Proposals for a Government-Owned Central Bank

December 11, 1934

Report Outline
Movement for a New Bank of the United States
American Experience with Central Banks
Government Influence in Federal Reserve System
Central Banking Under the New Deal

Movement for a New Bank of the United States

Five Bills for the establishment of a government-owned central bank were offered at the last session of Congress. Three of the bills were introduced by Democratic members of the House; one—the last bill of the Congress—by the chairman of the Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures. The Senate bills were offered by Senator Cutting, independent Republican, on June 5, and Senator Thomas, author of the Thomas inflation amendment, on June 15. The session closed on June 18. Reintro-duction of all these bills in revised form—and the offering of many more to the same end by other members—is expected when the new Congress meets in January.

Senator Fletcher, chairman of the Senate Banking and Currency Committee, said on November 6 that there would be no major banking or monetary legislation at the next session. There would be agitation for a central bank but no legislation. Ten days later, however, Fletcher addressed a questionnaire to leading bankers and monetary authorities which indicated to the Journal of Commerce that “at least several members of the Senate Banking and Currency Committee are thinking in terms of active consideration of basic questions of banking organization and policy.” Among the questions upon which opinions were solicited were the following:

Is the power over the issuance of currency to be vested in:

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