CURRENCY BILL IS NOW A LAW
The President Signs Glass-Owen Measure Amid Enthusiasm
Reorganizes Bank System
Washington – President Woodrow Wilson signed the Glass-Owen currency bill at 6:00 o’clock Tuesday night in the presence of members of his cabinet, the congressional committees on banking and currency and Democratic leaders in Congress generally.With a few strokes of the pen the president converted into law the measure to be known as the Federal Reserve Act, reorganizing the nations’ banking and currency system furnishing, in the words of the president, the machinery for free and elastic and uncontrolled credit’s put at the disposal of the merchants and manufacturers of this country for the first time in fifty years.
Enthusiastic applause ran through the ceremony not only as the president affixed his signature, but as he delivered an extemporaneous speech characterizing the desire of the administration to take common counsel with the business men of the country and the latter’s efforts to meet the government’s advance as the ‘constitution of peace.’
The event came at the close of a day of rejoicing in the national capital, for Congress bad recessed for two weeks for the first time since it convened last April. The Democratic leaders were jubilant because they had completed two big pieces of legislation the tariff and the currency reform in nine months, a performance which they considered unprecedented in the history of the country.
“I need not tell you,” said the president to the assembled group as he took up his pen, “that I feel a very deep gratification at being able to sign this bill and I feel that I ought to express very heartily the admiration I have for the men who have made it possible for me to sign this bill. There have been currents and counter-currents, but the stream has moved forward. I think we owe special admiration to the patience and the leadership and the skill and the force of the chairmen of the two committees; and behind them have stood the committees themselves exercising a degree of scrutiny and of careful thought in this matter which undoubtedly has redounded to the benefit of the bill itself.
Organization of the new banking system will be undertaken immediately by Secretary McAdoo of the treasury and Secretary Houston of agriculture, two of the three members of the committee charged with the task by the law. The comptroller of the currency is named as the third member, but this office is now vacant and cannot be filled until the president sends a nomination to the Senate upon his return to Washington after the holidays. It is agreed in official circles, however that a majority is authorized to act, so the two cabinet officers are preparing to proceed without waiting for a full committee.
Article appeared first in the Macon Beacon on January 2, 1914 (Here)
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