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last. What happened to the United States in August of last year? Go back in your thought to 1907, and for the good of your souls and conversion of your minds, let me remind you that in 1907 the Dingley tariff was in full force and vigor, and Theodore on the throne, acting wisely or unwisely. (Laughter.) And let me remind you also that in 1893 the panic occurred, nearly a year, if not more than a year, and I am not exactly sure as to the month before the Wilson tariff law was passed which is so often accused of causing it. Ordinarily in times like those of August of last year, one country calls upon another for help. In 1907 we got help from London. In other panic days Berlin and Paris have helped us to help one another. But in August of last year we took the shock alone. Have you ever reflected as to what that meant as to the essential soundness and strength of the United States? We owed something like five thousand millions in funded debt. We owed between $400,000,000 and $500,000,000, in floating debt payable in gold. Both were wanted and both were asked for. We stopped paying the funded debt by closing our stock exchanges, and they sent over here to arrange to collect four or five hundred millions of floating debt, and we gathered a hundred millions of gold to protect ourselves on the floating debt matter, and we paid a considerable portion of it in gold. We sent it up to Ottawa, where the Bank of England opened an account rather for the purpose of receiving from us what we owed. That was our position, alone, with the whole financial shock beating for the first time since modern finance was created against one nation, and that a debtor nation and not a creditor nation. We could not call upon the income from twenty thousand million dollars invested abroad to carry us through. Not we. We did not have it. We owed. We were a debtor nation and we were asked to pay. That is where we stood in August, and it was not easy.

"I should be as negligent as unkind if I did not say that the way we pulled through that situation was due to the courage and character and brains of American business men and financiers, and I think they would at least be glad to say that the Government did what it could under the circumstances.

"I want you to think of that. If you are troubled and worried about business conditions now, think of last August for the good of your mind and peace of your soul. You were where you owed the money and they asked for it and sent to collect it, and you had to pay. Now it is paid. The $400,000,000 has been settled, and not in gold wholly, but in goods. We have taken back some tens of millions-yes, some scores of millions of such gold as we did pay. It has been paid, and a great deal more, and a considerable amount (nobody knows how much but very large sums) of the funded debt has also been paid by our buying back our own securities from Europe since the exchanges reopened.

"To that extent we are paying less abroad for interest and more to ourselves. Without going into the details, the situation now is this, that up to last Saturday night, including the bad months of July and

August (about which Mr. Duncan speaks so fluently), both of which were against us, we have accumulated a favorable trade balance of eight hundred and twenty-five million dollars, a fact that you never dreamed of in your life as possible to happen, and which your fathers never saw. So far from going behind in this game we have ceased to be the debtor, in a large degree, wholly, indeed, so far as the floating debt is concerned, and have become the creditor. You have seen also what you never saw before: The nations of Europe and South America and Canada, the cities and provinces of Canada, as well as the Dominion itself, coming to us for money, whereas it is only eight or nine short months since they were asking us to pay up yonder. We have paid the four or five hundred millions we owed them, and we have loaned abroad two hundred and fifty millions or more in cash. You have seen advertised in your papers, side by side, a public loan of Germany and a public loan of France and two of Argentina. None of you ever saw the like of that before. And it has all happened within the period of eight or nine months, while some men were growling because things were bad.

"To-day we are the only one of the greater nations of the earth that has a favorable trade balance in its foreign exchange. There is not a single other one, to my knowledge. If I am mistaken, I shall be glad to be corrected. It is accumulating now at the approximate net rate (taking the figures of last week) of $3,500,000 a day. The world owes us to-night $3,500,000 more net than it did at breakfast time this morning. That is the sober, plain, ordinary fact. It is money they owe us and which they have got, in some form or another, to pay us. To-day every business man knows, who knows anything, and there are some who do-oh! many of them do (laughter), that we hold the strongest position in the world of business and finance, on the financial side, that we have ever had in the history of our land. Take the last issue of The London Statist if you don't want to believe me. If I am full of bias and prejudice on the matter take any European authority and read what they say, or as the Wizard of Wellesley Hills, who teaches the nation finance and teaches it I think truly, says, in his issue of two weeks ago, 'Let every manufacturer and merchant take courage.'

