Four Years of the Silver Program

December 14, 1937

Report Outline
Reconsideration of Silver Policies
Development of the Silver Program
Operation of the Silver Program
Effects of Program at Home and Abroad
Special Focus

Reconsideration of Silver Policies

Impending Expiration of 1933 Silver Agreement

A sharp decline in the price of silver on the London market brought assurance from Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau early in December that “until further notice” the United States would continue to buy foreign silver at 45 cents an ounce. Whether the Treasury would continue, under the purely domestic part of the country's two-fold silver program, to pay 77.57 cents an ounce for domestically produced silver after January 1 would depend, the Secretary said, upon the terms of a proclamation later to be issued by the President.

The International Silver Agreement expires on December 31, 1937, and with it the President's proclamation of December 21, 1933, which constituted the affirmative action whereby the United States ratified the international agreement. Under the 1933 proclamation and its 1935 liberalizing amendments, American producers have been receiving over 77½ cents an ounce for their newly-mined silver. If the proclamation should not be renewed, or other provision made before the end of the year, the 77½-cent price would automatically terminate and American producers would have to sell their metal on the open market at the prevailing world price. The world price has been kept steady at about 45 cents an ounce by the Treasury's policy of absorbing nearly the whole of the world's current mine production, as well as Chinese demonetized silver, supplemented by additional purchases in the open market.

Possible Cut in Bounty to Domestic Producers

Concern for the future of silver began to be displayed by members from the Rocky Mountain states soon after the convening of the present special session of Congress. Senator Pittman (D., Nev.) said in the Senate, November 22, one week after the session met:

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
U.S. Dollar and Inflation
Oct. 2008  The Troubled Dollar
Feb. 13, 1998  Deflation Fears
Mar. 13, 1987  Dollar Diplomacy
Oct. 14, 1983  Strong Dollar's Return
Jul. 11, 1980  Coping with Inflation
May 16, 1980  Measuring Inflation
Dec. 07, 1979  Federal Reserve's Inflation Fight
Jun. 09, 1978  Dollar Problems Abroad
Sep. 20, 1974  Inflation and Job Security
Feb. 26, 1969  Money Supply in Inflation
Feb. 14, 1968  Gold Policies and Production
Dec. 15, 1965  Anti-Inflation Policies in America and Britain
Mar. 15, 1965  World Monetary Reform
Dec. 02, 1964  Silver and the Coin Shortage
Oct. 17, 1962  Gold Stock and the Balance of Payments
Dec. 15, 1960  Gold and the Dollar
Oct. 10, 1956  Old-Age Annuities in Time of Inflation
Jan. 17, 1951  Credit Control in Inflation
Aug. 10, 1949  Dollar Shortage
Oct. 04, 1943  Stabilization of Exchanges
Jan. 21, 1941  Safeguards Against Monetary Inflation
Mar. 25, 1940  United States Gold in International Relations
Dec. 14, 1937  Four Years of the Silver Program
Oct. 04, 1934  Inflation in Europe and the United States
Jan. 30, 1934  Dollar Depreciation and Devaluation
Sep. 05, 1933  Stabilization of the Dollar
May 29, 1933  Invalidation of the Gold Clause
Mar. 15, 1933  Inflation of the Currency
Oct. 25, 1924  Bank Rate and Credit Control Federal Reserve Policies and the Defaltion Issue
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Currency
Financial Institutions
International Finance