Resumption would probably follow the same course in the United States. The important point is to establish a thorough conviction in the minds of the whole people that the return to specie payment is irrevocably decreed. When this feeling has penetrated the entire nation the eyes of all will be turned to the fact that in a brief space of time the paper dollar will possess absolutely equal value with the metallic dollar, and the consequence of this will be a steadily advancing habit of calculating all debts likely to be of long standing, and making all pecuniary arrangements, on the basis of the metallic dollar. Trade with foreign countries will march on the same line, importers will reckon with ever-increasing confidence on a currency as good as metallic. The premium on gold will gradually diminish, and there is reason to believe that the period of resumption will be anticipated as it was in England; and just as the Bank of England found no difficulty, as a matter of fact, in obtaining a sufficient quantity of gold to face any demand for gold on the presentation of bank-notes, so, I believe, will it be in America. But there must be no enlargement of the circulation - not by a fraction - in the meanwhile, for the keystone of the whole building is that the death of the inconvertible paper is decreed past all hope of change.
England possessed an advantage the absence of which may cause some embarrassment to the United States. There is no bank-note paper in America so entirely trusted as the Bank of England note was and is. Hence, Who shall be the issuer of the United States paper currency? becomes an arduous problem. Direct issue by the Government, the Government receiving and holding the sums given by the public for the bank-notes, is a system, I conceive, greatly to be deprecated. It places convertibility at the mercy of political parties. What the Government would do with this vast receipt is not easy to say. Probably it would redeem with it existing debt; but if so, the fund guaranteeing convertibility could hardly be said to exist. In England the Bank is compelled to lodge the fifteen millions in securities. They are a concrete and tangible fund, available always for procuring money - metallic coin. A national debt due by the Government is a very different foundation for the payment of the notes on demand from securities, which can be realised at once in the open market. The want of an actually accumulated fund, and the direct and undoubted dependence of convertibility on a vote of Congress, capable of being passed at any time, would render convertibility extremely precarious. It seems to me - though under the intricate complications which beset American currency, it is not easy for any one who is not an American to speak with confidence - that the best course to adopt would be to imitate the English system, as far as practicable; for that system works admirably in England. As an issue of paper currency it is irreproachable; the only charge brought against it which deserves a moment's notice is that the line is drawn too low at fifteen millions, as the public could and would hold a larger quantity without ever sending any portion of it for payment. That accusation, I venture to believe, has already been disposed of in the preceding pages. To intrust the issue to a single bank under the peremptory condition of investing all that it receives in Government securities would probably be the safest, as it would be the simplest plan; for it might be very difficult to check the issues of many banks, and to acquire a well-founded assurance that the issues never exceeded the amount lodged in securities. On this method a permanent reserve of gold must be provided; this would obviously be taken from the sum which would otherwise have been placed in securities. A portion of the profits derived from the securities, would of course, as already argued, be appropriated to the State. I do not say that this is the only plan open to the United States, but to the best of my judgment, it seems to be the best.