"WHEN the mariner has been tossed for many days in thick weather and on an unknown sea, he naturally avails himself of the first pause in the storm, the earliest glance of the sun, to take his latitude and ascertain how far the elements have driven him from his course." Not for a few days only, nor for a few months, nor even for a few years, but for twenty, have the monetary pilots of the United States, entrusted with the care of the ship of state, been tossed about upon the waters, by the jarring winds of false financial doctrines; yet so far from availing themselves of the pauses in the storm that have occasionally given them a glimpse of the sun and light to determine their bearings and position, and discover how far they had drifted or been driven from the course of the correct principles of currency legislation, they seem bent rather on steering clear of the right path and sailing, without chart or compass, one knows not whither, except that it must be through darkness to danger and, perhaps, disaster.
One such glimpse they had after the clouds of the crisis of 1893 began to clear away. Others have come to them after the successive issues of bonds during the past two years, resulting in the borrowing of $250,000,000 to maintain a reserve of $100,000,000, which is ever oozing out of the Treasury, and which cannot be kept intact so long as the Treasury-draining tubes of the legal-tender notes and Treasury notes are not stopped up or destroyed-a reserve which must be replenished periodically to insure the parity with gold of our paper money amounting to over $800,000,000, and to avert the "circulating pest"* of a depreciated medium of exchange. But neither the light after the panic nor after the ever-recurring embarrassments of the Treasury, followed by repeated and heavy loans, in a time of profound peace, has sufficed to let them see that the panic was produced and the issues of bonds rendered necessary by the fact that they had been violating, for over twenty years, every law of coinage and finance, and that the proper preventative of such panics and bond issues in the future is to ascertain how far they have been driven from the true course of monetary principles-of the principles that have guided all other great commercial nations since 1871, and that had directed the monetary legislation of the United States for nearly ninety years -the monetary principles of the Fathers of the Republic, of Robert Morris, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton.