Items of Interest

Gold became the sole monetary standard of the United States on March 14, when the President signed the new finance bill, which was finally passed in the House the previous day. The new law fixes the dollar containing 25.8 grains of gold, nine tenths fine, as the standard of value, and provides that all other forms of money shall be maintained at a parity with this standard, by setting apart a gold fund of $150,000,000 for the redemption of United States and treasury notes. Authority is given the Secretary of the Treasury to convert into subsidiary coin any of the 1890 silver bullion up to the limit of $100,000,000. The bill provides for the issuance of new two per cent bonds in exchange for outstanding Spanish war loan bonds and others amounting in all to $839,000,000, and National banks which issue circulation notes on the security of their bonds, will have to pay only one half of one per cent on such circulation instead of one per cent, the tax on notes secured by other bonds. The new law also allows banks having a capital of $25,000 in places of three thousand population or under, to organize as National banks and issue circulation, whereas the minimum has hitherto been $50,000 capital stock.

Representative Ray of New York, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has introduced in Congress a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the constitution for the purpose of regulating trusts. The following is the suggested amendment:—

"Article XVI.—The Congress shall have power to regulate and repress monopolies and combinations; to create and dissolve corporations and dispose of their property, to make all laws necessary and proper for the execution of the foregoing powers. Such powers may be exercised by the several States in any manner not in conflict with the laws of the United States."

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Panama and Nicaragua Canals
March 22, 1900

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