a manner that their value is calculated according to the provisions of paragraph 2, Article 14.
ART. 18. By January 1, 1876, all bank-notes not issued according to the national standard must be withdrawn.
From that date only bank-notes issued according to the national standard, and in amounts of not less than 100 marks, may be emitted and kept in circulation. These provisions also apply to bills hitherto issued by corporations.
All paper money issued by single states of the Confederation must be withdrawn before January 1, 1876, and is to be recalled at least six months before that date. In lieu thereof an emission of national paper money will be made according to a national law to be issued in the mean time. This national law will establish provisions concerning the emission and circulation of national paper money, as well as the facilities to be granted to the single states of the Confederation for the purpose of the withdrawal of their paper money.
In witness whereof, our signature and imperial seal,
July 9, 1873.
D. Treaty between Switzerland, Belgium, France, and Italy concerning the Monetary Union.
The Swiss Confederation, H. M. the King of Belgium, H. M. the French Emperor, and H. M. the King of Italy, equally, animated by a desire to establish a more complete harmony between their monetary enactments, to remedy the inconveniences in regard to intercourse and transactions between the inhabitants of their respective states, which result from the difference of standard of their subsidiary silver money, and to contribute, by forming a monetary union between then, to the progress of a uniformity of weights, of measures, and of money, have resolved to conclude an agreement to this end, and have named the following as their commissioners plenipotentiary:
The Swiss Confederation: M. Kern, Envoy Extraordinary, and M. Feer-Herzog, member of the Swiss National Council.
The King of the Belgians: M. Frederic Fortamps, member of the Senate, director of the Bank of Belgium, and M. A. Kreglinger, Government Commissioner of the National Bank.
The Emperor of the French: M. de Parieu, Vice-President of the Council of State, and M. Théophile-Jules Pelouze, President of the Money Commission.
The King of Italy: M. Isaac. Artom, Counselor of his Legation at Paris; and M. Valentin Protolongo, Director, Chief of Division, in the Ministry of Agriculture, Industry, and Commerce.
Who, having communicated respectively their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon the following articles:
ART. 1. Switzerland, Belgium, France, and Italy are formed into a union so far as regards the weight, fineness, diameter, and circulation of their gold and silver coinage.
No change, for the present, is made in legislation relative to the copper coinage of each of the four states.
ART. 2. The high contracting parties agree not to make, nor permit to be made, with their stamp, any gold coins of other kinds than pieces of 100 fr., 50 fr., 20 fr., 10 fr., and 5 fr., determined as to weight, fineness; tolerance, and diameter, as follows:
They will admit without distinction at their public treasuries gold coins made under the foregoing conditions, in one or any of the four states, with the reservation, however, that they exclude pieces whose weight may have been reduced by wear one half per cent below the tolerance stated above, or whose device may have disappeared.
ART. 3. The contracting governments pledge themselves not to coin, nor permit to be coined, silver five-franc pieces except of a weight, fineness, tolerance, and diameter determined herewith:
They will reciprocally receive the aforesaid pieces in their public treasuries, with the reservation, however, that they exclude those whose weight may have been reduced by wear one per cent below the tolerance stated above, or whose device may have disappeared.
ART. 4. The high contracting parties will not coin hereafter silver pieces of two francs, one franc, fifty centimes, and twenty centimes, except under the conditions of weight, fineness, tolerance, and diameter determined herewith:
These pieces must be recoined by the governments that have issued them when they may have been reduced by wear five per cent below the tolerance above stated, or when their devices have disappeared.
ART. 5. Silver pieces of two francs, one franc, fifty centimes, and twenty centimes, coined on different terms than those stated in the preceding article, are to be retired from circulation before January 1, 1869. This term is extended to January 1, 1878, for pieces of two francs and one franc issued by Switzerland by virtue of the law of January 31, 1860.
ART. 6. Silver pieces coined under the conditions of Article 4 shall be a legal tender between individuals of the state which coined them to the amount of fifty francs at each payment.
The state issuing them shall receive them from its inhabitants without limitation of quantity.
ART. 7. The public treasuries of each of the four countries shall accept the silver money coined by any one of the other contracting states, conformably to Article 4, to the amount of one hundred francs at each payment to the aforesaid treasuries.
The governments of Belgium, France, and Italy will receive, on the same terms, until January 1, 1878, the Swiss coins of two francs and one franc issued according to the law of January 31, 1860, which are regarded in every respect, during the same period, as the pieces coined under the provisions of Article 4.
The whole subject to the reservations stated in Article 4 in regard to wear.
