thanks to M.B. who took the time and trouble to darken the door of the library,
and looked up the text

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD--HOUSE
January 20, 1915,
pages 1978-1997

Mr. LINDBERGH.  Mr. Chairman, I would like to be recognized for 10 minutes, if that is agreeable.

Mr. ADAMSON.  Mr. Chairman, we agreed this morning that the gentleman from Minnesota [Mr. Lindbergh] should have 10 minutes.

Mr. MANN.  Oh, there was no agreement of that kind.

Mr. ADAMSON.  I agreed not to object.

Mr. MANN.  The gentleman agreed to yield to him in general debate, but he was not here to get it.

Mr. ADAMSON.  I told the gentleman afterwards that I would not object to his having an opportunity under the five minute rule.

Mr. MANN.  But this has nothing to do with the bill, as I understand it, and the gentleman tried to cut me off from talking on the bill to-day.

Mr. ADAMSON.  Mr. Chairman, I desired to give the gentleman all he wanted.

Mr. MANN.  I had to take what I could get.

Mr. LINDBERGH.  Mr. Chairman, I ask, unanimous consent to proceed for 10 minutes.

The CHAIRMAM.  The gentleman from Minnesota asks unanimous consent that he may proceed for 10 minutes, out of order.  Is there objection ?

Mr. GARLIN.  Mr. Chairman, reserving the right to object, I, would like to know what he is going to talk about.

Mr. LINDBERGH.  I am going to discuss a letter that was written concerning me personally on the subject of a resolution I introduced.

Mr. GARLIN.  I shall not object.

The CHAIRMAN.  Is there objection?

There was no objection.

Mr. LINDBERGH.  Mr. Chairman, certain false statements have been published about me in my official work.  If the false things published were about the particular work I am doing, I would not answer but let the work itself, be the answer.  But a man of straw was built up, and then they proceeded to burn it.  That being the case, my answer will be to show what I was really doing.  Since there is not time to give my entire speech on the floor, I wish now to outline, some of the particulars of it.

I shall show—

That the bankers’ monopolize the money and credit of this country and use it to suit their own selfish interests.

That the people place over $19,000,000,000 of deposits in the banks on about half of which the banks pay no interest, and pay from 2 to 4 percent on the rest—an average of about 1½ percent on all their deposits.  That this $19,000,000,000 is really the basis on which the so-called Money Trust operates, which in effect amounts to the people furnishing their own funds to maintain the Money Trust, and that this is why the cost of living to the consumer is so high and the return to the producer is so low.

That whenever the “interests” allied with the Money Trust wish to borrow they are given preference over the plain people who wish to borrow, and that the latter are forced to pay the highest rates of interest that the banks can collect, examples of which are being furnished by the foreign loans that are being made and the refusal of the banks to furnish reasonable credit and rates to the plain borrowers in this country.

That under the old banking system the Money Trust banks had a real monopoly because of the conditions they created, as well as the fact that the laws extended to them special privilege and that they speculated with the use of the people’s deposits till they expanded the system to the straining point and then brought on a panic to form the basis for an excuse to obtain from Congress an absolute legal monopoly for the Money Trust.

That in pursuance of that plan they devised a plan for the formation of so-called citizens’ and other leagues to educate the public in their way of thinking, and that the final outcome of the campaign they started was that they secured the Federal reserve act, now in incubation.

That that plan was drafted in Wall Street for Wall Street greed by Paul M. Warburg in about 1902 and placed in cold storage till just before the panic of 1907;  but even then its real purpose was disclosed only to those in the secret.

I shall show that all along, from 1906 to the present time, the Money Trust forces have adroitly managed the campaign for the building up of this Federal Reserve act and putting it into operation, and it will appear that the President selected for the Federal Reserve Board members who have been schooled in the Money Trust system and that a majority of them are pupils of that system.

I shall further show by facts and figures that cannot be successfully disputed—in fact, that the conditions themselves already prove—that there is no chance at all for material improvement in the conditions of the plain working people of this country so long as the Federal reserve act, as it now stands, is the only available source from which the finances of the country are operated.

Those who control it can and may bring on temporary activity at different times; but its main effect will be to give employment at the lowest possible wages for subsistence for the workers and to accumulate vast capital for the trusts, on which to increase their “vested rights” to collect a so-called “reasonable return.”

