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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. (REPT. 447
TO AMEND THE FEDERAL RESERVE ACT.
APRIL 3, 1916.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the
Union and ordered to be printed.
Mr. LINDBERGH, from the Committee on Banking and Currency,
submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 13391.]
Mr. Lindbergh submitted the following minority views on House bill 13391:
Though in some measure the bill might aid foreign commerce, it is objectionable in other respects, because it would further concentrate the banking powers and ultimately squeeze out the smaller banks in many sections of the country. The last paragraph of the bill would strongly tend to monopoly.
No bill should be passed by Congress that will divert American funds into foreign countries as long as the Wall Street rates of interest are 1 to 2 and 3 per cent, while the legitimate agricultural, industrial, and business interests of the country at large pay from 6 per cent and upward. Much of the deposits the people place in the banks are concentrated into the large cities, and especially New York, and from these loaned into the hands of speculators, who exploit the people. This bill, if it becomes law, would be one further step toward creating a world monopoly in the banking business. No one can read the bill in connection with existing banking and currency laws without coming to that conclusion.
64TH CONGRESS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. 1st Session
CURRENCY ACT OF MARCH 4, 1900.
MARCH 28, 1916.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of
the Union and ordered to be printed.
Mr. Glass, from the Committee on Banking and Currency, submitted
[To accompany H. R. 13474.)
The Committee on Banking and Currency, to which was referred the bill (H. R. 13474) to amend section 6 of an act to define and fix the standard of value, to maintain the parity of all forms of money issued or coined by the United States, to refund the public debt, and for other purposes, approved March 14, 1900, as amended by the act of March 2, 1911, with amendments thereto, reports the bill with an amendment, page 2, line 1, and page 2, line 12, striking out one-half” and inserting "two-thirds” in each instance, thus fixing the amount of gold bullion and foreign coin which must be held in the Treasury of the United States against the amount of outstanding gold certificates at two-thirds rather than at one-half, as proposed by the bill, or one-third, as prescribed by the existing statute. The reason for the proposed alteration in the existing statute was given in a letter from the Secretary of the Treasury to the Speaker of the House on the 4th of March of this year, as follows:
Washington, March 4, 1916. SIR: I submit herewith for your consideration the draft of a proposed bill, the object of which is to permit the holding of a larger proportion of gold bullion and foreign gold coin as a reserve against gold certificates than is at present authorized under the provisions of section 6 of the currency act of March 14, 1900, as amended by the act of March 2, 1911.
This act permits the issuance of gold certificates against gold bullion and foreign gold coin to the extent of one-third of the total gold certificates outstanding, the other two-thirds being secured by gold coin stored in the vaults of the Treasury Department.
There is at present a total of gold coin so held amounting, to approximately $1,000,000,000 and the amount of gold bullion held as a reserve against gold certificates has reached the prescribed one-third owing to the heavy influx of gold since the commencement of hostilities in Europe.
The Treasury is placed in the position of having to coin upward of $100,000,000 in order to offset the lullion receipts, and the expense of such coinage is deemed totally unnecessary, when one considers that the amount of gold coin used as a circulating medium is infinitely small compared to the stock of gold coin stored in our valuts. Again, under the present provisions, it will be necessary to immediately turn into coin all further bullion received, or at least two-thirds of it, to permit the issuance of additional gold certificates with which to pay for the bullion as payment is almost invariably requested in certificates.
The cost of coining $100,000,000 in gold is approximately $125,000, and there is no actual demand for such additional coin for any purpose other than to store it in our vaults to be held as a basis for further issue of gold certificates. It might just as well be stored in the form of fine gold bars, thus eliminating the expenses of coining.it.
The bill I am submitting to you, if enacted, would permit the increase of our bullion reserve and eliminate the necessity of further coinage of gold to be stored as a reserve against gold certificates until such time as the amount of bullion so held equaled the amount of coin held, thereby effecting a considerable saving:
Another phase which has a direct bearing on this situation is that when gold is wanted for export purposes the demand is invariably for fine gold bars, and the enaciment of the proposed bill would permit us to accumulate a good stock of such bars. Respectfully,
W. G. McAdoo, Secretary. To the SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
The Director of the Mint likewise states that the disuse by the public of gold coin in current business transactions has rendered the requirements of the act which this bill proposes to amend totally unnecessary and unreasonable; hence the Banking and Currency Committee thinks it would be indefensible for the Treasury Department to expend $125,000 merely to conform to an obsolete provision of the act in question.
BRIDGE ACROSS FOX RIVER, ILL.
MARCH 28, 1916.— Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.
Mr. STERLING, from the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Com
merce, submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 12775.]
The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 12775) granting the consent of Congress to George Fabyan to construct a bridge across the Fox River, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass.
The bill has the approval of the War Department, as will appear by the letter attached and which is made a part of this report.
There is also attached and made a part of this report a letter from the Illinois Rivers and Lakes Commission.
March 20, 1916. Respectfully returned to the chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives.
The Chief of Engineers reports that H, R. 12775, Sixty-fourth Congress, first session,
John C. SCOFIELD,
STATE OF ILLINOIS,
Chicago, March 16, 1916.
Str: With reference to the application of George Fabyan for permit for the renewal