ART. 8. Each of the contracting governments binds itself to accept from individuals or public treasuries of the other states the subsidiary silver which it has issued, and to give in exchange an equal value of current coin (gold coins, or five-franc silver coins, provided the sum presented for exchange shall not be less than one hundred francs). This obligation shall extend two years from the expiration of the present treaty.
ART. 9. The high contracting parties shall issue silver pieces of two francs, one franc, fifty centimes, and twenty centimes, coined under the conditions stated in Article 4, to an amount only of six francs to each inhabitant.
This amount, based on the last census taken in each state, and the probable increase of population to the expiration of the present treaty, is fixed at:
Of the sums which the governments also have a right to coin are included the following: The amounts, already issued by France in accordance with the law of May 25, 1864, of pieces of fifty and twenty centimes to about sixteen millions; by Italy, in accordance with the law of August 24, 1862, of pieces of two francs and one franc, and of fifty and twenty centimes, to about one hundred millions; by Switzerland, in accordance with the law of January 31, 1860, of two- and one-franc pieces, to about ten millions five hundred thousand francs.
ART. 10. The date of coinage shall hereafter be stamped on the gold and silver pieces coined in the four states.
ART. 11. The contracting governments shall state annually the amount of their issues of gold and silver coin, the progress of the withdrawal and recoinage of their old coins, all the arrangements, and all the administrative documents relative to coinage.
They shall likewise give information as to all facts affecting the reciprocal circulation of their gold and silver pieces.
ART. 12. The privilege of joining the present convention is granted to any other state which shall accept its obligations, and which shall adopt the monetary system of the Union in regard to gold and silver coins.
ART. 13. The execution of the reciprocal pledges in the present convention is relegated, so far as necessary, to the fulfillment of the formalities and rules established by the constitutional laws of those of the high contracting parties which are required to refer to them, and this they bind themselves to do as soon as possible.
ART. 14. The present convention shall remain in force until January 1, 1880. If not dissolved a year before the expiration of this term, it shall remain in full force for a new period of fifteen years, and so on, fifteen years at a time, if no objection is made.
ART. 15. The present convention shall be ratified, and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Paris within six months, or, if possible, sooner.
In testimony whereof the commissioners plenipotentiary have respectively signed the present convention under their seals.
Done in four copies, at Paris, December 23, 1865.
[Then follow the signatures.]
Treaty of Latin Union, 1885.
The President of the French Republic, his Majesty the King of the Greeks, his Majesty the King of Italy, and the Federal Council of the Swiss Confederation—
Desiring to maintain the Monetary Union established between the four states, and recognizing the necessity of modifying and completing on certain points the Convention of November 5, 1878, have resolved to conclude to this effect a new treaty, and have named for their plenipotentiaries the following, to wit:
[Then are given their names, etc.]
ARTICLE 1. France, Greece, Italy, and Switzerland remain constituted a Union so far as regards the fineness, weight, diameter, tolerance, and circulation of their coined money of gold and silver.
[ART. 2 fixes the fineness, weight, tolerance, and diameter of the gold coins of 100, 50, 20, 10, and 5 francs (of which the tolerance of weight is respectively 1, 1, 2, 2, 3). Former gold coins to be received, if not 5 per cent below tolerance.]
ART. 3. The type of the silver coin of five francs struck with the stamp of the high contracting parties is determined as to fineness, weight, tolerance, and diameter as follows:
The contracting Governments shall reciprocally receive into their treasuries the said silver five-franc pieces.
Each one of the contracting states engages itself to redeem from the public treasuries of the other states the silver five-franc pieces whose weight shall be reduced by wear 1 per cent below the legal tolerance; provided that they have not been fraudulently altered, and that their impressions have not disappeared.
In France the silver five-franc pieces shall be received in the treasuries of the Bank of France for account of the Treasury, as results from the letters exchanged between the French Government and the Bank of France on the dates of October 31 and November 2, 1885, and annexed to the present treaty.
This engagement is undertaken during the life of the present treaty, as it has been fixed by paragraph 1 of Article 13, and without binding the bank at the expiration of this period by the clause of tacit renewal provided in paragraph 2 of the same article.
In case the provisions concerning the legal-tender quality of the silver five-franc pieces, struck by the other states of the Union, should be suppressed either by Greece, Italy, or Switzerland during the time of the engagement undertaken by the Bank of France, the power or powers which shall have acted counter to these provisions agree that their banks of emission shall receive the silver five-franc pieces of the other states of the Union under conditions identical with those under which they receive silver five-franc pieces coined with the national stamp.