"That is not all. We not only have more owed to us than ever before, but we ourselves owe less than we ever did before. There has never been a time (so the financial journals say) when this country was liquidated as closely as it is now. Two years of depression have not been wholly bad for it, they have made us pay up. We have not speculated largely and we have paid, and to-day we owe less, as a nation, than we ever did. I wonder how it would make you feel if this nation were once to have the debt that France had before the war. We have infinitely more resources and three times the population. I wonder how it would make you feel to have eight thousand millions of national debt as she had before the war.

"Sometimes I begin to fear we do not at all realize our blessings in this country. Suppose if we had to pay the rate of interest that every

European nation now pays on its debt. We pay two per cent. on most of ours, so the interest on our national debts is a negligible quantity. I presume you all know that the savings banks alone of Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut hold enough ready cash belonging mostly to the poor to pay our national debt, and the debts of all our States, and the debts of the great cities of New York and Philadelphia, with much to spare besides. (Applause.)

"But that is not all. We have been accustomed to spend from $170,000,000 to $200,000,000 abroad for travelers' expenses. That is not being spent now. (Applause.) It is being saved and kept here. Furthermore, we had crops last year such as the nation never knew, and their proceeds are in the hands of the farmers. The Bank Commissioner of Kansas sent me his report a few days ago, just for the State banks of Kansas, and it showed $20,000,000 additional deposits over a year ago in that one State, in the State banks only. Furthermore, as the fact now stands, the crops of the present year are actually much ahead of those of last year. And even if there were, as there is now no sign, a shrinkage in those crops, there is every reason to believe that we shall exceed this year the largest crop record of our history. So far as the year has gone, that is the fact to-day.

"I have not noticed in Boston any lists of dead or wounded, nor have I observed that any inconvertible paper currency has been issued in the United States, nor do I recall, Mr. Mayor, that you have a moratorium in the State of Massachusetts. Those forms of entertainment are more or less common abroad at the present time. Do you and I expect, gentlemen, to have the world on fire and feel none of the heat? Do we growl because, instead of being burned alive, we are merely comfortably warm? (Laughter and applause.)

"Now I read of a New Bedford mill paying its back dividends yesterday. The Journal of Commerce says (it may not tell the truth) that the mills there have been busy as they have not been busy for years. I have it here, if you wish to see it. I always like to carry papers with me lest some one should think I was misquoting. I understand that the idle cars, though still far too many, shrunk by 30,000 in the month of April. I wish some of you would try to go to some of your New England factories and try to buy a lathe. I wish you would offer a premium of $100 over the standard list price for a lathe at any machine-shop in New England, or try to buy one in Cincinnati. A gentleman told me recently he could find no machine-tool shop in this country that would manufacture 200 slotting machines for him. I wish you would ask some of the factories in Hartford how long they are sold ahead. One of our Census men in the Alleghany Valley wrote me the other day that every factory save one in this entire vicinity has been running full time. for the entire winter and spring. This was received only yesterday. I was informed that many were contemplating putting on night shifts. Now what is for the future? I have not used the word 'optimistic,' have I? No. Nor I have not said 'boom.' No. I am trying to get a little

belief in ourselves back into our brains. (Great applause.) Now what of the future? Come with me, if you please, up to Lowell. I am rather familiar with Lowell. I have sold many goods there. Come up to Lowell with me and we will burn down (just as a pleasant experiment) one of the big cotton mills up there. Then we will take its working force and shoot half of them. Of that half we will kill one-half, which is onequarter of the whole, and we will maim the other half. Then we will take a certain percentage of the managing brains and we will shoot them. too. How long do you think it will be before that mill will be ready to compete with the other mills? Do you see the point? I get a little bit weary of practical men worshipping ghosts, especially ghosts that aren't so.

