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abroad is now very limited, and held chiefly for investment, and beyond the reach of the European money market.
Production of Precious Metals.- Estimated from the deposits of domestic production at the Mint and Assay offices of the United States for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1890:
Gain in fiscal year ending June 30, 1890,
Comparing this with the statement of the exchanges of the precious metals with foreign countries for the fiscal year, it appears that notwithstanding the unusual demand for gold abroad, the United States was able to hold fivesixths of its entire product of this metal, and to increase its stock by somewhat over twenty-six millions of dollars.
THE CIRCULATING MEDIUM.
The Treasurer of the United States, in his report of November 1, 1890, stated the total amount of the circulating medium at $1,698,614,406.
This shows an increase of $55,500,000 over the circulating medium of 1089, and a decrease in notes of $25,643,529. Of this, as appears by the report of the Comptroller of the Currency, $22,267,772 were in the issues of National Banks.
CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS VOLUME.
The Secretary tenders his thanks to the following named gentlemen for trade reports and 'statistical information furnished him in the compilation of this volume :
The Hon. S. G. BROCK, Chief of the Bureau of Statistics, Washington, for Statistics of Navigation and Immigration of the United States for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1890. Mr. DAVID M. STONE, for Statistics of the Foreign Commerce of the Port of New-York for the calendar year 1890. Mr. CHARLES McK. LOESER, for a Report on the Wine and Spirit Trade. Mr. ISAAC H. BAILEY, for Reports on the Leather, Hide, and Boot and Shoe Trades. Mr. T. D. HAZARD, for a Report on the Iron Trade. Messrs. McKESSON & ROBBINS, for a Report on the Drug Trade. Mr. W. W. WATROUS, for a Report on the Lumber Trade. Mr. ABRAHAM MILLS, for a Report on the Wool Trade. Messrs. WILLIAM B. DANA & Co., for a Report on the Cotton Crop. Editor of the Whalemen's Shipping List of New-Bedford, for a Report on the Whale Fishery. Mr. ALBERT H. STORER, for a Report on the Petroleum Trade.
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,
NEW-YORK, May 7, 1891.
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,
FROM MAY, 1890, TO MAY, 1891.
The 122d Annual Meeting, Thursday, May 1, 1890.
The one hundred and twenty second annual meeting of the Chamber of Commerce was held this day, at half-past twelve o'clock, P. M., at the Rooms of the Chamber, on Nassau-street, between Cedar and Liberty streets.
CHARLES S. Smith, President.
And one hundred and thirty-three members, including General William T. SHERMAN, the Hon. Carl Schurz and Mr. Cyrus W. FIELD, Honorary members.
On motion of Mr. Francis B. THURBER, the reading of the minutes of the last regular meeting, held April 3, and of the special meetings, held April 9 and 15, was dispensed with.
REPORTS OF STANDING COMMITTEES.
Mr. . HENRY HENTZ, Chairman of the Executive Committee, reported the following named candidates for membership, and recommended their election :
GEORGE S. COE.
HIRAM K. MILLER.
JOHN B. MANNING.
These gentlemen were, on members of the Chamber.
one ballot, unanimously elected
Mr. William P. St. John, of the Committee on Finance and Currency, submitted the following minority report on the pending silver legislation, representing his views on the question :
To the Chamber of Commerce :
The silver legislation now pending in Congress, and entirely likely to be adopted, is best designated as the Republican Caucus Silver Bill,
Details omitted, that enactment would require the United States to purchase monthly so much of four and a half million ounces of fine silver as can be obtained at one dollar for the amount of silver in our standard silver coin, viz. : $1.00 for 3711 grains fine, or 412} grains nine-tenths fine ; i, e., $1.2929 per ounce fine. Inasmuch, however, as the world's record of annual supplies and needs of silver in the past, to and including the year 1889, furnish me no warrant of facts for the suspicion i hat even with considerable increase of production the United States will be able to procure, as against the world's actual and prospective requirements, 54,000,000 ounces of fine silver annually at this fixed liniit of our mint price, I deem it a fair conclusion ihat the proposition is fully the equivalent of reopening our mints to the free and unlimited coinage of our present standard silver dollars, and with even a little betier convenience to the silver producer who will receive Treasury notes in prompt payment, instead of waiting for his silver to be coined.
Assuming that this lill, because hailing from the caucus of the ruling party in compliance with an overwhelmingly influential demand for an increased out-put of money, is reasonably certain of adoption, I now fullfil my duty to this Chamber as I conceive it, although alone perhaps in my conclusions, to report as from the minority of your Committee on Finance and Currency, that I deem the proposition worthy of your approval, and therefore heartily commend its enactment as a wise and timely law. In support of this opinion I trespass as little as possible upon your patience, not attempting a complete argument, but respectfully submit, in brief, the following statement of facts for such influence as they may have with you :
First. Because Europe's only silver, other than an annual production of a little more than half her annual consumption in the arts, is Europe's silver money. The unsold remnant of Germany's accumulated silver, for sale after France had paid her indemnity in gold, has long since been put into circulation, and is now afloat and in bank as a portion of Germany's current moneys.
For continental Europe to ship us her silver money at our proposed mint price in exchange for gold, or for our reminting into standard silver dollars for her account, she will need first to procure three per cent. additional silver bullion, and for that to tax her people about $28,000,000, and additionally for transit charges, for this seemingly purposeless exchange.
France I assume to be a fair criterion as to Europe's course with silver, she being possessed of six times as much silver money as any one other European nation, Germany excepted, and three times as much as Germany, at the same time that she possesses three hundred million dollars worth more of gold than her only rival outside the United States, Great Britain ; and France will not flood us with her silver.
First. Because in December, 1889, or January of this year, the opportunity was afforded her (as subsequent attempted explanations fully confirm) to procure gold for her silver to the amount of 300,000,000 francs at par, that offer being 60 d. per ounce in gold for $59,000,000 worth of her silver money, i. e., in equivalence, 103 cents a piece in gold, for our so called “ 72 cents discs.”-our present standard dollars ; and that offer was declined.
Second. Because under the Latin Union treaty, France might now, as during several years past, but does not, exact of Italy, Belgium, Switzerland and Greece, the redemption of their silver coins in France, for which, at last estimates, her claim on them in that exchange for silver at par would exceed the sum of $80,000,000, gold.
Finally. As to France being every year indebted to India for supplies of wheat, cotton, indigo, etc., France might profitably rid herself of silver in the average sum of more than $40,000,000 annually, and elects instead practically to pay in gold, purchasing in London India Council Bills to remit in settlements. France, the criterion of criteria as to Europe's silver, neglecting thus to rid herself of $40,000,000 of silver annually by recoining it in India, as she might do, and seemingly with profit, is not to be feared as likely to choose to flood our mints in the constant certainty of a loss of 3 per cent. and transit cost additional.
In the last analysis nations trade with commodities ; and only in a balance of trade is title acquired to gold, or silver, esteemed as money. If Europe in any season shall establish'a balance of trade against the United States, which others of our commodities will not acceptably make good to her, she may exercise her right to command our gold, uninfluenced by this proposed enactment or any other act of ours respecting silver. On the other hand, as from time to time the foreigner shall establish a title to a portion of our gold, it will be of prime concern to us that we bave provided a sufficiency of money acceptable as legal tender here and abundant for our wants in our vast domestic trade. 12,000,000 increase of population and the creation of four new States indicate domestic irade expansion in the last ten years.
The act proposed, being in result the same as though we opened