Two months before the expiration of the term assigned for the denunciation of the treaty the French Government shall make known to the states of the Union whether or not it is the intention of the Bank of France to continue, or to cease, the fulfillment of the agreement hereto subjoined. In default of such communication the agreement of the Bank of France shall be submitted to the clause of tacit renewal.
[ART. 4 contains the usual regulations for subsidiary coins, and Article 5 fixes at 50 francs the maximum legal-tender payments of these coins at the treasuries. By Article 7 each state agrees to redeem its subsidiary coins in the gold or silver coins authorized by Articles 2 and 3, if presented in sums not less than 100 francs. This obligation to hold good one year after expiration of the treaty. Article 9 restricts the total issue of subsidiary coins to 6 francs per capita, or on basis of population, as follows
Permission is given, in addition, for special coinage of 20,000,000 francs by Italy and of 6,000,000 francs by Switzerland.]
ART. 8. The coinage of gold pieces fabricated under the conditions of Article 2, with the exception of that of the gold five-franc pieces, which remain provisionally suspended, is free to each one of the contracting states.
The coinage of silver five-franc pieces is provisionally suspended. It can be resumed only when a unanimous accord shall be established on the subject between all the contracting states.
If any one of the contracting states wishes to resume the free coinage of silver five-franc pieces, it shall always have the power to do so on condition of exchanging or reimbursing, during the whole duration of the present treaty, in gold and at sight, to the other contracting countries upon their demand, the silver five-franc pieces struck with its impression and circulating within their territory. Further, the other states shall no longer be free to receive the five-franc pieces of the state which shall resume the coinage of the said pieces.
The state which wishes to resume this coinage shall, in the first place, summon a meeting of its allies to regulate the conditions of this resumption; the power mentioned in the preceding paragraph, however, not being restrained to the establishment of an understanding; and the condition of exchange and reimbursement mentioned in the preceding paragraph not being modified.
In default of an understanding, and while claiming the benefit of the preceding stipulations in regard to the state which shall resume the free coinage of silver five-franc pieces, Switzerland reserves to itself the power to secede from the Union before the expiration of the present treaty: this power is always subordinated to these double conditions, to wit:
(1) That during four years after the ratification of the present treaty, Article 14 and the annexed arrangement shall not be applicable to the states which shall have resumed the free coinage of silver five franc pieces; and
(2) That the silver coin of the said states shall continue, during the same period, to circulate in Switzerland conformably to the stipulations of the present convention.
On its side, Switzerland agrees not to resume, during the same period of four years, the free coinage of silver five-franc pieces.
The Swiss Federal Government is authorized to continue the recoinage of the old emissions of Swiss silver five-franc pieces up to an amount of 10,000,000 francs; but on condition that it undertakes, at its own expense, to effect the retirement of the old coins.
[By ART. 10 it is rigorously exacted that each piece shall be stamped with the date of its coinage.]
[By ART. 11 France establishes a central bureau of administration and statistical documents concerned with emissions of coin, production and consumption of the precious metals, the monetary circulation, and counterfeiting and alteration of the moneys. Thereby common measures can be suggested for repression of counterfeiting, etc.]
ART. 12. Every request for admission to the present Union made by a state which shall accept the obligations and shall adopt the monetary system of the Union, can be accepted only by the unanimous consent of the high contracting powers.
These latter engage themselves to retire, or refuse, legal-tender quality to the five-franc pieces of the states which do not form part of the Union. These coins can not be accepted either into the public treasuries or into the banks of emission.
ART. 13. The present treaty shall go into effect after January 1, 1886, and shall remain in force up to January 1, 1891.
If, one year before this time, it has not been denounced, it shall be extended in full force from year to year, by tacit renewal, and shall continue to be obligatory during one year after the January 1st which shall follow the denunciation.
ART. 14. In case of the denunciation of the present treaty, each of the contracting states shall be required to receive back the silver five-franc pieces which it shall have emitted, and which shall be in circulation or in the public treasuries of the other states, on condition of paying to these states a sum equal to the nominal value of the coin received back, all under provisions determined by a special arrangement which shall remain annexed to the present treaty.
November 6, 1885.
Arrangement Relative to the Execution of Article 14 of the Treaty of November 6, 1885.
[ART. 3. Each state, by October 1st of the year following the expiration of the treaty, shall have retired the silver five-franc pieces bearing the stamp of the other states of the Union. After this date the treasuries will refuse these coins, except those of their own country.]
[ART. 4. Then follow the detailed rules for carrying out the redemption of the silver coins between the several states, giving a special arrangement between Switzerland and France and Switzerland and Italy.]