I shall show that the only way to get without this most unfortunate condition is to give to all the legitimate industries of this country, when so organized as to make the securities ample, the same privileges that are now exclusively given to the banks.  I shall show how the Government should aid in their organization as it has in the organization of the banks.

I shall show that it is absolutely essential to the people of this country, if we are to continue along our present general business ways, to give the people the privilege of depositing, without limit, their funds with, the Government in the postal savings banks, and that these funds may be used by the Government to finance the other business interests of the country rather than giving that exclusive power to the banks.  I do not advocate the giving of privilege to any business greater than that which is given to the banks now, and while I do not believe in the present plan, even if it were extended to all the legitimate business without discrimination, I am not discussing any other general plan of finances than that which we have, and my special reason for not doing so is that it seems reforms can only be secured in installments.

I will show that the same old game is being played in the same old way to postpone the consideration of this law, its operation and effect.  That is one of the ways that is always used to postpone action when the “special interests” put one over on the people.  They wish the people to wait till they have been skinned, and the holdings of the “interests” have been heaped up higher and higher, so that when the people finally say” Stop thief!” by that time their newly acquired wealth will have become “vested rights,” and then the courts will come in with a decree enforcing a levy upon the overpatient people for a “reasonable profit” on their new holdings in favor of the “special interests.”

The high cost of living to the consumer and the small return to the producer can not both exist at the same time in a well-governed country.  Both these conditions do exist in this country at this time, and because of that fact I have used every minute of time that I could spare to discover and point out the reasons for their existence.  It happens that in pointing out the principal cause and explaining how it could be remedied I trod upon the toes of the Money Trust.  From that time on, as was to be expected, I have met opposition from this source.  It has defrayed the expenses of several campaigns made against me in my district.  Its agents and that portion of the press which it controls circulate falsehoods about me, and try at all times to make me appear ridiculous.  They make false reports of how I vote in Congress, and have even had the nerve to cite the record of my acts in Congress, falsely pretending that it showed things of me that are not there.

They are bold to do this, knowing that comparatively few people ever see the RECORD, and they therefore hope that people will not find out the real facts and catch them at their game.

All this performance of theirs is of no general importance, and I do not mind it.  But a recent performance of one who seems overquick on the trigger in defense of the downtrodden trust appeals to me as worthy of a few moments’ attention.

On January 6, 1915, I introduced House resolution 696, which I ask unanimous consent to include in my remarks.  I also ask that a letter from Mr. Henry B. Joy of Detroit, Mich., dated January 7, 1915 , and addressed to Hon. F.A. Delano, vice governor of the Federal Reserve Board, a copy of which was mailed to each Member of the House, together with my reply thereto, may be inserted in the Record without reading.

My resolution, together with certain articles which appeared in, the Chicago Tribune, apparently provoked the outcry from Mr. Henry B. Joy, who is a director of the Federal reserve bank at Chicago.  It was mailed by copy to all Members of the House, and, I am informed, to Senators, governors, and other State officers, and to banks, bank examiners business firms, and corporation throughout the Nation, and has been printed in many newspapers.  I first received notice of it several days after its date, when a copy came to me through the mail and I replied to it under date January 13,1915.

The copy of Mr. Joy’s letter was printed on the office stationary of a company whose business it is to manufacture a high-priced automobile.  I would like every Member has not already done so to read this letter very carefully, and see if you can find one word in it of solicitude for the farmer, for the laboring man, or for the consumer of this country.  See if you can find anything in it that holds out to the unemployed the promise of a job;  anything that looks like lowering the high cost of living.  And, while we are on this subject, I want say that you will not find any of these things in any utterance that has emanated from any member of the Federal Reserve Board that has been appointed by the captain of the Democratic team to preside over the financial destinies of this country.

What does Mr. Joy care for the farmer or the laboring man, for the producer or the consumer ?  No laboring man, at $1.50 to $4 per day, and mighty few farmers are going to invest $7,500 in one of his cars.  I will tell you who is going to invest that amount of money in “Joy” rides, if you want to know.  It is the man who lives without work—the man who wants the rates of interest and dividends kept just as high as possible, in order that he may not be compelled, against the dictates of fashion, to ride this year in last year’s model buzz wagon.