"Come, if you please, to the great French city of Lille, or the city of Roubaix. They are the textile cities. That is why I mention them. What sort of shape are the shops in? Do you suppose a ten-inch shell is a conservative element in a textile mill? (Laughter.) If I take your factory organization and slay a large percentage of it and maim the rest and murder a few of the foremen and superintendents, how long will it take you to get your organization back? Suppose that the national debt is double; will interest on it be greater or less? And will the taxes to pay that interest be small or large? In such conditions will capital be freer or not so free? One large American manufacturer went over to see. He went to Belgium and northern France. He came back and told me that in his judgment (I am not speaking of a general situation but of one case) his competitors would require four years to get back where they were before, and he was going to work.

"Now seriously, think of the foolishness of this talk about the mass of men going back into industry who have got to be employed at all sorts of cheap wages, dumping masses of goods, purchased at trifling cost, upon the American market. Think of the supreme foolishness of that thing. From where did those men come? From out the factories and out of the farms, and there are fewer of them to go back by some hundreds of thousands. When they go back what will they find? Did you ever shut up your shop for six or eight months and keep your good-will intact? Did you? Do you know anybody who did when his competitors were busy? Do you suppose any German or Frenchman or Belgian has such wonderful capacity that he does not lose any good-will when his mills are closed for eight months, or that he can go back by some wonderful skill and say, 'Behold my new organization,' and have it there perfectly, and when his superintendent and foremen have been shot dead can find men equally expert to take their places, or when capital is necessary to replace schoolhouses and railways and every other want of civilization he is going to be able to buy his machinery just as cheaply as before or when the national debt is doubled and at higher rates of interest, and taxes are consequently raised he is going to borrow at the same rate as before? They seem to me to have certain elements of doubt.

"For the future, therefore, I think that every day this business goes

on across the Atlantic, makes it harder and not easier for our competitors yonder to meet us again on even terms. My opinion is that if my shop is destroyed, I have got quite a job to get it going again; that if money is harder to get, it is going to cost me more; that if my organization is being broken up, it is not going to be a matter of a few weeks or months to get it together again, especially if much of it is dead. I may be all wrong. Thirty years spent in factories seems to have taught me those things, but I may be all wrong about it. I don't want to say to you that it is not true that the day peace is declared, Belgium rises again full grown from her ashes. Something like that seems to be sometimes


"Nor do I believe that, at a time when every man and every machine is being strained to the utmost for the purposes of war, they are laying up vast stocks of cheaply made merchandise to be dumped upon our shores. But if they are, and the dumping is not square, I think we can find some way in the Department of Commerce to block it. I am not troubled about that sort of thing. Therefore it seems to me, gentlemen, that the business men of sanity (as you seem to be, and I think you are), recognize certain things-that this country is in a stronger financial position than ever before, with larger free capital than she ever had before, and that money is easier to get, and the sources of credit, as Mr. Duncan very well pointed out, are vastly more flexible than ever before; in short, that the whole financial system in America is on a more scientific and helpful basis than it ever was since you and I were born, that our resources are absolutely unhurt, that, as compared with our competitors. yonder, we do not know the meaning of taxes, and that out of infinitely vaster resources than they have, we owe far less and have much more; that they must approach the future under certain serious economic handicaps which are inevitable from the destruction of war; that it will take them long months, I do not know how many-and you will notice I have not said how many-I do not know how many, but that it will take them long months, as it would take you and me long months, to get going again, and when they are going again, they are going to go at greater expense, not less, than before, because the conditions are greater than any nation can control, and that when that process takes place, they will enter a market in which their good-will has been largely lost, and some of it, if you are smart, has come to you. If we use this opportunity as we ought and get a vision something larger than the three-mile limit, we may be able to put the United States in the readjustment of affairs, not so that she will escape paying her share, no, concerning which be thankful we have the means to pay it-but so that, in the readjustment she may change places with somebody. Already we have moved over from third to second place in the international markets of the world. Nothing in God's earth save our own unwillingness to move prevents our taking the first place. (Applause.)

"I think that is about all I have to say, perhaps it is too much. If so I beg your pardon, but despite all that is told about what my friend,

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