Act Dated December 12, additional to the Monetary Treaty signed November 6, 1885, between France, Greece, Italy, and Switzerland.
[Belgium is readmitted as a member of the Union, on the basis of the treaty of November 6, 1885.]
ART. 2. The National Bank of Belgium shall receive the silver five-franc pieces during the duration of the treaty, as it has been determined for the Bank of France by Article 3 of the treaty.
[The total subsidiary silver allowed to Belgium is 35,800,000 francs.]
[ART. 4. On the date of settlement of accounts as to Belgium and French silver five-franc pieces, if the French Government finds itself the holder of a balance of Belgian silver five-franc pieces, this balance shall be divided into two equal parts.
The Belgian Government shall be held to the reimbursement of one half of this balance conformably to Article 4 of the Arrangement.
It engages itself not to introduce into its monetary régime any change which can hinder the return of the other half by way of commerce and the exchanges. This agreement shall have a duration of five years from the expiration of the Union.]
[Then follow details as to redeeming coins between Belgium and France and Switzerland.]
E. Plan for the Resumption of Specie Payments, laid before the Chamber of Deputies by the Italian Government,2 November 15, 1880.
ARTICLE 1. The company (consorzio) of banks of issue, instituted by the law of April 30, 1874, shall be dissolved June 30, 1881.
After July 1, 1881, the notes of the company which chance to be in circulation shall be a direct debt upon the state.
After the same date, the annual charge upon the budget of the state in favor of the company shall be abolished, and the rente deposited by the Government as a guarantee of the notes of the company, in accordance with the laws of April 19, 1872, and April 30, 1874, shall be returned.
ART. 2. The company shall hand over to the treasury before June 30, 1881, the factory where the notes of the company are made, with all the machinery, utensils, furniture, and primary or auxiliary materials with which it shall then be furnished; and it shall hand over besides, within the same period, the newly-made notes of the company intended to serve as a reserve for exchange with the bills in use.
The treasury shall pay to the company the indemnity which shall then be due for the net cost of the aforesaid factory and its dependencies, with deduction for wear and tear, for the newly-made bills given up in virtue of the present article, and for the estimated cost of the notes of the syndicate in circulation December 31, 1881.
The amount of the indemnity eventually due shall be fixed without appeal by three arbiters appointed—one by the Government, another by the company, and the third by the two former.
ART. 3. The old notes of the company shall continue to have a forced circulation, according to the existing regulations, for payments of all kinds; but they shall be convertible into metallic money according to the rules prescribed by the following articles.
ART. 4. The Government is authorized to put into circulation the fractional silver money (la monnaie divisionnaire d'argent), and the other moneys of gold and silver existing in the treasuries of the state.
ART. 5. A royal decree shall fix the date after which the old notes of the company shall be exchangeable, to the bearer and on sight, against the decimal money of gold and silver at the central treasury of the kingdom, and at the provincial treasuries of Florence, Genoa, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Turin, Bari, Bologna, Cagliari, and Messina. Successive royal decrees shall authorize, in case of need, exchange at other treasuries of the state.
ART. 6. The notes of 5 francs, 2 francs, 1 franc, and 50 centimes, withdrawn from circulation, shall be canceled; and also notes of other denominations, withdrawn or exchanged, until the total sum of 600,000,000 francs shall have been reached.
ART. 7. After July 1, 1881, the exchange of notes declared consorziali by the decree of June 14, 1874, for bills definitely consorziali, shall take place at the central treasury of the kingdom.
ART. 8. The Government shall repay the loan of 44,000,000 of metallic money, made by the National Bank of the Kingdom of Italy, according to the terms of the agreement of June 1, 1875. The repayment shall be made three months before the redemption of the old notes of the company, according to the terms of Article 4, paragraph B, and in any case before the complete execution of the provisions of Article 5.
ART. 9. The Government is authorized to procure before the end of the year 1882, by means of loans or other credit operations, a sum of 644,000,000 francs, of which at least 400,000,000 shall be in gold. The rate of interest at the charge of the state shall not in any case exceed 5 per cent, free from the reservation for tax upon personal property (richesse mobilière). For transportation of funds and for all other charges the limit of 1 per cent shall not be exceeded.
ART. 10. The Government is also authorized to obtain the sums of which it will eventually have need to redeem to the bearer and on sight the old notes of the company remaining in circulation after the execution of Article 6.
ART. 11. Of the rente withdrawn from the company of banks, the quantity necessary to procure the sums mentioned in Articles 9 and 10 shall be disposed of. The part exceeding these needs shall be canceled.
