Advantages of a Gold Currency

14 ■ tions, for it holds to the prudence of diminishing, not increasing, its loans as the expiration of its charter draws near; and it has no right to build upon the charter continuing longer than March, 1S36. For one, I entertained doubts of the propriety of this change in our commercial policy, and expressed them, under an official call from the Senate in 1828. Whilst desirous of seeing manufactures encouraged, commerce had its equal claims; and I did not think our country then old enough, or our merchants as a body then rich enough in independent capital, to dispense with a provision in the laws, though aware of the objections made to it, which, on the whole, had aided in advancing our commercial prosperity with a rapidity perhaps unexampled in the same compass of time. The change having been made, we must hope for the best; but the first year has brought a heavy demand for money hitherto unknown among our merchants at periods so short. It would have been referred to universally as one cause of the pressure, and an important one, but for the policy of keeping political excitement exclusively to the deposit question. Coming more directly to the point you propound, J have to speak on it thus: By the bank’s own committee, we are informed, that during the two years between May 1830 and May 1832, its loans amounted to more than twenty-seven millions of dollars. Those at the first date were only forty-three millions and a fraction. For this great increase, the bank accounts, in part, if not entirely, so far as its means te lend were concerned: but the motives tp the increase, must be weighed by the country. It led to an amount of outstanding loans, equal to seventy millions of dollars. The calling in of this sum-, within the short remnant of the bank’s existence, could hardly-have been done, had the deposits remained, without pressing on its debtors. Accordingly it appears, that be- tfveen May ’32 and November ’33 it reduced its loans thirteen millions. By December ’33 the reduction was sixteen millions. Part was, of course, after the deposits had been removed. But it seems, that whilst the deposits were reduced during the months of August, September, October, and November last, only two millions and a half in amount, or thereabouts, the loans were reduced, during the same time, .more than nine millions. These facts show violent openings and1 shuttings in the floodgates of this great institution, letting money in and out with a quickness, and in an amount, not usual among careful jankers. It gives a suspicion, not wholly unreasonable, in coexistence with political events, that both had some reference to the bank’s own aims in regard to the renewal of its charter. If the suspicion be well -founded, the pressure is accounted for. The disappearance of money from the channels of circulation in u great commercial country, and its return again, -although so often depending on mere confidence, and alway to be effected by concert among powerful capitalists, will sometimes spring from causes that seem to elude search, because interwoven with the complicated and unseen operations of trade throughout the world. This will be more the cage in a country where, as the United States, there is an undue proportion of paper money; besides that fluctuations are more likely to occur in such a country within its own limits, and on the scale of its own operations. As to the other part of the inquiry, viz. whether a restoration of the deposits, without a change, ia, the course purspeti by the bank, would tend to relieve the pressure, it may be- despatched very briefly.. I cannot even touch it, however, without ever premising how much ! should deplore the restoration, could I conceivd it-possible, of what I think were so justly taken away. But I do not believe that the restoration, were it possible, would do good, under any course that the bank would pursue. The step would tend to fresh embarrassment rather than relief. The bank would probably not receive then? back unless it expected to bp rechartered; so at least I should conjecture. The time has arrived when it is apparent that it must be looking to measures for narrowing its business. It ceases to exist, by the present law, in less than twenty-two months. It has two years of partial life afterwards, but not foy banking. It is for nothing more thaq for the purpose of bringing or carrying on suits, and the sale of property. Ill: Your last question is, whether Ithink “the late vote of the Senate of the United States, censuring the President for the removal of the deposits* warranted by their constitutional powers?” And here, what answer can I give ? Wfjat is left for me to say, after the convictions I have been expressing? The question, in effect, has been answered. It has been answered, unless I am to fling, away all regard for what I conceive to be the character of our institutions in their very essence, and the highest dictates .to public administration under them. With the views I entertain of both, that there should have been room for the question, is, with me, the source of surprise. I am at a loss, not for matter, but expression. I hardly know-how to proceed. An imperious institution, feeling jt« power, but forgetting its sphere, girds itself for battle. The object of its attack, is the executive branch of the government. The motive to the- attack, the opposition which the latter made to the renewal of its charter; made constitutionally, through official communications to both Houses of Congress,-and on convictions of public duty. The means of attack* the treasure under its control, partly belonging to the nation, yet most unwarrantably applied in gaining over, as far as it could, the press ; that clamor, and passion, and every kind of movement, might be rallied against this branch of the government. The ultimate scheme of attack, to draw public opinioq to its ends, giving, opt that the public good was identical with its own ; as if, being charged like the first power in the State with the public good, the preparation and circulation of “ documents and papers" were the appointed means of fulfilling this ; call upon the superintending authority ! All this is proved ; proved, as by the verity of legal records. The bank has set down much,, in its confession. The executive head of the government seeing it all, and more, sees also his duty. He stands not with arms folded. Tinder the highest obligations to his country, he takes the fiejd too. He discerns a foe there, armed cap-a-pie for war ; not with the weapons of chivalry, which rpight have alarmed him less, but weapons of avarice. He resolves to eject it from the public enclosure into which it had unlawfully broken. He resolves to drive it from this arena of its bustle and noise, with the club nearest at hand, and likely to be most effectual. He resolves to cripple its powey