Why should Mr. Oh Be Joyful try to prevent me from working effectively for the establishment by this Government of a proper rural credit system, such as has been adopted and put in working order by nearly every other civilized country, and for financial aid to all the industries of the country and to people generally, when their necessity requires and the security offered is acceptable, upon equal terms with the banks ?  No other reason in the world, except that he is in favor of the discrimination shown by the Federal reserve act, which gives a monopoly of Government credit to the banks controlled by the “Money Trust.” There is neither fairness nor zeal for the public interest in those who favor monopoly.

Mr. Joy is a fair sample of the kind of men who, quite generally, have been selected to control the Federal reserve banks.  He manufactures an article which only the rich can buy.  He need not mind how high interest rates are.  The higher, the better for him.  Like all great corporations, he simply adds interest, dividends, rents, and profits to the cost of his product, and the people who are rich enough to buy, in their turn, charge the cost of his product up to whatever business they are engaged in, and it is all finally paid by the plain producers and consumers.  He says that he has not opposed Messrs. Forgan and Reynolds in any act they have taken with reference to the management of the Chicago reserve bank, and, if so, and if the charges of the Chicago Tribune are true, he supported them in their efforts with the Federal Reserve Board to keep the rates of rediscount so high that the country banks were compelled to do business with the banks they controlled instead of making use of the reserve bank.

It seems to me high time that all the people begin to understand a fact which is inevitably true in the final analysis.  It is that all interest, dividends, rents, and profits are nothing more nor less than a tax, falling upon both the producer and the consumer, for the benefit of capital.  Whether that tax be high or low is regulated by the prevailing rate of interest.  Which, think you, is the worse practice for a Government to engage in—to farm out the Government credit for “vested rights” to make a profit on at the expense of all the people, or to provide a just and equitable protective tariff on imported goods, equal to the difference in cost of manufacture here and abroad, for the benefit of American labor ?  Can you reduce the high cost of living by adding to the profits of the idle rich, to be consumed by them in riotous living and “joy” rides ?  Why is it that the President and those he has appointed can see only one way to relieve the distress which the railways complain about, and that is to raise the rates which the railways charge to the people ?  They say, “We must get higher rates in order to make expenses and pay interest and dividends.”  Why not fix it so they will have to pay less interest—put them on the same footing, as to Government credit, with the banks—and then they can lower the rates ?

Now that the banks have been given unlimited opportunity to avail themselves of the Government credit at low rates, it is my purpose to fight as long as I am able in an endeavor to obtain from that same Government, which belongs rightfully to all the people, the same privileges, on the same terms, for all industries, whether upon the farm or in other work or business, and to the railways also—since whatever interest charges they pay are charged back to the people in cost of service—in order that the excessive tax now levied upon all the people through the medium of usurious interest rates may be lowered to the level of a reasonable burden imposed justly and equitably upon the industrious many.  When all kinds of legitimate business have equal opportunity with the banks, then the cost of living to the consumer and the return to the producer will be relatively just and fair.  Both will receive the advantages due them.

If there is anything wrong in this;  if what I am fighting for has any measure of injustice in it or lack of appreciation for the welfare of the human race;  if there is any virtue in the system that has been established, giving to the banks the entire control of the industrial affairs of our country for their sole use and benefit, regardless of the wrongs they may choose to inflict on the rest of us; if there is anything holy in the Federal re serve act or the reserve banks established under it, which renders them so immaculate as to constitute them, as my friend, the director of the Federal reserve bank of Chicago, seems to suggest, immune from criticism, then “On with the dance; let ‘Joy’ be unconfined.”

There was a sinister purpose involved in the wide circulation of this letter.  Mr. Joy and those associated with him knew that I was on the job and would probably expose the purpose of the Federal reserve act more completely than I had been able to do before;  that I would be able to show that Congress was deceived in order to get that act and certain amendments to it enacted into law;  that it is the most outrageous piece of legislation ever enacted by any legislative body on earth, giving, as it does, the power to one class to enslave and oppress the balance of the people;  and that the Underwood Tariff Act, bad as that piece of legislation is, will not do one-hundredth part as much damage as the Federal reserve act will do if allowed to remain in force, unless so amended as to give other industries equal advantages with the banks.


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