ART. 12. From the day on which the exchange of notes of the company against metallic money commences, and, in any case, after the complete execution of Article 6, the customs duties for all sums above 50 lire shall be payable in decimal gold money.
ART. 13. The prohibition laid upon the banks of issue, according to which they might not change the rate of discount without the authority of the Government, shall cease when the redemption of the notes of the syndicate commences, according to the terms of Article 4, paragraph B, and after the directions of Article 6 are fully carried out.
ART. 14. The legal circulation (cours légal) of notes of the banks of issue is continued until the end of the year 1883.
ART. 15. The Government shall receive in its coffers the notes of the six banks of issue, although they have no longer legal circulation.
ART. 16. The right of issuing sight paper (titres payables à vue) shall cease December 31, 1889, for all the banks which enjoy the right.
Rules shall be fixed by law which shall regulate after that date the issue of bank paper payable to the bearer and on sight.
ART. 17. A permanent commission next to the ministry of the treasury, presided over by the minister and composed of three senators and three deputies chosen by the Chambers, of a councilor of state and a councilor of the Court of Accounts chosen by the council of ministers, of the director-general of the treasury, of a high official of the ministry of agriculture, industry, and commerce, and of the director-general of the National Bank of the Kingdom of Italy, president of the company, shall take all measures necessary for the retirement and redemption of the notes in execution of the present law. It shall superintend the progress of operations relating to it, and it shall present through the minister of the treasury to Parliament at the end of each year a detailed report, with documents in support thereof.
ART. 18. The measures mentioned by the preceding article are to be taken by the minister of the treasury in agreement with the minister of agriculture, industry, and commerce.
ART. 19. Royal decrees, issued with the knowledge of the council of state and the Court of Accounts, shall determine the proceedings and guarantees to provide:
Royal decrees shall likewise fix all other regulations necessary for the execution of the present law.
F. Austrian Monetary Reform.3
ACT I. Act of August 2, 1892, for the Introduction of the Crown Standard.
With the consent of both Houses of the Reichsrath, I enact:
ARTICLE 1. The previous Austrian standard shall be replaced by the crown standard, in which the crown shall be the unit of value.
The crown shall be divided into 100 heller.
ART. 2. The standard measure of weight at the mint shall be the kilogramme with its decimal divisions, as set forth in the act of July 23, 1871, establishing the kilogramme as the unit of weight.
ART. 3. The gold coins of the realm shall contain a mixture of 900 parts of gold and 100 parts of copper. A kilogramme of standard gold shall be coined into 2,952 crowns; a kilogramme of fine gold, therefore, into 3,280 crowns.
ART. 4. There shall be struck the following gold coins: (a) twenty-crown pieces; (b) ten-crown pieces. A kilogramme of standard gold shall be coined into 147.6 pieces of twenty crowns, or 295.2 pieces of ten crowns; a kilogramme of fine gold, therefore, into 164 pieces of twenty crowns and 328 pieces of ten crowns. The twenty-crown piece, accordingly, shall have a gross weight of 6.775067 grammes, and a weight in fine gold of 6.09756 grammes; the ten-crown piece shall have a gross weight of 3.3875338 grammes, and a weight in fine gold of 3.04878 grammes.
[Art. 5 prescribes the devices which shall be put on the twenty-crown and ten-crown pieces. The twenty-crown piece is to have a diameter of 21 millimetres; the ten-crown piece, a diameter of 19 millimetres.]
ART. 6. The procedure in the manufacture of these coins shall secure their accurate production in weight and content. So far as absolute accuracy can not be maintained for the individual pieces, a tolerance shall be permitted not to exceed 2/1000 of the gross weight of 1/1000 of the content of fine gold.
ART. 7. . The twenty-crown piece shall pass current with a weight of 6.74 grammes, and the ten-crown piece with a weight of 3.37 grammes. Gold coins, whose weight in the course of ordinary wear and tear has not been reduced below these limits, shall be received at their face value at all state and other public offices and by private individuals.
But gold coins which shall have been reduced below these limits by long-continued circulation and abrasion shall be withdrawn on account of the state, and recoined. Accordingly, coins so worn shall be received at all state and other public offices at their face value, and shall be forwarded to the Imperial Central Treasury at Vienna for transmission to the Imperial Mint at Vienna.
Coins whose weight has been diminished otherwise than by circulation shall be withdrawn on their appearing at state and other public offices, upon indemnification of the loss of intrinsic value which they have suffered, and shall then be forwarded for recoinage in the manner set forth in the preceding paragraph.
