« PreviousContinue »
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 . . . [July 1, 1891)..., 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. 5. That so much of the act of . [February 28, 1878)
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dollars of not less than two million dollars, nor more than four million dollars' worth of silver bullion, is hereby repealed.
No. 183. Repeal of the Silver Purchase Act
November 1, 1893
A BILL to repeal the silver purchase act of July 14, 1890 (No. 182), was introduced in the House August 11, 1893, by William L. Wilson of West Virginia. A free coinage substitute was offered by Bland of Missouri. On motion of Bland it was agreed that the debate should continue for fourteen days, eleven days to be allotted to general debate under the rules of the last House, and the last three days to the consideration of the bill and amendments under the five-minute rule; that upon the close of the debate, votes should be taken in the following order: on free coinage of silver at the present ratio, then at the ratio of 17 to 1, then at the ratio of 18 to 1, then at the ratio of 19 to 1, and finally at the ratio of 20 to 1; and that in the event of these several votes resulting in the negative, the House should vote on an amendment to revive the so-called Bland-Allison act of February 28, 1878 (No. 178]. The bill was then taken up, and formed the principal subject of debate until August 28. The disastrous panic, due in part to the anxiety caused by the shrinkage of the gold reserve notwithstanding the rapid increase in the volume of silver certificates, made the debate one of extraordinary public interest, while the advocates of silver carried on a vigorous agitation for free coinage in the event of a repeal of the compulsory purchase clause of the act of 1890. The votes taken August 28 resulted as follows: on the free coinage substitute, 125 to 226; on free coinage at the ratio of 17 to 1, 101 to 241; at 18 to 1, 103 to 240; at 19 to 1, 104 to 238; at 20 to 1, 122 to 222; on reviving the Bland-Allison act, 136 to 213. The bill was then read a third time and passed, the vote being 239 to 109, 5 not voting. The Senate had under consideration a bill to the same effect as the House bill, so far as repealing the purchase clause of the act of 1890 was concerned; August 29 this was reported by the Committee on Finance as a substitute for the House bill. The bill was not considered until October 30, when the substitute was agreed to and the bill passed, the final vote being 43 to 32. November 1, by a vote of 194 to 94, 65 not voting, the House concurred in the Senate amendment. A bill to “coin the seigniorage” was vetoed by President Cleveland May 27, 1894.
REFERENCES. - Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XXVIII., 4, 5. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 53d Cong., ist Sess., and the Cong. Record. Practically every aspect of the silver question was touched on in the debate.
An Act to repeal a part of
(the Silver Purchase Act of July 14, 1890).
Be it enacted .. That so much of the . . . (Silver Purchase Act of July 14, 1890). .. , 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 seventyone 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.
No. 184. Recognition
Recognition of the Independence
April 20, 1898 In his annual message of December 6, 1897, President McKinley reviewed the course of the insurrection which had been in progress in Cuba since February, 1895, but opposed the recognition of Cuban belligerency. A resolution recognizing the independence of Cuba, being the same as the resolution finally adopted, but without the fourth section, was reported in the Senate April 13, 1898, by Cushman K. Davis of Minnesota, from the Committee on Foreign Relations. An amendment offered on the 16th by David Turpie of Indiana, recognizing the Republic of Cuba “as the true and lawful government of that island," was agreed to by a vote of 51 to 37; and, with the further addition of the fourth section, offered as an amendment by Davis, the resolution passed. A resolution directing the President to intervene to put an end to the war in Cuba “to the end and with the purpose of securing permanent peace and order there and establishing by the free action of the people thereof a stable and independent government of their own,” was reported in the House April 13, by Robert Adams of Pennsylvania, from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as a substitute for numerous bills and resolutions previously submitted. A substitute recognizing the independence of the Republic of Cuba, offered by Albert S. Berry of Kentucky on behalf of the minority of the committee, was rejected by a vote of 150 to 190, and the resolution was agreed to, the final vote being 324 to 19. In the Senate, April 16, the House resolution was substituted for the resolution already before the Senate, and then amended by striking out the words of the House resolution and inserting the resolution of the Senate. On the 18th the House concurred with an amendment, offered by Nelson Dingley of Maine, striking out the clause recognizing the Republic of Cuba, the vote being 178 to 156. The Senate refusing to concur in the House amendment, the resolution went to a conference committee, which reported inability to agree, and a second committee settled the final form of the resolution. The report of the second committee was agreed to in the House by a vote of 311 to 6, and in the Senate by a vote of 42 to 35
REFERENCES. — Text in U S. Statutes at Large, XXX., 738, 739. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 55th Cong., 2d Sess., and the Cong. Record. See also Senate Report 885; Senate Doc. 166 and Senate Report 1160, 54th Cong., ad Sess.; and the various messages of the President. A large amount of documentary matter was printed in the Record in the course of the debate. Joint Resolution for the recognition of the independence of the people of
Cuba, demanding that the Cicvernment of Spain relinquish its authority and government in the island of Cuba, and to withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters and directing the President of the
United States to use the land and naval forces of the United States to carry these resolutions into effect.
Whereas the abhorrent conditions which have existed for more than three years in the Island of Cuba, so near our own borders, have shocked the moral sense of the people of the United States, have been a disgrace to Christian civilization, culminating, as they have, in the destruction of a United States battle ship, with two hundred and sixty-six of its officers and crew, while on a friendly visit in the harbor of Havana, and can not longer be endured, as has been set forth by the President of the United States in his message to Congress of April eleventh, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, upon which the action of Congress was invited: Therefore,
Resolved. First. That the people of the Island of Cuba are, and of right ought to be, free and independent.
Second. That it is the duty of the United States to demand, and the Government of the United States does hereby demand, that the Government of Spain at once relinquish its authority and government in the Island of Cuba and withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters.
Third. That the President of the United States be, and he hereby is, directed and empowered to use the entire land and naval forces of the United States, and to call into the actual service of the United States the militia of the several States, to such extent as may be necessary to carry these resolutions into effect.
Fourth. That the United States hereby disclaims any disposition or intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over said Island except for the pacification thereof, and asserts its determination, when that is accomplished, to leave the government and control of the Island to its people.
No. 185. Declaration of War
April 25, 1898 The destruction of the battleship Maine in the harbor of Havana, on the night of February 15, 1898, was followed, March 9, by the appropriation of $50,000,000 for the national defence. An account of the Maine affair, together with the findings of the court of inquiry, was laid before Congress
by President McKinley in his message of March 28. April 11 the President asked for authority to intervene and end the war in Cuba. On the 22d a blockade of the north coast of Cuba, and of Cienfuegos on the south coast, was proclaimed, and on the next day 125,000 volunteers were called for under authority of the joint resolution of April 20 (No. 184). On the 25th the President announced the withdrawal of the Spanish minister, and recommended a declaration of war. A joint resolution was at once introduced in the House by Adams of Pennsylvania, from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and passed both houses the same day without divisions. A proclamation regarding neutrals was issued April 26. May 25 a call for 75,000 additional volunteers was issued. By a proclamation of June 27, the blockade was extended to the whole of the south coast of Cuba, and to San Juan, Porto Rico. Acts of July 8, 1898, and March 3, 1899, provided for the reimbursement to States of the expenses incurred by them on account of the war.
REFERENCES. — Text in U. S. Statutes at Large, XXX., 364. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 55th Cong., 2d Sess., and the Cong. Record. There was no debate in the House, and the discussion in the Senate was with closed doors. For the correspondence with Spain see the Foreign Relations, 1897 and 1898. The report of the Maine court of inquiry is Senate Doc. 207, 55th Cong., 2d Sess.; the report on the investigation of the War Department, Senate Doc. 221, 56th Cong., ist Sess.; the “beef” inquiry, Senate Doc. 270, ibid. See also Notes on the Spanish-American War, Senate Doc. 288, ibid.
An Act declaring that war exists between the United States of America and
the Kingdom of Spain.
Be it enacted .. First. That war be, and the same is hereby, declared to exist, and that war has existed since . . . (April 21, 1898] . . . , including said day, between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Spain.
Second. That the President of the United States be, and he hereby is, directed and empowered to use the entire land and naval forces of the United States, and to call into the actual service of the United States the militia of the several States, to such extent as may be necessary to carry this Act into effect.