ART. 8. The coinage of gold coins of the realm shall be undertaken on account of the state. The twenty crown pieces shall also be coined on private account, so far as the mint may not be engaged in coinage on state account.
The seigniorage for coinage on private account shall be established by administrative order from time to time, but for the twenty-crown pieces shall not exceed 0.3 per cent of their value.
ART. 9. In addition to the above-mentioned gold coins, Austrian ducats shall continue to be coined as trade coins, 81 189/355 pieces being coined out of one Vienna mark (.280668 kilogramme of flne gold). The metal of which they are manufactured shall have a fineness of 23 karats 8 grains [(986 1/9)/1000].
The gold coins of eight florins and four florins provided for by the act of March 9, 1870, shall no longer be struck.
ART. 10. The silver coins of two florins, one florin, and one-quarter florin, Austrian standard, provided for by Imperial Patent of September 19, 1857, shall remain in lawful circulation until further order. Silver coins of the Austrian standard are no longer to be coined, except from such portions of silver as may be already in possession of the treasury or shall have been purchased by the treasury for coinage purposes.
So long as the silver coins above mentioned are not demonetized, they shall be received in all payments, public and private, at the following rates:
ART. 11. In addition to the gold coins of the realm there shall be struck for the present the following coins under the crown standard:
ART. 12. The crown pieces shall contain 835/1000 of silver and 165/1000 of copper. A kilogramme of such standard silver shall be manufactured into 200 crown pieces: each crown piece shall therefore weigh 5 grammes. In coining the crown pieces, their normal weight and content must be maintained. So far as absolute accuracy is not attainable, a tolerance shall be permitted not to exceed 3/1000, of their fine content and 10/1000 of their weight.
[Art. 13 prescribes the devices on the crown pieces. Their diameter is to be 23 millimetres.]
ART. 14. The coinage of crown pieces shall be undertaken only on account of the state. One hundred and forty millions of crown pieces shall be struck. Administrative order shall prescribe at what periods the coinage and issue of the crown pieces shall take place.
ART. 15. Nickel coins shall be coined of pure nickel. A kilogramme of pure nickel shall be manufactured into 250 twenty-heller pieces or into 333 ten-heller pieces. [The devices on these pieces are then prescribed. The diameter of the twenty-heller piece is to be 21 millimetres; of the ten-heller pieces, 19 millimetres.]
ART. 16. Nickel coins shall be struck only on account of the state. They shall be coined up to the amount of 42,000,000 crowns. They shall be issued concurrently with the withdrawal of the silver subsidiary coins of 20, 10, and 5 kreuzers. Administrative orders shall determine at what periods the coinage and issue of the nickel coins and the withdrawal of the subsidiary silver coins shall take place.
ART. 17. The copper coins shall be struck from a mixture containing 95 parts of copper, 4 parts of tin, and 1 part of zinc. A kilogramme of such metal shall be coined into (a) 300 pieces of 2 heller, (b)) 600 pieces of 1 heller. [The devices on these coins are then prescribed. The two-heller piece is to have a diameter of 19 millimetres, the one-heller piece of 17 millimetres.]
ART. 18. Copper coins shall be struck only on account of the state. The total amount shall not exceed 18,200,000 crowns. They shall be issued concurrently with the withdrawal of the copper subsidiary coins of 4, 1, and 5/10 kreuzers.
Administrative order shall determine at what periods the coinage and issue of these coins and the withdrawal of the copper coins of the present Austrian standard shall take place.
ART. 19. The crown pieces, as well as the nickel and copper coins of the crown standard, shall be received at all state and other public offices at their face value—the crown pieces in unlimited amounts, the nickel and copper coins up to the amount of 10 crowns. In addition, these coins shall be redeemed, at all offices designated to act as exchange offices, in lawful coins of the realm (Articles 4 and 10), in such manner as may be prescribed in detail by administrative order.
In private transactions no person shall be obliged to accept crown pieces in sums of more than 50 crowns, nickel coins in sums of more than 10 crowns, or copper coins in sums of more than 1 crown.
ART. 20. The provisions of the last article do not apply to coins mutilated by boring, or diminished in weight otherwise than by ordinary circulation, or to counterfeit coins. If counterfeit coins are presented at the state or other public offices, they shall be confiscated at once and transmitted to the Imperial Mint in Vienna. Coins mutilated by boring, or diminished in weight otherwise than by ordinary circulation if presented at state or other public offices, shall be stamped with a mark which shall exclude them from lawful circulation. Silver, nickel, and copper coins which shall have suffered appreciably in weight or in recognizability from ordinary circulation and abrasion shall be received or redeemed at their nominal value at public offices, and shall be recoined on public account.
ART. 21. The silver and copper subsidiary coins which have been struck under the provisions of the Imperial Patent of September 19, 1857; the Imperial Order of October 21, 1860; the act of July 1, 1868; the act of March 30, 1872; the act of April 16, 1878; the act of February 26, 1881; the act of March 10, 1885; and the act of June 10, 1891—shall remain in circulation so long as their withdrawal shall not have been provided for. This withdrawal shall take place by administrative order in connection with the execution of the present act. Administrative order shall also determine the latest date at which the coins so called in shall be received at the public offices. After that date the state shall be under no obligation to redeem these coins. Until that date these coins shall pass as follows:
and shall be legal tender in the manner prescribed by Article 10 in the act of July 1, 1868.
ART. 22. The so-called Levant dollars, having the portrait of the Empress Maria Theresa, of glorious memory, and the date 1780, shall continue to be coined as trade coins, of the previous weight and fineness; namely, 12 dollars out of one Vienna mark (.280668 kilogramme) of fine silver, the metal having a fineness of 13 loth 6 gramme [(833 1/8)/1000].
ART. 23. The paper money now in circulation, and expressed in terms of the Austrian standard, shall be received up to the date of its withdrawal in all payments, public and private, which are lawfully to be made in crowns, in such manner that every florin, Austrian standard, of the face value of the paper, shall be equal to two crowns.
ART. 24. Separate statutes shall provide for the general introduction of obligatory reckoning by the crown standard, in connection with the settlement of coinage matters, and the details as to the application of the new standard under the law (Article 1). Further statutes shall also specify the disposition to be made of the silver coins of 2 florins, 1 florin, and ¼ florin remaining in circulation under the present act, and shall make provision for the redemption of state notes, the regulation of the paper-money circulation, and the resumption of specie payments.
But it shall be optional for any debtor, from the date on which this act goes into effect, to make all payments lawfully due in Austrian money (whether specified to be in coin or not), in gold coins of the crown standard, the twenty-crown piece being equal to 10 florins, and the ten-crown piece equal to 5 florins.
The same shall hold good of the crown pieces and nickel and copper coins of the crown standard to the extent to which they have been made legal tender by Article 19 of the present act, the crown piece being equal to 50 kreuzers, twenty-heller piece to 10 kreuzers, the ten-heller piece to 5 kreuzers, the two-heller piece to 1 kreuzer, and the one-heller piece to 5/10 kreuzer.
ART. 25. This act shall go into effect at the same time with the act by which the ministry of the kingdoms and lands represented in the Reichsrath is authorized to enter into a coinage treaty with the lands of the Hungarian monarchy.
ART. 26. The ministers of finance and justice shall execute the provisions of this act.
ACT II. Authorizing the ministry of the kingdoms and lands represented in the Reichsrath to conclude a treaty for monetary union with the ministry of the lands of the Hungarian crown. August 2, 1892.
[Act II authorizes a treaty by the terms of which the crown standard is to be adopted in both parts of Austro-Hungary. All coins of the crown standard are to be received in either part of the monarchy in payment of public dues, on the terms defined in Act I. Abraded coins are to be redeemed by the mint issuing them. The coinage of the subsidiary coins, silver, nickel, and copper, is to be divided between the countries in the proportion of 70 to 30, Austria coining 70 per cent of the total, Hungary 30 per cent. Thus Austria is to coin 140 millions and Hungary 60 millions of the new silver crown pieces. The burden of the redemption of the state paper money is to be divided in the same proportion. Out of a total of 312 million florins of paper which are considered a debt common to the two countries, 70 per cent are to be redeemed by Austria, 30 per cent by Hungary. It is agreed also that the one-florin notes are to be redeemed first, and to be replaced by money of the new standard. Notes so redeemed are to be destroyed.]
ACT III. Concerning the fulfillment of obligations payable in gold florins of the Austrian standard in gold corns of the crown standard. August 2, 1892.
[Act III provides that, on contracts stipulating for payment in gold florins of the Austrian standard, gold coins of the crown standard shall be legal tender, 100 crowns being reckoned as equal to 42 gold florins. Gold crown coins are to be received on the same terms in payment of import duties.]
ACT IV. Amending Article 87 of the Statutes of the Austro-Hungarian Bank. August 2, 1892.
[Act IV adds the following clause to the statutes of the Austro-Hungarian Bank:
"It shall be the duty of the bank to redeem in bank notes, at its main offices in Vienna and Budapest, lawful gold coins at their face value and gold bars at the mint rate of the crown standard.
"The bank shall have the right to cause gold bars to be assayed and separated, at the expense of the person presenting them, by agents of its appointment; and it may deduct the seigniorage charged, fixed, and published by the Government."]
ACT V. Authorizing a loan for securing a supply of gold for the coinage of gold coins of the crown standard, and specifying the disposition and control of the newly issued coins. August 2, 1892.
With the consent of the two Houses of the Reichsrath, I enact:
ARTICLE 1. The minister of finance is authorized to contract a loan by issuing 4-per-cent bonds, with interest payable in gold, of the form described in the act of March 18, 1876, the total issue of bonds to be such as to secure a net amount of gold of 182,456,000 of Austrian gold florins.
ART. 2. The gold so secured shall be coined at once into gold crowns of the crown standard.
ART. 3. These gold coins shall be deposited for safe keeping in the state central treasury, or in the Austro-Hungarian Bank as a special deposit to the credit of the treasury department.
ART. 4. The coins deposited under the provisions of the preceding article shall be disposed of only by legislative enactment.
ART. 5. The commission of the Reichsrath for the supervision of the public debt shall exercise control over the execution of the provisions of Articles 3 and 4.
For this purpose it shall check the delivery of these gold coins [ubt die Gegensperre über den Erlag].
The commission shall present, as often as it sees fit, but at least once a year, a report to the Reichsrath in regard to the administration of its control.
ART. 6. The minister of finance shall introduce at the proper time a bill providing for the settlement of the debt, limited to a maximum of a hundred millions of florins, Austrian standard, and existing in the form of partial mortgage assignments or of circulating notes representing such assignments.4
ART. 7. This act shall go into effect on the date of its publication. It shall be executed by the minister of finance.
ACT VI. Authorizing the refunding of the 5-per-cent tax-free currency bonds, the 5-per-cent railway bonds of the Vorarlberg road, and the 4¾-per-cent bonds of the Crown Prince Rudolf road.
[Authority is given for refunding the securities mentioned in the title by the issue of bonds of the same sorts, free of taxes, and bearing interest at 4 per cent.]
Appendix V, Coinage Statistics
Coinage of Gold and Silver, from the Organization of the United States Mint.
Coinage of Gold and Silver at the French Mint since 1795.
Coinage of Gold and Silver at the Belgian Mint since 1832.
Coinage of Gold and Silver at the Italian Mint since 1862.
Coinage of Gold and Silver at the English Mint.
Coinage of Gold and Silver at the German Mint.
Coinage of Gold and Silver in Russia.
Flow of Silver to the East
Exports and Imports of Silver from the United States since 1870.
Consumption of the Precious Metals in the Arts.
Statistics on this point are very unsatisfactory and clearly incomplete. The Director of the Mint gives the following table, which is the most recent:
The World's Industrial Consumption of Gold and Silver in 1895.
[77.]General Francis A. Walker says money performs the function of a measure of value "in respect to a vast bulk of commodities where it is not called on to become a medium of exchange.... It requires the actual use of money, for a longer or shorter space of time, to effect those double exchanges which we call buying and selling; but the prices resulting from such exchanges may be applied to far greater bodies of wealth without the use of money. For example, a farmer sells a cow to be sent to the city for beef. It is only in the actual sale that money is used: but he takes the price—the money-value—thus determined, as the means of estimating the value of his herd; and so does the Government in taxing him.... The farmer compares his cow with the one he has just sold for money, and, knowing it to be as good a cow, or better, or poorer, fixes her price, in denominations of money, for the purposes of the contemplated exchange."—"Money," p. 64.
[78.]As to the understanding regarding this limit of the gold reserve, cf. Horace White, "Money and Banking," p. 206.
[1.]"An Historical Inquiry into the Production and Consumption of the Precious Metals," pp. 300-301.
[2.]From a French translation of the measure, published in "Bulletin de Statistique et de Législation comparée," 1880, vol. ii, pp. 353-355.
[3.]From the translation in the "Quarterly Journal of Economics," January, 1893.
[4.]This article refers to an issue of obligations made during and after the war of 1866. These were at first assignments or mortgages of the yield of the salt works, but were later made convertible into state notes, and remained there after alternatively interest-bearing or non-interest-bearing, at the discretion of the minister of finance. The maximum issue was 100 million florins. They constitute a separate debt for Austria, over and above the 312 millions of paper which are a debt common to Austria and Hungary. In 1891 this extra issue of paper money, payable by Austria alone, stood at 66.8 million florins.